Kathy Rudy: Loving Animals: Toward a New Animal Advocacy Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9354-y Authors Anna Peterson, Department of Relilgion, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
In 1984 we reported the results of surveying a nationwide sample of college students about selected business ethics issues. We concluded that (a) college students were in general concerned about the issues investigated and (b) female students were relatively more concerned than were male students. The present study replicated our earlier study and not only corroborated both of its conclusions, but also found a higher level of concern than had been observed previously.
Is it really necessary to add something like the Health Impact Fund to the existing global patent system? We can divide this question into two parts. First, is there something seriously wrong with the status quo and, if so, what exactly is it? Second, how do we best go about solving the problem; that is, how does the design of the reform proposal address the flaws in the status quo? Jorn Sonderholm, in his critique of the Health Impact Fund, or (...) HIF, raises both of these issues. These criticisms afford us the opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to ameliorating glaring problems with the current system for incentivizing R&D for essential medicines, and to clarify why we believe the HIF is exactly what the world needs. (shrink)
In this paper we shed new light on the Argument from Disagreement by putting it to test in a computer simulation. According to this argument widespread and persistent disagreement on ethical issues indicates that our moral opinions are not influenced by any moral facts, either because no such facts exist or because they are epistemically inaccessible or inefficacious for some other reason. Our simulation shows that if our moral opinions were influenced at least a little bit by moral facts, we (...) would quickly have reached consensus, even if our moral opinions were affected by factors such as false authorities, external political shifts, and random processes. Therefore, since no such consensus has been reached, the simulation gives us increased reason to take seriously the Argument from Disagreement. Our conclusion is however not conclusive; the simulation also indicates what assumptions one has to make in order to reject the Argument from Disagreement. The simulation algorithm we use builds on the work of Hegselmann and Krause (J Artif Soc Social Simul 5(3); 2002, J Artif Soc Social Simul 9(3), 2006). (shrink)
To consequentialise a moral theory means to account for moral phenomena usually described in nonconsequentialist terms, such as rights, duties, and virtues, in a consequentialist framework. This paper seeks to show that all moral theories can be consequentialised. The paper distinguishes between different interpretations of the consequentialiser’s thesis, and emphasises the need for a cardinal ranking of acts. The paper also offers a new answer as to why consequentialising moral theories is important: This yields crucial methodological insights about how to (...) pursue ethical inquires. (shrink)
Owen Flanagan's The Really Hard Problem provides a rich source of reflection on the question of meaning and ethics within the context of philosophical naturalism. I affirm the title's claim that the quest to find meaning in a purely physical universe is indeed a hard problem by addressing three issues: Flanagan's claim that there can be a scientific/empirical theory of ethics (eudaimonics), that ethics requires moral glue, and whether, in the end, Flanagan solves the hard problem. I suggest that he (...) does not, although he provides much that is of importance and useful for further reflection along the way. (shrink)
Anarchism, literally, means "without authority," although it is most commonly defined as a system in which social order is maintained voluntaristically, without the presence of a state or any other coercive mechanisms. There are many varieties of anarchism, and it is difficult in just one brief paragraph to specify the central beliefs. Nonetheless, there are some widely shared assertions, among which are (l) the primacy of individual sovereignty; (2) the opposition to coercive authority of any kind impinging upon the individual’s (...) freedom; (3) the principle of voluntarism or mutual aid as the basic social cement for society; (4) a "human solidarity" model, which recognizes that a free individual within a free society is the only basis for realizing humans’ full potential—and that individual and society are inseparable, not mutually exclusive or antagonistic. Clearly, such contentions are incompatible with the existence of sovereign govemmcnt. By its very nature, according to anarchists, government is coercive and suppresses freedom. They believe that only by continually asserting its legitimacy and its right to coerce can the state continue. Thus, it follows that the state must be abolished if there is to... (shrink)
In his 2007 paper “Quantum Sleeping Beauty”, Peter Lewis poses a problem for the supporters’ of the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics appeal to subjective probability. Lewis’s argument hinges on parallels between the traditional “sleeping beauty” problem in epistemology and a quantum variant. These two cases, Lewis argues, advocate different treatments of credences even though they share important epistemic similarities, leading to a tension between the traditional solution to the sleeping beauty problem (typically called the “thirder” solution) and Everettian quantum (...) mechanics. In this paper I examine the metaphysical and epistemological differences between Lewis’s two cases, and, in particular, I show how diachronic Dutch book arguments support both the thirder solution in the traditional case and the Everettian’s solution in the variant case. These Dutch books, I argue, reveal an important disanalogy between Lewis’s two cases such that Lewis’s argument does not reveal an inconsistency in either the Everettian’s or the thirder’s assignment of credences. (shrink)
This concise, well-structured survey examines the problem of evil in the context of the philosophy of religion. One of the core topics in that field, the problem of evil is an enduring challenge that Western philosophers have pondered for almost two thousand years. The main problem of evil consists in reconciling belief in a just and loving God with the evil and suffering in the world. Michael Peterson frames this issue by working through questions such as the following: What (...) is the relation of rational belief to religious faith? What different conceptual moves are possible on either side of the issue? What responses have important thinkers advanced and which seem most promising? Is it possible to maintain religious commitment in light of evil? Peterson relies on the helpful distinction between moral and natural evil to clarify our understanding of the different aspects of the problem as well as avenues for response.The overall format of the text rests on classifying various types of argument from evil: the logical, the probabilistic, the evidential, and the existential arguments. Each type of argument has its own strategy which both theists and nontheists must recognize and develop. Giving both theistic and nontheistic perspectives fair representation, the text works through the issues of whether evil shows theistic belief to be inconsistent, improbable, discredited by the evidence, or threatened by personal crisis.Peterson explains how defensive strategies are particularly geared for responding to the logical and probabilistic arguments from evil while theodicy is an appropriate response to the evidential argument. Theodicy has traditionally been understood as the attempt to justify belief in a God who is all-powerful and all-good in light of evil. The text discusses the theodicies of Augustine, Leibniz, Hick, and Whitehead as enlightening examples of theodicy. This discussion allows Peterson to identify and evaluate a rather dominant theme in most theodicies: that evil can be justified by designating a greater good. In the end, Peterson even explores how certain types of theodicy, based on specifically Christian renditions of theism, might provide a basis for addressing the existential problem of evil. The reader of this book gains not only an intellectual grasp of the debate over God and evil in professional philosophy but also the personal benefit of thinking through one of the most important issues in human life. (shrink)
Jacob Boehme, the seventeenth-century mystical philosopher, had a significant influence upon Paul Tillich. In this article I offer a reassessment of the relationship between these two thinkers by arguing for an orthodox interpretation of Boehme's doctrine of God that links him more closely with Tillich than recent commentators have suggested. Specifically, I show how Boehme and Tillich stand united against the heterodox Hegel in their presentation of a dynamic process of divinity's self-differentiation and reconciliation that completes itself apart from history (...) rather than within history. This move, I conclude, keeps Boehme and Tillich squarely within the realm of Christian orthodoxy. (Published Online April 7 2006). (shrink)
Advocates of eating locally offer a wide range of arguments in favor of the practice, but their ethical import is not always clear. Some locavore statements and arguments seem to imply a strong form of moral obligation; that eating locally is not merely instrumental to some other good, but has intrinsic value in its own right. This article examines standard arguments on behalf of eating locally, including arguments linked to the value of small farms and agrarianism, the environment, taste and (...) health, trust, and relational markets. Most arguments put forward on behalf of eating locally value it instrumentally, the main exception being arguments based on relational markets. Although these arguments provide important motives for eating locally, the strength of obligation varies widely, and even the strongest arguments possess significant qualifications. While eating locally can play a role in reducing environmental impacts, this is not necessarily so, and once removed from instrumental considerations, eating locally is more likely at best an imperfect duty. (shrink)
This study utilized a content analysis of magazine advertisements to measure the frequency that senior citizens were used as models in the advertisements and the extent to which they were presented in a desirable or undersirable light, relative to younger persons. A sample of consumer magazines was examined, in order to assess hypotheses related to the depiction of seniors by advertisers. The research results were analyzed and conclusions drawn which can be of potential value to marketers whose goods and services (...) have potential appeal to older consumers. (shrink)
The present study examined how ethical beliefs and external factors affecting ethical beliefs are related to age and gender of business professionals. The results indicated that business professionals in the younger age group exhibited a lower standard of ethical beliefs. In the younger age groups, the females demonstrated a higher level of ethical beliefs, while in the older age group, the results suggested that the males had a slightly higher level of ethical beliefs. With regards to the influence of external (...) factors on ethical beliefs, the results yielded a significant interaction between age and gender. The younger age groups, males in particular, were more susceptible to external factors. People at home had the most influence on beliefs about ethics, while the individual''s supervisor had the least impact. The results were discussed in terms of theories of moral development. (shrink)
Although some attention has been devoted to assessing the attitudes and concerns of businesspeople toward ethics, relatively little attention has focused on the attitudes and concerns of tomorrow's business leaders, today's college students. In this investigation a national sample was utilized to study college students' attitudes toward business ethics, with the results being analyzed by academic classification, academic major, and sex. Results of the investigation indicate that college students are currently somewhat concerned about business ethics in general, and that female (...) students in particular are more concerned about ethical issues than are their male counterparts. (shrink)
This study used a content analysis of television commercials to analyze the depiction of pre-teens and teens. It uncovered evidence that children are not often depicted in scholastic roles in the commercials. Further, it found that when children are shown in these roles, the portrayal is frequently not favorable. Various implications of the findings and recommendations to advertisers are set forth. Foremost among these is that television commercials do not seem to be assisting in forming positive attitudes toward scholastic activities. (...) More favorable depictions could improve the image of scholarly activity and assist in reducing criticisms of television advertising Advertiser's who seek action prescriptions as to how they might ethically depict children can benefit from applications of the study results to their creative efforts. (shrink)
Commentators on Uwe Reinhardt's Tanner Lecture. The Tanner Lectures are a collection of educational and scientific discussions relating to human values. Conducted by leaders in their fields, the lectures are presented at prestigious educational facilities around the world.
Before embarking upon the project of reformulating psychoanalysis in the 'scientific' terminology of cognitive science, we should first clearly define what psychoanalysis is about and what it is not about. Cognitive science is based upon a functionalistic philosophy of the mind. As a consequence such a project would require a functionalistic core theory of psychoanalysis. But Freud's claim of the therapeutic effect of psychoanalysis, attained through the rendering conscious of what is unconscious or the making personal of what is experienced (...) by the neurotic patient as impersonal, cannot be explained by a functionalistic theory of the mind We examine Freud's claim and conclude that there ought to be a philosophy of qualia at the core of psychoanalysis. (shrink)
We present a skill learning model CLARION. Different from existing models of high-level skill learning that use a topdown approach (that is, turning declarative knowledge into procedural knowledge), we adopt a bottom-up approach toward low-level skill learning, where procedural knowledge develops first and declarative knowledge develops later. CLAR- ION is formed by integrating connectionist, reinforcement, and symbolic learning methods to perform on-line learning. We compare the model with human data in a minefield navigation task. A match between the model and (...) human data is found in several respects. (shrink)
A transformative decision rule alters the representation of a decision problem, either by changing the set of alternative acts or the set of states of the world taken into consideration, or by modifying the probability or value assignments. A set of transformative decision rules is order-independent in case the order in which the rules are applied is irrelevant. The main result of this paper is an axiomatic characterization of order-independent transformative decision rules, based on a single axiom. It is shown (...) that the proposed axiomatization resolves a problem observed by Teddy Seidenfeld in a previous axiomatization by Peterson. (shrink)
Consequentialism, one of the major theories of normative ethics, maintains that the moral rightness of an act is determined solely by the act's consequences and its alternatives. The traditional form of consequentialism is one-dimensional, in that the rightness of an act is a function of a single moral aspect, such as the sum total of wellbeing it produces. In this book Martin Peterson introduces a new type of consequentialist theory: multidimensional consequentialism. According to this theory, an act's moral rightness (...) depends on several separate dimensions, including individual wellbeing, equality and risk. Peterson's novel approach shows that moral views about equality and risk that were previously thought to be mutually incompatible can be rendered compatible, and his precise theoretical discussion helps the reader to understand better the distinction between consequentialist and non-consequentialist theories. His book will interest a wide range of readers in ethics. (shrink)
This study examines the presence and roles of female directors of U.S. Fortune 500 firms, focusing on committee assignments and director background. Prior work from almost two decades ago concludes that there is a systematic bias against females in assignment to top board committees. Examining a recent data set with a logistic regression model that controls for director and firm characteristics, director resource-dependence roles and interaction between director gender and director characteristics, we find that female directors are less likely than (...) male directors to sit on executive committees and more likely than male directors to sit on public affairs committees. There is little if any evidence of systematic gender bias in director assignment to other board committees. We find some evidence that boards evaluate resource dependence differently for women than men. (shrink)
This inquiry analyzed the extent to which television commercials used mature models, relative to younger models. It also analyzed the extent to which commercials portrayed the elderly in a favorable or an unfavorable manner. The study used content analysis to test twelve hypotheses. The authors arrived at conclusions relating to the depiction of mature individuals in television commercials and set forth various recommendations to advertisers, based on the analysis.
The study described in this manuscript examines the extent to which children are depicted as: (a) scholarly, and (b) non-scholarly in magazine advertisements and the degree to which children in the two classes were portrayed favorably or unfavorably. The study indicated that children were often depicted in roles that were not scholarly (such as athletics). Further, when children were depicted in scholarly roles, the portrayal was often negative. Implications based upon these findings are raised.
Environmental ethics has been dominated by an idealist logic that limits its positive impact on the natural world about which environmental philosophers care deeply. Environmental ethicists need to alter the ways we think and talk about what we value and the relations among ideas, values, and actions. Drawing on the sociology of religion and Marxian philosophy among other sources, a new approach may increase our understanding of how ideas are lived out and how we might increase the impact of our (...) ideas about the value of nature. (shrink)
To deal with reactive sequential decision tasks we present a learning model Clarion which is a hybrid connectionist model consisting of both localist and dis tributed representations based on the two level ap proach proposed in Sun The model learns and utilizes procedural and declarative knowledge tapping into the synergy of the two types of processes It uni es neural reinforcement and symbolic methods to perform on line bottom up learning Experiments in various situations are reported that shed light on (...) the working of the model.. (shrink)
Consider syllogisms in which fraction (percentage) quantifiers are permitted in addition to universal and particular quantifiers, and then include further quantifiers which are modifications of such fractions (such as almost 1/2 the S are P and Much more than 1/2 the S are P). Could a syllogistic system containing such additional categorical forms be coherent? Thompson's attempt (1986) to give rules for determining validity of such syllogisms has failed; cf. Carnes & Peterson (forthcoming) for proofs of the unsoundness (...) and incompleteness of Thompson's rules. Building on Peterson (1985), the coherence of such a syllogistic can, however, be demonstrated with an algebra which provides its semantics; e.g., almost 1/2 the S are P is represented as –(3(SP)SP). (shrink)
Modeling cognition by structural analysis of representation leads to systematic difficulties which are not resolvable. We analyse the merits and limits of a representation-based methodology to modeling cognition by treating Jackendoff's Consciousness and the Computational Mind as a good case study. We note the effects this choice of methodology has on the view of consciousness he proposes, as well as a more detailed consideration of the computational mind. The fundamental difficulty we identify is the conflict between the desire for modular (...) processors which map directly onto representations and the need for dynamically interacting control. Our analysis of this approach to modeling cognition is primarily directed at separating merits from problems and inconsistencies by a critique internal to this approach; we also step outside the framework to note the issues it ignores. (shrink)
This paper presents an axiomatization of the principle of maximizing expected utility that does not rely on the independence axiom or sure-thing principle. Perhaps more importantly the new axiomatization is based on an ex ante approach, instead of the standard ex post approach. An ex post approach utilizes the decision maker's preferences among risky acts for generating a utility and a probability function, whereas in the ex ante approach a set of preferences among potential outcomes are on the input side (...) of the theory and the decision maker's preferences among risky acts on the output side. (shrink)
With tumultuous changes occurring in the former Soviet Union, a unique opportunity exists to examine the implications of unethical behavior in what is,de facto, a totally unregulated market. Recent legalization of commodity trading in Moscow carried with it no legal structure to ensure swift compliance with contract terms. This paper demonstrates that in the absence of legal remedies, a free marketplace appropriately punishes unethical conduct.
The syndrome of autism was first systematically identified in the 1940's (Kanner 1943), and has been the focus of a broad range of work since that time (Rutter 1999). Its symptomatology is seemingly diverse, and involves a rough division between 'personal' and 'nonpersonal' tendencies. In the personal category are difficulties in understanding and interacting with other persons, socialisation, empathy and communication. In the non-personal category are difficulties in adaptability, occasional special abilities, and a wide range of peculiarities in learning, generalisation, (...) pursuit of narrow interests, and so on. Some tendencies, such as peculiarities in the use of language, seem to span both categories. A central question in the theory of autism, therefore, is whether these two categories of impairment share a common pattern or character. It is true that received sets of diagnostic criteria (World Health Organisation 1993; American Psychiatric Association 1994), drawn from empirical observation, give the impression of a split syndrome in which non-personal and personal tendencies occur together but are different in nature. However, we cannot simply trust the language games which inform the presentation of these observations: as Wittgenstein repeatedly argued, forms of words and 'analogies in language' can have the effect of obscuring both similarities and differences between things (Peterson 1990). The main thesis of the present paper is that there does exist a pattern common to these two areas of impairment, in that both involve dilogical structures. (shrink)
To deal with reactive sequential decision tasks we present a learning model which is a hybrid connectionist model consisting of both localist and distributed representations based on the two level approach proposed in..
To deal with sequential decision tasks we present a learning model Clarion which is a hybrid connectionist model consisting of both localist and distributed represen tations based on the two level approach proposed in Sun The model learns and utilizes procedural and declarative knowledge tapping into the synergy of the two types of processes It uni es neural reinforcement and symbolic methods to perform on line bottom up learning Experiments in various situations are reported that shed light on the working (...) of the model.. (shrink)
Although some types of cognition may not affect early vision, there is ample evidence that other types of cognition do. Evidence indicating that early vision is penetrable by direct manipulation of viewers' perceptual intentions and by knowledge of the structure of familiar objects is reviewed, and related to both the Pylyshyn target article and Fodor (1983).
Ever since the now infamous comments made by Hermann Minkowski in 1908 concerning the proper way to view space-time, the debate has raged as to whether or not the universe should be viewed as a four-dimensional, unified whole wherein the past, present, and future are equally real or whether the views espoused by the possibilists, historicists, and presentists regarding the unreality of the future (and, for presentists, the past) are best. Now, a century after Minkowski’s proposed blockworld first sparked debate, (...) we seek a more conclusive argument in favor of the eternalist picture of space-time. Utilizing an argument based on the relativity of simultaneity in the tradition of Putnam and Rietdijk and novel but reasonable assumptions as to the nature of “reality”, we will show that the past, present, and future are equally real, thus ruling out presentism and other theories of time that bestow special ontological status to the past, present, or future as untenable. Finally, we will respond to our critics who would suggest that: 1) there is no metaphysical difference between the positions of eternalism and presentism, 2) the present must be defined as the “here” as well as the “now”, or 3) presentism is correct and our understanding of relativity is incomplete because it does not incorporate a preferred frame. We call eternalist response 1 deflationary since it purports to dissolve or deconstruct the age-old debate between the two views and response 2 compatibilist because it does nothing to alter special relativity (SR) arguing instead that SR unadorned has the resources to save presentism. Response 3 we will call incompatibilism because it adorns SR in some way in order to save presentism a la some sort of preferred frame. We will show that neither move 1 nor 2 can save presentism and move 3 is not well motivated at this juncture except as an ad hoc device to refute eternalism. (shrink)
This up-to-date introduction to decision theory offers comprehensive and accessible discussions of decision-making under ignorance and risk, the foundations of utility theory, the debate over subjective and objective probability, Bayesianism, causal decision theory, game theory, and social choice theory. No mathematical skills are assumed, and all concepts and results are explained in non-technical and intuitive as well as more formal ways. There are over 100 exercises with solutions, and a glossary of key terms and concepts. An emphasis on foundational aspects (...) of normative decision theory (rather than descriptive decision theory) makes the book particularly useful for philosophy students, but it will appeal to readers in a range of disciplines including economics, psychology, political science and computer science. • Has over 100 end of chapter review questions and exercises with solutions • Includes a chapter on how to draw a decision matrix • Explains the link between individual decision making, game theory and social choice theory Contents Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. The decision matrix; 3. Decisions under ignorance; 4. Decisions under risk; 5. Utility; 6. The mathematics of probability; 7. The philosophy of probability; 8. Why should we accept the preference axioms; 9. Causal vs. evidential decision theory; 10. Bayesian vs. non-Bayesian decision theory; 11. Game theory I: basic concepts and zero sum games; 12. Game theory II: nonzero sum and co-operative games; 13. Social choice theory; 14. Overview of descriptive decision theory; Appendix A. Glossary; Appendix B. Proof of the von Neumann-Morgenstern theorem; Further reading; Index. (shrink)
The preceding article by Marc Bekoff reveals much about our current understanding of animal self-consciousness and its implications. It also reveals how much more there is to be said and considered. This response briefly examines animal self-consciousness from scientific, moral, and theological perspectives. As Bekoff emphasizes, self-consciousness is not one thing but many. Consequently, our moral relationship to animals is not simply one based on a graded hierarchy of abilities. Furthermore, the complexity of animal self-awareness can serve as stimulus for (...) thinking about issues of theodicy and soteriology in a broader sense. (shrink)
Peter Singer has famously argued that people living in affluent western countries are morally obligated to donate money to famine relief. The central premise in his argument is that, If it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, we ought, morally, to do so. The present paper offers an argument to the effect that affluent people ought to support foreign aid projects based on a much weaker ethical premise. The (...) new premise states that, If it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of moral importance, we ought, morally, to do so. This premise, supplemented with a notion of final value drawing on Amartya Sen''s concept of freedom as capabilities and functionings, is conceived as a special version of a weak, egalitarian Pareto principle. (shrink)
This article seeks to contribute to the discussion on the nature of choice in virtue theory. If several different actions are available to the virtuous agent, they are also likely to vary in their degree of virtue, at least in some situations. Yet, it is widely agreed that once an action is recognised as virtuous there is no higher level of virtue. In this paper we discuss how the virtue theorist could accommodate both these seemingly conflicting ideas. We discuss this (...) issue from a modern Aristotelian perspective, as opposed to a purely exegetic one. We propose a way of resolving what seems to be a major clash between two central features of virtue ethics. Our proposal is based on the notion of parity, a concept which recently has received considerable attention in the literature on axiology. Briefly put, two alternatives are on a par (or are ‘roughly equal’) if they are comparable, although it is not the case that one is better than the other, nor that they are equally good. The advantages of applying the concept of parity to our problem are twofold. Firstly, it sheds new light on the account of choice in virtue theory. Secondly, some of the criticisms that have been mounted against the possibility of parity can be countered by considering the notion of choice from a virtue theory perspective. (shrink)
Kant’s main concern in his famous essay on enlightenment is the relation between enlightenment and the political order. His account of this relation turns on the idea of the freedom of public reason. This paper develops a new interpretation of Kant’s concept of public reason. First, it argues that Kant conceives of public reasoning as a matter of speaking in one’s own name to the commonwealth of the public. Second, it draws on Kant’s republican conception of freedom in order to (...) develop an account of the grounds of the freedom of public reason. It argues that the state’s duty with respect to public reason is an aspect of its duty to protect the independence of citizens. Contrary to what is commonly thought, this duty is not an obligation to refrain from interfering in the sphere of public reason. The state may have a positive, though limited, role to play in enlightenment. (shrink)
This article argues that, contrary to the received view, prioritarianism and egalitarianism are not jointly incompatible theories in normative ethics. By introducing a distinction between weighing and aggregating, the authors show that the seemingly conflicting intuitions underlying prioritarianism and egalitarianism are consistent. The upshot is a combined position, equality-prioritarianism, which takes both prioritarian and egalitarian considerations into account in a technically precise manner. On this view, the moral value of a distribution of well-being is a product of two factors: the (...) sum of all individuals' priority-adjusted well-being, and a measure of the equality of the distribution in question. Some implications of equality-prioritarianism are considered. (shrink)
Based on a modern reading of Aristotle’s theory of friendship, we argue that virtual friendship does not qualify as genuine friendship. By ‘virtual friendship’ we mean the type of friendship that exists on the internet, and seldom or never is combined with real life interaction. A ‘traditional friendship’ is, in contrast, the type of friendship that involves substantial real life interaction, and we claim that only this type can merit the label ‘genuine friendship’ and thus qualify as morally valuable. The (...) upshot of our discussion is that virtual friendship is what Aristotle might have described as a lower and less valuable form of social exchange. (shrink)
Cost-benefit analysis is commonly understood to be intimately connected with utilitarianism and incompatible with other moral theories, particularly those that focus on deontological concepts such as rights. We reject this claim and argue that cost-benefit analysis can take moral rights as well as other non-utilitarian moral considerations into account in a systematic manner. We discuss three ways of doing this, and claim that two of them (output filters and input filters) can account for a wide range of rights-based moral theories, (...) including the absolute notions of moral rights proposed by Hayek, Mayo, Nozick, and Shue. We also discuss whether the use of output filters and input filters can be generalized to cover other non-utilitarian theories, such as Kantian duty ethics and virtue ethics. (shrink)
We discuss ethical aspects of risk-taking with special focus on principlism and mid-level moral principles. A new distinction between the strength of an obligation and the degree to which it is valid is proposed. We then use this distinction for arguing that, in cases where mid-level moral principles come into conflict, the moral status of the act under consideration may be indeterminate, in a sense rendered precise in the paper. We apply this thought to issues related to pandemic influenza vaccines. (...) The main conclusion of the paper is that on a principlist approach some acts may be neither right nor wrong (or neither permissible nor impermissible), and we claim that this has important implications for how we ought to make decisions under risk. (shrink)
This article addresses Taruek’s much discussed Number Problem from a non-consequentialist point of view. I argue that some versions of the Number Problem have no solution, meaning that no alternative is at least as choice-worthy as the others, and that the best way to behave in light of such moral indeterminacy is to let chance make the decision. I contrast my proposal with F M <span class='Hi'>Kamm</span>’s nonconsequentialist argument for saving the greatest number, the Argument for Best Outcomes, which I (...) argue does not follow from the premises it is based on. (shrink)
This study examined the relationship between unethical employee behavior and the dimensions of the Ethical Climate Questionnaire (ECQ). In order to explore the relationship between the dimensions of the ECQ and unethical behavior, the factor structure of five previously identified empirical models and the hypothesized nine-dimension model for the ECQ was tested with a confirmatory factor analysis. The analysis revealed that the hypothesized nine-dimension model provided as good or even better fit to the data than the five empirically derived models. (...) Therefore, the nine-dimensional model was used to examine the criterion-related validity of the ECQ. The results demonstrated that the nine ethical climate dimensions were correlated with some of the unethical behaviors examined in this study, but not others. However, the results clearly demonstrated that most of the ethical climate dimensions were significantly related to an aggregate measure of unethical behavior. It was suggested that these results might account for the differences in previous studies on the criterion-related validity of the ECQ. The results also replicated a previous report that the association between unethical behavior and ethical climate is stronger in organizations that do not have a code of ethics. Finally, a difference was observed in the ethical climates for organizations with a code of ethics and organizations without a code of ethics. (shrink)
The behavior of individuals currently living will generally have long-term consequences that affect the well-being of those who will come to live in the future. Intergenerational interdependencies of this nature raise difficult moral issues because only the current generation is in a position to decide on actions that will determine the nature of the world in which future generations will live. Although most are willing to attach some weight to the interests of future generations, many would argue that it is (...) not necessary to treat these interests as equivalent to those of the current generation. A common approach in this context is to use a system of discounting to evaluate future benefits and harms. This paper assesses the logic of discounting drawing on the writings of economists and philosophers. Much of the economic literature concerns the choice of an appropriate social discount rate. The social discount rate can be taken to reflect beliefs about the rights of future generations, a subject that has been extensively debated in the phioosophic literature. The writings of both economists and philosophers concerned with the weight to attach to the interests of future generations are reviewed and evaluated in this paper and the implications for environmental policy are discussed. (shrink)
You must either save a group of m people or a group of n people. If there are no morally relevant diff erences among the people, which group should you save? is problem is known as the number problem. e recent discussion has focussed on three proposals: (i) Save the greatest number of people, (ii) Toss a fair coin, or (iii) Set up a weighted lottery, in which the probability of saving m people is m / m + n , (...) and the probability of saving n people is n / m + n . is contribution examines a fourth alternative, the mixed solution, according to which both fairness and the total number of people saved count. It is shown that the mixed solution can be defended without assuming the possibility of interpersonal comparisons of value. (shrink)
Is evil evidence against belief in God? -- Does divine hiddenness justify atheism? -- Does science discredit religion? -- Is God's existence the best explanation of the universe? -- Does religious experience justify religious belief? -- Is it rational for Christians to believe in the Resurrection? -- Can only one religion be true? -- Does God take risks in governing the world? -- Does God respond to petitionary prayer? -- Is eternal damnation compatible with the Christian concept of God? -- (...) Is morality based on God's commands? -- Should a Christian be a mind-body dualist? (shrink)
Perhaps due to the numerous community and company benefits associated with corporate volunteer programs, an increasing number of national and international firms are adopting such programs. A major issue in organizing corporate volunteer programs concerns the strategies that are most effective for recruiting employee participation. The results of this study suggest that the most effective strategies for initiating participation in volunteer programs may not be the same as the strategies that are most effective in terms of maximizing the number of (...) volunteer hours contributed by employees. More importantly, the results suggest that the most effective recruitment strategies depend on the age of the employee. The results were discussed in terms of matching the recruitment strategies with the characteristics of the potential volunteers and the nature of the volunteer project. (shrink)
The essay distils from Badiou's writing a pedagogy based on his theories of knowledge and truth, as brought to bear on poetry and the arts. By following Badiou's implicit ontology of learning, which presupposes a dynamic and passionate engagement with a concrete situation, the essay argues that Badiou's view of modernity, in particular, contributes greatly to the educational topic, and offers an alternative teaching paradigm to the outmoded schools of criticism of the 20 th century. It also argues that the (...) concept of universalism in education, as against identitarian particularism, is further evinced from a discussion of Badiou's study of St. Paul. (shrink)
Mainstream currents within Christianity havelong insisted that humans, among all creatures, areneither fully identified with their physical bodiesnor fully at home on earth. This essay outlines theparticular characteristics of Christian notions ofhuman nature and the implications of this separationfor environmental ethics. It then examines recentefforts to correct some damaging aspects oftraditional Christian understandings of humanity''splace in nature, especially the notions of physicalembodiment and human embeddedment in earth. Theprimary goal of the essay is not to offer acomprehensive evaluation of Christian thinking (...) aboutnature but rather to identify theological anthropologyas a crucial dimension of, and problem for, Christianenvironmental ethics. (shrink)
The sociology of knowledge is a heterogeneous set of theories which generally focuses on the social origins of meaning. Strong arguments, epitomized by Durkheim's late work, have hypothesized that the very concepts our minds use to structure experience are constructed through social processes. This view has come under attack from theorists influenced by recent work in developmental psychology that has demonstrated some awareness of these categories in pre-socialized infants. However, further studies have shown that the innate abilities infants display differ (...) in systematic and theoretically significant ways from adults' explicit knowledge. This paper moves beyond the constructionist/nativist dichotomy by outlining the complex relationships between innate intelligence and explicit knowledge. I end by suggesting that there are four, distinct ways the social world influences thought- facilitation, division, specification, and construction. (shrink)
This paper reports on a survey of college students which was designed to provide insights into associations of advertising with the eating disorders of anorexia nervosa and bulemia. The study involved measuring self image and ideal self image and relating these measures to the incidence of the eating disorders and to advertising and merchandising measures. Based upon the findings, various tentative recommendations were made to advertisers who desire to assist in containing eating disorders through their efforts in the marketplace.
It is widely believed that consequentialists are committed to the claim that persons are mere containers for well-being. In this article I challenge this view by proposing a new version of consequentialism, according to which the identities of persons matter. The new theory, two-dimensional prioritarianism, is a natural extension of traditional prioritarianism. Two-dimensional prioritarianism holds that wellbeing matters more for persons who are at a low absolute level than for persons who are at a higher level and that it is (...) worse to be deprived of a given number of units than it is good to gain the same number of units, even if the new distribution is a permutation of the original one. If a fixed amount of well-being is transferred from one person to another and then transferred back again, two-dimensional prioritarianism implies that it would have been better to preserve the status quo. (shrink)
In this paper we discuss the hypothesis that, ‘moral agency is distributed over both humans and technological artefacts’, recently proposed by Peter-Paul Verbeek. We present some arguments for thinking that Verbeek is mistaken. We argue that artefacts such as bridges, word processors, or bombs can never be (part of) moral agents. After having discussed some possible responses, as well as a moderate view proposed by Illies and Meijers, we conclude that technological artefacts are neutral tools that are at most bearers (...) of instrumental value. (shrink)
This article discusses some ethical principles for distributing pandemic influenza vaccine and other indivisible goods. I argue that a number of principles for distributing pandemic influenza vaccine recently adopted by several national governments are morally unacceptable because they put too much emphasis on utilitarian considerations, such as the ability of the individual to contribute to society. Instead, it would be better to distribute vaccine by setting up a lottery. The argument for this view is based on a purely consequentialist account (...) of morality; i.e. an action is right if and only if its outcome is optimal. However, unlike utilitarians I do not believe that alternatives should be ranked strictly according to the amount of happiness or preference satisfaction they bring about. Even a mere chance to get some vaccine matters morally, even if it is never realized. (shrink)
We argue that non-epistemic values, including moral ones, play an important role in the construction and choice of models in science and engineering. Our main claim is that non-epistemic values are not only “secondary values” that become important just in case epistemic values leave some issues open. Our point is, on the contrary, that non-epistemic values are as important as epistemic ones when engineers seek to develop the best model of a process or problem. The upshot is that models are (...) neither value-free, nor depend exclusively on epistemic values or use non-epistemic values as tie-breakers. (shrink)
To suppose the possibility of dialogue between theology and science is to suppose that theology is an intellectually worthy partner to engage in dialogue with science. The status of theology as a discipline, however, remains contested, one sign of which is the absence of theology from the university. I argue that a healthy theology-science dialogue would benefit from the presence of theology as an academic discipline in the university. Theology and theologians would benefit from the much closer contact with university (...) disciplines, including the sciences. The university and the sciences would benefit from the presence of theology, providing a department of ultimate concern, where big questions may be asked and ideologies critiqued. A university theology would need to meet standards of academic integrity. (shrink)
Providing sport psychology services to athletes and coaches before and during the Olympic Games presents a number of ethical concerns and challenges for the practitioner. These challenges are amplified by the nontraditional way in which sport psychology services are delivered, requiring careful attention to maintaining ethical behavior no matter the setting. The purpose of this article is, from the perspective of sport psychology consultants employed by the U.S. Olympic Committee, to outline specific challenges, including prolonged travel with teams, multiple relationships, (...) and such Olympic Games-related issues as dealing with the media, team identification, servicing multiple teams simultaneously, and practitioner self-care. Strategies for coping with these challenges, as well as questions to ponder, are also presented as a way to increase awareness of this field's unique challenges for the aspiring practitioner. (shrink)
Pure time preference is a preference for something to come at one point in time rather than another merely because of when it occurs in time. In opposition to Sidgwick, Ramsey, Rawls, and Parfit we argue that it is not always irrational to be guided by pure time preferences. We argue that even if the mere difference of location in time is not a rational ground for a preference, time may nevertheless be a normatively neutral ground for a preference, and (...) this makes it plausible to claim that the preference is rationally permitted. (shrink)
This essay aims to identify several related themes that regularly appear in posthumanist scholarship but which have not been theorized sufficiently, including the rhetoric of temporal and historical rupture, the logic of dialectical reversal, the effacement of human/animal difference, and above all the critical ascendancy of the term ?posthumanism? itself. If one of the aims of posthumanism is to render the face of the human unknowable to itself, then to what extent does the human that re-names itself ?posthuman? do so (...) in order to lay claim once again to a dubious self-knowledge? The rhetoric of posthumanism, moreover, implies a progressive narrative that ironically mirrors the Enlightenment principles of perfectibility that it would oppose. Drawing from Derrida?s notion of the ?democracy to come,? I argue that the advent of the posthuman must always remain deferred. Just as the promise of democracy remains unfulfilled, the posthuman must infinitely postdate its arrival in any present. (shrink)
Some philosophers believe that two objects of value can be ‘roughly equal’, or ‘on a par’, or belong to the same ‘clump’ of value in a sense that is fundamentally different from that in which some objects are ‘better than’, ‘worse than’, or ‘equally as good as’ others. This article shows that if two objects are on a par, or belong to the same clump, then an agent accepting a few plausible premises can be exploited in a money-pump. The central (...) premise of the argument is that value is choice-guiding. If one object is more valuable than another, then it is not permitted to choose the less valuable object; and if two objects are equally valuable it is permitted to choose either of them; and if two objects are on a par or belong to the same clump it is also permitted to choose either of them. (shrink)
This study involved a content analysis of the degree of portrayal and the favoribility of portrayal of African American children, as they were cast in various roles. It was hypothesized that these children would be less frequently and less positively portrayed in scholarly than in other roles and that scholarly depiction would vary among product classes. The research results did not support the first two but did support the third hypothesis. Various implications of the findings were drawn.
A recent article in this Journal argued that insider trading is an unethical practice leading to an inefficiently functioning market. The debate on this topic has primarily pitted ethical defenses of prohibition against economic arguments extolling its allowance. In addition to being incomplete, this approach ignores other unwanted economic effects of prohibition itself and unethical implications of its existence. This article shows that Adam Smith's free market concept, when properly interpreted, provides all the incentive structure necessary for an efficient and (...) ethical marketplace even when insider trading is permitted. (shrink)
Rolls attributes to consciousness the functions of reflection, planning, and error-correction. Neuropsychologically grounded cybernetic theory provides an analogous, broader conceptualization: consciousness constructs goals (and plans), alters the valence of goal-related phenomena, registers error-signals, and explores unexpected circumstances (reconfiguring goals and plans as necessary). Consciousness plays a fundamental unrecognized ontological role, as well, conferring the status of “discriminable object” on select aspects of otherwise indeterminate “being.”.
Charles Taylor has recently provided an in-depth exploration of secularity, with a central characteristic being the understanding that religious commitment is optional. This essay extends this analysis, considering the possibility that American society may be entering a second stage of secularity, one in which the possibility of religious commitment ceases to be an option at all for many. The possible implications of such a development are considered for the theology-and-science dialogue.
Constructivism is at the heart of a pedagogical philosophy going back to Vico, whose view of the interrelationship of the arts and sciences sought to reconstitute the classical paideia. The Vichian idea that human beings can only know the truth of what they themselves have made has theoretical and practical consequences for Vico's pedagogy and view of the university. Vico's ideas on education are extended in the modern period by such thinkers as Cassirer, Piaget and Bateson. At the basis of (...) Cassirer's pedagogical philosophy is his theory of the symbol, the symbol being a universal and transcendent modality in culture. The result of this unifying theory is that symbolism, which is pervasive across the disciplines, provides a moral and ethical means for integrating communication about teaching. Cassirer's thought is compatible with Piaget's, which emphasizes the pluralism of experience and the role of dynamic learning in the construction of meaningful order. Piaget's constructivism assumes that an operational bridge exists to link together the hard sciences, the human sciences, and the historical disciplines. This systems view of epistemological matters is similar in many respects to the one advanced by Gregory Bateson, which is explored in the paper's final section. (shrink)
It is commonly assumed that preferences are determinate; that is, that an agent who has a preference knows that she has the preference in question and is disposed to act upon it. This paper argues the dubiousness of that assumption. An account of indeterminate preferences in terms of self-predicting subjective probabilities is given, and a decision rule for choices involving indeterminate preferences is proposed. Wolfgang Spohn’s and Isaac <span class='Hi'>Levi</span>’s arguments against self-predicting probabilities are also considered, in light of Wlodek (...) Rabinowicz’s recent criticism. (shrink)
Dreams represent threat, but appear to do so metaphorically more often than realistically. The metaphoric representation of threat allows it to be conceptualized in a manner that is constant across situations (as what is common to all threats begins to be understood and portrayed). This also means that response to threat can come to be represented in some way that works across situations. Conscious access to dream imagery, and subsequent social communication of that imagery, can facilitate this generalized adaptive process, (...) by allowing the communicative dreamer access to the problem solving resources of the community. [Revonsuo; Solms]. (shrink)
A transformative decision rule transforms a given decision probleminto another by altering the structure of the initial problem,either by changing the framing or by modifying the probability orvalue assignments. Examples of decision rules belonging to thisclass are the principle of insufficient reason, Isaac Levi'scondition of E-admissibility, the de minimis rule, andthe precautionary principle. In this paper some foundationalissues concerning transformative decision rules are investigated,and a couple of formal properties of this class of rules areproved.
Wentzel van Huyssteen's book Alone in the World? provides a thoughtful and nuanced account of human evolution from a theological perspective. Not only does his work provide what is perhaps the only sustained theological reflection specifically on human evolution, but his working through of many of the issues, particularly on the image of God literature in theology, has few parallels. Despite this, I focus on what I consider to be several weaknesses of the text, including areas of theological method, theological (...) interpretation, and the central topic of human uniqueness. Addressing these weaknesses will, I propose, improve van Huyssteen's argument and lead in new and fruitful directions. (shrink)
The Kyoto Protocol on global warming has provoked great controversy in part because it calls for heavier burdens on wealthy countries than on developing countries in the effort to control climate change. The U.S. Senate voted unanimously to oppose any agreement that does not require emissions reductions in low-income countries. The ethics of this position are examined in this paper which shows that there are good moral reasons for supporting the provisions of the Kyoto Protocol. Such a conclusion follows easily (...) from considerations of distributive justice but can also be supported by more narrowly self-interested arguments. (shrink)
This article introduces and explores a distinction between multi-dimensional and one-dimensional consequentialist moral theories. One-dimensional consequentialists believe that an act's deontic status depends on just one aspect of the act, such as the sum total of wellbeing it produces, or the sum total of priority- or equality-adjusted wellbeing. Multi-dimensional consequentialists believe that an act's deontic status depends on more than one aspect. They may, for instance, believe that the sum total of wellbeing produced by an act and the degree to (...) which the wellbeing is equally distributed in the population affect the act's deontic status independently of each other. These two aspects cannot be reduced into any single (composite) aspect. Wellbeing and equality are two separate considerations that cannot be merged into some novel entity that accurately reflects both intuitions. On the multi-dimensional view I defend, such clashes between separate aspects are irresolvable and are best accounted for by claiming that moral rightness and wrongness are non-binary concepts. Some acts are, literally speaking, a little bit right (because they maximise wellbeing) and a little bit wrong (because they do not maximise equality).1. (shrink)
Natural law in Aquinas shares the essential features of law in general: it belongs to mind and stands between end and activity. The mind here is the human mind, the end is happiness which is the natural end of persons as persons and the activity is virtuous activity. The latter is activity that accords with reason. Virtue is called for by the natural law. That is because a) virtue is the habit that inclines persons to rational activity, b) persons are (...) naturally inclined to rational activity and e) to the natural law belong all those things to which persons are naturally inclined. And so the ideas of virtue, rational activity, happiness and natural end are all of them inextricably linked in the Thomistic natural law ethics. (shrink)