Issue 165 - 01 | Doing Ethics with Our Brains

By John Hooker
Published June 13, 2018 10:00 a.m.
“We are told that we live in a post-truth age. When the facts get in the way, we turn to ‘alternative facts’ that serve our purposes. Rather than listen to another point of view, we focus only on arguments and talking points that support our ideology. Not everyone is like this, of course, but it seems to capture the tenor of the times. Worst of all, it exacerbates the polarization that so many worry about, because we can’t find common ground.

The root problem, in my view, is a gradual abandonment of rationality. We can’t reach consensus because we no longer acknowledge a rational basis for resolving disputes.

Ethics was an early casualty of this retreat from reason.”

About John Hooker | John Hooker is a T. Jerome Holleran Professor of Business Ethics and Social Responsibility, and Professor of Operations Research, at Carnegie Mellon University. He has also held visiting posts at several universities, most recently the London School of Economics and the State University of Campinas, Brazil. He brings his extensive background in philosophy and logic to the rigorous analysis of ethical dilemmas, and his background in management science to making sure the dilemmas are realistic. In addition to his blog, Ethical Decisions, he has published over 170 research articles, eight books, and five edited volumes on ethics, philosophy, operations research, and cross-cultural issues, including Business Ethics as Rational Choice and Working across Cultures. He is the founding editor-in-chief of the world’s only academic journal dedicated to teaching business ethics, and he developed the ethics program in the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.

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