In This Section…

  • In Character has moved...

    Posted on 07/22/10

    We’ve migrated to Big Questions Online. Please join us there for lively articles on--well--the big questions in science, religion, economics, and ethics.

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  • Do Good Things Happen to Good People?

    Posted on 06/14/10

    We're used to worrying about why bad things happen to good people. Dr. Stephen Post, director of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, has another take on the subject.

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  • Outward and Visible Signs

    Posted on 06/07/10

    Only very superficial people, the author once thought, judged people by their appearance; for the majority of people to dress in a sloppy or careless fashion therefore represented an opportunity for people to make deeper estimates of each other's character, dependent not on the outer, but on the inner man.

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  • Virtually Virtuous

    Posted on 05/31/10

    Are we more or less likely to lie to someone if we are communicating via email or text message than if we are speaking face-to-face? One researcher has found that using the computer can actually encourage people to lie.

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  • What Law & Order Taught Us

    Posted on 05/24/10

    The magnificent warhorse of a series ended Monday night. Jonathan V. Last lists the lessons viewers can take away from one of TV's longest-running shows.

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  • Role Models vs. Heroes: Was Tiger Woods Ever Really Enough?

    Posted on 05/14/10

    The term "role model" was coined in the first half of the twentieth century by the Columbia University sociologist Robert K. Merton, who also pioneered the techniques used in focus groups. "Hero," by contrast, is an ancient term of poetry and war.

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  • The Nashville Flood...Why Have We Paid So Little Attention to It?

    Posted on 05/10/10

    Did you hear about looting? Did you hear about crime sprees? No...you didn't. You heard about people pulling their neighbors off of rooftops. You saw a group of people trying to move two horses to higher ground. No...we didn't loot.

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  • Silence, PLEASE

    Posted on 05/03/10

    Is a taste for silence an aesthetic matter only? Does silence really have no moral qualities, no intellectual advantages, no significance for the deepening of character?

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  • The Death of Embarrassment

    Posted on 04/26/10

    In our nonjudgmental, individualistic culture, we see public displays of just about everything. There are sound arguments for bringing back embarrassment.

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  • Virtue on the Hill: Are We Their Enablers?

    Posted on 04/19/10

    Scandal stories about our leaders are embarrassing, but do they also make the voters (or to be blunt, you and me) complicit in the apparent collapse of political mores? And are our leaders in Congress today really as bad as critics claim?

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