The purpose of this study was to empirically investigate the role of pluralistic ignorance in perceptions of unethical behavior. Buckley, Harvey, and Beu (2000) suggested that pluralistic ignorance plays a role such that individuals mistakenly believe that others are more unethical than they actually are. In two studies, we confirmed that pluralistic ignorance influences perceptions of ethics in a manner consistent with what Buckley et al. suggested. The implications of pluralistic ignorance in perceptions of ethics are discussed with (...) suggestions for how pluralistic ignorance might be reduced and how research in this area may be extended. (shrink)
Fair Governance: The Enforcement of Morals is a study of legal interference with individual preferences and will canvass the interdisciplinary literature in economics, psychology, philosophy, and law. It discusses the particular conditions necessary for the state to legally interfere with our freedom of choice, whether it be to either satisfy our individual pursuit of happiness (perfectionism) or to prevent us from making immoral choices (paternalism). Relatively few philosophers know much of the parallel literature on this central problem of ethics; while (...) many legal scholars are acquainted with the psychological literature on judgment biases, they are frequently unfamiliar with the philosophical literature on perfectionism. Francis H. Buckley carefully links these two notions of state power with recent empirical literature on judgment biases and happiness studies and surveys the literature, arguing for a nuanced form of social perfectionism, one which seeks to promote the kind of liberal nationalism found in the United States. (shrink)
Technological advances in media communications have raised questions about the appropriateness of media ownership rules for traditional TV and radio broadcast. This article contributes to this debate by defending a set of principles that ought to govern the distribution of broadcast spectrum. In particular, it defends principles reflecting the ‹public interest’ constraint currently informing broadcast media ownership rules, and argues against a free-market procedure for distributing spectrum use. The argument relies upon the application of a political constructivist approach typical to (...) many political theories. In applying this approach, the author illustrates the strengths and weakness of constructivism and in the process provide an example for how constructivism can be applied to other subjects. As a result, the article has two aims. First, it defends a set of broadcast ownership principles. Second, it provides a model for how philosophers might apply constructivism to other subjects. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that the problem of mental causation can be solved by distinguishing between classificatory mental properties, like being a pain, and instances of those properties.Antireductive physicalism allows only that the former be irreducibly mental. Consequently, properties like being a pain cannot have causal commerce with the physical without violating causal closure. But instances of painfulness, according to the token identity thesis, are identical with various physical tokens and can therefore have causal efficacy in the physical world. (...) Since we expect particular mental phenomena, not types or classes of mental phenomena to be involved in causal interactions, it is argued that antireductive physicalism can explain satisfactorily mental causation, despite the protests of Kim, Sosa, Honderich, and others. Being a mental state of a certain sort may have no causal efficacy, but the intentional and phenomenal properties of such states should, if my argument is correct. (shrink)
Unethical behavior is important to study because it may have an adverse influence on organizational performance. This paper is an attempt to better understand why individuals behave as they do when faced with ethical dilemmas. We first explore the definition, theories and models of ethical behaviors and accountability. This discussion of societal ethics and accountability as forms of social control segues into a discussion of how accountability may influence ethical behaviors. Based on the business ethics and accountability literatures, we suggest (...) a number of research questions and hypotheses that need to be tested, as well as an appropriate research strategy. (shrink)
In light of the myriad accounting and corporate ethics scandals of the early 21st century, many corporate leaders and management scholars believe that ethics education is an essential component in business school education. Despite a voluminous body of ethics education literature, few studies have found support for the effectiveness of changing an individuals ethical standards through programmatic ethics training. To address this gap in the ethics education literature the present study examines the influence of an underlying social cognitive error, called (...) pluralistic ignorance. We believe that if pluralistic ignorance is reduced, the result will be more effective business ethics education programs. Eighty undergraduate management students participated in this longitudinal study, and a mixed-model ANOVA revealed that the reduction of pluralistic ignorance (due to an ethics education program designed to reduce pluralistic ignorance) resulted in higher personal ethical standards over the course of a semester, when compared to a class that did not receive a formal ethics education program as part of their course. We discuss the implications of pluralistic ignorance in training business ethics and ethics education. (shrink)
Is there really an ethical crisis? We propose that the situation is not as bad as many would have us believe. We have attempted to present an alternative explanation for some earlier reports of an ethical crisis. This has resulted in a number of research propositions. We are optimistic that there are, in spite of reports to the contrary, an overwhelming majority of ethical people populating our business community.
Due in part to a growing realization of the importance of the role that retailing plays in the marketing channel, and to the increasing numbers of college graduates being employed by retailers, growing attention is being placed on business students'' ethical perceptions of retailing practices. This study continues this focus by examining the ethical perceptions of collegiate business students attending two different universities which likely represent two different microcultures — conservative evangelical Protestant and secular.The results suggest that ethical perceptions may (...) vary between the students attending two universities which likely represent differing microcultures. The students attending the conservative evangelical Protestant university appear to possess ethical perceptions which are significantly more ethical than those of students attending the public university. Evidence was observed, therefore, which suggests that ethical perceptions may vary across students from differing microcultures. (shrink)
Can torture be morally justified? I shall criticise arguments that have been adduced against torture and demonstrate that torture can be justified more easily than most philosophers dealing with the question are prepared to admit. It can be justified not only in ticking nuclear bomb cases but also in less spectacular ticking bomb cases and even in the socalled Dirty Harry cases. There is no morally relevant difference between self-defensive killing. of a culpable aggressor and torturing someone who is (...) culpable of a deadly threat that can be averted only by torturing him. Nevertheless, I shall argue that torture should not be institutionalised, for example by torture warrants. (shrink)
In his article 'The Evil of Death' (henceforth: ED) Harry Silverstein argues that a proper refutation of the Epicurean view that death is not an evil requires the adoption of a particular revisionary ontology, which Silverstein, following Quine, calls 'four-dimensionalism'.1 In 'The Evil of Death Revisited' (henceforth: EDR) Silverstein reaffirms his earlier position and responds to several criticisms, including some targeted at his ontology. There remain, however, serious problems with Silverstein's argument, and I shall highlight five major ones below. (...) I conclude that Silverstein has not shown that an appeal to four-dimensionalism facilitates a refutation of Epicurus, although a consideration of some of Silverstein's points helps to indicate the limited scope of the Epicurean thesis. (shrink)
Souls play a huge part in the Harry Potter story. Voldemort creates six Horcruxes, thereby dividing his own soul into seven parts, and Harry must destroy all of the Horcruxes before Voldemort can die. At different points in the books, several main characters (Harry, Sirius, and Dudley) narrowly avoid having their souls sucked out of them by a dementor; Barty Crouch, Jr., does not escape this fate. So what is the soul? In Harry Potter’s world, it (...) is clear that people have souls, and that these souls generally survive bodily death. But it is not entirely obvious how souls work and what their nature is. Over the centuries, philosophers and theologians have proposed various different accounts of the soul, and have argued about which is an accurate picture. In this chapter, I will survey some of the major philosophical accounts of the soul before turning to the question of how souls work in Rowling’s books and whether her picture of the soul is plausible. (shrink)
In his writings on school choice and educational justice, Harry Brighouse presents normative evaluations of various choice systems. This paper responds to Brighouse's claim that it is inadequate to criticise these evaluations with reference to empirical data concerning the effects of school choice.
A sort of 'modal problem of the many' applies to reference to Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes. An indefinite number of possible beings completely satisfy the stories. Which one of them is Harry? No principled answer seems possible. This led Kripke to deny that names of fictional characters denote possible people. I argue that a supervaluationist theory of the the truth of claims about fictional characters solves Kripke's problem.
With respect to the ethical debate about the treatment of animals in biomedical and behavioral research, Harry F. Harlow represents a paradox. On the one hand, his work on monkey cognition and social development fostered a view of the animals as having rich subjective lives filled with intention and emotion. On the other, he has been criticized for the conduct of research that seemed to ignore the ethical implications of his own discoveries. The basis of this contradiction is discussed (...) and propositions for current research practice are presented. (shrink)
by Alonzo L Hamby Noam Chomsky The Guardian, March 8, 1996 Harry Truman is a marvellous subject for a serious biography and after decades of 'scholarly engagement' with the subject, Alonzo Hamby is well qualified to write one. As he says, Truman was a 'man of the people,' whose life 'exemplifies' many aspects of 'the American experience'. In April 1945, 'knowing little more about diplomatic arrangements and military progress than what one would read in a good newspaper, he suddenly (...) found himself responsible for overseeing the end of the war and the establishment of a new global order'. 'You, more than any other man, have saved western civilisation,' Churchill informed him. It was a 'nearvisionary achievement,' in Hamby's judgment. (shrink)
Harry Harlow is credited with the discovery of learning set, a process whereby problem solving becomes essentially complete in a single trial of training. Harlow described that process as one that freed his primates from arduous trial-and-error learning. The capacity of the learner to acquire learning sets was in positive association with the complexity and maturation of their brains. It is here argued that Harlow's successful conveyance of learning-set phenomena is of historic significance to the philosophy of psychology. Learning (...) set is said to reflect the affirmation or rejection of hypotheses. Hypotheses are generated by the learner's brain, not its muscles. Thus, learning-set research served to advance the perspective that even nonhuman primates think and that their thinking reflects the active processing of information accrued from efforts to solve problems. Their learning processes are not simply the strengthening of some motor responses over others. Hence, learning-set research served to advance studies of animals as rational agents. This trend is serving to supplant the radical-behavioristic models, formulated earlier this century, with models predicated on rational processes for animals' complex learning and behavior. (shrink)
. Michael Polanyi saw his epistemology as restoring the capacity of a scientific age to believe again in the reality of God known through religion. This central feature of Polanyi’s thought, discussed in my book The Way of Discovery, is disputed by Harry Prosch, co-author with Polanyi of Meaning. Prosch’s argument is that while in Polanyi’s view science deals with an independent reality, religion and theology do not and are only works of our imagination. This article answers Prosch with (...) a review of Polanyi’s Christian affiliations, his conceptions of the common ground of science and religion, the levels of reality to which both science and religion provide access, and his expressed aim to liberate faith from scientific dogmatism. (shrink)
This essay traces the history of Harry Prosch’s work with Michael Polanyi. It analyzes the Prosch-Polanyi archival correspondence as well as other correspondence records in an effort to make clear the scope and nature of Prosch’s work in their collaboration on Meaning, a book published under both names at a late stage of Polanyi’s life when his mental capacities were diminished.
Is choice necessary for moral responsibility? And does choice imply alternative possibilities of some significant sort? This paper will relate these questions to the argument initiated by Harry Frankfurt that alternative possibilities are not required for moral responsibility, and to John Martin Fischer and Mark Ravizza's extension of that argument in terms of guidance control in a causally determined world. I argue that attending to Frankfurt's core conceptual distinction between the circumstances that make an action unavoidable and those that (...) bring it about that the action is performed – a distinction emphasised in his recent restatement – provides a new route into an analysis of Frankfurt's argument by showing how it depends on a person's ‘decision to act’ involving the exercise of choice. The implicit reliance of Frankfurt's argument on this notion of choice, however, undermines his claim that the example of the counterfactual intervener strengthens the compatibilist case by providing a counter-example to the principle of alternative possibilities. I also argue that Frankfurt's reliance on the exercise of choice for moral responsibility is also evident in the Fischer/Ravizza argument, and that a close analysis of both arguments shows that such exercise of choice is not available if causal determinism is true. (shrink)
This enviable piece of philosophy has been as successful as any other in the past three decades of the determinism and freedom debate. It has given rise to a continuing controversy. At its centre is what seems to be a refutation of what seems to be the cast-iron principle that in order for someone to be morally responsible for an action, it must be possible that he or she could have done otherwise. The principle has been assumed by philosophers persuaded (...) that determinism is incompatible with freedom and also by philosophers persuaded that determinism is compatible with freedom. However, Frankfurt's article has mainly been read as lending support to the Compatibilist idea. (shrink)
This paper argues that ability to do otherwise (in the compatibilist sense) at the moment of initiation of action is a necessary condition of being able to act at all. If the argument is correct, it shows that Harry Frankfurt never provided a genuine counterexample to the 'principles of alternative possibilities' in his 1969 paper ‘Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility’. The paper was written without knowledge of Frankfurt's paper.
It has been argued - most prominently in Harry Frankfurt's recent work - that the normative authority of personal commitments derives not from their intrinsic worth but from the way in which one's will is invested in what one cares about. In this essay, I argue that even if this approach is construed broadly and supplemented in various ways, its intrasubjective character leaves it ill-prepared to explain the normative grip of commitments in cases of purported self-betrayal. As an alternative, (...) I sketch a view that focuses on intersubjective constraints of intelligibility built into social practices and on the pragmatics of how those norms are contested in an ongoing fashion. (shrink)
I argue against two of the most influential contemporary theories of moral responsibility: those of Harry Frankfurt and John Martin Fischer. Both propose conditions which are supposed to be sufficient for direct moral responsibility for actions. (By the term direct moral responsibility, I mean moral responsibility which is not traced from an earlier action.) Frankfurt proposes a condition of 'identification'; Fischer, writing with Mark Ravizza, proposes conditions for 'guidance control'. I argue, using counterexamples, that neither is sufficient for direct (...) moral responsibility. -/- My counterexample cases are based on recent research in psychology which reveals many surprising causes of our actions. Some of this research comes from the field of situationist social psychology; some from experiments which reveal the influence of automatic processes in our actions. Broadly, I call such causes 'subverting' when the agent would not identify with her action, if she knew all the causes of the action. When an action has subverting causes, the agent is not directly morally responsible for it, even though she may meet the conditions specified by Frankfurt and Fischer. -/- I also criticise the theories of Eddy Nahmias and John Doris, who have both engaged specifically with the threats posed to moral responsibility by situationist research. Against Doris and Nahmias, I argue that their conditions are neither necessary nor sufficient for direct moral responsibility. -/- My final objective is to argue that there are many everyday actions for which we mistakenly hold agents morally responsible. I review evidence that there are many everyday actions which have subverting causes. Many of those are actions for which we currently hold agents morally responsible. But I argue that, in many of those same actions, the agents are not in fact morally responsible – they bear neither direct nor traced moral responsibility. (shrink)
Taking Ourselves Seriously and Getting It Right is written in a manner that is accessible to all. Frankfurt’s arguments are, as usual, clear and persuasive. Korsgaard’s, Bratman’s, and Dan-Cohen’s comments are thought provoking. There are, however, two main areas in which Frankfurt’s arguments need clarification (the notion of wholehearted identification, and the concept of ambivalence), and there are misunderstandings of Frankfurt at work in Korsgaard’s (relationship between the self and the will, and concept of the will for Frankfurt) and Bratman’s (...) (meaning of "necessity" for Frankfurt) comments. (shrink)
In this paper I give an overview of my “framework for moral responsibility,” and I offer some reasons that commend it. I contrast my approach with indeterministic models of moral responsibility and also other compatibilist strategies, including those of Harry Frankfurt and Gary Watson.