Webmasters are a key moral agent in the issue of privacy. This study attempts to understand the factors underlying their attitudes about privacy based on the theory of moral intensity. Webmasters of high-traffic sites were invited via email to participate in a web-based survey. The results support the application of moral intensity to the domain of privacy and the population of webmasters - both outcomes and social norms have statistically significant main effects on attitudes. The results also suggest a reconfiguration (...) of the dimensions of moral intensity. This is based on the observation that proximity to the organization has a negative main effect on attitudes, and it moderates the relationship between social norms and attitudes. The original theory of moral intensity did not acknowledge the possibility of this moderating role for proximity. These observations have important implications for future research and practice in the areas of privacy, moral intensity, and ethical decision making. (shrink)
Professor Thomas Mulligan undertakes to discredit Milton Friedman's thesis that The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits. He attempts to do this by moving from Friedman's paradigm characterizing a socially responsible executive as willful and disloyal to a different paradigm, i.e., one emphasizing the consultative and consensus-building role of a socially responsible executive. Mulligan's critique misses the point, first, because even consensus-building executives act contrary to the will of minority shareholders, but even more importantly, because he (...) assumes that the mandate of a shareholder majority brings legitimacy to efforts of corporate managers to utilize corporate wealth in solving social problems. It is the role of our democratic institutions to deal with national agenda issues such as inflation, unemployment, and pollution, not that of the private sector. Corporations and private individuals do have a role to play in enhancing the quality of the human environment, however, and the author suggests a coherent means of developing that role in an effort rescue corporate social responsibility from Mulligan no less than from Friedman. (shrink)
The Sleeping Beauty puzzle has dramatized the divisive question of how de se beliefs should be integrated into formal theories of rational belief change. In this paper, I look ahead to a related question: how should de se beliefs be integrated into formal theories of rational choice? I argue that standard decision theoretic frameworks fail in special cases of de se uncertainty, like Sleeping Beauty. The nature of the failure reveals that sometimes rational choices are determined independently of one’s credences (...) in the kinds of ‘narrow’ de se propositions that Sleepy Beauty has set in relief. Consequently, in addition to pinpointing a failure of standard decision theoretic frameworks, this result casts doubt on a large class of strategies for determining principles for the rationally updating de se beliefs in cases like Sleeping Beauty, and also calls into question the importance of making such a determination at all. (shrink)
The authors argue that corporate philanthropy is far too important as a social instrument for good to depend on ethical egoism for its support. They claim that rule utilitarianism provides a more compelling, though not exclusive, moral foundation. The authors cite empirical and legal evidence as additional support for their claim.
Blackmail raises a pair of parallel legal and moral problems, sometimes referred to as the "paradox of blackmail". It is sometimes legal and morally permissible to ask someone for money, or to threaten to release harmful information about them, while it is illegal and morally impermissible to do these actions jointly. I address the moral version of this paradox by bringing instances of blackmail under a general account of wrongful coercion. According to this account, and contrary to the appearances which (...) give rise to the paradox, threatening the release of harmful information to constrain another's actions is almost never morally impermissible unless it is likewise impermissible to carry out one's threat. To defend this claim I identify a special wrong that arises in the paradoxical cases of threatened information release. The account also resolves a number of other puzzles about blackmail—for example, why profiting from a threat in blackmail can sometimes be impermissible, even though accepting identical payment from an independent offer to retain the same information can be permissible. (shrink)
Adults apply ownership not only to objects but also to ideas. But do people come to apply principles of ownership to ideas because of being taught about intellectual property and copyrights? Here, we investigate whether children apply rules from physical property ownership to ideas. Studies 1a and 1b show that children (6–8 years old) determine ownership of both objects and ideas based on who first establishes possession of the object or idea. Study 2 shows that children use another principle of (...) object ownership, control of permission—an ability to restrict others’ access to the entity in question—to determine idea ownership. In Study 3, we replicate these findings with different idea types. In Study 4, we determine that children will not apply ownership to every entity, demonstrating that they do not apply ownership to a common word. Taken together, these results suggest that, like adults, children as young as 6 years old apply rules from ownership not only to objects but to ideas as well. (shrink)
This project tested a two-way model of communication between lay groups and experts about genetic medicine in Perth, Western Australia. Focus group discussion with community group participants was followed by a communication workshop between community group participants and experts. Four groups of concerns or themes emerged from discussion: clinical considerations; legislative concerns; research priorities, and ethical and wider considerations. Community group concerns are not always met by the actions of "experts". This is, in part, because of the differing life-worlds of (...) each group. However, the communication workshop showed the potential of two-way communication for both lay and expert members in understanding the others' viewpoint. Further, the approach developed here offers one possible way for community groups to participate in a substantial way in policy formulation processes. (shrink)
This commentary finds much to like about the work of Professor Thomas I. White, "Business, Ethics, and Carol Gilligan's 'Two Voices." (Vol. 2, No. 1, January 1992) At the same time it suggests further work is needed on the following points: (1) White must consider how males respond to dilemmas if he hopes to articulate a difference between male and female methods of responding; (2) White must support his conclusion that the "ethics of care" is the ethic most likely (...) to produce the results that he assumes to be true, and further explain why he thinks that the studies he chooses support the lIethics of care," and (3) White must explain why the "ethics of care" is not just as likely to produce a result opposite to that found by researchers. (shrink)
If the universe is a machine, consciousness is not possible. If the universe is more than a machine, then physics is incomplete. Since we are both part of the universe and conscious, physics must be incomplete and the understanding required to construct conscious mechanisms must be sought through the advancement of physics not the continued application of inadequate concepts. In this paper I will show that an impediment to this advancement is the confusion arising through the use of terms such (...) as 'physical reality' to refer to an absolute a priori Kantian 'Ding an Sich' when they should both be recognized as referring to data structures holding the knowledge upon which we act and nothing more. Once this confusion has been clarified, I will go on to suggest that the cycle of activity updating physical reality becomes a candidate for a conscious process. I will show how implementing algorithms in modern computers can mimic this process but if actual consciousness is to be achieved the update activity must correspond to a cycle in time. Such cycles have been identified with Whitehead's 'actual occasions' and thus I will argue that fundamental events should replace fundamental particles as the building blocks of the universe if consciousness is to be explained. (shrink)
In this paper I respond to separate criticisms by Bill Shaw (JBE, July 1988) and Richard Nunan (JBE, December 1988) of my paper A Critique of Milton Friedman's Essay The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits (JBE, August 1986). Professors Shaw and Nunan identify several points where my argument could benefit from clarification and improvement. They also make valuable contributions to the discussion of the broad issue area of whether and to what extent business should (...) exercise moral initiative.My objectives are (1) to show, with the aid of examples (inspired by Shaw) and the addition of one point of correction (inspired by Nunan), that my disapproving critique of Friedman's famous argument remains sound, (2) to show that Professor Shaw's argument contains serious problems, and (3) to build on the base laid by my critics by developing important reasons why business should exercise moral initiative. (shrink)
In the past 250 years, David Hume probably had a greater impact on the field of philosophy of religion than any other single philosopher. He relentlessly attacked the standard proofs for God's existence, traditional notions of God's nature and divine governance, the connection between morality and religion, and the rationality of belief in miracles. He also advanced radical theories of the origin of religious ideas, grounding such notions in human psychology rather than in divine reality. In the last decade of (...) his life Hume wrote 'I cou'd cover the Floor of a large Room with Books and Pamphlets wrote against me'. Indeed, most of these targeted his writings on religion. This, the third part of the Early Responses to Hume series, and perhaps the most eagerly awaited, collects responses to Hume's writings on religion published during his life, namely, 'Of Miracles', 'Of a Particular Providence and a Future State', The Natural History of Religion , and the posthumously published works Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion , 'Of Suicide' and 'Of the Immortality of the Soul'. The set covers a wide range of the replies Hume's writings provoked, including contributions by Philip Skelton, William Adams, Thomas Rutherforth, William Warburton, Anthony Ellys, John Douglas, John Leland, Thomas Stona, Voltaire, George Campbell, Herman Andrew Pistorius, Duncan Shaw, William Samuel Powell, Thomas Hayter, Joseph Milner, William Paley, Charles Moore, Richard Joseph Sulivan, John Hey, Samuel Vince, Lord Brougham and Thomas De Quincey. (shrink)
Louis Agassiz.--Address at the Emerson Centenary in Concord.--Robert Gould Shaw.--Francis Boott.--Thomas Davidson: a knight-errant of the intellectual life.--Herbert Spencer's autobiography.--Frederick Myers' services to psychology.--Final impressions of a psychical researcher.--On some mental effects of the earthquake.--The energies of men.--The moral equivalent of war.--Remarks at the peace banquet.--The social value of the college-bred.--The university and the individual: The Ph.D. octopus. The true Harvard. Stanford's ideal destiny.--A pluralistic mystic.
Although much has been written about the vigorous debates over science and religion in the Victorian era, little attention has been paid to their continuing importance in early twentieth-century Britain. Reconciling Science and Religion provides a comprehensive survey of the interplay between British science and religion from the late nineteenth century to World War II. Peter J. Bowler argues that unlike the United States, where a strong fundamentalist opposition to evolutionism developed in the 1920s (most famously expressed in the Scopes (...) "monkey trial" of 1925), in Britain there was a concerted effort to reconcile science and religion. Intellectually conservative scientists championed the reconciliation and were supported by liberal theologians in the Free Churches and the Church of England, especially the Anglican "Modernists." Popular writers such as Julian Huxley and George Bernard Shaw sought to create a non-Christian religion similar in some respects to the Modernist position. Younger scientists and secularists—including Rationalists such as H. G. Wells and the Marxists—tended to oppose these efforts, as did conservative Christians, who saw the liberal position as a betrayal of the true spirit of their religion. With the increased social tensions of the 1930s, as the churches moved toward a neo-orthodoxy unfriendly to natural theology and biologists adopted the "Modern Synthesis" of genetics and evolutionary theory, the proposed reconciliation fell apart. Because the tensions between science and religion—and efforts at reconciling the two—are still very much with us today, Bowler's book will be important for everyone interested in these issues. Contents: Illustrations Preface Introduction: A Legacy of Conflict? Confrontation, Cooperation, or Coexistence? Victorian Background Science and Religion in the New Century Part One: The Sciences and Religion 1. The Religion of Scientists Changing Patterns of Belief Scientists and Christianity Scientists and Theism Method and Meaning Science and Values 2. Scientists against Superstition Science and Rationalism Religion without Revelation Marxists and Other Radicals Science, Religion, and the History of Science 3. Physics and Cosmology Ether and Spirit The New Physics The Earth and the Universe 4. Evolution and the New Natural Theology Science and Creation Evolution and Progress The Role of Lamarckism Darwinism Revived 5. Matter, Life, and Mind The Origin of Life Vitalism and Organicism Mind and Body Psychology and Religion Part Two: The Churches and Science 6. The Churches in the New Century The Challenge of the New The Churches’ Response 7. The New Theology in the Free Churches Precursors of the New Theology Campbell and the New Theology Modernism in the Free Churches 8. Anglican Modernism Modernism and the New Natural Theology Charles F. D’Arcy E. W. Barnes W. R. Inge Charles Raven 9. The Reaction against Modernism Evangelicals against Evolution Liberal Catholicism The Menace of the New Psychology Science and Modern Life Theology in the Thirties Roman Catholicism Part Three: The Wider Debate 10. Science and Secularism Against Idealism Popular Rationalism The Social Reformers 11. Religion’s Defenders From Idealism to Spiritualism Creative and Emergent Evolution Evolution and the Human Spirit Progress through Struggle The Christian Response Epilogue Biographical Appendix Bibliography Index. (shrink)
This paper considers the tension between timelessness and timeboundedness in legal interpretation, examining parallels between sacred texts and secular law. It is argued that familiar dualities such as those between statute and judge-made law, law and equity, written and spoken discourse, dictionary meaning versus intended or contextual meaning, can be examined using this timeless/timebounded framework. Two landmark English cases, DPP v Shaw (1961) and R v R (1991) are analyzed as illustrating contrasting aspects of the socio-legal politics of “reasoning (...) backwards”. The related temporal distinction between ex ante and ex post points of view is examined both within legal theory and as a key issue for linguistic and semiotic systems. The argument is made that this distinction is the key to a wide range of methodological and theoretical problems in relating linguistics and semiotics to law. (shrink)
It is time to draw the threads together. I have been arguing that we should lower the historical gaze onto the sufferers. “Banish money,” wrote John Keats, “- banish sofas - Banish wine - Banish Music - But right Jack Health- Honest Jack Health, true Jack Health - banish Health and banish all the world.” R. Gittings, ed., Keats' Letters (Oxford, 1979), 3. Health is the backbone of social history, and affliction the fons et origo of all history of medicine. (...) For whereas one could plausibly argue, a history of crime should start not with the criminals but with law and police-because these define criminality - the sick cannot possibly be regarded as a class apart, conjured up by the faculty. Moreover, it is especially important to get under the skin of the sufferers, because most maladies have not in fact been treated by the profession but by self- or community help, or in the paramedical marketplace where the sufferers' own initiatives, confidence, and pockets are critical. In addition, lay medical power has also been crucial in a sphere I haven't touched upon here, since I have been concentrating on the sufferer as an individual - in other words, lay-instigated social, civic, and institutional strategies for sickness, above all, in earlier times, for coping with epidemic pestilences such as plague. For what emerges, for example, from recent studies of civic health arrangements in the Italian Renaissance is that physicians regularly had to play second fiddle, in the teeth of various lay interests, to city fathers, philanthropic patrons, and, of course, the Church itself.R. Palmer, “The Church, Leprosy and Plague in Medieval and Early Modern Europe,” in Sheils, Church and Healing, 79-100; A. W. Russell, ed., The Town and State Physician in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment (Wolfenbüttel, 1981).Medicine has never enjoyed full monopoly or police powers, and most healing, like charity, begins at home. The upshot is that doctors traditionally had to remember that he who paid the piper called the tune. George Bernard Shaw was well aware of this:The doctor learns that if he gets ahead of the superstitions of his patients he is a ruined man; and the result is that he instinctively takes care not to get ahead of them. That is why all the changes come from the laity. G. B. Shaw, The Doctor's Dilemma (Harmondsworth, 1979), 67–68.I do not intend to conclude by offering a set of theoretical models for understanding sick person-doctor interaction in times past. That would certainly be premature, and probably also counterproductive, by creating the illusion of patterns of typicality and uniformity. But I should like to tabulate certain strategies and broad interpretive guidelines for future investigations. (shrink)
On liberty, by J. S. Mill.--Morals and the criminal law, by P. Devlin.--Immorality and treason, by H. L. A. Hart.--Lord Devlin and the enforcement of morals, by R. Dworkin.--Sins and crimes, by A. R. Louch.--Morals offenses and the model penal code, L. B. Schwartz.--Paternalism, by G. Dworkin.--Four cases involving the enforcement of morality: Shaw v. Director of Public Prosecutions; People v. Cohen; Repouille v. United States; Commonwealth v. Donoghue.--Bibliography (p. 149).
Various authors insist that some body of natural phenomena are legitimately describable or explainable only on one level of description, and would disqualify any description not confined to that level. None offers an acceptable definition explicitly. I extract such a definition I find implicit in the work of two such authors, J.J. Gibson and Hubert Dreyfus, and modify the result to render it more defensible philosophically. I also criticize the definition Shaw and Turvey offer, demonstrate some applications of my (...) definition, and try to forestall certain misunderstandings of those presuppositions and that definition. (shrink)