Moral Immunology

When Fyodor Dostoevsky sent the manuscript of his celebrated novel, Crime and Punishment, to the publisher, he included a brief note: “This is the story of a university student who is infected by ideas that float on the wind”.  That image is one that stuck with me in all the years since I first encountered it. Is the idea/project/choice with which I am confronted something that is just floating in the wind or is it something with foundation and anchorage. Enter the age of the covid-19 pandemic and the idea of being infected by things that float in the wind has new meaning. We have taken great efforts over the last 2.5 years to limit infectious floating things and to build up our immune system against such infections so that if we can’t prevent infection we can at least mitigate the short-term and long-term effect. Continue reading