A communitarian approach to bioethics adds a core value to a field that is often more concerned with considerations of individual autonomy. Some interpretations of liberalism put the needs of the patient over those of the community; authoritarian communitarianism privileges the needs of society over those of the patient. Responsive communitarianism's main starting point is that we face two conflicting core values, autonomy and the common good, and that neither should be a priori privileged and that we have principles and (...) procedure that can be used to work out this conflict but not to eliminate it. Additionally, it favours changing behaviour mainly through the creation of norms and by drawing on informal social control rather than by coercion. (shrink)
A communitarian approach to bioethics adds a core value to a field that is often more concerned with considerations of individual autonomy. Some interpretations of liberalism put the needs of the patient over those of the community; authoritarian communitarianism privileges the needs of society over those of the patient. Responsive communitarianism’s main starting point is that we face two conflicting core values, autonomy and the common good, and that neither should be a priori privileged, and that we have principles and (...) procedures that can be used to work out this conflict but not to eliminate it. This discussion uses the debate in the US over funding for entitlements as a case study to apply the values of communitarian bioethics. (shrink)
During his first year in office, President Barack Obama has outlined a human rights doctrine. The essence of Obama’s position is that the foreign policy of the USA is dedicated to the promotion of the most basic human right—the right to life—above and beyond all others and that the USA will systematically refrain from actively promoting other rights, even if this merely entails sanctions or raising a moral voice. This article details and examines Obama’s position and assesses its normative standing.
New communitarianism is important even to those who care little about academic disputes. A greatly altered communitarian position lays the foundation for an international legal framework that is more comprehensive than the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is more attentive to beliefs in the East, and enhances the ability of nations that adhere to different values to find common ground on policies ranging from humanitarian interventions to fighting terrorist groups. The article first examines criticisms leveled against communitarianism (...) and then highlights the ways a neo-communitarian approach has overcome these criticisms. The question of under what circumstances one nation may interfere in the internal affairs of another, especially to advance human rights, using means as different as cross cultural moral judgments to armed humanitarian interventions, serves as a litmus test for distinguishing the new from the old communitarian approach. (shrink)
: Recently, various suggestions have been made to respond to the increasingly great shortage of organs by paying for them. Because of the undesirable side effects of such approaches (commodification, injustice, and costs), a communitarian approach should be tried first. A communitarian approach to the problem of organ shortage entails changing the moral culture so that members of society will recognize that donating one's organs, once they are no longer of use to the donor, is the moral (right) thing to (...) do. This approach requires much greater and deeper efforts than sharing information and making public service announcements. It entails a moral dialogue, in which the public is engaged, leading to a change in what people expect from one another. Among the devices that could help to change the moral culture are a public statement, endorsed by community members and leaders, that expresses the community sense that donation "is what a good person does" and a community-specific web page that lists those who have made the commitment. A change in law so that a person's wishes in the matter are recognized as final and binding is also desired. This position paper deals only with cadaver organs and not living donors. (shrink)
Given the rise in transnational problems and the inadequacy of the old, intergovernmental system, scholars are searching for a new, post-cold war global architecture. The 2001 anti-terrorism coalition presents a new architecture - the semi-empire - which is dominated by one nation (or a small group of nations) that pressures other nations to follow the course it sets, and has a limited number of missions. The article explores the possibility that the coalition could expand to tackle other transnational problems besides (...) terrorism. Given the coalition's lack of scope and legitimacy, other options are explored that might be more effective and legitimate. The alternatives turn out to be either based on the old system (e.g. transgovernmental agencies), unrealistic except in the very long term (a global nation), or implausible (e.g. a global constitutional assembly). The article argues that an expanded coalition, or semi-empire, might gradually become more effective and legitimate over time. (shrink)
Given that holidays both reflect a society's attributes and serve to modify these attributes, they are a valuable tool for a macro-sociological analysis. This paper proceeds by examining Durkheim's well-known contributions on rituals and advancing theoretical ideas on how these might be modified, seeking to develop a theory of holidays. The article concerns the role of holidays in managing tensions and recommitment to values; their role in relating communities to the society at large; their effect on gender roles, and the (...) theoretical issues concerning holiday cycles and holiday-engineering efforts by religious authorities and states that have endeavored to adapt holidays for their own purpose. The article relies on public accounts, personal observations, and findings culled from a few studies by contemporary social scientists. (shrink)
This article adds to the discussion of the legitimation of stakeholding, by studying the implications of investing financial assets, years of labor, community resources, or other such scarce goods in a corporation. It attempts to respond to those who argue that it is not possible for all stakeholders to be effectively represented in corporate governance and that if they were, this would undermine the well-being of the corporation.
There is a rnoral dimension in all business decisions. When planning a corporate' takeover, which substance to use for a product, whether to hire temps or full-time workers, or where to invest, all reflect values and tlence moral considerations. It is not enough to change people, we must change the structure. Within the corporate structure it is important to have special divisions dedicated to the implementation of ethics such as internal audit committees. The same might be said about business schools; (...) to enhance ethicality, we need both that all faculty become more committed to moral education and special departments dedicated to it. Also the neo-classsical, deontological paradigm needs to be combined with deontological, social paradigms. The challenge that one cannot teach ethics because it's unclear whose values we are going to teach, can be dealt with by teaching values we all share, and knowledge and respect for those that divide us. (shrink)