What is Good?

Socrates on What People Misunderstand about Goodness

People often misunderstand something about goodness. In Plato’s Republic, Plato portrays Socrates discussing goodness with some of his friends and acquaintances. The word for goodness in the Republic is dikaisoune (δικαισύνη). Now, the English language doesn’t have an exact translation for the word dikaisoune. In the Greek it means something like all of these ideas… Continue reading Socrates on What People Misunderstand about Goodness

What is Good?

Socrates on What People Misunderstand about Goodness

What do people misunderstand about goodness? Something very important, it turns out. In Plato’s Republic, Plato portrays Socrates discussing goodness with some of his friends and acquaintances. Now it is important to know that the word for goodness in the Republic is dikaisoune (δικαισύνη). And English doesn’t have an exact translation for the word dikaisoune… Continue reading Socrates on What People Misunderstand about Goodness

Capable, What is Good?

Is Encouraging Positivity Helpful or Harmful?

Is encouraging positivity helpful or harmful? Positivity is a buzzword in recent years. In fact, you have probably heard people recently urging you or others to be positive, to focus on positivity, or to strive to be happy. Philosophers and other thinkers and writers have long explored how humans can be more happy. For example,… Continue reading Is Encouraging Positivity Helpful or Harmful?

What is Good?

The Trolley Problem and Ethical Reasoning

I have been teaching the Trolley Problem in my ethics class this week. The Trolley Problem is a classical ethical dilemma that people, especially philosopher Judith Jarvis Thompson, have been writing and teaching about for decades. Thompson wrote an initial article about the Trolley Problem in 1985 that you can read here: The Trolley Problem.… Continue reading The Trolley Problem and Ethical Reasoning

Spirituality, What is Good?

Two Mistakes We Often Make with Our Emotions

This week I was thinking about two mistakes we often make with our emotions. I was thinking about this because I am teaching ethics this semester (as I usually do). And one of the points I regularly make to my students is that our emotions are not a suitable sole foundation for moral decision-making. "Expressions… Continue reading Two Mistakes We Often Make with Our Emotions

What is Good?, What is Just?, What is True?

A Surprising Thing about Moral Disagreements

Moral disagreements are a common part of life. But there is something very surprising about moral disagreements that we often don’t realize. To illustrate this, allow me to present you with a thought experiment.[1] Please imagine these four people: Person #1: Jill believes X is the moral thing to do. Now, Jill truly cares about… Continue reading A Surprising Thing about Moral Disagreements

What is Good?

How Ethics Can Help Us Be a Good Partner and Friend

If we want strong, loving relationships with partners and friends, ethics can help us. When we have a strong ethics, we adopt certain principles that aim for a higher good both for ourselves and others. And we act consistently according to these principles. Some examples of common ethical principles are the following: Act with virtues… Continue reading How Ethics Can Help Us Be a Good Partner and Friend