Can war ever be justified? Why is it wrong to kill? In this new book Richard Norman looks at these and other related questions, and thereby examines the possibility and nature of rational moral argument. Practical examples, such as the Gulf War and the Falklands War, are used to show that, whilst moral philosophy can offer no easy answers, it is a worthwhile enterprise which sheds light on many pressing contemporary problems. A combination of lucid exposition and original argument (...) makes this the ideal introduction to both the particular debate about the ethics of killing and war, and also to the fundamental issues of moral philosophy itself. (shrink)
There are at least three times as many nations as states in the world today. This book addresses some of the special challenges that arise when two or more national communities re the same (multinational) state. As a work in normative political philosophy its principal aim is to evaluate the political and institutional choices of citizens and governments in states with rival nationalist discourses and nation-building projects. The first chapter takes stock of a decade of intense philosophical and sociological debates (...) about the nature of nations and nationalism. Norman identifies points of consensus in these debates, as well as issues that do not have to be definitively resolved in order to proceed with normative theorizing. He recommends thinking of nationalism as a form of discourse, a way of arguing and mobilizing support, and not primarily as a belief in a principle. A liberal nationalist, then, is someone who uses nationalist arguments, or appeals to nationalist sentiments, in order to rally support for liberal policies. The rest of the book is taken up with the three big political and institutional choices in multinational states. First, what can political actors and governments legitimately do to shape citizens' national identity or identities? This is the core question in the ethics of nation-building, or what Norman calls national engineering. Second, how can minority and majority national communities each be given an adequate degree of self-determination, including equal rights to carry out nation-building projects, within a democratic federal state? Finally, even in a world where most national minorities cannot have their own state, how should the constitutions of multinational federations regulate secessionist politics within the rule of law and the ideals of democracy? More than a decade after Yael Tamir's ground-breaking Liberal Nationalism, Norman finds that these three great practical and institutional questions have still rarely been addressed within a comprehensive normative theory of nationalism. (shrink)
The concepts of freedom and equality lie at the heart of much contemporary political debate. But how, exactly, are these concepts to be understood? And do they really represent desirable political values? Norman begins from the premise that freedom and equality are rooted in human experience, and thus have a real and objective content. He then argues that the attempt to clarify these concepts is therefore not just a matter of idle philosophical speculation, but also a matter of practical (...) politics, for the philosophical conclusions we reach also have important implications for the day-to-day world of political action. Touching on the work of such influential thinkers as Mill, Berlin, Hayek, Nozick, Rawls, and Williams, this book serves as a valuable introduction to the central issues in political philosophy. (shrink)
The two contrasting theoretical approaches to visual perception, the constructivist and the ecological, are briefly presented and illustrated through their analyses of space and size perception. Earlier calls for their reconciliation and unification are reviewed. Neurophysiological, neuropsychological, and psychophysical evidence for the existence of two quite distinct visual systems, the ventral and the dorsal, is presented. These two perceptual systems differ in their functions; the ventral system's central function is that of identification, while the dorsal system is mainly engaged in (...) the visual control of motor behavior. The strong parallels between the ecological approach and the functioning of the dorsal system, and between the constructivist approach and the functioning of the ventral system are noted. It is also shown that the experimental paradigms used by the proponents of these two approaches match the functions of the respective visual systems. A dual-process approach to visual perception emerges from this analysis, with the ecological-dorsal process transpiring mainly without conscious awareness, while the constructivist-ventral process is normally conscious. Some implications of this dual-process approach to visual-perceptual phenomena are presented, with emphasis on space perception. Key Words: constructivist; dual-process approach; ecological; size perception; space perception; two visual systems; visual perception theories. (shrink)
This paper raises a challenge for those who assume that corporate social responsibility and good corporate governance naturally go hand-in-hand. The recent spate of corporate scandals in the United States and elsewhere has dramatized, once again, the severity of the agency problems that may arise between managers and shareholders. These scandals remind us that even if we adopt an extremely narrow concept of managerial responsibility – such that we recognize no social responsibility beyond the obligation to maximize shareholder value – (...) there may still be very serious difficulties associated with the effective institutionalization of this obligation. It also suggests that if we broaden managerial responsibility, in order to include extensive responsibilities to various other stakeholder groups, we may seriously exacerbate these agency problems, making it even more difficult to impose effective discipline upon managers. Hence, our central question: is a strong commitment to corporate social responsibility institutionally feasible? In searching for an answer, we revisit the history of public management, and in particular, the experience of social-democratic governments during the 1960s and 1970s, and their attempts to impose social responsibility upon the managers of nationalized industries. The results of this inquiry are less than encouraging for proponents of corporate social responsibility. In fact, the history of public-sector management presents a number of stark warnings, which we would do well to heed if we wish to reconcile robust social responsibility with effective corporate governance. (shrink)
This paper looks at conflicts of interest in the not-for-profit sector. It examines the nature of conflicts of interest and why they are of ethical concern, and then focuses on the way not-for-profit organisations are especially prone to and vulnerable to conflict-of-interest scandals. Conflicts of interest corrode trust; and stakeholder trust (particularly from donors) is the lifeblood of most charities. We focus on some specific challenges faced by charitable organisations providing funding for scientific (usually medical) research, and examine a case (...) study involving such an organisation. One of the principal problems for charities of this kind is that they often distribute their funds within a relatively small research community (defined by the boundaries of a small region, like an American state or Spanish Autonomous region, or a small country), and it often proves difficult to find high-level researchers within the jurisdiction to adjudicate impartially the research grants. We suggest and recommend options appropriate for our case study and for many other organisations in similar situations. (shrink)
The conception of social justice as equality is defended in this paper by examining what may appear to be two inegalitarian conceptions of justice, as distribution according to desert and as distribution according to need. It is argued that claims of just entitlement arise within a context of reciprocal co-operation for mutual benefit. Within such a context there are special cases where it can be said that those who contribute more deserve more, and that those who need more should get (...) more, but those claims themselves presuppose a norm of equal contribution and equal benefit. (shrink)
Jonathan Dancy, in his 1994 Aristotelian Society Presidential Address, set out to show ''why there is really no such thing as the theory of motivation''. In this paper I want to agree that there is no such thing, and to offer reasons of a different kind for that conclusion. I shall suggest that the so-called theory of motivation misconstrues the question which it purports to answer, and that when we properly analyse the question and distinguish it clearly from other questions (...) with which it should not be confused, we do not need a theory of motivation at all. (shrink)
Valency switching can appear especially puzzling if we think of moral reasons as pushes and pullsconsiderations whose job it is to get us to act or to stop us acting. Talk of default valency doesn't remove the puzzle, it merely restates it. We need a different picture of reasonsperhaps as providing a map of the moral terrain which helps us to see which actions are appropriate to which situations, and who the appropriate agents are. The role of virtue concepts in (...) particular is more complex and varied than that of providing reasons for acting. A more holistic picture of reasons can make valency switching less mysterious. Key Words: default valency particularism reasons thick concepts valency switching virtues. (shrink)
My response and reactions to the quite diverse commentaries are presented. Among the topics covered are a response to holders of the ecological viewpoint; memory and learning in the two perceptual systems; development of the two systems; biological motion; size and distance perception; illusion and the two systems; and several others. It is suggested that the dual-process approach is a viable working theory of space perception and, perhaps, of other types of perception as well. Hopefully, future research will enhance it (...) with added refinements and variations on the original theme. (shrink)
Nietzsche sees base morality and traditional philosophy as reactive, essentially predicated on negation and opposition. But is it possible to reject negation? To oppose oppositionality? This issue has been addressed by a variety of 20th century thinkers who think that the paradox is insurmountable. I use the thought of Deleuze to propose a way Nietzsche can respond to the accusation of paradox. Specifically, I believe Nietzsche proposes a set of philosophical terms that allow him to refer the question of opposition (...) to a critical analysis of types of wills. Nietzsche attempts to show us a will that does not negate and oppose, but is rather affirmative. Its affirmation will be creative, rather than recognizing and reacting to an antecedent state of affairs or set of values. The purpose of this paper is to argue for the coherence and novelty of this conception of affirmative, noble will. (shrink)
Are there any advantages to thinking and speaking about ethical business in the language of citizenship? We will address this question in part by looking at the possible relevance of a vast literature on individual citizenship that has been produced by political philosophers over the last fifteen years. Some of the central elements of citizenship do not seem to apply straightforwardly to corporations. E.g., “citizenship” typically implies membership in a state and an identity akinto national identity; but this connotation of (...) citizenship is obviously problematic for multinational corporations. However, the language of citizenship does help to focus our attention on various legal and political virtues (or vices) for corporations—topics that have been largely neglected by discussions under other rubrics, such as CSR or sustainability. We finish with an evaluation of the potential benefits and costs of conceptualizing and talking about ethical business practices in thelanguage of citizenship.“Citizen” and “Citizenship” are powerful words. They speak of respect, of rights, of dignity. . . . We find no perjorative uses. It is a weighty, monumental, humanist word.—Fraser and Gordon 1994: 90[The rhetorical appeal to citizenship often] seems to have no purpose other than to add normative weight to a policy, institution or practice that could just asaptly be described without reference to citizenship.—Weinstock 2002: 244. (shrink)
The purpose of this study is twofold. The first objective is to examine the impact of an individual's ethical ideology and level of professional commitment on the earnings management decision. The second objective is to observe whether the presence of a personal benefit affects an individual's ethical orientation or professional commitment within the context of an opportunity to manage earnings. Using a sample of 375 undergraduate business majors, our results suggest a significant relationship between an individual's ethical orientation and decision-making. (...) Further, participants with higher levels of professional commitment seem to be less likely to engage in earnings management behavior and less likely to behave opportunistically. These results have the potential to add to our understanding of certain behaviors in entry-level personnel and should be of interest to managers, practitioners, academicians, and researchers. (shrink)
Abstract Kohlberg's theory of moral development draws a distinction between content and structure of moral thought. An inference based on this distinction is that content and structure are independent. To investigate this inference, we studied fourth?and eighth?grade students in two distinct educational settings in the United States. Sample 1 contained 83 students attending a church?sponsored, evangelical Christian school. Sample 2 contained 60 students attending government?supported public schools. Students were administered Kohlberg's moral dilemmas of life versus law, punishment versus conscience, and (...) authority versus contract. Christian school students made more religious references in resolving dilemmas. More Christian than public school students favoured law, punishment and authority. More importantly, regardless of the school attended, students who used religious terminology to resolve dilemmas were less likely to reason in Kohlberg's Stage 2 than those who did not. Grade differences emerged. Regardless of terminology, most fourth?grade students used some Stage 2 reasoning. However, among eighth?grade students, using religious terminology correlated with less Stage 2 reasoning. The results of our study raise doubts as to the independence of structure and content. (shrink)
There seems to be a proliferation of prizes and rankings for ethical business over the past decade. Our principal aims in this article are twofold: to initiate an academic discussion of the epistemic and normative stakes in business-ethics competitions; and to help organizers of such competitions to think through some of these issues and the design options for dealing with them. We have been able to find no substantive literature — academic or otherwise — that addresses either of these two (...) broad topics and audiences. Our modest aim, therefore, is to suggest an agenda of issues, and to begin to explore and analyse some of the possible arguments for and against various philosophical or practical solutions. Part I explores the challenges facing a prize-organizing committee, including problems derived from what Rawls calls the "fact of pluralism" in democratic societies (reasonable people will always disagree over some basic values, including those relevant to evaluating business practices), and epistemic issues about how we can justify qualitative judgments on the basis of incomplete quantitative data. We also try to identify risks and opportunity costs for ethics-prize granters. In Part II we spell out (a) a range of design options and (b) some advice about how any particular prize-awarding committee might select among these options to best achieve its goals (which typically involve highlighting and publicizing best practices for ethical business). (shrink)
We discuss five kinds of representations of rationales and provide a formal account of how they can alter disputation. The formal model of disputation is derived from recent work in argument. The five kinds of rationales are compilation rationales, which can be represented without assuming domain-knowledge (such as utilities) beyond that normally required for argument. The principal thesis is that such rationales can be analyzed in a framework of argument not too different from what AI already has. The result is (...) a formal understanding of rationales, a partial taxonomy, and a foundation for computer programs that represent and reason with rationales.The five kinds of rationales are as follows: (c)ompression and (s)pecialization, which yield rules, and (d)isputation, which yields a decision. These are modeled as potentially changing the focus of the dispute. Then there are (f)it, a rationale for rules, and (r)esolution, a rationale for decisions. These cannot be modeled as simply; they force disputation to a meta-level, at least temporarily. (shrink)
Hamblin’s Action-State Semantics provides a sound philosophical foundation for understanding the character of the imperative. Taking this as our inspiration, in this paper we present a logic of action, which we call ST, that captures the clear ontological distinction between being responsible for the achievement of a state of affairs and being responsible for the performance of an action. We argue that a relativised modal logic of type RT founded upon a ternary relation over possible worlds integrated with a basic (...) tense logic captures intuitions of the Hamblinian model of imperatives. The logic implements a direct mapping of each of Hamblin’s key concepts: strategies, partial strategies and wholehearted satisfaction. (shrink)
Canadian theorists and philosophers are recognized internationally for their contributions to normative debates about citizenship, multiculturalism, and nationalism. The superb essays collected here reflect a broad range of contemporary political and philosophical issues: liberalism and citizenship; equality, justice, and gender; minority rights and identity; nationalism and self-determination; and the history of political philosophy.
The second edition of this accessible book features a new chapter on Nietzsche and an entirely new Part III that covers contemporary utilitarianism, rights-based ethical theories, contractarian ethics and virtue ethics, and recent debates between realism and anti-realism in ethics. The strengths of the first edition--its readability, historical approach, coverage of specific moral philosophers, and detailed recommended reading sections at the beginning of each chapter--combined with the new material make this an essential resource for all readers interested in ethics.
Resolution-oriented dialogue has a normative structure that is largely subject to theoretical explication. This paper develops a simple model that sheds light on how moves in a reason-giving game alter the distribution of discursive commitments and entitlements. By clarifying the practice of deontic scorekeeping, we can enhance our collective capacity to resolve conflicts dialogically.
Sprinkled with humor, social psychology illuminates cognition in Wegner's beautifully written and cleverly crafted book. However, scantily exploiting such themes as psychopathology, development, and neural correlates of consciousness, Wegner's account does not fully project into cognitive neuroscience. Broaching the topic of self-regulation, we outline neurocognitive data supplementing the notion that voluntariness is perhaps more post hoc ascriptions than bona fide introspection.
Norman Daniels argues that health is important for justice because it affects the distribution of opportunities. He claims that a just society should guarantee fair opportunities by promoting and restoring the “normal functioning” of its citizens, that is, their health. The scope of citizens' mutual obligations with respect to health is defined by a reasonable agreement that, according to Daniels, should be based on the distinction between normal functioning and pathology drawn by the biomedical sciences. This paper deals with (...) the question whether it is legitimate to ascribe the responsibility of defining this important moral boundary to the biomedical sciences, which Daniels regards as value neutral. Daniels appeals to Christopher Boorse's sophisticated bio-statistical theory (BST) to show the plausibility of a value-neutral distinction between normal functioning and pathology. Here I argue that a careful analysis of the concept of normal functioning, such as the one offered by the recent critique by Elselijn Kingma, shows that it depends from evaluative assumptions. This, I argue, implies that Daniels's theory must give up its naturalistic commitments. In the conclusion, the paper offers a detailed discussion and an objection to one of Daniels's arguments in favor of a moderate form of normativism that remains too close to Boorse's naturalism. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to discuss Norman Kretzmann's account of Aquinas's discussion of will in God. According to Kretzmann, Aquinas's reasoning seems to leave no place for choice on God's part, since, on Aquinas's account, God is not free not to will Himself. And so this leads to the problem about God's willing things other than Himself. On this, Kretzmann finds serious problems with Thomas's position. Kretzmann argues that Aquinas should have drawn necessitarian conclusions from his account (...) of divine will. Moreover, in light of one reading of De veritate, q. 24, a. 3, but one not accepted by the Leonine edition, Kretzmann also maintains that Aquinas practically conceded this necessitarian view of God's creative activity in that text. My purpose will be, after presenting Kretzmann's presentation and defence of Aquinas's attribution of will to God, to examine critically his claim that Thomas should have concluded that God is not free not to create, and to determine whether a stronger argument can be made in support of Aquinas's position in light of his texts. (shrink)
Darker skin correlates with reduced opportunities and negative health outcomes. Recent discoveries related to the genes associated with skin tone, and the historical use of cosmetics to conform to racist appearance standards, suggest effective skin-lightening products may soon become available. This article examines whether medical interventions of this sort should be permitted, subsidized, or restricted, using Norman Daniels's framework for determining what justice requires in terms of protecting health. I argue that Daniels's expansive view of the requirements of justice (...) in meeting health needs offers some support for recognizing a societal obligation to provide this kind of ‘enhancement,’ in light of the strong connections between skin tone and health outcomes. On balance, however, Daniels's framework offers compelling reasons to reject insurance coverage for skin-lightening medical interventions, including the likely ineffectiveness of such technologies in mitigating racial health disparities, and the danger that covering skin-lightening enhancements would undermine public support for cooperative schemes that protect health. In fact, justice may require limiting access to these technologies because of their potential to exacerbate the negative effects of racism. (shrink)
Norman Daniels, in applying Rawls’ theory of justice to the issue of human health, ideally presupposes that society exists in a state of moderate scarcity. However, faced with problems like climate change, many societies find that their state of moderate scarcity is increasingly under threat. The first part of this essay aims to determine the consequences for Daniels’ theory of just health when we incorporate into Rawls’ understanding of justice the idea that the condition of moderate scarcity can fail. (...) Most significantly, I argue for a generation-neutral principle of basic needs that is lexically prior to Rawls’ familiar principles of justice. The second part of this paper aims to demonstrate how my reformulated version of Daniels’ conception of just health can help to justify action on climate change and guide climate policy within liberal-egalitarian societies. (shrink)
Norman Bowie wrote an article on the moral obligations of multinational corporations in 1987. This paper is a response to Bowie, but more importantly, it is designed to articulate the force and substance of the pragmatist philosophy developed by Richard Rorty. In his article, Bowie suggested that moral universalism (which he endorses) is the only credible method of doing business ethics across cultures and that cultural relativism and ethnocentrism are not. Bowie, in a manner surprisingly common among contemporary philosophers, (...) lumps Rorty into a bad guy category without careful analysis of his philosophy and ascribes to him views which clearly do not fit. I attempt to provide both a more careful articulation of Rorty's views, and to use his pragmatism to illustrate an approach to business ethics which is more fruitful than Bowie's. This brand of philosophy follows the Enlightenment spirit of toleration and attempts to set aside questions of Truth, whether religious or philosophical, and have ethics centered around what James called that which is good in the way of belief. Rather than looking for metaphysical foundations or some type of external justification, ethicists perform their craft from within the cultural traditions, narratives and practices of their society. (shrink)
This article presents a response to Néron and Norman’s contention that the language of citizenship is helpful in thinking about the political dimensions of corporate responsibilities. We argue that Néron and Norman’s main conclusions are valid but offer an extension of their analysis to incorporate extant streams of literature dealing with the political role of the corporation. We also propose that the perspective on citizenship adopted by Néron and Norman is rather narrow, andtherefore provide some alternative ways (...) in which corporations and citizenship might be brought together. We conclude by suggesting that, rather than simply applying the concept of citizenship to corporations, we now need to go further in exploring how corporations might play an active role in reconfiguring the whole notion of citizenship itself. (shrink)
This commentary suggests how Norman's dual control model of vision can be fitted into a broader general model of the control of behaviour by direct (on-line) and indirect (off-line) processes. Some general principles of behavioural organization, development, and competition are described and their specific application to vision is noted.
Norman Finkelstein, a prominent political scientist specializing in the Palestine-Israel conundrum, on which he has authored five highly praised books, was denied tenure at DePaul University by the President, Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, on June 8, 2007. After examining the particulars of the case, it strikes me as so obviously wrong to deny him tenure that the tenure procedure at DePaul constitutes a reductio ad absurdum of a university system which allows such a thing to happen.
This volume reflects the late Norman Calder's own interests and contributions. It includes articles by scholars who are already renowned, like Calder, for their sophisticated and challenging approaches to Arabic and Islamic texts. The papers are on a variety of topics of interest to people in the field of Middle Eastern cultures, and similar in nature to other collections, conference volumes and Festschriften. Also represented are his former students colleagues working in the field of Rabbinic Studies, which informed his (...) own work. Topics include: Transformations of Jewish Traditions in Early Islam: The case of Enoch/Idris, Narrative and Doctrine in the First Story of Rumi's Masnavi, Fiqh for beginners: an Anatolian text on jihad, Research Muslim Minorities: some reflections on fieldwork in Britain, Defective marriages in classical Hanafi law, and Can rights co-exist with religion? (shrink)
Walter of Bibbesworth’s late thirteenth-century versified treatise on French vocabulary relevant to the management of estates in Britain has the first extensive list of animal vocalizations in a European vernacular. Many of the Anglo-Norman French names for animals and their sounds are glossed in Middle English, inviting both diachronic and synchronic views of the capacity of these languages for onomatopoetic formation and reflection on the interest of these social and linguistic communities in zoosemiotics.