The word “forgiveness” and its verbal form, “forgiving,” may appear to have one and the same meaning whenever it is used. But the first thesis of this essay is that several distinct kinds of human activity are denominated by this word, and their differences are philosophically important. The second thesis of this essay is that some of the human activities denominated by this word have a close connection with hope, more specifically with hoping-in-a-person. The third thesis of this essay is (...) that, because of this connection, some kinds of forgiving have important communal aspects that are often overlooked. The essay develops its three theses through discussions of the expression “forgive and forgot,” a theme from Charles Bosk’s study, Forgive and Remember, a scene from Jane Austen’s, Emma, and a description of forgiving by theologian and spiritual writer, Louis Every. (shrink)
This article places the concept of "right to know," which is normally associated with law, in a moral framework. It outlines multiple meanings of the concept, emphasizing the institutional nature of "right to know." Then the article imbeds this understanding in moral thinking, including a discussion of the moral elements of rights, and applies that understanding in specific journalistic situations.
This paper explores the relationship between teaching and consulting in clinical ethics teaching and the role of the ethics teacher in clinical decision-making. Three roles of the clinical ethics teacher are discussed and illustrated with examples from the authors' experience. Two models of the ethics consultant are contrasted, with an argument presented for the ethics consultant as decision facilitator. A concluding section points to some of the challenges of clinical ethics teaching.
My aim in this paper is to explore the notion that corporations have moral rights within the context of a constitutive rules model of corporate moral agency. The first part of the paper will briefly introduce the notion of moral rights, identifying the distinctive feature of moral rights, as contrasted with other moral categories, in Vlastos' terms of overridingness. The second part will briefly summarize the constitutive rules approach to the moral agency of corporations (à la French, Smith, Ozar) and (...) pose the question of the paper. The third part will argue that, since the moral agency of corporations is dependent on the choices of those whose acceptence of the relevant rules constitutes the corporation as a moral agent, the rights of corporations are conventional; that is, they exist because they are so created. Thus, as a first answer, corporations do not have moral rights.But this raises a further question which we must explore. Once a corporation has been constituted, by the acceptance of the relevant rules by the relevant persons, does the corporation then have rights which endure? Can those who have constituted a corporation with certain rights morally change or cancel those rights in medias res without doing some sort of moral violence to the corporation? Do corporations at least have a moral right to persist in the conventional rights with which they were constituted? (shrink)
The social ethics of medicine is the study and ethical analysis of social structures which impact on the provision of health care by physicians. There are many such social structures. Not all these structures are responsive to the influence of physicians as health professionals. But some social structures which impact on health care are prompted by or supported by important preconceptions of medical practice. In this article, three such elements of the philosophy of medicine are examined in terms of the (...) negative impact on health care of the social structures to which they contribute. The responsibilities of the medical profession and of individual physicians to work to change these social structures are then examined in the light of a theory of profession. (shrink)
Health care is not merely a matter of individual encounters between patients and physicians or other health care personnel. For patients and those who provide health care come to these encounters already possessed of learned habits of perception and judgment, valuation and action, which define their roles in relation to one another and affect every aspect of their encounter. So the presuppositions of these encounters must be examined if our understanding of patients' autonomy is to be complete. In this paper (...) I sketch three models of what is presupposed in the relationship between the health care professional and the lay patient; and I discuss the ways in which patients' autonomy is preserved and/or compromised under each of the three models. The models discussed are the Guild Model, the Commercial Model, and the Interactive Model. (shrink)
The notion of group responsibility has received some very fruitful examination in recent years. But there still remains an important commonsense objection to this notion. Moral responsibility for an action is ordinarily linked to and held to depend upon the action's being the product of an act of choice on the part of the agent. The thrust of the objection here is that it is extremely difficult to understand how intentional acts like acts of choice can be properly attributed to (...) a group. The notion of a group "consciousness" does not seem a very satisfactory resolution of this problem. In this paper I shall propose that there are actually three distinct processes, as well as many hybrid combinations of them there, by which groups "make choices." That is, when we look at the activities of groups, we discover three different kinds of analogues to the act of choice of the individual person. I shall be illustrating each of these models with examples of health care decisions. In addition, I shall also try to illustrate how the level of personal moral responsibility of each of the individuals making up the group, i.e., each one's responsibility for the group's action, can be seen to flow from the particular role that an individual plays within the process of "group choice" that is involved. In this way, I hope to shed light not only on the topics of group choice, group responsibility, and the interplay of personal and group responsibility, but also to show concretely the valuable role that these themes can play in our understanding of the moral elements of the health care setting. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)