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)
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)
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)
In the following pages we discuss three historical cases of moral economies in science: Drosophila genetics, late twentieth century American astronomy, and collaborations between American drug companies and medical scientists in the interwar years. An examination of the most striking differences and similarities between these examples, and the conflicts internal to them, reveals constitutive features of moral economies, and the ways in which they are formed, negotiated, and altered. We critically evaluate these three examples through the filters of (...) rational choice, utility, and American pragmatism, using the latter to support the conclusion that there is no single vision of moral economies in science and no single theory—moral, political, social—that will explain them. These filters may not be the only means through which to evaluate the moral economies examined, but aspects of each appear prominent in all three cases. In addition, explanations for decisions are often given in the language of these theories, both at the macro (policy) level and at the local level of the moral economies we discuss. In light of such factors, the use of these frameworks seems justified. We begin with an attempt to define the nature of moral economies, then move to a consideration of scientific communities as moral communities operating within material and other constraints which we relate to wider questions of political economy and societal accountabilities. (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)
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.
People with major depressive disorder (MDD) are more prone to experiencing moral emotions related to self-blame, such as guilt and shame. DSM-IV-TR recognises excessive or inappropriate guilt as one of the core symptoms of current MDD, whereas excessive shame is not part of the criteria for MDD. However, previous studies specifically assessing shame suggested its involvement in MDD. In the first part of this review, we will consider literature discussing the role of self-blaming moral emotions in MDD. (...) These self-blaming moral emotions have been purported to influence people when they make social and financial decisions in cognitive studies, particularly those using neuroeconomical paradigms. Such paradigms aim to predict social behaviour in activities of daily living, by using important resource tangibles (especially money) in laboratory conditions. Previous literature suggests that guilt promotes altruistic behaviour via acting out reparative tendencies, whereas shame reduces altruism by means of increasing social and interpersonal distance. In the second part of this review, we will discuss the potential influence of self-blaming moral emotions on overt behaviour in MDD, reviewing clinical and experimental studies in social and financial decision-making, in which guilt and shame were manipulated. This is not a well-established area in the depression literature, however in this opinion paper we will argue that studies of moral emotions and their impact on behavioural decision-making are of potential importance in the clinical field, by linking specific symptoms of a disorder to a behavioural outcome which may lead to stratification of clinical diagnoses in the future. (shrink)
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)
Moral distress has been widely reviewed across many care contexts and among a range of disciplines. Interest in this area has produced a plethora of studies, commentary and critique. An overview of the literature around moral distress reveals a commonality about factors contributing to moral distress, the attendant outcomes of this distress and a core set of interventions recommended to address these. Interventions at both personal and organizational levels have been proposed. The relevance of this overview (...) resides in the implications moral distress has on the nurse and the nursing workforce: particularly in regard to quality of care, diminished workplace satisfaction and physical health of staff and increased problems with staff retention. (shrink)
The book is about three things. First, how Ancient thinkers perceived humans as like or unlike other animals; second about the justification for taking a humane attitude towards natural things; and third about how moral claims count as true, and how they can be discovered or acquired. Was Aristotle was right to see continuity in the psychological functions of animal and human souls? The question cannot be settled without taking a moral stance. As we can either focus on (...) continuity or on discontinuities, how should natural science draw the boundaries? Moral agents act and react in a world that they see under a certain description, and there is no value free science that can settle what is the correct description. This book asks us to think about where moral justification could come from, and suggests that the supposed ‘moral status’ of the object cannot provide the answer. For the moral status of the object is a product of our own imagination, and once we see that, we also see that there remains the question where we ought to have the will to see it. Furthermore, since the perception of moral truth involves the development of imagination and will, the means to attain it will be better served by engagement with poetry and literature than with enquiries that seek to exclude the engagement of the imagination, or any appeal to the beauty of nature or the love of one's fellow creatures. (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.
Current frameworks on ethical decision-making process have some limitations. This paper argues that the consideration of moral competencies, understood as moral virtues in the workplace, can enhance our understanding of why moral character contributes to ethical decision-making. After discussing the universal nature of four moral competencies (prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance), we analyse their influence on the various stages of the ethical decision-making process. We conclude by considering the managerial implications of our findings and proposing further (...) research. (shrink)
In ethics, the use of empirical data has become more and more popular, leading to a distinct form of applied ethics, namely empirical ethics. This ‘empirical turn’ is especially visible in bioethics. There are various ways of combining empirical research and ethical reflection. In this paper we discuss the use of empirical data in a special form of Reflective Equilibrium (RE), namely the Network Model with Third Person Moral Experiences. In this model, the empirical data consist of the (...) class='Hi'>moral experiences of people in a practice. Although inclusion of these moral experiences in this specific model of RE can be well defended, their use in the application of the model still raises important questions. What precisely are moral experiences? How to determine relevance of experiences, in other words: should there be a selection of the moral experiences that are eventually used in the RE? How much weight should the empirical data have in the RE? And the key question: can the use of RE by empirical ethicists really produce answers to practical moral questions?In this paper we start to answer the above questions by giving examples taken from our research project on understanding the norm of informed consent in the field of pediatric oncology. We especially emphasize that incorporation of empirical data in a network model can reduce the risk of self-justification and bias and can increase the credibility of the RE reached. (shrink)
Neuroscientific and psychological research on moral development has until now developed independently, referring to distinct theoretical models, contents and methods. In particular, the influence of socio-economic and cultural factors on morality has been broadly investigated by psychologists but as yet has not been investigated by neuroscientists. The value of bridging these two areas both theoretically and methodologically has, however, been suggested. This study aims at providing a first connection between neuroscientific and psychological literature on morality by investigating whether (...) socio-economic dimensions, i.e. living socio-geographic/economic area, immigrant status and SES, affect moral reasoning as operationalized in moral domain theory (a seminal approach in psychological studies on morality) and in Greene and colleagues’ (2001) perspective (one of the main approaches in neuroethics research). Participants were 81 primary school (M = 8.98 yrs.; SD = 0.39), 72 middle school (M = 12.14 yrs.; SD = 0.61) and 73 high school (M = 15.10 yrs.; SD = 0.38) students from rural and urban areas. Participants’ immigrant status (native vs. immigrant) and family SES level were recorded. Moral reasoning was assessed by means of a series of personal and impersonal dilemmas based on Greene and colleagues' (2001) neuroimaging experiment and a series of moral and socio-conventional rule dilemmas based on the moral domain theory. Living socio-geographic/economic area, immigrant status and SES mainly affected evaluations of moral and, to a higher extent, socio-conventional dilemmas, but had no impact on judgment of personal and impersonal dilemmas. Results are mainly discussed from the angle of possible theoretical links and suggestions emerging for studies on moral reasoning in the frameworks of neuroscience and psychology. (shrink)
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)
The likelihood of nurse reflection is examined from the theoretical perspectives of Habermas' Theory of Communicative Action and Moral Action and Sumner's Moral Construct of Caring in Nursing as Communicative Action, through a critical social theory lens. The argument is made that until the nurse reaches the developmental level of post-conventional moral maturity and/or Benner's Stage 5: expert, he or she is not capable of being inwardly directed reflective on self. The three developmental levels of moral (...) maturity and Benner's stages are presented with discussion on whether or not there can be self-reflection because of an innate vulnerability that leads to self-protective behaviours. It is only when the confidence from mastery of practice has been achieved can the nurse be comfortable with reflection that enables him or her to become enlightened, emancipated, and empowered. The influences and constraints of the knowledge power between nurse and patient are acknowledged. The power hierarchy of the institution is recognized as constraining. (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)
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 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)
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.
The aim of this paper is to strengthen the point made by Horty about the relationship between reason holism and moral particularism. In the literature prima facie obligations have been considered as the only source of reason holism. I strengthen Horty’s point in two ways. First, I show that contrary-to-duties provide another independent support for reason holism. Next I outline a formal theory that is able to capture these two sources of holism. While in simple settings the proposed (...) account coincides with Horty’s one, this is not true in more complicated or “realistic” settings in which more than two norms collide. My chosen formalism is so-called input/output logic. A bottom-line example is introduced. It raises the issue of whether the conventional wisdom is right in assuming that normative reasons run parallel to epistemic ones. (shrink)