In this editorial contribution, two issues relevant to the question, what should be at the top of the research agenda for ethics and technology, are identified and discussed. Firstly: can, and do, engineers make a difference to the degree to which technology leads to morally desirable outcomes? What role does professional autonomy play here, and what are its limits? And secondly, what should be the scope of engineers’ responsibility; that is to say, on which issues are they, as engineers, (...) morally obliged to reflect? The research agendas proposed by the authors contributing to this special section, implicitly, give different answers to these questions. We suggest that an explicit discussion of these issues would greatly help in constructing a common research agenda. (shrink)
This essay announces the inauguration of a section ofTheoretical Medicine and invites submissions on the topic Method and Methodology in Medical Ethics. It offers some sketches of plausible meanings of method and of methodology and their relationships as these might apply to work in biomedical ethics. It suggests a broad range of issues, dilemmas or conflicts that may be addressed for help via method and/or methodology.
Dialogue with three major Muslim authors shows that Islam can take a positive stance toward human rights while also presenting differing interpretations of the meaning and scope of rights. Because of their subordination of norms reached through reason to those drawn from faith, as well as negative experiences of the impact of Western colonization of parts of the Muslim world, Abul A‘la Maududi and Sayyid Qutb place significant restrictions on rights of conscience. 'Abdolkarim Soroush's positive support for the role of (...) reason in Islamic faith and his less-negative assessment of the West lead him to more vigorous support for the human rights agenda. This study raises the question of whether the humility needed in comparative ethics and the respect for others at the root of human rights are necessarily linked. (shrink)
Orders for removal under Section 47 of the 1948 National Assistance Act are little discussed. However, they involve severe infringements of the civil liberties of those affected. It is argued that all previously presented justifications for the use of these orders fail. Repeal of the act is called for. The Law Commission has drafted alternative legislation, but this has not been enacted. Until this occurs local authorities, the Faculty of Public Health Medicine and individual public health physicians should refuse (...) to be involved in its use. (shrink)
A recent issue of CambridgeQuarterlyofHealthcareEthics provides a fascinating look into the uncertainties surrounding the subject of human cloning. As Nelkin and Lindee point out, for example, the popular assumption is that this technology will lead to individual immortality. life everlasting for the deserving.considers the use of cloning for the replication of human individuals to be ethically unacceptable.”.
The idea of cloning adult human beings often gives rise to objections involving mad dictators producing copies of themselves, or deranged billionaires who want to live forever. But what about situations where we can more readily understand and accept the reasons for creating a clone? Consider, for instance, the case of parents who have simultaneously lost their newly born child and found out that they cannot have any more children of their own by other known methods. Would it be wrong (...) of them to want a new child, a genetic copy of the lost infant, if the child were healthy and could only be produced by cloning the infant who no longer lives? And would it be wrong of genetic engineers to assist them? (shrink)
Caesarean section (CS) is a method of delivering a baby through a surgical incision into the abdominal wall. Until recently in the UK, it was preserved as a procedure which was only carried out in certain circumstances. These included if the fetus lay in a breech position or was showing signs of distress leading to a requirement for rapid delivery. CS is perceived as a safe method of delivery due to the recommendation by the National Institute for Health and (...) Care Excellence (NICE) in these situations. As a result, the opportunity for maternal request for CS arose, whereby the mother requests the operation despite no medical indication. There are risks associated with CS, as with all surgery, however, these risks in current and future pregnancies may not be fully understood by the mother. The ethics of exposing mothers to these risks, as well as performing surgery on what is otherwise a healthy patient, become entangled with the demand for patient choice, as well as the increasing financial strain on our healthcare system. The main question to be examined in this essay is whether it is ethical to allow women to choose a CS in the absence of obstetric indication, taking into account the increased risk to the mother and her future offspring in order to potentially decrease the risk to the current baby. Alongside a case report, this analysis will apply Beauchamp and Childress’ four principles of biomedical ethics and an exploration of the scientific literature. (shrink)
In the last 30 years, China has experienced an astounding economic development that calls for a differentiated understanding of this complex process of wealth creation. In the first section of this article, I present a new concept of wealth creation that goes beyond making money, maximizing profit and adding value and serves as a framework to address the article's main topic.In the second section, I investigate in what ways and to what extent this new concept might apply to (...) China's economic reform and development, particularly in the 1980s and 1990s. In the third section, I attempt to draw a couple of lessons for development ethics in general. (shrink)
This paper is divided into six parts. The first presents a rudimentary definition of ethics based on Western philosophical theories, particularly their concern for articulating universal moral principles. The second examines the assumptions anchoring Western moral philosophies, and raises the question: are the philosophical presuppositions of modern Western philosophy consistent with the presuppositions of Hinduism? It concludes that the two are not entirely in agreement, particularly on the issue of personal and social identity. The third section locates areas (...) in Hinduism that discursively concur with the concerns of Western ethicists, and explores the limits of the semblance. The fourth identifies problematic areas, and raises the question: should the idea of universal ethics be abandoned for Hinduism? The fifth section concludes that such abandonment would be hasty, and initiates a searching look into the Hindu epics for concepts that, while not identical with may still be parallel to some Western notions of ethics. The sixth looks at the content of normative Hindu morality, and generalizes on the basis of this content about the nature of "Hindu ethics". (shrink)
Hume’s examination of the conventions of property, trade, and contract addresses the moral foundations that make business possible. In this light, Hume’s theory of justice is also a foundational work in business ethics. In Hume’s analysis of these conventions, both philosophers and game theorists have correctly identified “proto” game-theoretic elements. One of the few attempts to offer a Humean theory of business ethics rests on this game-theoretic interpretation of Hume’s argument. This article argues that game-theoretic reasoning is only (...) one part of a Humean business ethics and this can be shown by further analyzing Hume’s theory of justice. As we examine his theory, it becomes clear that Hume is not trying to show how it is always rational to respect the rules of business. Hume is not engaging in, or attempting, a reconciliation project and neither is a Humean business ethics. The final section of the article is a brief Humean analysis of the effectiveness of codes of ethics. The purpose of this section is not to decide the issue but to show how a Humean approach is both useful, relevant, and involves more than reconciling rationality and morality. (shrink)
This chapter explores the possibility of an alliance between Deleuze’s philosophy and feminist philosophy with respect to ethics. I begin by specifying some of the general points of convergence between Deleuzian ethics and feminist ethics. In the second section, I turn away from feminist ethics in particular to consider feminist engagement with Deleuze’s (and Deleuze and Guattari’s) work; in this section of the paper, I describe the central criticisms of Deleuze offered by feminist philosophers (...) and point out the aspects of his thought that have been valuable for feminist theorizing. In order to respond to what I take to be the overarching concern feminists have about Deleuze’s philosophy, the third section develops a proposal for a Deleuzian conception of ethics that is able to do (much of) what feminists require of an ethical theory. (shrink)
The growing trend of required ethics instruction in the business school curriculum has created a need for relevant teaching materials. In response to this need the Journal of Business Ethics is introducing a new case section. This section provides a forum for publishing and accessing a range of materials that can be used in teaching business ethics. This article discusses how business ethics cases can facilitate the development of deductive, inductive and critical reasoning skills.
This essay outlines a new preface for ethics demanded by the massive developments of the global age. It does so in and through the comparative use of "myths" to explicate the lived structure of experience. The essay begins by isolating main features of global dynamics, including proximity, the compression of the world and the expansion of consciousness, and also global, cultural reflexivity. In the second step of the "preface," it is argued that globality itself is a moral space in (...) which peoples must orient their lives. It is a moral space defined by the massive extension of human power in the modern world. In light of the challenge that global dynamics and the extension of human power now pose, the essay then isolates, methodologically, options for developing a global ethics, and advocates a distinctly hermeneutical approach. This approach is practiced in the last section of the "preface" by engaging ethically the biblical "myth" of creation and its reinterpretation in an epitome of Jesus's Torah teaching. The intention is to show how current religious thought can speak to massive challenges in a distinctive way. It is, again, to offer a preface to ethics. (shrink)
The goal of this paper is to stress the significance of ethics for engineering education and to illustrate how it can be brought into the mainstream of higher education in a natural way that is integrated with the teaching objectives of enriching the core meaning of engineering. Everyone will agree that the practicing engineer should be virtuous, should be a good colleague, and should use professional understanding for the common good. But these injunctions to virtue do not reach closely (...) enough the ethic of the engineer as engineer, as someone acting in a uniquely engineering situation, and it is to such conditions that I wish to speak through a set of specific examples from recent history. I shall briefly refer to four controversies between engineers. Then, in some detail I shall narrate three historical cases that directly involve the actions of one engineer, and finally I would like to address some common contemporary issues. The first section, “Engineering Ethics and the History of Innovation” includes four cases involving professional controversy. Each controversy sets two people against each other in disputes over who invented the telegraph, the radio, the automobile, and the airplane. In each dispute, it is possible to identify ethical and unethical behavior or ambiguous ethical behavior that serves as a basis for educational discussion. The first two historical cases described in “Crises and the Engineer” involve the primary closure dam systems in the Netherlands, each one the result of the actions of one engineer. The third tells of an American engineer who took his political boss, a big city mayor, to court over the illegal use of a watershed. The challenges these engineers faced required, in the deepest sense, a commitment to ethical behavior that is unique to engineering and instructive to our students. Finally, the cases in “Professors and Comparative Critical Analysis” illuminate the behavior of engineers in the design of structures and also how professors can make public criticisms of designs that seem wasteful. (shrink)
Regulatory responses to the business failures of 1998–2001 framed them as a general failure of governance and ethics rather than as firm-specific problems. Among the regulatory responses are Section 406 of Sarbanes–Oxley Act, SEC, and exchange requirements to provide a Code of Ethics. However, institutional pressures surrounding this regulation suggest the potential for symbolic responses and decoupling of response from organizational action. In this article, we examine Codes of Ethics for a stratified sample of 75 U.S. (...) firms across five distinct industries and find that content and language converge across organizations in ways undesired by the regulators, and that language is used to minimize the effects of the Code on constraining organizational behavior. There is, however, a noteworthy exception in the sections of the Codes dedicated the ethics of financial reporting. Although this material still contains legalistic boilerplate information, it does offer concrete guidance and emphatic language pertaining to the need to maintain the integrity of reporting practices. This suggests that the corporate understanding of the source of the failures is one of fraudulent financial reporting. Aside from the matter of financial reporting, the vague and stylized content of the Codes was a predicted response and constitutes a rational response to the regulation. The regulation, however, clearly states the belief that Codes should vary from firm to firm and that individual firms should determine the specific content of a Code. Aside from financial reporting matters, the observed result suggests that regulatory efforts may have failed to instigate corporate change in attitudes toward and enforcement of higher ethical standards by corporate actors. (shrink)
The present study investigates how business ethics are related to vocational interest. Special attention has been paid to the relationship between business ethics and the interest in ‘enterprising’ and ‘social’ oriented professions. The results show that business ethics is only significantly correlated in a negative way, to enterprising vocational preferences. Moreover, the negative contribution of business ethics to the preference for entrepreneurial and managerial professions remains after controlling for personality and work values. Some work values also (...) predict the entrepreneurial interest: Earnings, Influence, Competition, Innovation and Creativity. The personality traits Extraversion (positive) and Agreeableness (negative) have predictive validity, but this effect disappears after controlling for work values. In the ‘Discussion’ section, we pay attention to possible consequences of the negative relationship between business ethics and Entrepreneurial interest for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). We argue that efforts concerning realistic job previews will only be meaningful if they are completed with efforts to make people more sensitive for ethics in two other domains, namely education and business. (shrink)
Issues of genre and persuasion are central to ethical thought and practice. Until recently, there has been an asymmetry between religious ethics and moral philosophy in regard to these issues. Renewed attention to these issues in moral philosophy creates a new context for their consideration in religious ethics--one in which the relation of religious ethics and moral philosophy is less determinate than it has been in previous discussions. The four essays that comprise this Focus Section reflect (...) this new context while also making new contributions to perennial concerns of genre in ethical thought and practice. (shrink)
This empirical investigation reexamines the impact of gender on ethics judgment of marketing professionals in a cross-section of firms in the United States. In the study, gender differences in ethics judgment focus on decisions in the context of marketing-mix elements (product, promotion, pricing, and distribution). The results of statistical analyses indicate that men and women marketing professionals differ significantly in their ethics judgment. Overall, female marketing professionals evinced significantly higher ethics judgment than their male counterparts. (...) Given the changing demographics of corporate America, it is conceivable that ethical decision-making in organizations stands to improve as the ratio of women in executive positions increases. The finding also bodes well with the recent emphasis of moving away from transaction-based in favor of relationship-focused conceptualization of marketing. (shrink)
In Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Ethics the notion of reality plays a central role. The present article focuses on the ethical implications of the Chalcedonian Christology underlying this concept. This approach is tied to the debate on the relationship between the universal and specific identity of Christian social ethics in public discourse. In the opening section the article outlines the pertinence of this debate with regard to Bonhoeffer's Christological ethic. In the following section the article analyzes Bonhoeffer's concept (...) of reality and the implied Chalcedonian traits. With this foundation established the article raises the question about its social ethical implications. The final part of the article argues that Bonhoeffer's ethics and ecclesiology cannot be separated from each other, explaining why Bonhoeffer's notion of reality leads to an assertion of the church's role in letting reality become real. In the light of Bonhoeffer's notion of reality the last section argues for the reconciliation of Christian witness and participation in public discourse. (shrink)
Given the possibilities of synthetic biology, weapons of mass destruction and global climate change, humans may achieve the capacity globally to alter life. This crisis calls for an ethics that furnishes effective motives to take global action necessary for survival. We propose a research program for understanding why ethical principles change across time and culture. We also propose provisional motives and methods for reaching global consensus on engineering field ethics. Current interdisciplinary research in ethics, psychology, neuroscience and (...) evolutionary theory grounds these proposals. Experimental ethics, the application of scientific principles to ethical studies, provides a model for developing policies to advance solutions. A growing literature proposes evolutionary explanations for moral development. Connecting these approaches necessitates an experimental or scientific ethics that deliberately examines theories of morality for reliability. To illustrate how such an approach works, we cover three areas. The first section analyzes cross-cultural ethical systems in light of evolutionary theory. While such research is in its early stages, its assumptions entail consequences for engineering education. The second section discusses Howard University and University of Puerto Rico/Mayagüez (UPRM) courses that bring ethicists together with scientists and engineers to unite ethical theory and practice. We include a syllabus for engineering and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) ethics courses and a checklist model for translating educational theory and practice into community action. The model is based on aviation, medicine and engineering practice. The third and concluding section illustrates Howard University and UPRM efforts to translate engineering educational theory into community action. Multidisciplinary teams of engineering students and instructors take their expertise from the classroom to global communities to examine further the ethicality of prospective technologies and the decision-making processes that lead to them. (shrink)
Central Asia presents a unique configuration of historical experience and societal responses that have been interacting and evolving for thousands of years. The current era of economic, political, and societal transformation in Central Asia began with the peaceful devolution of the Soviet Union and transition to the Commonwealth of Independent States in December 1991. Expectations about the natural social order based on western beliefs and experience may not apply in this part of the world, for—like all transitional and emerging market (...) economies—Central Asia has inherited another social order that predates recent history. The field of Business Ethics provides an arena in which these issues can be explored. In this article, an overview of the current standing of Business Ethics as a field for teaching, training, and research in Central Asia is provided. Suggestions for further consideration and future research are presented in the concluding section. (shrink)
Case teaching occupies a central place in the history of business education and in recognition of its significance, the Journal of Business Ethics recently created a new section for cases. Typically, business ethics cases are used to teach moral reasoning by exposing students to real-life situations which puts them in the position of a decision-maker faced with a moral dilemma. Drawing on a critical management studies' (CMS) critique of mainstream business ethics, this article argues that this (...) 'idealtype' decision-focused case underplays the social, political and economic factors which shape managerial decisions. An alternative 'dark side' case approach is presented, which highlights the structural features of capitalism and the role of government in regulating the market. The 'dark side' approach is illustrated with the case of a New Zealand woman, dependent on an oxygen machine, who died when her power was disconnected by her Stateowned electricity supplier because of an unpaid bill. The case considers the actions of both the company and the industry regulator within the context of a 'light-handed' approach to government regulation. The article concludes with a discussion of how this approach to the case method, which moves beyond managers and their moral dilemmas, can provide students with a deeper understanding of the complexity of business ethics. (shrink)
Since its formation in 1947, the World Medical Association (WMA) has been a leading voice in international medical ethics. The WMA’s principal ethics activity over the years has been policy development on a wide variety of issues in medical research, medical practice and health care delivery. With the establishment of a dedicated Ethics Unit in 2003, the WMA’s ethics activities have intensified in the areas of liaison, outreach and product development. Initial priorities for the Ethics (...) Unit have been the review of paragraph 30 of the Declaration of Helsinki, the expansion of the Ethics Unit section of the WMA website and the development of an ethics manual for medical students everywhere. (shrink)
The article deals with the relationship between theological ethics and moral philosophy. The former is seen as a theoretical reflection on Christian ethics, the latter as one on secular ethics. The main questions asked are: (1) Is there one and only one pre-theoretical knowledge about acting rightly? (2) Does philosophy provide us with the theoretical framework for understanding both Christian and secular ethics? Both questions are answered in the negative. In the course of argument, four positions (...) are presented: theological unificationism, philosophical unificationism, theological separationism and Lutheran dualism. It is argued that the latter position is most convincing. It is dual in the sense of being both a theory of Christian ethics and of including a recognition of natural law. Hence, it unites a particularistic and a universalistic point of view. In the last section a reformulation of the Lutheran position is attempted in making use of the ethical theory of Knud E. Løgstrup''s The Ethical Demand. (shrink)
This paper discusses three topics in contemporary British ethical philosophy: naturalisms, moral reasons, and virtue. Most contemporary philosophers agree that 'ethics is natural' - in Section 1 I examine the different senses that can be given to this idea, from reductive naturalism to supernaturalism, seeking to show the problems some face and the problems others solve. Drawing on the work of John McDowell in particular, I conclude that an anti-supernatural non-reductive naturalism plausibly sets the limits on what we (...) can do in ethics. Moral reasons are widely discussed - in Section 2 I describe some of the criteria that used to distinguish moral practical reasons, and note possibilities and problems. Drawing on the work of Elizabeth Anscombe in particular, I suggest that an inclusive, minimalist account of moral reasons may be most fruitful. There has been a revival of philosophical interest in virtue ethics, which I take to be linked to the emergence of non-reductive naturalisms - in Section 3 I describe three points where virtue ethics has an especially significant contribution to make: learning, motivational self-sufficiency, and the question of whether virtues can be reasons. The naturalism of Section 1 constrains the accounts of moral reasons considered in Section 2, and depends upon an account of virtue as learned second nature, discussed in Section 3. (shrink)
Abstract: The aim of this essay is to test the claim that epistemologists—virtue epistemologists in particular—have much to learn from virtue ethics. The essay begins with an outline of virtue ethics itself. This section concludes that a pure form of virtue ethics is likely to be unattractive, so the virtue epistemologist should examine the "impure" views of real philosophers. Aristotle is usually held up as the paradigm virtue ethicist. His doctrine of the mean is described, and (...) it is explained how that doctrine can provide a framework for an account of epistemic virtue. The conclusion of the essay is that a virtue epistemology based on analogies with virtue ethics, though well worth developing and considering, will face several challenges in fulfilling the significant promises that have been made on its behalf. (shrink)
Edited by four leading members of the new generation of medical and healthcare ethicists working in the UK, respected worldwide for their work in medical ethics, Principles of Health Care Ethics, Second Edition_is a standard resource for students, professionals, and academics wishing to understand current and future issues in healthcare ethics. With a distinguished international panel of contributors working at the leading edge of academia, this volume presents a comprehensive guide to the field, with state of the (...) art introductions to the wide range of topics in modern healthcare ethics, from consent to human rights, from utilitarianism to feminism, from the doctor-patient relationship to xenotransplantation. This volume is the Second Edition of the highly successful work edited by Professor Raanan Gillon, Emeritus Professor of Medical Ethics at Imperial College London and former editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics, the leading journal in this field. Developments from the First Edition include:_ The focus on ‘Four Principles Method’ is relaxed to cover more different methods in health care ethics. More material on new medical technologies is included, the coverage of issues on the doctor/patient relationship is expanded, and material on ethics and public health is brought together into a new section. (shrink)
With incisive and engaging introductions by the editor, Ethics in Practice integrates ethical theory and the discussion of practical moral problems into a text that is ideal for introductory and applied ethics courses. A fully updated and revised edition of this authoritative anthology of classic and contemporary essays covering a wide range of ethical and moral issues Integrates ethical theory with discussions of practical moral problems Provides coverage of ethical issues on familiar topics such as abortion, free speech (...) and affirmative action and contains an entirely new section on war and terrorism Also features essays on economic justice, world hunger and international justice, and obligations to the environment An excellent companion to LaFollette’s text, The Practice of Ethics (2006). (shrink)
This paper discusses the viability of a virtue-based approach to bioethics. Virtue ethics is clearly appropriate to addressing issues of professional character and conduct. But another major remit of bioethics is to evaluate the ethics of biomedical procedures in order to recommend regulatory policy. How appropriate is the virtue ethics approach to fulfilling this remit? The first part of this paper characterizes the methodology problem in bioethics in terms of diversity, and shows that virtue ethics does (...) not simply restate this problem in its own terms. However, fatal objections to the way the virtue ethics approach is typically taken in bioethics literature are presented in the second section of the paper. In the third part, a virtue-based approach to bioethics that avoids the shortcomings of the typical one is introduced and shown to be prima facie plausible. The upshot is an inviting new direction for research into bioethics' methodology. (shrink)
This is an engaging and accessible introduction to the 'Nicomachean Ethics', Aristotle's great masterpiece of moral philosophy. Michael Pakaluk offers a thorough and lucid examination of the entire work, uncovering Aristotle's motivations and basic views while paying careful attention to his arguments. The chapter on friendship captures Aristotle's doctrine with clarity and insight, and Pakaluk gives original and compelling interpretations of the Function Argument, the Doctrine of the Mean, courage and other character virtues, Akrasia, and the two treatments of (...) pleasure. There is also a useful section on how to read an Aristotelian text. This book will be invaluable for all student readers encountering one of the most important and influential works of Western philosophy. (shrink)
In section one, I briefly review the Harman/Doris argument and outline the most promising response. Then in section two I develop what I take the real challenge to virtue ethics to be. The final section of the chapter suggests two strategies for beginning to address this challenge.
The context of international health research involving human subjects, and this should appear obvious, is the human community. As such, basic questions of how human beings should be treated by other human beings, particularly in situations of unequal power – e.g., in the form of control, choice, or opportunity – lay at the foundations of related ethical discourse when ethics are discussed at all. I trace a narrative that follows upon a recent revision process of international guidelines for biomedical (...) research involving human subjects. I focus in particular upon the issue of a standard of care. In the second section, I draw upon philosophers John Rawls, Claudia Card, and Allen Buchanan to discuss concerns regarding the 'least advantaged members of society' in the context of global inequality. The paper includes reflections upon pedagogy in courses focused upon international health research involving human subjects. (shrink)
Henry Sidgwick's Practical Ethics offers a novel approach to practical moral issues. In this article, I defend Sidgwick's approach against recent objections advanced by Sissela Bok, Karen Hanson, Michael S. Pritchard, and Michael Davis. In the first section, I provide some context within which to situate Sidgwick's view. In the second, I outline the main features of Sidgwick's methodology and the powerful rationale that lies behind it. I emphasize elements of the view that help to defend it, noting (...) some affinities it has with those of the later Rawls. In the third section, I indicate how it promises to help alleviate some difficulties facing modern practical ethics. In the fourth, I respond to Bok's objections. I argue that her own work on practical ethics has some similarities to Sidgwick's which should make them friends, not enemies. In the fifth section, I respond to Hanson, Pritchard and Davis. (shrink)