A persistent argument against the transitivity assumption of rational choice theory postulates a repeatable action that generates a significant benefit at the expense of a negligible cost. No matter how many times the action has been taken, it therefore seems reasonable for a decision-maker to take the action one more time. However, matters are so fixed that the costs of taking the action some large number of times outweigh the benefits. In taking the action some large number of times (...) on the grounds that the benefits outweigh the costs every time, the decision-maker therefore reveals intransitive preferences, since once she has taken it this large number of times, she would prefer to return to the situation in which she had never taken the action at all. We defend transitivity against two versions of this argument: one in which it is assumed that taking the action one more time never has any perceptible cost, and one in which it is assumed that the cost of taking the action, though (sometimes) perceptible, is so small as to be outweighed at every step by the significant benefit. We argue that the description of the choice situation in the first version involves a contradiction. We also argue that the reasoning used in the second version is a form of similarity-based decision-making. We argue that when the consequences of using similarity-based decision-making are brought to light, rational decision-makers revise their preferences. We also discuss one method that might be used in performing this revision. (shrink)
We describe an evaluation undertaken on contract for the New Zealand State Services Commission of a major project (the Administrative Decision-Making Skills Project) designed to produce a model of administrative decisionmaking and an associated teaching/learning packagefor use by government officers. It describes the evaluation of a philosophical model of decisionmaking and the associated teaching/learning package in the setting of the New Zealand Public Service, where a deliberate attempt has been initiated to improve (...) the quality of decisionmaking, especially in relation to moral factors. (shrink)
Now in its fourth edition, Rational Diagnosis and Treatment: Evidence-Based Clinical Decision-Making is a unique book to look at evidence-based medicine and the difficulty of applying evidence from group studies to individual patients._ The book analyses the successive stages of the decision process and deals with topics such as the examination of the patient,_the reliability of clinical data, the logic of diagnosis, the fallacies of uncontrolled therapeutic experience and the need for randomised clinical trials and meta-analyses. It (...) is the main theme of the book that, whenever possible, clinical decisions must be based on the evidence from clinical research, but the authors also explain the pitfalls of such research and the problems involved in applying evidence from groups of patients to the individual patient._ For this new edition, the sections on placebo and meta-analysis and on alternative medicine have been thoroughly updated, and there is more focus on insufficient reporting of harms of interventions. The sections on different research designs describe advantages and limitations, and the increased medicalisation and the effects of cancer screening on health people are noted. A section on academic freedom when clinicians collaborate with industry and ghost authors is added._ This essential reference work integrates the science and statistical approach of evidence-based medicine with the art and humanism of medical practice; distinguishing between data, sets of data, knowledge and wisdom, and their application. Such an intellectually challenging book is ideal for both medical students and doctors who require theoretical and practical clinical skills to help ensure that they apply theory in practice. (shrink)
This paper inaugurates a discussion about the phenomenology of union decision-making. Phenomenology provides a new lens that may enable us to gain penetrating insights into how unions function in the fractious world of human resources management. The present paper is preliminary to any fieldwork that may be undertaken. Its main purposes are to identify theory that could be the foundation of further practical work, relate recent work in the phenomenology of management to union practices and to propose directions (...) of enquiry. The relevant theory is that of Edmund Husserl who provides us with a practical method of enquiry into the real world of human resource practice. Husserl’s work has already been applied in relation to local government functioning and some of the findings there appear relevant to the present enquiry. In particular, the nature and role of plebiscites. (shrink)
In this book, Isaac Levi denies this assumption, arguing instead that agents often should choose without having balanced the competing values and that rationality does not require that an act be optimal, only that it be what Levi terms 'admissible'. He explains the consequences of denying this assumption, and develops a general approach to decisionmaking under unresolved conflict. He investigates the phenomenon of conflicting values in several areas, in each of which he develops a framework for rational (...) deliberation between options. The bearing of the theory on moral dilemmas, scientific inference, decisionmaking under risk and uncertainty, and theories of social welfare are all considered. (shrink)
Rapid advances in neuroscience may enable us to identify the neural correlates of ordinary decisionmaking. Such knowledge opens up the possibility of acquiring highly accurate information about people’s competence to consent to medical procedures and to participate in medical research. Currently we are unable to determine competence to consent with accuracy and we make a number of unrealistic practical assumptions to deal with our ignorance. Here I argue that if we are able to detect competence to consent (...) and if we are able to develop a reliable neural test of competence to consent, then these assumptions will have to be rejected. I also consider and reject three lines of argument that might be developed by a defender of the status quo in order to protect our current practices regarding judgments of competence in the face of the availability of information about the neural correlates of ordinary human decisionmaking. (shrink)
Issues concerning patients' rights are at the center of bioethics, but the political basis for these rights has rarely been examined. In Bioethics in a Liberal Society: The Political Framework of Bioethics DecisionMaking , Thomas May offers a compelling analysis of how the political context of liberal constitutional democracy shapes the rights and obligations of both patients and health care professionals. May focuses on how a key feature of liberal society -- namely, an individual's right to make (...) independent decisions -- has an impact on the most important relational facets of health care, such as patients' autonomy and professionals' rights of conscience. Although a liberal political framework protects individual judgments, May asserts that this right is based on the assumption of an individual's competency to make sound decisions. May uses case studies to examine society's approach to medical decisionmaking when, for reasons ranging from age to severe mental disorder, a person lacks sufficient competency to make independent and fully informed choices. To protect the autonomy of these vulnerable patients, May emphasizes the need for health care ethics committees and ethics consultants to help guide the decision-making process in clinical settings. Bioethics in a Liberal Society is essential reading for all those interested in understanding how bioethics is practiced within our society. (shrink)
Newell and Shanks (2012) argue that an explanation for blindsight need not appeal to unconscious brain processes, citing research indicating that the condition merely reflects degraded visual experience. We reply that other evidence suggests that blindsighters’ predictive behavior under forced choice reflects cognitive access to low-level visual information that does not correlate with visual consciousness. Thus, while we grant that visual consciousness may be required for full visual experience, we argue that it may not be needed for decision (...) class='Hi'>making and judgment. (shrink)
Can findings from psychology and cognitive neuroscience about the neural mechanisms involved in decision-making can tell us anything useful about the commonly-understood mental phenomenon of making voluntary choices? Two philosophical objections are considered. First, that the neural data is subpersonal, and so cannot enter into illuminating explanations of personal level phenomena like voluntary action. Secondly, that mental properties are multiply realized in the brain in such a way as to make them insusceptible to neuroscientific study. The paper (...) argues that both objections would be weakened by the discovery of empirical generalisations connecting subpersonal properties with the personal level. It gives three case studies that furnish evidence to that effect. It argues that the existence of such interrelations are consistent with a plausible construal of the personal-subpersonal distinction. Furthermore, there is no reason to suppose that the notion subpersonal representation relied on in cognitive neuroscience illicitly imports personal-level phenomena like consciousness or normativity, or is otherwise explanatorily problematic. (shrink)
This article focuses on both daily forms of weakness of will as discussed in the philosophical debate (usually referred to as akrasia) and psychopathological phenomena as impairments of decisionmaking. We argue that both descriptions of dysfunctional decisionmaking can be organized within a common theoretical framework that divides the decisionmaking process in three different stages: option generation, option selection, and action initiation. We first discuss our theoretical framework (building on existing models of (...)decision-making stages), focusing on option generation as an aspect that has been neglected by previous models. In the main body of this article, we review how both philosophy and neuropsychiatry have provided accounts of dysfunction in each decision-making stage, as well as where these accounts can be integrated. Also, the neural underpinnings of dysfunction in the three different stages are discussed. We conclude by discussing advantages and limitations of our integrative approach. (shrink)
Introduction: Responsibility and choice -- The idea of moral responsibility -- Complex choice situations -- Differing types of responsibility -- Hans Jonas' idea of "caring for beings" -- The moral experience of women -- Criticizing rational choice -- The rational choice model 5 -- Bounded rationality -- Myopic and deficient choices -- Violations of the axioms -- Rational fools -- The strategic role of emotions -- Social norms -- The communitarian challenge -- Duty, self-interest, and love -- Responsible decision (...)making -- Norms, goals, and stakeholders -- Choice as problem solving -- Ethical norms -- Who are the stakeholders? -- Co-evolving goals and alternatives -- Responsibility and the diversity of choices -- Rationality and respect -- Deontology -- Choices people can make -- The psychology of choice -- Prospect theory -- The "matching law" -- Incommensurability -- Modeling responsible decisionmaking -- What is a responsible decision? -- Deontological payoffs -- Goal-achievement values -- Payoffs for the stakeholders -- Evaluation from multiple perspectives -- The maximin rule -- A geometric representation -- The procedural model -- Real world cases -- Donna's case -- The Ford Pinto case -- The World Bank environmental policy -- Applications in economics and public policy -- Responsibility and social justice -- The paradox of a paretian liberal -- Res ponsible agency in prisoner's dilemma situations -- Multidimensional cost-benefit analysis -- Ethical and social performance of business -- Nature, society, and future generations -- Epilogue: The responsible person. (shrink)
Rational decisionmaking depends on what one believes, what one desires, and what one knows. In conventional decision models, beliefs are represented by probabilities and desires are represented by utilities. Software agents are knowledgeable entities capable of managing their own set of beliefs and desires, and they can decide upon the next operation to execute autonomously. They are also interactive entities capable of filtering communications and managing dialogues. Knowledgeability includes representing knowledge about the external world, reasoning with (...) it, and sharing it. Interactions include negotiations to perform tasks in cooperative, coordinative, and competitive ways. In this paper we focus on decision-making mechanisms for agent-based systems on the basis of agent interaction. We identify possible interaction scenarios and define mechanisms for decisionmaking in uncertain environments. It is believed that software agents will become the underlying technology that offers the capability of distribution of competence, control, and information for the next generation of ubiquitous, distributed, and heterogeneous information systems. (shrink)
Every day nurses are required to make ethical decisions in the course of caring for their patients. Ethics in Nursing Practice provides the background necessary to understand ethical decisionmaking and its implications for patient care. The authors focus on the individual nurse’s responsibilities, as well as considering the wider issues affecting patients, colleagues and society as a whole. This third edition is fully updated, and takes into account recent changes in ICN position statements, WHO documents, as well (...) as addressing current issues in healthcare, such as providing for the health and care needs of refugees and asylum seekers, bioethics and the enforcement of nursing codes. (shrink)
Integrating theory with case studies, this book examines the practical application of moral theory in clinical decision-making through 40 composite cases based on actual clinical experience. Complex, realistic, and challenging, these examples contain the multiplicity of factors faced in clinical crises, making this a superb exploration of the ways in which theory relates to actual life-or-death situations.
Decisionmaking is a key activity, perhaps the most important activity, in the practice of healthcare. Although physicians acquire a great deal of knowledge and specialised skills during their training and through their practice, it is in the exercise of clinical judgement and its application to individual patients that the outstanding physician is distinguished. This has become even more relevant as patients become increasingly welcomed as partners in a shared decisionmaking process. This book translates the (...) research and theory from the science of decisionmaking into clinically useful tools and principles that can be applied by clinicians in the field. It considers issues of patient goals, uncertainty, judgement, choice, development of new information, and family and social concerns in healthcare. It helps to demystify decision theory by emphasizing concepts and clinical cases over mathematics and computation. (shrink)
Reinforcement learning (RL) models of decision-making cannot account for human decisions in the absence of prior reward or punishment. We propose a mechanism for choosing among available options based on goal-option association strengths, where association strengths between objects represent previously experienced object proximity. The proposed mechanism, Goal-Proximity Decision-making (GPD), is implemented within the ACT-R cognitive framework. GPD is found to be more efficient than RL in three maze-navigation simulations. GPD advantages over RL seem to grow as (...) task difficulty is increased. An experiment is presented where participants are asked to make choices in the absence of prior reward. GPD captures human performance in this experiment better than RL. (shrink)
Current environmental problems and technological risks are a challenge for a new institutional arrangement of the value spheres of Science, Politics and Morality. Distinguished authors from different European countries and America provide a cross-disciplinary perspective on the problems of political decisionmaking under the conditions of scientific uncertainty. cases from biotechnology and the environmental sciences are discussed. The papers collected for this volume address the following themes: (i) controversies about risks and political decisionmaking; (ii) concepts (...) of science for policy; (iii) the use of social science in the policy making process; (iv) ethical problems with developments in science and technology; (v) public and state interests in the development and control of technology. (shrink)
Rules are a central component of such diverse enterprises as law, morality, language, games, religion, etiquette, and family governance, but there is often confusion about what a rule is, and what rules do. Offering a comprehensive philosophical analysis of these questions, this book challenges much of the existing legal, jurisprudential, and philosophical literature, by seeing a significant role for rules, an equally significant role for their stricter operation, and making the case for rules as devices for the allocation of (...) power among decision-makers. (shrink)
Background Following passage of the Patient Self Determination Act in 1990, health care institutions that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding are required to inform patients of their right to make their health care preferences known through execution of a living will and/or to appoint a surrogate-decision maker. We evaluated the impact of external factors and perceived patient preferences on physicians’ decisions to honor or forgo previously established advance directives (ADs). In addition, physician views regarding legal risk, patients’ ability to (...) comprehend complexities involved with their care, and impact of medical costs related to end-of-life care decisions were explored. Methods Attendees of two Mayo Clinic continuing medical education courses were surveyed. Three scenarios based in part on previously court-litigated matters assessed impact of external factors and perceived patient preferences on physician compliance with patient-articulated wishes regarding resuscitation. General questions measured respondents’ perception of legal risk, concerns over patient knowledge of idiosyncrasies involved with their care, and impact medical costs may have on compliance with patient preferences. Responses indicating strength of agreement or disagreement with statements were treated as ordinal data and analyzed using the Cochran Armitage trend test. Results Three hundred eighty-eight of 951 surveys were completed (41% response rate). Eighty percent reported they were likely to honor a patient’s AD despite its 5 year age. Fewer than half (41%) would honor the AD of a patient in ventricular fibrillation who had expressed a desire to “pass away in peace.” Few (17%) would forgo an AD following a family’s request for continued resuscitative treatment. A majority (52%) considered risk of liability to be lower when maintaining someone alive against their wishes than mistakenly failing to provide resuscitative efforts. A large percentage (74%) disagreed that patients could not appreciate complexities surrounding their care while 69% agreed that costs should never impact a physician’s decision as to whether to comply with a patient’s AD. Conclusions Our findings highlight the impact, albeit small, external factors have on physician AD compliance. Most respondents based their decision on the clinical situation at hand and interpretation of the patient’s initial wishes and preferences expressed by the AD. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to challenge the claim that the neural activity commonly referred to as 'readiness potential' constitutes evidence for the unconscious initiation of action. Although I accept that such neural activity seriously challenges the commonly held view that one's sense of volition is causally efficacious, I nevertheless contend that much of our everyday engagement with the world is consciously initiated. Thus, a distinction is made between awareness and what the awareness is of: the latter constituting the (...) conscious decision to act in accordance with one's goal, or what I have termed intentional project. Initiation of an action in accordance with one's intentional project grounds the action in meaning, something that would be lacking in an exclusively unconscious decision to act. (shrink)
Unconscious thought theory (UTT) states that all information is taken into account and the attributes are weighted optimally resulting in better decisions in complex decision problems during unconscious thought. Very few studies have investigated the actual amount of information processed in the unconscious thought condition. We hypothesized that only a small subset of information might be considered during unconscious thought (like conscious thought). To test this possibility and to explore the way attribute information is selected and combined, we performed (...) computer simulations on the datasets used by previous researchers. The simulations showed that considering a small subset (3-4) of attributes, yields results comparable to previous studies. There is no need to posit infinite capacity in the unconscious thought condition. The results also suggest that weight information is used for attribute selection that could potentially explain the difficulties in replicating the deliberation-without-attention effect. (shrink)
Origin of seekers: from caveman to cage fighters -- Impulsivity's hidden side: the secret of being directionally correct -- Eat or be eaten: what politicians have learned from primates -- Bubblology: the plague of the $76,000 flower -- Common sense of ownership -- Factoring you into your decisions -- Potential seekers: directing your innovative impulses -- Risk managers: conquering the fear of big cats -- Striking a balance.
The authors developed this textbook in response to an increasing interest in ethics, and a growing number of courses on this topic that are now being offered in educational leadership programs. It is designed to fill a gap in instructional materials for teaching the ethics component of the knowledge base that has been established for the profession. The text has several purposes: First, it demonstrates the application of different ethical paradigms (the ethics of justice, care, critique, and the profession) through (...) discussion and analysis of real-life moral dilemmas that educational leaders face in their schools and communities. Second, it addresses some of the practical, pedagogical, and curricular issues related to the teaching of ethics for educational leaders. Third, it emphasizes the importance of ethics instruction from a variety of theoretical approaches. Finally, it provides a process that instructors might follow to develop their own ethics unit or course. * Part I provides an overview of why ethics is so important, especially for today's educational leaders, and describes a multiparadigm approach essential to practitioners as they grapple with ethical dilemmas. * Part II deals with the dilemmas themselves. Ethical dilemmas written by the authors' graduate students bring readers face-to-face with the kinds of dilemmas faced by practicing administrators in urban, suburban, and rural settings in an era full of complexities and contradictions. * Part III focuses on pedagogy and provides teaching notes for the instructor. The authors discuss the importance of self-reflection on the part of both instructors and students, and model how they thought through their own personal and professional ethical codes as well as reflected upon the critical incidents in their lives that shaped their teaching and frequently determined what they privileged in class. (shrink)
Crito revisited -- Blindness, narrative, and meaning : moral living -- Radical experience and tragic duty : moral dying -- Needing assistance to die well : PAS and beyond -- Experiencing lost voices : dying without capacity -- Dying young : what interests do children have? -- Caring for patients : cure, palliation, comfort, and aid in the process of dying.
A model for ethical problem solving -- Values in health and illness -- What is the source of moral judgments? -- Benefiting the patient and others : duty to do good and avoid harm -- Justice : allocation of health resources -- Autonomy -- Veracity : honesty with patients -- Fidelity : promise-keeping, loyalty to patients, and impaired professionals -- Avoidance of killing -- Abortion, sterilization, and contraception -- Genetics, birth, and the biological revolution -- Mental health and behavior control (...) -- Confidentiality : ethical disclosure of medical information -- Organ transplants -- Health insurance, health system planning, and rationing -- Experimentation on human subjects -- Consent and the right to refuse treatment -- Death and dying. (shrink)
This book is a unique introductory overview of decision theory. It is completely non-technical, without a single formula in the book. Written in a crisp and clear style it succinctly covers the full range of philosophical issues of rationality and decision theory, including game theory, social choice theory, prisoner's dilemma and much else. The book aims to expand the scope and enrich the foundations of decision theory. By addressing such issues as ambivalence, inner conflict, and the constraints (...) imposed upon us by our attachments to others, Frederic Schick reveals that our thinking is often more subtle than standard theories of rationality allow. Only a theory that respects that subtlety can illumine what is otherwise puzzling. The book contains many examples drawn from history and literature dealing with subjects such as love, war, friendship, and crime. (shrink)
In this study I discuss G. W. Leibniz's (1646-1716) views on rational decision-making from the standpoint of both God and man. The Divine decision takes place within creation, as God freely chooses the best from an infinite number of possible worlds. While God's choice is based on absolutely certain knowledge, human decisions on practical matters are mostly based on uncertain knowledge. However, in many respects they could be regarded as analogous in more complicated situations. In addition to (...) giving an overview of the divine decision-making and discussing critically the criteria God favours in his choice, I provide an account of Leibniz's views on human deliberation, which includes some new ideas. One of these concerns is the importance of estimating probabilities – in making decisions one estimates both the goodness of the act itself and its consequences as far as the desired good is concerned. Another idea is related to the plurality of goods in complicated decisions and the competition this may provoke. Thirdly, heuristic models are used to sketch situations under deliberation in order to help in making the decision. Combining the views of Marcelo Dascal, Jaakko Hintikka and Simo Knuuttila, I argue that Leibniz applied two kinds of models of rational decision-making to practical controversies, often without explicating the details. The more simple, traditional pair of scales model is best suited to cases in which one has to decide for or against some option, or to distribute goods among parties and strive for a compromise. What may be of more help in more complicated deliberations is the novel vectorial model, which is an instance of the general mathematical doctrine of the calculus of variations. To illustrate this distinction, I discuss some cases in which he apparently applied these models in different kinds of situation. These examples support the view that the models had a systematic value in his theory of practical rationality. (shrink)
PREVIOUS WORK Theoretical discussion of the interval measurement of utility based upon theories of decisionmaking under conditions of risk has been voluminous and will not be reviewed here. Those interested will find extensive ...
In economically meaningful interactions negotiations are particularly important because they allow agents to improve their information about the environment and even to change accordingly their own characteristics. In each step of a negotiation an agent has to emit a message. This message conveys information about her preferences and endowments. Given that the information she uses to decide which message to emit comes from beliefs generated in previous stages of the negotiation, she has to cope with the uncertainty associated with them. (...) The assessment of the states of the world also evolves during the negotiation. In this paper we analyze the intertwined dynamics of beliefs and decision, in order to determine conditions on the agents that allow them to reach agreements. The framework for decisionmaking we consider here is based on defeasible evaluation of possibilities: an argument for a choice defeats another one if it is based on a computation that better uses all the available information. (shrink)
In a dynamic (sequential) framework, departures from the independence axiom (IND) are reputed to induce violations of dynamic consistency (DC), which may in turn have undesirable normative consequences. This result thus questions the normative acceptability of non expected-utility (non-EU) models, which precisely relax IND. This paper pursues a twofold objective. The main one is to discuss the normative conclusion: usual arguments linking violations of DC to departures from IND are shown to be actually based on specific (but usually remaining implicit) (...) assumptions which may rightfully be released, so that it is actually possible for a non-EU maximizer to be dynamically consistent and thus avoid normative difficulties. The second objective is to introduce a kind of `reality principle' (through two other evaluation criteria) in order to mitigate the normative requirement when examining adequate moods for non-EU decisionmaking. (shrink)
It is shown that the uncertainty connected with a `random in a broad sense' (not necessarily stochastic) event always has some `statistical regularity' (SR) in the form of a family of finite-additive probability distributions. The specific principle of guaranteed result in decisionmaking is introduced. It is shown that observing this principle of guaranteed result leads to determine the one optimality criterion corresponding to a decision system with a given `statistical regularity'.
Kidder's checklistfor ethical decrsion making is recommended as an addition to the existing canon of modelsfor mass media ethics. Contributions in Kidder's approach include his dichotomy between ethical dilemmas m d moral temptations, his tests for right-versus-wrong and right-versus-right issues, his framework by which to clarify values in ethical dilemmas, nnd his sequencing of the decision-making process. Kidder's model is surnmnrized nnd discussed, revisions are suggested for classroom use in medin ethics courses, nnd tke revised model is (...) applied to media ethics cases. (shrink)
In this paper, we consider three arguments for the irrelevance of the doctrine of double effect in end-of-life decisionmaking. The third argument is our own and, to that extent, we seek to defend it. The first argument is that end-of-life decisions do not in fact shorten lives and that therefore there is no need for the doctrine in justification of these decisions. We reject this argument; some end-of-life decisions clearly shorten lives. The second is that the doctrine (...) of double effect is not recognized in UK law (and similar jurisdictions); therefore, clinicians cannot use it as the basis for justification of their decisions. Against this we suggest that while the doctrine might have dubious legal grounds, it could be of relevance in some ways, e.g. in marking the boundary between acceptable and unacceptable practice in relation to the clinician's duty to relieve pain and suffering. The third is that the doctrine is irrelevant because it requires there to be a bad effect that needs justification. This is not the case in end-of-life care for patients diagnosed as dying. Here, bringing about a satisfactory dying process for a patient is a good effect, not a bad one. What matters is that patients die without pain and suffering. This marks a crucial departure from the double-effect doctrine; if the patient's death is not a bad effect then the doctrine is clearly irrelevant. A diagnosis of dying allows clinicians to focus on good dying and not to worry about whether their intervention affects the time of death. For a patient diagnosed as dying, time of death is rarely important. In our conclusion we suggest that acceptance of our argument might be problematic for opponents of physician-assisted death. We suggest one way in which these opponents might argue for a distinction between such practice and palliative care; this relies on the double-effect doctrine's distinction between foresight and intention. (shrink)
Personal values have long been associated with individual decision behavior. The role played by personal values in decisionmaking within an organization is less clear. Past research has found that managers tend to respond to ethical dilemmas situationally. This study examines the relationship between personal values and the ethical dimension of decisionmaking using Partial Least Squares (PLS) analysis. The study examines personal values as they relate to five types of ethical dilemmas. We found a (...) significant positive contribution of altruistic values to ethical decisionmaking and a significant negative contribution of self-enhancement values to ethical decisionmaking. (shrink)
Personal values have long been associated with individual decision behavior. The role played by personal values in decisionmaking within an organization is less clear. This study examines the relationship between personal values and the ethical dimension of indicated decisions utilizing discriminant analysis. Past research has found that managers tend to respond to ethical dilemmas situationally. The study examines personal values as they relate to four types of ethical dilemmas.
We critically review themushrooming literature addressing the neuralmechanisms of moral cognition (NMMC), reachingthe following broad conclusions: (1) researchmainly focuses on three inter-relatedcategories: the moral emotions, moral socialcognition, and abstract moral reasoning. (2)Research varies in terms of whether it deploysecologically valid or experimentallysimplified conceptions of moral cognition. Themore ecologically valid the experimentalregime, the broader the brain areas involved.(3) Much of the research depends on simplifyingassumptions about the domain of moral reasoningthat are motivated by the need to makeexperimental progress. This is a (...) valuablebeginning, but as more is understood about theneural mechanisms of decision-making, morerealistic conceptions will need to replace thesimplified conceptions. (4) The neuralcorrelates of real-life moral cognition areunlikely to consist in anything remotely like a``moral module'' or a ``morality center.'' Moralrepresentations, deliberations and decisionsare probably highly distributed and notconfined to any particular brainsub-system. Discovering the basic neuralprinciples governing planning, judgment anddecision-making will require vastly more basicresearch in neuroscience, but correlatingactivity in certain brain regions withwell-defined psychological conditions helpsguide neural level research. Progress on socialphenomena will also require theoreticalinnovation in understanding the brain'sdistinctly biological form of computationthat is anchored by emotions, needs, drives,and the instinct for survival. (shrink)
In this paper, I address some of the shortcomings of established clinical ethics centring on personal autonomy and consent and what I label the Doctrine of Respecting Personal Autonomy in Healthcare. I discuss two implications of this doctrine: 1) the practice for treating patients who are considered to have borderline decision-making competence and 2) the practice of surrogate decision-making in general. I argue that none of these practices are currently aligned with respectful treatment of vulnerable individuals. (...) Because of 'structural arbitrariness' in the whole process of how we assess decision-making competence, this area is open to disrespectful treatment of people. The practice of surrogate decision- making on the basis of a single person's judgment is arguably not consistent with ethical and political requirements derived from the doctrine itself. In response to the inadequacies of the doctrine, I suggest a framework for reasonableness in surrogate decision-making which might allow practice to avoid the problems above. I conclude by suggesting an extended concept of Patient Autonomy which integrates both personal autonomy and the regulative idea of morality that is required by reasonableness in deciding for non-competent others. (shrink)
While the influence of emotion on individuals'' ethical decisions has been identified by numerous researchers, little is known about how emotions influence individuals'' ethical decision process. Thus, it is not clear whether different emotions promote and/or discourage ethical decision-making in the workplace. To address this gap, this paper develops a model that illustrates how emotion affects the components of individuals'' ethical decision-making process. The model is developed by integrating research findings that consider the two dimensions (...) of emotion, arousal and feeling state, into an applied cognitive-developmental perspective on the process of ethical decision-making. The model demonstrates that certain emotional states influence the individual''s propensity to identify ethical dilemmas, facilitate the formation of the individual''s prescriptive judgments at sophisticated levels of moral development, lead to ethical decision choices that are consistent with the individual''s prescriptive judgements, and promote the individual''s compliance with his or her ethical decision choices. In particular, the model suggests that individuals experiencing arousal and positive affect resolve ethical dilemmas in a manner consistent with more sophisticated cognitive moral structures. Implications for theory and practice are discussed. (shrink)
A model is developed which identifies and describes various factors which affect ethical and unethical behavior in organizations, including a decision-maker's social, government and legal, work, professional and personal environments. The effect of individual decision maker attributes on the decision process is also discussed. The model links these influences with ethical and unethical behavior via the mediating structure of the individual's decision-making process.
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationship between national culture and ethical decisionmaking. Established theories of ethics and moral development are reviewed and a culture-based model of ethical decisionmaking in organizations is derived. Although the body of knowledge in both cross-cultural management and ethics is well documented, researchers have failed to integrate the influence of cultural values into the ethical decision-making paradigm. A conceptual understanding of how managers from different (...) nations make decisions about highly ethical issues will provide business ethics researchers with a sound theoretical foundation upon which future empirical inquiry can be based. (shrink)
In patient-centred care, shared decision-making is advocated as the preferred form of medical decision-making. Shared decision-making is supported with reference to patient autonomy without abandoning the patient or giving up the possibility of influencing how the patient is benefited. It is, however, not transparent how shared decision-making is related to autonomy and, in effect, what support autonomy can give shared decision-making. In the article, different forms of shared decision-making (...) are analysed in relation to five different aspects of autonomy: (1) self-realisation; (2) preference satisfaction; (3) self-direction; (4) binary autonomy of the person; (5) gradual autonomy of the person. It is argued that both individually and jointly these aspects will support the models called shared rational deliberative patient choice and joint decision as the preferred versions from an autonomy perspective. Acknowledging that both of these models may fail, the professionally driven best interest compromise model is held out as a satisfactory second-best choice. (shrink)
The dual-track theory of moral reasoning has received considerable attention due to the neuroimaging work of Greene et al. Greene et al. claimed that certain kinds of moral dilemmas activated brain regions specific to emotional responses, while others activated areas specific to cognition. This appears to indicate a dissociation between different types of moral reasoning. I re-evaluate these claims of specificity in light of subsequent empirical work. I argue that none of the cortical areas identified by Greene et al. are (...) functionally specific: each is active in a wide variety of both cognitive and emotional tasks. I further argue that distinct activation across conditions is not strong evidence for dissociation. This undermines support for the dual-track hypothesis. I further argue that moral decision-making appears to activate a common network that underlies self-projection: the ability to imagine oneself from a variety of viewpoints in a variety of situations. I argue that the utilization of self-projection indicates a continuity between moral decision-making and other kinds of complex social deliberation. This may have normative consequences, but teasing them out will require careful attention to both empirical and philosophical concerns. (shrink)
We critically review the mushrooming literature addressing the neural mechanisms of moral cognition (NMMC), reaching the following broad conclusions: (1) research mainly focuses on three inter-related categories: the moral emotions, moral social cognition, and abstract moral reasoning. (2) Research varies in terms of whether it deploys ecologically valid or experimentally simplified conceptions of moral cognition. The more ecologically valid the experimental regime, the broader the brain areas involved. (3) Much of the research depends on simplifying assumptions about the domain (...) of moral reasoning that are motivated by the need to make experimental progress. This is a valuable beginning, but as more is understood about the neural mechanisms of decision-making, more realistic conceptions will need to replace the simplified conceptions. (4) The neural correlates of real-life moral cognition are unlikely to consist in anything remotely like a “moral module” or a “morality center.” Moral representations, deliberations and decisions are probably highly distributed and not confined to any particular brain sub-system. Discovering the basic neural principles governing planning, judgment and decision-making will require vastly more basic research in neuroscience, but correlating activity in certain brain regions with well-defined psychological conditions helps guide neural level research. Progress on social phenomena will also require theoretical innov- ation in understanding the brain’s distinctly biological form of computation that is anchored by emotions, needs, drives, and the instinct for survival. (shrink)
The study of decisionmaking has multiple implications for business ethics. This paper outlines some commonly used frameworks for understanding choice in business. It characterises the dominant model for business decisionmaking as rational choice theory (RCT) and contrasts this with a more recent, naturalistic theory of decision-making, image theory. The implications of using RCT and image theory to model decisionmaking are discussed with reference to three ethical systems. RCT is shown (...) to be consistent with Utilitarian ethics, but not with Kantian or Virtue-based ethics. Image theory is shown to be consistent with each. The paper identifies a number of implications following from this analysis. (shrink)
In response to the lack of empirical studies examining the internal disclosure behavior in the Chinese context, this study tested a whistleblowing-decision-making process among employees in the Chinese banking industry. For would-be whistleblowers, positive affect and organizational ethical culture were hypothesized to enhance the expected efficacy of their whistleblowing intention, by providing collective norms concerning legitimate, management-sanctioned behavior. Questionnaire surveys were collected from 364 employees in 10 banks in the Hangzhou City, China. By and large, the findings supported (...) the hypotheses. Issues of whistleblowing in the Chinese context and implications were discussed. (shrink)
What factors in the organizational culture of an ethically exemplary corporation are responsible for encouraging ethical decisionmaking? This question was analyzed through an exploratory case study of a top pharmaceutical company that is a global leader in ethics. The participating organization is renowned in public opinion polls of ethics, credibility, and trust. This research explored organizational culture, communication in issues management and public relations, management theory, and deontological or utilitarian moral philosophy as factors that might encourage ethical (...) analysis. Our understanding of organiza tional ethics is enhanced by elucidating factors the case revealed as encouraging ethical analysisan organizational culture that emphasizes the importance of ethics, Theory Y management, a symmetrical worldview valuing innovation and dialogue, a counseling role for issues management or public relations in the dominant coalition, rewarding ethical behavior, ethical analysis using moral philosophy, consistency between individual values and organizational philosophy, and ethics training. These factors, and perhaps others as yet unidentified, worked together to create an environment that encouraged ethical decisionmaking at the exemplar organization. (shrink)
Documented ethical violations and empirical research have demonstrated that, despite professional standards and formal training in ethical principles, some psychotherapists engage in unethical behaviors that compromise the welfare of clients. It appears that competing values and interests that emerge in the therapeutic endeavor can interfere with therapists' considerations of ethical standards and their willingness to act ethically. Expanding current models of ethical decisionmaking, this article offers a hermeneutic model that recognizes that in addition to moral reasoning, the (...) context of the therapeutic relationship and the therapist's subjective responses are fundamental considerations in the interpretation and application of ethical interventions. Implications for understanding and training of ethics in psychotherapy in this broader context are explored. (shrink)
This article summarizes the multitude of empirical studies that test ethical decisionmaking in business and suggests additional research necessary to further theory in this area. The studies are categorized and related to current theoretical ethical decisionmaking models. The studies are related to awareness, individual and organizational factors, intent, and the role of moral intensity in ethical decisionmaking. Summary tables provide a quick reference for the sample, findings, and publication outlet. This review (...) provides insights for understanding organizational ethical decision constructs, where ethical decisionmaking theory currently stands, and provides insights for future empirical work on organizational ethical decisionmaking. (shrink)
Stakeholder theory is widely recognized as a management theory, yet very little research has considered its implications for individual managerial decision-making. In the two studies reported here, we used stakeholder theory to examine managerial decisions about balancing stakeholder interests. Results of Study 1 suggest that indivisible resources and unequal levels of stakeholder saliency constrain managers’ efforts to balance stakeholder interests. Resource divisibility also influenced whether managers used a within-decision or an across-decision approach to balance stakeholder interests. (...) In Study 2 we examined instrumental and normative implications of these two approaches. We conclude by considering the contributions of this research. (shrink)
We develop a model of ethical decisionmaking that integrates the decision-making process and the content variables considered by individuals facing ethical dilemmas. The process described in the model is drawn from Janis and Mann’s [1977, DecisionMaking: A Psychological Analysis of Conflict Choice and Commitment (The Free Press, New York)] work describing the decision process in an environment of conflict, choice and commitment. The model is enhanced by the inclusion of content variables (...) derived from the ethics literature. The resulting integrated model aids in understanding the complexity of the decision process used by individuals facing ethical dilemmas and suggests variable interactions that could be field-tested. A better understanding of the process will help managers develop policies that enhance the likelihood of ethical behavior in their organizations. (shrink)
This exploratory study of ethical decisionmaking by individuals in organizations found moral intensity, as defined by Jones (1991), to significantly influence ethical decisionmaking intentions of managers. Moral intensity explained 37% and 53% of the variance in ethical decisionmaking in two decision-making scenarios. In part, the results of this research support our theoretical understanding of ethical/unethical decision-making and serve as a foundation for future research.
Marketing researchers have proposed various conceptual models of ethical decision-making to better clarify the steps in the decision-making process. However, lacking in the literature is comprehensive empirical validation of these models. This manuscript examines the ethical decision-making model proposed by␣Ferrell et al. [1989, Journal of Macromarketing 56(Fall), 55–64] in the context of a real-world marketing situation. This model is a comprehensive synthesis of previously developed models in the literature. The events surrounding the withdrawal from (...) the market of the pain reliever Vioxx, manufactured by Merck & Co., are detailed. The analysis provides insights into the decision-making process faced by Merck executives and sheds light onto the real-world applicability of the conceptual model. Furthermore, this study demonstrates how potential modifications to existing models can be developed by their examination in the context of real world events. It is hoped that this analysis, along with future examinations, aids marketing researchers in developing a better understanding of the ethical decision-making process in a business context. (shrink)
How do business leaders make ethical decisions? Given the significant and wide-spread impact of business people’s decisions on multiple constituents (e.g., customers, employees, shareholders, competitors, and suppliers), how they make decisions matters. Unethical decisions harm the decision makers themselves as well as others, whereas ethical decisions have the opposite effect. Based on data from a study on strategic decisionmaking by 16 effective chief executive officers (and three not-so-effective ones as contrast), I propose a model for ethical (...)decisionmaking in business in which reasoning (conscious processing) and intuition (subconscious processing) interact through forming, recalling, and applying moral principles necessary for long-term success in business. Following the CEOs in the study, I employ a relatively new theory, rational egoism, as the substantive content of the model and argue it to be consistent with the requirements of long-term business success. Besides explaining the processes of forming and applying principles (integration by essentials and spiraling), I briefly describe rational egoism and illustrate the model with a contemporary moral dilemma of downsizing. I conclude with implications for further research and ethical decisionmaking in business. (shrink)
Moral dissensus is a distinct feature of our time. This is not only true of our post-modern culture in general, but also of business culture specifically. In this paper I start by explaining how modernist rationality has produced moral dissensus without offering any hope of bringing an end to it in the foreseeable future. Opting for a form of post-modernist rationality as the only viable way of dealing with moral dissensus, I then make an analysis of a number of ways (...) proposed by both specialists in the field of business ethics, as well as philosophers to deal with moral decision-making in this situation of moral dissensus. The conclusion reached is that none of these attempts succeeds in coming to terms with moral dissensus. I then formulate an alternative approach to moral decision-making which I call: Rational interaction for moral sensitivity. After explaining this approach, I defend it against some of the most obvious objections that might be raised against it in a business environment. When you''re talking birth control, what blocks it and freezes it out is that it''s not a matter of more or fewer babies being argued. That''s just on the surface. What''s underneath is a conflict of faith, of faith in empirical social planning versus faith in the authority of God as revealed by the teachings of the Catholic Church. You can prove the practicality of planned parenthood till you get tired of listening to yourself and it''s going to get nowhere because your antagonist isn''t buying the assumption that anything socially practical is good per se. Goodness for him has other sources which he values as much as or more than social practicality. (Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.). (shrink)
Over the past two decades there has been a great deal of research conducted into the question of gender differences in ethical decisionmaking in organisations. Much of this has been based on questionnaire surveys, typically asking respondents (often students, sometimes professionals) to judge the moral acceptability of actions as described in short cases or vignettes. Overall the results seem inconclusive, although what differences have been noted tend to show women as 'more ethical' than men. The authors of (...) this paper believe that attention should be paid to the insight, from Carol Gilligan and others, that women are more inclined than men to subscribe to an 'ethic of care', and that once this perspective is adopted a pattern is discernible. In a critical examination of previous research we pay particular attention to the detailed content of cases used in surveys, and the statistical analysis of findings. We advocate greater reflection on the results of quantitative surveys and sensitivity to different possible interpretations of findings. This we do with our own exploratory study, conducted with UK undergraduate students of accounting, the findings from which seem to support the original hypothesis that where a 'care' orientation is invited, women do indeed react differently to business ethics issues than do men. (shrink)
Recent allegations of unethical decision-making by leaders in prominent business organizations have jeopardized the world’s confidence in American business. The purpose of this research was to develop a measure of managerial moral judgment that can be used in future research and managerial assessment. The measure was patterned after the Defining Issues Test, a widely used general measure of moral judgment. With content validity as the goal, we aimed to sample the domain of managerial ethical situations by establishing links (...) to dimensions of managerial performance, as well as to the types of organizational justice issues managers encounter. Proposed scenarios were evaluated for realism by ethics officers and human resource managers. Results indicated that the new measure is reliable and correlates with a number of relevant variables in the hypothesized manner, demonstrating evidence of construct validity. Implications for future research and for human resources management are discussed. (shrink)
This study uses judgment and decision-making (JDM) perspective with the help of framing and schema literature from cognitive psychology to evaluate how managers behave when problems with unethical overtones are presented to them in a managerial frame rather than an ethical frame. In the proposed managerial model, moral judgment of the situation is one of the inputs to managerial judgment, among several other inputs regarding costs and benefits of various alternatives. Managerial judgment results in managerial intent leading to (...) managerial action. The model and the effects of taking an ethics course on ethical and managerial judgment and managerial intent were then indirectly tested in this study, wherein subjects judged the ethical wrongness, managerial badness, and the managerial intent regarding decisions made in a case. Forty-nine MBA students analyzed a case involving budget-based bonuses and production, in which the ethical issue evolved over three stages. It appears from the Path-analysis results that managerial judgment mediated between moral judgment and the judgment of managerial intent as suggested by the proposed model, and that taking an ethics course directly affected managerial judgment but did not affect the moral judgment. Additionally, in the first stage of decision-making (early stage of a developing “ethical slippery slope”), moral judgment did not significantly influence managerial judgment. However, students with ethics course still were more inclined to judge the decision as managerially bad as compared to others, indicating that they were more aware or sensitive to the moral issues involved. (shrink)
This study explores the impact of both individual ethics (IE) and organizational ethics (OE) on ethical intention (EI). Ethical intention, or the individual’s intention to engage in ethical behavior, is useful as a dependent variable because it relates to behavior which can be an expression of values, but also is influenced by organizational and societal variables. The focus is on EI in international business decision-making, since the international context provides great latitude in making ethical decisions. Results demonstrate (...) that both IE and OE influence EI. Ethical congruence is also discussed as a positive influence. Younger managers are more influenced by OE than older managers. The findings call for creating governance mechanisms to enhance ethical congruence, thereby increasing the likelihood of managers making ethical choices in organizational decision-making. (shrink)
This paper argues that liberal tenats that justify intervention to promote the welfare of an incompetent do not suffice as a basis for analyzing parent-child relationships, and that this inadequacy is the basis for many of the problems that arise when thinking about the state's role in resolving family conflicts, particularly when monitoring parental discretion in medical decision-making on behalf of a child. The state may be limited by the best interest criterion when dealing with children, but parents (...) are not. The state's relation with the child is formal while the parental relation is intimate, having its own goals and purposes. While the liberal canons insist on the incompetent one's best interest, parents are permitted to compromise the child's interests for ends related to these familial goals and purposes. Parents decisions should be supervened, in general, only if it can be shown that no responsible mode of thinking warrants such treatment of a child. Keywords: proxy medical consent, children's rights, state's protection of children, parental authority and the state's intervention, paternalism, liberalism, parental values CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Advances in psychopharmacology raise the prospects of enhancing neurocognitive functions of humans by improving attention, memory, or mood. While general ethical reflections on psychopharmacological enhancement have been increasingly published in the last years, ethical criteria characterizing physicians’ role in neurocognitive enhancement and guiding their decision-making still remain highly unclear. Here it will be argued that also in the medical domain the use of cognition-enhancing drugs is not intrinsically unethical and that, in fact, physicians should assume an important role (...) in gating their usage. For finding normative orientation, concepts of disease, normality or medicine will not be helpful since—due to their cryptonormative nature—they rather hamper than allow targeted discussion and decision-making. As an alternative, the common and widely accepted bioethical criteria of beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy and distributive justice allow a clinically applicable, highly differentiated context- and case-sensitive approach. By embedding decision-making in a participative physician–patient relationship extrinsic objections against neurocognitive enhancement (e.g. invalid perceptions about efficacy, benefit or risk; questionable voluntariness; restrained decision-making capacity) can be curtailed. (shrink)
This article is an attempt at a systematic account of decisionmaking under greater uncertainty than what traditional, mathematically oriented decision theory can cope with. Four components of great uncertainty are distinguished: (1) the identity of the options is not well determined (uncertainty of demarcation) ; (2) the consequences of at least some option are unknown (uncertainty of consequences); (3) it is not clear whether information obtained from others, such as experts, can be relied on (uncertainty of (...) reliance); and (4) the values relevant for the decision are not determined with sufficient precision (uncertainty of values). Some possible strategy types are proposed for each of these components. Decisions related to environmental issues are used to illustrate the proposals. (shrink)
A study of nurses and nursing students was conducted to determine the various philosophical positions they hold with respect to ethical decision-making in nursing and their relationship to the subjective-objective controversy in value theory. The study revealed that most nurses and nursing students tend to be subjectivists in value theory, i.e., believe that value judgments are purely personal, private expressions of one's own opinion or inner-feelings and not believe that value judgments are knowledge claims capable of being true (...) or false and therefore not expressions of moral requirements and normative imperatives emanating from an external value structure or moral order in the world. In addition, the study revealed that most nurses and nursing students are inconsistent in the philosophical foundations of their ethical decision-making, i.e., in decision-making regarding values they tend to hold beliefs which are incompatible with other beliefs they hold about values. (shrink)
Abstract It is shown that J. M. Keynes was the originator of what is called a weighted monetary value (WMV) approach to decisionmaking under uncertainty and risk as opposed to either the expected monetary value (EMV) or subjective expected utility (SEU) approaches.
Our research’s aim is to assess the effect of cultural factors on business ethical decision-making process in a Western cultural context and in a non-Western cultural context. Specifically, this study investigates ethical perceptions, religiosity, personal moral philosophies, corporate ethical values, gender, and ethical intentions of U.S. and Moroccan business managers. The findings demonstrate that significant differences do exist between the two countries in idealism and relativism. Moroccan managers tend to be more idealistic than the U.S. managers. There is (...) a strong positive relationship between religiosity and idealism. There were mixed findings in examining the correlates of religiosity and various components of ethical intentions. Moroccan managers were more homogenous in their corporate ethical values than were the U.S. managers. The results demonstrate that (in general) idealism is a good predictor of ethical intentions and behaviors. Additionally, managers from the two countries differed in the degree of relationship between perceptions and intentions in three of the four scenarios. This study’s results confirm other research findings that, in general, female business managers have higher ethical sensitivity in terms of their ethical judgment than their male counterparts. Managerial implications are also discussed. (shrink)
This paper discusses the philosophical argument and the application of the Triple Font Theory (TFT) for moral evaluation of human acts and attempts to integrate the conceptual components of major moral theories into a systematic internally consistent decision-making model that is theoretically driven. The paper incorporates concepts such as formal and material cooperation and the Principle of Double Effect (PDE) into the theoretical framework. It also advances the thesis that virtue theory ought to be included in any adequate (...) justification of morality and the need to integrate or coordinate notions of virtue into various act-oriented or principles-based ethics. The TFT offers a comprehensive and practical approach to ethical decision-making and is a useful alternative embedded in traditional wisdom. This paper provides a more general framework of the TFT than traditionally presented. Practical judgment is shown to play a constitute role in providing a guide for right action and is the “glue” that integrates the various components of the TFT. (shrink)
Incompetent patients need to have someone else make decisions on their behalf. According to the Substituted Judgment Standard the surrogate decision maker ought to make the decision that the patient would have made, had he or she been competent. Objections have been raised against this traditional construal of the standard on the grounds that it involves flawed counterfactual reasoning, and amendments have been suggested within the framework of possible worlds semantics. The paper shows that while this approach may (...) circumvent the alleged problem, the way it has so far been elaborated reflects insufficient understanding of the moral underpinnings of the idea of substituted judgment. Proper recognition of these moral underpinnings has potentially far-reaching implications for our normative assumptions about accuracy and objectivity in surrogate decisionmaking. (shrink)
In his Populist Democracy: A Defence (1993), Torbjörn Tännsjö suggests, roughly, the following necessary and sufficient conditions for a democratic collective choice: If the majority of a given group of voters prefer A to B, then the collective choice is A rather than B; and if the majority of voters had preferred B to A, then the collective choice would have been B rather than A. Moreover, the preference of a voter is equated with the one she is showing by (...) the act of voting (e.g., by putting a ballot in a box). Tännsjö’s definition has the advantage of being simple, naturalistic, and, to the best of my knowledge, more exact that most other definitions proposed in the literature. As such, I think it is a useful starting point for a discussion of how to define democratic decisionmaking. As we will see below, such a discussion can be quite illuminating and generate interesting and fruitful questions regarding how to understand democracy. Tännsjö claims that his definition is in line with common language use, i.e., that it is a lexical definition. Pace Tännsjö, I shall show that it departs from common language use since it has a number of counterintuitive implications in regards to which decisions and methods that are classified as democratic or undemocratic. I shall suggest a number of amendments to avoid these drawbacks and incorporate these amendments in a definition of a democratic collective choice. The result is a definition of a democratic decision that is superior to Tännsjö’s, or so we will argue. It will be acknowledged, however, that it still has some shortcomings that future efforts need to rectify, or that it might not be possible to give a 1 simple and naturalistic definition of democracy that is sufficiently in line with common language use. To avoid a possible misunderstanding, let me add that I don’t think there is necessarily one correct way of defining a democratic decision (although there might be a common kernel) and I certainly don’t suggest that the definition proposed here is the only way of explicating the ordinary language use of the term “democracy”.. (shrink)
There is an important gap in philosophical, clinical and bioethical conceptions of decision-making capacity. These fields recognize that when traumatic life circumstances occur, people not only feel afraid and demoralized, but may develop catastrophic thinking and other beliefs that can lead to poor judgment. Yet there has been no articulation of the ways in which such beliefs may actually derail decision-making capacity. In particular, certain emotionally grounded beliefs are systematically unresponsive to evidence, and this can block (...) the ability to deliberate about alternatives. People who meet medico-legal criteria for decision-making capacity can react to health and personal crises with such capacity-derailing reactions. One aspect of this is that a person who is otherwise cognitively intact may be unable to appreciate her own future quality of life while in this complex state of mind. This raises troubling ethical challenges. We cannot rely on the current standard assessment of cognition to determine decisional rights in medical and other settings. We need to understand better how emotionally grounded beliefs interfere with decision-making capacity, in order to identify when caregivers have an obligation to intervene. (shrink)
This article introduces and discusses from a philosophical point of view the nascent field of neuroeconomics, which is the study of neural mechanisms involved in decision-making and their economic significance. Following a survey of the ways in which decision-making is usually construed in philosophy, economics and psychology, I review many important findings in neuroeconomics to show that they suggest a revised picture of decision-making and ourselves as choosing agents. Finally, I outline a neuroeconomic account (...) of irrationality. (shrink)
Simona Giordano (2010) claims that whether or not anorexics should be allowed to die should not primarily depend on their competence, but on the extent of whether the condition can be alleviated. This implies two outcomes. First, that if an anorexic has a reasonable chance of recovery, competent refusal of treatment can be overridden. Second, that if an anorexic has no realistic chance of recovery, patient refusal needs to be upheld—not, exclusively, on the basis of patient’s decision-making competence, (...) but on the basis of their prolonged and unnecessary suffering. Giordano is right, in my view, to suggest that there are good moral grounds to uphold patient wishes to refuse life-saving treatment, when .. (shrink)
Public relations practitioners are uniquely positioned to promote ethical communication and practice. As Kruckeberg (2000) explained, “public relations practitioners-if they prove worthy of the task—will be called upon to be corporate—that is organizational—interpreters and ethicists and social policy-makers, charged with guiding organizational behavior as well as influencing and reconciling public perceptions within a global context (p. 37).” Public relations practitioners, however, may never take an ethics course as a student, receive on-the-job ethical training, or use the many professional codes of (...) ethics available to them. This lack begs the question: How are they tackling the various ethical decisions they face? This study examines how public relations professionals engage in ethical decisionmaking and make meaning of deontological ethical models. Such inquiry regarding ethical decisionmaking may assist public relations practitioners and scholars to better understand themselves, serve society, and advance the communication profession. (shrink)
In this paper, I offer a view beyond that which would narrowly reduce the role of parents in medical decisionmaking to acting as custodians of the best interests of children and toward an account of family authority and family autonomy. As a fundamental social unit, the good of the family is usually appreciated, at least in part, in terms of its ability successfully to instantiate its core moral and cultural understandings as well as to pass on such (...) commitments to future generations. The putative rights of children to expression, information, freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and to freedom of association with others are, in this essay, assessed from the perspective of those conditions necessary for the family to function as a moral community. In so doing, I respond to the move to liberate children from parental authority and to effect the transformation of the family as implied by the United Nations’ "Convention on the Rights of the Child" and the pediatric bioethics it supports. (shrink)
Objectives: The objectives of the study were (1) to assess similarities and differences between breast cancer patients and their husbands in terms of doctor-patient/spouse relationships and shared decisionmaking; and (2) to investigate the association between breast cancer patients and husbands in terms of preference of type of doctor, doctor-patient relationship, and shared decisionmaking regarding medical treatment. Method: Fifty-seven women with breast cancer, and their husbands, completed questionnaires measuring doctor-patient/spouse relationships (paternalism, autonomy), and decision (...)making regarding medical treatment. Results: Patients believe they have a key role in the medical decision-making process (93%) and that the participation of their husbands, and their agreement with the decision, is important (84% and 89%, respectively). Both breast cancer patients and their husbands prefer a shared decision-making process to paternalistic or autonomy-based approaches. Conclusion: In contrast to legal and bioethical approaches, which focus on the patient as the primary decision maker, this study reflects a practical recognition of the role of the breast cancer patient's husband in the decision-making process. It also reflects a relational rather than an individualistic perception of patient autonomy. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to propose a model of clinical-ethical decisionmaking which will assist the health care professional to arrive at an ethically defensible judgment. The model highlights the integration between ethics and decisionmaking, whereby ethics as a systematic analytic tool bring to bear the positive aspects of the decisionmaking process. The model is composed of three major elements. The ethical component, the decisionmaking component and the (...) contextual component. The latter incorporates the relational aspects between the provider and the patient and the organizational structure. The model suggests that in order to arrive at an ethically, justifiable sound decision one make reference to those three elements. (shrink)
In this paper, we explore the impact of individualism and collectivism on three basic aspects of ethical decisionmaking - the perception of moral problems, moral reasoning, and behavior. We argue that the inclusion of business practices within the moral domain by the individual depends partly upon individualism and collectivism. We also propose a pluralistic approach to post-conventional moral judgment that includes developmental paths appropriate for individualist and collectivist cultures. Finally, we argue that the link between moral judgment (...) and behavior is related to individualism and collectivism. (shrink)
This article examines selected behavioral aspects of ethical decisionmaking within a business context. Three categories of antecedents to ethical decision behaviors (individual differences, interpersonal variables, and organizational variables) are examined and propositions are offered. Moral development theory and expectancy theory are then explored as possible bases for a theory of ethical decisionmaking. Finally, means of improving ethical decisionmaking in firms are explored.
This paper focuses on the question of how to resolve disagreement and uses the Lehrer-Wagner model as a formal tool for investigating consensual decision-making. The main result consists in a general definition of when agents treat each other as epistemic peers (Kelly 2005; Elga 2007), and a theorem vindicating the “equal weight view” to resolve disagreement among epistemic peers. We apply our findings to an analysis of the impact of social network structures on group deliberation processes, and we (...) demonstrate their stability with the help of numerical simulations. (shrink)
Despite the recent emergence of many new ethical decisionmaking models, there has been minimal emphasis placed on the impact of escalating commitment on the ethical decisionmaking process. In this paper a new variable is introduced into the ethical decisionmaking literature. This variable, exposure to escalation situations, is posited to increase the likelihood that individuals will choose unethical decision alternatives. Further, it is proposed that escalation situations should be included as a (...) variable in Jones's (1991) comprehensive model of ethical decisionmaking. Finally, research propositions are provided based on the relationship between escalating commitment and the ethical decisionmaking process. (shrink)
: Decisions about funding health services are crucial to controlling costs in health care insurance plans, yet they encounter serious challenges from intellectual property protection—e.g., patents—of health care services. Using Myriad Genetics' commercial genetic susceptibility test for hereditary breast cancer (BRCA testing) in the context of the Canadian health insurance system as a case study, this paper applies concepts from social contract theory to help develop more just and rational approaches to health care decisionmaking. Specifically, Daniels's and (...) Sabin's "accountability for reasonableness" is compared to broader notions of public consultation, demonstrating that expert assessments in specific decisions must be transparent and accountable and supplemented by public consultation. (shrink)
As more and more firms operate globally, an understanding of the effects of cultural differences on ethical decisionmaking becomes increasingly important for avoiding potential business pitfalls and for designing effective international marketing management programs. Although several articles have addressed this area in general, differences along specific, cultural dimensions have not been directly examined. Hence, the purpose of this study was to examine differences in ethical decisionmaking within Hofstede's cultural framework. The results confirm the utility (...) of Hofstede's cultural dimensions and place ethical decisionmaking within an overall theoretical framework. Sales agents from a high power distance, uncertainty avoidant, Confucian, collectivist culture (i.e., Taiwan) placed more value on company and fellow employee interests (vis-à-vis self interests) than did managers from a masculine, individualistic culture (i.e., the United States). American and Taiwanese managers did not differ in their deontological norms or on the importance that they placed on customer interests. The theoretical and managerial importance of these findings are also discussed. (shrink)
The objective of this paper is to construct an implementable theory of rational decision-making for cognitive agents subject to realistic resource constraints. It is argued that decision-making should select actions indirectly by selecting plans that prescribe them. It is also argued that although expected values provide the tool for evaluating plans, plans cannot be compared straightforwardly in terms of their expected values, and the objective of a realistic agent cannot be to find optimal plans. The theory (...) of Locally Global planning is proposed as a realistic alternative to standard "maximizing" theories of rational decision-making. (shrink)
Clinical Ethics and the Dynamics of Group Decision-Making: Applying the Psychological Data to Decisions Made by Ethics Committees Content Type Journal Article Pages 207-228 DOI 10.1007/s10730-009-9096-7 Authors Erica K. Rangel, Saint Louis University Department of Health Care Ethics 6333 North Rosebury Ave #3W St. Louis MO 63105 USA Journal HEC Forum Online ISSN 1572-8498 Print ISSN 0956-2737 Journal Volume Volume 21 Journal Issue Volume 21, Number 2.