“Between the earliest and the latest of the works included here, we have two hundred and fifty years of vigorous and adventurous philosophizing,” MonroeBeardsley writes in his Introduction to this collection. “If the modern period can be only vaguely or arbitrarily bounded, it can at least be studied, and we can ask whether any dominant themes, overall patterns of movement, or notable achievements can be found within it. This question is one that is best asked by the (...) reader after he has read, or read around in, these works.” This Modern Library Paperback Classic also includes a newly updated Bibliography. (shrink)
Monroe C. Beardsley has made seminal contributions to the on-going discussions of metaphor, contributions of continuing relevance and influence. His "Verbal Opposition Theory," like Max Black's "Interaction Theory," is a classic document of the contemporary semantic approach to metaphor, and has placed special emphasis upon the recognition of metaphor --the problem of the metaphorical warrant--which has lead to a deeper understanding of the complexities of this problem.
People’s concept of free will is often assumed to be incompatible with the deterministic, scientific model of the universe. Indeed, many scholars treat the folk concept of free will as assuming a special form of nondeterministic causation, possibly the notion of uncaused causes. However, little work to date has directly probed individuals’ beliefs about what it means to have free will. The present studies sought to reconstruct this folk concept of free will by asking people to define the concept (Study (...) 1) and by confronting them with a neuroscientific claim that free will is an illusion (Study 2), which invited them to either reconcile or contrast free will with determinism. The results suggest that the core of people’s concept of free will is a choice that fulfills one’s desires and is free from internal or external constraints. No evidence was found for metaphysical assumptions about dualism or indeterminism. (shrink)
This case study focuses on Roger Boisjoly's attempt to prevent the launch of the Challenger and subsequent quest to set the record straight despite negative consequences. Boisjoly's experiences before and after the Challenger disaster raise numerous ethical issues that are integral to any explanation of the disaster and applicable to other management situations. Underlying all these issues, however, is the problematic relationship between individual and organizational responsibility. In analyzing this fundamental issue, this paper has two objectives: first, to demonstrate the (...) extent to which the ethical ambiguity that permeates the relationship between individual and organizational responsibility contributed to the Challenger disaster; second, to reclaim the meaning and importance of individual responsibility within the diluting context of large organizations. (shrink)
In this paper I defend the view that a zygote is a human from the fission objection that is widely thought to be decisive against the view. I do so, drawing upon a recent discussion of this issue by John Burgess, by explaining in detail the metaphysical position the proponent of the view should adopt in order to rebut the objection.
Eschewing conventional candidates, like Plato's Republic or Machiavelli's Prince, Richard Rorty praises Aldous Huxley's Brave New World as "the best introduction to political philosophy," because it shows us "what sort of human future would be produced by a naturalism untempered by historicist Romanticism, and by a politics aimed merely at alleviating mammalian pain."1 Huxley's celebrated dystopia is thus a poignant warning to our modern utilitarian political projects. Yet Rorty also suggests that utopian literature can play a positive and inspirational role (...) for liberal politics, and even dubs his own political ideal, "liberal utopia." Rorty's liberal utopia is not an impossible society bereft of political .. (shrink)
Moral judgments about an agent's behavior are enmeshed with inferences about the agent's mind. Folk psychology—the system that enables such inferences—therefore lies at the heart of moral judgment. We examine three related folk-psychological concepts that together shape people's judgments of blame: intentionality, choice, and free will. We discuss people's understanding and use of these concepts, address recent findings that challenge the autonomous role of these concepts in moral judgment, and conclude that choice is the fundamental concept of the three, defining (...) the core of folk psychology in moral judgment. (shrink)
Individual differences in ethical ideology are believed to play a key role in ethical decision making. Forsyths (1980) Ethics Position Questionnaire (EPQ) is designed to measure ethical ideology along two dimensions, relativism and idealism. This study extends the work of Forsyth by examining the construct validity of the EPQ. Confirmatory factor analyses conducted with independent samples indicated three factors – idealism, relativism, and veracity – account for the relationships among EPQ items. In order to provide further evidence of the instruments (...) nomological and convergent validity, correlations among the EPQ subscales, dogmatism, empathy, and individual differences in the use of moral rationales were examined. The relationship between EPQ measures of idealism and moral judgments demonstrated modest predictive validity, but the appreciably weaker influence of relativism and the emergence of a veracity factor raise questions about the utility of the EPQ typology. (shrink)
Sciences able to identify appropriate analytical units for their domain, their natural kinds, have tended to be more progressive. In the biological sciences, evolutionary natural kinds are adaptations that can be identified by their common history of selection for some function. Human brains are the product of an evolutionary history of selection for component systems which produced behaviours that gave adaptive advantage to their hosts. These structures, behaviour production systems, are the natural kinds that psychology seeks. We argue these can (...) be identified deductively by classing behaviour first according to its level of behavioural control. Early animals in our lineage used only reactive production, Vertebrates evolved motivation, and later Primates developed executive control. Behaviour can also be classified by the type of evolutionary benefit it bestows: it can deliver either immediate benefits (food, gametes), improvements in the individual’s position with respect to the world (resource access, social status), or improvements in the ability to secure future benefits (knowledge, skill). Combining history and function implies the existence of seven types of behaviour production systems in human brains responsible for reflexive, instinctual, exploratory, driven, emotional, playful and planned behaviour. Discovering scientifically valid categories of behaviour can provide a fundamental taxonomy and common language for understanding, predicting and changing behaviour, and a way of discovering the organs in the brain––its natural kinds––that are responsible for behaviour. (shrink)
In this article I reply to Thomas Schramme's argument that there are no good reasons for the prohibition of severe forms of voluntary non-therapeutic body modification. I argue that on paternalistic assumptions there is, in fact, a perfectly good reason.
This study examines social desirability bias in the context of ethical decision-making by accountants. It hypothesizes a negative relation between social desirability bias and ethical evaluation. It also predicts an interaction effect between religiousness and gender on social desirability bias. An experiment using five general business vignettes was carried out on 121 accountants (63 males and 58 females). The results show that social desirability bias is higher (lower) when the situation encountered is more (less) unethical. The bias has religiousness and (...) gender main effects as well as an interaction effect between these two independent variables. Women who were more religious recorded the highest bias scores relative to less religious women and men regardless of their religiousness. (shrink)
Recent financial fraud legislation such as the Dodd–Frank Act and the Sarbanes–Oxley Act (U.S. House of Representatives, Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, [H.R. 4173], 2010 ; U.S. House of Representatives, The Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002, Public Law 107-204 [H.R. 3763], 2002 ) relies heavily on whistleblowers for enforcement, and offers protection and incentives for whistleblowers. However, little is known about many aspects of the whistleblowing decision, especially the effects of contextual and wrongdoing attributes on organizational (...) members’ willingness to report fraud. We extend the ethics literature by experimentally investigating how the nature of the wrongdoing and the awareness of those surrounding the whistleblower can influence whistleblowing. As predicted, we find that employees are less likely to report: (1) financial statement fraud than theft; (2) immaterial than material financial statement fraud; (3) when the wrongdoer is aware that the potential whistleblower has knowledge of the fraud; and (4) when others in addition to the wrongdoer are not aware of the fraud. Our findings extend whistleblowing research in several ways. For instance, prior research provides little evidence concerning the effects of fraud type, wrongdoer awareness, and others’ awareness on whistleblowing intentions. We also provide evidence that whistleblowing settings represent an exception to the well-accepted theory of diffusion of responsibility. Our participants are professionals who represent the likely pool of potential whistleblowers in organizations. (shrink)