Have It Your Way: Cheeseburgers and Moral Responsility


Here at the Core, we spend a great deal of time examining a wide range of perspectives on morality, returning semester after semester to examine questions such as “how do we define right and wrong?” and even “do right and wrong really exist?”

As we explore these ethical questions through the lenses of science, literature, and philosophy, it can be helpful to reference professional ethicists to shed light on our discussion.

Eric Schwitzgebel, philosophy professor at UC Riverside, takes a ‘meta’ approach to these conversations in a recent piece for aeon magazine, titled “Cheeseburger ethics”. In the piece, he raises intriguing questions, such as: “Are ethics professionals good people, and if not, what is the point in learning ethics?” And further, he wonders about the ethics of professional ethicists:

When I meet an ethicist for the first time by ethicist, I mean a professor of philosophy who specialises in teaching and researching ethics its my habit to ask whether ethicists behave any differently to other types of professor. Most say no.

Ill probe further: why not? Shouldn’t regularly thinking about ethics have some sort of influence on ones own behaviour? Doesn’t it seem that it would?

We recommend this piece as being 1) entertaining, 2) provocative, and 3) not visibly unethical. If you’re hungry for some stimulating summer reading, check it out ataeon.

This post contributed by Core summer staffer Michael Enwright.

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