GREGORY R. JOHNSON examines the link between Ayn Rand's ethics, which can be broadly characterized as Aristotelian, and her political philosophy, which can be broadly characterized as classical liberalism of the Lockean, natural rights variety. He maintains that Rand's argument for classical liberalism on the basis of the objectivity of values fails because of a reductionistic and excessively intellectualistic conception of human nature. In addition to discussing Rand's arguments, he surveys the Rand-influenced work of Douglas B. Rasmussen and Douglas (...) J. Den Uyl, as well as Tibor R. Machan and Tara Smith. (shrink)
GREGORY R. JOHNSON and DAVID RASMUSSEN argue that Rand's defense of abortion on demand is inconsistent with her own fundamental metaphysical, epistemological, and moral principles, namely that everything that exists has a determinate identity, that the concept of man refers to all of man's characteristics, not just his essential characteristics, and that there is no gap between what an organism truly is and what it ought to be.
Gregory R. Johnson and David Rasmussen defend their critique of Ayn Rand's views on abortion, arguing that their critics miss its main points. Tibor Machan and Alexander Tabarrok actually depart from Rand's own position under the guise of defending it; they introduce a non-Randian distinction between being a human organism and being a moral person.
Gregory R. Johnson argues, contra Barry Vacker, that reductionist thinking and nonlinear aesthetics are not mutually exclusive, and that the passages in The Fountainhead cited by Vacker actually support the mastery of nature thesis. Johnson also addresses some miscellaneous criticisms offered by William Thomas, who wrote a review of Johnson's "Liberty and Nature" (Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, Fall 1999) that appeared in Navigator.
Why should modern philosophers read the works of R. G. Collingwood? His ideas are often thought difficult to locate in the main lines of development taken by twentieth-century philosophy. Some have read Collingwood as anticipating the later Wittgenstein, others have concentrated exclusively on the internal coherence of his thought. This work aims to introduce Collingwood to contemporary students of philosophy through direct engagement with his arguments. It is a conversation with Collingwood that takes as its subject matter the topics that (...) interested him 'philosophy and method, philosophy of mind, language and logic, the historical imagination, art and expression, action, metaphysics and life' and which still preoccupy us today. --the first introductory book on this major modern philosopher --includes critical investigation of his thought --there is no similar work available. (shrink)
This dialogue discusses a proposal for the legalization of torture under specific circumstances and contrasts it with arguments for a total ban on torture. We consider three types of objection: first, that the difficulty of having adequate knowledge renders the stock “ticking bomb” scenario such a low-probability hypothetical as to present no realistic threat to a policy banning all torture; second, that empirically the information gleaned from torture is so unlikely to be reliable that it could not justify the moral (...) risk; and third, that sanctioning torture, even if only under the most extreme circumstances, would generate a ‘culture of torture,’ hence undermining fragile advances in international human rights rooted in unwavering commitment to human dignity. Compelling as these arguments appear, not all the conversants are wholly convinced by them; to this extent the dialogue ends aporetically. (shrink)
In a fictional conversation designed to appeal to both working teachers and social philosophers, three educators take up the question of whether critical thinking itself can, or should, be taught independently of an explicit consideration of issues related to social justice. One, a thoughtful but somewhat traditional Enlightenment rationalist, sees critical thinking as a neutral set of skills and dispositions, essentially unrelated to the conclusions of morality, problems of social organization, or the content of any particular academic discipline. A second (...) interlocutor, steeped in “critical” pedagogy of Paulo Freire, insists that the problem is the pose of neutrality itself. On this view, all honest and effective approaches to teaching must confront the hegemony of unjust relationships, institutions, and conceptual schemes. The third character attempts to resolve the tension between these two opposed camps. (shrink)
This article examines the plight of the whistleblower using elements of organizational legitimacy theory. In recognizing the negative correlation between the actions of the organization and the whistleblower it becomes clear that the continuing legitimacy of the organization necessitates the illegitimacy of the whistleblower. This helps explain the continual blacklisting of the whistleblower and their vilification, resulting in the destruction of both their professional career and their reputation. Only protective legislation will provide any guarantees for the whistleblower.
The word dignity is frequently used both in clinical and philosophical discourse when referring to and describing the ideal conditions of the patient's treatment, particularly the dying patient. An exploration of the variety of meanings associated with the word dignity will note dignity's ambiguous usage and reveal instrumental concepts needed to better understand the discourse of the dying. When applied to a critique of recent and contemporary criticisms of the medical community's handling of the dying, such concepts might provide a (...) more coherent notion of dignity. Rather than a separate construct, a death with dignity might be viewed as an interactive process among the dying and their caretakers. Together, this interdependent amalgam engages in humanizing communication aimed toward understanding the final needs and wants of the patient. (shrink)
Exercise psychology encompasses the disciplines of psychiatry, clinical and counseling psychology, health promotion, and the movement sciences. This emerging field involves diverse mental health issues, theories, and general information related to physical activity and exercise. Numerous research investigations across the past 20 years have shown both physical and psychological benefits from physical activity and exercise. Exercise psychology offers many opportunities for growth while positively influencing the mental and physical health of individuals, communities, and society. However, the exercise psychology literature has (...) not addressed ethical issues or dilemmas faced by mental health professionals providing exercise psychology services. This initial discussion of ethical issues in exercise psychology is an important step in continuing to move the field forward. Specifically, this article will address the emergence of exercise psychology and current health behaviors and offer an overview of ethics and ethical issues, education/training and professional competency, cultural and ethnic diversity, multiple-role relationships and conflicts of interest, dependency issues, confidentiality and recording keeping, and advertisement and self-promotion. (shrink)
Review of extant research on the corporate environmental performance (CEP) and corporate financial performance (CFP) link generally demonstrates a positive relationship. However, some arguments and empirical results have demonstrated otherwise. As a result, researchers have called for a contingency approach to this research stream, which moves beyond the basic question “does it pay to be green?” and instead asks “when does it pay to be green?” In answering this call, we provide a meta-analytic review of CEP–CFP literature in which we (...) identify potential moderators to the CEP–CFP relationship including environmental performance type (e.g., reactive vs. proactive performance), firm characteristics (e.g., large vs. small firms), and methodological issues (e.g., self-report measures). By analyzing these contingencies, this study attempts to provide a basis on which to draw conclusions regarding some inconsistencies and debates in the CEP–CFP research. Some of the results of the moderator analysis suggest that small firms benefit from environmental performance as much or more than large firms, US firms seem to benefit more than international counterparts, and environmental performance seems to have the strongest influence on market-measures of financial performance. (shrink)
Prior stock repurchase studies have found evidence that the announcement of a repurchase program sends a positive signal to the market. Firms engaging in open-market repurchase programs do not have to report how, when, and if they actually repurchased any shares. Evidence following the stock market crash of 1987 indicates that many firms announcing repurchase plans did not actually repurchase any share and, by their own admission, had no intention of repurchasing shares. Companies announcing plans and not following through are (...) apparently within the letter of the law. However, we argue that companies announcing plans with no intention of repurchasing shares are guilty of either lying or sending false signals. These companies create distrust in the investment community and intentionally mislead the public in violation of the SEC's antifraud provisions. Changes in the reporting procedures concerning repurchase plans are ethically and legally warranted. (shrink)
Many people claim to have had direct perceptual awareness of God. William Alston, Richard Swinburne, Gary Gutting, and others have based their philosophical views on these reports. But using analogies from our encounters with humans whose abilities surpass our own, we realize that something essential is missing from these reports. The absence of this element renders it highly unlikely that these people have actually encountered a divine being. (Published Online August 11 2004).
This essay surveys and assesses J. G. Merquior's principal English?language contributions to liberal social and political theory. The greatest strength of Merquior's work is his recognition that one can neither understand nor defend liberalism without first understanding and defending modernity. The greatest weakness of Merquior's work is his overly oppositional conception of the relationship between modernity and its postmodern critics, particularly his failure to recognize that both the positive and negative features of postmodernism are simply radicalizations of the positive and (...) negative features of modernity itself. It is argued that the strengths of Merquior's work are best affirmed and its weaknesses best overcome by appropriating it within the context of a ?critical modernist? approach to understanding and legitimizing the institutions and practices characteristic of modernity and liberalism. (shrink)
Many decisions involve multiple stages of choices and events, and these decisions can be represented graphically as decision trees. Optimal decision strategies for decision trees are commonly determined by a backward induction analysis that demands adherence to three fundamental consistency principles: dynamic, consequential, and strategic. Previous research (Busemeyer et al. 2000, J. Exp. Psychol. Gen. 129, 530) found that decision-makers tend to exhibit violations of dynamic and strategic consistency at rates significantly higher than choice inconsistency across various levels of potential (...) reward. The current research extends these findings under new conditions; specifically, it explores the extent to which these principles are violated as a function of the planning horizon length of the decision tree. Results from two experiments suggest that dynamic inconsistency increases as tree length increases; these results are explained within a dynamic approachâavoidance framework. (shrink)