The purpose of this study was to empirically investigate the role of pluralistic ignorance in perceptions of unethical behavior. Buckley, Harvey, and Beu (2000) suggested that pluralistic ignorance plays a role such that individuals mistakenly believe that others are more unethical than they actually are. In two studies, we confirmed that pluralistic ignorance influences perceptions of ethics in a manner consistent with what Buckley et al. suggested. The implications of pluralistic ignorance in perceptions of ethics are discussed with (...) suggestions for how pluralistic ignorance might be reduced and how research in this area may be extended. (shrink)
Fair Governance: The Enforcement of Morals is a study of legal interference with individual preferences and will canvass the interdisciplinary literature in economics, psychology, philosophy, and law. It discusses the particular conditions necessary for the state to legally interfere with our freedom of choice, whether it be to either satisfy our individual pursuit of happiness (perfectionism) or to prevent us from making immoral choices (paternalism). Relatively few philosophers know much of the parallel literature on this central problem of ethics; while (...) many legal scholars are acquainted with the psychological literature on judgment biases, they are frequently unfamiliar with the philosophical literature on perfectionism. Francis H. Buckley carefully links these two notions of state power with recent empirical literature on judgment biases and happiness studies and surveys the literature, arguing for a nuanced form of social perfectionism, one which seeks to promote the kind of liberal nationalism found in the United States. (shrink)
Unethical behavior is important to study because it may have an adverse influence on organizational performance. This paper is an attempt to better understand why individuals behave as they do when faced with ethical dilemmas. We first explore the definition, theories and models of ethical behaviors and accountability. This discussion of societal ethics and accountability as forms of social control segues into a discussion of how accountability may influence ethical behaviors. Based on the business ethics and accountability literatures, we suggest (...) a number of research questions and hypotheses that need to be tested, as well as an appropriate research strategy. (shrink)
In light of the myriad accounting and corporate ethics scandals of the early 21st century, many corporate leaders and management scholars believe that ethics education is an essential component in business school education. Despite a voluminous body of ethics education literature, few studies have found support for the effectiveness of changing an individuals ethical standards through programmatic ethics training. To address this gap in the ethics education literature the present study examines the influence of an underlying social cognitive error, called (...) pluralistic ignorance. We believe that if pluralistic ignorance is reduced, the result will be more effective business ethics education programs. Eighty undergraduate management students participated in this longitudinal study, and a mixed-model ANOVA revealed that the reduction of pluralistic ignorance (due to an ethics education program designed to reduce pluralistic ignorance) resulted in higher personal ethical standards over the course of a semester, when compared to a class that did not receive a formal ethics education program as part of their course. We discuss the implications of pluralistic ignorance in training business ethics and ethics education. (shrink)
Is there really an ethical crisis? We propose that the situation is not as bad as many would have us believe. We have attempted to present an alternative explanation for some earlier reports of an ethical crisis. This has resulted in a number of research propositions. We are optimistic that there are, in spite of reports to the contrary, an overwhelming majority of ethical people populating our business community.
Abstract: In this article the author develops the view, held by some, that political constructivism is best interpreted as a pragmatic enterprise aiming to solve political problems. He argues that this interpretation's structure of justification is best conceived in terms of two separate investigations—one develops a normative solution to a particular political problem by working up into a coherent whole certain moral conceptions of persons and society; and the other is an empirically based analysis of the political problem. The author (...) argues that the empirically based analysis can generate criteria for assessing whether the normative theory successfully works out a solution, thereby developing a functionalist structure of justification. He further argues that this interpretation overcomes a longstanding criticism of constructivism, namely, that the use of substantive moral concepts in the hypothetical choice procedure biases the defense of principles in a particular direction and therefore begs important philosophical questions. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that the problem of mental causation can be solved by distinguishing between classificatory mental properties, like being a pain, and instances of those properties.Antireductive physicalism allows only that the former be irreducibly mental. Consequently, properties like being a pain cannot have causal commerce with the physical without violating causal closure. But instances of painfulness, according to the token identity thesis, are identical with various physical tokens and can therefore have causal efficacy in the physical world. (...) Since we expect particular mental phenomena, not types or classes of mental phenomena to be involved in causal interactions, it is argued that antireductive physicalism can explain satisfactorily mental causation, despite the protests of Kim, Sosa, Honderich, and others. Being a mental state of a certain sort may have no causal efficacy, but the intentional and phenomenal properties of such states should, if my argument is correct. (shrink)
Moral and political philosophers are increasingly using empirical data to inform their normative theories. This has sparked renewed interest into questions concerning the relationship between facts and principles. A recent attempt to frame these questions within a broader approach to normative theory comes from David Miller, who has on several occasions defended ‘contextualism’ as the best approach to justice. Miller argues that the context of distribution itself brings one or another political principle into play. This paper examines this claim. It (...) considers several plausible strategies for carrying out Miller’s general project and argues that each strategy fails. Nevertheless, the author maintains that an investigation into why they fail paves the way for a philosophically plausible account of the relationship between facts and principles.Keywords: justice; contextualism; global distributive justice; justification; John Rawls; David Miller. (shrink)
This commentary argues against the theory that cultural ritual behavior is meaningless or that ritual action is solely a by-product of fear-based precautionary and action-parsing systems. Humans demonstrate the ability to spontaneously change their use of proximate intentions and attribute ultimate intentions to ritual actions that are not dependent upon fear or physical and emotional/mental dysfunction. (Published Online February 8 2007).
This paper aims to trace the evolution of Bachelard's thought as he gropes toward a concrete formulation of a philosophy of the imagination. Reverie, the creative daydream, occupies the central position in Bachelard's emerging metaphysic, which becomes increasingly "phenomenological" in a manner reminiscent of Husserl. This means that although Bachelard does not use Husserlian terms, he appropriates the following features of phenomenology: 1. a desire to "embracket" the initial impulse; and 2. an aspiration to apprehend in its entirety, the creative (...) epiphany of an image. Ultimately, this paper aims to show that there is a sense in which Bachelard's metaphysical concerns in his poetics are an outgrowth of his earlier scientific and epistemological concerns. What results in reverie is an aesthetic intentionality providing a metaphysic of the imagination: the aesthetic object, such as fire or water, is an object only insofar as it enables/calls forth a subject to enter into a receptive, self-aware and cosmic state of being; subject-ness and objectness are intimately and archetypally intertwined. Bachelard's "new poetics" results from his transplantation/cross-fertilization of the general epistemology of the "new scientific spirit" on to/across his aesthetics. (shrink)