This paper reports a preliminary sketch of a framework for integrating perspectives on economics, ethics, strategy, and stakeholders (Jones, 1995). It may notbe desirable in management practice to separate such considerations (Harris & Freeman, 2008). There are three general types of collective choice institutions: governments, markets, and voluntary associations. There are four general types of moral theory: moral rules (Kantianism), consequentialism (utilitarianism), virtuousness (bundling virtue theory, religion, and moral intuitionism), and social contract. There are three general (...) positions concerning social responsibilities of individuals and corporations (i.e., a licensed group of individuals). One position asserts zero social responsibility beyond compliance with laws. The polar-opposite position asserts significant social responsibilities by moral obligation. An intermediate position asserts social responsibility by agent cost-benefit analysis. The framework seeks to map these types of institutions, moraltheories, and social responsibility conceptions relative to one another. The purpose is to see whether insight can be obtained concerning certain key developing debates. The paper explores implications of the work of Ostrom and Williamson (winners of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences) for this framework. That work addresses choice institutions—to which moraltheories and social responsibility theories can be added. (shrink)
There have been many attempts during the history of applied ethics that have tried to develop a theory of moral reasoning. The goal of this paper is to explicate one aspect of the debate between various attempts of offering a specific method for resolving moral dilemmas. We contrast two kinds of deliberative methods: deliberative methods whose goal is decision-making and deliberative methods that are aimed at gaining edifying perspectives. The decision-making methods assessed include the traditional moral (...)theories like utilitarianism and Kantianism, as well as second order principles, such as principlism and specified principlism. In light of this assessment, we suggest taking a closer look at two perceptive models, casuistry and particularism. These models are used for dealing with moral dilemmas that provide for edifying perspectives rather than decision-making. These perceptive models, though less scientific and not as good at prescribing an action, are more human in the sense that they enrich our moral sensibilities and enhance our understanding of the meaning of the situation. (shrink)
Psychological theory and research in ethical decision making and ethical professional practice are presently hampered by a failure to take appropriate account of an extensive background in moral philosophy. As a result, attempts to develop models of ethical decision making are left vulnerable to a number of criticisms: that they neglect the problems of meta-ethics and the variety of meta-ethical perspectives; that they fail clearly and consistently to differentiate between descriptive and prescriptive accounts; that they leave unexplicated the (...) theoretical assumptions derived from the underlying moraltheories; and that they fail to accommodate the complexity and comprehensiveness of the processes involved in the making and implementing of ethical decisions. Many of these problems also have implications for the methodological domain. This paper offers an analysis of the difficulties, and makes a number of recommendations for future theory, research and practical applications, including: the need for training in moral philosophy; clarification of the status of Professional Codes in decisional models; the development of theoretically comprehensive prescriptive models; and the testing of these models in ways that do justice to their dimensional scope and theoretical complexity. (shrink)
In this paper I attempt to defuse a set of epistemic worries commonly raised against ideal observer theories. The worries arise because of the omniscience often attributed to ideal observers -- how can we, as finite humans, ever have access to the moral judgements or reactions of omniscient beings? I argue that many of the same concerns arise with respect to other moraltheories (and that these concerns do not in fact reveal genuine flaws in any (...) of these theories), and further, that we can and often do have knowledge of the reactions of ideal observers (according to standard, prominent theories in the domain of epistemology). (shrink)
Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT), as a culturally sensitive framework, realises the totality of caring in context. Few, if any, investigations into caring have articulated CHAT as a feasible mode of inquiry for inserting the cultural perspectives of both the researcher and the researched. This article elucidates CHAT as an intelligible and fruitful alternative to unearthing the moral agency of a culturally specific care outlook. Cultural Historical Activity Theory, as an epistemological orientation, brought into relief the complexities associated (...) with agency, culture and morality as they pertain to one African American educator. A data example delineates this educator?s moral agency as deliberate, unconscious intentions and actions shaped by powerful determinants such as race and racism. Her goal-directed moral actions gave way to activities that motivated a particular care theory and approach grounded in Black Cultural Ethos. (shrink)
Maximizing act consequentialism holds that actions are morally permissible if and only if they maximize the value of consequences—if and only if, that is, no alternative action in the given choice situation has more valuable consequences.1 It is subject to two main objections. One is that it fails to recognize that morality imposes certain constraints on how we may promote value. Maximizing act consequentialism fails to recognize, I shall argue, that the ends do not always justify the means. Actions with (...) maximally valuable consequences are not always permissible. The second main objection to maximizing act consequentialism is that it mistakenly holds that morality requires us to maximize value. Morality, I shall argue, only requires that we satisfice (promote sufficiently) value, and thus leaves us a greater range of options than maximizing act consequentialism recognizes. The issues discussed are, of course, highly complex, and space limitations prevent me from addressing them fully. Thus, the argument presented should be understood merely as the outline of an argument. (shrink)
The field of bioethics is replete with applications of moraltheories such as utilitarianism and Kantianism. For a given dilemma, even if it is not clear how one of these western philosophical principles of right (and wrong) action would resolve it, one can identify many of the considerations that each would conclude is relevant. The field is, in contrast, largely unaware of an African account of what all right (and wrong) actions have in common and of the sorts (...) of factors that for it are germane to developing a sound response to a given bioethical problem. My aim is to help rectify this deficiency by first spelling out a moral theory grounded in the mores of many sub-Saharan peoples, and then applying it to some major bioethical issues, namely, the point of medical treatment, free and informed consent, standards of care and animal experimentation. For each of these four issues, I compare and contrast the implications of the African moral theory with utilitarianism and Kantianism, my overall purposes being to highlight respects in which the African moral theory is distinct and to demonstrate that the field should take it at least as seriously as it does the Western theories. (shrink)
This article examines the relation between policies concerning Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and philosophical moraltheories. The objective is to determine which moraltheories form the basis for CSR policies. Are they based on ethical egoism, libertarianism, utilitarianism or some kind of common-sense morality? In order to address this issue, I conducted an empirical investigation examining the relation between moraltheories and CSR policies, in companies engaged in CSR. Based on the empirical data I (...) collected, I start by suggesting some normative arguments used by the respondents. Secondly, I suggest that these moral arguments implicitly rely on some specific moral principles, which I characterise. Thirdly, on the basis of these moral principles, I suggest the moraltheories upon which the CSR policies are built. Previous empirical studies examining the relation between philosophical moraltheories and the ethical content of business activities have mainly concentrated on the ethical decision-making of managers. Some of the most prominent investigations in that regard propose that managers mainly act in accordance with utilitarian moral theory (Fritzsche, D. J. and H. Becker: 1984 , Academy of Management Journal 27 (1), 166–175; Premeaux, S. and W. Mony: 1993 , Journal of Business Ethics 12 , 349–357; Premeaux, S.: 2004 , Journal of Business Ethics 52 , 269–278). I conclude that CSR policies are not based on utilitarian thinking, but instead, on some kind of common-sense morality. The ethical foundation of companies engaged in CSR, thus, does not mirror the ethical foundation of managers. (shrink)
This paper defends a modest conception of human nature and argues that any adequate moral theory must incorporate this conception. Against the extreme historicist view it is argued that there are morally important necessary characteristics all human beings possess, and that many moraltheories can be justified and criticized on the basis of these characteristics. Against the extreme naturalist view it is argued that the morally important and necessary characteristics give only a minimum content to moral (...)theories and an adequate theory must both include and go beyond this minimum. In conclusion, it is claimed that it follows that purely formal, some relativistic, some élitist, and some natural law moraltheories are mistaken. (shrink)
The teleological/deontological distinction is generally considered to be the fundamental classificatory distinction for ethics. I have argued elsewhere (Vallentyne forthcoming (a), and Ch.2 of Vallentyne 1984) that the distinction is ill understood and not as important as is generally supposed. Some authors have advocated a moral radical thesis. Oldenquist (1966) and Piper (1982) have both argued that the purported distinction is a pseudo distinction in that any theory can be represented both as teleological and as deontological. Smart (1973, p.13, (...) and 1982) has also expressed views along these lines. Elsewhere (Vallentyne 1984, Ch.3) I have shown that these arguments fail because the authors draw inadequate characterizations of the teleological/deontological distinction. Here I want to consider a challenge to the logical status of the distinction that raises deep and important questions about the structure of moraltheories in general. (shrink)
Many readers will share the judgment that, having made an oath, there is something morally worse about consequently performing the immoral action, such as embezzling, that one swore not to do. Why would it be worse? To answer this question, I consider three moral-theoretic accounts of why it is “extra” wrong to violate oaths not to perform wrong actions, with special attention paid to those made in economic contexts. Specifically, I address what the moraltheories of utilitarianism, (...) Kantianism and a new communitarian-relational principle entail for the wrongness of oath-breaking. I argue that the former two do not adequately capture why it is extra wrong to perform an immoral action that one swore not to do, but that the latter appeal to a morality of communal relationship offers a promising account. (shrink)
In this article we discuss what are the implications for improving the design of corporate ethics programs, if we focus on the moral motivation accounts offered by main ethical theories. Virtue ethics, deontological ethics and utilitarianism offer different criteria of judgment to face moral dilemmas: Aristotle's virtues of character, Kant's categorical imperative, and Mill's greatest happiness principle are, respectively, their criteria to answer the question "What is the right thing to do?" We look at ethical theories (...) from a different perspective: the question we ask is "Why should I do the right thing?" In other words, we deal with the problem of moral motivation, and we examine the different rationale the main ethical theories provide. We then point out the relation between moral motivation and the concept of rationality in the different approaches - is acting morally seen as an expression of rational behavior? Our analysis of moral motivation provides a useful framework to improve the understanding of the relationships between formal and informal elements of corporate ethics programs, emphasizing the importance of the latter, often overlooked in compliance-focused programs. We conclude by suggesting that the concept of moral imagination can provide a unifying approach to enhance the effectiveness of corporate ethics programs, by providing an intangible asset that supports the implementation of their formal components into management decision making. (shrink)
Abstract: Based on a study of variations in moral responses of Chinese and American children, an assessment is made of stage theories of moral development Moral development models that are primarily based upon cognitive development theories are judged to be deficient in their failure to account for rates and levels of intemalization. The type and extent of manipulation of affect in learning appears to be the major factor that has been ignored. Of particular importance for (...) education, the article concludes that intemalization can be increased through the use of specific learning techniques. (shrink)
In this paper, I distinguish between two error theories of morality: one couched in terms of truth (ET1); the other in terms of justification (ET2). I then present two arguments: the Poisoned Presupposition Argument for ET1; and the Evolutionary Debunking Argument for ET2. I go on to show how assessing these arguments requires paying attention to empirical moral psychology, in particular, work on folk metaethics. After criticizing extant work, I suggest avenues for future research.
This essay first discusses the three major arguments in favor of euthanasia and physician-assisted-suicide in contemporary Western society, viz ., the arguments of mercy, preventing indignity, and individual autonomy. It then articulates both Confucian consonance and dissonance to them. The first two arguments make use of Confucian discussions on suicide whereas the last argument appeals to Confucian social-political thought. It concludes that from the Confucian moralperspectives, none of the three arguments is fully convincing.
Let the Guidance Constraint be the following norm for evaluating ethical theories: Other things being at least roughly equal, ethical theories are better to the extent that they provide adequate moral guidance. I offer an account of why ethical theories are subject to the Guidance Constraint, if indeed they are. We can explain central facts about adequate moral guidance, and their relevance to ethical theory, by appealing to certain forms of autonomy and fairness. This explanation (...) is better than explanations that feature versions of the principle that ‘ought’ implies ‘can’. In closing, I address the objection that my account is questionable because it makes ethical theories subject not merely to purely theoretical but also to morally substantive norms. (Published Online August 21 2006). (shrink)
Recent work in social psychology suggests that people harbor “implicit race biases,” biases which can be unconscious or uncontrollable. Because awareness and control have traditionally been deemed necessary for the ascription of moral responsibility, implicit biases present a unique challenge: do we pardon discrimination based on implicit biases because of its unintentional nature, or do we punish discrimination regardless of how it comes about? The present experiments investigated the impact such theories have upon moral judgments about racial (...) discrimination. The results show that different theories differ in their impact on moral judgments: when implicit biases are defined as unconscious, people hold the biased agent less morally responsible than when these biases are defined as automatic (i.e., difficult to control), or when no theory of implicit bias is provided. (shrink)
Introduction: Law and Philosophy—Moral, Legal and Political Perspectives Content Type Journal Article Pages 237-239 DOI 10.1007/s11158-008-9068-9 Authors Massimo Renzo, University of Stirling Department of Philosophy Stirling 4LA FK9 UK Bjarke Viskum, University of Århus Department of Jurisprudence Langelandsgade 110, 3 tv. 8000 Arhus C Denmark Journal Res Publica Online ISSN 1572-8692 Print ISSN 1356-4765 Journal Volume Volume 14 Journal Issue Volume 14, Number 4.
Philosophers should consider a hybrid meta-ethical theory that includes elements of both moral expressivism and moral error theory. Proponents of such an expressivist-error theory hold that all moral utterances are either expressions of attitudes or expressions of false beliefs. Such a hybrid theory has two advantages over pure expressivism, because hybrid theorists can offer a more plausible account of the moral utterances that seem to be used to express beliefs, and hybrid theorists can provide a simpler (...) solution to the Frege-Geach problem. The hybrid theory has three advantages over pure error theory, because hybrid theorists can offer a more plausible account of the moral utterances that seem to be used to express attitudes, hybrid theorists can more easily explain moral motivation, and hybrid theorists can avoid the implausible claim that all moral discourse is radically mistaken. Accordingly, such a hybrid theory should be more attractive than pure expressivism or pure error theory to philosophers who are skeptical about moral facts and truth. (shrink)
This article concerns the importance of teaching moral reasoning and ethical leadership to all undergraduate students and in particular makes the case that students in business especially need familiarity with these capacities and theories given the complex world in which they will find themselves. The corollary to this analysis is the claim that content on moral reasoning and ethical leadership be mandatory for all business majors and that all degrees require course material on these subjects.
With cach successive generation of management, managers have been faced with different goals dictated by that current society''s needs and mores. For example, in the early 1900''s, industrial growth was essential to society''s needs; at the same time, such growth would not be hampered by social costs that were perceived as unimportant. Those social costs viewed as unimportant have not been properly factored into the cost of goods produced. Therefore, the products sold were underpriced, failing to reflect their true social (...) costs. Additionally, this miscalculation or misappropriation of such costs caused a misallocation of resources, such as the manufacturing of asbestos without regard to future health costs. Finally, the payment for the miscalculation of these social costs is due: present day management is now forced to provide a viable solution for payment of debts incurred by previous management. The most notable examples of such misappropriation are provided in the Manville, A. H. Robins and Continental cases. Unfortunately, the choice is often limited to a Chapter 11 bankruptcy.This article views the solution of Chapter 11 bankruptcy from three perspectives: legal, managerial, and moral. The legal review consists of the law and the current jurisprudence. Particularly emphasized are cases dealing with the discharge of executory contracts, tort claims and debts both secured and unsecured. Additionally, an examination of implementing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan from the viewpoint of current management is made. Closely associated with both the legal and managerial aspects of this issue is the moral facet of using bankruptcy as a management tool. The broad question is: how prevalent and how reasonable is it for management to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy to manipulate the corporation''s creditors, employees, and stockholders to achieve management''s desired end. (shrink)
An important question for a naturalized philosophical psychology is what constitutes moral agency (MA). The two prominent scientific theories to which such a philosophical approach might appeal, those of cognitive developmental theory (CDT) and social learning theory (SLT), currently face an investigative dilemma: The better theories of the acquisition of beliefs and the performance of action based on them, the SLTs, seem to be irrelevant to the phenomenon of MA and the theories that seem to be (...) relevant, the CDTs, are unsatisfactory in their accounts of acquisition and action. In this paper I take up the cause of SLT accounts of MA. Critics of SLT accounts of MA can be interpreted as arguing that they are irrelevant to MA because they lack one or more of five functional criteria that require MA to be integral morally motivated cognitive agency. I argue that SLT accounts of MA, and specifically Bandura's social cognitive theory, (SCT), when applied to issues of MA, meet these criteria. Assuming the merits of SLT explanations of both the acquisition of beliefs and the performance of actions based on them, I conclude that SLTs generally, and specifically Bandura's SCT, are promising candidates for explaining MA. If so, they merit the attention of naturalistic philosophical psychologists. (shrink)
In what follows I will consider Kant's and Habermas's conceptions of moral validity in a comparative and critical way. First, I will reconstruct Habermas's discursive or deliberative reformulation of Kant's moral theory (sec.1). And, second, I will introduce some comparative critical considerations (2). I will contend that, though much is gained with Habermas's intersubjectivist reformulation of Kant's moral philosophy, some problems emerge that could be treated with the help of certain Kantian insights. I will focus on Kant's (...) and Habermas's strictly moral writings. The issue of political validity or legitimacy (i.e., of the validity of norms that are to be enforced by a coercive state apparatus) is of course of great importance, but I will not address it here. (shrink)
Thomas Hill, a leading figure in the recent development of Kantian moral philosophy, presents a set of essays exploring the implications of basic Kantian ideas for practical issues. The first part of the book provides background in central themes in Kant's ethics; the second part discusses questions regarding human welfare; the third focuses on moral worth-the nature and grounds of moral assessment of persons as deserving esteem or blame. Hill shows moral, political, and social philosophers just (...) how valuable moral theory can be in addressing practical matters. (shrink)
Designed for contemporary moral problems courses, Bonevac's Today's Moral Issues is unique in providing theoretical readings related to the contemporary issues readings that follow; students connect theory and practice, thereby making the theory interesting and relevant. In addition to providing readings on contemporary topics, the book lends historical perspective to current moral issues with its unique inclusion of classic selections by philosophers such as Aristotle, Mill, Kant, and Locke.
One approach to legal theory is to provide some sort of rational reconstruction of all or of a large body of the common law. For philosophers of law this has usually meant trying to rationalize a body of law under one or another principle of justice. This paper explores the efforts of the leading tort theorists to provide a moral basis — for the law of torts. The paper is divided into two parts. In the first part I consider (...) and reject the view that tort law is best understood as falling either within the ambit of the principle of retributive justice, a comprehensive theory of moral responsibility, or an ideal of fairness inherent in the idea that one should impose on others only those risks others impose on one. The second part of the paper distinguishes among various conceptions of corrective or compensatory justice and considers arguments — including previous arguments by the author himself — to the effect that tort law is best understood as rooted in principles of corrective justice. This paper argues that although the use of principles of justice may render defensible many (but by no means all) of the claims to repair and to liability recognized in torts, it cannot explain why we have adopted a tort system as the approach to vindicating those claims. Some other principle — probably not one of justice — is needed to explain why it is that the victims claims to repair is satisfied by having his losses shifted to his injurer — rather than through some other means of doing so. The paper concludes that the law of torts cannot be understood — in the sense of being given a rational reconstruction — under any one principle of morality. (shrink)
One approach to legal theory is to provide some sort of rational reconstruction of all or of a large body of the common law. For philosophers of law this has usually meant trying to rationalize a body of law under one or another principle of justice. This paper explores the efforts of the leading tort theorists to provide a moral basis - in the sense of rational reconstruction based on alleged moral principles - for the law of torts. (...) The paper is divided into two parts. In the first part I consider and reject the view that tort law is best understood as falling either within the ambit of the principle of retributive justice, a comprehensive theory of moral responsibility, or an ideal of fairness inherent in the idea that one should impose on others only those risks others impose on one. The second part of the paper distinguishes among various conceptions of corrective or compensatory justice and considers arguments — including previous ones by the author himself — to the effect that tort law is best understood as rooted in principles of corrective justice. This paper argues that although the principles of justice may render defensible many (but by no means all) of the claims to repair and to liability recognized in torts, it cannot explain why we have adopted a tort system as the approach to vindicating those claims. Some other principle — probably not one of justice — is needed to explain why it is that the victim's claim to repair is satisfied by having his losses shifted to his injurer — rather than through some other means of doing so. The paper concludes that the law of torts cannot be understood — in the sense of being given a rational reconstruction — under any one principle of morality. (shrink)
The recent revival of virtue ethics may have a salutary effect on normative ethical theory. Over the past few years, an ‘agent-based’ virtue ethics inspired by the moral sentimentalism of Hutcheson, Hume, Martineau, and (more recently) Nel Noddings has taken shape. Because this approach allows room for a generalized humanitarianism that is notably absent in Aristotle, it may have more contemporary promise than neo-Aristotelian views. But agent-based virtue ethics also enables us to make some new distinctions within more familiar (...) views and to that extent, therefore, has something to offer advocates of the very approaches with which it disagrees. (shrink)
Thomas Hill, a leading figure in the recent development of Kantian moral philosophy, presents a series of essays that interpret and develop Kant's ideas on ethics. The first part of the book focuses on basic concepts: a priori method, a good will, categorical imperatives, autonomy, and constructivist strategies of argument. Hill goes on to consider aspects of human welfare, and then moral worth--the nature and grounds of moral assessment of persons as deserving esteem or blame. He offers (...) illuminating discussions of happiness, beneficence, personal values, conscience, moral desert, moral dilemmas, and feelings of regret. He is critical of Kant at many points, but he shows how many familiar objections miss the mark. Two previously unpublished essays challenge the views of other influential Kant scholars and defend alternative interpretations of Kant on beneficence, supererogation, and what it means to 'set oneself an end'. These clear and careful writings show moral, poltical, and social philosophers just how valuable Kantian ethical theory can be in addressing practical matters. (shrink)
One of the challenges arising from globalization viewed as a multi-dimensional phenomenon is the possibility of a moral integration of the world or at least that of finding some plausible common ground for a meaningful ethical dialogue. Overcoming the moral frag- mentation of the modern world is made even more difficult in light of the diversity of views in moral theory. Is global ethics even possible in the light of many disagreements about metaethical and normative questions? (...) class='Hi'>Moral theory faces a challenge of providing a usable framework for moral discussion as a precondition for moral integration. In his latest book Robert Audi proposes a model of pluralistic universalism as a combination of most of the historically influential moraltheories, namely, virtue ethics, Kantianism and utilitarianism. The three central values being advocated are freedom, justice and happiness. I discuss this proposal and point to the role that pluralistic intuitionism plays in it. (shrink)
Abstract The concept ?development stage? seems to be going through a revival (cf. Commons and Richards, 1984; Levin, 1986). Three positions regarding the conceptualization of development stages can be distinguished. Piaget's original formulations are presented as a starting point (Piaget, 1960). Trends in the sub?discipline of developmental psychology concerned with the study of cognitive development are then shortly reviewed and contrasted with trends in the sub?discipline concerned with the study of moral development. In the field of moral development (...) research, Kohlberg has proposed a hard structural stage model which subscribes to Piaget's criteria while in the field of cognitive development most of the stage criteria specified by Piaget are regarded as untenable and the weaker notion of ?sequence? has become popular. By relating this divergence in interpretation and appreciation to trends in the methodology and theory of research concerning moral development, reasons for maintaining a hard?structural stage model are made intelligible. Characteristic of the Kohlbergian stage concept is an interest in meaning structures, structured wholeness and hierarchical integration. (shrink)
Adam Smith and David Hume agree that first-level general rules of morality may be discovered by induction, and that reflection on these rules may influence human behavior. But Hume thinks a deeper, second level of moral general rules may also be discovered, and used to correct erroneous first-level rules (which correction is a practice followed by the wise). Thus on Hume's view, some reasoned reflection may be needed in order to feel the proper moral sentiment (which sentiment (...) would preferably then be internalized). Smith holds that, because of human inclination toward selfishness, first-level moral rules should be habitually used to override immediate impulse in the motivation of behavior. This is a valuable habit, but since most people are not able to form such rules for themselves, it is a good idea for them to follow moral rules provided by religion. There is something respectable, according to Smith, in sincerely following flawed moral rules provided by religion. Hume disagrees, holding that it is foolish and blameworthy, indeed dangerous, to follow flawed moral rules provided by religion. (shrink)
The purely retributive moral justification of punishment has a gap at its centre. It fails to explain why the offender should not be protected from punishment by the intuitively powerful moral idea that afflicting another person (other than to avoid a greater harm) is always wrong. Attempts to close the gap have taken several different forms, and only one is discussed in this paper. This is the attempt to push aside the â€˜protectingâ€™ intuition, using some more powerful intuition (...) specially invoked by the situations to which criminal justice is addressed. In one aspect of his complex defence of pure retributivism, Michael S. Moore attempts to show that the emotions of well-adjusted persons provide evidence of moral facts which justify the affliction of culpable wrongdoers in retribution for their wrongdoing. In particular, he appeals to the evidential significance of emotions aroused by especially heinous crimes, including the punishment-seeking guilt of the offender who truly confronts the reality of his immoral act. The paper argues that Moore fails to vindicate this appeal to moral realism, and thus to show that intrinsic personal moral desert (as distinct from â€˜desertâ€™ in a more restricted sense, relative to morally justified institutions) is a necessary and sufficient basis for punishment. Other theories of the role of emotions in morality are as defensible as Mooreâ€™s, while the compelling emotions to which he appeals to clinch his argument can be convincingly situated within a non-retributivist framework, especially when the distinction between the intuitions of the lawless world, and those of the world of law, is recognised. (shrink)
Abstract This article provides an overview of the current situation and problems of moral education in Canada today. After a brief summary of some multicultural dimensions of the Canadian context, three difficulties in point of view are discussed. The first concerns the status and nature of official policy on moral education within Canadian educational jurisdictions. The second identifies two general directions of contemporary change in Canadian society with high potential to affect moral education in incompatible ways. Finally, (...) it is argued that the most crucial problems revolve around the central role of the teacher in moral education efforts. (shrink)
According to moral error theory, moral discourse is error-ridden. Establishing error theory requires establishing two claims. These are that moral discourse carries a non-negotiable commitment to there being a moral reality and that there is no such reality. This paper concerns the first and so-called non-negotiable commitment claim. It starts by identifying the two existing argumentative strategies for settling that claim. The standard strategy is to argue for a relation of conceptual entailment between the moral (...) statements that comprise moral discourse and the statement that there is a moral reality. The non-standard strategy is to argue for a presupposition relation instead. Error theorists have so far failed to consider a third strategy, which uses a general entailment relation that doesn’t require intricate relations between concepts. The paper argues that both entailment claims struggle to meet a new explanatory challenge and that since the presupposition option doesn’t we have prima facie reason to prefer it over the entailment options. The paper then argues that suitably amending the entailment claims enables them to meet this challenge. With all three options back on the table the paper closes by arguing that error theorists should consider developing the currently unrecognised, non-conceptual entailment claim. (shrink)
Abstract Contemporary Poland faces the task of educational reform in which moral and citizenship issues seem to be crucial. The article describes how the decline of public virtues prompted efforts to create a modern school system and to form citizens of a new type in late 18th?century Poland. It shows how Polish Romantic literature became the basis of moral education when these efforts were rejected and replaced by denationalisation policies and pressures to create obedient performers of others? will (...) by neighbouring powers who partitioned the country. It is argued that this Romantic tradition still has a significant role to play in present?day moral education. It relates to the need for a return to basic values of respect for others and tolerance on which democratic education could be founded. (shrink)
Drug laws -- Justifications of punishment -- Civil disobedience : is there a duty to obey the law? -- Global poverty -- Liberty -- Liberty-limiting principles -- Rights -- Equality and social justice -- Moral relativism -- Utilitarianism -- Kantian moral philosophy -- John Rawls's theory of justice.
To consequentialize a non-consequentialist theory, take whatever considerations that the non-consequentialist theory holds to be relevant to determining the deontic statuses of actions and insist that those considerations are relevant to determining the proper ranking of outcomes. In this way, the consequentialist can produce an ordering of outcomes that when combined with her criterion of rightness yields the same set of deontic verdicts that the non-consequentialist theory yields. In this paper, I argue that any plausible non-consequentialist theory can be consequentialized. (...) I explain the motivation for the consequentializing project and defend it against recent criticisms by Mark Schroeder and others. (shrink)
This collection examines prevalent assumptions in moral reasoning which are often accepted uncritically in medical ethics. It introduces a range of perspectives from philosophy and medicine on the nature of moral reasoning and relates these to illustrative problems, such as New Reproductive Technologies, the treatment of sick children, the assessment of quality of life, genetics, involuntary psychiatric treatment and abortion. In each case, the contributors address the nature and worth of the moraltheories involved in (...) discussions of the relevant issues, and focus on the types of reasoning which are employed. 'Medical ethics is in danger of becoming a subject kept afloat by a series of platitudes about respect for persons or the importance of autonomy. This book is a bold and imaginative attempt to break away from such rhetoric into genuine informative dialogue between philosophers and doctors, with no search after consensus.' Mary Warnock. (shrink)
Some have attempted to justify benefit/ cost analysis by appealing to a moral theory that appears to directly ground the technique. This approach is unsuccessful because the moral theory in question is wildly implausible and, even if it were correct, it would probably not endorse the unrestricted use of benefit/ cost analysis. Nevertheless, there is reason to think that a carefully restricted use of benefit/ cost analysis will be justifiable from a wide variety of plausible moral (...) class='Hi'>perspectives. From this, it is reasonable to conclude that such use of the technique is probably morally justified and should be acceptable to most people. (shrink)
This paper takes up the question of the role of philosophical moral theory in our attempts to resolve the ethical problems that arise in health care, with particular reference to the contention that we need theory to be determinative of our choice of actions. Moral theorizing is distinguished from moraltheories and the prospects for determinacy from the latter are examined through a consideration of the most promising candidates: utilitarianism, deontology and the procedures involved in reflective (...) equilibrium. It is argued that the current lack of any generally accepted method of solving moral problems, together with the extreme improbability of philosophy achieving a plausibly determinate theory, should encourage us to approach the problems in a spirit of agnosticism regarding the way in which theoretical material might be of relevance. The practical test for both moral theorizing and moraltheories is thus not determinacy but the degree to which they increase our understanding of moral problems by serving, as they do in philosophy, as a means of inquiry into their nature. (shrink)
There are different possibilities for defining the areas for the application of ethics to engineering. They range from descriptive analysis of engineers’ relationship to moral criteria and extend to normative issues on how engineers should design more “sustainable” technology. In this paper, a frame of reference is proposed, which makes it possible to elaborate in a transparent manner goals for analysis of the scope of ethics in engineering. Its point of departure is marked by two questions: 1) which types (...) of situation in the practice of engineering require ethical reflection? and 2) to what extent are engineers expected to assume moral responsibility in the practice of their profession? The answers to both of these questions presuppose reflection on the societal processes of setting definitions and of making ascriptions. Understanding these processes of societal “construction” of demands for ethical reflection in engineering and of engineers’ moral responsibilities should be an important objective of the analysis of ethics in engineering. (shrink)
Recently there have been a number of attempts to show that free will is not a necessary condition for moral responsibility. It is argued that moral responsibility can be shown to be compatible with determinism even if free will is not. I assess the two most prominent arguments for this position and conclude that neither is sound. There is, however, an argument which does make a prima facie case for this new form of compatibilism. This argument, however, is (...) not decisive. I maintain that what can be learned from the argument’s short-comings is that the free will problem can only be resolved by appeal to moral theory. We need some method by which competing intuitions about the matter can be adjudicated. (shrink)
Most Americans are religious believers. Among these there is disagreement about many fundamental religious/moral matters. Because the United States is both such a religious country and such a religiously pluralistic country, the issue of the proper role of religion in politics is extremely important to political debate. In Religion in Politics, Michael Perry addresses a fundamental question: what role may religious arguments play, if any, either in public debate about what political choices to make or as a basis of (...) political choice? He is principally concerned with political choices that ban or otherwise disfavor one or another sort of human conduct based on the view that the conduct is immoral. He divides the controversy into two debates: the constitutionally proper role of religious arguments in politics, and a related, but distinct, debate about the morally proper role. Perry concludes that political choices about the morality of human conduct should not be based on religion. The newest work by one of the most important constitutional theorists writing today, Religion in Politics is sure to spark a new debate on the subject. (shrink)
The paper argues that a particular version of moral realism constitutes an important basis for ethics in medicine and health care. Moral realism is the position that moral value is a part of the fabric of relational and interpersonal reality. But even though moral values are subject to human interpretations, they are not themselves the sole product of these interpretations. Moral values are not invented but discovered by the subject. Moral realism argues that values (...) are open to perception and experience and that moral subjectivity must be portrayed in how moral values are discovered and perceived by the human subject. Moral values may exist independent of the particular subject’s interpretative evaluations as a part of reality. This epistemological point about normativity is particularly significant in medical care and in health care. The clinician perceives moral value in the clinical encounter in a way that is important for competent clinical understanding. Clinical understanding in medical care and health care bears on the encounter with moral values in the direct and embodied relations to patients, with their experiences of illness and their vulnerabilities. Good clinical care is then partly conditioned upon adequate understanding of such moral realities. (shrink)
Abstract The relatively recent addition of women's voices to the study of moral development has led to the postulation of two separate moral contexts defined by gender, each with its own dominating concerns; guiding principles, forms of reasoning and hypothetical end point. While many developmental theorists agree that mature moral reasoning entails some sort of integration of these two perspectives, the exact nature of that reconciliation is a matter of considerable speculation and debate. This paper begins (...) with the premise that the mark of a moral developmental model's philosophical adequacy is its handling of the problem of moral relativism. It examines the strengths and weaknesses of the justice and caring approaches in regulating the contextual relativism inherent in genderized moralities. And it concludes by proposing that only by reframing the gender question in broader, teleological terms than present theories have attempted can the problem be resolved. (shrink)
We are well served, both practically and morally, by moral and ethical diversity. Moral deliberation requires the collaboration of distinctive perspectives: consequentialist, deontological, perfectionist considerations each contribute significant dimensions in determining what is good and what is right; virtue theory highlights the development of reliable ethical character.