Media executive and business consultant Eden Collinsworth investigates the surprisingly complex foundations of contemporary morality. From repentant murderers to corporate whistle-blowers, from the boardroom of Ashley Madison to famous ladies who lunch, Collinsworth leaves no stone unturned in her quest to understand the vagaries of the moral compass, and to figure out whether fixed ethical positions still exist--if they ever did.
Warm, wry, and witty, Collinsworth weaves together her own research--from ancient history to contemporary philosophy--with numerous interviews of people from all walks of life. And throughout is her unique brand of probing thought and reflection, tackling the Kardashians, contemporary American politics, and her personal experience raising a child largely on her own. Conversational, intelligent, and always entertaining, Behaving Badly is brimming with evidence of how little we really know about the moral principles that underlie our daily actions and decision making.
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|Publisher:||Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.60(h) x 1.00(d)|
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Excerpted from "Behaving Badly"
Copyright © 2017 Eden Collinsworth.
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Table of Contents
Part 1 Confronting the Unreliable Provenance of Morals
1 Wherein I Begin with the Definition of the Word 9
2 According to a Convicted Murderer, It Has to Do with Character 16
3 A Neuroscientist Explains the Evolutionary Origins of Morality 27
4 A Brief History of Mankind's Attempts to Rein in Bad Behavior 40
Part 2 Morality's Scorecard
5 The Editor of the Financial Times Provides a Cost-Benefit Analysis of Principles 51
6 Instructions on How Not to Cheat 61
7 Pros and Cons of Doing the Right Thing 72
8 The Law: Tools of Control, or Instruments of Enlightenment? 79
9 The Political Function of Ethics 90
Part 3 Sex as Moral Provocateur
10 Monogamy (Not So Much Anymore) 101
11 The Screen as a Siren 116
12 Testosterone: Morality's Enemy, as Well as Its Hero 127
13 Immoral Women: Or Just Those Having a Better Time? 138
Part 4 Taking the Bother out of Morality
14 Celebrities as Standard-Bearers 149
15 Reality Redefined 158
16 The Web Wonders What's So Great About the Truth 163
17 Ethically Sanitized Warfare 171
18 Immorality's Black Sun 182
Part 5 The Future, or Something Like It
19 The Moral Vagaries of Making Babies 193
20 Mapping a Post-gay Culture 198
21 Is It Progress if We Barter with Ethics? 205
22 Programming Morality in Robots (They'll Show Us How) 211
23 So Who, Exactly, Gets to Set the New Rules? 224
24 Wherein I Conclude by Looking Forward 232
Notes and Additional Reading 245