The ethics of tax evasion has been discussed sporadically in the theological and philosophical literature for at least 500 years. Martin Crowe wrote a doctoral thesis that reviewed much of that literature in 1944. The debate revolved around about 15 issues. Over the centuries, three main views evolved on the topic. But the business ethics literature has paid scant attention to this issue, perhaps because of the belief that tax evasion is always unethical. This paper reports the results of an (...) empirical study of opinion in Utah and Florida. A survey of accounting students was conducted to determine the extent of their agreement or disagreement with the 15 main issues that Crowe (1944) identified plus three more recent issues. The arguments that have been made over the centuries to justify tax evasion were ranked to determine which arguments are strongest and which are weakest. Scores were compared between samples to determine whether the responses were significantly different. (shrink)
The ethics of tax evasion has been discussed sporadically in the theological and philosophical literature for at least 500 years. Martin Crowe wrote a doctoral thesis that reviewed much of that literature in 1944. The debate revolved around about 15 issues. Over the centuries, three main views evolved on the topic. But the business ethics literature has paid scant attention to this issue, perhaps because of the belief that tax evasion is always unethical. This paper reports the results of an (...) empirical study of opinion in Utah and New Jersey. A survey of business students was conducted to determine the extent of their agreement or disagreement with the 15 main issues that Crowe (1944) identified plus three more recent issues. The arguments that have been made over the centuries to justify tax evasion were ranked to determine which arguments are strongest and which are weakest. Scores were compared between samples to determine whether the responses were significantly different. (shrink)
Background: Due to the important role of depression in major illnesses, screening measures for depression are commonly used in medical research. The protocol for managing participants with positive screens is unclear and raises ethical concerns. The aim of this article is to identify and critically discuss the ethical issues that arise when a positive screen for depression is detected, and offer some guidance on managing these issues.DiscussionDeciding on whether to report positive screens to healthcare practitioners is both an ethical and (...) a pragmatic dilemma. Evidence suggests that reporting positive depression screens should only be considered in the context of collaborative care. Possible adverse effects, such as the impact of false-positive results, potentially inappropriate labelling, and potentially inappropriate treatment also need to be considered. If possible, the psychometric properties of the selected screening measure should be determined in the target population, and a threshold for depression that minimises the rate of false-positive results should be chosen. It should be clearly communicated to practitioners that screening scores are not diagnostic for depression, and they should be informed about the diagnostic accuracy of the measure. Research participants need to be made aware of the consequences of the detection of high scores on screening measures, and to be fully informed about the implications of the research protocol.SummaryFurther research is needed and the experiences of researchers, participants, and practitioners need to be collated before the value of reporting positive screens for depression can be ascertained. In developing research protocols, the ethical challenges highlighted should be considered. Participants must be agreeable to the agreed protocol and efforts should be made to minimise potentially adverse effects. (shrink)
BackgroundDue to the important role of depression in major illnesses, screening measures for depression are commonly used in medical research. The protocol for managing participants with positive screens is unclear and raises ethical concerns. The aim of this article is to identify and critically discuss the ethical issues that arise when a positive screen for depression is detected, and offer some guidance on managing these issues.DiscussionDeciding on whether to report positive screens to healthcare practitioners is both an ethical and a (...) pragmatic dilemma. Evidence suggests that reporting positive depression screens should only be considered in the context of collaborative care. Possible adverse effects, such as the impact of false-positive results, potentially inappropriate labelling, and potentially inappropriate treatment also need to be considered. If possible, the psychometric properties of the selected screening measure should be determined in the target population, and a threshold for depression that minimises the rate of false-positive results should be chosen. It should be clearly communicated to practitioners that screening scores are not diagnostic for depression, and they should be informed about the diagnostic accuracy of the measure. Research participants need to be made aware of the consequences of the detection of high scores on screening measures, and to be fully informed about the implications of the research protocol.SummaryFurther research is needed and the experiences of researchers, participants, and practitioners need to be collated before the value of reporting positive screens for depression can be ascertained. In developing research protocols, the ethical challenges highlighted should be considered. Participants must be agreeable to the agreed protocol and efforts should be made to minimise potentially adverse effects. (shrink)
Unlocking the debate behind the headlines, this book combines clear thinking with the very latest in science and medicine, enabling readers to decide for themselves exactly what the scientific future should hold.
In this paper, I discuss David Shaw's claim that the body of a terminally ill person can be conceived as a kind of life support, akin to an artificial ventilator. I claim that this position rests upon an untenable dualism between the mind and the body. Given that dualism continues to be attractive to some thinkers, I attempt to diagnose the reasons why it continues to be attractive, as well as to demonstrate its incoherence, drawing on some recent work in (...) the philosophy of psychology. I conclude that, if my criticisms are sound, Shaw's attempt to deny the distinction between withdrawal and euthanasia fails. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss a recent exchange of articles between Hugh McLachlan and John Coggon on the relationship between omissions, causation, and moral responsibility. My aim is to contribute to their debate by isolating a presupposition I believe they both share and by questioning that presupposition. The presupposition is that, at any given moment, there are countless things that I am omitting to do. This leads both McLachlan and Coggon to give a distorted account of the relationship between causation (...) and moral or (as the case may be) legal responsibility and, in the case of Coggon, to claim that the law’s conception of causation is a fiction based on policy. Once it is seen that this presupposition is faulty, we can attain a more accurate view of the logical relationship between causation and moral responsibility in the case of omissions. This is important because it will enable us, in turn, to understand why the law continues to regard omissions as different, both logically and morally, from acts, and why the law seeks to track that logical and moral difference in the legal distinction it draws between withholding life-sustaining measures and euthanasia. (shrink)
Philosophy has long been fascinated by miracles, and with good reason. Where, however, the problem of the miracle once offered unparalleled insight into the inner workings of natural laws and of human knowledge, today, the attention commanded by it is essentially political. The sovereign’s miraculous suspension is the most well studied of these political dimensions, but this formulation is, in fact, ill-suited to the complexities inherent in the concept of the miracle. Political theology understands the miracle poorly, for it captures (...) only the inaugural movement of exception; it knows nothing of the social and political conditions it inspires. A key claim defended in this article is that the miracle possesses continuing interest for philosophy precisely because it lies in the heart of contemporary political formations, instituting a bond that tethers a collective to its present. It is thus more interesting as a figure of inception than of exception. The miraculous is uniformly distinguished as the unengendered, the neutral point of equilibrium against which any distribution of beings is measured. This is the meaning given the miraculous in the thought of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, and this article frames the political aspect of that theme by developing their concept of miraculation, which foregrounds the movement of inception. The article works out a conceptual genealogy, tracing the descent of the miracle back from Deleuze and Guattari to Baruch Spinoza and David Hume. Each contributes an element essential for the constitution of miraculation. It is argued that the miracle has always bound ‘desire and the social’, though in diverse ways. (shrink)
The common view is that insider trading is always unethical and illegal. But such is not the case. Some forms of insider trading are legal. Furthermore, applying ethical principles to insider trading causes one to conclude that it is also sometimes ethical. This paper attempts to get past the hype, the press reports, and the political grandstanding to get to the truth of the matter. The author applies two sets of ethical principles – utilitarianism and rights theory – in an (...) attempt to determine when, and in what circumstances, insider trading is ethical. The views of Henry Manne, an early proponent of insider trading, are critically examined, as are the major arguments against insider trading. Is insider trading good for the company if it is used as a form of executive compensation which makes it possible to pay lower salaries than would otherwise be the case? Does insider trading cause the stock market to work more efficiently? If insider trading does increase efficiency, is that sufficient to call for its total legalization, or are there other things to be considered? Several arguments against insider trading have been put forth over the last few decades but there are problems with all of them. One of the main arguments is the fairness argument. The problem with this argument is that different people have different definitions of unfairness. A closely related argument is the level playing field argument, which advocates wider dissemination of information so that it is less asymmetric. One problem with the level playing field argument is that it is better applied to sporting competitions than to trading in information. Some economists argue that forcing the disclosure of nonpublic information can actually result in more harm than good and must necessarily involve the violation of property rights. Other arguments examined in this chapter include the fiduciary duty argument, the problem of outside traders, the misappropriation doctrine and the restrictions that insider trading laws place on freedom of speech and press. The article concludes by setting forth some principles or guidelines to determine when insider trading should be punished and when it should not. (shrink)
Foreword -- Theory postmortem : Derrida -- Political sense and sensibility : Gramsci to Bourdieu -- Genealogies of common sense : Marx and Nietzsche -- Folklores of the future : Wilde and Llawrence -- The transcendental ordinary : Wittgenstein to Badiou -- Epilogue: Not a manifesto.
Insider trading has received a bad name in recent decades. The popular press makes it sound like an evil practice where those who engage in it are totally devoid of ethical principles. Yet not all insider trading is unethical and some studies have concluded that certain kinds of insider trading are actually beneficial to the greater investment community. Some scholars in philosophy, law and economics have disputed whether insider trading should be punished at all while others assert that it should (...) be illegal in all cases. This paper explores the nature of insider trading and analyzes the issues to determine the positive and negative aspects of insider trading, and how policy should be changed. The best hope would be for studies to be made that isolate the individuals or groups who are fraudulently harmed by insider trading. If any such groups exist, then clearly worded legislation could be passed to prevent any fraud from being committed against these individuals and groups, while allowing non-fraudulent transactions to be completed without fear of prosecution. Until it can be clearly determined that someone is fraudulently harmed by insider trading, there should be no law or regulation restricting the practice, since such restrictions violate individual rights and will likely have a negative market reaction. (shrink)
This article examines the question of whether it is ethical for company officials to use the force of government to reduce or eliminate foreign competition, using the antidumping laws as a case study. This article begins with a brief examination of the U.S. antidumping laws and then examines several ethical questions related to the antidumping laws. The main question to be addressed is whether, and under what circumstances, it is ethical for domestic producers to ask government to launch an antidumping (...) investigation against a foreign competitor. Related questions to be examined include (1) Whether it is ethical to ask the government to launch an antidumping investigation even when the domestic company making the request knows that dumping has not occurred; (2) Whether it is ethical to ask for an antidumping investigation in cases where dumping (according to the definition of dumping) has occurred, where the effect is to help domestic producers at the expense of the general public. This article examines these questions by applying both utilitarian and non-utilitarian approaches. (shrink)
This article begins with a review of the literature on the ethics of tax evasion and identifies the three main views that have emerged over the centuries, namely always ethical, sometimes ethical, and never or almost never ethical. It then reports on the results of a survey of HK and U.S. university business students who were asked to express their opinions on the 15 statements covering the three main views. The data are then analyzed to determine which of the three (...) viewpoints is dominant among the sample population. Although it was found that HK scores were significantly different from the U.S. scores, both HK and U.S. respondents were opposed to the view that tax evasion is always or almost always ethical. The strongest arguments justifying tax evasion were in cases where the government was corrupt, the tax system was unfair and unaffordable. The weakest arguments for justifying tax evasion were in cases where there was a selfish motive. The underlying cultural differences are further explored in hope of accounting for differing perceptions of ethics of tax evasion. Policy implications for increasing people’s awareness of ethics on tax evasion are also highlighted. (shrink)
In 1944, Martin Crowe, a Catholic priest, wrote a doctoral dissertation titled The Moral Obligation of Paying Just Taxes. His dissertation summarized and analyzed 500 years of theological and philosophical debate on this topic, much of which took place in Latin. Since Crowe’s dissertation, not much has been written on the topic of tax evasion from an ethical perspective, with a few exceptions. In 1998 and 1999, a few articles were published on the ethics of tax evasion in the Journal (...) of Accounting, Ethics & Public Policy. An edited book on this topic was published in 1998. The present paper summarizes, updates and expands on Crowe’s work and the other more recent work that has been published on this topic. Three basic views on the ethics of tax evasion have emerged over the centuries. This article presents and critiques those three views and raises some questions about points that have not yet been explored in the literature. (shrink)
Purpose: This paper is a brief introduction to enactive cognitive science: a description of some of the main research concerns; some examples of how such concerns have been realized in actual research; some of its research methods and proposed explanatory mechanisms and models; some of the potential as both a theoretical and applied science; and several of the major open research questions. Findings: Enactive cognitive science is an approach to the study of mind that seeks to explain how the structures (...) and mechanisms of autonomous cognitive systems can arise and participate in the generation and maintenance of viable perceiver-dependent worlds -- rather than more conventional cognitivist efforts, such as the attempt to explain cognition in terms of the ``recovery'' of (pre-given, timeless) features of The (objectively-existing and accessible) World. As such, enactive cognitive science is resonant with radical constructivism. Research implications: As with other scientific efforts conducted within a constructivist orientation, enactive cognitive science is broadly ``conventional'' in its scientific methodology. That is, there is a strong emphasis on testable hypotheses, empirical observation, supportable mechanisms and models, rigorous experimental methods, acceptable criteria of validation, and the like. Nonetheless, this approach to cognitive science does also raise a number of specific questions about the scope of amenable phenomena (e.g., meaning, consciousness, etc.) -- and it also raises questions of whether such a perspective requires an expansion of what is typically considered within the purview of scientific method (e.g., the role of the observer/scientist). (shrink)
That reference is inscrutable is demonstrated, it is argued, not only by W. V. Quine's arguments but by Peter Unger's "Problem of the Many." Applied to our own language, this is a paradoxical result, since nothing could be more obvious to speakers of English than that, when they use the word "rabbit," they are talking about rabbits. The solution to this paradox is to take a disquotational view of reference for one's own language, so that "When I use 'rabbit,' I (...) refer to rabbits" is made true by the meaning of the word "refer." The reference relation is extended to other languages by translation. The explanation for this peculiarly egocentric conception of semantics-questions of others' meanings are settled by asking what I mean by words of my language-is to be found in our practice of predicting and explaining other people's behavior by empathetic identification. I understand other people's behavior by asking what I would do in their place. (shrink)
Modern scientific and medical advances bring new complexity and urgency to ethical issues in health care and biomedical research. This book applies the American philosophical theory of pragmatism to such bioethics. Critics of pragmatism argue that it lacks a universal moral foundation. Yet it is this very lack of a metaphysical dividing line between facts and values that makes pragmatism such a rigorous and appropriate method for solving problems in bioethics. For pragmatism, ethics is a way of satisfying the complex (...) demands of multiple individuals and groups in a contingent and changing world. Pragmatism also demands careful attention to the ways in which scientific advances change our values and ethics.The essays in this book present different approaches to pragmatism and different ways of applying pragmatism to scientific and medical matters. They use pragmatism to guide thinking about such timely topics as stem cell research, human cloning, genetic testing, human enhancement, and care for the poor and aging. This new edition contains three new chapters, on difficulties with applying pragmatism to law and bioethics, on helping people to die, and on embryonic stem cell research. (shrink)
A comprehensive and accessible survey of the history of theory in anthropology, this anthology of classic and contemporary readings contains in-depth commentary in introductions and notes to help guide students through excerpts of seminal anthropological works. The commentary provides the background information needed to understand each article, its central concepts, and its relationship to the social and historical context in which it was written.
This study focuses upon two competing visions of wealth and work among Baptists in America and how these different visions have shaped Baptist business ethics. Russell H. Conwell reflected the Reformed tradition's inclination toward what came to be called the Protestant work ethic and its defense of capitalism. He contended that American capitalism presented an open door for any diligent worker to achieve deserved riches. Walter Rauschenbusch reflected the Anabaptist heritage in the stream of Baptist history. He challenged the dominant (...) ethos of the industrial revolution in America and its preference for the interests of management; he called instead for the protection of the worker from the monopolistic power of the capitalists. These two contrasting postures influenced the response of Baptists to the labor-management struggle. (shrink)
There is no preferred reduction of number theory to set theory. Nonetheless, we confidently accept axioms obtained by substituting formulas from the language of set theory into the induction axiom schema. This is only possible, it is argued, because our acceptance of the induction axioms depends solely on the meanings of aritlunetical and logical terms, which is only possible if our 'intended models' of number theory are standard. Similarly, our acceptance of the second-order natural deduction rules depends solely on the (...) meanings of the logical terms, which implies, it is argued, that our second-order quantifiers have to be standard. (shrink)
: Pluripotent human stem cell research may offer new treatments for hundreds of diseases, but opponents of this research argue that such therapy comes attached to a Faustian bargain: cures at the cost of the destruction of many frozen embryos. The National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC), government officials, and many scholars of bioethics, including, in these pages, John Robertson, have not offered an adequate response to ethical objections to stem cell research. Instead of examining the ethical issues involved in sacrificing (...) human embryos for the goal of curing fatal and disabling diseases, they seek to either dismiss the moral concerns of those with objections or to find an "accommodation" with those opposed to stem cell research. An ethical argument can be made that it is justifiable to modify or destroy certain human embryos in the pursuit of cures for dread and lethal diseases. Until this argument is made, the case for stem cell research will rest on political foundations rather than on the ethical foundations that the funding of stem cell research requires. (shrink)
How do you understand the dimensions, power, mind, will, and love of God when He is beyond definition? Dr. J. Vernon McGee unravels the mystery of who God is and offers a solid theological understanding for the layman. Thoroughly biblical, Who Is God? dos not attempt to put Him in a box, but instead examines the biblical revelation and affirms that though God cannot be measured by human standards, He does reveal Himself to us. From learning about the Trinity to (...) discussing God's character, Dr. McGee gives both believer and nonbeliever wise counsel on who God is and how He makes Himself known to us. (shrink)
This essay argues that while we have examined clinical ethics quite extensively in the literature, too little attention has been paid to the complex question of how clinical ethics is learned. Competing approaches to ethics pedagogy have relied on outmoded understandings of the way moral learning takes place in ethics. It is argued that the better approach, framed in the work of Aristotle, is the idea of phronesis, which depends on a long-term mentorship in clinical medicine for either medical students (...) or clinical ethics students. Such an approach is articulated and defended. (shrink)
Tarski and Mautner proposed to characterize the logical operations on a given domain as those invariant under arbitrary permutations. These operations are the ones that can be obtained as combinations of the operations on the following list: identity; substitution of variables; negation; finite or infinite disjunction; and existential quantification with respect to a finite or infinite block of variables. Inasmuch as every operation on this list is intuitively logical, this lends support to the Tarski-Mautner proposal.
Although he devotes little explicit analysis to ethics, Whitehead’s understanding of the human moral life immerses both human moral agency and environmental ethics in the natural world, judging good actions in the context of complex and interdependent histories of value present in societies of what he calls actual occasions. In this sense, Whiteheadian environmental ethics draws on the most interesting features of Michel Foucault’s genealogies of values that suffuse institutions. Nevertheless, a Whiteheadian notion of environmental ethics exceeds Foucault’s work in (...) that Whitehead acknowledges the possibility of responsible human values and actions with regard to the environment. (shrink)