A review of research addressing correlates of attitudes toward social responsibility of business leads to the conclusion that little can currently be confidently stated concerning such correlates and that progress toward the understanding of relevant linkages is largely dependent on the development of psychometrically adequate indices of social attitudes. Using a sample of high level executives from a large number of industries, this paper examines various psychometric properties of an index of social attitudes, the Social Attitudes Questionnaire (SAQ) (Aldag and (...)Jackson, 1977) and considers relationships of SAQ subscale scores to multiple measures of firm size and economic performance and to managerial demographic and social psychological characteristics. Results of this study reflect favorably on psychometric integrity of the SAQ and reveal a complex set of correlates of its subscales. (shrink)
This short comment on the Court of Protection decision in W v M draws attention to the primacy the judge gave to the preservation of life and discusses the relative lack of weight accorded to M's previously expressed views.
Objective: To determine the views of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and professionals in relation to confidentiality, consent and access to data within a proposed MS register in the UK. Design: Qualitative study using focus groups (10) and interviews (13). Setting: England and Northern Ireland. Participants: 68 people with MS, neurologists, MS nurses, health services management professionals, researchers, representatives from pharmaceutical companies and social care professionals. Results: People with MS expressed open and altruistic views towards the use of their personal (...) information to facilitate service provision and research, placing trust in responsible guardianship and legitimate use of their information. Participant’s proposed that people with MS should be able to select their individual level of involvement in a register using levels of consent. It was agreed that access to the register should be governed by a guardianship committee composed of a range of stakeholders. People with MS did not wish their details to be used by marketing agencies and did not consider this a legitimate use of their data. Whilst participants were positive of the role a register could play in promoting research, participants felt that access to data by pharmaceutical industries should be administered by the guardianship committee. People with MS are concerned should their employers be able to access their personal information. Professionals were more cautious than people with MS in their approach to the use of patient personal data within a register. Conclusions: Whilst all stakeholders were positive of the benefits of an MS register, development of such a resource must incorporate robust data security and guardianship measures in order to ensure that, whilst opportunities are maximised, risks to the privacy of individuals and legal challenges to professionals are avoided. (shrink)
Is the 20th Century as obviously preferable to all other times as Rawls would have us assume? Is 20th Century Stockholm preferable to 12th Century Florence in each and every way? In 12th Century Florence men lived without liberty or equality. Yet Florentines were reasonably happy, accepted their place in life, and communicated directly with others. R. Dworkin, ‘The Social Contract’, The Sunday Times, 9 July 1972, p. 31. It was a society with sharply marked class distinctions. In such a (...) society the lowly can gain more self-respect through identity, excellence, and capacity within their station than in an egalitarian society. The lowly can perceive the importance of their labour, be secure that their place is assured by powerful protectors, see models of virtue to admire, and derive a sense of contributing to a meangingful social drama. They may also learn something of the difference between the noble and the ignoble. Are these not qualities Aristotle would appreciate? Medieval man was certainly not free but 'sneither was he alone and isolated ... Man was rooted in a structuralized whole, and thus life had a meaning which left no place, and no need, for doubt.Eric Fromm, Escape From Freedom (New York: Rinehart, 1941), p. 41. In a brief reference to feudalism Rawls himself seems to realise this state of affairs (74). In contrast, Stockholm is a competitive society where loneliness, anxiety, and identity crises have been endlessly documented by social scientists, all occurring despite the high material standard of living. Yet Stockholm would seem to be the model for Rawls and obviously not Florence. One wonders if this social scientific knowledge of Stockholm will be part of the knowledge available to persons in the original position.One critic lauds Rawls's grasp of the social sciences, but perhaps he is not serious, see Hugo Bedau, ‘Rawls’, Nation, 11 September 1972.Justice is not quantitative but qualitative, so Aristotle might say in a brief discussion. In a just society a person's possessions and consumptions are not on the minds of the other people with whom they meet and treat. When Odysseus came home he was delighted to climb into a peasant's cart to ride the last mile home. Contrast this king with King Arthur riding with another peasant on another road, choking with the anxiety that he may not be acting kingly by being in the cart. In Ithaca both king and commoner were sure of each other and, more importantly of themselves. (shrink)
The concept of supererogation is an act that it is right to do but not wrong not to do. The moral trinity of the deontic logic excludes such acts from moral theory. A moral theory that is based on duty or obligation unqualified seems inevitably to make all good acts obligations, whether construed from a teleological or deontological point of view. If supererogation is a moral fact, no moral theory can survive without acknowledging it. One way to distinguish supererogation from (...) obligation that is not arbitrary is to draw the line of obligation at death and dismemberment. Such a limit to obligation is often implicit in moral theory. Inclusive obligation requires us all to be heroes all of the time. The moral limit to obligation is one of Hobbes's teachings. Though it is seldom noted in contemporary political and moral theory, it is, for example, implied in Rawls's definition of ‘supererogation.’ In this definition it is said that heroic supererogation would be a duty but for the high cost associated with it. This cost is the risk of life and limb;.it distinguishes supererogation from both benevolence and obligation.A supererogation is a good act with a high cost. The goodness of the act, however determined, must be proportionate to the cost to the agent. If life is risked, life or something deemed no less valuable must be gained. The intention to effect such important goods for others is sufficient for an act to be supererogatory even if it fails.If moral reality is inevitably vague, complex, and incomplete, then it is no surprise that moral theory is that way, too. The challenge is that moral theory be no more vague, complex, and incomplete than necessary and in ways justified by the nature of moral reality. A science, Aristotle advised, can be no more precise than its subject matter permits. (shrink)
This article discusses Goethe’s theory of color and his (at times vitriolic) diatribes against the Newtonians by situating his work within two contexts, one political and the other intellectual. The political context is Goethe’s dismay over the rise of obscurantism, typified by the Illuminati movement of the late eighteenth century, with secrecy and elitism as its hallmarks. The intellectual context is the tradition of German Idealism. He was fundamentally committed to understanding the relationship between the subject, or the investigator (...) of nature (or Naturforscher), and the object, or nature itself. How can a Naturforscher, who is a part of nature, be able to depict it objectively? (shrink)
My hope has been to persuade readers that Hobbes's mighty thought experiment of the state of nature distorts our conceptual learning because it ignores the second morality. Instead, it inflates the first morality as the whole of morality. This inflation arises from Hobbes's exclusive preoccupation with universalizable reason. As important as universal reason undeniably is, it does not encompass the whole of moral reality. To suppose that it does is to distort moral reality. Like so many Enlightenment figures, Hobbes would (...) have political theory be more like logic than life.To refer once again to the Enlightenment allows me to observe that the drive to universality through reason is a distinctive feature of European civilization. To proceed along this line might lead to the conclusion that the pursuit of the universal is a cultural artifact. It is itself culturally relative. I am in no position to argue that point here at the end of the day, but did not the universal criteria propounded by the Enlightenment prove serviceable in the justification of European imperialism? By the universal standards of the Enlightenment only Europe was civilized.Reason is often a weapon. Alasdair MacIntyre has termed the search for rationality in moral philosophy a masquerade. MacIntyre sees the quest for rationality to be a quest for authority. He cites John Maynard Keynes's observations that “in practice, victory [in moral argument] was with those who could speak with the greatest appearance of clear, undoubting conviction and could best use the accents of infallibility.” Rationality is a weapon. “In moral argument the apparent assertion of principles functions as a mask for expressions of personal preference.” Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue, 2nd ed. (London: Duckworth, 1985), pp. 9, 17, and 19. Seasoned participants in academic conferences and learned seminars realize the intensity of involvement in what Sheila Ruth has called “The Hunt.”Sheila Ruth, “Methodocracy, Misogyny, and Bad Faith,” Men's Studies Modified, Dale Spender (ed.) (Oxford: Pergamon, 1981), p. 48. The speaker is the quarry. The others, the auditors are the hunters. Some are accomplished, others are not yet blooded. They wait for the weak point. It's blood. They attack. The inexperienced hunters are enthusiastic. The seasoned hunters take their time. The quarry defends. An arbitrary time limit ends the combat, and after tea it is someone else's turn. Can anyone say that this is the best way to search out alternatives, weigh experience, assess implications, evaluate assertions? My title “The Government of Reason” is deliberately ambiguous. On the one hand it might mean governing according to the light of reason. This was, of course, the avowed aim of the Enlightenment. The conduct of political life would follow the bright line of reason. On the other hand, the title could mean governing reason, taking control of reason and using it as a weapon. Here we may be forgiven for thinking of Michel Foucault on the use of knowledge as power. The ambiguity of the title is meant to reflect the ambiguity of reality where both alternatives have occurred. Only half of the moral realm has been made the subject of political theory. (shrink)
As a die-hard supernaturalist, someone "at two with nature" (Woody Allen) who would be at one with God, the author has mixed feelings about Theodore Nunez's defense of "naturalism." Unlike neopragmatists, the author is not troubled by Nunez's general realism about value; he takes exception not to Nunez's theoretical account of truth, but to his specific axiology. He does not share Nunez's confidence that "projective nature" can provide reliable moral inspiration, suggesting instead that such inspiration can arise only from trust (...) in the holiness of God. (shrink)
The task of the historian is not one of tracing a series of links in a temporal chain; rather, it is his task to analyze a complex pattern of change into the factors which served to make it precisely what it was. The relationship which I therefore take to be fundamental to historiography is ... a relationship of part to whole, not a relationship of antecedent to consequent.Mandelbaum's historian relates the part to the whole, leaving it for the sociologist to (...) relate the antecedent to the consequence.If that is so, then Maigret is first an historian ascertaining and accumulating the subjective meanings that individuals use to produce the facticity of their own lives. And in the course of so doing he discovers the nature of the reality in which the crime occurred. Once he finds his way into the realities of the crime there is time and need for the sociological analysis of antecedent and consequent. To suggest a comparison, Maigret practices in miniature the method of Norbert Elias in that he tries to understand his subjects as they understand themselves. Maigret's is an idiographic science and not a nomethetic one. For this reason Maigret, unlike Holmes, almost never refers to previous cases in the effort to understand the matter at hand.The temptation is to conclude that Maigret is a little like Fernand Braudel in combining history and sociology by turns. But I wonder if there is not a more profound sense in which Maigret, if not all sociologists, is an historian. If we have any knowledge it is of the past, not of the present or the future. Minerva's owl does indeed take wing only at dusk, as Hegel wrote. By the time we have understood the present, it is the past.If Maigret's aim is not the unvarnished truth, that is not because of the constraints of police work but because of the constraints of the world. The irony of Maigret's ethnomethodology is this. Simenon's style is rightly celebrated for its evocation of atmosphere. The apposite analogy occasionally offered is between Simenon's spare and laconic style and Impressionist painting. Simenon does not describe people and places in the Maigret stories but suggests them with a sentence or two. The style is not realism, whatever the effect. As Rafael Koskimies has written, Simenon selects and simplifies. Impressionism is the style of painting that accepts the surface as reality. The play of light and color on the surface of objects is suggested on the surface of the canvas with the texture and color of the paint. If Simenon is an impressionist in his art, Maigret cannot be in his. He does not settle for the surface, but goes inside of it. Once there he learns all he needs to know and all that he can know. The confessions that so frequently occur in the Maigret stories do not confirm his suppositions, but release the tensions of the drama in a catharsis. Finally, if Maigret's Maigret must admit in his Memoirs that he could not in fact go into the detail of every reality personally in the manner described above, it only proves how terribly taxing the method called Verstehen is.To conclude, Maigret has a method, but it is not a recipe that others can follow step-by-step. His method is an orientation to reality and a commitment to understanding in a certain way. To call Maigret's procedure a method requires the definition of “method” to include more than cook books, however brilliant the cook books are. Maigret's method is a part of the context of discovery. Naive realists like Méchin imagine that they live only in the context of justification.Of course, no one's understanding is perfect. Maigret makes mistakes. There are times when an explanation based on behavior would be more accurate and economical. If Simenon does not dwell on Maigret's failures it is clear that Maigret uses other methods, too. The triangulation of a variety of methods is what in fact most of us practice whatever we preach. (shrink)
Though lobbying for federal money may seem like business as usual today–with billions of dollars spent annually by companies, labor unions, and other organizations in an effort to win a piece of what has become an enormous federal pie–this was not always the case in the United States. An all-but-forgotten [...].
The purpose of this research is to present the major factors that lead to ethical dissolution in an organization. Specifically, drawing from a wide spectrum of sources, this study explores the impact of organizational, individual, and contextual factors that converge to contribute to ethical dissolution. Acknowledging that ethical decisions are, in the final analysis, made by individuals, this study presents a model of ethical dissolution that gives insight into how a variety of elements coalesce to draw individuals into decisions that (...) result in the ethical undoing of an otherwise healthy organization. ENRON, TYCO and WorldCom did not happen in a vacuum. Nor can such debacles be explained as simply one or two individuals who were morally corrupt. The ethical breakdowns that occurred in these companies happened over a period of time, involved numerous individuals both inside and outside of the organization, and brought about the implosion of viable companies. Seeking to extend the work of previous researchers, this study attempts to tie together a disparate set of factors into a cohesive explanation of ethical breakdowns in organizations. (shrink)
This study seeks to examine Umberto Eco's views of the key ideas in John Dewey's Art as Experience. Eco's proferred suggestion of transactional psychology as a corrective to Dewey's views is criticized as a misreading of Dewey's position.
Recent large-scale personal data loss incidents highlighted the need for public bodies to more securely handle confidential data. We surveyed trainees from all specialties in the Welsh Deanery for their knowledge and practice. All registered trainees were invited to participate in an online anonymised survey. There were 880 completed and non-duplicated responses (52.9% response rate). Responses were analysed using Microsoft Access. Over 40% (388/880 (44.1%)) did not use formal guidelines on storage or disposal of confidential data. The majority appeared to (...) dispose of confidential paper documents securely, that is, using shredders and white shredder bags. However, there were significant numbers of unmarked responses. Clinical documents, such as theatre lists, were taken home by 281/880 (31.9%) of trainees. The majority secured their computers (569/871 (65.3%)) by either not keeping patient identifiable data on them or using encryption. However, 302/871 (34.7%) did not adequately secure their computers. The surgical and anaesthetic specialties were least aware of formal confidentiality guidelines (95/178 (53.4%)) and 52/102 (51.0%) respectively) and least secured their computers (106/178 (59.6%) and 63/102 (61.8%) respectively). Education is needed to improve knowledge and practice of confidential data handling. This may be delivered through workshops during induction programmes or as part of European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) modules. Training is especially indicated for the surgical and anaesthetic specialties. (shrink)