For many commentators, September 11 inaugurated a new era of fear. But as Corey Robin shows in his unsettling tour of the Western imagination--the first intellectual history of its kind--fear has shaped our politics and culture since time immemorial. From the Garden of Eden to the Gulag Archipelago to today's headlines, Robin traces our growing fascination with political danger and disaster. As our faith in positive political principles recedes, he argues, we turn to fear as the justifying language (...) of public life. We may not know the good, but we do know the bad. So we cling to fear, abandoning the quest for justice, equality, and freedom. But as fear becomes our intimate, we understand it less. In a startling reexamination of fear's greatest modern interpreters--Hobbes, Montesquieu, Tocqueville, and Arendt--Robin finds that writers since the eighteenth century have systematically obscured fear's political dimensions, diverting attention from the public and private authorities who sponsor and benefit from it. For fear, Robin insists, is an exemplary instrument of repression--in the public and private sector. Nowhere is this politically repressive fear--and its evasion--more evident than in contemporary America. In his final chapters, Robin accuses our leading scholars and critics of ignoring "Fear, American Style," which, as he shows, is the fruit of our most prized inheritances--the Constitution and the free market. With danger playing an increasing role in our daily lives and justifying a growing number of government policies, Robin's Fear offers a bracing, and necessary, antidote to our contemporary culture of fear. (shrink)
The conceptual model presented in this article argues that corporations exhibit specific behaviors that signal their true level of moral development. Accordingly, the authors identify five levels of moral development and discuss the dynamics that move corporations from one level to another. Examples of corporate behavior which are indicative of specific stages of moral development are offered.
This study represents an improvement in the ethics scales inventory published in a 1988 Journal of Business Ethics article. The article presents the distillation and validation process whereby the original 33 item inventory was reduced to eight items. These eight items comprise the following ethical dimensions: a moral equity dimension, a relativism dimension, and a contractualism dimension. The multidimensional ethics scale demonstrates significant predictive ability.
The field of business ethics has been active for several decades, but it has yet to develop a generally agreed upon applied ethical perspective for the discipline. Academics in business disciplines have developed useful science-based models explaining why business people behave ethically but without a generally accepted definition of ethical behavior. Academics in moral philosophy have attempted to formulate what they believe ethical behavior is, but many seem to ignore or reject the basic mission of business. The purpose of this (...) article is to offer one view of ethics in business that accommodates the mission of business. This purpose is achieved by reviewing the mission of ethics in applied disciplines like business and melding it into the mission of business in capitalistic societies. (shrink)
This article discusses the major criticisms posed in On Measuring Ethical Judgments concerning our ethics scale development work. We agree that the authors of the criticism do engage in what they accurately refer to as armchair theorizing. We point out the errors in their comments.
This comment is offered in response to Hansen's A Multidimensional Scale for Measuring Business Ethics: A Purification and Refinement. Five issues arising from Hansen's purification and refinement efforts are addressed. These include the issues of parsimony, predictive validity, collinearity, reliability, and what we see as a confusion between normative and positive theory.
This study reports on the development of scale items derived from the pluralistic moral philosophy literature. In addition, the manner in which individuals combine aspects of the different philosophies in making ethical evaluations was explored.
This article examines perceptions of tax partners and non-partner tax practitioners regarding their CPA firms’ ethical environment, as well as experiences with ethical dilemmas. Prior research emphasizes the importance of executive leadership in creating an ethical climate (e.g., Weaver et al., Acad Manage Rev 42(1):41–57, 1999 ; Trevino et al., Hum Relat 56(1):5–37, 2003 ; Schminke et al., Organ Dyn 36(2):171–186, 2007 ). Thus, it is important to consider whether firm partners and other employees have congruent perceptions and experiences. (...) Based on the responses of 144 tax practitioners employed at CPA firms, the results show that tax partners rate the ethical environment of their firms as stronger than non-partner tax practitioners, particularly among those who describe a self-identified ethical dilemma. Tax partners also report having encountered more of the common examples of researcher-provided ethical dilemmas than non-partner tax practitioners, although non-partners perceive that certain ethical dilemmas occur at a higher rate than partners do. Overall, this study provides evidence of a disconnect between tax partners and non-partner tax practitioners with respect to perceptions of organizational ethics. Suggestions for potential remedies are offered. (shrink)
This study examines the relation between firms’ corporate philanthropic giving and their performance in three other social domains – employee relations, environmental issues, and product safety. Based on a sample of 384 U.S. companies and using data pooled from 1998 through 2000, we find that worse performers in the other social areas are both more likely to make charitable contributions and that the extent of their giving is larger than for better performers. Analyses of each separate area of social performance, (...) however, indicate that the relation between giving and negative social performance (cited concerns) only holds for the environmental issues and product safety areas. We find no significant association between corporate philanthropy and employee relations concerns. In general, these findings suggest that corporate philanthropy may be more a tool of legitimization than a measure of corporate social responsibility. (shrink)
Two experiments using a realistic version of the selection task examined the relationship between participants probability estimates of finding a counter example and their selections. Experiment 1 used everyday categories in the context of a scenario to determine whether or not the number of instances in a category affected the estimated probability of a counter-example. Experiment 2 modified the scenario in order to alter participants estimates of finding a specific counter-example. Unlike Kirby 1994a , but consistent with his proposals, (...) both studies showed that probability estimates significantly predicted selection. Overall results point to the value of understanding selections in terms of their subjective expected utility. (shrink)
This research examines, in a general manner, the degree and character of perceptual congruity between salespeople and managers on ethical issues. Salespeople and managers from a diversity of organizations were presented with three scenarios having varying degrees of ethical content and were asked to evaluate the action of the individual in each scenario. Findings indicate that, in every instance, the participating managers tended (1) to be more critical of the action displayed in the scenarios, (2) to view the action as (...) violating a sense of contract or promise, and (3) to view the action as less culturally acceptable than did the salespeople. (shrink)
Nietzsche repeatedly portrays himself as an advocate of what he calls a ‘philosophy of becoming’. While in his early Untimely Meditations he had considered the ‘doctrine of sovereign becoming’ to be ‘true but deadly’, from the middle-period Human, All Too Human up to and including his last writings he urges us to embrace this doctrine wholeheartedly. He consistently links the view of the world as being in a state of constant flux with the teachings of Heraclitus, the one philosopher whom (...) he praises to the very end of his sane life. Exactly what such a doctrine amounts to is a question that has not hitherto been subjected to the substantial treatment that it deserves, and it is this issue that Robin Small sets out to address. (shrink)
In this study, we examined moral issues and gender differences in ethical judgment using Reidenbach and Robin’s [Journal of Business Ethics 9 (1990) 639) multidimensional ethics scale (MES). A total of 340 undergraduate students were asked to provide ethical judgment by rating three moral issues in the MES labeled: ‚sales’, ‚auto’, and ‚retail’ using three ethics theories: moral equity, relativism, and contractualism. We found that female students’ ratings of ethical judgment were consistently higher than that of male students across (...) two out of three moral issues examined (i.e., sales and retails) and ethics theories; providing support for Eagly’s [1987, Sex Differences in Social Behavior: A Social-role Interpretation. (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc, Hillsdale, NJ, England)] social role theory. After controlling for moral issues, women’s higher ratings of ethical judgment over men’s became statistically non-significant. Theoretical and practical implications based on the study’s findings are provided. (shrink)
In this study, we examined moral issues and gender differences in ethical judgment using Reidenbach and Robin’s [ Journal of Business Ethics 9 (1990) 639) multidimensional ethics scale (MES). A total of 340 undergraduate students were asked to provide ethical judgment by rating three moral issues in the MES labeled: ‚sales’, ‚auto’, and ‚retail’ using three ethics theories: moral equity, relativism, and contractualism. We found that female students’ ratings of ethical judgment were consistently higher than that of male students (...) across two out of three moral issues examined (i.e., sales and retails) and ethics theories; providing support for Eagly’s [1987, Sex Differences in Social Behavior: A Social-role Interpretation . (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc, Hillsdale, NJ, England)] social role theory. After controlling for moral issues, women’s higher ratings of ethical judgment over men’s became statistically non-significant. Theoretical and practical implications based on the study’s findings are provided. (shrink)
The factor structure of the Multidimensional Ethics Scale (MES; Reidenbach and Robin: 1988, Journal of Business Ethics 7, 871–879; 1990, Journal of Business Ethics 9, 639–653) was examined for the 8-item short form (N = 328) and the original 30-item pool (N = 260). The objectives of the study were: to verify the dimensionality of the MES; to increase the amount of true cross-scenario variance through the use of 18 scenarios varying in moral intensity (Jones: 1991, Academy of Management (...) Review 16, 366–395); and, to examine the items for measurement precision using item-response theory (IRT) methods. Results of confirmatory and exploratory factor analysis failed to conclusively support the hypothesized 3- (short form) or 5-factor (long form) structure; both instruments were instead dominated by a general factor. Item response theory analyses using Samejima’s (1969, Psychometrika Monograph Supplement 34, (4, Pt. 2)) graded response model revealed that many items in the 30-item pool performed very well, and suggested that a different collection of items be used to form a short-form version of the MES. Our proposed 10-item instrument includes more discriminating items than the 8-item version, and has the added advantage of including two items from each of the five ethical philosophies represented in the original 30-item pool. (shrink)
This article is a response to Robin Barrow's John Wilson Memorial Lecture ?On the duty of not taking offence?. The present article takes issue with some of Barrow's claims and explores further the implications for moral education of some current views on the giving and taking of offence. Accounts are offered both of ?inherent offensiveness? (an important theme in Barrow's lecture) and of offence to persons. The questions ?are people too ready to take offence?? and ?are we too concerned (...) about offending others?? are discussed, and attention is given to offensive language and the moral educational stance we should take towards it. Finally, it is argued that the chief value that should underpin the judgements we need to make about the giving and taking of offence is respect, and that we have a general duty to educate respect. (shrink)
Lisa Hill’s response to my critique of compulsory voting, like similar responses in print or in discussion, remind me how much a child of the ‘70s I am, and how far my beliefs and intuitions about politics have been shaped by the electoral conflicts, social movements and violence of that period. -/- But my perceptions of politics have also been profoundly shaped by my teachers, and fellow graduate students, at MIT. Theda Skocpol famously urged political scientists to ‘bring the (...) state back in’ to their analyses, and to recognise that political identities, interests and coalitions cannot be read off straightforwardly from people’s socio-economic position. In their different ways, this was the lesson that Suzanne Berger, Charles Sabel and Joshua Cohen tried to teach us, emphasising the ways that political participation and conflict, themselves, can change people’s identities, their sense of what it is desirable and possible, and their ability to recognise, or oppose, the freedom and equality of others. -/- I do not therefore take it as self-evident that the poor and seemingly powerless should be politically apathetic, unwilling to vote, or incapable of imagining a political solution to at least some of the problems confronting them. Nor do I suppose that non-voters are all-of-a-piece, and that their shared interests are, inevitably, more significant, morally or politically, than those which divide them. Such assumptions seem mistaken in the case of voters, and I see no reason why they should be true of non-voters. The people we find in these categories are not predestined to be in one rather than the other; they do not always stay where they start off; and at an individual level, the reasons why people fall into one group, rather than another, are likely to be complex and sometimes unpredictable. -/- Above all I see nothing in a commitment to democratic government, understood realistically or in more idealistic terms, that requires us to treat raising turnout at national elections (once every four years or so) as of such moral or political importance that we should make it legally mandatory. Realistically, it is an open question how far the ballot box is, for most people, the path to empowerment – important though it is that people should have an equal right to vote and to stand as candidates at national elections. On a more idealistic view of democratic politics it is hard to avoid the thought that the importance of national elections to self-government, posited by proponents of compulsory voting, reflects an alienated and alienating view of democracy, in which the choice of our leaders becomes more important than the development and exercise of our own capacities to lead; and in which our awe at the power our leaders might wield is matched only by our inability to imagine less intimidating, distant and centralised forms of politics. -/- But before saying a little more about these points, and their significance for compulsory voting, I would like to dispel some misunderstandings or misrepresentations of my views in Hill’s essay. I do not believe socio-economic disparities in turnout are not worrying for democratic politics, nor do I believe that abstention is generally synonymous with consent. I do not assume that people have a right not to vote, but try to explain why moral and legal rights to abstain are an important part of democratic politics, including electoral politics. (shrink)
Among his other contributions to advancing our understanding of classical American pragmatism and, in particular, Charles S. Peirce, none is more worthy of our attention than Richard S. Robin's characteristically painstaking attempt to address the puzzle of Peirce's "Proof" of pragmaticism.1 In this as in so many other respects,2 he shows himself to be, in effect, the student of Max H. Fisch (see especially 1986, chapter 19).3 There are hermeneutical traditions as well as philosophical ones and often the former (...) are integral parts of the latter. This is certainly the case regarding pragmatism. A deeper or better understanding of the inaugural figures in this philosophical movement is taken, by the interpreters of .. (shrink)
Some people think that pastness, presentness and futurity (and their metric variants, such as being two days past) are genuine propeties of times and events. These putative properties are sometimes called “A properties” and the philosopers who believe in them are often called “A Theorists.” Other philosophers don’t believe in the reality of A properties, but instead say that talk that appears to be about such properties is really about “B relations” – two-place temporal relations like earlier than, simultaneous with, (...) and later than (together with their metric variants, like two days earlier than). The latter philosophers are often called “B Theorists,” and the debate between A Theorists and B Theorists has dominated the philosophy of time since 1908.1 The two views can be put this way. The A Theory: There are genuine, irreducible A properties; talk that appears to be about A properties is not analyzable in terms of B relations. (shrink)
Both Immanuel Kant and Paul Guyer have raised important concerns about the limitations of Lockean thought. Following Guyer, I will focus my attention on questions about the proper ambitions and likely achievements of inquiry into the natural/physical world. I will argue that there are at least two important respects, not discussed by Guyer, in which Locke’s account of natural philosophy is much more flexible and accommodating than may be immediately apparent. (And, I am inclined to think, one of these respects (...) represents a way in which Kant’s system is objectionably constrained, where Locke’s is in principle open.) On my interpretation, however, one crucial source of a too-limited vision of natural philosophy remains in Locke, where he is appropriately criticized by both Kant and Guyer. My method will be to begin with a distinction that Locke draws in the very first draft of the Essay, between what he calls “the sensible object” and, on the other hand, “the uncertain philosophical cause.” I believe that Locke’s notion of “sensible object,” as opposed to uncertain philosophical cause, retains a central place in his thought in the published Essay, despite the fact thateven though this contrast is never made explicitly there. Tracing the evolution of these two concepts in his thought will allow us to track and better understand his developing views about the relation between the project of the.. (shrink)
We experience time in different ways, and we construct different kinds of representation of time. What kinds of representation are there and how do they work? In particular, how do we integrate temporal features of the world into our understanding of the mechanisms underlying representations in the media of perception, memory, art, and narrative? Le Poidevin’s well written and carefully argued book is an exploration of these questions. Although interesting in its own right, Le Poidevin pursues this question as a (...) means of exploring another pressing issue, namely the metaphysics of time. The central posit of the book is that we can learn a lot about time from ordinary representations of time, and accordingly the book is an exploration of what representations of time can tell us about the metaphysical structure of time itself. This viewpoint is justified by the adoption of a causal theory of representation, the claim that representations are causally linked to what they represent and that this is what determines both their content and their epistemic status. The central metaphysical concern of the book is the reality of the passage of time. Does time in reality pass, and can events therefore be located in the past, present, or future, or does time not pass and nothing in reality changes its position in time? In McTaggart’s terms, this is the distinction between the A-theory and the B- theory of time. (shrink)
Practical medical decisions are closely integrated with ethical and religious beliefs in the Philippines. This is shown in a survey of Filipino physicians' attitudes towards severely compromised neonates. This is also the reason why the ethical analysis of critical care practices must be situated within the context of local culture. Kagandahang loob and kusang loob are indigenous Filipino ethical concepts that provide a framework for the analysis of several critical care practices. The practice of taking-from-the-rich-to-give-to-the-poor in public hospitals is not (...) compatible with these concepts. The legislated definition of death and other aspects of the Philippine Law on Organ Transplants also fail to be compatible with these concepts. Many ethical issues that arise in a critical care setting have their roots outside the seemingly isolated clinical setting. Critical care need not apply only to individuals in a serious clinical condition. Vulnerable populations require critical attention because potent threats to their lives exist in the water that they drink and the air that they breathe. We cannot ignore these threa ts even as we move inevitably towards a technologically dependent, highly commercialized approach to health management. (shrink)