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Everyday Ethics

Everyday Ethics

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

Ask an Ethicist: Why should the U.S. reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

by Rob Peeler Apr 22, 2016
Peter Buckland Photo At the Paris Climate talks, global society agreed to pursue a rapid decarbonization of the global economy to cap total global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius. Such actions would prevent some dire effects of human-caused climate change. What are some of the ethical issues from global climate change?

Engels, McDonald named Sherwin Early Career Professors

by Rob Peeler Apr 21, 2016
Two faculty members in the Penn State College of the Liberal Arts have been named Sherwin Early Career Professors in the college’s Rock Ethics Institute. Jeremy Engels now holds the title Sherwin Early Career Professor in the Rock Ethics Institute and associate professor of communication arts and sciences, while Bryan McDonald now holds the title Sherwin Early Career Professor in the Rock Ethics Institute and assistant professor of history. Both appointments are effective March 2016 and continue until June 30, 2018.

Michael Burroughs receives national recognition

by Rob Peeler Apr 21, 2016
Michael Burroughs in Sweden Dr. Michael D. Burroughs, Associate Director of the Rock Ethics Institute and Senior Lecturer of Philosophy at Penn State University, has been selected as an NEH Summer Scholar from a national applicant pool to attend the Moral Psychology and Education Summer Institute, supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Ask an Ethicist: Does climate change affect genders differently?

by Rob Peeler May 10, 2016
Photo used on profile page.Olsson, L., M. Opondo, P. Tschakert, A. Agrawal, S.H. Eriksen, S. Ma, L.N. Perch, and S.A. Zakieldeen, 2014: Livelihoods and poverty. In: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Field, C.B., V.R. Barros, D.J. Dokken, K.J. Mach, M.D. Mastrandrea, T.E. Bilir, M. Chatterjee, K.L. Ebi, Y.O. Estrada, R.C. Genova, B. Girma, E.S. Kissel, A.N. Levy, S. MacCracken, P.R. Mastrandrea, and L.L. White (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, pp. 793-832. Climate change is a global issue and affects all of us. You most likely have read about or discussed climate concerns, but an often overlooked topic is gender and climate change. In today’s Ask an Ethicist column, our ethicist brings to light this often overlooked topic and explains why gender should be part of the climate change conversation.

Undergraduates honored with Rock Ethics Institute 2016 Stand Up Award

by Rob Peeler Apr 20, 2016
Heidi Lynne Photography Alanna Kaiser, 2016 Stand Up Awardee in AfricaNathan Larkin, 2016 Stand Up HonoreeJaden Rankin-Wahlers Stand Up honoree Penn State students Alanna Kaiser, Nathan Larkin, and Jaden Rankin-Wahlers are being honored respectively for their work in social & environmental justice; organizing efforts to address climate change; and combatting stigmas associated with poverty and homelessness.

Ask an Ethicist: Profiting from a Cure

by Rob Peeler Apr 12, 2016
Dan Cahoy Headshot Should someone be able to charge high prices for important medical information? Can one even own such knowledge? This week’s article shed’s some light on these questions by taking a look at whether or not it is ethical for an acupuncturist to charge other licensed acupuncturists a large sum of money to learn about key acupuncture points.

Income Inequality in Latin America and the Role of Policy

by Rob Peeler Apr 08, 2016
Source: Leah GalambaSource: Leah GalambaSource: Leah Galamba A strong interest in the culture and people of Latin America as well as a background in economics has led Leah Galamba to focus her thesis on the recent changes in income inequality within the region. Data collected here in the United States has allowed her to examine and quantify the effects of various policy changes on the level of inequality in eight different Latin American countries. Additionally, time spent abroad in Peru has given her a first-hand experience of what real inequality looks like and how real people, and the country, are affected by it.

'Should I change my honors thesis topic?': Some advice from someone who did

by Rob Peeler Apr 06, 2016
This summer I started preliminary research for my thesis. For a variety of reasons, I decided to change my topic and start from scratch. This was a difficult decision, but something that I knew had to be done. In looking back on this experience I realized that others might benefit from my mistakes. Below are a few ways that I knew it was time to change.

“Huddled Masses Yearning to Breathe Free”: The Particularity of Migrants’ Experiences

by Rob Peeler Apr 04, 2016
A sign hung by the advocacy group Just Citizenship prior to Ireland’s 2004 Citizenship Referendum. Source: Sinead O’Carroll, “Yes, No, or Ask Again: Voting in Ireland’s referendums over the years,” The Journal, Sept. 22, 2012. Cross-cultural comparisons are often used to generate empathy for those experiencing oppression. Focusing on the particular experience of Ireland’s 2004 Citizenship Referendum, this article argues for the problematic nature of such comparisons, suggesting the need for recognizing the particularity of minoritized populations’ experiences.