November 2012

Stephen Loughnan

I received my undergraduate and PhD degrees from the University of Melbourne where I worked on intergroup dehumanization. Since then, I have completed worked as a post-doctoral fellow both in Australia and the UK, and am currently Senior Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Read more about Stephen Loughnan

The Race That Stops the Nation

Today is an Important Day. Significant Things will be decided today, things which will have profound repercussions for our global society, both immediately and for future generation – Read more about The Race That Stops the Nation

Legitimacy to Act

Recently in the MMPL’s weekly journal discussion, we read a publication by Daniel Effron and Dale Miller (2012) about the moralization of certain issues. According to this article, moralization occurs when people link moral values to social issues, like abortion. When we moralize a social issue, it gives us the legitimacy or freedom to act on attitudes that we have no material stake in. Read more about Legitimacy to Act

The Moral of the Story: Morality and Literature, Part II - The Casual Vacancy

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

While the Harry Potter series is about a boy’s struggle against the forces of evil, the Casual Vacancy focuses on a different kind of evil: corruption, greed, gossip and neglect. Both, however, promote the importance of strong values and doing what is right – however, they each come at it from different angles. Read more about The Moral of the Story: Morality and Literature, Part II - The Casual Vacancy

Elections, Predictions, and Moral Dilemmas

1. The name on everybody's lips*, has lately been Nate Silver. As Jonathan Green of The Drum explains, Silver runs a blog called FiveThirtyEight at The New York Times, and he predicted that Obama would win the election. Read more about Elections, Predictions, and Moral Dilemmas

From the Archives: Power

Every Friday morning during semester, the MMPL meets for Journal Club. During journal club, one of the students or staff will present a research paper - it can be old or new, but it's usually short and most often on morality. Since October, I haven't been able to go due to other commitments, but I still wanted to give you (dear new readers!) a taste for the kind of thing we talk about during these meetings - so here's one from earlier this year, when I wrote about the journal club on my old blog. Enjoy!

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The Moral of the Story: The Profession

At Fairfield train station there is, on most days, a cardboard box filled with books that says “please take”. I usually don’t, either because I’m rushing to catch the train or because I’m reading something else. Also, the books in the box are usually Mills&Boon. Read more about The Moral of the Story: The Profession

Golden Means*

I’ve been terribly bad at doing my work today. But then again, what I’ve been doing instead of work has been pretty good, in the sense that it has involved discussions, sports, food, more discussions, reading, coffee, talking, and laughing. Rather a lot. And all of these things – particularly due to the social aspect of it all – are things that I value.

Which brings me to… Read more about Golden Means*

From the Archives: Subjective Objectivity

This post is from a MMPL Journal Club meeting earlier in the year, first posted on my PhD blog. 

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The Moral of the Story: The Feeling of Power

The second of Asimov’s Nine Tomorrows, The Feeling of Power, is much shorter than the first one, and also much funnier. It starts in a future where “computing without a computer is a contradiction in terms”, as one character says: technology has developed and “taken over” to the stage where humans don’t do any calculations of their own. Read more about The Moral of the Story: The Feeling of Power

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