Kupperman, Joel J., Theories of Human Nature Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-5 DOI 10.1007/s11712-012-9264-3 Authors Matthew D. Walker, Philosophy Department, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA Journal Dao Online ISSN 1569-7274 Print ISSN 1540-3009.
People often have a strong intuitive sense that we ought to rescue those in serious need, even in cases where we could produce better outcomes by acting in other ways. It has become common in such cases to refer to this as the Rule of Rescue. Within the medical field this rule has predominantly been discussed in relation to decisions about whether to fund particular treatments. Whilst in this setting the arguments in favour of the Rule of Rescue have generally (...) been found to be unconvincing, there are some reasons for thinking that it may have more of a role to play at the clinical level. In this article we examine three lines that such reasoning might take. In each case we argue that the reasons given do not support the adoption of a Rule of Rescue in clinical practice. (shrink)
Studies have shown that as MRI T2 relaxation time lengthens there is a shift toward more unbound or “free-water” and less partitioning of the protein/lipid molecules per unit volume. A shift toward less water partitioning or lengthened MRI T2 relaxation time is linearly related to reduced high frequency EEG amplitude, reduced short distance EEG coherence, increased long distance EEG coherence, and reduced cognitive functioning (Thatcher et al. 1998a; 1998b).
This paper addresses the polarisation among theoretical perspectives in moral psychology regarding the relative significance of parents and peers in children's moral development and, in particular, the short shrift given the family context by cognitive-developmental theory. We contend that parents do play a significant role in this area of their children's development. Research findings from two studies are presented which indicate that parents' interaction styles, ego functioning and level of moral reasoning used in discussion are predictive of children's subsequent moral (...) reasoning development. The findings also illustrate the role of affective factors, in contrast to the contemporary emphasis on moral rationality, and the relevance of real-life dilemmas, in contrast to the paradigmatic reliance on hypothetical dilemmas. Implications of these findings for our understanding of the role of parenting style in children's moral development and for further research are discussed. (shrink)
Throughout the last generation of moral development theory and research, the family has not received adequate conceptual or empirical attention as a significant context for children's moral development. This editorial discusses some of the possible reasons for this neglect which is indicative of some of the biases that pervade the field. Several issues concerning the role of parents and the family are identified, and an overview of the various contributions to this special issue is provided.
Contemporary moral psychology and education overemphasise rationality and neglect moral virtues and personality that must be part of a comprehensive understanding of moral functioning. The purpose of this study was to delineate the perceived personality characteristics of moral exemplars using the template of the Five-Factor Model which represents the fundamental dimensions of personality, and to compare that trait description with those for related types of exemplars. Participants were 120 adults from across the lifespan (17-91 years) who provided free-listing descriptions of (...) moral, religious and spiritual exemplars, which were then analysed in terms of the five personality factors. Results revealed meaningful differences in personality attributions across types of exemplars, and indicated that traits reflecting the Conscientiousness and Agreeableness factors were particularly salient for the moral exemplar. Discussion focuses on the value of a re-examination of moral character and virtue, and the need to integrate moral cognition and personality within a realistic model of moral functioning and education. (shrink)
This review provides a critical appraisal of two of the more significant contributions of the Minnesota approach to moral development. One contribution is the componential model which describes the four psychological components underlying moral behaviour. Evaluation of this model focuses on the adequacy of its synthesis of disparate processes in moral functioning, its instruments for assessing the four components, and its framework for moral education. A second contribution entails the conceptual and methodological reformulations known as the neo-Kohlbergian approach. Evaluation of (...) this approach focuses on its emphasis on macro-morality, redefinition of post-conventional morality, proposal of three moral schemas and six moral types and assessment of moral judgement with the Defining Issues Test. This review identifies the most valuable contributions of the Minnesota approach, as well as its most telling limitations. (shrink)
Abstract This study examined the cross?cultural universality of Kohlberg's theory of moral reasoning development in the People's Republic of China??a culture quite different from the one out of which the theory arose. In particular, the applicability of the theory was evaluated in terms of its comprehensiveness and the validity of the moral stage model. Participants were 52 adolescents and adults, drawn from five groups: moral leaders, intellectuals, workers, college and junior high school students. In individual interviews they responded to hypothetical (...) moral dilemmas and discussed a real?life dilemma from their own experience. These interviews were scored for both moral stage and moral orientation. The findings indicated a high level of intra?individual consistency in level of moral reasoning. A wide range of moral stages was evidenced and predictable group differences in moral development were found. An analysis of moral orientations provided an additional perspective on individuals? moral reasoning, in particular, in revealing group differences. Although, in general, the universal applicability of Kohlberg's approach was supported by these data, a subjective analysis of responses revealed some indigenous concepts, fundamental to Communist Chinese morality, that are not well tapped by the approach. (shrink)
This article discusses William James's notion, propounded in his Varieties of Religious Experience (1902), that authentic religious experience should be evidenced in mature moral functioning??the value of saintliness?. Support for this and his other ideas relevant to the intersection of morality and religion was adduced from a review of current research, which examined the following topics: the faith commitments of actual moral exemplars; the religious reasoning of people in handling moral problems; the personality profiles ascribed to moral, religious and spiritual (...) exemplars; the asymmetrical relationships evidenced across the moral, religious and spiritual domains; and the different dimensions evident in people's typologies of these domains. This analysis led to the conclusion that James has made a significant contribution to the psychology of moral development by arguing for the importance of religious experience in moral functioning. (shrink)
Aims and background: Little is known about how participants perceive prevention trials, particularly trials designed to prevent mental illness. This study examined participants’ motives for participating in a trial and their views of randomisation and the ability to withdraw from a randomised controlled trial (RCT) for prevention of depression. Methods: Participants were older adults reporting elevated depression symptoms (N = 900) living in urban and regional locations in Australia who had consented to participate in an RCT of interventions to prevent (...) depression. Participants rated their agreement with various statements describing motivations for enrolment in the trial and opinions regarding randomisation and withdrawal. Results: The majority of participants expressed a triad of altruistic motivation for participation, relative lack of concern about randomisation and commitment to the trial. Certain subgroups of participants, such as women and those with higher depression scores, reported higher levels of concern about specific issues. Conclusions: The findings suggest that participants enrolled in prevention trials for mental illness are likely to hold positive attitudes (eg, high commitment, low expectation of personal gain) towards research trials. The identification of relationships between key person factors and trial-related attitudes enabled profiling of participant groups, which can inform recruitment strategies and interactions of participants and research projects in future prevention trials. (shrink)
James Bohman’s account of what might be involved in thinking about ‘democracy across borders,’ and specifically of what might be involved in thinking about a potential shift from dêmos to dêmoi, compels both affirmation and resistance. His account is both elegant and sharply focussed: positive attributes that nevertheless affirm a very particular understanding of elegance, and a precise focus that manages to evade many considerations that might be considered important by people seeking to think about democracies and their futures in (...) many different situations. (Published: 5 February 2010) Citation: Ethics & Global Politics, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2010, pp. 21-36. DOI: 10.3402/egp.v3i1.4851. (shrink)