Some of Quine’s critics charge that he arrives at a behavioristic account of linguistic meaning by starting from inappropriately behavioristic assumptions (Kripke 1982, 14; Searle 1987, 123). Quine has even written that this account of linguistic meaning is a consequence of his behaviorism (Quine 1992, 37). I take it that the above charges amount to the assertion that Quine assumes the denial of one or more of the following claims: (1) Language-users associate mental ideas with their linguistic expressions. (2) A (...) language-user can have a private theory of linguistic meaning which guides his or her use of language. (3) Language learning relies on innate mechanisms. Call an antecedent denial of one or more of these claims illicit behaviorism. In this paper I show that Quine is prepared to grant, if only for the sake of argument, all three of the above claims. I argue that his claim that there is nothing in linguistic meaning beyond what is to be gleaned from overt behavior in observable circumstances is unscathed by these allowances (Quine 1992, 38). And I show that the behaviorism which Quine does assume should be viewed as a largely uncontroversial aspect of his evidential empiricism. I conclude that if one sets out to dismiss Quine’s arguments for internal-meaning skepticism, this dismissal should not be motivated by the charge that his conclusions rely on the illicitly behavioristic assumptions that some have suggested that they do. (shrink)
Fisher, David We are given many 'eternal truths' and verities we are expected to accept. We can and should question all of them. Whether or not a person is a religious believer, she or he tends to equate having a religious back-ground with being a good person. One of the phrases we generally accept is the trio of virtues - faith, hope and charity.
Filling a gap in scholarship on 19th- and 20th-century religious thought, this book discusses the philosophy and theology of the influential Marburg School in Germany before 1914, focusing on the writings of Hermann Cohen, its leader, and on the Ritschlian theologian Wilhelm Herrmann, Karl Barth's teacher. In addition, Fisher examines Barth's earliest writings and clarifies the little-known liberal phase of Barth's theology.
With the ending of the strategic certainties of the Cold War, the need for moral clarity over when, where and how to start, conduct and conclude war has never been greater. There has been a recent revival of interest in the just war tradition. But can a medieval theory help us answer twenty-first century security concerns? -/- David Fisher explores how just war thinking can and should be developed to provide such guidance. His in-depth study examines philosophical challenges to (...) just war thinking, including those posed by moral scepticism and relativism. It explores the nature and grounds of moral reasoning; the relation between public and private morality; and how just war teaching needs to be refashioned to provide practical guidance not just to politicians and generals but to ordinary service people. -/- The complexity and difficulty of moral decision-making requires a new ethical approach - here characterised as virtuous consequentialism - that recognises the importance of both the internal quality and external effects of agency; and of the moral principles and virtues needed to enact them. Having reinforced the key tenets of just war thinking, Fisher uses these to address contemporary security issues, including the changing nature of war, military pre-emption and torture, the morality of the Iraq war, and humanitarian intervention. He concludes that the just war tradition provides not only a robust but an indispensable guide to resolve the security challenges of the twenty-first century. (shrink)
Mental internalists hold that an individuals mental features at a given time supervene upon what is in that individuals head at that time. While many people reject mental internalism about content and justification, mental internalism is commonly accepted regarding such other mental features as rationality, emotion-types, propositional-attitude-types, moral character, and phenomenology. I construct a counter-example to mental internalism regarding all these features. My counter-example involves two creatures: a human and an alien from Pulse World. These creatures environments, behavioral dispositions and (...) histories are such that it is intuitively clear that they are mentally quite different, even while they are, for a moment, exactly alike with respect to whats in their heads. I offer positive reasons for thinking that the case I describe is indeed possible. I then consider ways in which mental internalists might attempt to account for this case, but conclude that the only plausible option is to reject mental internalism and to adopt a particular externalist alternative a history-oriented version of teleo-functionalism. (shrink)
In Finite and Infinite Goods, Robert Adams defends his metaphysical account that good is resemblance to God via an ‘open-question’ intuition. It is, however, unclear what this intuition amounts to. I give two possible readings: one based on the semantic framework Adams employs, and another based on Adams's account of humankind's epistemological limitations. I argue that neither of these readings achieves Adams's advertised aim.
This paper contributes to an ongoing debate regarding the cognitive processes involved when one person predicts a target person's behavior and/or attributes a mental state to that target person. According to simulation theory, a person typically performs these tasks by employing some part of her brain as a simulation of what is going on in a corresponding part of the brain of the target person. I propose a general intuitive analysis of what 'simulation' means. Simulation is a particular way of (...) using one process to acquire knowledge about another process. What distinguishes simulation from other ways of acquiring knowledge is that simulation requires, for its non-accidental success, that the simulating process reflect significant aspects of the simulated process. This conceptual work is of independent philosophical interest, but it also enables me to argue for two conclusions that are of great significance to the debate about mental simulation theory. First, I argue that, in order to stake a non-trivial claim, simulation theory must hold that mental simulation involves what I call concretely similar processes. Second, I argue for the surprising conclusion that a significant class of cases that simulation theorists have claimed as intuitive cases of simulation do not actually involve simulation, after all. I close by sketching an alternative account that might handle these problematic cases. (shrink)
Wittgenstein at Work: Method in the Philosophical Investigations explores the least well-understood aspect of Wittgenstein's later work: his aims and methods. Specially-commissioned papers by twelve of the world's leading Wittgenstein scholars analyze the way he approached key topics such as rule-following and private language, and examine his remarks on clarification, nonsense and other central notions of his methodology. Many contributors touch on the therapeutic aspects Wittgenstein's approach, the focus of much current debate. Wittgenstein at Work provides both students and specialist (...) with a much-needed methodological companion to one of the greatest philosophical works of the twentieth century. (shrink)
This paper defends Pragmatic Conceptual Analysis , a proposed empirical methodology for explicating philosophical concepts. This methodology attributes to our shared concepts whatever application conditions they would need to have in order best to continue delivering benefits in the ways they have regularly delivered benefits in the past. In the first stage of my argument I argue that Pragmatic Conceptual Analysis has what I call normative authority : we have practical and epistemic reason to adopt the explications that it delivers (...) even if we think doing so requires stipulative revisions in the meanings of our concepts. I then use this normative authority to argue that Pragmatic Conceptual Analysis also has what I call descriptive authority : when we understand concept-meaning in the way we ought to understand it (in the way licensed by the normative authority of Pragmatic Conceptual Analysis) we see that, rather than being revisionary, Pragmatic Conceptual Analysis is a semantically conservative tool that uncovers (what we should think of as being) the meanings our concepts already have. (shrink)
A number of authors have suggested that a conditional analysis of dispositions must take roughly the following form: Thing X is disposed to produce response R to stimulus S just in case, if X were exposed to S and surrounding circumstances were auspicious, then X would produce R. The great challenge is cashing out the relevant notion of ‘auspicious circumstances’. I give a general argument which entails that all existing conditional analyses fail, and that there is no satisfactory way to (...) define ‘auspicious circumstances’ just in terms of S, R, and X. Instead, I argue that the auspicious circumstances C for the manifestation of a disposition constitute a third irreducible element of that disposition, and that to pick out (or to ‘individuate’) that disposition one must specify C along with S and R. This enables a new conditional analysis of dispositions that gives intuitively satisfying answers in cases that pose problems for other approaches. (shrink)
One unresolved dispute within Heidegger scholarship concerns the question of whether Dasein should be conceived in terms of narrative self-constitution. A survey of the current literature suggests two standard responses. The first correlates Heidegger’s talk of authentic historicality with that of self-authorship. To the alternative perspective, however, Heidegger’s talk of Dasein’s existentiality, with its emphasis on nullity and unattainability, is taken as evidence that Dasein is structurally and ontologically incapable of being completed via any life-project. Narrativity imports into Being and (...) Time commitments concerning temporality, selfhood, and ethics, which Heidegger rejects. Although both positions find good exegetic support for their conclusions, they can’t both be right. In this article, I navigate a path between these two irreconcilable positions by applying insights derived from recent debates within Anglo-American literature on personal identity. I develop an alternative thesis to Narrativism, without rejecting it outright, by arguing that Dasein can be analysed in terms of what I call narratability conditions. These allow us to make sense of the prima facie paradoxical notion of historicality without narrativity. Indeed, rather than reconciling the two standard positions, I hold that the tension between them says something important about Dasein’s kind of existence. Thus I conclude that while the narrativist question Who ought I to be? is perfectly legitimate within limits, what the existential analysis of the limits on narratability reveals is that no answer to this question can ever be definitive. (shrink)
This paper considers three package deals combining views in Philosophy of Mind, Meta-Philosophy, and Experimental Philosophy. The most familiar of these packages gives center-stage to pumping intuitions about fanciful cases, but that package involves problematic commitments both to a controversial descriptivist theory of reference and to intuitions that ‘negative’ experimental philosophers have shown to be suspiciously variable and context-sensitive. In light of these difficulties, it would be good for future-minded experimental philosophers to align themselves with a different package deal. This (...) paper suggests two alternatives. Experimentalists might help fans of “Naturalized” approaches discover what natural kinds have been playing an appropriate role in causing us to use concepts as we do. Or—better still—experimentalists might instead help pragmatists and teleo-semanticists discover how our concept usage regularly yields beneficial outcomes, so that we can then craft philosophical analyses that will enable us to yield such beneficial outcomes more consistently. Using free will and explanation as instructive examples, this paper offers concrete guidance and suggestions for how experimental philosophers can pursue new positive projects that will be both pragmatically and philosophically useful. (shrink)
Although therapist sexual attraction to clients is common, and therapist self-disclosure is an often-used intervention, therapist self-disclosure of sexual feelings to clients is an understudied phenomenon. In this article, I critically review the small base of literature on therapist self-disclosure of sexual feelings, including information on prevalence rates, empirical research, and case studies. By incorporating these findings with information from relevant sections of the American Psychological Association (2002) Ethics Code, my intent is to evaluate different aspects of therapist self-disclosure of (...) sexual feelings and arrive at conclusions regarding therapists' use of these disclosures. It appears that direct, explicit disclosures of sexual feelings can run the risk of harming clients and may therefore be unethical. Therefore, the use of this technique is discouraged. I discuss the issue of using less explicit interventions. (shrink)
Wittgenstein's private language argument is interpreted as an example of a kind of transcendental argument which, if valid, explains why a certain concept must possess certain features. Cognition and affect are shown to require each other by an application of Bennett's account of what beings capable of true cognition must be capable of, and the necessity of certain emotions to the existence of any rules in a community is argued in similar fashion. Hume's account of love and admiration being rejected, (...) an account of love, intended to explain some of love's familiar features, is defended, and various proposed additions to the analysis are rejected. The idea of love is linked to those of value, agency, and the transcendental self by argument showing that each of these ideas requires all of the others. Finally, the idea of love is linked by a direct argument to that of the transcendental self. (shrink)
Abstract: For William Blattner, Heidegger's phenomenology fails to demonstrate how a nonsuccessive temporal manifold can ‘generate’ the appropriate sequence of world-time Nows. Without this he cannot explain the ‘derivative’ status of ordinary time. In this article I show that it is only Blattner's reconstruction that makes failure inevitable. Specifically, Blattner is wrong in the way he sets out the explanatory burden, arguing that the structure of world-time must meet the traditional requirements of ordinary time logic if the derivation is to (...) succeed. He takes this to mean: mundane ‘tasks’, the contents of world-time nows, must form a transitive series, importing back into world-time the very structure that Heidegger says is derived by its levelling-off. I argue, instead, that world-time nows, seen at the level of lived content, can be quite ‘irrational’ but this is perfectly consistent with the generative thesis. Adapting Blattner's useful suggestion that temporality is sequence building or ‘iterative’ I show that iteration does not manifest itself at the level of tasks but at the ‘existential’ level of my involvement in a task. Depriving that involvement of its expressive content is what accounts for the levelling-off of the world-time now and thus the derivation of the ordinary concept of time. (shrink)
The contributions of adolescent and parent perspectives to ethical planning of survey research on youth drug use and suicide behaviors are highlighted through an empirical examination of 322 7th-12th graders' and 160 parents' opinions on questions related to 4 ethical dimensions of survey research practice: (a)evaluating research risks and benefits, (b)establishing guardian permission requirements, (c)developing confidentiality and disclosure policies, and (d)using cash incentives for recruitment. Generational and ethnic variation in response to questionnaire items developed from discussions within adolescent and parent (...) focus groups are described. The article concludes with a discussion of the potential contributions and challenges of adolescent and parent perspectives for planning scientifically valid and ethically responsible youth risk survey research. (shrink)
This new and expanded edition of The Logic of Real Arguments explains a distinctive method for analysing and evaluating arguments. It discusses many examples, ranging from newspaper articles to extracts from classic texts, and from easy passages to much more difficult ones. It shows students how to use the question 'What argument or evidence would justify me in believing P?', and also how to deal with suppositional arguments beginning with the phrase 'Suppose that X were the case.' It aims to (...) help students to think critically about the kind of sustained, theoretical arguments which they commonly encounter in the course of their studies, including arguments about the natural world, about society, about policy, and about philosophy. It will be valuable for students and their teachers in a wide range of disciplines including philosophy, law and the social sciences. (shrink)
Religion, defined as ‘the idea of a state that transcends ourselves and our world and the working out of the consequences of that idea’, may influence the ethical thinking of scientists and engineers in two ways. The first is at the level of the individual and how personal beliefs affect the choice of research, design or development projects, relationships with other researchers and the understandings of the consequences of research on other aspects of life. The second level is that of (...) the social and cultural setting in which scientists and engineers work; how society decides which research to sponsor, how to apply the results of scientific discovery and which technology it chooses to develop and for what purposes. In neither of these areas is religious belief a necessary condition for scientists and engineers to pursue one course of action rather than another. The existence of religious belief within the individual and society is, though, part of the ethical framework in which scientist and engineers work and therefore something to which attention should be paid. Religion provides a particular perspective on what should be. Conversely science and technology provide information on the nature of the person and the universe in which we live, which must be taken into account when theologians and religious moralists apply their ethical norms and principles. (shrink)
The notion of agency has been explored within research in moral psychology and, quite separately, within research in linguistics. Moral psychologists have suggested that agency attributions play a role in moral judgments, while linguists have argued that agency attributions play a role in syntactic intuitions. -/- To explore the connection between these two lines of research, we report the results of an experiment in which we manipulate syntactic cues for agency and show a corresponding impact on moral judgments. This result (...) suggests that the two effects observed previously — in morality and in syntax — might each be a reflection of a more general capacity to understand event structure. (shrink)
Despite growing interest in examining the role of religion in business ethics, there is little consensus concerning the basis or standards of “good” or ethical behavior and the reasons behind them. This limits our ability to enhance ethical behavior in the workplace. We address this issue by examining worldviews as it relates to ethics research and practice. Our worldview forms the context within which we organize and build our understanding of reality. Given that much of our academic work as well (...) as business practice operate from a modern worldview, we examine how modernism shapes our beliefs and approaches to ethics in business and academia. We identify important limitations of modernism in addressing moral issues and religion. We then introduce the Christian worldview as an alternative approach to examining ethical issues in business. (shrink)
This commentary draws on the thoughtful contemplation and innovative procedures described in the special section articles as well as current professional codes and federal regulations to highlight ethical practices and paradoxes of deception research involving children. The discussion is organized around 4 key decision points for the conduct of responsible deception research involving children: (a) evaluating the scientific validity and social value of deception research within the context of alternative methodologies, (b) avoiding and minimizing experimental risk, (c) the use of (...) child assent procedures as questionable ethical safeguards, and (d) debriefing as both remedy and risk. (shrink)
A feminist phenomenological analysis of voice, rooted in both the feminist understanding of the role of voice in identity, agency, and the creation of meaning, and the phenomenological thematization and theorization of phenomenal, lived experience, leads to a deeper understanding of the importance of the materiality of the voices with which we speak, and their role in both subjective and intersubjective experience. Starting from an analysis of the intertwined associations and imageries of the feminine, voice, and embodiment, I discuss the (...) denaturalization and abstraction of voice in standard narratives of voice and voice metaphorization, and the corresponding forgetting of the living, bodily voice. In looking to recall a re-naturalized and immanent corporeality and retrieve the material voice through an account of embodied vocality, I consider examples of the power and immediacy of the corporeal voice in the female operatic voice, and in contrast, the compromised agency and attenuated (inter)subjectivity which attends the impaired or lost physical voice. These vocal counterpoints of presence and absence are often separated by corporeal disturbance or limitation, underscoring the importance of corporeality and the material voice as intermediary between the individual and the social world. This sets the contours of a phenomenology of embodied voice and vocality, holding implications for accounts of identity and intersubjectivity, gendered vocality and expressive agency, and an intercorporeality mediated by the living material voice. (shrink)
Many employees with strong religious convictions find themselves living in two separate worlds: the sacred private world of family and church where they can express their faith freely and the secular public world where religious expression is strongly discouraged. We examine the origins of sacred/secular divide, and show how this division is an outcome of modernism replacing Christianity as the dominant worldview in western society. Next, we make the case that guiding assumptions (or faith) is inherent in every worldview, system (...) of thought, or religion and also show that scientific reason can never be a comprehensive or totalizing meaning system, particularly in the realm of ethics. The underlying assumptions of the sacred/secular divide are seriously questioned which has implications for employees who desire to integrate faith and career. Finally, we offer possibilities for individuals and corporate entities to integrate the personal and sacred with the institutional and secular. (shrink)
The paper uses the example of the failure of bankers and financial managers to understand the risks of dealing in structured financial products, before the financial collapse, to investigate how people respond to crises. It focuses on whether crises cause people to challenge their habitual frames by the application of moral imagination. It is proposed that the structure of financial products and their markets triggered the use of heuristics that contributed to the underestimation of risks. It is further proposed that (...) such framing heuristics are highly specialised to specific contexts and are part of a wider set of heuristics that people carry in their cognitive ‘adaptive toolboxes’. Consequently, it is argued, when a crisis occurs, the heuristics are not challenged, but are simply put away, and other more appropriate heuristics are put to use until a sense of normality returns, and the use of the old heuristics is resumed. (shrink)
The goal of this paper is to answer the following question: When we have mental states that represent certain things as being colored, what properties are our mental states representing these things as having?
I develop and defend a version of what I call Disposition-Based Decision Theory (or DBDT). I point out important problems in David Gauthier’s (1985, 1986) formulation of DBDT, and carefully develop a more defensible formulation. I then compare my version of DBDT to the currently most widely accepted decision theory, Causal Decision Theory (CDT). Traditional intuition-based arguments fail to give us any strong reason to prefer either theory over the other, but I propose an alternative strategy for resolving this debate. (...) I argue that we should embrace DBDT because it does better than CDT at the work that we, as a matter of empirical fact, commonly call upon a notion of rationality to do. (shrink)
I consider the question of whether success-linked theories of content – theories like those of Ramsey (1927), Millikan (1984) and Blackburn (2005) which take there to be a definitional link between representational content and behavioral success – are consistent with the plausible claim that we can use content-attributions to explain behavioral success. Peter Godfrey-Smith (1996) argues that success-linked theories of content are too closely linked to success to be able to explain it. Against this, I present a plausible account of (...) how content-attributions make available good explanations of behavioral success, and argue that if we want our content-attributions to be able to do this explanatory work, then we actually need to embrace a success-linked theory of content. (shrink)
As we settle further into the era of digital media and globalized visual culture, it might be tempting to think that photography holds no more than historical interest. Yet it continues to feature in debates with considerable significance for the present.1 The terms by which it was negotiated in the twentieth century – the print, the negative and the mechanical-optical apparatus, the affective experience of a moment stilled, and any truth that its rendering promises – have been technically and culturally (...) displaced and expanded. New instabilities have become familiar and have distanced us from how photography was understood, even in the fairly recent past. The current historical conjuncture is marked by a widespread suspicion that existing theories – including those that turned, in the 1970s, to Marxism, feminist critique, semiotics or psychoanalysis so as to politicize and contest mainstream photographic culture – might no longer be adequate to photography’s contemporary situation. That photography still matters, however, can be evidenced, prosaically and contingently, by noting the increasing number of new scholarly journals and exhibitions devoted to its past, present and future in recent years.2 There is, in this – as Fred Ritchin is only the latest to note – a sense that the undoing of photography’s prior certainties constitutes an ending and an enlargement. The fate of photography provides an ‘expansive filter’ through which to chart the ‘chaos of possibilities that emerge and recede, back up and move forward, crisscrossing each other.’3 Expectations of the new and the old, the obsolete and as yet only anticipated, are thrown into temporal disarray as its openness to reformation gives the photographic past a futural slant. (shrink)
The law views with suspicion statistical evidence, even evidence that is probabilistically on a par with direct, individual evidence that the law is in no way suspicious of. But it has proved remarkably hard to either justify this suspicion, or to debunk it. In this paper, we connect the discussion of statistical evidence to broader epistemological discussions of similar phenomena. We highlight Sensitivity – the requirement that a belief be counterfactually sensitive to the truth in a specific way – as (...) a way of epistemically explaining the legal suspicion towards statistical evidence. Still, we do not think of this as a satisfactory vindication of the reluctance to rely on statistical evidence. Knowledge – and Sensitivity, and indeed epistemology in general – are of little, if any, legal value. Instead, we tell an incentive-based story vindicating the suspicion towards statistical evidence. We conclude by showing that the epistemological story and the incentive-based story are closely and interestingly related, and by offering initial thoughts about the role of statistical evidence in morality. (shrink)
In this paper I outline the main features of Karen Bennett’s (Australasian Journal of Philosophy 1–21, 2011) non-classical mereology, and identify its methodological costs. I argue that Bennett’s mereology cannot account for the composition of structural universals because it cannot explain the mereological difference between isomeric universals, such as being butane and being isobutane. I consider responses, which come at costs to the view.
Theophany is an excellent introduction to Dionysius, and to the principles of Neoplatonic thought as developed by Plotinus and Proclus. Graduate students and even advanced undergraduates might profit from it, and those of us who have been working on Dionysius for years certainly will.
Numerous articles in the popular press together with an examination of websites associated with the medical, legal, engineering, financial, and other professions leave no doubt that the role of professions has been impacted by the Internet. While offering the promise of the democratization of expertise – expertise made available to the public at convenient times and locations and at an affordable cost – the Internet is also driving a reexamination of the concept of professional identity and related claims of expertise (...) and standards of integrity. This paper begins with a presentation of case studies illustrating the ease by which impostors infiltrate the ranks of professionals. Reports of individuals masquerading as professionals via the Internet often reveal that these imposters cause harm to the unwary victims who rely on assertions of professional expertise. Such reports motivated the authors to examine the origins and evolution of the traditional roles of professions and professionals in today’s society, as well as question how, or whether, the standards for professional practice have been adapted to the challenges posed by technology, i.e., do statements of professional ethics provide a ‘guiding light’ for practitioners and their clients in the cyber age? The authors challenge the professions to consider the notion that technology forces a confrontation between the guild-like aspects of a profession that have served, on the one hand, to protect a profession from encroachment and, on the other hand, have purportedly protected the public. (shrink)
As children and adolescents receive increased research attention, ethical issues related to obtaining informed consent for pediatric intervention research have come into greater focus. In this article, we conceptualize parent permission and child assent within a goodness-of-fit framework that encourages investigators to create consent procedures “fitted” to the research context, the child's cognitive and emotional maturity, and the family system. Drawing on relevant literature and a hypothetical case example, we highlight four factors investigators may consider when constructing consent procedures that (...) best reflect participants' rights, concerns, and well-being: (a) the child's current assent capacity and the likely impact of study information on the child's mental and physical development, (b) parents' understanding of their child's treatment needs and distinctions between treatment and clinical trials research, (c) the family's history of shared decision making, and (d) the child's strivings for autonomy within the context of their parents' duty to make decisions in the child's best interest. (shrink)
This paper poses questions regarding the ethical prioritisation in qualitative research studies on assessing a person's or a group's fitness to provide informed consent, arguing that this may have unwanted as well as desirable consequences, particularly in relation to rights of citizenship for socially marginalised populations who tend to be labelled vulnerable. Drawing on three theoretical perspectives (Arendt, Honneth and Bourdieu), it is suggested that the emphasis placed on a research participant's capacity to provide informed consent cannot be regarded solely (...) as a protective measure for ?vulnerable? groups, but is also bound up with their social positioning as socially ?deficient? according to liberal (classical and neo-liberal) models of citizenship. Participation in a qualitative study can be seen as a dimension of the civil and human right to freedom of expression, and this can be particularly important for those labelled vulnerable as freedom of expression is a precondition for recognition and parity of status. Nevertheless, the importance of informed consent is not rejected; instead, it is posited that the protective rights accorded to vulnerable groups in qualitative research need to be considered alongside other human goods, such as the promotion of voice, agency and active citizenship. (shrink)
: This paper provides a simultaneously reflexive and analytical framework to think about obstacles to truly informed consent in social science and biomedical research. To do so, it argues that informed consent often goes awry due to procedural misconceptions built into the research context. The concept of procedural misconception is introduced to describe how individuals respond to what is familiar in research settings and overlook what is different. In the context of biomedical research, procedural misconceptions can be seen to function (...) as root causes of therapeutic misconceptions. (shrink)
In the December 2006 edition of Harvard Business Review , Michael Porter and Mark Kramer argue that by approaching corporate social responsibility (CSR) based on corporate priorities, strengths and abilities, firms can develop socially and fiscally responsible solutions to current CSR issues, which will provide operational and competitive advantages. We agree that an effective approach to CSR includes a mapping of strategy, risk and opportunity. However, we also caution that the identification of these to the exclusion of societal input may (...) not be to the corporation's advantage. Instead, an investment in both strategic analysis and social capital can pay off from a social and an organizational standpoint. Compared with their larger counterparts, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) frequently have stronger relationships with their internal and external stakeholders that foster the development of social capital. As such, we believe that the sector offers a unique opportunity to identify additional models and frameworks in order to approach a strategic CSR model as espoused by Porter and Kramer. This paper explores a case study of one Canadian SME that uses a community development framework called Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) for its CSR programming. Because ABCD relies heavily on the development and maintenance of social capital and can be utilized to attain set objectives, we propose that it provides a supplementary framework through which the arguments of Porter and Kramer can be expanded. In applying the ABCD framework for CSR, we can begin to establish a programme that supports strategy, integrates employees and stakeholders towards a common vision, and creates unique and sustainable alternatives towards the resolution of social and corporate goals. (shrink)
Most ethics studies employing accounting subjects have utilized the Defining Issues <span class='Hi'>Test</span> (DIT), generally finding the moral judgment abilities of accounting students and accountants to be less advanced than those of the general population (Ponemon and Gabhart, 1994). This study assesses the validity of the DIT by examining whether an individual can achieve a higher moral judgment score on the DIT by responding from the role of a political liberal. Accounting undergraduates, defining themselves as liberal, moderate or conservative, completed (...) the DIT once from their own perspective and once from either an "extremely conservative" or "extremely liberal" perspective.The results indicate that DIT scores can be influenced by an aspect of political ideology not reflecting maturation in moral judgment. Subjects decreased their moral judgment scores when responding to the DIT dilemmas from a conservative perspective. Contrary to moral development theory, subjects were able to increase their moral judgment scores when responding from the perspective of a political liberal. These results imply that, given the generally conservative political orientation of the profession, the DIT may systematically understate the moral judgment abilities of accounting students and accountants. (shrink)