While much has been made of the similarities between the work of Nietzsche and Freud, insufficient attention has been paid to their differences. Even where they have been noted, the degree of these differences, which sometimes approaches direct opposition, has often been underestimated. In the following essay, I will suggest that on the topic of conscience Nietzsche and Freud have radically opposed views, with profoundly different moral consequences. Despite superficial similarities, Nietzsche’s conception of conscience is opposed to that (...) of Freud in almost every conceivable way. For Freud, conscience is primarily associated with bad will, repression, subordination to social prohibition, and the feeling of guilt. For Nietzsche, conscience is primarily related to affirmation, memory, individual sovereignty, and the feelings of pride and power. To be sure, Freudian “bad conscience” has its parallel in Nietzsche’s philosophy—but only as a modality of conscience, not as its foundation. Freudian conscience is, on the contrary, an essentially bad conscience. (shrink)
Conscience is oft-referred to yet not understood. This text develops a theory of cognition around a model of conscience, the ACTWith model. It represents a synthesis of results from contemporary neuroscience with traditional philosophy, building from Jamesian insights into the emergence of the self to narrative identity, all the while motivated by a single mechanism as represented in the ACTWith model. Emphasis is placed on clarifying historical expressions and demonstrations of conscience - Socrates, Heidegger, Kant, M.L. King (...) - in light of the ACTWith model, while at once turning these resources to developing the basic architecture. In the end, this text aims to enrich moral theory by improving our understanding of moral cognition, while at once providing a useful tool in everyday moral practice and self-development. (shrink)
The literature on conscience in medicine has paid little attention to what is meant by the word ‘conscience.’ This article distinguishes between retrospective and prospective conscience, distinguishes synderesis from conscience, and argues against intuitionist views of conscience. Conscience is defined as having two interrelated parts: (1) a commitment to morality itself; to acting and choosing morally according to the best of one’s ability, and (2) the activity of judging that an act one has done (...) or about which one is deliberating would violate that commitment. Tolerance is defined as mutual respect for conscience. A set of boundary conditions for justifiable respect for conscientious objection in medicine is proposed. (shrink)
A growing number of medical professionals claim a right of conscience, a right to refuse to perform any professional duty they deem immoral—and to do so with impunity. We argue that professionals do not have the unqualified right of conscience. At most they have a highly qualified right. We focus on the claims of pharmacists, since they are the professionals most commonly claiming this right.
Following a discussion of some historical roots of conscience, we offer a systematized version of reflective equilibrium. Aiming at a comprehensive methodology for bioethical deliberation, we develop an expanded variant of reflective equilibrium, which we call ‘triangular reflective equilibrium’ and which incorporates insights from hermeneutics, critical theory and narrative ethics.We focus on a few distinctions, mainly between methods of justification in ethics and the social practice of bioethical deliberation, between coherence in ethical reasoning, personal integrity and consensus formation, and (...) between political and moral deliberation.The ideal of deliberation is explicated as a sharing of conscience within a special commitment to sincerity and openness to persuasion. Personal growth in wisdom is an indirect by-product of the continuous practice of moral deliberation. This is explicated in the light of Sternberg's balance theory of wisdom and in the context of medicine as a profession embodying altruistic responsibilities of care in democratic and pluralistic societies. (shrink)
Conscience and Corporate Culture advances the constructive dialogue on a moral conscience for corporations. Written for educators in the field of business ethics and practicing corporate executives, the book serves as a platform on a subject profoundly difficult and timely. Written from the unique vantage point of an author who is a philosopher, professor of business administration, and a corporate consultant A vital resource for both educators in the field of business ethics and practicing corporate executives Forwards the (...) constructive dialogue on a moral conscience for corporations Offers a philosophical and practical approach to considering business ethics. (shrink)
There were two prevailing sentiments in Europe after the Reformation: One opposing papal authority and one advocating individual freedom. This paper analyzes these two sentiments and finds that the concept of conscience is crucial in understanding them. The issue of conscience is about judging truth and good, and in initiating the Reformation, Martin Luther heavily appealed to his conscience while countering Catholic attacks. With the wide dispersal of the Reformation, Luther’s notion of conscience was well received (...) among his supporters throughout Europe. Descartes later transformed Luther’s conscience into an epistemological being (the cogito ), and argued that its existence was the only valid thing that survived his thorough skepticism — and as such is the foundation of human knowledge. Rousseau continued this line of thinking, which we call subjectivism, and re-employed the term conscience as a replacement for cogito , holding that conscience is the final authority in judging good and bad; that, as the starting point of human existence, it cannot be withheld from any human being; and that it therefore constitutes an inalienable human right. This paper argues that the Enlightenment was a subjectivist movement propelled by this conscience- cogito -conscience conceptualization, and that it sought to enlighten this inalienable conscience. (shrink)
Some bioethicists argue that conscientious objectors in health care should have to justify themselves, just as objectors in the military do. They should have to provide reasons that explain why they should be exempt from offering the services that they find offensive. There are two versions of this view in the literature, each giving different standards of justification. We show these views are each either too permissive (i.e. would result in problematic exemptions based on conscience) or too restrictive (i.e. (...) would produce problematic denials of exemption). We then develop a middle ground position that we believe better combines respect for the conscience of healthcare professionals with concern for the duties that they owe to patients. Our claim, in short, is that insofar as objectors should have to justify themselves, they should have to do it according to the standard that we defend rather than according to the standards that others have developed. (shrink)
Is there a specifically "Hobbesian moment" in the extremely complex history of the idea of conscience? In order to answer this question and to understand why Hobbes's conception of conscience was so innovative, one needs to look at the materials he used to build his system, including the medieval doctrine of synderesis. The article examines the way this doctrine was both perpetuated and altered in Renaissance England.
Moral intuitionism, which claims that some moral seemings are justification-conferring, has become an increasingly popular account in moral epistemology. Defenses of the position have largely focused on the standard account, according to which the justification-conferring power of a moral seeming is determined by its phenomenal credentials alone. Unfortunately, the standard account is a less plausible version of moral intuitionism because it does not take etiology seriously. In this paper, I provide an outline and defense of a non-standard account of moral (...) intuitionism that I dub the “Prudent Conscience View.” According to this view, phenomenal credentials only partially determine the justification-conferring power of a moral seeming, for a seeming’s justification-conferring power is also determined by its etiology. In brief, a moral seeming is justification-conferring to the degree that the conscience that gave rise to it is functioning properly, and a person's conscience functions properly to the degree that the person is prudent. (shrink)
This book shows that civil disobedience is generally more defensible than private conscientious objection. -/- Part I explores the morality of conviction and conscience. Each of these concepts informs a distinct argument for civil disobedience. The conviction argument begins with the communicative principle of conscientiousness. According to this principle, having a conscientious moral conviction means not just acting consistently with our beliefs and judging ourselves and others by a common moral standard. It also means not seeking to evade the (...) consequences of our beliefs and being willing to communicate to them to others. The conviction argument shows that, as a constrained, communicative practice, civil disobedience has a better claim than private objection does to the protections that liberal societies give to conscientious dissent. This view reverses the standard liberal picture which sees private 'conscientious' objection as a modest act of personal belief and civil disobedience as a strategic, undemocratic act whose costs are only sometimes worth bearing. -/- The conscience argument is narrower and shows that genuinely morally responsive civil disobedience honours the best of our moral responsibilities and is protected by a duty-based moral right of conscience. -/- Part II translates the conviction argument and conscience argument into two legal defences. The first is a demands-of-conviction defence. The second is a necessity defence. Both of these defences apply more readily to civil disobedience than to private disobedience. Part II also examines lawful punishment, showing that, even when punishment is justifiable, civil disobedients have a moral right not to be punished. (shrink)
This examination of a fundamental but often neglected aspect of the intellectual history of early modern Europe brings together philosophers, historians and political theorists from Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Australia, France and Germany. Despite the diversity of disciplines and national traditions represented, the individual contributions show a remarkable convergence around three themes: changes in the modes of moral education in early modern Europe, the emergence of new relations between conscience and law (particularly the law of the state), (...) and the shared continuities and discontinuities of both Roman Catholic and Protestant moral culture in relation to their medieval past. (shrink)
This book presents in translation writings by six medieval philosophers which bear on the subject of conscience. Conscience, which can be considered both as a topic in the philosophy of mind and a topic in ethics, has been unduly neglected in modern philosophy, where a prevailing belief in the autonomy of ethics leaves it no natural place. It was, however, a standard subject for a treatise in medieval philosophy. Three introductory translations here, from Jerome, Augustine and Peter Lombard, (...) present the loci classici on which subsequent discussions drew; there follows the first complete treatise on conscience, by Philip the Chancellor, while the two remaining translations, from Bonaventure and Aquinas, have been chosen as outstanding examples of the two main approaches which crystallised during the thirteenth century. (shrink)
One understanding of conscience dominates bioethical discussion about conscience. On this view, to have a conscience is to be compelled to act in accordance with one’s own moral values for the sake of one’s “integrity,” where integrity is understood as inner or psychological unity. Conscience is deemed valuable because it promotes this quality. In this paper, I describe the dominant view, attempt to show that it is flawed, and sketch a positive alternative to it. In my (...) opinion, conscience often fails to promote inner unity (regardless of the degree of inner unity we have in mind); acting with a conscience leaves many people broken rather than unified. A better view about the value of conscience is that having a conscience encourages morally responsible agency. My goal is to prove that this alternative explains better what it means to value conscience in health care and the extent to which we ought to value it. (shrink)
This article considers the difficult question of whether there are any reasons for theocratic religious devotees to affirm liberalism and liberal institutions. Swaine argues not only that there are reasons for theocrats to affirm liberalism, but that theocrats are committed rationally to three normative principles of liberty of conscience, as well. Swaine subsequently discusses three institutional and strategic implications of his arguments. First, he outlines an option of semisovereignty for theocratic communities in liberal democracies, and explains why an appropriate (...) valuation of liberty of conscience may justify a standard of that kind. Second, he addresses the question of permissible government aid for religion and symbolic endorsement of religious groups. Third, Swaine considers innovations and new approaches that could be employed internationally to better display liberal government's affirmation of religiosity, to promote liberty of conscience, and to help improve relations between liberal and theocratic parties around the globe. (shrink)
Mamardašvili did not develop a systematic philosophy that treats separately the various traditional disciplines of philosophy such as epistemology, logic, ethics, aesthetics etc. On the contrary, isolated from the direct influences of other currents of thought that might otherwise have given his own a different direction, Mamardašvili concentrated his attention on the very act of thought, the vitality of which had been undermined in philosophical understandings, including both Hegelian-Marxist attempts to situate the subject in history and re-appropriations of the Cartesian (...) cogito. In this paper I will outline the most pertinent elements of Mamardašvili’s attempt to find a unified subject of knowledge and action and attempt to show how in his view consciousness and conscience are indissoluble. (shrink)
The widespread emergence of innumerable technologies within health care has complicated the choices facing caregivers and their patients. The escalation of knowledge and technical innovation has been accompanied by an erosion of moral and ethical consensus among health providers that is reflected in the abandonment of the Hippocratic Oath as the immutable bedrock of medical ethics. Ethical conflicts arise when the values of health professionals collide with the expressed wishes of patients or the dictates of regulatory bodies and administrators. Increasing (...) attempts by groups outside of the medical profession to limit freedom of conscience for health providers has raised concern and consternation among some health professionals. The personal and professional impact of health professionals surrendering freedom of conscience and participating in actions they deem malevolent or unethical has not been adequately studied and may not be inconsequential when considering the recognized impact of other circumstances of coerced complicity. We argue that the distinction between the two ways that freedom of conscience is exercised (avoiding a perceived evil and seeking a perceived good) provides a rational basis for a principled limitation of this fundamental freedom. (shrink)
The conception of conscience that dominates discussions in bioethics focuses narrowly on private regulation of behaviour resulting from explicit attitudes. It neglects to mention implicit attitudes and the role of social feedback in becoming aware of one's implicit attitudes. But if conscience is a way of ensuring that a person's behaviour is in line with her moral values, it must be responsive to all aspects of the mind that influence behaviour. There is a wealth of recent psychological work (...) demonstrating the influence of implicit attitudes on behaviour. A necessary part of having a well-functioning conscience must thus be awareness and regulation of one's implicit attitudes in addition to one's explicit attitudes; this cannot be done by an individual in isolation. On my revised conception of conscience, heeding social feedback, being emotionally self-aware and engaging in self-monitoring are important for the possession of a well-functioning conscience. Health professionals may need specific training to help them develop and maintain a well-functioning conscience, which should involve cultivation of awareness of implicit attitudes, emphasis on social feedback and techniques to enable better control over them. (shrink)
ch. 1. Conscience--the subjective norm of morality -- ch. 2. Conscience and law -- ch. 3. Relationship between conscience and law -- ch. 4. Holy Scipture on the nature of conscience -- ch. 5. Freedom and commitment of conscience -- ch. 6. The African and conscience with particular reference to the Igbos of Nigeria -- ch. 7. Igbo moral conscience in the light of cross-cultural education: Western civilisation and christianity.
L’épistémologie de Cavaillès est connue pour une critique abrupte des notions de conscience et de sujet. Cette critique ne vise pas à éliminer de la philosophie la notion de conscience mais seulement à la destituer de sa place de notion primitive. Dès lors, il s’agit de rendre compte de la conscience. Nous soutenons que la conscience est définie et constituée à partir de la réflexivité du devenir mathématique. Pour établir ce point, nous discutons de quelques textes. (...) Nous sommes amené à distinguer deux problématiques, celle des thèses de 1938, qui restent marquées par la philosophie de Brunschvicg, et celle des écrits posthumes. (shrink)
Balancing citizens’ freedom thought, conscience and religion with the authority of the law which applies to all citizens alike presents an especial challenge for the governments of European nations with socially diverse and pluralistic populations. I address this problem from within the republican tradition represented by Machiavelli, Harrington and Madison. Republicans have historically focused on public debate as the means to identify a set of shared interests which the law should uphold in the interests of all. Within pluralistic societies, (...) however, a greater attention must be paid to the background social conditions that may disrupt the deliberative process and lead to factionalism and instability. This includes certain changes in perspectives by both religious and secular citizens. (shrink)
Moral moments -- The neurotic and the penitent -- True, false, and feigned penance -- Fame without conscience -- Cain and conscience -- Feminine paradoxes -- Sincere hypocrisy -- The poetical consience -- Envoi : spiritual sophistry.
Conscience plays a crucial role in identifying, applying, and initiating actions chosen as right or wrong. In this paper, we pursue an answer to the question, Can bad conscience, as Nietzsche defines it, be overcome to form the ground for the creation of good conscience? Nietzsche identifies Christianity as the source of that which has to be overcome to help re-define human existence--overcoming self-destructive, bad conscience. To understand whether someone could (or even should) overcome and redefine (...) his or her existence, that is create good conscience like Nietzsche's Ubermensch, it is useful to consider the struggles of Allie Fox, the hero in Peter Weir's movie Mosquito Coast (1986). (shrink)
Reformed Christianity's qualified embrace of freedom of conscience is per- haps best represented by William Ames (1576-1633). This essay explores Ames's interpretation of conscience, his understanding of its relationship to natural law, Scripture, and civil authority, and his vacillation on the sub- ject of conscientious freedom. By rooting his interpretation of conscience in natural law, Ames provided a foundation for conscience as an authority whose convictions are binding and worthy of some civil respect and free- dom. (...) At the same time, his Puritan worldview ultimately required the deference of conscience to the superior manifestations of divine law in Scripture and civil institutions. As a result, Ames provided raw ingredients for a theological doctrine of freedom of conscience despite his unwillingness to commend the idea himself consistently. In this way, Ames symbolizes an ambiguity on freedom of conscience characteristic of the broader Reformed tradition. (shrink)
Cet essai met en cause la comparaison historique courante qui relie le traitement husserlien de la conscience du temps à la tradition philosophique occidentale par le biais du livre IX des Confessions d’Augustin. Je soutiens notamment que cette comparaison n’est valable qu’à l’égard des leçons sur le temps de 1905 (qui expliquent l’appréhension du temps par le recours à l’étirement de la conscience opéré par la mémoire) et non pour la théorie husserlienne ultérieure, que l’on peut dater autour (...) de 1908 (qui critique ouvertement les premières leçons à cause la position défectueuse et contre-intuitive qu’y était défendue selon laquelle la mémoire étend la perception). Après avoir pointé les défauts de la théorie du temps partagée par Augustin et par le Husserl de 1905, j’approfondis la distinction, élaborée plus tard par Husserl à partir de 1911, entre mémoire et rétention, et j’examine l’hypothèse selon laquelle la théorie aristotélicienne du temps telle qu’elle est présentée dans le IVème livre de la Physique pourrait représenter une meilleur terme de comparaison historique pour la théorie husserlienne de la maturité, notamment dans la mesure où elle s’appuie sur l’idée que c’est « l’esprit qui dit les “maintenant” comme deux ». (shrink)
In his hermeneutic of the self, which he is working out in his Oneself as another , Ricœur writes about the constitutive conditions of conscience as a dimension of the experience of passivity. For the following considerations, I will argue that Ricœur is very right in maintaining the moral impact of the notion of conscience; but if we on the other hand remember older writings by Ricœur like Fallible Man we have to admit that something is missed in (...) the chapter about conscience in Oneself as Another . And that means, that in Oneself as Another he neglects the affective dimension of conscience. This affective dimension is - I think - the notion of shame. Dans Soi-même comme un autre où s'élabore son herméneutique du soi, Paul Ricœur réfléchit sur les conditions constitutives de la conscience comme expérience de la passivité. Pour les considerations suivantes, je souhaiterai montrer que Ricœur a tout à fait raison de plaider pour la dimension morale de la notion de conscience. Mais, d'un autre côté,si l'on se souvient des écrits plus anciens de Ricoeur sur l'Homme faillible , nous sommes tenus d'admettre que, au cours du chapitre sur la conscience dans Soi-même comme un autre , quelque chose est perdu de vue. Nous voulons signifier que, dans ce chapitre, il néglige la dimension affective de la conscience. Cette dimension affective est, nous semble-t-il, la notion de honte.  . (shrink)
In an era of confessional conflict, the conscience served as a powerful mediator between God and man, directing and judging moral actions. This work aims to convey the breadth of the conscience's jurisdiction, analyzing its impact upon a variety of important aspects of early modern society: political allegiance the genre of "advice to princes" religious conformity slavery the regulation of sexual behavior gender roles and the intellectual methods of scientists.
The recent confirmation of the constitutionality of the Obama administration’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) by the US Supreme Court has brought to the fore long-standing debates over individual liberty and religious freedom. Advocates of personal liberty are often critical, particularly in the USA, of public health measures which they deem to be overly restrictive of personal choice. In addition to the alleged restrictions of individual freedom of choice when it comes to the question of whether or not (...) to purchase health insurance, opponents to the PPACA also argue that certain requirements of the Act violate the right to freedom of conscience by mandating support for services deemed immoral by religious groups. These issues continue the long running debate surrounding the demands of religious groups for special consideration in the realm of health care provision. In this paper I examine the requirements of the PPACA, and the impacts that religious, and other ideological, exemptions can have on public health, and argue that the exemptions provided for by the PPACA do not in fact impose unreasonable restrictions on religious freedom, but rather concede too much and in so doing endanger public health and some important individual liberties. (shrink)
Father Williams explains how the conscience is formed through our training and experiences and informed by the Holy Spirit, making it an essential tool for daily living. He uses familiar and surprising characters to illustrate the positive choices conscience can direct--and the disaster that results when a conscience is undeveloped or ignored. Questions he tackles include "Is it more important to be smart or good?""Is there a morally right thing to do in every situation?" and "Is the (...) Christian moral life an exciting adventure, or a necessary burden?" Rich, provocative, and practical for everyday decision making, KNOWING RIGHT FROM WRONG is a must-read for all who hunger for personal holiness. (shrink)
Ethical dualists hold that we have good reason to pursue our own happiness and good reason to pursue moral goodness. It would seem that there is a potential conflict here. On the other hand there have been those who deny even the possibility of conflict, whether or not there is a God and an afterlife. Rawls seems to say, or hint, that this was Butlers’ view, and Kant, according to at least one person, argued that there cannot be conflict here. (...) I think the conflict is sometimes real, and that ‘practical reason’ does not resolve it. (shrink)
Does a pharmacist have a right to refuse to fill certain prescriptions? In this paper, I examine cases in which an employee might refuse to do something that is part of his or her job description. I will argue that in some of these cases, an employee does have a right of refusal and in other cases an employee does not. In those cases where the employee does not have a right of refusal, I argue that the refusals (if repeated) (...) are just cause for termination of employment. I argue that there are moral principles that support the different outcomes in the cases under consideration. I turn to pharmacy cases at the end of the paper and argue that they are analogous to cases where an employee does not have a right of refusal and thus fall under the principle that refusing to fill birth control prescriptions constitutes just cause for termination. (shrink)
out a visitation and a thorough assessment of his diocese. His predecessor (or rather his friend Benson, the bishop of Gloucester, who during Edward Chandler's decline had managed Durham's affairs) had kept the deanery records in good ...