Ordinarily, we take moral responsibility to come in degrees. Despite this commonplace, theories of moral responsibility have focused on the minimum threshold conditions under which agents are morally responsible. But this cannot account for our practices of holding agents to be more or less responsible. In this paper we remedy this omission. More speciﬁcally, we extend an account of reasonsresponsiveness due to John Martin Fischer and Mark Ravizza according to which an agent is morally responsible only if she is appropriately (...) receptive to and reactive to reasons for action. Building on this, we claim that the degree to which an agent is responsible will depend on the degree to which she is able to recognize and react to reasons. To analyze this, we appeal to relations of comparative similarity between possible worlds, arguing that the degree to which an agent is reasons-reactive depends on the nearest possible world in which given sufﬁcient reason to do otherwise, she does so. Similarly, we argue that the degree to which an agent is reasons-receptive will depend on the intelligibility of her patterned recognition of reasons. By extending an account of reasons-responsiveness in these ways, we are able to rationalize our practice of judging people to be more or less responsible. (shrink)
In the space of possible worlds, there might be a best possible world (a uniquely best world or a world tied for best with some other worlds). Or, instead, for every possible world, there might be a better possible world. Suppose that the latter is true, i.e., that there is no best world. Many have thought that there is then an argument against the existence of God, i.e., the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient and morally perfect being; we will call (...) such arguments no-best-world arguments . In this paper, we discuss ability-based objections to such arguments; an ability-based objection to a no-best world argument claims that the argument fails because one or more of its premises conflict with a plausible principle connecting the applicability of some type of moral evaluation to the agent’s possession of a relevant ability. In particular, we formulate and evaluate an important new ability-based objection to the most promising no-best world argument. (shrink)
Most modern writers accept that a privation theory of evil should explicitly account for the evil of pain. But pains are quintessentially real. The evil of pain does not seem to lie in an absence of good. Though many directly take on the challenges this raises, the metaphysics and axiology of their answers is often obscure. In this paper I try to straighten things out. By clarifying and categorizing the possible types of privation views, I explore the ways in which (...) privationists about evil are—or should or could be—privationists about pain’s evil. (shrink)
The dignity of human life.--Progress in religious thought.--Evolutin and life values.--Functions of intelligence.--Objective uncertainty and human faith.--Supernaturalism, source of moral power.--The transforming power of other worldliness.
This study presents and develops test methods for assessing sensitivity to conflict of interest (COIsen). We are aware of no study assessing COIsen, but note that some popular methods for assessing ethical sensitivity and related constructs (which include COIsen) are flawed in that their presentation of stimulus material to subjects actually guides subjects to attend to ethical (or related) issues. The method tested here was designed to avoid this flaw. Using adaptations of two existing cases, a quota sample of 12 (...) students was interviewed. Our method used funnel-sequenced, open-ended interviews that were audiotaped and transcribed, then subjected to a form of cognitive mapping. These maps revealed the presence of “indicators” of COIsen. We found that COIsen can be measured and that the global COIsen score generated by our method is able to reveal much variation across subjects, making it a worthwhile candidate for further consideration. (shrink)
. This descriptive study discusses cognitive mapping as a technique for analyzing ethical sensitivity, examines whether the method allows comparisons between people, compares the ethical sensitivity levels of participants from three organizations, examines which indicators of ethical sensitivity are most salient to members of specific organizations, and examines whether education level or organizational membership is the best predictor of an individual’s ethical sensitivity level. Subjects from three organizations read background information, listened to two audiotaped scenarios containing multiple ethical issues related (...) to organizational communication, responded to focused interview questions, and completed questionnaires. The interviews were taped, transcribed, and analyzed using cognitive mapping techniques. Significant differences in levels of ethical sensitivity were found between the members of the three organizations. However, a hierarchical regression model demonstrated that the difference was likely due to the differences in level of education in each organization. Organizational membership seemed to affect the particular aspects of the scenarios that participants noticed. (shrink)
This study expands theoretical understanding of organizational misconduct through qualitative analysis of widespread deceptive sales practices at a large U.S. life insurance company. Adopting a symbolic interactionist perspective, this research describes how a set of taken-for-granted interpretive frames located in the organization’s culture created a worldview through which deceptive sales practices were seen as normal, acceptable, routine operating procedure. The findings from this study extend and modify the dominant theoretical ‘pressure/opportunity’ model of organizational misconduct by proposing that the process engine (...) driving misconduct is not amorally rational organization members, but rather is organizational members acting on socially constructed views of the organization that normalize misconduct. (shrink)
In this engaging book, Douglas Anderson begins with the assumption that philosophy—the Greek love of wisdom—is alive and well in American culture. At the same time, professional philosophy remains relatively invisible. Anderson traverses American life to find places in the wider culture where professional philosophy in the distinctively American tradition can strike up a conversation. How might American philosophers talk to us about our religious experience, or political engagement, or literature—or even, popular music? Anderson’s second aim is to find places (...) where philosophy happens in nonprofessional guises—cultural places such as country music, rock’n roll, and Beat literature. He not only enlarges the tradition of American philosophers such as John Dewey and William James by examining lesser-known figures such as Henry Bugbee and Thomas Davidson, but finds the theme and ideas of American philosophy in some unexpected places, such as the music of Hank Williams, Tammy Wynette, and Bruce Springsteen, and the writingsof Jack Kerouac.The idea of “philosophy Americana” trades on the emergent genre of “music Americana,” rooted in traditional themes and styles yet engaging our present experiences. The music is “popular” but not thoroughly driven by economic considerations, and Anderson seeks out an analogous role for philosophical practice, where philosophy and popular culture are co-adventurers in the life of ideas. Philosophy Americana takes seriously Emerson’s quest for the extraordinary in the ordinary and James’s belief that popular philosophy can still be philosophy. (shrink)
Nike. McDonald’s Apple. These companies and many others invest millions of dollars each year protecting that one thing that distinguishes them in the marketplace – a trademark. A company’s trademark is the symbol that allows consumers to know that they are dealing with a particular company. This article addresses the extent to which some companies will go to obtain and protect a trademark. Specifically, it will address the fight between Cisco and Apple over the iPhone trademark, as both companies took (...) questionable steps in the United States and abroad to obtain rights to the iPhone mark. In addition, the basics of trademark law and ethical theories relevant to trademark law will be addressed. (shrink)
Although a number of articles have addressed ethical perceptions and behaviors, few studies have examined ethics across cultures. This research focuses on measuring the job satisfaction, customer orientation, ethics, and ethical training of automotive salespersons in the U.S. and Taiwan. The relationships of these variables to salesperson performance were also investigated. Ethics training was found to be negatively related to perceived levels of ethicalness and performance. High performance U.S. salespeople reported high ethical behavior, while the opposite was true in Taiwan. (...) Customer orientation in both countries was influenced by ethics training. Managers should evaluate current ethics training programs to insure correct ethical behavior is taught and rewarded. (shrink)
The interrelationships among a number of variables and their effect on ethical decision making was explored. Teams of students and managers participated in a competitive management simulation. Based on prior research, the effects of performance, environmental change, team age, and type of team on the level of ethical behavior were hypothesized. The findings indicate that multiple variables may interact in such a fashion that significance is lost.
A common complaint by academics and practitioners is that the application of international accountability standards (IAS) does not lead to significant improvements in an organization’s social responsibility. When organizations espouse their commitment to IAS but do not put forth the effort necessary to operationally enact that commitment, a “credibility cover” is created that perpetuates business as usual. In other words, the legitimacy that organizations gain by formally adopting the standards may shield the organization from closer scrutiny, thus enabling rather than (...) constraining the types of activities the standards were designed to discourage.There is a lack of research on why certain types of IAS are more prone than others to being decoupled from organizational practices. Applying a neo-institutional perspective to IAS, we theorize that the structural dimensions of the types of standards themselves can increase the likelihood of organizations adopting IAS standards in form but not in function. (shrink)
There is a lack of research on why certain international accountability standards (IAS) are more prone than others to being decoupled from organizational practices. Applying a neo-institutional theory perspective to IAS we theorize that the structural dimensions of the standards themselves can increase the likelihood of organizations adopting IAS standards in form but not in function.
Translated from the Danish by Walter Lowrie, David Swenson, and Alexander Dru The Danish philosopher Kierkegaard is one of the master thinkers of the modern age, a defining influence on existentialism and on twentieth-century theology, and this brilliantly tailored selection from his vast and varied writings--made by the great English poet W.H Auden--is a perfect introduction to his work. Auden's inspired and incisive response to a thinker who had done much to shape his own beliefs is a fundamental reading of (...) an author whose spirit remains as radical as ever more than 150 years after he wrote. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Part I -- Doctors -- Dr. Joseph Messer -- Dr. Sharon Sandell -- ER -- Dr. John Barrett -- Marc and Noreen Levison, a paramedic and a nurse -- Lloyd (Pete) Haywood, a former gangbanger -- Claire Hellstern, a nurse -- Ed Reardon, a paramedic -- Law and Order -- Robert Soreghan, a homicide detective -- Delbert Lee Tibbs, a former death-row inmate -- War -- Dr. Frank Raila -- Haskell Wexler, a cinematographer -- Tammy (...) Snider, a Hiroshima survivor (hibakusha) -- Mothers and Sons -- V.I.M. (Victor Israel Marquez), a Vietnam vet -- Angelina Rossi, his mother -- Guadalupe Reyes, a mother -- God's Shepherds -- Rev. Willie T. Barrow -- Father Leonard Dubi -- Rabbi Robert Marx -- Pastor Tom Kok -- Rev. Ed Townley -- The Stranger -- Rick Rundle, a city sanitation worker -- Part II -- Seeing Things -- Randy Buescher, an associate architect -- Chaz Ebert, a lawyer -- Antoinette Korotko-Hatch, a church worker -- Karen Thompson, a student -- Dimitri Mihalas, an astronomer and physicist -- A View from the Bridge -- Hank Oettinger, a retired printer -- Ira Glass, a radio journalist -- Kid Pharaoh, a retired "collector" -- Quinn Brisben, a retired teacher -- Kurt Vonnegut, a writer -- The Boomer -- Bruce Bendinger, an advertising executive and writer -- Part III -- Fathers and Sons -- Doc Watson, a folksinger -- Vernon Jarrett, a journalist -- Country Women -- Peggy Terry, a retired mountain woman -- Bessie Jones, a Georgia Sea Island Singer (1972) -- Rosalie Sorrels, a traveling folksinger -- The Plague I -- Tico Valle, a young man -- Lori Cannon, "curator" of the Open Hand Society -- Brian Matthews, an ex-bartender, writer for a gay weekly -- Jewell Jenkins, a hospital aide -- Justin Hayford, a journalist, musician -- Matta Kelly, a case manager -- The Old Guy -- Jim Hapgood -- The Plague II -- Nancy Lanoue -- Out There -- Dr. Gary Slutkin -- Day of the Dead -- Carlos Cortez, a painter and poet -- Vine Deloria, a writer and teacher -- Helen Sclair, a cemetery familiar -- The Other Son -- Steve Young, a father -- Maurine Young, a mother -- The Job -- William Herdegen, an undertaker -- Rory Moina, a hospice nurse -- The End and the Beginning -- Mamie Mobley, a mother -- Dr. Marvin Jackson, a son -- Epilogue -- Kathy Fagan and Linda Gagnon, mothers. (shrink)
This study has been designed to investigate whether Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) orientations have shifted in their priority in response to society's changing expectations. For this sample of U.S.-based multinational chemical subsidiaries, it appears that the top priority continues to be economic responsibilities, followed closely by legal responsibilities. A socially accountable corporation ... must be a thoughtful institution, able to rise above economic interest to anticipate the impact of its actions on all individuals and groups, from shareholders to employees to (...) customers, to fellow-breathers of the air and fellow-sharers of the land. A successful business organization must possess a moral sense as well as an economic sense (Thornton Bradshaw, President of Atlantic Richfield Co. inBusiness and Society: Strategies for the 1980's, 1980, p. xiv). (shrink)
As foreign direct investment in the U.S. continues to become both more visible and controversial, the general public remains skeptical about the corporate citizenship of these foreign affiliates. Four dimensions of corporate citizenship — orientations, organizational stakeholders, issues, and decision-making autonomy — were used to compare the inclinations of foreign affiliates with the domestic firms operating in the U.S. chemical industry. The only significant differences between the U.S. sample and those firms headquartered in other countries-of-origin were found in the area (...) of corporate citizenship decision making autonomy. (shrink)
The devices with which experimental economists account for and justify their own and their opponents' views are investigated by examining transcripts of interviews with two participants in experimental economics. The earlier investigations of natural scientists' discourse provide material for comparisons. The results suggest that in assessing an opponent's deviating view experimentalists in economics can be more cautious than natural scientists to characterize their opponents as influenced by personal and social factors. Indeed, they seem to admit that to some extent both (...) their own and their opponents' behavior involves these influences. Regarding the development of disputes, the respondents constructed accounts where general optimism concerning the ability of empirical arguments to resolve disputes was linked with an idea of dialogues between theorists and experimentalists as vehicles of progress. (shrink)
This article examines the debate on the influence of incentives on the occurrence of the so-called preference reversal phenomenon. Firstly, the participants? views on the issue and the main shifts in the debate are identified. Secondly, the statements of views and the shifts in the debate are analyzed within the framework of ?escape moves (Kitcher 1993). In this analysis the focus is on attempts to resolve particular inconsistencies in the statements and on the ability of proposed solutions to induce a (...)community decision to alter more or less permanently a portion of its established practices. The analysis brings to light the negotiation process in which the significance and meaning of the contested issue is not settled by adopting certain rules in a mechanical way but is worked out by context-dependent interpretations of the community of specialists. (shrink)