In this paper we argue that dissociative identity disorder (DID) is best interpreted as a causal model of a (possible) post-traumatic psychological process, as a mechanical model of an abnormal psychological condition. From this perspective we examine and criticize the evidential status of DID, and we demonstrate that there is really no good reason to believe that anyone has ever suffered from DID so understood. This is so because the proponents of DID violate basic methodological principles of good causal modeling. (...) When every ounce of your concentration is fixed upon blasting a winged pig out of the sky, you do not question its species' ontological status. James Morrow, City of Truth (1990). (shrink)
Professionals, it is said, have no use for simple lists of virtues and vices. The complexities and constraints of professional roles create peculiar moral demands on the people who occupy them, and traits that are vices in ordinary life are praised as virtues in the context of professional roles. Should this disturb us, or is it naive to presume that things should be otherwise? Taking medical and legal practice as key examples, Justin Oakley and Dean Cocking develop a rigorous (...) articulation and defence of virtue ethics, contrasting it with other types of character-based ethical theories and showing that it offers a promising new approach to the ethics of professional roles. They provide insights into the central notions of professional detachment, professional integrity, and moral character in professional life, and demonstrate how a virtue-based approach can help us better understand what ethical professional-client relationships would be like. (shrink)
Although the number of women in middle management has grown quite rapidly in the last two decades, the number of female CEOs in large corporations remains extremely low. This article examines many explanations for why women have not risen to the top, including lack of line experience, inadequate career opportunities, gender differences in linguistic styles and socialization, gender-based stereotypes, the old boy network at the top, and tokenism. Alternative explanations are also presented and analyzed, such as differences between female leadership (...) styles and the type of leadership style expected at the top of organizations, feminist explanations for the underrepresentation of women in top management positions, and the possibility that the most talented women in business often avoid corporate life in favor of entrepreneurial careers. (shrink)
In this article we argue that the worries about whether a consequentialist agent will be alienated from those who are special to her go deeper than has so far been appreciated. Rather than pointing to a problem with the consequentialist agent's motives or purposes, we argue that the problem facing a consequentialist agent in the case of friendship concerns the nature of the psychological disposition which such an agent would have and how this kind of disposition sits with those which (...) are commonly thought proper to relations of friendship. To the extent that we are right, then, the rejoinders which indirect consequentialists have offered to the problem of alienation are ill directed and so do not succeed in meeting the real problem. In articulating what we see as the source of the alienation problem which friendship poses for consequentialism, we also hope to clarify the general distinction between dispositions and motives and to show how certain kinds of guiding internalized normative dispositions help us to define and therefore distinguish between various types of relationships. Undertaking this task may also help to identify some of the crucial issues for an adequate moral psychology of friendship and its place in any plausible ethical theory. (shrink)
Helen Beebee has recently argued that David Lewis’s account of compatibilism, so-called local miracle compatibilism (LMC), allows for the possibility that agents in deterministic worlds have the ability to break or cause the breaking of a law of nature. Because Lewis’s LMC allows for this consequence, Beebee claims that LMC is untenable and subsequently that Lewis’s criticism of van Inwagen’s Consequence Argument for incompatibilism is substantially weakened. I review Beebee’s argument against Lewis’s thesis and argue that Beebee has not (...) refuted LMC and concomitantly has not demonstrated that Lewis’s criticism of the Consequence Argument fails. (shrink)
The standard problem with many slippery slope arguments is that they fail to provide us with the necessary evidence to warrant our believing that the significantly morally worse circumstances they predict will in fact come about. As such these arguments have widely been criticised as ‘scare-mongering’. Consequentialists have traditionally been at the forefront of such criticisms, demanding that we get serious about guiding our prescriptions for right action by a comprehensive appreciation of the empirical facts. This is not surprising, since (...) consequentialism has traditionally been committed to the idea that right action be driven by empirical realities, and this hard-headed approach has been an especially notable feature of Australian consequentialism. But this apparent empirical hard-headedness is very selective. While consequentialists have understood their moral outlook and commitments as guided by a partnership with empirical science – most explicitly in their replies to the arguments of their detractors – some consequentialists have been remarkably complacent about providing empirical support for their own prescriptions. Our key example here is the consequentialist claim that our current practises of partiality in fact maximise the good, impartially conceived. This claim has invariably been made without compelling support for the large empirical claims upon which it rests, and so, like the speculative empirical hand-waving of weak slippery slope arguments, it seems similarly to be undermined. While these arguments have presented us with ‘wishful thinking’ rather than ‘scare-mongering’, we argue in this paper that their complacency in meeting the relevant empirical justificatory burden remains much the same. (shrink)
Popper's version of situational analysis, with its focus on the logic of situations and the rationality principle, fails to provide cogent explanations of the human decisions and actions underpinning social phenomena. It so fails because where he demanded objectivism and formalism in the social sciences, his substantive arguments lost contact with the psychological and subjectivist realities of the human realm. But Popper also devised some key elements of a social ontology. It is argued that although there are crucial gaps in (...) his ontology, it can be augmented to give situational analysis the potential to reach beyond pure logic and rationality and to bring social theory closer to grasping the real world of human action. (shrink)
This paper is based on the findings from a study in which social workers in healthcare settings were asked for their perspectives on cultural and racial difference as these apply to their practice with racialized clients. In examining the varied practice philosophies and approaches they employ, we find that older practice models based on problematized knowledge about racialized Others are being, alternately, reinstated and contested. In grappling with how to practise, participants describe approaches that, in many cases, effectively individualize clients (...) and ignore hierarchies and systems of domination. Following Sarah Ahmed's work on ethical encounters (Strange Encounters, Routledge, London, 2000), we argue for a socially and historically informed consideration of power relations as they shape professional practice. (shrink)
Using a sample of over 700 business people and students, this study tested the premise of promise-keeping as a core ethical value in the work place.The exercise consisted of in-basket planning for layoffs within an organization. Only one of the five employees within the group had been given an express commitment/promise of continued employment for a two year period. The layoffs were being considered six months after the two year promise had been made. All five employees were performing their jobs (...) adequately, and each had either personal or work attributes representing competing values that would have made it difficult to choose among them. (shrink)
Over the years, a number of interpreters with an interest in economics have given some attention the work of Alfred Schutz. As intimated in this literature, the orientation of his delimited thought on economics stemmed from contacts with the Austrian school during his Vienna years. Probably because of this connection, there exists among these interpreters an inclination uncritically to align Schutz with the Austrians' thought. What will be argued in this paper is that in adopting such an uncritical position, each (...) of these readings fails adequately to situate Schutz's critique of economic analyses within the framework of his own social theory. It will become apparent that his treatment of economics turned out to be a mixture of defence and critique, and that his interpretation of the subject and the intellectual status he ascribed to it were considerably more ambivalent and ambiguous than has been noticed. In particular, Schutz expressed significant reservations about the highly circumscribed and artificial depictions of the world of human action that some economists espoused, especially within the confines of marginalist theory. When arraigned against the phenomenology of the life-world that he had developed, and against the "postulates" around which he had constructed his social theory, much of extant economics did not meet the requirements of a properly grounded social science. (shrink)
This study investigated gender-related differences in ethical attitudes of 318 graduate and undergraduate business students. Significant differences were observed in male and female responses to questions concerning ethics in social and personal relationships. No differences were noted for survey items concerning rules-based obligations. Implications for future management are discussed.
This paper argues that the provision of effective informed consent by surgical patients requires the disclosure of material information about the comparative clinical performance of available surgeons. We develop a new ethical argument for the conclusion that comparative information about surgeons' performance - surgeons' report cards - should be provided to patients, a conclusion that has already been supported by legal and economic arguments. We consider some recent institutional and legal developments in this area, and we respond to some common (...) objections to the use of report cards on the clinical performance of surgeons. (shrink)
Shors & Matzel (1997) suggest replacing the question “Is LTP a mechanism of learning?” with “Is LTP a mechanism of arousal and attention?” However, the failure of experiments to verify the LTP-learning hypothesis may arise not because it is untrue, but because in its current guise, it is not properly testable. If so, then the LTP-attention hypothesis is untestable, as well.
In a national survey, members of 4As agencies were contrasted with non-member agencies to determine awareness and influence of the 4As Standards of Practice, the Professional Code of Ethics for 4As members. The 4As Code was selected because the 4As represents the principle professional association of the support service industry, advertising.
Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the concept of 'evil' has enjoyed renewed popularity in both international political rhetoric and scholarly writing. World leaders, politicians, and intellectuals have increasingly turned to 'evil' to describe the very worst humanitarian atrocities that continue to mark international affairs. However, precisely what 'evil' actually entails is not well understood. Little consensus exists as to what 'evil' is, how it is manifested in the international sphere, and what we ought to do about it. (...) With this in mind, this work seeks to ascertain precisely what is meant by 'evil' when it is used to describe actors and events in international politics. Focusing on the history of evil in western secular and religious thought, it reintroduces a classical understanding of evil as the means according to which we seek to understand otherwise meaningless human suffering. (shrink)