A theory is presented which proposes that knowledge acquisition involves direct perception of schematic information in the form of structural and transformational invariances. Individual components with salient verbal descriptions are considered conscious place-holders for non-conscious invariant schemes. It is speculated that theories positing mental construction have three related causes: The first is a lack of consciousness of the schema processing capacities of the right hemisphere; the second is the paucity of adequate words to express schematic relationships; and the last involves (...) the dominance of verbal processes in consciousness. Philosophical theories are reviewed and schematic data relevant to biological survival is offered. Applications to education are suggested. (shrink)
The Dalai Lama once wrote that the object of human existence was to be happy. This sounds extremely glib as happiness in the popular imagination is a feeling and in the words of the song 'the greatest gift that we possess'. On the other hand, von Hugel wrote 'Religion has never made me happy;it's no use shutting your eyes to the fact that the deeper you go, the more alone you will find yourself' This small masterpiece by the late Fr (...) Herbert McCabe of the Dominican order steers a steady courss between these two extremes. We feels instinctively that human beings are designed to enjoy themselves and to be happy and yet we are told that suffering is good for the soul. But in the Catholic tradition the true object of human existence is the vision of God and nothing less than this will ever make us truly happy. But Fr McCabe explores much deeper issues. Is Happiness a pleasure or a pain? You hardly know. Certainly it is not a comfort for comfort spells seciurity and hapiness can take you out of yourself to a degree where all secutiry is left behind. Behind a feeling of exultation, you can sense the flame of incandescent terror. This short book is entirely original and will further enhance McCabe's posthumous reputation. (shrink)
Who controls what gets defined as skill or knowledge can be an indeterminate struggle in many organizations. Knights and McCabe attempt to understand conflicting interpretations of skills and knowledge around the introduction of a new automated production line in a manufacturing plant by making use of the concepts of distal and proximal organization. Employees and management often draw on a distal understanding of skill/knowledge, thereby treating it as a result or an outcome, a finished object, which one either possesses (...) or is dispossessed of: By contrast, a proximal understanding would focus on relations, processes and representations that are continuous, unfinished, partial and pecarious. Knights and McCabe argue that management adopts a distal perspective because it stresses that employees cannot lose skill/knowledge that they already possess, whereas employees also adopt a distal perspective in believing that they can. They then argue that a proximal understanding is capable of providing greater insight and of opening up new "patterns of possibility." The distinction between a fixed (distal) ontology and a fluid (proximal) one is thus suggested as having meaning for the potential actions of managers. (shrink)
This article reviews 1 decade of research on cheating in academic institutions. This research demonstrates that cheating is prevalent and that some forms of cheating have increased dramatically in the last 30 years. This research also suggests that although both individual and contextual factors influence cheating, contextual factors, such as students' perceptions of peers' behavior, are the most powerful influence. In addition, an institution's academic integrity programs and policies, such as honor codes, can have a significant influence on students' behavior. (...) Finally, we offer suggestions for managing cheating from students' and faculty members' perspectives. (shrink)
Recently there has been an outpouring of consumer frustration over rising food and energy prices. Many politicians railed against “speculators” who allegedly drove up the prices of key necessities. Is speculation unethical? This article reviews the traditional arguments against speculation. Many of the standard criticisms confuse speculation with gambling. In much the same way as ethicists now draw distinctions between usury and normal business interest, we draw a distinction between socially useful speculation and gambling. Gambling involves taking on risk with (...) no plausible expectation of making a profit. Gambling may provide entertainment value to some people, but like other addictive activities causes grave harm to a subset of users. Speculation involves taking on a business risk with a plausible expectation that a profit will result. Speculators provide an important risk bearing service by taking on risks that others do not want. They help markets to function better by helping to incorporate information into prices as well as providing liquidity. Speculators may actually reduce shortages by causing quicker price increases that motivate producers to increase production and consumers to conserve. But even socially useful speculation may have an ethical dark side. Does such speculation cause damage by adding excess volatility to prices? Speculators may contribute to price bubbles. At what point does legitimate speculation become odious “price gouging?” We also draw an ethical distinction between speculation, which seeks to benefit from changing prices, and manipulation, actions taken to push prices away from their economically appropriate levels. (shrink)
The controversy over short selling has continued unabated from the introduction of modern equity trading in Amsterdam in 1610 to the present day. Nevertheless, the business ethics literature has not really addressed short selling. Short sellers not only profit from the misery of others, they also create it through their selling activities. However, they also provide a socially useful service by making prices better reflect true values, protecting other investors from purchasing overpriced securities. Short sellers can also help to provide (...) liquidity in the markets. Recently, there has been a hue and cry against so called "naked" short selling, which involves not delivering the shares that have been sold. This gives manipulators a tool for depressing stock prices and deprives purchasers of voting rights and potential stock lending revenue. Naked short selling creates ethical issues for short sellers, buyers, brokers, market makers, and regulators. Is it ethical to exploit a legal loophole that permits sellers to sell stock and delay delivering shares indefinitely? (shrink)
How does Plato view his philosophical antecedents? Plato and his Predecessors considers how Plato represents his philosophical predecessors in a late quartet of dialogues: the Theaetetus, the Sophist, the Politicus and the Philebus. Why is it that the sophist Protagoras, or the monist Parmenides, or the advocate of flux, Heraclitus, are so important in these dialogues? And why are they represented as such shadowy figures, barely present at their own refutations? The explanation, the author argues, is a complex one involving (...) both the reflective relation between Plato's dramatic technique and his philosophical purposes, and the very nature of his late philosophical views. For in these encounters with his predecessors we see Plato develop a new account of the principles of reason, against those who would deny them, and forge a fresh view of the best life - the life of the philosopher. (shrink)
This paper examines the ethics of contemporary managerial compensation in the context of executive stock options. Economic considerations would dictate that executive stock options should be adjusted to eliminate the effect of overall stock market movements which are beyond the control of the executive. However, in practice, most executive stock options are not adjusted to control for these outside factors. Agency considerations are the most likely culprit. Adjusting for the influence of outside factors, such as a generally rising stock market, (...) from executive stock options sets a higher bar for managers to reach. Furthermore, traditional accounting standards permitted firms that did not adjust options to avoid reporting options as expenses. This presents CEOs and boards of directors with a major ethical dilemma. On the one hand, their duty to their shareholders and stakeholders dictates that executive stock options should be adjusted to eliminate outside noise from unrelated movements in the overall stock market. However, financial statements are presented in the language of accounting. If the overwhelming majority of the users of a language define a particular item in one way, then to deviate from the norm implies that the recipient of such a deviant statement may not properly interpret the statement. Likewise, if the standard practice is for firms to use unadjusted options and thus under-report expenses, to deviate from this industry norm risks that users of financial statements would not properly interpret the financial statements, with perhaps negative consequences for the shareholders. In short, if "everyone else does it," then it could be wrong for an individual firm to deviate from the norm as that would harm the shareholders. (shrink)
Why did Plato put his philosophical arguments into dialogues, rather than presenting them in a plain and readily understandable fashion? A group of distinguished scholars here offer answers to this question by studying the relation between form and argument in his late dialogues. These penetrating studies show that the literary structure of the dialogues is of vital importance in the ongoing interpretation of Plato.
Substantial research efforts have been devoted to developing a cure for autism, but some advocates of people with autism claim that these efforts are misguided and even harmful. They claim that there is nothing wrong with people with autism, so there is nothing to cure. Others argue that autism is a serious and debilitating disorder and that a cure for autism would be a wonderful medical breakthrough. Our goal in this essay is to evaluate what assumptions underlie each of these (...) positions. We evaluate the arguments made on each side, reject those that are implausible and then highlight the key assumptions of those that remain. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to provide an account of the epistemology and metaphysics of universe creation on a computer. The paper begins with F.J.Tipler's argument that our experience is indistinguishable from the experience of someone embedded in a perfect computer simulation of our own universe, hence we cannot know whether or not we are part of such a computer program ourselves. Tipler's argument is treated as a special case of epistemological scepticism, in a similar vein to `brain-in-a-vat' arguments. (...) It is argued that the hypothesis that our universe is a program running on a digital computer in another universe generates empirical predictions, and is therefore a falsifiable hypothesis. The computer program hypothesis is also treated as a hypothesis about what exists beyond the physical world, and is compared with Kant's metaphysics of noumena. It is proposed that a theory about what exists beyond the physical world should be formulated with the precise concepts of mathematics, and should generate physical predictions. It is argued that if our universe is a program running on a digital computer, then our universe must have compact spatial topology, and the possibilities of observationally testing this prediction are considered. The possibility of testing the computer program hypothesis with the value of the density parameter Omega_0 is also analysed. The informational requirements for a computer to represent a universeexactly and completely are considered. Consequent doubt is thrown upon Tipler's claim that if a hierarchy of computer universes exists, we would not be able to know which `level of implementation' our universe exists at. It is then argued that a digital computer simulation of a universe cannot exist as a universe. However, the paper concludes with the acknowledgement that an analog computer simulation can be objectively related to the thing it represents, hence an analog computer simulation of a universe could, in principle, exist as a universe. (shrink)
The topic of cheating among college students has received considerable attention in the education and psychology literatures. But most of this research has been conducted with relatively small samples and individual projects have generally focused on students from a single campus. These studies have improved our understanding of cheating in college, but it is difficult to generalize their findings and it is also difficult to develop a good understanding of the differences that exist among different academic majors. Understanding such differences (...) may be important in developing improved strategies for combating college cheating. The objective of this paper is to examine the relation between cheating and the choice of academic major with a particular focus on natural science and engineering majors. The data source for this analysis is a study of over 4,000 students from 31 campuses which was conducted in the 1995–1996 academic year. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to provide a historical overview of the ethical concept of organizational due process in relation to contemporary issues in the utilization of company grievance procedures in the rapidly growing nonunion arena. Another objective of this paper is to appraise the current practices that employers have evolved for resolving issues generated by grievances, particularly those of professional, white collar employees.
Unethical decision-making behavior within organizations has received increasing attention over the past ten years. As a result, a plethora of studies have examined the relationship between gender and business ethics. However, these studies report conflicting results as to whether or not men and women differ with regards to business ethics. In this article, we propose that gender identity theory [Spence: 1993, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 64, 624–635], provides both the theory and empirical measures to explore the influence of (...) psychological gender traits and gender-role attitudes on ethical perceptions of workplace behaviors. Statistical analyses of the data reveal that based on sex alone, no differences occur between men and women in their ethical perceptions. Yet, when a multidimensional approach to gender is applied, results show that expressive traits and egalitarian gender-role attitudes contribute to both men’s and women’s propensity to perceive unethical workplace behaviors as unethical. The implications of these findings and suggestions for future research are presented. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to integrate and analyze the research findings of previous studies dealing both directly and tangentially with the strategic ethical issues involved in alternative dispute resolution procedures and systems found in nonunion employment. Particular attention will be given to one of the most significant issues in this area at the operating and tactical level of individual companies: the procedural techniques with respect to the processing of the complaints and grievances of employees in nonunion companies and (...) firms. The paper concludes with policy recommendations for managers and recommendations for future research. (shrink)
Much has been written about the ethics and values of today's business student, but this research has generally been characterized by a variety of methodological shortcomings — the use of convenience samples, a failure to establish the relevance of comparison groups employed, attempts to understand behavior in terms of unidimensional values preselected by the researcher, and the lack of well-designed longitudinal studies. The research reported here addresses many of these concerns by comparing the values and ethical decision making behavior of (...) a large cohort of students entering an M. B. A. program to students entering law school. Using the Rokeach value survey and several ethical decision making vignettes, significant differences were found between the two groups which have important implications for both the business and legal professions and the education of their future leaders. (shrink)
As prototypical incentive with biological meaning, food illustrates the distinction between money as tool and money as drug. However, consistent neuroscience results challenge this view of food as intrinsic value and opposite to drugs of abuse. The scarce availability over evolutionary time of both food and money may explain their similar drug-like non-satiability, suggesting an integrated mechanism for generalized reinforcers. (Published Online April 5 2006).
The purpose of this paper is to analyze from a strategic ethical perspective four selected shareholder resolutions reported by the Social Issues Service of the Investor Responsibility Research Center regarding international labor and workplace standards. Particular attention will be paid to specific employee relations issues at the operating and tactical level of individual multinational firms. The paper concludes with policy recommendations for proxy statements.
This paper introduces the special issue of papers selected from those presented at the International Conference on Business Ethics in Transitional Economies, held March 20–22, 2002 in Celakovice and Prague, Czech Republic. A brief background on the conference is given, and a summary of the papers offered in this special issue is provided.
This paper provides a historical overview of the interrelationship between the use of nonunion employment arbitration and the ethics of employee organizational due process. Key research questions to be explored include the following, among others: Why are expectations about due process in organizations increasing? How are these expectations being exhibited? What is the nature of fair treatment of employees in relation to nonunion employment arbitration? Should arbitration in the nonunion employment relationship be nurtured? A final objective of this paper is (...) to study some of the current initiatives that neutral agencies have adopted to ensure that nonunion arbitration is fair, just, and equitable for a firm's employees. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the most recent public policy and ethical issues as they relate to the growing usage of nonunion employment arbitration particularly in relation to financial services firms and professional firms. In this era of increasing employment-related litigation, it is wise from an employer’s point of view to find alternative procedures that offer assurances of fairness yet provide expeditious means for resolving disputes. From an employee’s vantage point, however, it is essential (...) that the fundamental issue of procedural and substantive due process be maintained and guaranteed. Therefore, a number of strategic ethical issues arise: How should employment arbitration procedures be designed following the Due Process Protocol of the Task Force on Alternative Dispute Resolution in Employment? How should arbitration procedures follow the national rules for the resolution of employment disputes of the American Arbitration Association? Do recent court decisions shed light on these issues? What ethical principles can be gleaned from these public policy pronouncements? A final objective of this paper is to study some of the current initiatives on this topic. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to analyze what some private universities are doing in the area of mediation and other alternative ways of solving faculty complaints – what some term "alternative dispute resolution." Special attention will be given to one of the most important ethical issues in this area at the operating level of individual universities – the due process procedures with respect to the processing of the grievances of individual faculty members in nonunionized colleges. The paper concludes with (...) recommendations for university administrators and faculty senates, as well as recommendations for future research. (shrink)
M.B.A. programs in the United States continue to admit foreign students in record numbers, yet we know little about how this cultural diversity may impact the values and ethical decision making behavior of either American or foreign students. The research discussed here examined this issue within the context of a large M.B.A. program where non-U.S. citizens comprise over twenty percent of the student population. Comparisons of U.S. and Asian students supported existing notions about the independent vs. interdependent conceptions of the (...) role of the individual within each culture. However, these differences were not a major factor in explaining the significantly different choices made by U.S. and Asian students in selected decision making vignettes. The impIication of these findings for both the M.B.A. program and the profession is discussed. It is concluded that academicians and practitioners in both cultures must work together to develop some consensus on the core principles that should govern global competition. A failure to do so may lead to increasing distrust among practitioners from different cultural backgrounds. It is suggested that graduate business education has a role to play in this process. (shrink)
We propose extending business ethics education beyond the formal curriculum to the hidden curriculum where messages about ethics and values are implicitly sent and received. In this meta-learning approach, students learn by becoming active participants in an honorable business school community where real ethical issues are openly discussed and acted upon. When combined with formal ethics instruction, this meta-learning approach provides a framework for a proposed comprehensive program of business ethics education.
Quantitative research about academic cheating among Chinese college students is minimal. This paper discusses a large survey conducted in Chinese colleges and universities which examined the prevalence of different kinds of student cheating and explored factors that influence cheating behavior. A structural equation model was used to analyze the data. Results indicate that organizational deterrence and individual performance have a negative impact on cheating while individual perceived pressure, peers’ cheating, and extracurricular activities have a positive impact. Recommendations are proposed to (...) reduce the level of academic cheating in China. Many of these are universal in nature and applicable outside of China as well. (shrink)
Prior research on the impact of ethics education within the business curriculum has yielded mixed results. Although the impact is often found to be positive, it appears to be both small and short-lived. Interpretation of these results, however, is subject to important methodological limitations. The present research employed a longitudinal methodology to evaluate the impact of an M.B.A. program versus a law program on the values and ethical decision making behavior of (...) a cohort of students at two major universities in the northeast. The results suggest that the M.B.A. curriculum remains a value-neutral experience for most students. In contrast, the law school program had a significant impact on both values and ethical decision making. (shrink)
This field survey focused on two constructs that have been developed to represent the ethical context in organizations: ethical climate and ethical culture. We first examined issues of convergence and divergence between these constructs through factor analysis andcorrelational analysis. Results suggested that the two constructs are measuring somewhat different, but strongly related dimensions ofthe ethical context. We then investigated the relationships between the emergent ethical context factors and an ethics-related attitude(organizational commitment) and behavior (observed unethical conduct) for respondents who work (...) in organizations with and withoutethics codes. Regression results indicated that an ethical culture-based dimension was more strongly associated with observedunethical conduct in code organizations while climate-based dimensions were more strongly associated with observed unethical conduct in non-code organizations. Ethical culture and ethical climate-based factors influenced organizational commitment similarly in both types of organizations. Normative implications of the study are discussed, as are implications for future theorizing, research and management practice. (shrink)
Herbert McCabe, OP (d. 2001), was a significant theological figure in England in the last century. A scholar of Aquinas, he was also influenced by Wittgenstein and Marx, his reading of whom helped him articulate a distinctive Thomistic account of human embodiment that serves as a critique of other dominant approaches in ethics. This article shows McCabe's contribution to moral theology by placing his work in conversation with other important approaches, namely, situation ethics, proportionalism, and the New Natural (...) Law Theory. (shrink)
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (or fMRI)1 is widely used to support hypotheses about brain function. Many find the images produced from fMRI data to be especially compelling evidence for scientific hypotheses [McCabe and Castel, 2008]. There are many problems with all of this; I want to start with two of them, and argue that they get us closer to an under-appreciated worry about many imaging experiments.
Can companies be identified by how ethical they are? The concept of organizational culture suggests that organizations have identifiable cultures of which ethics are a part. By definition culture is the shared beliefs of an organization's members, hence the ethical culture of an organization would be reflected in the beliefs about the ethics of an organization which are shared by its members. Thus, it is logical to conceptualize the ethics of different organizations as existing on a continuum bounded at one (...) end by unethical companies and at the other, highly ethical companies. This research assesses the efficacy of the existing measure of organizational ethical culture for identifying the ethical status of organizations on a this continuum. Results suggest that the Ethical Culture Questionnaire designed by Trevino, Butterfield and McCabe (1995) measures individual perceptions regarding organizational ethics but does not identify shared beliefs about an organizationÕs ethical culture. (shrink)
Despite a wealth of prior research (e.g., Wynd and Mager, 1989; Weber, 1990; Harris, 1991; Harris and Guffey, 1991; McCabe et al., 1991; Murphy and Boatright, 1994; Gautschi and Jones, 1998), little consensus has arisen about the goals and effectiveness of business ethics education. Additionally, accounting academics have recently been questioned as to their commitment to accounting ethics education (Gunz and McCutcheon, 1998). The current study examines whether accounting students' perceptions of business ethics and the goals of (...) accounting ethics education are fundamentally different from the perceptions of accounting faculty members. The study uses a survey instrument to elicit student and faculty responses to various questions concerning the importance of business ethics and accounting ethics education. Statistical analyses indicate that students consider both business ethics and the goals of accounting ethics education to be more important than faculty members. Implications of these results for accounting faculty members interested in accounting ethics education are discussed. (shrink)
Herbert McCabe and Brian Davies defend an Aquinas-inspired, anti-anthropomorphic natural theology that emphasises the mysterious distance between the Creator and his creation. This theology gives rise to a powerful response to the problem of evil, powerful enough to scuttle the academic problem of evil that is based on a confused anthropomorphic understanding of God. But that does not dispose of the problem of evil per se. The McCabe–Davies natural theology can succeed only by appropriating a personal understanding of (...) “the ultimate question” (why is there something rather than nothing?), which is at odds with their reluctance to give up on a metaphysical argument to establish the reality of God from outside religious faith and practice. But if that same personal understanding is applied to the problem of evil we find it generates “the unprecedented charge,” a form of the problem that does not depend on an anthropomorphic conception of God. The way forward for the McCabe–Davies natural theology is to follow Dewi Phillips in his rejection of philosophy's aspiration to find “external justifications” for our religious lives. (shrink)
Today''s business students have grown up in a society where distinctions between right and wrong have become blurred and where unethical behavior is observed and even expected in high-profile leaders. Especially troubling is the impression educators have that many students no longer view cheating as morally wrong (Pavela and McCabe, 1993). By contrast, the general public is demanding higher ethics of businesspeople. In this environment, educators are challenged to instill ethical norms in business students, especially when recent research indicates (...) that students intending to enter business fields are more likely than any other group of students to engage in cheating and other forms of academic dishonesty (McCabe and Trevino, 1995). One of the major future roles of accounting students depends on their honesty, however. For audits to have economic value, the auditors must be perceived by the public as acting with independence, integrity, and objectivity. Public accountants have adopted a Code of Professional Conduct in order to protect the integrity of the profession. In an effort to teach accounting students the importance of ethical professional conduct, the author has developed a class project wherein groups of students write proposals for a student honor code at Niagara University. (shrink)
A number of late Stoic sources describe either ethical concepts or a supposed universal belief in gods as being innate in the human animal. Though Chrysippus himself is known to have spoken of "implanted preconceptions" (ἔμφυτοι προλήψεις) of good and bad, scholars have typically argued that the notion of innate concepts of any kind would have been entirely incompatible with his theory of knowledge. Both Epictetus' notion of innate concepts of good and bad and the references to an innate belief (...) in gods by other philosophers of the Roman era are thus generally held to be later developments, probably owing to a Platonist-Stoic syncretism. Review of the evidence, however, shows that Chrysippus, like Epictetus, held ethical concepts to represent a special category of conception in that their formation was guaranteed by oikeiôsis. Unlike other concepts, that is, these represent a formal conceptualization of an innate tendency to distinguish between things fitting for one's constitution and things not fitting that all animals, according to the Stoics, bring to their empirical experiences. While the notion that human belief in gods is similarly innate does seem to have been a later development, it too was explained with reference to oikeiôsis rather than resulting from a simple "syncretism.". (shrink)
The historical context of the philosophical work of St. Thomas Aquinas, by D. Knowles.--Form and existence, by P. Geach.--Categories, by H. McCabe.--Analogy as a rule of meaning for religious language, by J. F. Ross.--Nominalism, by P. Geach.--St. Thomas' doctrine of necessary being, by P. Brown.--The proof ex motu for the existence of God; logical analysis of St. Thomas' arguments, by J. Salamucha.--Infinite causal regression, by P. Brown.--St. Thomas Aquinas and the language of total dependence, by J. N. Deck.--Divine foreknowledge (...) and human freedom, by A. Kenny.--Intellect and imagination in Aquinas, by A. Kenny.--The immortality of the soul, by H. McCabe.--Aquinas on intentionality, by P. Sheehan.--The scholastic theory of moral law in the modern world, by A. Donagan.--The first principle of practical reason, by G. G. Grisez. (shrink)
This paper presents four different contexts in which students practiced implementing business ethics. Students were required to develop Codes of Conduct/Codes of Ethics as a classroom exercise. By developing these codes, students can improve their understanding of how and why codes of conduct are developed, designed, and implemented in the workplace. Using the three-phase content analysis process (McCabe et al.: 1999, The Journal of Higher Education 70(2), 211–234), we identify a framework consisting of 10 classifications that can be used (...) to assess learning outcomes in embedded ethics education. By analyzing the different content within each classification, instructors were able to gain a better understanding of differing application of ethical principles. This analysis indicates that there needs to be more research on codes of conduct for smaller units within an organization and more integration of work group codes of conduct into the business curriculum. (shrink)
The papers in this collection on Aristotle’s Eudemian Ethics by Charles, Rowe, McCabe, Whiting, and Buddensiek, offer new readings of Aristotle on the voluntary, friendship, and good fortune in the EE, by treating the EE on its own terms.