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)
Donald Davidson has posed the problem of first-person authority and provided his own solution to it. He has argued that no epistemic theory of first-person authority can resolve the problem, but that a theory that appeals to constraints on interpreting speech can. We argue that Davidson is wrong about epistemic theories and that his own theory of first-person authority is inadequate. We propose an alternative based on the epistemic constraints associated with embodiment and argue that recognition of these constraints undermines (...) Davidson's position. (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.
. 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)
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)