Sunday, September 20, 2020 - 4:00pm - 6:00pm
McKelvy Scholars

Join the McKelvy House Scholars online on Sundays at 4 p.m. for intellectual discussions. The next topic is morality and capitalism. Email the group for the Zoom link and to receive the reading material before each discussion. 


Charles Mirsky '23 will lead Sunday's discussion. "First, we will establish what it means to be a good person, and second, we will discuss whether or not there is a way to act morally within our capitalistic structures. As I work towards my own academic and career goals, I increasingly think about the moral implications of my actions. Do my capitalistic goals maximize net utility? Am I really in it for the right reasons? Leading into the weekend, I hope you all give some thought into these questions. While increasing numbers of people have challenged capitalism as a viable economic system within the United States and across the globe, and many advocate to do away with it entirely, I want to spend some time defining what it means to be a good person, and how capitalism impacts our ability to do so."


Below you can find a couple of contrasting philosophical theories that might help you think through what it means to be moral. 



Use Your Everyday Privilege to Help Others

Humanity is more important than money — it’s time for capitalism to get an upgrade 

Utilitarianism: Crash Course Philosophy #36 (Video)

Kant & Categorical Imperatives: Crash Course Philosophy #35 (Video)



As a Director, Clinton Moved Wal-Mart Board, but Only So Far



Key Questions:


How can we be good people in a capitalistic society?

"Being a better person" was the #1 New Year's resolution in 2017 and 2018, beating out "losing weight." What do you think most people meant when they said that they wanted to be "a better person." 

When people are losing weight and they keep to their diet, they say, "I was really good today." We may also say that we were "good" when we did our homework or completed a reading assignment. But these examples of being good are merely self-serving. When was the last time anybody here congratulated themselves for being good when they actually did something to help someone else?

Is it easier for certain people to be good?

Which matters more in assessments of morality, motivation or consequences?

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McKelvy House