This paper critically assesses the “procedural” accounts of political justice set forth by John Rawls in A Theory of Justice (1971) and Robert Nozick in Anarchy, State, and Utopia (1974). I argue that the areas of agreement between Rawls and Nozick are more significant than their disagreements. Even though Nozick offers trenchant criticisms of Rawls's argument for economic redistribution (the “difference principle”), Nozick's own economic libertarianism is undermined by his “principle of rectification,” which he offers as a possible ground in (...) practice for the application of something like the difference principle. Both Rawls's and Nozick's accounts of justice fail because of their abstraction from human nature as a ground of right. At the same time the libertarianism on which they agree in the non-economic sphere would deprive a free society of its necessary moral underpinning. Rawls and Nozick err, finally, by demanding that the policies pursued by a just society conform to theoretical formulas concocted by philosophy professors, rather than leaving room (as Lockean liberalism does) for the adjustment of policies to particular circumstances based on statesmen's prudential judgment and the consent of the governed. Particularly troubling from the perspective of a citizen seriously concerned with the advancement of justice and freedom is both thinkers' shrill denunciations of existing liberal societies for failing to conform to their particular strictures. (shrink)
The article presents an analysis and critique of Milton Friedman’s argument that the social responsibility of business is merely to increase its profits. The analysis uncovers a central claim that Friedman implies, but does not explicitly defend, namely that the shareholders of a corporation have no duty to direct that corporation’s management to exercise social responsibility. An argument against this claim is then advanced by way of a convergence strategy, whereby multiple influential moral approaches are shown to align themselves against (...) Friedman. The convergence strategy shows that Friedman’s position lies on the lonely fringes of Western moral thought, and that at least some of Friedman’s professed adherents appear to offer incoherent moral views. The convergence strategy is shown to suggest, but not entail, a stakeholder model of the corporation. The article concludes by considering two objections. (shrink)
Traditional approaches to studying communication in public spheres draw upon a product or outcome orientation that has prevented researchers from theorizing more specifically about how communication behaviors either inhibit or facilitate dialogic processes. Additionally, researchers typically emphasize consensus as a preferred outcome. Drawing upon a methodology explicitly developed to study communicating using a verb-oriented framework, we analyzed 1,360 postings from online pedagogical discussions. Our analysis focused on verbing micro-practices, the dynamic communicative actions through which participants make and unmake public spheres. (...) Two questions guided our analysis: (1) How do grounded communicative micro-moment practices relate to consensusing and dissensusing within public spheres? and (2) What are the theoretical implications of these relationships for the quality of dialogue among participants who are discussing controversial topics? Our findings indicate that, contrary to recent theorizing, consensus-building and maintaining behaviors may actually inhibit the communicative processes necessary for the creation of effective public sphere dialogue. (shrink)
Theories in the usual sense, as characterized by a language and a set of theorems in that language ("statement view"), are related to theories in the structuralist sense, in turn characterized by a set of potential models and a subset thereof as models ("non-statement view", J. Sneed, W. Stegmüller). It is shown that reductions of theories in the structuralist sense (that is, functions on structures) give rise to so-called "representations" of theories in the statement sense and vice versa, where representations (...) are understood as functions that map sentences of one theory into another theory. It is argued that commensurability between theories should be based on functions on open formulas and open terms so that reducibility does not necessarily imply commensurability. This is in accordance with a central claim by Stegmüller on the compatibility of reducibility and incommensurability that has recently been challenged by D. Pearce. (shrink)
In this paper we report a study of the approach of six U.K. water and electricity companies towards managing the relationship with their ''green'' stakeholders. Stakeholders are accorded increasing importance in political discourse and stakeholder theory is emerging as a promising framework for the analysis of corporate social performance.We studied the companies'' general approach towards green stakeholders, their dealings with specific stakeholder groups and whether they emphasised the consultation or the information aspect of stakeholder management. We found that none of (...) the six companies had a systematic stakeholder approach that extended to all potential green stakeholders. Rather, the importance of specific stakeholder groups seemed to be determined by managers'' intuition and by the stance that the stakeholders themselves displayed towards the company. (shrink)
It is universally accepted that participants in biomedical research have the right to withdraw from participation at any time, except, perhaps, when withdrawal would constitute a threat to their health or the health of others. The right to withdraw is encoded in nearly every document on the requirements for ethical conduct of research on humans, including the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations governing all federally-funded research, the Common Rule (45 CFR 46); the Declaration of Helsinki (WMA 2008); the 2002 research (...) guidelines of the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS 2002); and the Belmont Report (National Commission 1979). Presumably, if codification of the right in these .. (shrink)
Professionalism includes the essential contents of other key notions within the field of business ethics. As a term involving the notion of vocation it may be understood as containing a religious content, since vocation refers to a man's most intimate personal decisions, destiny and providence. Professionalism also connotes respect for law and so includes a reference to commercial law as a guide to right conduct. Professionalsim thus lifts the requirements of law to the level of personal commitment.Like an honest act, (...) professionalism may not be easy to define, but you will know it when you see it. As for professionalism's practitioners, like the practitioners of honesty, their art is learned not by seeking definitions of what they do, but by practicing professionalism. Only if this practice becomes an obsession with the Business Aristocracy can we expect professionalism to seize the soul of lesser businessmen and suffuse the entire business community. (shrink)
In this conceptual article, we look at the impact of culture on ethical decision making from a Douglasian Cultural Theory (CT) perspective. We aim to show how CT can be used to explain the diversity and dynamicity of ethical beliefs and behaviours found in every social system, be it a corporation, a nation or even an individual. We introduce CT in the context of ethical decision making and then use it to discuss examples of business ethics in the Indian business (...) context. We argue that the use of CT allows for a theoretically more sophisticated treatment of culture in ethical decision making and thus the avoidance of some common problems with existing cross-cultural studies of business ethics. In our discussion, we raise questions about the compatibility between management systems and processes created in one context and ethical behaviours in another. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: Brandom argues that functionalism must ultimately fail because it will not be able to explain how we can holistically update our beliefs solely in terms of abilities possessed by non-linguistic things. In this paper I respond to this argument by arguing that non-linguistic animals encounter and overcome an analogous sort of holistic updating problem. I will also try to demystify holism and de-intellectualize language use/reasoning.
Based on responses from 1078 human resource (HR) professionals, this study concludes that there is not an ethical crisis in the work place. Seven of 37 situations were rated as serious problems by more than 25% of the respondents. HR reported that their organizations are serious about uncovering and disciplining ethical misconduct, top management has a commitment to ethical business conduct, personal principles are not compromised to conform to company expectations, and performance pressures do not lead to unethical conduct.
Some have objected to human enhancement on the grounds that it violates the autonomy of the enhanced. These objections, however, overlook the interesting possibility that autonomy itself could be enhanced. How, exactly, to enhance autonomy is a difficult problem due to the numerous and diverse accounts of autonomy in the literature. Existing accounts of autonomy enhancement rely on narrow and controversial conceptions of autonomy. However, we identify one feature of autonomy common to many mainstream accounts: reasoning ability. Autonomy can then (...) be enhanced by improving people’s reasoning ability, in particular through cognitive enhancement; given how valuable autonomy is usually taken to be, this gives us extra reason to pursue such cognitive enhancements. Moreover, autonomy-based objections will be especially weak against such enhancements. As we will argue, those who are worried that enhancements will inhibit people’s autonomy should actually embrace those enhancements that will improve autonomy. (shrink)
“I quite rightly pass for an atheist,” Jacques Derrida announces in Circumfession. Grace Jantzen's suggestion that the poststructuralist critique of modernity can also be trained on atheism helps us make sense of this playfully cryptic statement: although Derrida sympathizes with the “idea” of atheism, he is wary of the modern brand of atheism, with its insistence on rationally arranging—straightening out—religion. In this paper, I will argue that poststructural feminism, with its focus on embodied epistemology, offers a way to re-explain Derrida's (...) “I rightly pass,” and also to carry it forward. Poststructural feminist atheism leads us through Derrida to an embodied disbelief drawing on three dimensions of poststructural feminism: feminist epistemology and material feminism, relationality, and affect theory. (shrink)
ai Diminished gaze fixation is one of the core features of autism and has been proposed to be associated with abnormalities in the neural circuitry of affect. We tested this hypothesis in two separate studies using eye tracking while measuring functional brain activity during facial discrimination tasks in individuals with autism and in typically developing individuals. Activation in the fusiform gyrus and amygdala was strongly and positively correlated with the time spent fixating the eyes in the autistic group in both (...) studies, suggesting that diminished gaze fixation may account for the fusiform hypoactivation to faces commonly reported in autism. In addition, variation in eye fixation within autistic individuals was strongly and positively associated with amygdala activation across both studies, suggesting a heightened emotional response associated with gaze fixation in autism. (shrink)
An incomplete degree is cuppable if it can be joined by an incomplete degree to a complete degree. For sets fulfilling some type of simplicity property one can now ask whether these sets are cuppable with respect to a certain type of reducibilities. Several such results are known. In this paper we settle all the remaining cases for the standard notions of simplicity and all the main strong reducibilities.
Coronary by-pass surgery has been performed in hundreds of thousands of patients in the last 15 years with a high standard of technical and surgical perfection. The indications for this kind of surgery, however, are still controversial because in spite of many retrospective and several prospective studies it cannot be proven convincingly that in a given patient this surgical procedure will prolong life or prevent myocardial infarction. The present attempt to analyze the causes for this controversy shows that the main (...) reasons for this uncertainty lie: (a) in the enigma of the underlying (ischemic heart) disease itself, which is supposed to lend itself to surgical therapy; (b) in the inadequate methods available up until now for characterizing the state of the disease, its probable course, and its pathogenesis; and (c) in the professional group interests which have a momentum of their own. (shrink)
tDCS over the primary motor cortex (M1) has been shown to induce changes in motor performance and learning. Recent studies indicate that tDCS is capable of modulating widespread neural network properties within the brain. However the temporal evolution of online- and after- effects of tDCS on functional connectivity within and across the stimulated motor cortices (M1) still remain elusive. In the present study, two different tDCS setups were investigated: (i) unilateral M1 tDCS (anode over right M1, cathode over the contralateral (...) supraorbital region) and (ii) bilateral M1 tDCS (anode over right M1, cathode over left M1). In a randomized single-blinded crossover design, 12 healthy subjects underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging at rest (rs-fMRI) before, during and after 20 min of either bi-, unilateral or sham M1 tDCS. Seed-based functional connectivity analysis (FC) was used to investigate tDCS-induced changes across and within M1. We found that bilateral M1 tDCS induced (a) a decrease in interhemispheric FC during stimulation and (b) an increase in intracortical FC within right M1 after termination of the intervention. While unilateral M1 tDCS also resulted in similar effects during stimulation, no such changes could be observed after termination of tDCS. Our results provide evidence that depending on the electrode montage, tDCS acts upon a modulation of either intracortical and/or interhemispheric processing of M1. (shrink)
& Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined whether individual differences in amygdala activation in response to negative relative to neutral information are related to differences in the speed with which such information is evaluated, the extent to which such differences are associated with medial prefrontal cortex function, and their relationship with measures of trait anxiety and psychological well-being (PWB). Results indicated that faster judgments of negative relative to neutral information were associated with increased left and right amygdala activation. In (...) the prefrontal cortex, faster judgment time was associated with relative decreased activation in a cluster in the ventral anterior cingulate cor-. (shrink)
The development of modern programmable pacemaker-systems has led to a series of questions which until now have apparently not existed in the treatment of cardiac rhythm disturbances. These questions touch especially on the problem of whether the relation which usually exists between a diagnostic step and its therapeutic consequence, namely its therapeutic relevance, is abolished or at least changed.
Both experimental and ethnographic studies show that reciprocal exchanges (in which actors unilaterally provide benefits to each other without formal agreements) produce stronger trust than negotiated exchanges secured by binding agreements. We develop the theoretical role of risk and uncertainty as causal mechanisms that potentially explain these results, and then test their effects in two laboratory experiments that vary risk and uncertainty within negotiated and reciprocal forms of exchange. We increase risk in negotiated exchanges by making agreements nonbinding and decrease (...) uncertainty in reciprocal exchanges by having actors communicate their intentions. Our findings support three main theoretical conclusions. (1) Increasing risk in negotiated exchange produces levels of trust comparable to those in reciprocal exchange only if the partner's trustworthiness is near-absolute. (2) Decreasing uncertainty in reciprocal exchange either increases or decreases trust, depending on network structure. (3) Even when reciprocal and negotiated exchanges produce comparable levels of trust, their trust differs in kind, with reciprocal exchange partners developing trust that is more resilient and affect-based. (shrink)