We seem to be in danger of falling into the chasm of David Hume’s Is / Ought argument in our search for a natural Aristotelian ethics, based on the goal of human flourishing, or eudaimonia. Hume famously laid out this argument in his Treatise On Human Nature: In every system of morality, which I have Read more…

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This is a (slightly adapted) piece I wrote for the Wall Street Journal on behavioural economics. I added a bit of stuff on ancient philosophy which readers of this blog might be interested in. The Stoic philosopher Epictetus told his students that the wise man “keeps guard against himself as his own enemy, and one Read more…

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The ancient Greeks used to compare moral philosophy to going to the gym: to become a virtuous person, you have to practice over and over, like a wrestler, to strengthen your ‘moral muscles’. The same metaphor is used by the psychologist Roy Baumeister, whose excellent talk at the recent Edge.org conference on moral sciences you Read more…

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Listen to this fascinating interview with Keith Stanovich, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Toronto, and the author of the book, The Robot’s Rebellion. Stanovich starts by assuming that Richard Dawkins is correct in his universal Darwinian view of human psychology – that humans are vehicles for self-replicating genes and self-replicating memes, and that Read more…

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I just won a poker tournament. Sadly, it was only a Facebook poker tournament, so I only won Facebook poker money. I won mainly because mid-way through the game, I got dealt a pair of Kings, and then two Kings came up in the flop, so I had a pretty much unbeatable hand of four Read more…

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