Gender is one of the most frequently studied variables within the ethics literature. In prior studies that find gender differences, females consistently report more ethical responses than males. However, prior research also indicates that females are more prone to responding in a socially desirable fashion. Consequently, it is uncertain whether gender differences in ethical decision-making exist because females are more ethical or perhaps because females are more prone to the social desirability response bias. Using a sample of 30 scenarios from (...) prior studies that find gender differences, we examine whether these gender differences remain robust once social desirability is controlled for in the analysis. Our data suggest that the effect of gender on ethical decision-making is largely attenuated once social desirability is included in the analysis. In essence, the social desirability response bias appears to be driving a significant portion of the relationship between gender and ethical decision-making. We discuss several important research implications of this study. (shrink)
Central to Emmanuel Levinas’s critique of Martin Heidegger is his assessment that Heidegger’s phenomenology delimits the possibility of dealing with ethical questions in any sincere way. According to Levinas, Heidegger ontologizes these questions, reducing them to mere means to a deeper understanding of Being. Levinas, by contrast, attempts to forge a phenomenology which can providea metaphysical account of ethics which goes beyond being. In this paper we will explore the nature and validity of Levinas’s critiqueof Heidegger by comparing his approach (...) to the question of evil to Heidegger’s as presented in his 1936 lecture course on Schelling’sFreiheitschrif. (shrink)
Director compensation can potentially represent an ethical minefield. When faced with supporting strategic decisions that can lead to an increase in director pay, directors may consider their own interests and not solely those of the shareholders to whom they are legally bound to represent. In such cases, directors essentially become agents, rather than those installed to protect principals (shareholders) from agents. Using acquisitions as a study context, we employ a matched-pair design and find a statistically significant difference in outside director (...) compensation between acquiring and control firms. Outside directors of acquiring firms earn more than twice as much as their counterparts in the matched-sample. (shrink)
The recent re-evaluation of Schelling’s work has blossomed interest and research into a number of Schelling’s core ideas. Amongst these Schelling’s analysis of God, the creative act and human freedom have been amongst the most explored. Much less explored has been his theory of temporality, a theory which not only underpins but is essential to understanding properly these other insights. It is the goal of this essay to correct that oversight by offering some initial remarks concerning Schelling’s theory of temporality, (...) a topic which is rarely explicitly addressed within his work. This it does by analysing closely the passages within his oeuvre wherein the topic is most explicitly treated and by addressing the ontological theory implied therein. (shrink)
The article claims that Ziauddin Sardar's contribution to the religion-science conversation is primarily a performance situated in a social location that gives him access to a highly significant perspective. Sardar places Western science within the context of the Western culture from which it emerged and which it continues to serve. The contemporary hegemonous science of today is one form of science. Its acceptance as a universal and objective form enables its users and promoters to exercise imperialistic control over much of (...) the world. Sardar's critique receives its effective bite from his social location as an immigrant Muslim, raised and educated in Western culture. The article examines the relevance of his social location to the issues with which he is most concerned, such as promotion of the rights and responsibilities of cultures, in particular Islamic cultures, traditionally cast as "Other" by the West. They too have their sciences and these sciences function often within worldviews that are "religious." Sardar's critique of science and his call for the recognition of the so-called Other cultures is significant for its performativity. His work is not merely a descriptive or explanatory account, but bears also the performative characteristics that seek to effect the change for which he calls. (shrink)
There is an apparent contradiction within Levinas’ work: on the one hand, Levinas upholds an account of existence that seemingly requires a creation narrative, while maintaining, on the other hand, that an account of the ethical import of that existence needs no recourse to the divine. This seeming contradiction results from a fundamental misunderstanding concerning Levinas’ account of creation and its logical consequences concerning the divine. This paper aims to clarify this misunderstanding by exploring the similarities between and influence of (...) F. W. J. Schelling’s work on Levinas’ thereby providing a more complete picture of both author’s respective accounts of genesis and the existence of God. (shrink)
Much has been made within certain philosophic circles of Emmanuel Levinas’s interaction with and critique of Western philosophy in general and German Idealism in particular. What is little recognized, however, is that J. G. Fichte is often the hidden target of this salvo. Indeed, Fichte appears within Levinas’s work as one of the major foils against whom he attempts to define his own insights. Whenexamined in light of Levinas’s attack, however, Fichte’s work actually appears to be in remarkable contiguity with (...) Levinas. The aim of this paper is to illuminate these commonalities by making an apology for Fichte in light of Levinas’s criticism. The result of this examination is the revelation that the German Idealism of such thinkers as Fichte, rather than rivaling Levinas’s work, actually proves to be in many ways its ally and intellectual forerunner. (shrink)
Hans Joas's The Creativity of Action (1996) posits that conceiving of all action as fundamentally creative would overcome problems inherent in rational and normative theories of action and would provide an alternative basis for action-based theories of macrosociological phenomena. Joas conceives of creativity as a response to the frustration of "prereflective aspirations," which necessitates innovative adjustment to reestablish habitual intentions. This conceptualization creates an unsupportable duality between habitual action and creativity that neglects other possible sources of creative action, including habit (...) itself. Combining strengths from Bourdieu's concept of habitus, creativity can be redefined as the necessary adaption of habitual practices to specific contexts of action. Creative action continually introduces novel possibilities in practical action and provokes a variety of social responses to its products. This revised concept of creativity overcomes the dichotomy presented by Joas, identifies a microsocial source of innovation in creative action, and calls attention to patterns of creative authority in society at large. (shrink)
This paper examines two recent trends relative to boards of directors’ compensation, and their potential incompatibility. There has been some progress in increasing board diversity, specifically the inclusion of women and minorities on boards. The increasing trendrequiring directors to hold/purchase equity as a requirement of board membership may seriously compromise further improvements in diversifying boards. Also, an increasing number of companies compensate directors partially or fully in stock grants and options.These compensation policies may be exclusionary, especially for women and minorities, (...) impacting the quality of boardroom discussions and decisions. This study systematically examines whether corporations requiring director equity are exclusionary toward women and minority directors. Contrary to being exclusionary, companies with director stock requirements and annual stock awards have greater representation by women and minorities on their board. Moreover, larger companies are both more likely to have such policies and have higher proportions of women and minorities on the board. (shrink)
It is widely believed that Hume recognizes only two types of causality-one equivalent to a constant conjunction between two "objects," the other involving somesort of necessary connection between them. I will refer to these types, respectively, as "conjunction" and "necessity." I believe that Hume relies on a third type of causality-a process by which a constant conjunction of perceptions causes someone to acquire a mental habit. To remain close to Hume's terminology, I will refer to the process as "repetition." The (...) main thesis of this paper is that this process, though causal, cannot be equated with either conjunction or necessity. Repetition is no small matter. It is the key to the correctness of Hume's overall account of causality and causal belief since it explains why humans have causal beliefs,why the causes they believe in need only be revealed in conjoined perceptions, and yet also why humans believe that a cause involves a necessary connection with its effect even though this belief is unverifiable. (shrink)
This paper discusses legal and ethical issues related to genetic screening. It is argued that persons identified with actual or perceived deleterious genetic markers are protected by the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Civil Rights Act of 1991, if members of a protected group, regardless of whether or not they are currently ill. However, legislation may not protect all employees in all scenarios, in which case, ethical principles should guide decision-making. In doing so a model of preventive (...) ethics is proposed to better understand the multiple levels on which this issue resides. (shrink)
Charles Darwin is generally credited with having formulated the first systematic attempt to explain the evolutionary origins and function of the expression of emotions in animals and humans. His ingenious theory, however, was burdened with popular misconceptions about human phylogenetic heritage and bore the philosophical and theoretical deficiencies of the brain science of his era that his successors strove to overcome. In their attempts to rectify Darwin?s errors, William James, James Mark Baldwin and John Dewey each made important contributions to (...) a theory of emotion, which attempted to put it on a more secure philosophical and scientific footing. My contention is that Dewey and his collaborator, infant experimentalist Myrtle McGraw, succeeded where their contemporaries failed. They pointed the way out of the morass of recapitulationism, and showed how a developmental theory of consciousness, mind and emotion could be formulated that avoided the epistemological and ontological pitfalls of Darwin?s theory. Drawing on an extensive body of research from contemporary experimental studies of infant development, this essay attempts to put the questions raised by these historical figures about the structure, function and value of emotions in a theoretical framework. A developmental theory is proposed about the complex, interacting neurobiological and neurobehavioral factors that contribute to human emotional development. This theory identifies the possible relationships among emotions, consciousness and mind and how their co-development influences the capacity of young children to form moral judgments. (shrink)
This essay presents an argument for reconceptualizing subjectivity as orientational rather than foundational in nature. My focus is on the work of Emmanuel Levinas and Immanuel Kant. I begin by summarizing Levinas''s theory of ethical subjectivity as a theory of the self where the internal and the external are in constant play. Then I turn to two works of Kant for resources to understand better the meaning of Levinas''s theory of the self. In "What is Orientation in Thinking?" Kant presents (...) a model for orientation in thought that I make use of as a basic framework for a model of orientational subjectivity. Then I analyze two feelings described by Kant in the third Critique which I argue can be understood as orientational feelings within such a model of orientational subjectivity: the feeling of sensus communis and the feeling of vocation. (shrink)
In “Economy,” Henry Thoreau argues against the common view that it is highly worthwhile for a human being to work hard in order to obtain material possessions. Thoreau’s objections are forceful, wide-ranging, and extraordinarily well written. Yet his readers, like almost everyone else, continue to desire, pursue, or acquire more and more material things as well as more and more money, the primary means to such things. Thoreau knew that this was true of the people of his own time, but (...) he didn’t know why. I think I know what Thoreau didn’t know. What Thoreau didn’t know is why material possessions are effective and alluring embodiments of a human being’s worth as a person. This is a particular kind of worth, which I call reputed worth. In the paper I show why reputed worth is so important to people, how material goods embody it, and, unfortunately, why reputed worth is deeply flawed. (shrink)
This essay argues that, in the first Critique, the need for unity leads Kant to re-inscribe the subject in a situation of multiplicity and undecidability. The result, however, is not a relativization that negates the meaning of the subject’s existence, but rather a contextualization that makes meaning possible. This reading clarifies some of the connections between Kant and contemporary postmodernism, especially the work of Jacques Derrida.
J. G. Taylor advances an empirically testable local neural network model to understand the neural correlates of phenomenal experience. Taylor's model is better able to explain the presence (i.e., persistence, latency, and seamlessness) and unity of phenomenal consciousness which support the idea that consciousness is coherent, undivided, and centered. However, Taylor fails to offer a satisfactory explanation of the nonlinear relationship between local and global neural systems. In addition, the ontological assumptions that PE is immediate, intrinsic, and incorrigible limit an (...) understanding of the different experiential forms consciousness takes during neurobehavioral development. Recent studies suggest that neurobehavioral development is discontinuous and that judgment emerges under conditions of uncertainty to render feeling and perception in equivalent terms of energy and behavior. Approaching the problem of phenomenal experience from a developmental perspective may help resolve the paradox of feeling infinitely close as well as distant from one's self. (shrink)
Some would argue that the more promising areas of business ethics research are "sensitive." In such areas, it would be expected that subjects, if inclined to respond at all, would be guarded in their responses, or respond inaccurately. We provide an introduction to an empirical approach -- the unmatched block count (UCT) -- for collecting these potentially sensitive data which provides absolute anonymity and confidentiality to subjects and "legal immunity" to the researcher. Interestingly, under UCT protocol researchers could not divulge (...) subjects' responses even if they were inclined to do so. Beyond that, UCTs provide complete disclosure to subjects and there is no deception. (shrink)
pt. 1: lecture 1. The Hindu vision of life ; lecture 2. Thucydides and the Peloponnesian war ; lecture 3. Law and rule in Sophocles' Antigone ; lecture 4. Socrates and socratic quest ; lecture 5. Plato, idealism and power : part 1 ; lecture 6. Plato, idealism and power : part 2 ; lecture 7. Aristotle's critique of Plato's Republic ; lecture 8. Machiavelli's theory of power and politics -- pt. 2: lecture 9. Rousseau's theory of human nature and (...) society ; lecture 10. Marx's critique of capitalism and solution of communism ; lecture 11. Freud's theory of human nature and civilization ; lecture 12. Thoreau's theory of civil disobedience ; lecture 13. Dostoevsky's grand inquisitor ; lecture 14. The idea of anarchism and the example of Emma Goldman ; lecture 15. Hitler's use of power ; lecture 16. Gandhi's use of power. (shrink)
Federal legislation (the Employee Polygraph Protection Act) adopted in 1988 prohibits virtually all private sector employers from requiring or requesting preemployment polygraph examinations for prospective employees. Since then, written integrity testing designed to reliably distinguish those prospective employees who may steal from the company from those who are far less likely to do so has been something of a growth industry. Indeed, the American Psychological Association has recently noted that honesty tests have demonstrated useful levels of validity as an employee (...) selection measure. We provide an alternative perspective. We argue that, even under the most charitable of assumptions, the propensity of integrity tests to generate false positives (i.e., to identify prospective employees as potential thieves when, in fact, they are not) is unsuitably large. Thus, the integrity test as currently configured is largely without merit as a personnel selection device. (shrink)
This study of 481 corporations provides an assessment of the relationship between several corporate governance variables (board composition, type of board leadership, officer and director stock holdings, institutional stock holdings, number of majority owners, existence of severance agreements) and adoption of anti-takeover amendments. The results of analysis suggest that the two groups (adopters/non-adopters) differ significantly in regards to these variables.
While the notion of establishing a value for human life may be uncomfortable for some, we argue that it is a fundamental requirement for many aspects of public policy. We compare a number of approaches which have been traditionally relied on to make estimations. Also, we provide an exercise which provides an unusual, but we hope provocative, perspective on the evaluation of human life.
This study of major corporations (n=481) provides an empirical assessment of the effects of several corporate governance variables (CEO duality, boards of director composition, officers and directors common stock holdings, institutional common stock holdings, number of majority owners) on the adoption of so-called severance agreements. A discriminant analysis indicates a significant multivariate function. Wilks lambda univariate analyses suggest that the percentage of common stock held by owners and directors and number of majority stock holders are the more robust discriminators.
This research, relying on companies continuously listed on the Fortune 500 over a five-year period (n=384), provides an empirical assessment of two hypotheses. Based on 334 violations over the period the results indicate: (1) gross differences in illegal activity based on corporate size, and (2) similar differences in corporate recidivism also based on size. Discussion includes a number of size related dynamics which may account in part for such results.