Every year in this country, some 10,000 college and university courses are taught in applied ethics. And many professional organizations now have their own codes of ethics. Yet social science has had little impact upon applied ethics. This book promises to change that trend by illustrating how social science can make a contribution to applied ethics. The text reports psychological studies relevant to applied ethics for many professionals, including accountants, college students and teachers, counselors, dentists, doctors, journalists, nurses, school teachers, (...) athletes, and veterinarians. Each chapter begins with the research base of the cognitive-developmental approach--especially linked to Kohlberg and Rest's Defining Issues Test. Finally, the book summarizes recent research on the following issues: * moral judgment scores within and between professions, * pre- and post-test evaluations of ethics education programs, * moral judgment and moral behavior, * models of professional ethicseducation, and * models for developing new assessment tools. Researchers in different professional fields investigate different questions, develop different research strategies, and report different findings. Typically researchers of one professional field are not aware of research in other fields. An important aim of the present book is to bring this diverse research together so that cross-fertilization can occur and ideas from one field can transfer to another. (shrink)
Kohlberg's work in moral judgement has been criticised by many philosophers and psychologists. Building on Kohlberg's core assumptions, we propose a model of moral judgement (hereafter the neo-Kohlbergian approach) that addresses these concerns. Using 25 years of data gathered with the Defining Issues Test (DIT), we present an overview of Minnesota's neo-Kohlbergian approach, using Kohlberg's basic starting points, ideas from Cognitive Science (especially schema theory), and developments in moral philosophy.
Abstract Evidence is reviewed showing that college attendance is associated with development in moral judgement. Six interpretations of why college has this effect are discussed: (1) simple age/maturation; (2) socialization; (3) learning specific knowledge or skill; (4) generalized understanding; (5) intellectual stimulation; (6) self?selection. Findings from longitudinal, experimental, correlational, educational and life experience studies are used to evaluate the plausibility of each interpretation. The last three interpretations are favoured over the first three.
At the 1987 meeting, the governing board of the Association for Moral Education considered various ways of honouring Larry Kohlberg. Larry Kohlberg has been the guiding light and chief impetus for this organization and the board wanted to recognize this. There was a quick consensus that an on?going lecture series in Larry Kohlberg's name would be a fitting tribute. The annual lecture will be a device for breathing fresh life into the work of moral education; it will be a way (...) of infusing new ideas into the Association, in an ongoing way; a way of expanding our thinking and challenging us. The guest lecturer should be someone with new ideas about moral education or about the psychology of morality or about moral philosophy. Therefore the lecture series is not intended to reminisce each year about Larry Kohlberg, or to freeze Larry's accomplishments, or to rigidity Larry's thinking, or to cannonize Kohlbergian orthodoxy. Rather, in the years to come we expect to invite speakers who are not necessarily insiders of the Association and whose thinking may seem quite different from Larry Kohlberg's ideas of the 1980s. Larry's ideas were constantly being expanded and renewed. He himself claimed to be his own foremost revisionist. It is in this spirit that we intend to honour him with these lectures. (shrink)
Ethical decision-making research has centered on Rest’s framework that represents a rational, nonaffective model for ethical decision making. However, research in human cognition suggesting a “dual-processing” framework, composed of both rational and affective components, has been relatively ignored in the ethical decision-making literature. Examining dual-processing literature, it seems affect might be an important factor in decision making when a person’s mood is congruent with the task or situational context frame. Given that ethical decisions are serious and complex tasks, it (...) is proposed here that inducing a negative affective state might produce mood congruence, reinforce the salience of emotion for ethical decision makers, and lead to differences in decision processing. Evidence is presented documenting differences in the decisions made by ethical decision makers in a negative affective state as compared to those in either a positive or neutral affective state. (shrink)
Species evolve, very slowly, through selection of genes which give rise to phenotypes well adapted to their environments. The cultures, including the languages, of human communities evolve, much faster, maintaining at least a minimum level of adaptedness to the external, non- cultural environment. In the phylogenetic evolution of species, the transmission of information across generations is via copying of molecules, and innovation is by mutation and sexual recombination. In cultural evolution, the transmission of information across generations is by learning, and (...) innovation is by sporadic invention or borrowing from other cultures. This much is the foundational bedrock of evolutionary theory. But things get more complicated; there can be gene-culture co-evolution. Prior to the rise of culture, the physical environment is the only force shaping biological evolution from outside the organism, and cultures themselves are clearly constrained by the evolved biological characteristics of their members. But cultures become part of the external environment, and influence the course of biological evolution. For example, altruistic cultures with developed medical knowledge reduce the cost to the individual of carrying genes disposing to certain pathologies (such as diabetes); and such genes become more widespread in the populations maintaining such cultures. Assortative mating can affect biological evolution, and particular cultures may influence the factors which are sorted for in mating. (For a careful discussion of the effects of cultural evolution on natural selection, see Cavalli-Sforza and Bodmer, 1971:774- 804). This paper examines mechanisms involved in the co-evolution of a biological trait, the critical period for language acquisition, and a property of human cultures, the size of their languages. A gene/culture interaction will be shown that can be described as a kind of symbiosis, but perhaps more aptly as an `arms race'. In this introduction, we will sketch the basic mechanics of the interaction in very broad terms; the rest of the paper will explain and justify the details. The implications of our model for second language acquisition are given toward the end of the paper. (shrink)
The reputations of scientists among their contemporaries depend not only on accomplishment, but also on interactions affected by influence and personality. The historical lore of most fields of scientific endeavor preserve these reputations, often through the identification of founders, innovators, and prolific workers whose contributions are considered fundamental to progress in the field. Historians frequently rely on the historical lore of scientists to guide their studies of the development of ideas, exhibiting justifiable caution in reassessing reputations in the light of (...) current knowledge. However, the transmission of historical lore can obscure the relative importance of accomplishment, influence and personality in shaping contemporary reputations, leaving the historian to either accept reputations at face value or attempt to reconstruct the context in which they were created. The science of taxonomy, because of its rules of priority, leaves a relatively accurate record of historical accomplishment through the persistence of taxa in catalogues and faunal guides. These records allow the modern historian an unbiased means to assess the relative accomplishments of historical figures and therefore a means to critically reassess reputations independent of personality and influence. In the historical lore of North American ichthyology, Louis Agassiz at Harvard and Spencer Baird at the Smithsonian emerge as central figures in the early development of the field during the mid-1800s, contributing not only through the quality and quantity of their science, but also through their roles as institutional leaders and mentors to workers who followed. Charles Girard, originally a student of Agassiz's and later a coworker with Baird, receives little notice in the history of ichthyology, and his reputation is that of a minor player in the initial description of the North American fish fauna, and one whose work appears to have been flawed or even careless when compared to his contemporaries. However, a review of both contemporary and modern taxonomic works reveals that Girard's productivity far exceeded that of either Agassiz or Baird. Furthermore, an examination of the tendency of Girard and his contemporaries to introduce synonymous names into the literature, which might reflect careless or uncritical work, suggests that Girard was among the more accomplished workers of his era, including Agassiz and Baird. Girard's low ranking in the folklore of North American ichthyology, therefore, can not be attributed to discernible shortcomings in his scientific work, but rather to a public and private campaign of criticism waged by Agassiz after Girard's departure from Harvard. While Agassiz's dispute with Girard stemmed from their personal interactions, he expressed them as criticisms of Girard's work, and thus helped shape Girard's scientific reputation as it has been transmitted through the lore of ichthyology. This case study reveals how scientific reputation may not always rest on accomplishment, but can be influenced by personal interactions obscured by time but nonetheless important to history. (shrink)
Adam Smith raised a series of obstacles to effective large-scale social planning. In this paper, I draw these Smithian obstacles together to construct what I call the “Great Mind Fallacy,” or the belief that there exists some person or persons who can overcome the obstacles Smith raises. The putative scope of the Great Mind Fallacy is larger than one might initially suppose, which I demonstrate by reviewing several contemporary thinkers who would seem to commit it. I then address two ways (...) the fallacy might be overcome, finding both wanting. I close the paper by suggesting that Smith's Great Mind Fallacy sheds interesting light on his “impartial spectator” standard of morality, including with respect to the specific issues of property and ownership. (shrink)
The substantial work on cognitive moral development (CMD) by Lawrence Kohlberg and JamesRest popularized the use of this construct in the literature on business ethics. This construct has been prominently used in models attempting to explain ethical/unethical behavior in management, marketing, and accounting, even though Kohlberg did not intend for the construct to be used in that manner. As a predictor of behavior, CMD has been attacked on the theoretical level, and its empirical performance has been weak. (...) This article uses another established construct, which seems to satisfy the central criticisms of CMD, as a means of testing those complaints. The comparative multidimensional ethics scale (MES) substantially outperforms CMD, operationalized using Rest’s Defining Issues Test, in every test. These results seem to suggest that other options perform better than CMD when the purpose is to model ethical/unethical behavior or even ethical judgment. (shrink)
In this paper I critically examine the Generality Problem and argue that it does not succeed as an objection to reliabilism. Although those who urge the Generality Problem are correct in claiming that any process token can be given indefinitely many descriptions that pick out indefinitely many process types, they are mistaken in thinking that reliabilists have no principled way to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant process types.
This book explores aspects of science from an economic point of view. The author begins with economic models of misconduct in science, moving on to discuss other important issues, including market failure and the market place of ideas.
The second in James Hurford's acclaimed two-volume exploration of the biological evolution of language explores the evolutionary and cultural preconditions and consequences of humanity's great leap into language.
Bringing about desirable collisions (making interceptions) and avoiding unwanted collisions are critically important sensorimotor skills, which appear to require us to estimate the time remaining before collision occurs (time-to-collision). Until recently the theoretical approach to understanding time-to-collision estimation has been dominated by the tau-hypothesis, which has its origins in J.J. Gibson’s ecological approach to perception. The hypothesis proposes that a quantity (tau), present in the visual stimulus, provides the necessary time-to-collision information. Empirical results and formal analyses have now accumulated to (...) demonstrate conclusively that the tau-hypothesis is false. This article describes an alternative approach that is based on recent data showing that the information used in judging time-to-collision is task- and situation-dependent, is of many different origins (of which tau is just one) and is influenced by the information-processing constraints of the nervous system. (shrink)
This paper compares the ethical decisions and attitudes of business students and practitioners. Recent unpublished data from a national study of over 1600 students are contrasted with information reported previously. Students are found consistently to make less ethical choices than practitioners, and there is some indication that students are making less ethical choices in the 1980s than in the 1960s. In addition, both students and practitioners agree that buyers should beware, view the role of business more narrowly, and find fewer (...) incentives to behave ethically over time. Codes of ethics appear to be less influential than the individual's strong personal value system and one's superiors behaving ethically; support for codes is declining. The paper concludes with observations about the limitations and possibilities for survey research in this area drawing on other studies that used the same instrument utilized for this paper. Some implications for future research are suggested. (shrink)
Mystics have always claimed that a very significant kind of self-perception is possible, at the end of certain spiritual disciplines. The self that is then supposed to be known is a unity, identical from one experience to the next, and not to be identified with any particular experiences, such as impressions or ideas, which the self has. In short, mystical testimony supports something like a theory of the essential self as simple and unchanging.
In this article, I argue that while Christians should share Engelhardt’s disappointment in how bioethics functions in the world, they should not share his exasperation. I begin by outlining the general argument in After God, its understanding of secularism, and of how such secularism has impacted bioethics. Next, I suggest that Englehardt appears to lean toward disengagement or at least an extremely suspicious sectarianism. Rather, I claim that it is possible for Christians to morally engage in a useful way with (...) others and still base their own moral activity on proper life telos. Such cooperation is not to serve a commonly-held ultimate purpose, but shared proximate ends. That said, the moral discourse with those outside the Church may be necessarily limited by shallow moral acquaintanceship. I argue that the concept of “middle axioms” can be used as a mechanism for engagement with others in this society. Importantly, this approach does not require abandoning distinctive Christian commitments and foundational assumptions. (shrink)
All forms of beauty create appeal or enticement with moral significance. Sublime beauty draws one into a deep relationship that properly promotes the good and true. Parents tend to experience such beauty in their children, as eloquently described in works such as the 14th-century poem ‘The Pearl’, and they see this even when their children are desperately ill or dying. The experience of beauty in one’s child creates or reinforces the morality of caring. Unfortunately, at the end of modernity, the (...) framing of beauty as only instrumental and subjective generally works against any recognition of dignity or respect for the very small pediatric patient. Practitioners who believe in the intrinsic value and dignity of persons as general concepts should recognize parental drawing toward their children as a particularization of a transcendental value. (shrink)
Charles Sanders Peirce has authored an extraordinary ?Note on the Theory of the Economy of Research? (1879). The Note presents an economic model of research project selection in science. A case can be made that the Note was the first piece of modern scientific research in all of economics. This claim is based on the novelty of the method of argument, the graphical techniques, and the ratio of the marginal utilities found in the Note. The Note is also significant for (...) making economic factors a central part of a theory of scientific inference, something which contemporary economic methodologists and philosophers still have not done except for a few notable exceptions. And it has been used by philosopher Nicholas Rescher to interpret and criticize Karl Popper's notion of falsification. All of these contributions suggest that Peirce's Note may be of unusual interest to the economics profession. (shrink)
Experimental philosophers have investigated various ways in which non‐epistemic evaluations can affect knowledge attributions. For example, several teams of researchers (Beebe and Buckwalter 2010; Beebe and Jensen 2012; Schaffer and Knobe 2012; Beebe and Shea 2013; Buckwalter 2014b; Turri 2014) report that the goodness or badness of an agent’s action can affect whether the agent is taken to have certain kinds of knowledge. These findings raise important questions about how patterns of folk knowledge attributions should influence philosophical theorizing about knowledge.
Knobe (2003a, 2003b, 2004b) and others have demonstrated the surprising fact that the valence of a side-effect action can affect intuitions about whether that action was performed intentionally. Here we report the results of an experiment that extends these findings by testing for an analogous effect regarding knowledge attributions. Our results suggest that subjects are less likely to find that an agent knows an action will bring about a side-effect when the effect is good than when it is bad. It (...) is further argued that these findings, while preliminary, have important implications for recent debates within epistemology about the relationship between knowledge and action. (shrink)
Business and especially marketing ethics have come to the forefront in recent years. While consumers have been surveyed regarding their perceptions of ethical business and marketing practices, research has been minimal with regard to their perceptions of ethical consumer practices. In addition, few studies have examined the ethical beliefs of elderly consumers even though they are an important and rapidly growing segment. This research investigates the relationship between Machiavellianism, ethical ideology and ethical beliefs for elderly consumers. The results indicate that (...) elderly consumers, while generally being more ethical than younger consumers, are diverse in their eithical beliefs. (shrink)
In recent years, there have been multiple instances of misconduct in science, yet no coherent framework exists for characterizing this phenomenon. The thesis of this article is that economic analysis can provide such a framework. Economic analysis leads to two categories of misconduct: replication failure and fraud. Replication failure can be understood as the scientist making optimal use of time in a professional environment where innovation is emphasized rather than replication. Fraud can be depicted as a deliberate gamble under conditions (...) of uncertainty: The scientist takes advantage of the complexity of science and undermines the integrity of science for personal gain or advancement. (shrink)
Since the late nineteenth century, studies of mysticism have presented us with two contrasting conclusions. The first is that mystics all over the world report basically the same experience, and the second is that there are great differences among the reports, and possibly among the experiences. On the positive side there are such works as Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy , with its claim that all mystics say that all beings are manifestations of a Divine Ground, that men learn of this (...) by direct intuition, that men have two natures, one phenomenal and one eternal, and that identification with his eternal nature is the purpose of man. Walter Stace supports this view, in a modified way, with his observation that, while each mystic seems to advance a peculiar explanation of his experience, their statements collectively exhibit strong similarities. Mystics commonly report a consciousness of unity, carrying with it feelings of objectivity, blessedness, and holiness. They describe their experience in paradoxical language, and say that ultimately it is ineffable. These twentieth-century observations are repetitions of those of William James, so that this basic point has become a cliché, and, as R. C. Zaehner says, ‘We have been told ad nauseum that mysticism is the highest expression of religion and that it appears in all ages and in all places in a more or less identical form, often in a religious milieu that would seem to be the reverse of propitious.’. (shrink)
We report the results of two studies that examine folk metaethical judgments about the objectivity of morality. We found that participants attributed almost as much objectivity to ethical statements as they did to statements of physical fact and significantly more objectivity to ethical statements than to statements about preferences or tastes. In both studies, younger participants attributed less objectivity to ethical statements than older participants. Females were observed to attribute slightly less objectivity to ethical statements than males, and we found (...) important interactions between attributions of objectivity and other factors, such as how strong participants’ moral opinions were and how much disagreement about the issue they perceived to exist within society. We believe our results have significant implications for debates about the nature of folk morality and about the nature of morality in general. (shrink)
We report the results of a study that investigated the views of researchers working in seven scientific disciplines and in history and philosophy of science in regard to four hypothesized dimensions of scientific realism. Among other things, we found that natural scientists tended to express more strongly realist views than social scientists, that history and philosophy of science scholars tended to express more antirealist views than natural scientists, that van Fraassen’s characterization of scientific realism failed to cluster with more standard (...) characterizations, and that those who endorsed the pessimistic induction were no more or less likely to endorse antirealism. (shrink)
Charles Peirce had significant interests in economics. He reworked the mathematical economic models of Cournot and Jevons in the 1870s. He conceived of the transitive axiom of consumer preferences in 1874. Peirce also developed a thesis of the cognitive efficiency of the human mind, abduction. He criticized Newcomb's economic writings. These forays into economics affected the six essays on pragmatism. These interests in economics are integrated with the meaning of the pragmatic maxim in Peirce's 1903 Harvard Lectures.
For phenomenology, the study of appearances and the ways they come together to present a world, the question of the ego presents special difficulties. The ego, itself, is not an appearance; it is the subject to whom appearances appear. As such, it cannot appear. As the neo-Kantian, Paul Natorp expresses this:“The ego is the subjective center of relation for all contents in my consciousness. . . . It cannot itself be a content and resembles nothing that could be a content (...) ofconsciousness.” Husserl will wrestle throughout the whole of his career with the issue of how to handle phenomenologically an ego that cannot be considered asa content of consciousness. In this article, I will outline the stages of his journey toward resolving this question. (shrink)
Abductivists claim that explanatory considerations (e.g., simplicity, parsimony, explanatory breadth, etc.) favor belief in the external world over skeptical hypotheses involving evil demons and brains in vats. After showing how most versions of abductivism succumb fairly easily to obvious and fatal objections, I explain how rationalist versions of abductivism can avoid these difficulties. I then discuss the most pressing challenges facing abductivist appeals to the a priori and offer suggestions on how to overcome them.
Th e present article reports a series of experiments designed to extend the empirical investigation of folk metaethical intuitions by examining how different kinds of ethical disagreement can impact attributions of objectivity to ethical claims.
A number of researchers have begun to demonstrate that the widely discussed ?Knobe effect? (wherein participants are more likely to think that actions with bad side-effects are brought about intentionally than actions with good or neutral side-effects) can be found in theory of mind judgments that do not involve the concept of intentional action. In this article we report experimental results that show that attributions of knowledge can be influenced by the kinds of (non-epistemic) concerns that drive the Knobe effect. (...) Our findings suggest there is good reason to think that the epistemic version of the Knobe effect is a theoretically significant and robust effect, and that the goodness or badness of side-effects can often have greater influence on participant knowledge attributions than explicit information about objective probabilities. Thus, our work sheds light on important ways in which participant assessments of actions can affect the epistemic assessments participants make of agents? beliefs. (shrink)
Charles Griswold has written a comprehensive philosophical study of Smith's moral and political thought. Griswold sets Smith's work in the context of the Enlightenment and relates it to current discussions in moral and political philosophy. Smith's appropriation as well as criticism of ancient philosophy, and his carefully balanced defence of a liberal and humane moral and political outlook, are also explored. This 1999 book is a major philosophical and historical reassessment of a key figure in the Enlightenment that will be (...) of particular interest to philosophers and political and legal theorists, as well as historians of ideas, rhetoric, and political economy. (shrink)
In 2004 Edouard Machery, Ron Mallon, Shaun Nichols and Stephen Stich published what has become one of the most widely discussed papers in experimental philosophy, in which they reported that East Asian and Western participants had different intuitions about the semantic reference of proper names. A flurry of criticisms of their work has emerged, and although various replications have been performed, many critics remain unconvinced. We review the current debate over Machery et al.’s (2004) results and take note of which (...) objections to their work have been satisfactorily answered and which ones still need to be addressed. We then report the results of studies that reveal significant cross-cultural and intra-cultural differences in semantic intuitions when we control for variables that critics allege have had a potentially distorting effect on Machery et al.’s findings. These variables include the epistemic perspective from which participants are supposed to understand the research materials, unintended anchoring effects of those materials, and pragmatic factors involved in the interpretation of speech acts within them. Our results confirm the robustness of the cross-cultural differences observed by Machery et al. and thereby strengthen the philosophical challenge they pose. (shrink)
Jan Patočka appears as a paradoxical figure. A champion of human rights, he often presents his philosophy in quite traditional terms. He speaks of the “soul,” its “care,” and of “living in truth.” Yet, in his proposal for an “asubjective” phenomenology, he undermines the traditional notion of the self that has such rights. The question that thus confronts a reader of Patočka is how to reconcile the Patočka who was a spokesman of the Charter 77 movement with the proponent of (...) asubjective phenomenology. What, in fact, is the conception of selfhood that allows him both to affirm human rights and to deny what has been traditionally conceived as the subject of such rights? This conception, I argue, is that of the self as a specific “motion of existence.” By focusing on how, through motion, we actualize our humanity, he avoids both the naturalistic and the idealistic conceptions of the self. (shrink)
Among the various institutional structures of an economy like the firm and the marketplace is one that is like no other. Science is unique. This uniqueness raises an important question: why does science exist? From an economic perspective, there are two potentially meaningful approaches to the existence of science. They both encompass institutional pluralism. A substitutes theory of comparative institutions presupposes the primacy of the commercial marketplace over firmsthat firms substitute for the market when markets fail. This theory has not (...) been used to explain the existence of science. A complements theory postulates that many simultaneous institutional responses, including science, are necessary for creating an efficient and equitable economy. The economic function of science is to produce fundamental theoretical abstractions about our world. Scientific theories are public goods that would not likely be produced within the governance structures of commercial markets and firms. The aim is to complement but not supplant traditional philosophical answers that science exists to discover truth and knowledge. (shrink)
In this article the basic principles of responsible authorship and peer review are surveyed, with special emphasis on (a) guidelines for refereeing archival journal articles and proposals; and (b) how these guidelines should be taken into account at all stages of writing.
Knobe (Analysis 63:190-193, 2003a, Philosophical Psychology 16:309-324, 2003b, Analysis 64:181-187, 2004b) found that people are more likely to attribute intentionality to agents whose actions resulted in negative side-effects that to agents whose actions resulted in positive ones. Subsequent investigation has extended this result to a variety of other folk psychological attributions. The present article reports experimental findings that demonstrate an analogous effect for belief ascriptions. Participants were found to be more likely to ascribe belief, higher degrees of belief, higher degrees (...) of rational belief, and dispositional belief to agents in central Knobe effect cases who bring about negative side-effects than to agents who bring about positive ones. These findings present a significant challenge to widely held views about the Knobe effect, since many explanations of it assume that agents in contrasting pairs of Knobe effect cases do not differ with respect to their beliefs. Participants were also found to be more confident that knowledge should be attributed than they were that belief or dispositional belief should be attributed. This finding strengthens the challenge that Myers-Schulz and Schwitzgebel (2013) have launched against the traditional view that knowledge entails belief. (shrink)
This study examines the ethical values of respondents by level in the organizational hierarchy of a single firm. It also explores the possible impacts of gender, education and years of experience on respondents' values as well as their perceptions of how the organization and professional associations influence their personal values. Results showed that, although there were differences in individuals' ethical values by hierarchical level, significantly more differences were observed by the length of tenure with the organization. While respondents, as a (...) whole, were rather ambivalent in their perception of the organization's and professional associations' influence on their values, sales/service persons frequently felt pressured to modify their values in order to achieve company goals. (shrink)