The Rock Ethics Institute

Home > Everyday Ethics

Everyday Ethics

Everyday Ethics

Learn how ethics is part of our everyday lives by reading articles and stories that show ethical dilemmas are everywhere.

Undergraduates honored with Rock Ethics Institute 2017 Stand Up Award

by Rob Peeler Apr 21, 2017
2017 Penn State Stand Up student awardees, from left to right, Hayly Hoch, Alexis Scott and Brian Davis.Image: Heidi Lynne PhotographyPenn State student Brian Davis speaking at a campus rally he organized about the Orlando, Florida, nightclub shooting.  Penn State student Hayly Hoch on the Penn State Student Farm.mage: Gabrielle ManninoPenn State student Alexis Scott, with the Queer & Transgender People of Color student group, during Pride Week. The Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State recently celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the Stand Up Award by honoring Brian Anthony Davis, Hayly Hoch, and Alexis Scott. This award is presented to Penn State Undergraduate students who have demonstrated courage, fortitude, and ethical leadership by taking a stand for a person, a cause, or a belief.

The Richard B. Lippin Lecture Series: Moral Development in the Context of Group Games

by Karissa Rodgers Apr 18, 2017
Carolyn Hildebrandt headshot On April 20, Dr. Carolyn Hildebrandt will discuss the comparative benefits of cooperative and competitive games, and the importance of allowing children to create and regulate their own games within democratic, constructivist classrooms.

TEDx Talk w/Jonathan Marks: Governments should fight corporations, not collaborate with them

by Rob Peeler Apr 11, 2017
Conflict is bad; compromise, consensus and collaboration are good — or so we're told. Lawyer and bioethicist Jonathan Marks challenges this conventional wisdom, showing how governments can jeopardize public health, human rights and the environment when they partner with industry. An important, timely reminder that common good and common ground are not the same thing.

Eleanor Brown joins faculty in Penn State Law, SIA, Rock Ethics Institute

by Karissa Rodgers Apr 11, 2017
Eleanor-Brown Headshot Eleanor Brown, a leading scholar of property, migration, globalization, development, and the law, will join the Penn State faculty, effective July 1, as a professor of law at Penn State Law, a professor of international affairs in the School of International Affairs (SIA), and a senior scientist in the Rock Ethics Institute.

Two Penn State Researchers named Rock Ethics Institute Faculty Fellows

by Rob Peeler Apr 07, 2017
Gary Adler, Jeff Catchmark, Martin Pietrucha, Rose Jolly, Amit Sharma The faculty fellows, Gary John Adler, Jr. and Martin T. Pietrucha, will help integrate curricular and research projects to advance the Rock Ethics Institute’s goal of integrating ethics throughout the Penn State curriculum.

Gut check: Researchers develop measures to capture moral judgments and empathy

Image 20170329 8587 1w2hgpf

by Rob Peeler Mar 30, 2017
Image 20170329 8587 1w2hgpf Asking people about morality and empathy may not yield sincere answers. Moral sentiments, can, indeed, be measured.

Ethical interrogations of short stories

by Rob Peeler Mar 27, 2017
This is a post from Rock Humanities Dissertation Fellow, María Izquierdo Miranda. Maria is a 5th year ABD student from Puerto Rico in the Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese at Penn State University. Her dissertation project, “Adaptable Debility: Becoming Human Under Biocapitalism,” addresses the performance of mental debility by middle class individuals of recent Anglo and Hispanic biocapitalist contexts.

Ask an Ethicist: Representing yourself honestly in an interview

by Rob Peeler Mar 13, 2017
Saleem Clarke headshot Consider your personal brand; how can you honestly represent yourself to potential employers? We have all heard the phrase “honesty is the best policy” but sometimes during an interview it is not clear what implications our honesty will have on our employability. Sure, we all want to present ourselves in the best possible light, but some interview questions can make us consider how to respond in a truthful and ethical manner.

Does empathy have limits? Depends on whom you ask

Image 20170301 5504 1l7vjh2

by Rob Peeler Mar 02, 2017
Image 20170301 5504 1l7vjh2 Is it possible to run out of empathy? That’s the question many are asking in the wake of the U.S. presidential election. Thousands have marched on streets and airports to encourage others to expand their empathy for women, minorities and refugees. Others have argued that liberals lack empathy for the plight of rural Americans. Against this backdrop, some scholars have recently come out against empathy, saying that it is overhyped, unimportant and, worse, dangerous. They make this recommendation because empathy appears to be limited and biased in ethically problematic ways. As psychologists who study empathy, we disagree. Based on advances in the science of empathy, we suggest that limits on empathy are more apparent than real. While empathy appears limited, these limits reflect our own goals, values and choices; they do not reflect limits to empathy itself.

Dealing with hate: Can America's truth and reconciliation commissions help?

by Rob Peeler Mar 01, 2017
Recent vandalism in Jewish cemeteries in St. Louis and Philadelphia illustrates the all too real problem of hate crime faced by many communities in the United States. The Conversation Just this February, the Southern Poverty Law Center found that for the second year in a row the number of hate groups in the United States has been growing – up from 892 in 2015 to 900 in 2017. The report also found since the election of President Donald Trump there has been a sharp increase in hate crime incidents. These incidents beg the question: How can such racial divisions be healed? I study U.S.-based truth commissions and the field of transitional justice. Transitional justice refers to judicial and nonjudicial measures implemented by countries to redress large-scale human rights abuses, such as truth commissions. Several communities in the United States have attempted to confront racism through truth and reconciliation commissions. My work suggests these commissions have indeed helped promote racial healing and understanding.