When we design information technology we risk building specific metaphors and models of human activities into the technology itself and into the embodied activities, work practices, organisational cultures and social identities of those who use it. This paper is motivated by the recognition that the assumptions about human activity used to guide the design of particular technology are made active, in use, by the interaction design of that technology. A fragment of shared design work is used to ground an exploration (...) of different solutions to one of the technical problems that arise when technology is used to support similar work over distance. The argument is made that some solutions to design problems are better than others because they enable human interaction in different ways. Some solutions enhance the possibilities for human agency, others diminish it. This means that there can be a moral basis for choosing between alternative interaction design decisions that might otherwise be considered equivalent in terms of the functionality and usability of the technology. (shrink)
Standard models of cognition are built from abstract, amodal, arbitrary symbols, and the meanings of those symbols are given solely by their interrelations. The target article (Glenberg 1997t) argues that these models must be inadequate because meaning cannot arise from relations among abstract symbols. For cognitive representations to be meaningful they must, at the least, be grounded; but abstract symbols are difficult, if not impossible, to ground. As an alternative, the target article developed a framework in which representations are grounded (...) in perception and action, and hence are embodied. Recent work (Glenberg & Robertson 1999; 2000; Glenberg & Kaschak 2002; Kaschak & Glenberg 2000) extends this framework to language. (shrink)
forthcoming in M. McNamee (ed) Philosophy, Risk and Adventure Sports, Routledge The final draft of a co-authored article with Simon Robertson (Leeds). In this paper we examine a recent version of an old controversy within climbing ethics. Our organising topic is the ‘bolting’….
Robertson's earlier work, The New Renaissance projected the likely future impact of computers in changing our culture. Phase Change builds on and deepens his assessment of the role of the computer as a tool driving profound change by examining the role of computers in changing the face of the sciences and mathematics. He shows that paradigm shifts in understanding in science have generally been triggered by the availability of new tools, allowing the investigator a new way of seeing into (...) questions that had not earlier been amenable to scientific probing. (shrink)
'When Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from troubled dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a monstrous insect ...' So begins Franz Kafka's most famous story Metamorphosis. -/- Franz Kafka (1883-1924) is among the most intriguing and influential writers of the twentieth century. During his lifetime he worked as a civil servant and published only a handful of short stories, the best known being The Transformation. All three of his novels, The Trial, The Castle, and The Man Who (...) Disappeared [America], were published after his death and helped to found Kafka's reputation as a uniquely perceptive interpreter of the twentieth century. -/- Kafka's fiction vividly evokes bizarre situations: a commercial traveller is turned into an insect, a banker is arrested by a mysterious court, a fasting artist starves to death in the name of art, a singing mouse becomes the heroine of her nation. Attending both to Kafka's crisis-ridden life and to the subtleties of his art, Ritchie Robertson shows how his work explores such characteristically modern themes as the place of the body in culture, the power of institutions over people, and the possibility of religion after Nietzsche had proclaimed 'the death of God'. The result is an up-to-date and accessible portrait of a fascinating author which shows us ways to read and make sense of his perplexing and absorbing work. (shrink)
: Embryonic stem cells, which have the potential to save many lives, must be recovered from aborted fetuses or live embryos. Although tissue from aborted fetuses can be used without moral complicity in the underlying abortion, obtaining stem cells from embryos necessarily kills them, thus raising difficult questions about the use of embryonic human material to save others. This article draws on previous controversies over embryo research and distinctions between intrinsic and symbolic moral status to analyze these issues. It argues (...) that stem cell research with spare embryos produced during infertility treatment, or even embryos created specifically for research or therapeutic purposes, is ethically acceptable and should receive federal funding. (shrink)
The distinction between essential versus accidental properties has been characterized in various ways, but it is currently most commonly understood in modal terms along these lines: an essential property of an object is a property that it must have while an accidental property of an object is one that it happens to have but that it could lack. Let's call this the basic modal characterization where a modal understanding of a notion is one that explains the notion in terms of (...) necessity/possibility. In the characterization just given of the distinction between essential and accidental properties of an object, the use of the word “must” reflects the fact that necessity is invoked in the elucidation, while the use of the word “could” reflects that possibility is invoked. The notions of necessity and possibility are interdefinable: to say that something is necessary is to say that its negation is not possible; to say that something is possible is to say that its negation is not necessary; to say that an object must have a certain property is to say that it could not lack it; and to say that an object could have a certain property is to say that it is not the case that it must lack it. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationship between national culture and ethical decision making. Established theories of ethics and moral development are reviewed and a culture-based model of ethical decision making in organizations is derived. Although the body of knowledge in both cross-cultural management and ethics is well documented, researchers have failed to integrate the influence of cultural values into the ethical decision-making paradigm. A conceptual understanding of how managers from different nations make decisions about highly ethical (...) issues will provide business ethics researchers with a sound theoretical foundation upon which future empirical inquiry can be based. (shrink)
This study examines corporate publications of U.K. firms to investigate the nature of corporate social responsibility disclosure. Using a stakeholder approach to corporate social responsibility, our results suggest a hierarchical model of disclosure: from general rhetoric to specific endeavors to implementation and monitoring. Industry differences in attention to specific stakeholder groups are noted. These differences suggest the need to understand the effects on social responsibility disclosure of factors in a firm's immediate operating environment, such as the extent of government regulation (...) and level of competitiveness in the industry. (shrink)
In this paper, I examine the case that has been made for origin essentialism and find it wanting. I focus on the arguments of Nathan Salmon and Graeme Forbes. Like most origin essentialists, Salmon and Forbes have been concerned to respect the intuition that slight variation in the origin of an artifact or organism is possible. But, I argue, both of their arguments fail to respect this intuition. Salmon's argument depends on a sufficiency principle for cross-world identity, which should be (...) rejected, if - as Salmon concedes - a given artifact might have been originally made from slightly different material. Similarly, Forbes's argument succeeds only if essentially the same argument can be used to establish a claim that - by his own admission - is too strong, namely that no variation, however slight, in an organism's origin is possible. (shrink)
Abstract The focal objection of Nietzsche?s critique of morality is that morality is disvaluable because antagonistic to the highest forms of human excellence. Recent advances in Nietzsche commentary have done much to unpack this objection ? an objection which, at first blush, shares certain affinities with worries developed by a number of more recent morality critics. Some, though, have sought to disassociate Nietzsche from these more recent critics, claiming that his critique is directed mainly against moralized culture and that it (...) cannot be successfully reapplied to moral theory. The aim of this paper is to show that there is a viable Nietzschean objection to obligation-centred moral theory ? and, in particular, to those undermanding versions that resist the more recent morality critics? worries. The paper develops two sets of arguments, according to which (respectively) complying with an undemanding moral theory is both inimical to and incompatible with realizing Nietzschean excellence. Thus, even undemanding moral theories generate the effects to which Nietzsche objects. (shrink)
A common view of the relation between oughts and reasons is that you ought to do something if and only if that is what you have most reason to do. One challenge to this comes from what Jonathan Dancy calls ‘enticing reasons.’ Dancy argues that enticing reasons never contribute to oughts and that it is false that if the only reasons in play are enticing reasons then you ought to do what you have most reason to do. After explaining how (...) enticing reasons supposedly work and why accepting them may appear attractive, I firstly show why we are not committed to accepting them into our conceptual framework and then argue that no reasons work in the way enticing reasons are claimed to. Thus we should reject the category of enticing reasons entirely. (shrink)
We contribute to the study of offshoring and outsourcing by examining how stakeholders' ethical evaluations of these decisions are influenced by both their roles and the issues embedded within the decisions. Although offshoring and outsourcing have been studied from a transactional perspective, the moral issues embedded within these decisions can profoundly affect how the organization is perceived by outside stakeholders. First, we contend that investors use different moral paradigms compared with consumer stakeholders, as a result the stakeholder role an individual (...) occupies significantly influences their ethical evaluation of offshoring and outsourcing decisions. Next, we examine whether embedded issues of product quality and information security increase the moral intensity of offshoring and outsourcing decisions, thereby negatively influencing ethical evaluations. Using vignettes, we find that respondents viewed either offshoring or outsourcing less favorably than relocation. Surprisingly, respondents viewed offshoring with data security risks more negatively than offshore outsourcing with quality risks, suggesting that the issue of information security has a greater moral intensity than the issue of product or service quality for both consumer and investor stakeholders. Thus, we show that that embedded issues play a significant role in stakeholders' ethical judgments of business decisions, such as offshoring and outsourcing. (shrink)
Plato's dialogues show discourse strategies beyond purely intellectual methods of persuasion. The usual assumption is that linguistic understanding depends on a match of inner experiences. This is partly explained by an underlying engagement with the historical Gorgias on discourse and psychology, as well as Parmenides on philosophical logos. In the "Gorgias" and the "Symposium," speakers cannot understand alien experiences by philosophical conversation alone. There is no developed alternative model of understanding in the Platonic dialogues. The difficulties in bringing 'philistine souls' (...) into Socratic alignment are the result of possessing an inferior soul, suffering misdirected passions, or missing the philosophy bug. (shrink)
Despite the recent emergence of many new ethical decision making models, there has been minimal emphasis placed on the impact of escalating commitment on the ethical decision making process. In this paper a new variable is introduced into the ethical decision making literature. This variable, exposure to escalation situations, is posited to increase the likelihood that individuals will choose unethical decision alternatives. Further, it is proposed that escalation situations should be included as a variable in Jones's (1991) comprehensive model of (...) ethical decision making. Finally, research propositions are provided based on the relationship between escalating commitment and the ethical decision making process. (shrink)
Safe and effective methods of preconception gender selection through flow cytometric separation of X- and Y-bearing sperm could greatly increase the use of gender selection by couples contemplating reproduction. Such a development raises ethical, legal, and social issues about the impact of such practices on offspring, on sex ratio imbalances, and on sexism and the status of women. This paper analyzes the competing interests in preconception gender selection, and concludes that its use to increase gender variety in a family, and (...) possibly for selecting the gender of firstborn, might in many instances be ethically acceptable. (shrink)
This overview of 10 years of stem cell controversy reviews the moral conflict that has made ESCs so controversial and how this conflict plays itself out in the legal realm, focusing on the constitutional status of efforts to ban ESC research or ESC-derived therapies. It provides a history of the federal funding debate from the Carter to the Obama administrations, and the importance of the Raab memo in authorizing federal funding for research with privately derived ESCs despite the Dickey-Wicker ban (...) on federal funding of embryo research. It also reviews the role that scientists themselves have played in developing regulations for ESC research, the emergence of ESCROs as special review bodies for ESC research, and the thorough consent requirements for donation of IVF embryos to ESC research. With research now transitioning from the lab to the clinic, the article reviews the challenges of ensuring safety and consent in translational research. It concludes with a call for respecting those persons who have to using or working with ESC products and an account of how obtaining stem cells from a person's own cells will alleviate some but not all of the controversy surrounding ESC research. (shrink)
Abstract David Sobel (2001) objects to Bernard Williams's internalism, the view that an agent has a reason to perform an action only if she has some motive that will be served by performing that action. Sobel is an unusual challenger in that he endorses neo-Humean subjectivism, ?the view that it is the agent's subjective motivational set that makes it the case that an agent does or does not have a reason to φ? (219). Sobel's objection in fact arises from this (...) very commitment. Internalism, he says, is incompatible with the best subjectivist accounts of reasons for action?accounts that suggest that there are what he calls fragile reasons and perhaps also superfragile ones, both of which allegedly provide for counterexamples to internalism. I argue that such reasons do not in fact threaten internalism. I then briefly explore whether internalism is vulnerable to a related charge?that it commits the conditional fallacy. (shrink)
From a corporate governance perspective, one of the most important jobs of a firm's top management team is to create and maintain a positive moral environment. Business ethics has long been considered a cornerstone in the field of strategic management and a number of scholars have called for more research in this area over the years. In this paper 658 articles that appeared in "Strategic Management Journal" over the 10-year period between 1996 and 2005 are reviewed for business ethics focus (...) and content. The results reveal that while business ethics research in "Strategic Management Journal" is on the rise, the overall focus on this research stream has been limited. The most prominent ethics theme during the review period was environmentalism, accounting for 30% of all ethics articles. Author affiliations, future research directions, and implications are also discussed. (shrink)
In the fourth-century Greek theologian Basil of Caesarea is found a discussion of the signification of proper names, which appears to pick up some points from earlier ideas about language. He undertakes an analysis of proper names in response to his theological opponents. I will argue that Basil presents a theory which in some respects anticipates modern description theories. Basil has an idea of the role of cognition in a theory of naming. (edited).
A New Route to the Necessity of Origin’, Guy Rohrbaugh and Louis deRossett argue for the Necessity of Origin in a way that they believe avoids use of any kind of transworld constitutional sufficiency principle. In this discussion, we respond that either their arguments do imply a sufficiency principle, or else they entirely fail to establish the Necessity of Origin.
This paper responds to Susan Hurley’s attempt to undermine the adequacy of the distinction at the heart of the internalism–externalism debate about reasons for action. The paper shows that Hurley’s argument fails and then, more positively, indicates a neat way to characterize the distinction.
This paper clarifies how to be an error theorist about morality. It takes as its starting point John Mackie’s error theory of the categoricity of moral obligation, defending Mackie against objections from both naturalist moral realists and minimalists about moral discourse. However, drawing upon minimalist insights, it argues that Mackie’s focus on the ontological status of moral values is misplaced, and that the underlying dispute between error theorist and moralist is better conducted at the level of practical reason.
Illegally downloading music through peer-topeer networks has persisted in spite of legal action to deter the behavior. This study examines the individual characteristics of downloaders which could explain why they are not dissuaded by messages that downloading is illegal. We compared downloaders to non-downloaders and examined whether downloaders were characterized by less ethical concern, engagement in illegal behavior, and a propensity toward stealing a CD from a music store under varying levels of risk. We also examined whether downloading or individual (...) characteristics of downloaders were similar for men and women. Findings revealed downloading was prevalent (74.5% of the student sample downloaded), men and women were equally likely to download and the factors characterizing downloading were similar for men and women. The comparison between downloaders and nondownloaders revealed downloaders were less concerned with the law, demonstrated by less ethical concern and engagement in other illegal behaviors. Downloaders were also more likely to indicate that they would steal a CD when there was no risk of being caught. Given these results, messages regarding illegality are unlikely to perturb downloaders and alternative recommendations are offered for targeting illegal downloading. (shrink)
We explore two dimensions of situational factors expected to influence decision-making about ethical issues among sales representatives – universal vs. particular and direct vs. indirect. We argue that these distinctions are important theoretically, methodologically, and managerially. We test our hypotheses by means of a survey of 252 sales representatives. Our results confirm that considering universal and particular and direct and indirect situational factors contributes to our understanding of decision-making about ethical issues within a sales context, specifically willingness to engage in (...) an unethical act. We also find that personal factors act independently and interact with situational factors in decision-making about ethical issues. Both demographic factors, age and gender, and personality factors, Machiavellianism and self-monitoring, have main effects on decision-making, and some of these factors interact with situational factors to affect decision-making. For example, age of the decision-maker (younger) and size of commission (larger) interact such that the likelihood of choosing an unethical alternative is greater. (shrink)
Abstract A significant portion of recent literature on Nietzsche is devoted to his metaethical views, both critical and positive. This article explores one aspect of his positive metaethics. The specific thesis defended is that Nietzsche is, or is plausibly cast as, a reasons internalist. This, very roughly, is the view that what an agent has normative reason to do depends on that agent's motivational repertoire. Section I sketches some of the metaethical terrain most relevant to Nietzsche's organising ethical project, his (...) ?revaluation of all values?, and lays out three ?design-requirements? that an adequate account of Nietzsche's metaethical views must satisfy. Section II introduces the basic internalist position. Sections III?IV provide textual support for the internalist reading of Nietzsche, with Section V showing how it meets each of the design-requirements. Section VI concludes by showing how the internalist apparatus also illuminates Nietzsche's views about the process of revaluing values. (shrink)
Neuroethics is a relatively novel field of investigation. Applied to mental health practice and research, neuroethics would seem to enlighten many traditional ethical connundra. This editorial introduces this symposium on neuroethics in the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry.
The U.S. and U.K. models of corporate social responsibility (CSR) are relatively well defined. As the phenomenon of CSR establishes itself more globally, the question arises as to the nature of CSR in other countries. Is a universal model of CSR applicable across countries or is CSR specific to country context? This article uses integrative social contracts theory (ISCT) and four institutional factors – firm ownership structure, corporate governance, openness of the economy to international investment, and the role of civil (...) society – to examine CSR in Singapore, Turkey, and Ethiopia. Field research results illustrate variation across the institutional factors and suggest that CSR is responsive to country differences. Research findings have implications for consideration of the tradeoff between global and local CSR priorities and practices. (shrink)
In this paper, we present an ethical and strategic approach to managing organizational crises. The proposed crisis management model (1) offers a new approach to guide an organization’s strategic and ethical response to crisis, and (2) provides a two-by-two framework for classifying organizational crises. The ethically rational approach to crisis draws upon strategic rationality, crisis, and ethics literature to understand and address organizational crises. Recent examples of corporate crises are employed to illustrate the theoretical claims advanced. Finally, the paper provides (...) guidelines for a morally optimal outcome for the organization and its stakeholders. (shrink)
Human intentional communication is marked by its flexibility and context sensitivity. Hypothesized brain mechanisms can provide convincing and complete explanations of the human capacity for intentional communication only insofar as they can match the computational power required for displaying that capacity. It is thus of importance for cognitive neuroscience to know how computationally complex intentional communication actually is. Though the subject of considerable debate, the computational complexity of communication remains so far unknown. In this paper we defend the position that (...) the computational complexity of communication is not a constant, as some views of communication seem to hold, but rather a function of situational factors. We present a methodology for studying and characterizing the computational complexity of communication under different situational constraints. We illustrate our methodology for a model of the problems solved by receivers and senders during a communicative exchange. This approach opens the way to a principled identification of putative model parameters that control cognitive processes supporting intentional communication. (shrink)
Recent financial fraud legislation such as the Dodd–Frank Act and the Sarbanes–Oxley Act (U.S. House of Representatives, Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, [H.R. 4173], 2010 ; U.S. House of Representatives, The Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002, Public Law 107-204 [H.R. 3763], 2002 ) relies heavily on whistleblowers for enforcement, and offers protection and incentives for whistleblowers. However, little is known about many aspects of the whistleblowing decision, especially the effects of contextual and wrongdoing attributes on organizational (...) members’ willingness to report fraud. We extend the ethics literature by experimentally investigating how the nature of the wrongdoing and the awareness of those surrounding the whistleblower can influence whistleblowing. As predicted, we find that employees are less likely to report: (1) financial statement fraud than theft; (2) immaterial than material financial statement fraud; (3) when the wrongdoer is aware that the potential whistleblower has knowledge of the fraud; and (4) when others in addition to the wrongdoer are not aware of the fraud. Our findings extend whistleblowing research in several ways. For instance, prior research provides little evidence concerning the effects of fraud type, wrongdoer awareness, and others’ awareness on whistleblowing intentions. We also provide evidence that whistleblowing settings represent an exception to the well-accepted theory of diffusion of responsibility. Our participants are professionals who represent the likely pool of potential whistleblowers in organizations. (shrink)
Aircraft with increasingly high performance were important to the war effort in World War II. Changes in technology allowed aircraft to reach faster speeds and to complete missions at higher altitudes. With these changes came new obstacles for pilots who had to tolerate these stresses. Of primary concern to the U.S. War Department was the loss of consciousness that often occurred with high-speed maneuvers and especially during pull-up after dive-bombing missions. In some cases, pilots would experience up to 9G of (...) force during rapid ascent, much more than the 6G threshold that typically leads to loss of consciousness. In 1941, a research team in Red Wing, MN, proposed experiments to elucidate the mechanism .. (shrink)
: Pharmacogenetics offers the prospect of an era of safer and more effective drugs, as well as more individualized use of drug therapies. Before the benefits of pharmacogenetics can be realized, the ethical issues that arise in research and clinical application of pharmacogenetic technologies must be addressed. The ethical issues raised by pharmacogenetics can be addressed under six headings: (1) regulatory oversight, (2) confidentiality and privacy, (3) informed consent, (4) availability of drugs, (5) access, and (6) clinicians' changing responsibilities in (...) the era of pharmacogenetic medicine. We analyze each of these categories of ethical issues and provide policy approaches for addressing them. (shrink)
In this paper we examine a recent version of an old controversy within climbing ethics. Our organising topic is the ‘bolting’ of climbing routes, in particular the increasing bolting of routes in those wilderness areas climbing traditionalists have customarily believed should remain bolt-free. The issues this raises extend beyond the ethical, however, encompassing a wider normative field that concerns individual ideals, the values and goals of different climbing practices and communities, as well as various aesthetic and environmental matters. This makes (...) any assessment of the acceptability of bolting a complex affair, requiring not only the identification of relevant considerations and arguments but also some way to evaluate their comparative significance. (shrink)