Featuring new selections chosen by coeditor Lewis Vaughn, the third edition of Louis P. Pojman's The Moral Life: An Introductory Reader in Ethics and Literature brings together an extensive and varied collection of ninety-one classical and contemporary readings on ethical theory and practice. Integrating literature with philosophy in an innovative way, the book uses literary works to enliven and make concrete the ethical theory or applied issues addressed in each chapter. Literary works by Camus, Hawthorne, Hugo, Huxley, (...) Ibsen, Le Guin, Melville, Orwell, Styron, Tolstoy, and many others lead students into such philosophical concepts and issues as relativism; utilitarianism; virtue ethics; the meaning of life; freedom and autonomy; sex, love, and marriage; animal rights; and terrorism. Once introduced, these topics are developed further through readings by philosophers including Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Nozick, Singer, and Sartre. This unique anthology emphasizes the personal dimension of ethics, which is often ignored or minimized in ethics texts. It also incorporates chapter introductions, study questions, suggestions for further reading, and biographical sketches of the writers. The third edition brings the collection up-to-date, adding selections by Jane English, William Frankena, Don Marquis, John Stuart Mill, Mary Midgley, Thomas Nagel, Judith Jarvis Thomson, and J.O. Urmson. It also features a new chapter on euthanasia with essays by Dan W. Brock, J. Gay-Williams, and James Rachels. Ideal for introductory ethics courses, The Moral Life, Third Edition, also provides an engaging gateway into personal and social ethics for general readers. (shrink)
What is the relationship between the self and society? Where do moral judgments come from? As Blakey Vermeule demonstrates in The Party of Humanity, such questions about sociability and moral philosophy were central to eighteenth-century writers and artists. Vermeule focuses on a group of aesthetically complicated moral texts: Alexander Pope's character sketches and Dunciad , Samuel Johnson's Life of Savage, and David Hume's self-consciously theatrical writings on pride and his autobiographical writings on religious melancholia. These writers and (...) their characters confronted familiar social dilemmas--sexual desire, gender identity, family relations, cheating, ambition, status, rivalry, and shame--and responded by developing a practical ethics about their own behavior at the same time that they refined their moral judgments of others. The Party of Humanity frames its discussion about emotions, social conflict, and aesthetics within two broad theories: the emerging field of evolutionary psychology and Kantian moral philosophy. By studying how eighteenth-century Britons experienced the demands of their social identities, Vermeule argues, we can better understand the most salient problems facing moral philosophy today--the issue of self-interest and the question of how moral norms are shaped by social agendas. (shrink)
According to agency theory, agents base their economic decisions on self-interests when adverse selection conditions exist. However, cognitive moral development theory predicts that ethics/morals may influence decision-makers not to behave egoistically. Rutledge and Karim (1999; Accounting, Organizations and Society 24(2), 173–184) find both the moral reasoning level of the managers and an adverse selection condition affect a manager’s project evaluation decisions significantly. Since prior studies have shown that national␣culture might influence the application of agency theory in project (...) evaluation, this current study uses a different moral development measurement to reexamine Rutledge and Karim’s hypotheses in another culture. A total of 73 Taiwanese executive MBA students with an average of 12.17 years work experience participated in this study. We found that both moral development level and adverse selection conditions significantly affect managers’ project continuance decisions. The interaction effect of these two factors indicates that, when adverse selection conditions exist, participants with a high level of moral development exhibit less of a tendency to continue an unprofitable project than those with a low level of moral development. With subjects from a different culture, our results confirm the findings of Rutldege and Karim. That is, the effects of moral development and adverse selection conditions on managers’ project continuance decisions are robust and can be generalized to different cultures. Implications of the findings of this study to multinational firms are also discussed. (shrink)
Now in its fourth edition, Louis P. Pojman and Lewis Vaughn's acclaimed The Moral Life: An Introductory Reader in Ethics and Literature brings together an extensive and varied collection of eighty-five classical and contemporary readings on ethical theory and practice. Integrating literature with philosophy in an innovative way, the book uses literary works to enliven and make concrete the ethical theory or applied issues addressed. Literary works by Angelou, Camus, Hawthorne, Huxley, Ibsen, Le Guin, Melville, Orwell, Styron, (...) Tolstoy, and many others lead students into such philosophical concepts and issues as relativism; utilitarianism; virtue ethics; the meaning of life; freedom and autonomy; sex, love, and marriage; animal rights; and terrorism. These topics are developed further through readings by philosophers including Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Singer, Sartre, Nagel, and Thomson. This unique anthology emphasizes the personal dimension of ethics, which is often ignored or minimized in ethics texts. It also incorporates chapter introductions, study questions, suggestions for further reading, and biographical sketches of the writers. The fourth edition features five new readings--by James Rachels, Alasdair MacIntyre, Michael Levin, John Corvino, and Stephen Nathanson--and a new appendix on how to write a philosophy paper. A new Companion Website features resources for both students and instructors including reading summaries; true/false, multiple-choice, and essay questions; and PowerPoint slides. Ideal for introductory ethics courses, The Moral Life, Fourth Edition, also provides an engaging gateway into personal and social ethics for general readers. (shrink)
Abstract Moral development research has previously demonstrated that more extended discourse is a vital element in effective moral education, although the difficulty of implementing this type of discourse into classroom practice has seldom been discussed. In this study, transcripts of lessons were examined of a teacher systematically assisted to develop a more conversational style. These lessons were taped over the course of the school year at different times, beginning in the fall of the year. In addition, writing samples (...) from children who participated in the lessons were subject to content analysis for themes relating to moral questions. Analysis of the lesson transcripts suggests that young students initiate discussion of values?implications of the texts they read if opportunities for connected discourse are increased. Evidence of the impact of more ?conversational? discussions was found in the essays written by students in the class of a teacher using a more conversational style but not in the essays of students who were taught using a conventional format. (shrink)
This essay applies a plausible model for moral growth to examples of secular and religious children’s literature. The point is that moral maturation, given this model, requires imaginary worlds on both secular and religious presuppositions. Trying to guide a child’s reading toward either religious or secular books rather than toward good literature is shown therefore to miss the mark of good parenting.
Is it possible for postmodernism to offer viable, coherent accounts of ethics? Or are our social and intellectual worlds too fragmented for any broad consensus about the moral life? These issues have emerged as some of the most contentious in literary and philosophical studies. In Renegotiating Ethics in Literature, Philosophy, and Theory a distinguished international gathering of philosophers and literary scholars address the reconceptualisations involved in this 'turn towards ethics'. An important feature of this has been a renewed (...) interest in the literary text as a focus for the exploration of ethical issues. Exponents of this trend include Charles Taylor, Bernard Williams, Iris Murdoch, Cora Diamond, Richard Rorty and Martha Nussbaum, the latter a contributor and a key figure in this volume. This book assesses the significance of this development for ethical and literary theory and attempts to articulate an alternative postmodern account of ethics which does not rely on earlier appeals to universal truths. (shrink)
Abstract This article is based on a longitudinal study of relations between biographical conditions and the personality development of 21 young workers ranging from 23 to 30 years of age who had passed through an apprenticeship in large plants of the metal industry in West Berlin. The biographical analyses focused mainly on occupational conditions; the personality analyses, on such socio?cognitive variables as patterns of control awareness and structures of moral judgement. A review of the relevant literature (...) led to the hypothesis that seven social conditions in particular promote development. Data on these conditions were collected continually through in?depth interviews of the workers, observations of their work and information from their superiors, personnel managers and works councils. Data on moral judgement were collected at the beginning and end of the study by confronting the workers with five real?life dilemmas in a semi?structured interview. Before the second series of ?moral interviews?, predictions of the individual moral levels of all subjects were derived from their former reasoning and their intermediate biographical experiences. The responses of the interviewees confirmed nearly all the predictions. Occupational experiences appeared to have contributed considerably to moral development in most respondents. (shrink)
Bringing together poststructuralist ethical theory with late Victorian debates about the morality of literature, this book reconsiders the ways in which novels engender an ethical orientation or response in their readers, explaining how the ...
Numinous spaces in British literature from William Wordsworth to Samuel Beckett -- Jesus figures in American literature from Ralph Waldo Emerson to Edward Albee -- Using Bakhtin's definitions to discover ethical voices in Solzhenitsyn and Tolstoy -- René Girard's categories of scapegoats in literature of the American South -- Hopkins's metaphysics of nature as sacred disclosure -- The book of job as mirrored in Hopkins's metaphysics -- Beckett's mythos of the absence of God.
This book reads Milton’s Paradise Lost as a poem that seeks to educate its readers by narrating the education of its main characters. Many of Milton’s characters enter the action in late adolescence, newly independent and eager to test themselves, to discover who they are and their place in the world. The poem charts their progress into moral adulthood. Taking as its premise that attention to the moral development of the poem’s main characters will open the poem to (...) most undergraduate readers, this book explores both the pedagogical activity within Paradise Lost and the pedagogical activity that the poem encourages. (shrink)
Recent philosophical discussion about the relation between fiction and reality pays little attention to our moral involvement with literature. Frank Palmer's purpose is to investigate how our appreciation of literary works calls upon and develops our capacity for moral understanding. He explores a wide range of philosophical questions about the relation of art to morality, and challenges theories that he regards as incompatible with a humane view of literary art. Palmer considers, in particular, the extent to which (...) the values and moral concepts involved in our understanding of human beings can be said to enter into our understanding of, and response to, fictional characters. The scope of his discussion encompasses literary aesthetics, ethics, and epistemology, and he makes extensive reference to literary examples. (shrink)
Figuring Animals is a collection of fifteen essays concerning the representation of animals in literature, the visual arts, philosophy, and cultural practice. At the turn of the new century, it is helpful to reconsider our inherited understandings of the species, some of which are still useful to us. It is also important to look ahead to new understandings and new dialogue, which may contribute to the survival of us all. The contributors to this volume participate in this dialogue in (...) a variety of ways--through personal experience, natural history, cultural studies, philosophical inquiry, art history, literary analysis, film studies, and theoretical imagining, and through a combination of these trains of thought. The essays expose weaknesses in western epistemological frames of reference that for centuries have limited our views and, thus, our experiences of animal being, including our own. (shrink)
Many prominent accounts of free will and moral responsibility make use of the idea that agents can be responsive to reasons. Call such theories Reasons accounts. In what follows, I consider the tenability of Reasons accounts in light of situationist social psychology and, to a lesser extent, the automaticity literature. In the ﬁrst half of this chapter, I argue that Reasons accounts are genuinely threatened by contemporary psychology. In the second half of the paper I consider whether such (...) threats can be met, and at what cost. Ultimately, I argue that Reasons accounts can abandon some familiar assumptions, and that doing so permits us to build a more empirically plausible picture of our agency. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Acknowledgments; Introduction: scales of identification; 1. Democratic expansionism, gothic geographies, and Charles Brockden Brown; 2. Urban apartments, global cities: the enlargement of private space in Poe and James; 3. Cultural orphans: domesticity, missionaries, and China from Stowe to Sui Sin Far; 4. 'The Checkered Globe': cosmopolitan despair in the American Pacific; 5. Literature and regional production; Epilogue: scales of resistance.
This volume brings together Nussbaum's published papers on the relationship between literature and philosophy, especially moral philosophy. The papers, many of them previously inaccessible to non-specialist readers, explore such fundamental issues as the relationship between style and content in the exploration of ethical issues; the nature of ethical attention and ethical knowledge and their relationship to written forms and styles; and the role of the emotions in deliberation and self-knowledge. Nussbaum investigates and defends a conception of ethical understanding (...) which involves emotional as well as intellectual activity, and which gives a certain type of priority to the perception of particular people and situations rather than to abstract rules. She argues that this ethical conception cannot be completely and appropriately stated without turning to forms of writing usually considered literary rather than philosophical. It is consequently necessary to broaden our conception of moral philosophy in order to include these forms. Featuring two new essays and revised versions of several previously published essays, this collection attempts to articulate the relationship, within such a broader ethical inquiry, between literary and more abstractly theoretical elements. (shrink)
Some kinds of technological change not only trigger new ethical problems, but also give rise to questions about those very approaches to addressing ethical problems that have been relied upon in the past. Writing in the aftermath of World War II, Hans Jonas called for a new ``ethics of responsibility,'' based on the reasoning that modern technology dramatically divorces our moral condition from the assumptions under which standard ethical theories were first conceived. Can a similar claim be made about (...) the technologies of cyberspace? Do online information technologies so alter our moral condition that standard ethical theories become ineffective in helping us address the moral problems they create? I approach this question from two angles. First, I look at the impact of online information technologies on our powers of causal efficacy. I then go on to consider their impact on self-identity. We have good reasons, I suggest, to be skeptical of any claim that there is a need for a new, cyberspace ethics to address the moral dilemmas arising from these technologies. I conclude by giving a brief sketch of why this suggestion does not imply there is nothing philosophically interesting about the ethical challenges associated with cyberspace. (shrink)
Hugh Connelly, An authentic Celtic voice : the Irish penitential and contemporary discourse on reconciliation -- Padraig Corkery, Bio-ethics and contemporary Irish moral discourse -- Amelia Fleming, The silent voice of creation and moral discourse. -- Raphael Gallagher, CSsR., A church silence in sexual moral discourse? -- Donal Harrington, Moral discourse and journalism. -- Linda Hogan, Contemporary humanitarianism: neutral or impartial? -- Vincent MacNamara, On having a religious morality. -- Enda McDonagh, A discourse on the centrality (...) of justice in moral theology. -- Suzanne Mulligan, Moral discourse in a time of AIDS. (shrink)
Why do Americans, and so often, American writers, profess moral sentiments and yet write so little in the traditionally "moralistic" genres of maxim and fable? What is the relation between "moral" concerns and literary theory? Can any sort of morality survive the supposed nihilism of deconstruction? Jefferson Humphries undertakes a discussion of questions like these through a comparative reading of the ways in which moral issues surface in French and American literature. Humphries takes issue with the (...) "amoral" view of deconstruction espoused by many of its detractors, arguing that the debate between the theory's advocates and opponents comes down to two opposing literary and moral traditions. While the American tradition views morality as a rigid system capable of being enforced by injunctions along the lines of "Thou shalt" and "Thou shalt not," the French tradition conceives of morality as a function of a relentless and unsentimental pursuit of truth, and finally, an admission that "truth" is not a static thing, but rather an ongoing process of rigorous thought. (shrink)
It seems to many that moral opinions must make a difference to what we’re motivated to do, at least in suitable conditions. For others, it seems that it is possible to have genuine moral opinions that make no motivational difference. Both sides – internalists and externalists about moral motivation – can tell persuasive stories of actual and hypothetical cases. My proposal for a kind of reconciliation is to distinguish between two kinds of psychological states with (...) class='Hi'>moral content. There are both moral thoughts or opinions that intrinsically motivate, and moral thoughts or opinions that don’t. The thoughts that intrinsically motivate are moral intuitions – spontaneous and compelling non-doxastic appearances of right or wrong that both attract assent and incline us to act or react. I argue that there is good reason to think that these intuitions, but not moral judgments, are constituted by manifestations of moral sentiments. The moral thoughts that do not intrinsically motivate are moral beliefs, which are in themselves as inert as any ordinary beliefs. Thus, roughly, internalism is true about intuitions and externalism is true about beliefs or judgments. (shrink)
In the Nicomachean ethics, Aristotle sets down a scattered and fractional account of the development of moral virtue within young people. Philosopher Martha Nussbaum defends Aristotle's neglect of a systematic account of moral development and argues that more complex expressions of character?building, such as learning to expose oneself to proper desires, feelings, pleasures and pains, are better illustrated through drama or literature than through philosophy. In this vein, the author draws upon literary thinkers J.B. Kerfoot, Sven Birkerts (...) and Wayne C. Booth, as well as the imaginative Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, to illustrate more concretely Aristotle's process of moral development. The author concludes with a proviso about the vulnerability of the connected process of reading and moral development in the current consumer culture. (shrink)
Abstract The present field experiment was designed to explore the effectiveness of social learning and structural developmental prescriptions for moral pedagogy in a summer sports camp. Eighty?four children, aged five to seven years, were matched on relevant variables and randomly assigned to one of three classes: (a) social learning, (b) structural developmental, or (c) control. Each of the classes shared similar curricula and was taught by two trained instructors for a six?week period. Educators is the experimental conditions implemented (...) theoretically grounded instructional strategies in their weekly emphasis on specific moral themes. Analyses indicated significant pre?to?post gains on a Piagetian intentionality task and a measure of distributive justice within both experimental groups, but MANCOVA results indicated differences between the experimental and control conditions only approached significance. (shrink)
Every scholar and reader of William James is aware of his frequent uses of "energy," especially in his discussions of ethics and most notably in his 1906 Presidential Address to the American Philosophical Association, "The Energies of Men". But while other interpretations treat James's use of "energy" as merely one of his several folksy metaphors, The Ethics of Energy: William James's Moral Philosophy in Focus is the first monograph, as its author, Sergio Franzese, rightly claims, to focus upon "energy" (...) as a central concept in James's ethics. Ethics, for James, is not about values, goods, or principles but about the organization of energy, especially into habits, in the service of personal, aesthetic ideals. As such this book is an original and valuable addition to the literature on James, and it does much to bring James into closer dialogue with other recent efforts to rethink ethics without appeal to some rule of reason, whether it be in the form of an utilitarian calculus or a categorical imperative. Such efforts include those of Friedrich Nietzsche, whom Franzese discusses extensively, Max Scheler, whom he mentions only briefly (51-52), and especially Michel Foucault, whom he does not mention at all. (shrink)
Neuroscience and psychology have recently turned their attention to the study of the subpersonal underpinnings of moral judgment. In this article we critically examine an influential strand of research originating in Greene's neuroimaging studies of ‘utilitarian’ and ‘non-utilitarian’ moral judgement. We argue that given that the explananda of this research are specific personal-level states—moral judgments with certain propositional contents—its methodology has to be sensitive to criteria for ascribing states with such contents to subjects. We argue that current (...) research has often failed to meet this constraint by failing to correctly ‘fix’ key aspects of moral judgment, criticism we support by detailed examples from the scientific literature. (shrink)
Moral theory is an important guide to bioethical decision-making, but it can confuse and mislead those who offer ethical advice to clinicians and researchers, delaying decisions that must be made in a timely fashion. In this paper I examine the ways moral theory can lead bioethicists astray. Absent a sensitivity to the empirical realities of ethical problems, moral theory 1) contributes to the disappearance of the persons caught in an ethical quandary, 2) focuses on the puzzle-solving rather (...) than examining the conditions that generate moral problems, and 3) universalizes ethical dilemmas, overlooking local processes for resolving moral questions. Taken together, empirically informed moral theory and theoretically informed empirical research can help bioethicists transcend the is/ought problem in ethical work. (shrink)
Abstract This paper is the culmination of having worked with training and in?service primary teachers, the observation of primary teachers in practice, and a review of relevant literature in primary education and child development. When considering moral education a consistent finding has been that the child must be trained to be good and moral. This finding is in contradiction to the developmental psychological basis to many moral education programmes, which relies on the child's sociability and development (...) of relationships with others to foster moral development. Therefore a small?scale survey of teachers and training teachers was undertaken to verify teachers? understanding and implementation of moral education. Content and comparative analyses of the survey responses showed the aforementioned training orientation. But a strong concern for others was also found. When attempting to implement classroom moral education teachers took an overwhelmingly intellectual approach to the task when a practical approach would have been closer to the developing needs of pupils. Results are discussed in relation to needs and planning of a moral curriculum. (shrink)
In this essay I seek to show that a philosophy of modesty informs core aspects of both Nietzsche’s critique of morality and what he intends to replace morality with, namely, an ethics of self-cultivation. To demonstrate this I focus on Dawn: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality, a largely neglected text in his corpus where Nietzsche carries out a quite wide-ranging critique of morality, including Mitleid. It is one of Nietzsche’s most experimental works and is best read, I claim, as (...) an Epicurean-inspired critique of the present and an exercise in moral therapy. In the opening sections I draw attention to the wider social dimension of the text and its concern with a morality of compassion, which is rarely done in the literature. I then turn to highlighting Nietzsche’s Epicurean moment, followed by two sections on Nietzsche on the self in which I aim to bring to light his ethics of self-cultivation and show in what ways his revaluation makes central to ethics a modest egoism and care of self. In the conclusion to the essay I provide a contrast between Nietzsche and Kant and deal with reservations readers might have about his ethics. Overall, the essay seeks to make a contribution to an appreciation of Dawn as a work of moral therapy. (shrink)
How is the Confucian moral agent motivated to do what he or she judges to be right or good? In western philosophy, the answer to a question such as this depends on whether one is an internalist or externalist concerning moral motivation. In this article, I will first interpret Confucian ethics as role-based ethics and then argue that we can attribute to Confucianism a position on moral motivation that is neither internalist nor externalist but somewhere in between. (...) I will then illustrate my claim with my reading of Mencius 6A4, showing that it is superior to readings found in the literature, which typically assume that Mencius is an internalist. (shrink)
Clarifying and analysing moral problems arising in the practice of palliative care was the objective of participatory observations in five palliative care settings. The results of these observations will be described in this contribution. The moral problems palliative caregivers have to deal with in their daily routines will be explained by comparison with the findings of a previously performed literature study. The specific differences in the manifestation of moral problems in the different palliative care settings will (...) be highlighted as well. (shrink)
This paper introduces a new conceptual framework for studying moral climate in business firms, offering an alternative to other theoretical models currently in the literature. The framework integrates recent advances in organizational climate theory into a new conceptualization of the moral climate construct that explains how moral climates evolve in organizations and suggests moral climate change.
Jones (1991) has proposed an issue-contingent model of ethical decision making by individuals in organizations. The distinguishing feature of the issue was identified as its moral intensity, which determines the moral imperative in the situation. In this study, we adapted three scenarios from the literature in order to examine the issue-contingent model. Findings, based on a student sample, suggest that (1) the perceived and actual dimensions of moral intensity often differed; (2) perceived moral intensity variables, (...) in the aggregate, significantly affected an individual''s moral judgments; and (3) some dimensions of moral intensity (namely, perceived social consensus and perceived magnitude of consequences) mattered more than others. (shrink)
This study introduces the concept of moral imagination in a work context to provide an ethical approach to the controversial relationships between dirty work and dirty workers. Moral imagination is assessed as an essential faculty to overcome the stigma associated with dirty work and facilitate the daily work lives of workers. The exercise of moral imagination helps dirty workers to face the moral conflicts inherent in their tasks and to build a personal stance toward their occupation. (...) Finally, we argue that organizations with dirty work groups should actively adopt measures to encourage their employees’ exercise of moral imagination. This study investigates how organizations might create conditions that inspire moral imagination, particularly with regard to the importance of organizational culture as a means to enhance workers’ moral sensitivity. Furthermore, this investigation analyzes different company practices that may derive from a culture committed to moral imagination. (shrink)
While individuals presented in central texts of the period are indeed often alone or separated from others, Yousef regards this isolation as a problem the texts attempt to illuminate, rather than a condition they construct as normative or ...
This essay responds to Patricia Werhane’s 1994 Ruffin Lecture address, “Moral Imagination and the Search for Ethical Decision-making in Management,” using institutional theory as an analytical framework to explore conditions that either inhibit or promote moral imagination in organizational problem-solving. Implications of the analysis for managing organizational change and for business ethics theory development are proposed.
This book demonstrates that law can be newly interrogated when examined through the lens of literature. Like its forerunner, Empty Justice, the book creates simple pathways which energise and illustrate the links between legal theory and legal science and doctrine, through the wider visions of history, literature and culture. This broadening approach is integral to understanding law in the context of wider debates and media in the community. The book provides a collection of essays, with additional commentary which (...) reflects upon very recent scholarship and debate on a range of ethico-legal topics; it also illustrates how conventional legal matters may be rendered lively and palatable, as an adjunct to approaching doctrine and cases 'cold' in the conventional textbook manner. The chapters range from examination of current thought on cohabitation and marriage laws (via Jude the Obscure), 19th century medico-legal cases relevant to current narratives of insanity in women and the nature and status of expert evidence generally; assisted suicide and autonomy (via a poem by Jon Stallworthy) to an essay on the nature of race and ethnicity (via a poem by R S Thomas), a discussion of obscenity and moral philosophy (via an essay on Crash by J G Ballard and the philosophy of Bernard Williams) and a history of ideas discussion of positivism, natural law and political crisis, war and terrorism through legal and political theory texts and a poem by Auden. The materials refer to case law where appropriate. The chapters range from examination of current thought on cohabitation and marriage laws (via Jude the Obscure), 19th century medico-legal cases relevant to current narratives of insanity in women and the nature and status of expert evidence generally; assisted suicide and autonomy (via a poem by Jon Stallworthy) to an essay on the nature of race and ethnicity (via a poem by R S Thomas), a discussion of obscenity and moral philosophy (via an essay on Crash by J G Ballard and the philosophy of Bernard Williams) and a history of ideas discussion of positivism, natural law and political crisis, war and terrorism through legal and political theory texts and a poem by Auden. The materials refer to case law where appropriate. (shrink)
Undergraduate economics students begin and end their study of economics with the simple claim that economics is value free. Only in a policy role will values and beliefs enter into economic work; there can be little meaningful dialogue by economists about such personal views and opinions. This view, now well over 200 years old, has been challenged by heterodox thinkers in economics, and philosophers and social scientists outside the discipline all along the way. However, much of the debate in modern (...) times has been narrowly focused on philosophical methodological issues on one hand or theological/sectarian concerns on the other. None of this filters down to the typical undergraduate even in advanced courses of the history of economic thought. This book presents the notion that economic thinking cannot escape value judgments at any level and that this understanding has been the dominant view throughout most of history. It shows how, from ancient times, people who thought about economic matters integrated moral reflection into their thinking. Reflecting on the Enlightenment and the birth of economics as a science, Halteman and Noell illustrate the process by which values and beliefs were excluded from economics proper. They also bring the reader up to date, given the changes over the last half-century. With the advent of interdependency concepts and game theory, behavioral economics and the infusion of other social sciences, especially psychology, into economic considerations, the door is once again open to moral reflection. It is a sensitive subject that can be divisive for many and there is little if any assessable literature on the topic at the undergraduate level. One way to approach the subject is to follow the path of the great thinkers of the past and observe how they worked through economic issues from a set of values that was foundational to their thinking. This places moral thinking in a context illuminating the complexity and importance of moral reflection and illustrating its impact on the culture of the times. Reckoning With Markets follows this method with a deliberate effort to cast the material in terms that will engage the undergraduate student. (shrink)
Confucian moral philosophy doesn't seem to provide a theory of excuses. I explore an explanatory hypothesis to explain how excuse conditions might be built into the Confucian doctrine of rectifying names. In the process, I address the issue of the motivation for the theory. The hypothesis is that the theory provides not only excuse conditions, but also exception and conflict resolution roles for an essentially positive morality rooted in the traditional code of 禮 li/ritual, transmitted from the (...) ancient sage kings. The relatively fixed content of this text-like moral code required aggressive interpretive leeway to cope with the problems endemic in rule deontological and etiquette-like normative schemes. (shrink)
Bodhicaryåvatåra was composed by the Buddhist monk scholar Íåntideva at Nalandå University in India sometime during the 8th Century CE. It stands as one the great classics of world philosophy and of Buddhist literature, and is enormously influential in Tibet, where it is regarded as the principal source for the ethical thought of Mahåyåna Buddhism. The title is variously translated, most often as A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life or Engaging in the Bodhisattva Deeds, translations that follow (...) the canonical Tibetan translation of the title of the book (Byang chub sems pa’i spyod pa la ‘jug pa) and the commentarial tradition of Tibet. But that translation itself is a bit of a gloss on the original Sanskrit, and I think that a more natural English rendering of the Sanskrit title is simply How to Lead an Awakened Life, and that indeed describes the content of the text admirably. Taking this as the title of the text might also issue in a kind of gestalt shift in our view of the text, allowing us to see it not so much as a characterization of the extraordinary moral life of a saint, but as a guide to moral development open to any of us. So, let’s take that as the English title for now. (shrink)
From some perspectives, it seems obvious that emotions and feelings must be both reasonable and morally significant: from others, it may seem as obvious that they cannot be. This paper seeks to advance discussion of ethical implications of the currently contested issue of the relationship of reason to feeling and emotion via reflection upon various examples of affectively charged moral dilemma. This discussion also proceeds by way of critical consideration of recent empirical enquiry into these issues in the (...) class='Hi'>literature of so-called emotional intelligence. In this regard, despite ambiguities in their accounts of the relationship of reason to emotion, advocates of emotional intelligence generally incline to therapeutic conceptions of emotional health which are not inconsistent with currently fashionable cognitivist accounts of feeling and emotion. All the same, it is arguable that therapeutic or other strategies which overplay the possibility of cognitive or other resolution of emotional conflict are prey to certain difficulties. First, they underemphasise those passive but identity-constitutive aspects of affect which are not obviously rationally accountable. Secondly, they insufficiently recognise the extent to which emotional conflicts can be significantly implicated in moral diversity. In view of either or both of these points, they may fail to appreciate the moral inappropriateness of attempts to resolve certain forms of emotional conflict or tension. (shrink)
This book analyses the moral theory of the seventh century Indian Mahayana master, Santideva. Santideva is the author of the well-known religious poem the Bodhicaryavatara (Entering the Path of Enlightenment) , as well as the significant, but relatively overlooked, Siksasamuccaya (Compendium of Teachings) . Both of these works describe the nature and path of the bodhisattva, the altruistic spiritual ideal especially exalted in Mahayana literature. With particular focus on the Siksasamuccaya , this work offers a response to three (...) questions: What is Santideva's moral theory? How does it compare to other analyses of Buddhist ethics? Can one moral theory adequately describe Buddhist moral thought? An exegetical account of the bodhisattva path as outlined in the Siksasamuccaya is provided by textual analysis and translations. The central moral concept of this Buddhist thinker and Santideva's ethical presuppositions and moral reasoning are brought to light by analysing the use of key moral terms and comparing them to other Buddhists' principles. It is also considered in relation to dominant Western ethical theories. By focusing on a neglected Buddhist Sanskrit text by a major Mahayana figure, Barbra Clayton helps to redress a significant imbalance in the scholarship on Buddhist ethics, which has up to now focused primarily on the ethics of the Pali literature and as interpreted in the Theravada tradition. (shrink)
How are we to understand the fact that the philosophical debate over nanotechnologies has been reduced to a clash of seemingly preprogrammed arguments and counterarguments that paralyzes all rational discussion of the ultimate ethical question of social acceptability in matters of nanotechnological development? With this issue as its starting point, the study reported on here, intended to further comprehension of the issues rather than provide a cause-and-effect explanation, seeks to achieve a rational grasp of what is being said through the (...) appeals made to this or that principle in the range of arguments put forward in publications on the subject. We present the results of the study’s analyses in two parts. In the first, we lay out the seven categories of argument that emerged from an analysis of the literature: the arguments based on nature, dignity, the good life, utility, equity, autonomy, and rights. In the second part, we present the background moral stances that support each category of argument. Identifying the different categories of argument and the moral stance that underlies each category will enable a better grasp of the reasons for the multiplicity of the arguments that figure in discussions of the acceptability of nanotechnologies and will ultimately contribute to overcoming the tendency towards talking past each other that all too often disfigures the exchange. Clarifying the implications of the moral arguments deployed in the debate over nanotechnologies may make it possible to reduce the confusion observable in these exchanges and contribute to a better grasp of the reasons for their current unproductiveness. (shrink)
This paper sets out to explore connections between a number of plausible claims concerning education in general and moral education in particular: (i) that education is a matter of broad cultural initiation rather than narrow academic or vocational training; (ii) that any education so conceived would have a key concern with the moral dimensions of personal formation; (iii) that emotional growth is an important part of such moral formation; and (iv) that literature and other arts have (...) an important part to play in such emotional education. It is argued here that what is needed for a clear view of the moral educational relevance of literature and the arts is a conception of moral education that does justice to the interplay between the cognitive and the affective in moral life, and that a non?relativist Aristotelian ethics of virtue holds out the best prospect for such a moral education of reason and feeling. (shrink)
Desert appears to be in ascendence as a distributive principle for criminal liability and punishment but there is confusion as to whether it is a deontological or an empirical conception of desert that is or should be promoted. Each offers a distinct advantage over the other. Deontological desert can transcend community, situation, and time to give a conception of justice that can be relied upon to reveal errors in popular notions of justice. On the other hand, empirical desert can be (...) more easily operationalized than can deontological desert because, contrary to common wisdom, there is a good deal of agreement as to its meaning. But empirical desert fails to provide the transcendent foundation that deontological desert can provide; empirical desert can tell only us what people believe is just not what actually is just.What role do moral philosophers play in the competition between deontological and empirical desert? One might assume them to be on the deontological side, facing the research social psychologists who are mapping shared intuitions of justice for empirical desert. But the situation is more complex. Moral philosophy has come to rely heavily upon intuitions of justice in its analytic methods, which both helps and hurts its usefulness. The moral philosophy literature today is the richest available source of intuitions of justice, which any serious research scientist ought to use as a starting point in mapping intuitions. But moral philosophers' reliance on intuitions can undermine their ability to produce a deontological conception of desert that transcends the popular view and that can be relied upon to tell us when shared intuitions of justice are wrong.Available for download at http://ssrn.com/abstract=933692. (shrink)
Medical professionals are a community of highly educated individuals with a commitment to a core set of ideals and principles. This community provides both technical and ethical socialization. The ideal physician is confident, empathic, forthright, respectful, and thorough. These ideals allow us to define broadly "the excellence" of being a physician. At the core of these ideals is the ability to be empathic. Empathy exhibits itself in attributes of an individual's moral character and also in actions that actualize and (...) support communal life. Empathy, however, can be diminished or even lost and must be nurtured on an ongoing basis. The development of ethical physicians is strongly linked to experiences in the training period. Moral traits are situation-sensitive psychological and behavioral dispositions. The clinical environment of medical training programs can be so intense as to lead to conditions that may actually deprofessionalize trainees. Creating a clinical environment that is ethically nurturing and sustaining is an indispensable component of practicing medicine. (shrink)
The question of corporate moral responsibility â of whether it makes sense to hold an organisation corporately morally responsible for its actions,rather than holding responsible the individuals who contributed to that action â has been debated over a number of years in the business ethics literature. However, it has had little attention in the world of health care ethics. Health care in the United Kingdom(UK) is becoming an increasingly corporate responsibility, so the issue is increasingly relevant in the (...) health care context, and it is worth considering whether the specific nature of health care raises special questions around corporate moral responsibility. For instance, corporate responsibility has usually been considered in the context of private corporations, and the organisations of health care in the UK are mainly state bodies. However, there is enough similarity in relevant respects between state organisations and private corporations, for the question of corporate responsibility to be equally applicable. Also, health care is characterised by professions with their own systems of ethical regulation. However, this feature does not seriously diminish the importance of the corporate responsibility issue, and the importance of the latter is enhanced by recent developments. But there is one major area of difference. Health care, as an activity with an intrinsically moral goal, differs importantly from commercial activities that are essentially a moral, in that it narrows the range of opportunities for corporate wrongdoing, and also makes such organisations more difficult to punish. (shrink)
The substantial work on cognitive moral development (CMD) by Lawrence Kohlberg and James Rest popularized the use of this construct in the literature on business ethics. This construct has been prominently used in models attempting to explain ethical/unethical behavior in management, marketing, and accounting, even though Kohlberg did not intend for the construct to be used in that manner. As a predictor of behavior, CMD has been attacked on the theoretical level, and its empirical performance has been weak. (...) This article uses another established construct, which seems to satisfy the central criticisms of CMD, as a means of testing those complaints. The comparative multidimensional ethics scale (MES) substantially outperforms CMD, operationalized using Rest’s Defining Issues Test, in every test. These results seem to suggest that other options perform better than CMD when the purpose is to model ethical/unethical behavior or even ethical judgment. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: 1. This paper argues that Epicurus had a notion of moral responsibility based on the agent’s causal responsibility, as opposed to the agent’s ability to act or choose otherwise; that Epicurus considered it a necessary condition for praising or blaming an agent for an action, that it was the agent and not something else that brought the action about. Thus, the central question of moral responsibility was whether the agent was the, or a, cause of the action, (...) or whether the agent was forced to act by something else. Actions could be attributed to agents because it is in their actions that the agents, qua moral beings, manifest themselves. 2. As a result, the question of moral development becomes all important. The paper collects and discusses the evidence for Epicurus views on moral development, i.e. (i) on how humans become moral beings and (ii) on how humans can become morally better. It becomes clear that Epicurus envisaged a complex web of hereditary and environmental factors to shape the moral aspect of a human being. 3. In line with Epicurus’ theory of moral responsibility and moral development, Epicurus ethics does not have the function of developing or justifying a moral system that allows for the effective allocation of praise and blame. Rather, for him the function of ethics – and in fact of the whole of philosophy – is to give everyone a chance to morally improve. (shrink)
Virtuous Bodies breaks new ground in the field of Buddhist ethics by investigating the diverse roles bodies play in ethical development. Traditionally, Buddhists assumed a close connection between body and morality. Thus Buddhist literature contains descriptions of living beings that stink with sin, are disfigured by vices, or are perfumed and adorned with virtues. Taking an influential early medieval Indian Mahayana Buddhist text-Santideva's Compendium of Training (Siksasamuccaya)-as a case study, Susanne Mrozik demonstrates that Buddhists regarded ethical development as a (...) process of physical and moral transformation. Mrozik chooses The Compendium of Training because it quotes from over one hundred Buddhist scriptures, allowing her to reveal a broader Buddhist interest in the ethical significance of bodies. The text is a training manual for bodhisattvas, especially monastic bodhisattvas. In it, bodies function as markers of, and conditions for, one's own ethical development. Most strikingly, bodies also function as instruments for the ethical development of others. When living beings come into contact with the virtuous bodies of bodhisattvas, they are transformed physically and morally for the better. Virtuous Bodies explores both the centrality of bodies to the bodhisattva ideal and the corporeal specificity of that ideal. Arguing that the bodhisattva ideal is an embodied ethical ideal, Mrozik poses an array of fascinating questions: What does virtue look like? What kinds of physical features constitute virtuous bodies? What kinds of bodies have virtuous effects on others? Drawing on a range of contemporary theorists, this book engages in a feminist hermeneutics of recovery and suspicion in order to explore the ethical resources Buddhism offers to scholars and religious practitioners interested in the embodied nature of ethical ideals. (shrink)
Abstract This paper reviews the literature on the moral judgement and development of moral behaviour of mentally retarded individuals. The relative contribution of mental age, chronological age, cognitive functioning, social experience and environmental factors to the moral characteristics of this population is discussed. Relevant studies are described in the light of both the perspectives of cognitive development and of social learning.
This article provides a social domain theory analysis of the role of parents in moral development. Social knowledge domains, including morality as distinct from other social concepts, are described. Then, it is proposed that, although morality is constructed from reciprocal social interactions, both affective and cognitive components of parents' interactions with their children may facilitate children's moral development. The affective context of the relationship may influence children's motivation to listen to and respond to parents; in addition, affect associated (...) with responses to transgressions can affect children's encoding and remembering of those events. Although moral interactions occur frequently in peer contexts, parents' domain-specific feedback about the nature of children's moral interactions are proposed to provide a cognitive mechanism for facilitating moral development. Parents promote children's moral understanding by providing domain appropriate and developmentally sensitive reasoning and explanations about the child's social world, which may stimulate the development of more mature moral thought. Various findings from the socialisation literature are presented and interpreted from within the social domain framework. (shrink)
Although the role of imagination in moral reasoning is often neglected, recent literature, mostly of pragmatist signature, points to imagination as one of its central elements. In this article we develop some of their arguments by looking at the moral role of imagination in practice, in particular the practice of neonatal intensive care. Drawing on empirical research, we analyze a decision-making process in various stages: delivery, staff meeting, and reflection afterwards. We show how imagination aids medical practitioners (...) demarcating moral categories, tuning their actions, and exploring long-range consequences of decisions. We argue that imagination helps to bring about at least four kinds of integration in the moral decision-making process: personal integration by creating a moral self-image in moments of reflection; social integration by aiding the conciliation of the diverging perspectives of the people involved; temporal integration by facilitating the parties to transcend the present moment and connect past, present, and future; and epistemological integration by helping to combine the various forms of knowledge and experience needed to make moral decisions. Furthermore, we argue that the role of imagination in these moral decision-processes is limited in several significant ways. Rather than being a solution itself, it is merely an aid and cannot replace the decision itself. Finally, there are also limits to the practical relevance of this theoretical reflection. In the end, it is up to care professionals as reflective practitioners to re-imagine the practice of intensive care and make the right decisions with hope and imagination. (shrink)
Ancient Chinese ideas of moral education could be said to have five main dimensions ? philosophical foundations, content, principles, methods and evaluation ? which are described in this paper. An analysis of the fundamental features of Confucian thinking on moral education shows that it took the idea that human beings have a good and kind nature as its logical starting point. It built a system of ethical norms, based on the idea that an individual's feelings come from the (...) inner mind, combined with external rites. Its methods of moral education are diverse, with an emphasis on learning from exemplars, environmental conditions and practice, as well as the cultivation of moral responsibility and social commitment. Its quintessential ideas were ?virtue lies in practice? and ?life is moral education?. The paper concludes by arguing that Confucian thinking on moral education has ongoing value for research and practice in contemporary moral education. (shrink)
Character education considers teachers to be role models, but it is unclear what this means in practice. Do teachers model admirable character traits? And do they do so effectively? In this article the relevant pedagogical and psychological literature is reviewed in order to shed light on these questions. First, the use of role modelling as a teaching method in secondary education is assessed. Second, adolescents? role models and their moral qualities are identified. Third, the psychology of moral (...) learners is critically examined, using Bandura?s social learning theory as point of departure. It turns out that role modelling is rarely used as an explicit teaching method and that only a very small percentage of adolescents recognises teachers as role models. If role modelling is to contribute to children?s moral education, teachers are recommended to explain why the modelled traits are morally significant and how students can acquire these qualities for themselves. (shrink)
Robert Abrams argues that new concepts of space and landscape emerged in mid-nineteenth-century American writing, marking a linguistic and interpretative limit to American expansion. Abrams supports the radical elements of antebellum writing, where writers from Hawthorne to Rebecca Harding Davis disputed the naturalizing discourses of mid-nineteenth century society. Whereas previous critics find in antebellum writing a desire to convert chaos into an affirmative, liberal agenda, Abrams contends that authors of the 1840s and 50s deconstructed more than they constructed.
Abstract: Certain philosophically inadequate or unclear claims have been made for a connection between moral education and history or literature. These claims have some substance in various rather trite ways to do with factual data, examples of moral codes and situations, and the pursuit of truth, though moral criteria cannot be reduced to historical or literary criteria. However, it is argued that there is a central connection, concerned with the technique of sympathetic imagination, called Verstehen, which (...) is used identically in moral, historical, and literary reasoning; and that certain recommendations for moral education follow from this approach. (shrink)
Abstract Little is known about the family setting and the role of family education in a setting where ?intimacy and justice are intertwined? (Okin, 1989). Most intriguing is the unique moral and complex relationship between mother?in?law and daughter?in?law: what is the nature of these two women's failure to maintain harmony between themselves even though the literature suggests that they are predominantly care?orientated? The following paper questions whether there is a problematic relationship between Israeli mothers?in?law and their daughters?in?law. It (...) further attempts to examine whether there is an association between selected situational variables (work outside the home, years of marriage), personality variables (moral orientation, depressive mood and general life satisfaction) and the quality of the relationship between mothers?in?law and daughters?in?law. It seems that being cast in the role of the mother?in?law most probably overrides any other situational or personality variable. It created an ongoing asymmetry between the psychological experience of the mothers?in?law and the daughters?in?law, which is being discussed. (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)
The impact of the individuals' life condition on the relation between moral judgement and (delinquent) behaviour was investigated in a sample of 162 adolescents and young adults. The sample consisted of two groups: homeless youth and institutional youth, i.e. youth with a history of residential care. The difference in life conditions between both groups is characterised by a lack of stable social relationships and specific survival demands for the homeless youth group. Homeless youth reported much more delinquent behaviour (...) than institutional youth, but this difference could not be attributed to the level of moral judgement. However, while for institutional youth a conventional level of moral reasoning was associated with lower levels of delinquency in four domains of deviant behaviour, including violence and vandalism, no such association was found for homeless youth. In the latter group, important predictor variables explaining delinquent behaviour, besides being male, were: a restrictive and affectionless parenting style, predominance of individuation over attachment and a passive coping style. It is concluded that delinquent behaviour in homeless youth appeared to be caused by a lack of stable social relationships, as well as a by a lack of moral internalisation, with affect and cognition not being integrated. (shrink)
in the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant explains that moral anthropology studies the “subjective conditions in human nature that help or hinder [people] in fulfilling the laws of a metaphysics of morals” and insists that such anthropology “cannot be dispensed with” (6:217).1 But it is often difficult to find clear evidence of this sort of anthropology in Kant’s own works. in this paper, i discuss Kant’s account of character as an example of Kantian moral anthropology.
Moral philosophy in all its contemporary forms, whether consequentialist, formalist, contractarian, utilitarian, or virtue ethicist, presumes the possibility of formulating principles of conduct that apply universally to all human beings. Standard exceptions are infants and young children, persons who are clinically insane, and persons with reduced mental capacity. These exceptions are recognized by all modern systems of morality and law. The inability to distinguish right from wrong, due to immature age, mental disorganization, or insufficient intelligence is grounds to exempt (...) any given person from moral responsibility and moral agency.Human beings not bound by such conditions are distinguished by their capacity .. (shrink)
: This paper discusses the function and scope of incompatibilist or transcendental freedom in Kant's moral philosophy. The prevailing view among scholars, most notably Allison, is that the function of transcendental freedom is to enable us to articulate a first-person conception of ourselves as rational agents involved in deliberation and choice. Thus, the scope of transcendental freedom is rational agency in general. In order to perform this function, freedom has to be merely conceivable. Pace Allison, I argue that our (...) first-person conception is neutral with respect to causal determinism, and that the function of transcendental freedom is to provide the metaphysical conditions of the possibility of genuine moral responsibility and perfect justice, and to get rid of moral luck. In order to perform this function, transcendental freedom has to be not just conceivable, but metaphysically real. My view suggests that we only have reason to attribute freedom to ourselves in situations in which we are aware that the moral law commands us categorically. We do not have a similar reason to believe we are free in purely prudential choices. Thus, the scope of transcendental freedom is not rational agency in general, but only moral agency. (shrink)
In this paper, I hope to provide an account of the conditions of moral realism whereby there are still significant metaphysical commitments made by the realist which set the view apart as a distinct position in the contemporary meta-ethical landscape. In order to do so, I will be appealing to a general account of what it is for realism to be true in any domain of experience, whether it be realism about universals, realism about unobservable scientific entities, realism (...) about artifacts, and so forth. (shrink)
From the perspective of an African ethic, analytically interpreted as a philosophical principle of right action, what are the proper final ends of a publicly funded university and how should they be ranked? To answer this question, I first provide a brief but inclusive review of the literature on Africanising higher education from the past 50 years, and contend that the prominent final ends suggested in it can be reduced to five major categories. Then, I spell out an intuitively (...) attractive African moral theory and apply it to these five final ends, arguing that three of them are appropriate but that two of them are not. After that, I maintain that the African moral theory prescribes two additional final ends for a public university that are not salient in the literature. Next, I argue that employing the African moral theory as I do enables one to rebut several criticisms of Africanising higher education that have recently been made from a liberal perspective. I conclude by posing questions suitable for future research. (shrink)
Images of Native Americans and of aspects of Native American culture are common in advertisements in the United States. Three such images can be distinguished — the Noble Savage, the Civilizable Savage and the Bloodthirsty Savage images. The aim of this paper is to argue that the use of such images is not morally acceptable because these images depend upon an underlying conception of Native Americans that denies that they are human beings. By so doing, it also denies to them (...) any moral standing and thus any claim to moral consideration and treatment. I begin by arguing that the traits which are distinctively human are fostered only within a cultural framework consisting of the accumulated knowledge and activities of a group of human beings. I then argue that savages are conceptualized as natural and cultureless beings. Furthermore, within the traditional Western conceptualization of the world mere natural objects have no moral standing. Thus, it follows that Native Americans insofar as they are also merely natural objects would have no standing or status as moral beings. The conception of Native Americans as savages undercuts the very conditions for the possibility of moral respect. I then turn to an application of these principles to some current commercial uses of images of Native Americans and other indigenous peoples. (shrink)
Moral philosophers of late have been examining the implications of experimental social psychology for ethics. The focus of attention has been on situationism—the thesis that we routinely underestimate the extent to which minor situational variables influence morally significant behavior. Situationism has been seen as a threat to prevailing lay and philosophical theories of character, personhood, and agency. In this paper, I outline the situationist literature and critique one of its upshots: the admonition to carefully select one’s situational contexts. (...) Besides being limited in application, this strategy accentuates an untenable person/situation dichotomy. The deeper lesson of situationism lies in highlighting the interconnectedness of all social behavior—how we are inextricably involved in the actions of others, and how minor tweaks in our own behavior can lead to major payoffs in our moral lives. Situationism is better seen as an opportunity for moral progress than a threat to individual autonomy. (shrink)
Applying ideas drawn from contemporary critical theory, this book historicizes psychoanalysis through a new and significant theorization of the Gothic. The central premise is that the nineteenth-century Gothic produced a radical critique of accounts of sublimity and Freudian psychoanalysis. This book makes a major contribution to an understanding of both the nineteenth century and the Gothic discourse which challenged the dominant ideas of that period. Writers explored include Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Bram Stoker.