Ethics of Dissent and Protest

Cooperation, loyalty, adherence to the rule of law. These are noble virtues, of which the following are necessary for a free and open society. But there are times when it is necessary to step outside these noble virtues. There are times when dissent is a virtue. There is a time […]

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Science: It’s Tricky

I received a letter (yes, some people still send paper letters!) that contained a lovely quote from Max Planck. A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die. Perhaps Planck was being metaphorical about “dying,” […]

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How Wrong Beliefs Can Still Be Useful

One of my favorite historical stories is that of miasma theory. It is also known as the theory that bad air causes disease.  The scientific word “miasma” comes from ancient Greek and means “pollution.” More common usage adopted the medieval Italian word “malaria,” meaning “bad air.” As you probably have […]

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The Legacy of Plato and Aristotle

Philosophy deals with the biggest and most complex issues facing humanity and philosophical insights underpin all human endeavors. Because the questions considered by philosophy are so large and complicated, philosophy itself is a long conversation about those issues among many people across many years. To compare past perspectives with our […]

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