Cross-national studies of business-related ethicality frequently have concluded that Americans possess higher ethical standards than non-Americans. These conclusions have generally been based on survey responses of relatively small convenience samples of individuals in a very limited number of countries. This article reports a study of the relationship between nationality and business-related ethicality based on survey responses from more than 6300 business students attending 120 colleges and universities in 36 countries. Two well-documented determinants of business ethics (gender and religiosity) were investigated (...) as moderators of the nationality–business ethicality relationship. The major research finding is that, while statistically significant differences were found between the business-related ethicality of American survey participants and the business-related ethicality of the non-American survey participants, the magnitudes of the differences were not substantial. The results of the study suggest that (i) more empirical cross-cultural/national research is required on business-related ethicality and (ii) previous explanations for cross-cultural/national differences in ethics need to be reconsidered before further generalizations are warranted. (shrink)
Talk of group minds has arisen in a number of distinct traditions, such as in sociological thinking about the “madness of crowds” in the 19th-century, and more recently in making sense of the collective intelligence of social insects, such as bees and ants. Here we provide an analytic framework for understanding a range of contemporary appeals to group minds and cognate notions, such as collective agency, shared intentionality, socially distributed cognition, transactive memory systems, and group-level cognitive adaptations.
Appropriate enablers are essential for management of intellectual capital. Through the use of structural equation modeling, we investigate whether organic renewal environments, interactive behaviors, and trust are conducive to intellectual capital management processes, as they each depend upon the establishment of a climate emphasizing mutual respect. Owing to a lack of clarity in the literature, we tested the ordering of the variables and found statistical significance for two ordering alternatives. However, the sequence presented in this article provides the best statistical (...) fit: an organic renewal environment provides a foundation for interactive behaviors, which leads to trust, and thus is consistent with the development of intellectual capital management pro- cesses within the organization. (shrink)
Four predictors were posited to affect business student attitudes about the social responsibilities of business, also known as corporate social responsibility (CSR). Applying Forsyth’s ( 1980 , Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 39 , 175–184, 1992 , Journal of Business Ethics 11 , 461–470) personal moral philosophy model, we found that ethical idealism had a positive relationship with CSR attitudes, and ethical relativism a negative relationship. We also found materialism to be negatively related to CSR attitudes. Spirituality among business (...) students did not significantly predict CSR attitudes. Understanding the relationship between CSR attitudes and the significant predictors has important implications for researchers and teachers in particular. (shrink)
Antigone fascinates G. W. F. Hegel and Luce Irigaray, both of whom turn to her in their explorations and articulations of ethics. Hegel and Irigaray make these re-turns to Antigone through the double and related lenses of nature and sexual difference. This essay investigates these figures of Antigone and the accompanying ethical accounts of nature and sexual difference as a way of examining Irigaray's complex relation to and creative uses of Hegel's thought.
It has been argued that bioethicists too often tend to represent the interests of scientists and not of the broader polity. Indeed, bioethicists seem predisposed to discard the voices and viewpoints of all but the cognoscenti . Focusing particularly on human pluripotent stem cell research, this commentary explores a variety of characterizations of bioethics and bioethicists in relation to forbidding science. Rather than proselytizing or prohibiting, bioethicists should work in partnership with scientists and publics to craft scientifically well-informed and morally (...) sophisticated debates about forbidding science. (shrink)
Calls for the “translation” of research from bench to bedside are increasingly demanding. What is translation, and why does it matter? We sketch the recent history of outcome-oriented translational research in the United States, with a particular focus on the Roadmap Initiative of the National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, MD). Our main example of contemporary translational research is stem cell research, which has superseded genomics as the translational object of choice. We explore the nature of and obstacles to translational research (...) and assess the ethical and biomedical challenges of embracing a translational ethos. (shrink)
It is well known that during the Middle Ages the Eucharist was not only a theological question but also a philosophical one. Recent studies have shown the semantical and ontological problems concerning the status of substances and accidents after the transsubstantiation. Here the paper focuses on the gnoseological problem of the Eucharist. How do we know that the substance has changed after the consecration of the host? Moreover, how do we manage to know substances in general if sometimes it changes (...) without apparent modifications in the accidental features apprehended by our sense faculties? The aim of this paper is to show that a new dilemma appeared at the end of the 13th century between the sceptical consequences of the dogma of transsubstantiation and the necessity to abandon or at least to interpret differently the sacrament. Wyclif chose the second option while most of the theologians and philosophers tried to adapt their theory of knowledge, especially the Franciscans, to which a large part of this paper is devoted. This paper tries to assess the different solutions to this problem of the knowability of substances. (shrink)
Model organismism—the over-reliance on model organisms without sufficient attention to the adequacy of the models—continues to hobble our understanding of human brains and behaviors. I outline the problem of model organismism in contemporary biology and biomedicine, and discuss the virtues of a genuinely comparative biology for understanding ourselves, our evolutionary history, and our place in nature.
Spiritual values in the workplace, increasingly discussed and applied in the business ethics literature, can be viewed from an individual, organizational, or interactive perspective. The following study examined previously unexplored workplace spirituality outcomes. Using data collected from five samples consisting of full-time workers taking graduate coursework, results indicated that perceptions of organizational-level spirituality (“organizational spirituality”) appear to matter most to attitudinal and attachment-related outcomes. Specifically, organizational spirituality was found to be positively related to job involvement, organizational identification, and work rewards (...) satisfaction, and negatively related to organizational frustration. Personal spirituality was positively related to intrinsic, extrinsic, and total work rewards satisfaction. The interaction of personal spirituality and organizational spirituality was found related to total work rewards satisfaction. Future workplace spirituality research directions are discussed. (shrink)
This article begins with a review of the literature on the ethics of tax evasion and identifies the three main views that have emerged over the centuries, namely always ethical, sometimes ethical, and never or almost never ethical. It then reports on the results of a survey of HK and U.S. university business students who were asked to express their opinions on the 15 statements covering the three main views. The data are then analyzed to determine which of the three (...) viewpoints is dominant among the sample population. Although it was found that HK scores were significantly different from the U.S. scores, both HK and U.S. respondents were opposed to the view that tax evasion is always or almost always ethical. The strongest arguments justifying tax evasion were in cases where the government was corrupt, the tax system was unfair and unaffordable. The weakest arguments for justifying tax evasion were in cases where there was a selfish motive. The underlying cultural differences are further explored in hope of accounting for differing perceptions of ethics of tax evasion. Policy implications for increasing people’s awareness of ethics on tax evasion are also highlighted. (shrink)
Surgical devices are often marketed before there is good evidence of their safety and effectiveness. Our paper discusses the ethical issues associated with the early marketing and use of new surgical devices from the perspectives of the six groups most concerned. Health Canada, which is responsible for licensing new surgical devices, should amend their requirements to include rigorous clinical trials that provide data on effectiveness and safety for each new product before it is marketed. Industry should comply with all Health (...) Canada requirements to obtain licenses for new products. Until Health Canada requires effectiveness and safety data, industry should cooperate with physicians in appropriate studies before releasing new products and should make balanced presentations of all the available evidence. Surgeons should, before using a new surgical device, assess the evidence on its effectiveness and safety and ensure they are properly trained and competent in using the device. Surgeons should provide their patients with an evaluation of the available evidence and inform them about possible complications and the surgeon's level of experience with the new device. Patients, who should be given an honest evaluation of the available evidence, possible complications, and the surgeon's experience, should be encouraged to evaluate the evidence and information to their own satisfaction to ensure that fully informed consent is given. Health institutions, responsible for regulating practice within their walls, should review new devices for safety, effectiveness, and economic impacts, before allowing their use. They should also limit the use of new surgical devices to surgeons trained and competent in the new technology. Professional societies should provide guidance on the early adoption of new surgical devices and technologies. We urge all those involved in the development, licensing, and use of new surgical devices to aim for higher ethical standards to protect the health and safety of patients requiring surgery. The lowest acceptable ethical standard would require device manufacturers to provide surgeons with accurate and timely information on the efficacy and safety of their products, allowing surgeons and patients to evaluate the evidence (and the significance of information not yet available) before surgery. (shrink)
In three experiments we studied lay observers’ attributions of responsibility for an antisocial act (homicide). We systematically varied both the degree to which the action was coerced by external circumstances and the degree to which the actor endorsed and accepted ownership of the act, a psychological state that philosophers have termed ‘identiﬁcation’. Our ﬁndings with respect to identiﬁcation were highly consistent. The more an actor was identiﬁed with an action, the more likely observers were to assign responsibility to the actor, (...) even when the action was performed under constraints so powerful that no other behavioral option was available. Our ﬁndings indicate that social cognition involving assignment of responsibility for an action is a more complex process than previous research has indicated. It would appear that laypersons’ judgments of moral responsibility may, in some circumstances, accord with philosophical views in which freedom and determinism are regarded to be compatible. (shrink)
The complexities of modern science are not adequately reflected in many bioethical discussions. This is especially problematic in highly contested cases where there is significant pressure to generate clinical applications fast, as in stem cell research. In those cases a more integrated approach to bioethics, which we call systems bioethics, can provide a useful framework to address ethical and policy issues. Much as systems biology brings together different experimental and methodological approaches in an integrative way, systems bioethics integrates aspects of (...) the history and philosophy of science, social and political theory, and normative analysis with the science in question. In this paper we outline how a careful analysis of the science of stem cell research can help to refocus the discussions related to the clinical applications of stem cells. We show how inaccurate or inadequate scientific assumptions help to create a set of unrealistic expectations and badly inform ethical deliberations and policy development. Systems bioethics offers resources for moving beyond the current impasse. (shrink)
We attempt a conclusive resolution of the debate over whether the principle of natural selection (PNS), especially conceived as the `principle' of the `survival of the fittest', is a tautology. This debate has been largely ignored for the past 15 years but not, we think, because it has actually been settled. We begin by describing the tautology objection, and situating the problem in the philosophical and biology literature. We then demonstrate the inadequacy of six prima facie plausible reasons for believing (...) that the tautology debate has been satisfactorily resolved (the PNS is strictly a methodological principle; scientific theories can contain tautologies; the scope of the PNS has been reduced; theories should be understood as models and not exceptionless laws; the widespread acceptance of the propensity interpretation of fitness; and the abandonment of operationalism and verificationism). We proceed to a detailed discussion of Brandon's law (D) describing the PNS, and show that law (D) seriously misrepresents the structure of evolution by natural selection. In the final sections, we provide and defend a novel reinterpretation of the structure of the principle (or, we prefer, model) of evolution by natural selection. (shrink)
The Plotinian scholar, John Bussanich, has noted that the issue of classifying mystical union with the One consists in deciding between either theistic union or monistic identity. For advocates of theistic union, during mystical union the soul retains its identity and can be distinguished from the One; for advocates of monistic identity, during the union the soul loses its identity and becomes absorbed into the One. Both camps, however, believe that noetic activity is transcended in the union. In contradistinction to (...) the theistic union and monistic identity views, I argue for what I call a mediated union position in Plotinus's doctrines whereby the noetic part of the soul – understood as a multi-faceted cognitive capacity – is not transcended in union with the One. When the seer sees himself, then when he sees, he will see himself as like this, or rather he will be in union with himself as like this and will be aware of himself like this since he has become single and simple.Plotinus Ennead, VI.9.10.9–11 (Published Online April 21 2004). (shrink)
How does a complex organism develop from a relatively simple, homogeneous mass? The usual answer is: through the (context‐dependent) execution of species‐specific genetic instructions specifying the development of that organism. Commentators are sometimes skeptical of this usual answer, but of course not all commentators, and not always for the same reasons. Here I attempt to lay bare the logical structure of the usual answer through an extended analysis of the heuristics and methodological principles at play in the exploration and explanation (...) of development—and also to show a critical ambiguity that renders the usual answer suspect. (shrink)
This paper critically examines the biology of species identity and the morality of crossing species boundaries in the context of emerging research that involves combining human and nonhuman animals at the genetic or cellular level. We begin with the notion of species identity, particularly focusing on the ostensible fixity of species boundaries, and we explore the general biological and philosophical problem of defining species. Against this backdrop, we survey and criticize earlier attempts to forbid crossing species boundaries in the creation (...) of novel beings. We do not attempt to establish the immorality of crossing species boundaries, but we conclude with some thoughts about such crossings, alluding to the notion of moral confusion regarding social and ethical obligations to novel interspecies beings. (shrink)
How does a complex organism develop from a relatively simple, homogeneous mass? The usual answer is: through the execution of species-specific genetic instructions specifying the development of that organism. Commentators are sometimes sceptical of this usual answer, but of course not all commentators. Some biologists refer to master control genes responsible for the activation of all the genes responsible for every aspect of organismal development; and some philosophers, most notoriously Rosenberg, buy this claim hook, line, and sinker. Here I explore (...) both the seeming plausibility of the usual position, and also its ultimate inadequacy. (shrink)
Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) offers both an account of developmental processes and also new integrative frameworks for analyzing interactions between development and evolution. Biologists and philosophers are keen on evo-devo in part because it appears to offer a comfort zone between, on the one hand, what some take to be the relative inability of mainstream evolutionary biology to integrate a developmental perspective; and, on the other hand, what some take to be more intractable syntheses of development and evolution. In this (...) article, I outline core concerns of evo-devo, distinguish theoretical and practical variants, and counter Sterelny's recent argument that evo-devo's attention to development, while important, offers no significant challenge to evolutionary theory as we know it. (shrink)
I begin by examining how genetics drivesschizophrenia research, and raise both familiar andrelatively novel criticisms of the evidence putativelysupporting the genetic basis of schizophrenia. Inparticular, I call attention to a set of concernsabout the effects of placentation on concordance ratesof schizophrenia in monozygotic twins, which furtherweakens the case for schizophrenia''s so-called stronggenetic component. I then underscore two criticalpoints. First, I emphasize the importance of takingseriously considerations about the complexity of bothontogenesis and the development of hereditarydiseases. The recognition of developmentalconstraints and (...) supports is crucial, for attention todevelopment exposes the naivete of too many models ofgene action in the aetiology of disease. Secondly, Iattend to those schizophreniologists who ignoremethodological criticisms and thus presume a geneticbasis for schizophrenia, and then seek the schizophrenic genotype lacking an adequatephenotype. In response I attempt to demonstrate thenecessity of a sustained effort at characterizing thephenotype of schizophrenia as an enabling conditionfor the whole enterprise of psychiatric genetics – andfor psychiatry itself. Without the organism-levelphenotype, research at the level of genes will remainunproductive – assuming of course that research at thegenetic level is appropriate at all. (shrink)
I elaborate and critically evaluate the theses of "environmental pragmatism," especially as captured in a recent collection with that title. While I am hopeful about this new approach, I want nonetheless to make reparations for its shortcomings. The primary difficulty is that environmental pragmatists tend to express only implicitly the metaphysical commitments of, say, William James, and yet the claims of environmental pragmatism would be profoundly strengthened by direct appeal to James's metaphysics. The ecosystem approach is particularly amenable to characterization (...) in terms of pragmatic metaphysics. Thus, I offer the thesis of wild ontology in an effort to enrich the empirical basis of environmental philosophy, and also to help cure environmental ethics of its political impotence. (shrink)
This essay applies Hegel's theory of remedies to the question of whether and when breach of a penal statute should attract civil liability in tort. For Hegel, the purpose of a remedy is to vindicate the human right to self-determination by refuting the claim to validity implied in intentional or negligent acts that infringe this right. Accordingly, in determining the civil effect of legislation, a distinction must be made between statutes that effectuate pre-existing rights and those which create new rights (...) in the attempt to maximize aggregate welfare. The former should confer a civil right of action, the latter should not. Statutes that impose a duty of affirmative action should be enforced civilly if their purpose is to protect individual autonomy in circumstances where one person has gained control over the welfare of another. And statutes that protect persons from exposure to unreasonable risk should confer a civil right of action provided that the conditions of ordinary negligence liability are met. These conditions ought to supplant those connected with the legislative intent theory of statutory torts. (shrink)