How do we determine whether an action is right or wrong? Until recently, philosophers assumed that this question could be answered by means of a theory of morality, which set forth clearly established rules for moral behaviour. More recently, however, a number of philosophers have challenged a theory of morality in this sense. Porter is sympathetic to their criticisms but questions whether they go far enough in offering a positive alternative to a modern view of the moral act. She (...) argues that the work of Aquinas offers an alternative account of moral rationality, in terms of which moral reasoning is understood as dialectical rather than deductive, and questions are resolved in a wider context of ethical thought. Aquinas's account of the moral virtues and prudence is seen to offer unexpected insights into the relationship between moral rules and the practice of the virtues, thus contributing to our own moral reflection. (shrink)
Rather than representing a break with his earlier philosophical undertakings, The Birth of Tragedy can be seen as continuous with them and Nietzsche's later works. James Porter argues that Nietzsche's argumentative and writerly strategies resemble his earlier writings on philology in his 'staging' of meaning rather than in his advocacy of various positions. The derivation of the Dionysian from the Apollinian, and the interest in the atomistic challenges to Platonism, are anticipated in earlier works. Also the theory of the (...) all-too-human subject is a thread that runs throughout Nietzsche's oeuvre, critically undoing what his philosophy appears to erect, confirming that Nietzsche is a most unreliable witness to his own meaning. As well as studying the relation of The Birth of Tragedy to later writings, the author examines it on its own terms as a self-standing and complete piece of imagining, with close regard to the self-presentation of the work itself. (shrink)
I discuss Ingmar Persson’s recent argument that the Levelling Down Objection could be worse for prioritarians than for egalitarians. Persson’s argument depends upon the claim that indifference to changes in the average prioritarian value of benefits implies indifference to changes in the overall prioritarian value of a state of affairs. As I show, however, sensible conceptions of prioritarianism have no such implication. Therefore prioritarians have nothing to fear from the Levelling Down Objection.
Justice makes demands upon us. But these demands, important though they may be, are not the only moral demands that we face. Our lives ought to be responsive to other values too. However, some philosophers have identified an apparent tension between those values and norms, such as justice, that seem to transcend the arena of small-scale interpersonal relations and those that are most at home in precisely that arena. How, then, are we to engage with all of the values and (...) norms that we take to apply to us? In this article, I discuss one way that we might hope to resolve the tension and its relation to John Rawls's `basic structure restriction'. The prospect of resolution is offered by the idea of a `division of moral labour', according to which the pursuit of certain values is assigned to institutions and not to individuals. According to Rawls's basic structure restriction, principles of justice are applicable only to the institutions of the basic structure of society. The possibility of a connection between the division of moral labour and the basic structure restriction readily suggests itself. Taking G.A. Cohen's well-known `incentives' critique of the basic structure restriction as a starting point, I consider five ways in which that restriction might be defended by appeal to the division of moral labour. I conclude that none of these defences succeeds, for none convinces that the conditions in which it makes sense to apply the division of moral labour idea obtain for Rawls's conception of distributive justice. Although the division of moral labour is an attractive proposal, it can do no work in a Rawlsian context. Key Words: Cohen • distributive justice • egalitarian ethos • equality • Rawls. (shrink)
The Modern System of the Arts: A Study in the History of Aesthetics is a classic statement of the view, now widely adopted but rarely examined, that aesthetics became possible only in the eighteenth-century with the emergence of the fine arts. I wish to contest this view, for three reasons. Firstly, Kristeller's historical account can be questioned; alternative and equally plausible accounts are available. Secondly, the modern system of the arts appears to have been neither a system nor an agreed (...) upon entity, but only a historical construct of Kristeller's own making that matches up with no known historical reality. Thirdly, while the concept of the fine arts existed in the eighteenth century, the assumption that it had an impact on the rise of aesthetic theory remains unproven and unnecessary. A more satisfactory account of aesthetic thought in antiquity can be given, once the fine-arts objection has been cleared away. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
This thesis argues for an unorthodox interpretation of John Rawls's egalitarianism as a hybrid of ‘actual contractualism’ and ‘modal contractualism’. It also offers a defence of the theory so understood. According to actual contractualism, a system of political institutions and norms is just only if each person over whom it claims authority actually accepts it in some sense. Actual contractualists stand in contrast with modal contractualists, who take justice to require that no one could reasonably reject the institutions and norms (...) in question. Rawls is standardly read as a modal contractualist, but I argue that his view includes an significant element of actual contractualism. The thesis is divided into three parts. The first part describes actual contractualism and contrasts it with modal contractualism. It goes on to consider the possibility of a hybrid theory, which appeals to modal contractualist reasons to justify an actual contractualist test for justice. I suggest that this is an attractive view. In the second part I go on to argue that a careful understanding of Rawls’s theory view reveals it to be hybrid contractualist. I elaborate Rawls’s strategy of ‘political constructivism’ in the light of this interpretation, and attempt to show that it is very much in the Lockean actual contractualist tradition. The final part of the thesis concerns the justification of specifically Rawls’s egalitarianism. I contend that Rawls’s argument for justice as fairness can be seen as a detailed effort to explain why his egalitarianism is, in the relevant sense, actually accepted by each person, and I argue that as such it succeeds. I then contrast the Rawlsian view with left-libertarianism, another attempt to marry actual contractualism and egalitarianism. I argue that Rawls’s is the more thoroughgoing, unified view, and should be preferred on that basis. (shrink)
Rawls’s account of international toleration in The Law of Peoples has been the subject of vigorous critiques by critics who believe that he unacceptably dilutes the principles of his Law of Peoples in order to accommodate non-liberal societies. One important component in these critiques takes issue specifically with Rawls’s inclusion of certain non-liberal societies (‘decent peoples’) in the constituency of justification for the Law of Peoples. In Rawls’s defence, I argue that the explanation for the inclusion of decent peoples in (...) the constituency of justification is not, as is standardly assumed, that they are the kind of societies that ought to be tolerated in that way on some prior conception of which kinds of societies ought to be tolerated in that way. The real explanation appeals to a methodological principle underlying Rawls’s approach to political justification, according to which liberals owe justification, as a matter of liberal principle, to those who comply with liberal principles for political institutions that apply to them. If such liberal principles can be complied with by agents who nevertheless cannot accept fully liberal justifications for those principles, then liberalism itself requires liberals to seek justifications which they can accept. This approach gives us a new way to view decent peoples: as just such agents, who are therefore owed a justification for the Law of Peoples that they can accept. Decency is thus a concept that is internal to liberal political justification at the international level. Reading Rawls in this way permits a coherent and attractive defence of his strategy of toleration and of his international theory as a whole. (shrink)
In face of the multiple controversies surrounding the DSM process in general and the development of DSM-5 in particular, we have organized a discussion around what we consider six essential questions in further work on the DSM. The six questions involve: 1) the nature of a mental disorder; 2) the definition of mental disorder; 3) the issue of whether, in the current state of psychiatric science, DSM-5 should assume a cautious, conservative posture or an assertive, transformative posture; 4) the role (...) of pragmatic considerations in the construction of DSM-5; 5) the issue of utility of the DSM – whether DSM-III and IV have been designed more for clinicians or researchers, and how this conflict should be dealt with in the new manual; and 6) the possibility and advisability, given all the problems with DSM-III and IV, of designing a different diagnostic system. Part I of this article took up the first two questions. Part II will take up the second two questions. Question 3 deals with the question as to whether DSM-V should assume a conservative or assertive posture in making changes from DSM-IV. That question in turn breaks down into discussion of diagnoses that depend on, and aim toward, empirical, scientific validation, and diagnoses that are more value-laden and less amenable to scientific validation. Question 4 takes up the role of pragmatic consideration in a psychiatric nosology, whether the purely empirical considerations need to be tempered by considerations of practical consequence. As in Part 1 of this article, the general introduction, as well as the introductions and conclusions for the specific questions, are written by James Phillips, and the responses to commentaries are written by Allen Frances. (shrink)
It is standardly taken for granted in the literature on the morality of abortion that adoption is almost always an available and morally preferable alternative to abortion — one that does the same thing so far as parenthood is concerned. This assumption pushes proponents of a woman's right to choose into giving arguments that are based almost exclusively around the physicality of pregnancy and childbirth. On the other side of the debate, the assumption that adoption is a real alternative seems (...) to strengthen the contention that a woman who wishes to abort is morally deficient, whatever the status of the foetus: that she is selfish or short-sighted in her refusal to bear the temporary physical burden of pregnancy.In this article, I will argue that adoption is not a genuine alternative to abortion. It does not ‘do the same thing’, even setting aside the physicality of pregnancy. I will show that on the most successful model of parental obligation — a causal account that formalises the distinction between parent: progenitor, and parent: carer — birth mothers and fathers remain obliged, life-long, to their birth children even when the child is adopted out. (shrink)
: On realist terms, politics is about power, security, and order, and the question of whether politics can practice compassion is irrelevant. The author argues that a politics of compassion is possible and necessary in order to address human security needs. She extend debates on care ethics to develop a politics of compassion, using the example of asylum seekers to demonstrate that politics can practice compassion with (1) attentiveness to the needs of vulnerable people who are suffering, (2) an active (...) listening to the voices of the vulnerable, and (3) open, compassionate, and appropriate responses to particular needs. (shrink)
Economic progress in the United States has been attributed to the successful combination of two social structures – capitalism as an economic system and democracy as a political system. At the heart of this interaction is a particular work ethic in which hard work is considered the path to both immediate and future rewards. This article examines the evolution of work ethic in the United States, as well as the returns experienced through various adaptations in the country’s history. From this (...) grounding, the information is structured into a proposal that key messages contained in the current, accepted work ethic are subject to distortions that may contribute to unethical decision making. These distortions result from two potentials: (1) efforts to reconcile the work ethic with contradictory messages and (2) exaggerations of the work ethic that become dysfunctional. The intent is to provide a framework that may explain to organizational leaders how people with the same basic work ethic can behave differently in terms of ethical work. Along with this understanding comes the potential to offset possible distortions and to encourage more ethical behavior. (shrink)
Rewriting the Self is an exploration of ideas of the self in the western cultural tradition from the Renaissance to the present. The contributors analyze different religious, philosophical, psychological, political, psychoanalytical and literary models of personal identity from a number of viewpoints, including the history of ideas, contemporary gender politics, and post-modernist literary theory. Challenging the received version of the "ascent of western man," they assess the discursive construction of the self in the light of political, technological and social changes. (...) Contributors include: Peter Burke, Roger Cardinal, Stephen Connor, Jonathan Dollimore, Terry Eagleton, Kate Flint, E.J. Hundert, John Mullan, Linda Nead, Daniel Pick, Nikolas Rose, Jonathan Sawday, Jane Shaw, Roger Smith, Sylvana Tomaselli and Carolyn D. Williams. (shrink)
This article reassesses Peter Abelard's account of moral intention, or, better, consent, in light of recent work on his own thought and on the twelfth-century background of that thought. The author argues (1) that Abelard's focus on consent as the determining factor for morality does not rule out, but, on the contrary, presupposes objective criteria for moral judgment and (2) that Abelard's real innovation does not lie in his doctrine of consent as the sole source of merit or guilt, but, (...) rather, in his exploration of the ways in which this doctrine affects our understanding of the objective criteria for moral judgment. In particular, Abelard is led by his doctrine of consent to a thoroughgoing reassessment of the moral significance of the passions, which, in turn, leads him to reject the view that actions should be evaluated in terms of the praiseworthy or vicious character of the passions they express. (shrink)
In their paper ‘Why It Matters That Some Are Worse Off Than Others: An Argument against the Priority View’, Michael Otsuka and Alex Voorhoeve argue that prioritarianism is mistaken. I argue that their case against prioritarianism has much weaker foundations than it might at first seem. Their key argument is based on the claim that prioritarianism ignores the fact of the ‘separateness of persons’. However, prioritarianism, far from ignoring that fact, is a plausible response to it. It may be that (...) prioritarianism disregards the fact of the ‘unity of the individual’. But even if this is true, that doesn’t straightforwardly tell against prioritarianism as a view about distributive justice. In the end, Otsuka and Voorhoeve’s argument relies on a non-decisive intuition that they appeal to early in their paper. Their conclusion, as a result, is not compelling. (shrink)
In face of the multiple controversies surrounding the DSM process in general and the development of DSM-5 in particular, we have organized a discussion around what we consider six essential questions in further work on the DSM. The six questions involve: 1) the nature of a mental disorder; 2) the definition of mental disorder; 3) the issue of whether, in the current state of psychiatric science, DSM-5 should assume a cautious, conservative posture or an assertive, transformative posture; 4) the role (...) of pragmatic considerations in the construction of DSM-5; 5) the issue of utility of the DSM - whether DSM-III and IV have been designed more for clinicians or researchers, and how this conflict should be dealt with in the new manual; and 6) the possibility and advisability, given all the problems with DSM-III and IV, of designing a different diagnostic system. Part I of this article took up the first two questions. Part II will take up the second two questions. Question 3 deals with the question as to whether DSM-V should assume a conservative or assertive posture in making changes from DSM-IV. That question in turn breaks down into discussion of diagnoses that depend on, and aim toward, empirical, scientific validation, and diagnoses that are more value-laden and less amenable to scientific validation. Question 4 takes up the role of pragmatic consideration in a psychiatric nosology, whether the purely empirical considerations need to be tempered by considerations of practical consequence. As in Part 1 of this article, the general introduction, as well as the introductions and conclusions for the specific questions, are written by James Phillips, and the responses to commentaries are written by Allen Frances. (shrink)
In face of the multiple controversies surrounding the DSM process in general and the development of DSM-5 in particular, we have organized a discussion around what we consider six essential questions in further work on the DSM. The six questions involve: 1) the nature of a mental disorder; 2) the definition of mental disorder; 3) the issue of whether, in the current state of psychiatric science, DSM-5 should assume a cautious, conservative posture or an assertive, transformative posture; 4) the role (...) of pragmatic considerations in the construction of DSM-5; 5) the issue of utility of the DSM - whether DSM-III and IV have been designed more for clinicians or researchers, and how this conflict should be dealt with in the new manual; and 6) the possibility and advisability, given all the problems with DSM-III and IV, of designing a different diagnostic system. Part 1 of this article took up the first two questions. Part 2 took up the second two questions. Part 3 now deals with Questions 5 & 6. Question 5 confronts the issue of utility, whether the manual design of DSM-III and IV favors clinicians or researchers, and what that means for DSM-5. Our final question, Question 6, takes up a concluding issue, whether the acknowledged problems with the earlier DSMs warrants a significant overhaul of DSM-5 and future manuals. As in Parts 1 & 2 of this article, the general introduction, as well as the introductions and conclusions for the specific questions, are written by James Phillips, and the responses to commentaries are written by Allen Frances. (shrink)
We are currently seeing a revival of interest in Aquinas's moral thought among Christian ethicists, both Protestant and Catholic. Although recent studies of his moral thought have touched on a number of topics, the majority of these have focused on his account of the virtues and their place in the Christian life. Probing the questions of the relation of virtue and law, the role of reason and will, and the place of the passions in Aquinas's moral theology, I will examine (...) recent studies by Diana Cates, Pamela Hall, Simon Harak, James Keenan, Daniel Nelson, Daniel Westberg, and Paul Waddell. In different ways these studies return us repeatedly to the vexed and unresolved question of the scope of human freedom. (shrink)
When Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff (1848-1931) set out to critique Nietzsche's first book, The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music, three months after it appeared in January 1872, he was faced with something of a dilemma.1 What stance should he assume in his polemic against this bizarre piece of writing that fell outside of every known convention in classical studies? A strange hybrid of philologically informed musings on Greek mythology, musicology, and Schopenhauerian philosophy, it lacked all the usual signs (...) of classical scholarship: There were no footnotes, no quotations from Greek sources in the original and only a single passage in translation (a few verses from Sophocles), no citations of primary .. (shrink)
This article investigates the influence of innovation on the relationship between corporate strategy and social issues. Specifically, we employ firm-level data for a large sample of U.K. companies drawn from a diverse range of industrial sectors to investigate, given innovation, the determinants of both the probability that the innovation brings reduced environmental impacts and/or improved health and safety, and the strength of this effect. In this connection, we find evidence of a dichotomy between product and process innovations, and roles for (...) firm size, industrial sector, a foreign market presence, access to various information sources (e.g. universities and government research organisations) and the extent to which activities are constrained by regulation. Furthermore, we find a tendency for the influences of many of these factors to vary between older and newer firms. (shrink)
From the standpoint of the moral theologian, perhaps the most influential aspect of Karl Rahner’s theology is the thesis of the fundamental option, that is, the claim that the individual’s status before God is determined by a basic, freely chosen and prethematic orientation of openness towards, or rejection of God which takes place at the level of core or transcendental freedom. This paper argues that this notion of the fundamental option is problematic because it is not concrete enough to provide (...) an adequate interpretation of our actual experience. Yet this problem cannot be addressed through reviving the traditional account of mortal and venial sins, which are equally problematic, albeit in a somewhat different way. The second half of the paper explores the alternative offered by Aquinas’s account of charity, which, it is argued, does provide us with an account of grace sufficiently rich and concrete to illuminate human experience. However, this alternative is likewise problematic, most notably in its commitment to the view that charity is lost through one mortal sin. Yet Aquinas’s account of charity provides resources for an internal critique and revision on this point, as can be seen through a consideration of cases of “sinful saints.”. (shrink)
This essay compares Aquinas' understanding of the precepts of justice with the various accounts of moral rules developed in the debate over proportionalism among contemporary moral theologians. It is argued that both sides in this debate oversimplify Aquinas' account of moral rules so drastically as to misread him. Moreover, it is argued that because Aquinas' account reflects a sense of the communal context for moral discernment, it is superior to both traditionalism and proportionalism.
This critique of nine service learning projects within schools of business is designed to encourage other educational institutions to add service learning requirements into business ethics and leadership courses. It champions the role of the faculty member teaching these courses while at the same time offering constructive analysis on pedagogy, a review of curriculum issues, identification of barriers to service learning, and guidelines for teaching service learning ventures. Challenges to all faculty involved in business ethics courses are made to better (...) manage their courses and careers from a broader context outside of university settings. (shrink)
In face of the multiple controversies surrounding the DSM process in general and the development of DSM-5 in particular, we have organized a discussion around what we consider six essential questions in further work on the DSM. The six questions involve: 1) the nature of a mental disorder; 2) the definition of mental disorder; 3) the issue of whether, in the current state of psychiatric science, DSM-5 should assume a cautious, conservative posture or an assertive, transformative posture; 4) the role (...) of pragmatic considerations in the construction of DSM-5; 5) the issue of utility of the DSM - whether DSM-III and IV have been designed more for clinicians or researchers, and how this conflict should be dealt with in the new manual; and 6) the possibility and advisability, given all the problems with DSM-III and IV, of designing a different diagnostic system. Part I of this article will take up the first two questions. With the first question, invited commentators express a range of opinion regarding the nature of psychiatric disorders, loosely divided into a realist position that the diagnostic categories represent real diseases that we can accurately name and know with our perceptual abilities, a middle, nominalist position that psychiatric disorders do exist in the real world but that our diagnostic categories are constructs that may or may not accurately represent the disorders out there, and finally a purely constructivist position that the diagnostic categories are simply constructs with no evidence of psychiatric disorders in the real world. The second question again offers a range of opinion as to how we should define a mental or psychiatric disorder, including the possibility that we should not try to formulate a definition. The general introduction, as well as the introductions and conclusions for the specific questions, are written by James Phillips, and the responses to commentaries are written by Allen Frances. (shrink)
We study experimental markets where privately informed traders exchange simple assets, and where uninformed third parties are asked to forecast the values of these assets, guided only by market prices. Although prices only partially aggregate information, they signiﬁcantly improve the forecasts of third parties. In a second treatment, a portion of traders are given preferences over the forecasts made by observers. Although we ﬁnd evidence that these traders attempt to manipulate prices in order to inﬂuence the beliefs of observers, we (...) ﬁnd no evidence that observers make less accurate forecasts as a result. (shrink)
Umbilical cord blood banking is one of many biomedical innovations that confront pregnant women with new choices about what they should do to secure their own and their child’s best interests. Many mothers can now choose to donate their baby’s umbilical cord blood (UCB) to a public cord blood bank or pay to store it in a private cord blood bank. Donation to a public bank is widely regarded as an altruistic act of civic responsibility. Paying to store UCB may (...) be regarded as a “unique opportunity” to provide “insurance” for the child’s future. This paper reports findings from a survey of Australian women that investigated the decision to either donate or store UCB. We conclude that mothers are faced with competing discourses that force them to choose between being a “good mother” and fulfilling their role as a “good citizen.” We discuss this finding with reference to the concept of value pluralism. (shrink)
This paper is a philosophical defense of the doctrine of penal substitution. I begin with a delineation of Richard Swinburne’s satisfaction-type theory of the atonement, exposing a weakness of it which motivates a renewed look at the theory of penal substitution. In explicating a theory of penal substitution, I contend that: (i) the execution of retributive punishment is morally justified in certain cases of deliberate wrongdoing; (ii) deliberate human sin against God constitutes such a case; and (iii) the transfer of (...) the retributive punishment due sinners to Christ is morally coherent. Whatever else might be said for and against such a conception of the doctrine of the atonement, the plausibility of the theory presented here should give us pause in the often hasty rejection of the doctrine of penal substitution. (shrink)
Aggleton & Brown have built a convincing case that hippocampus-related circuits may be involved in thalamic amnesia. It remains to be established, however, that their model represents a distinct neurological system, that the distinction between recall and familiarity captures the roles of these pathways in episodic memory, or that there are no other systems that contribute to the signs of amnesia associated with thalamic disease.
Ian Barbour sees four ways to relate science and religion: (1) conflict, (2) disjunction or independence, (3) dialogue, and (4) synthesis or integration. David Burrell posits three ways to construe religious language, as (a) univocal, (b) equivocal, or (c) analogous. The paper contends that Barbour’s (1) and (4) presuppose Burrell’s (a), Barbour's (2) presupposes Burrell’s (b), and Barbour’s (3) presupposes Burrell’s (c), and it explores some of the implications for each alternative.
This study compares employee attitudes to their reports of whether they consider their socio-economic status to be higher, the same, or lower than that of their parents. The premise of the research was based on the apparent deterioration of the expectation that each generation will live in greater economic comfort than their parents, referred to as a vital component of the American dream. Where this pattern of socio-economic progress has been interrupted, it may relate to certain attitudes. These attitudes, in (...) turn, are likely to influence behavior. Here the focus is on whether employees' survey responses indicate they are honest, trustworthy, and tolerant. Differences in these characteristics that relate to self-reported socio- economic progress, may serve to explain the occurrence of certain behaviors among people who otherwise seem highly ethical. This information may also help create organizational awareness of the potential for unethical behavior, when employees have been blocked from their own expectations for betterment. (shrink)
When we approach medieval writings on the natural law in terms of our contemporary interpretations of such basic categories as reason, nature, and natural order, these writings are bound to seem confused, incomplete, and unsophisticated. Yet if we allow these writings to speak in their own terms, respecting the integrity of their thought, a different picture emerges. We find there an account of the natural law which is significantly different from any contemporary version. This account is illuminating precisely because it (...) demonstrates that it is possible to think in very different ways about some fundamental issues. (shrink)
This paper addresses the question of whether animals have souls and the ability to experience God after death within the limitations of their nature. Plausible explanations for the natural origin of life and for the development of subsequent complexity are increasingly being advanced by molecular biologists. Christian tradition and scholasticism teach that the human body is animated by the soul which is the agent of vital activities. This teaching is incompatible with the claim for a natural origin for life. At (...) some stage in the evolution of chordates and cephalopods a sense of self-awareness and an ability to distinguish between pleasure and the absence of pleasure would have arisen permitting the potential for ensoulment. The premise that evolution was gradual but ensoulment was discontinuous predicates the irrational conclusion that for one generation the parents were animals without souls and their children humans, made in the image of God, and with souls. Biological gradualism is incompatible with a sudden ensoulment dichotomy both in the evolutionary history of humans and for a maturing foetus, human or animal. Gradualism must apply to both body and soul. A Christian interpretation of physicalism, however, provides an alternative to dualism and resolves the paradoxes and difficulties relating to animals. (shrink)
According to Aquinas (1888–1906), the virtue of justice is a habit, that is to say, a stable disposition of the will. Many commentators have found this claim to be puzzling, since it is difficult to see what this might entail, beyond a simple tendency to choose and act in accordance with precepts of justice. However, this objection does not take account of the fact that for Aquinas, the will is the principle of human freedom, and as such, it is expressed (...) through, but not limited to a capacity for particular choices and actions. It therefore needs stable dispositions, towards characteristic aims, in order to function effectively. This paper sets out a case for the cogency of Aquinas’s overall account of the will and its dispositions, by way of an examination of familiar expressions of human freedom which cannot be reduced to a series of individual choices and acts. It then turns to a closer examination of Aquinas’ analysis of the will, arguing that Aquinas’ claims about the orientation of the will towards some overarching and comprehensive good can fruitfully be understood in terms of this expansive conception of human freedom. (shrink)
This article offers two arguments for the centrality of historical studies to constructive theological ethics. The first is pedagogical: it is argued that precisely because historical texts call for reflective interpretation, the close study of these texts can provide insights that are not readily available in other ways. The second is more foundational: the Christian moral tradition is the proper subject matter of Christian theological ethics, and because that tradition evolves over time and cannot be understood apart from some account (...) of that evolution, historical studies are a constitutive part of Christian theological ethics. This claim is defended through an ex- amination of the historical dimension of the interpretation of Scripture as a moral document. The essay closes with some reflections on the institutional implications of these arguments. (shrink)
This paper examines Aquinas's contention that the virtues are necessarily connected, in such a way that anyone who fully possesses one of them, necessarily possesses them all. It is argued that this claim, as Aquinas develops it in the "Summa Theologiae", is more complex, interesting, and plausible than it is often taken to be. On his view, the cardinal virtues can be said to be connected in two senses, corresponding to the two senses in which certain virtues can be said (...) to be cardinal, namely, as general qualifications of all virtuous action and as particular normative ideals having a specific content. This distinction suggests, in turn, that Aquinas's claim that the virtues are connected should be understood as a psychological thesis about what is characteristic of the virtuous person's distinctive way of acting, as well as a thesis about the interrelationships among the different cardinal virtues considered as discrete normative ideals. So understood, Aquinas's claim that the virtues are connected is seen to be a necessary implication of his metaphysically grounded theory of human action. At the same time, it enables him to offer an interpretation of the complexities of moral discourse that is illuminating and at least prima facie plausible, taken on its own merits. (shrink)
This paper examines the effectiveness of ethics education provided by Malaysian universities. A total of 264 accounting students attending ethics courses in public and private universities responded to a pre and post questionnaire (treatment group) and another 57 students who did not complete an ethics course (control group) were included for comparative purposes. Statistical analysis reveals that business ethics courses are effective as students demonstrate higherlevel of ethical sensitivity upon completion of the course. In contrast, the control group students demonstrate (...) lower levels of ethical sensitivity. Students in the “good” and “average” academic performance category, females, and Malay students, gained most from an ethics education. Students from public universities were also found to benefit more than their private university counterparts. The results contribute to the dearth of research in this area and present a case for introducing compulsory business ethics courses in all Malaysian universities offering accounting programs. (shrink)
This paper investigates the degree to which corporate philanthropy is influenced by the extent to which a firm is internationalised and/or whether it hasoperations in one or more controversial countries. Utilising data on a sample of large UK firms, we find evidence of a positive effect not for internationalisation per se, but only for a presence in these controversial countries. More specifically, we find evidence that in this connection the salient feature of a country is a lack of political rights (...) and/or civil liberties, rather than a presence of rampant corruption. Furthermore, this positive impact on charitable giving is restricted to a presence in only those countries that are, according to Freedom House indicators, most lacking (and so controversial) in this respect. (shrink)
This paper investigates an under-researched relationship, that between corporate social performance (CSP) and geographical diversification. Drawingupon the institutional and stakeholder perspectives and utilising data on a sample of large UK firms, we develop a set of empirical models of CSP, and findevidence of a significant contemporaneous positive relationship between the two for some types of social performance and in some regions of the world. Overall,we provide evidence that firms shape their social performance strategies to their geographical profile.
In the conclusion to this multi-part article I first review the discussions carried out around the six essential questions in psychiatric diagnosis – the position taken by Allen Frances on each question, the commentaries on the respective question along with Frances’ responses to the commentaries, and my own view of the multiple discussions. In this review I emphasize that the core question is the first – what is the nature of psychiatric illness – and that in some manner all further (...) questions follow from the first. Following this review I attempt to move the discussion forward, addressing the first question from the perspectives of natural kind analysis and complexity analysis. This reflection leads toward a view of psychiatric disorders – and future nosologies – as far more complex and uncertain than we have imagined. (shrink)
In this paper complexity theory and complex adaptive systems are examined as a conceptual and empirical framework for sustainability and the sustainable commons. In contrast to traditional reductionist approaches, complexity theory provides a view in which nested and intertwined social, environmental, economic and cultural systems are in continual flux and coevolutionary development, and where change is emergent, the result of ongoing multidirectional contact and feedback among networks of agents of many types. The implications of this ontology are that sustainability is (...) defined more in terms of processes rather than performance measures or final goals, and inquiry focuses on the contexts, patterns, networks, and relational aspects and mechanisms of micro and macro sustainability processes. The paper presents an overview of complexity theory, situates and examines sustainability in a complexity ‘mindset’ (Richardson, 2008), and discusses three important research tools for a complexity analysis of sustainability—social construction, identity work, and social network analysis. (shrink)