In a recent paper, Chomsky (1989) has proposed two principles which choose among competing transformational derivations. He calls them principles of “Economy of Derivation”. These are the Least Effort principle and the Last Resort principle, seen in (1a-b). (The _________ _________ _ _ nomenclature is partially my own: Chomsky uses the term “Principle of Least Effort” for (1a-b) together.).
Ecology is composed of a remarkably diverse set of scientific disciplines. There are many different sub-fields in ecology—physiological, behavioral, evolutionary, population, community, ecosystem, and landscape ecology. Clearly, no summary will do them all justice. However, for the present context, ecology as a science can be divided into three basic areas—population, community, and ecosystem ecology. This entry will introduce some of the fundamental philosophical issues raised by these three disciplines. The first order of business is to ask what is the science (...) of ecology, and more importantly, what is it not (see Brennan 1988). Sometimes the term ‘ecology’ is treated as synonymous or coextensive with three different concepts or sets of concepts: • The science of ecology: the study of organisms and groups of them and their relation to their environment. (shrink)
There are situations where we have justified true belief about p but don’t intuitively know that p. Example one: The tennis results. Example two: The stopped clock. Example three: The shepherd and the false sheep addiction. So in each case we have an example of a scenario where the agent believes something true and is..
Philosophy has long been concerned with ‘moral status’. Discussions about the moral status of children, however, seem often to promote confusion rather than clarity. Using the creation of ‘savior siblings’ as an example, this paper provides a philosophical critique of the moral status of children and the moral relevance of parenting and the role that formative experience, regret and relational autonomy play in parental decisions. We suggest that parents make moral decisions that are guided by the moral significance they attach (...) to children, to sick children and most importantly, to a specific sick child (theirs). This moral valorization is rarely made explicit and has generally been ignored by both philosophers and clinicians in previous critiques. Recognizing this, however, may transform not only the focus of bioethical discourse but also the policies and practices surrounding the care of children requiring bone marrow or cord blood transplantation by better understanding the values at stake behind parental decision making. (shrink)
Nations with legal environments that allow indigenous entrepreneurs to create legal businesses are more likely to be peaceful and prosperous nations. In addition to focusing on the role of multinational corporations, those interested in creating peace through commerce should focus on promoting legal environments that allow indigenous entrepreneurs to create peace and prosperity. In order to illustrate the relationship between improved legal environments and conflict reduction, this article describes a case study in which increased economic freedom led to reduced violence (...) in Northern Ireland between 1975 and 2000. (shrink)
Born of the mysteries of dawn, they ponder on how, between the tenth and the twelfth stroke of the clock, the day could present a face so pure, so radiant, so joyfully transfigured—they seek the philosophy of the morning.On January 3, 1889, Nietzsche writes to Meta von Salis that "[t]he world is transfigured, for God is on the earth" (KSB 8). The next day, he writes to Peter Gast: "Sing me a new song, the world is transfigured and all the (...) skies rejoice" (KSB 8: letter to Köselitz, 4 January 1889). He signs both letters as "The Crucified." Of the thirteen letters he writes on January 4, six are signed similarly; all the others are signed "Dionysus" (see KSB 8: letters, 4 January 1889).The letter to Gast draws from .. (shrink)
(2012). MAINTAINING DISCIPLINE IN DETAINEE OPERATIONS: A STUDY IN SMALL UNIT LEADERSHIP AND ETHICAL BEHAVIOR. Journal of Military Ethics: Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 363-364. doi: 10.1080/15027570.2012.758409.
The world as we find it -- Kant and the death of God -- Nietzsche: the tragic ethos and the spirit of music -- Max Weber, magic, and the politics of social scientific objectivity -- "What have we to do with morals?": Nietzsche and Weber on the politics of morality -- Sigmund Freud and the heroism of knowledge -- Lenin and the calling of the party -- Carl Schmitt and the exceptional sovereign -- Martin Heidegger and the space of the (...) political -- Without a banister: Hannah Arendt and roads not taken -- Conclusion: the world as it finds us. (shrink)
The concept of minimal risk plays a key role in federal regulations on the protection of human research subjects. Although there has been considerable discussion of the meaning of minimal risk, the question of how this concept should be interpreted in research involving pregnant women and fetuses has not been addressed. This essay reviews the literature on minimal risk and argues for an interpretation of that concept in the context of research involving pregnant women and fetuses.
Various theories have been put forward in an attempt to explain what makes moral judgments justifiable. One of the main theories currently advocated in bioethics is a form of coherentism known as wide reflective equilibrium. In this paper, I argue that wide reflective equilibrium is not a satisfactory approach for justifying moral beliefs and propositions. A long-standing theoretical problem for reflective equilibrium has not been adequately resolved, and, as a result, the main arguments for wide reflective equilibrium are unsuccessful. Moreover, (...) practical problems that arise in using the method of wide reflective equilibrium undermine the idea that it is a viable approach for justifying moral judgments about cases and policies. Given that wide reflective equilibrium is the most prominent version of coherentism, these considerations call into question the coherentist approach to justification in bioethics. (shrink)
In my essay, a critique of “the best secular argument against abortion” I reconstructed and criticised two versions of Don Marquis’s well-known argument against abortion. In critiquing the version I call the “essence argument”, I presented counterexamples to one of the premises in that argument. In this issue of the journal, Ezio Di Nucci takes note of the fact that I used the term “valuable future” in the premise but used the term “future like ours” in the counterexamples. Because the (...) terms are different, Di Nucci claimed that my counterexamples had no bearing on the premise and are therefore unsuccessful. The main error in Di Nucci’s objection is a failure to acknowledge that Marquis uses the terms “valuable future” and “future like ours” interchangeably. For the purpose of reconstructing Marquis’s argument, the term “valuable future” is to be taken in a sense that means the same as “future like ours”. Once this point is recognised, Di Nucci’s objection falls apart. (shrink)
Don Marquis has put forward a non-religious argument against abortion based on what he claims is a morally relevant similarity between killing adult human beings and killing fetuses. He asserts that killing adults is wrong because it deprives them of their valuable futures. He points out that a fetus’s future includes everything that is in an adult’s future, given that fetuses naturally develop into adults. Thus, according to Marquis, killing a fetus deprives it of the same sort of valuable future (...) that an adult is deprived of in being killed and this makes abortion seriously wrong. Commentators have raised a number of objections to Marquis’s argument, to which he has satisfactorily responded. In this paper, difficulties with Marquis’s argument that have not been considered by previous commentators are pointed out. A main thesis of this paper is that Marquis does not adequately defend his argument against several important objections that he himself has raised. These new considerations support the view that Marquis’s argument is unsuccessful. (shrink)
Some defenders of the view that there is a common morality have conceived such morality as being universal, in the sense of extending across all cultures and times. Those who deny the existence of such a common morality often argue that the universality claim is implausible. Defense of common morality must take account of the distinction between descriptive and normative claims that there is a common morality. This essay considers these claims separately and identifies the nature of the arguments for (...) each claim. It argues that the claim that there is a universal common morality in the descriptive sense has not been successfully defended to date. It maintains that the claim that there is a common morality in the normative sense need not be understood as universalist. This paper advocates the concept of group specific common morality, including country-specific versions. It suggests that both the descriptive and the normative claims that there are country-specific common moralities are plausible, and that a country-specific normative common morality could provide the basis for a country's bioethics. (shrink)
: Continuing the dialogue begun in the March 2006 issue of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, I suggest that Bernard Gert's response to my paper does not adequately address the criticisms I make of his theory's application to bioethics cases.
: Bernard Gert's theory of morality has received much critical attention, but there has been relatively little commentary on its practical value for bioethics. An important test of an ethical theory is its ability to yield results that are helpful and plausible when applied to real cases. An examination of Gert's theory and his own attempts to apply it to bioethics cases reveals that there are serious difficulties with regard to its application. These problems are sufficiently severe to support the (...) conclusion that Gert's theory is unacceptable as an approach for resolving bioethics cases, even relatively noncontroversial cases. (shrink)
The President’s Council on Bioethics has addressed the moral status of human preembryos in its reports on stem cell research and human therapeutic cloning. Although the Council has been criticized for being hand-picked to favor the right-to-life viewpoint concerning human preembryos, it has embraced the idea that the right-to-life position should be defended in secular terms. This is an important feature of the Council’s work, and it demonstrates a recognition of the need for genuine engagement between opposing sides in the (...) debate over stem cell research. To promote this engagement, the Council has stated in secular terms several arguments for the personhood of human preembryos. This essay presents and critiques those arguments, and it concludes that they are unsuccessful. If the best arguments in support of the personhood of human preembryos have been presented by the Council, then there are no reasonable secular arguments in support of that view. (shrink)
An objection often is raised against the use of reproductive technology to create "nontraditional families," as in ovum donation for postmenopausal women or postmortem artificial insemination. The objection states that conceiving children in such circumstances is harmful to them because of adverse features of these nontraditional families. A similar objection is raised when parents, through negligence or willful disregard of risks, create children with serious genetic diseases or other developmental handicaps. It is claimed that such reproduction harms the children who (...) are created. In reply to this Harm to the Child Argument, it has been pointed out that the procreative acts that supposedly harm the child are the very acts that create the child. This reply has been developed into an argument that, in most of the types of cases under consideration, creating the child does not harm her. This reply, the No Harm Argument, has been stated in three main ways, and it is one of the most misunderstood arguments in bioethics. This paper examines the main rebuttals that have been made to the No Harm Argument and argues that none of them is successful. (shrink)
The validity of assessment programs is increasingly important in higher education. Existing approaches to assessment are problematic because they eitherfail to provide timely feedback or have suspect measurement issues. We propose a feed-forward assessment model to help overcome these two limitations oftraditional assessment approaches.
The results of an exploratory study examining the role of trust in stakeholder satisfaction are reported. Customers, stockholders, and employees of financial institutions were surveyed to identify management behaviors that lead to stakeholder satisfaction. The factors critical to satisfaction across stakeholder groups are the timeliness of communication, the honesty and completeness of the information and the empathy and equity of treatment by management.
Can we use technology in the pursuit of a good life, or are we doomed to having our lives organized and our priorities set by the demands of machines and systems? How can philosophy help us to make technology a servant rather than a master? Technology and the Good Life? uses a careful collective analysis of Albert Borgmann's controversial and influential ideas as a jumping-off point from which to address questions such as these about the role and significance of technology (...) in our lives. Contributors both sympathetic and critical examine Borgmann's work, especially his "device paradigm" apply his theories to new areas such as film, agriculture, design, and ecological restoration and consider the place of his thought within philosophy and technology studies more generally. Because this collection carefully investigates the issues at the heart of how we can take charge of life with technology, it will be a landmark work not just for philosophers of technology but for students and scholars in the many disciplines concerned with science and technology studies. (shrink)
Principlism has been advocated as an approach to resolving concrete cases and issues in bioethics, but critics have pointed out that a main problem for principlism is its lack of a method for assigning priorities to conflicting ethical principles. A version of principlism referred to as 'specified principlism' has been put forward in an attempt to overcome this problem. However, none of the advocates of specified principlism have attempted to demonstrate that the method actually works in resolving detailed clinical cases. (...) This paper shows that when one tries to use it, specified principlism fails to provide practical assistance in deciding how to resolve concrete cases. Proponents of specified principlism have attempted to defend it by arguing that it is superior to casuistry, but it can be shown that their arguments are faulty. Because of these reasons, specified principlism should not be considered a leading contender in the search for methods of making justifiable decisions in clinical cases. (shrink)
Casuistic methods of reasoning in medical ethics have been criticized by a number of authors. At least five main objections to casuistry have been put forward: (1) it requires a uniformity of views that is not present in contemporary pluralistic society; (2) it cannot achieve consensus on controversial issues; (3) it is unable to examine critically intuitions about cases; (4) it yields different conclusions about cases when alternative paradigms are chosen; and (5) it cannot articulate the grounds of its conclusions. (...) Two main versions of casuistry have been put forward, and the responses to these objections depend in part on which version one is defending. Jonsen has advocated a version modeled on the approach to casuistry used by moral theologians in the 15th and 16th century, involving comparison of the case at hand with a single paradigm and a lineup of cases. The present author has advocated another version, drawn from experience with cases in clinical ethics, which involves comparing the case at hand with two or more paradigms. Four of the five objections are unsuccessful when directed against Jonsen'sapproach, and all of them are unsuccessful when directed against the approach involving comparison with two or more paradigms. (shrink)
What is encoded in working memory may be a content-addressable pointer, but a critical portion of the information that is addressed includes the motor information to achieve deictic reference in the environment. Additionally, the same strategy that is used to access environment information just in time for its use may also be used to access long-term memory via the pre-frontal cortex.
American discourse in business ethics is steeped in the traditional ethical theories of Western philosophies, specifically the Greek classics, Kant, and the British Utilitarians. These theories may be largely uninterpretable or unacceptable to non-Western populations owing to different traditions, religious beliefs, or cultural histories. As economic boundaries collapse and markets become more global in scope, traditional Western ethical thought may lead to clashes among Western organizations and companies from differing cultural settings. Such clashes could lead to alienation of foreign customers, (...) firms and governments and resultant competitive disadvantage, or to an abandonment of ethical considerations altogether in the struggle to compete internationally. This paper puts forward two general alternatives to Western ethical philosophies as useful frameworks for the analysis of international ethical dilemmas. The first alternative uses new organizational economics, while the second emphasizes role relationships and organizational citizenship. (shrink)
Much has been written recently about both the urgency and efficacy of teaching business ethics. The results of our survey of AACSB member schools confirm prior reports of similar surveys: The teaching of business ethics is indiscriminate, unorganized, and undisciplined in most North American schools of business. If universities are to be taken seriously in their efforts to create more ethical awareness and better moral decision-making skills among their graduates, they must provide a rigorous and well-developed system in which students (...) can live ethics instead of merely learn ethics. A system must be devised to allow students to discover and refine their own values rather than simply learning ethical theories from an intellectual point of view.After reviewing the literature on business ethics in undergraduate curricula, we make a series of recommendations to deliver experiential ethical education for business students. The recommendations include student and faculty written codes of ethics, emphasis on ethical theory within the existing required legal environment course, applied ethics in the functional area capstones using alternative learning, a discussion of employee (and employer) rights and responsibilities during the curriculum capstone course, and a public service requirement for graduation. These recommendations may be implemented without substantive additional cost or programming requirements. (shrink)
Currently, much hope for the protection of nature is pinned on the science of ecology. Without suggesting that we should pay less serious attention to science, I argue for a more pluralistic approach to the environmental and technological problems facing our time. I maintain that when ecology changes attitudes and ways of life, it does so by importing a language of engagement with nature rather than by remaining confined to a strictly scientific account. This language of engagement, which shows how (...) nature and natural things can be engaged by humans in a multiplicity of ways, I call disclosive discourse. Disclosive discourse, however, is not used exclusively by ecologists and other scientists. To the contrary, the great literary writers exemplify in their writings the ways this discourse can present nature and natural things in their most profound and powerful appeal. Moreover, disclosive discourse is not limited to words: artworks, too, are disclosive. By characterizing the deeper problem with which we are faced differently, as fundamentally technological rather than environmental, a more diversified plurality of alternatives to technology, not limited to those having to do with primarily nature, can be brought into relief and encouraged. (shrink)
This paper presents an integrative, descriptive model of ethical decision making, with special attention given to issues of measurement. After building the model, hypotheses are developed from a portion of it. These hypotheses are tested in an exploratory analysis to determine if further research and testing of this model and the measurement instruments it employs are warranted.
From the immemorial humans have lived together in groups. What it means to be a human being has no other basis than the interactions that take place in these groups. Politics then is the shaping of the necessary fact of social interaction. This volume concerns itself with the role of the individual in this social and political order. Including selections from both classical writers such as Plato, and contemporary scholars such as George Kareb, Michael Sandel, and Donna Haraway, the work (...) examines one of the most fundemental questions of human society: what part do individual desires and concerns play, and what part should they play, in political society? How can we negotiate the relation between individuals and society, between the will of one and the mandate of the multitude? Strong's lengthy introduction provides an excellent framework that serves to unify these semial writings. (shrink)
In 1988 the Journal of Business Ethics published a paper by David Mathison entitled Business Ethics Cases and Decision Models: A Call for Relevancy in the Classroom. Mathison argued that the present methods of teaching business ethics may be inappropriate for MBA students. He believes that faculty are teaching at one decision-making level and that students are and will be functioning on another (lower) level. The purpose of this paper is to respond to Mathison's arguments and offer support for the (...) present methods and materials used to teach Master level ethics classes. The support includes suggested class discussion ideas and assignments. (shrink)