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)
We consider a formal language whose logical syntax involves both modal and tense propositional operators, as well as sortal quantifiers, sortal identities and (second order) quantifiers over sortals. We construct an intensional semantics for the language and characterize a formal logical system which we prove to be sound and complete with respect to the semantics. Conceptualism is the philosophical background of the semantic system.
With the past and future tense propositional operators in its syntax, a formal logical system for sortal quantifiers, sortal identity and (second order) quantification over sortal concepts is formulated. A completeness proof for the system is constructed and its absolute consistency proved. The completeness proof is given relative to a notion of logical validity provided by an intensional semantic system, which assumes an approach to sortals from a modern form of conceptualism.
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)
A formal logical system for sortal quantifiers, sortal identity and (second order) quantification over sortal concepts is formulated. The absolute consistency of the system is proved. A completeness proof for the system is also constructed. This proof is relative to a concept of logical validity provided by a semantics, which assumes as its philosophical background an approach to sortals from a modern form of conceptualism.
An intensional semantic system for languages containing, in their logical syntax, sortal quantifiers, sortal identities, (second-order) quantifiers over sortals and the necessity operator is constructed. This semantics provides non-standard assignments to predicate expressions, which diverge in kind from the entities assigned to sortal terms by the same semantic system. The nature of the entities assigned to predicate expressions shows, at the same time, that there is an internal semantic connection between those expressions and sortal terms. A formal logical system is (...) formulated that is proved to be absolutely consistent, sound and complete with respect to the intensional semantic system. (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)
A. Tarski  proposed the study of infinitary consequence operations as the central topic of mathematical logic. He considered monotonicity to be a property of all such operations. In this paper, we weaken the monotonicity requirement and consider more general operations, inference operations. These operations describe the nonmonotonic logics both humans and machines seem to be using when infering defeasible information from incomplete knowledge. We single out a number of interesting families of inference operations. This study of infinitary inference operations (...) is inspired by the results of  on nonmonotonic inference relations, and relies on some of the definitions found there. (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)
We present a relative consistency proof for second order systemRRC* and for certain important extensions of this system. The proof proceeds as follows: we prove first the equiconsistency of the strongest of such extensions (viz., systemH RRC*+(/CP**)) with second order systemT * . Now, N. Cocchiarella has shown thatT * is relatively consistent to systemT*+Ext; clearly, it follows thatH RRC*+(/CP**) is relatively consistent toT*+E xt. As an immediate consequence, the relative consistency ofRRC* and the other extensions also follows, being all (...) of them subsystems ofH RRC*+(/CP**). (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.
When a proposition is cumulatively entailed by a finite setA of premisses, there exists, trivially, a finite subsetB ofA such thatB B entails for all finite subsetsB that are entailed byA. This property is no longer valid whenA is taken to be an arbitrary infinite set, even when the considered inference operation is supposed to be compact. This leads to a refinement of the classical definition of compactness. We call supracompact the inference operations that satisfy the non-finitary analogue of the (...) above property. We show that for any arbitrary cumulative operationC, there exists a supracompact cumulative operationK(C) that is smaller thenC and agrees withC on finite sets. Moreover,K(C) inherits most of the properties thatC may enjoy, like monotonicity, distributivity or disjunctive rationality. The main part of the paper concerns distributive supracompact operations. These operations satisfy a simple functional equation, and there exists a representation theorem that provides a semantic characterization for this family of operations. We examine finally the case of rational operations and show that they can be represented by a specific kind of model particularly easy to handle. (shrink)