Tag Archives: ethics

Ethics always comes too late for power

If there is one lesson I have learned from Foucault, it is this: Ethics always comes too late for power. What I mean by this is that human beings – even philosophers – have a tendency to rationalise, in ethical or moral terms, about the actual decisions and choices one makes in the world, and…

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Step on the corruption scale

By Abuti Rams Say you were to step on the “corruption scale”, how much do you think you would weigh? Just like most people, I have a problem with corruption in its diverse forms. In recent years, most of our media reporting has exposed corruption on all levels of government (be it local, provincial or…

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Bribery, the real costs

By Anthea Paelo The other day the taxi I was riding in was stopped by a policeman. Not an unusual event in itself. Neither was the exchange of money that happened afterwards. What was strange, at least for me, was the policeman’s method of request. Upon stopping the taxi, he did not bother to pretend…

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Is the timing of Madiba’s passing an ANC political strategy?

I thought I’d said my last on the sad topic of Madiba’s illness. Tofolux would have certainly been pleased, as both my last two posts dealing with Madiba clearly upset him/her. But it was not Tofolux’s comment that got my attention. That honour belongs to BillyC, whose comment I initially disregarded as being impossible. It…

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Has Mandela’s medical treatment created a bad precedent?

If Madiba is recovering in a manner consistent with the public announcements of being able to go home “soon” I will be the first to admit that my expectation that his days were severely numbered was wrong, and be very pleased that I was. Because it really did not sound good. Being “critical but stable”…

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The network: Towards a new way of life

In his insightful study of ancient philosophy, Philosophy as a Way of Life (Blackwell, 1995), Pierre Hadot disabuses one of the notion that philosophy was for the ancients what it has become in modernity (and postmodernity) since Kant, namely a specialised theoretical practice. Rather, he argues — citing many passages from ancient philosophers during the…

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Nailing colours to the mast – you’re either a journalist or a PR

There is an ongoing debate in science journalism — the question of whether you can write science PR for corporates or government and also write science journalism for media houses. If you want some background, here’s an interesting piece in Nature and another blog post. While the IT industry learned about these blurred lines a…

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Life support

The doctor turns to me and says you need to think about what you are going to do if he needs to go on a respirator. I do not understand. I ask. He says if he turns for the worse and needs to go on a respirator what will you do? I say why are…

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How much money is enough?

By Mario Meyer Aristotle, in The Nicomachean Ethics, makes the following assertion: “The life of money-making is one undertaken by compulsion, and wealth is evidently not the good we are seeking; for it is merely useful and for the sake of something else.” One of the intractable questions of moral philosophy is the question of…

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An incorrigible perversion…for men

Last month, linked to Breast Cancer Awareness month, I emphasised a local South African product called Breast Protection Formula™ and its claim that it contains nutrients and plant extracts that help prevent breast cancer. As the US surgeon and breast cancer scientist David Gorski (MD, PhD) stated in commenting on the product: “No, it does…

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