“Violence” and “nonviolence” are, increasingly, misleading translations for the Sanskrit words hiṃsā and ahiṃsā—used by Gandhi as the basis for his philosophy of satyāgraha. I argue for rereading hiṃsā as “maleficence” and ahiṃsā as “beneficence.” These two more mind-referring English words capture the primacy of intention implied by Gandhi’s core principles. Reflecting a political turn in moral accountability detectable through linguistic data, both the scope and the usage of the word “violence” have expanded dramatically, making it harder to convincingly characterize (...) people and actions as “nonviolent.” New terminology could clarify the distinction between hiṃsā and ahiṃsā, and, thereby, prevent misunderstandings of Gandhi. Training in beneficence would reflect Gandhi’s psychological path to reducing avoidable harm: ego-detachment, universal love, and seeking truth by experiment. -/- NOTE: An extended, unpublished version, with additional arguments and evidence, is also available on PhilPapers as "The Primacy of Intention and the Duty to Truth: A Gandhi-Inspired Argument for Retranslating Hiṃsā and Ahiṃsā, with Connections to History, Ethics, and Civil Resistance". (shrink)
Una sintetica introduzione alle principali questioni etiche e filosofiche riguardanti la comunicazione sanitaria: la comunicazione fra medico e paziente e quella fra istituzioni, sanitari e cittadini. In uno scenario in cui autonomia e consenso della persona sono sempre più rilevanti nelle scelte di cura e di tutela della salute, l’autrice delinea un quadro concettuale aggiornato per affrontare temi problematici come la comunicazione della diagnosi, l’impostazione delle campagne di prevenzione e salute pubblica, il ruolo dei medici come esperti nei media. -/- (...) Indice del volume: Introduzione. - I. Concetti per la bioetica. - II. La comunicazione tra medico e paziente. - 3. La comunicazione delle istituzioni sanitarie. - IV. Gli esperti e i media nella comunicazione della salute. - Riferimenti bibliografici. - Indice analitico. -/- . (shrink)
The words "violence" and "nonviolence" are increasingly misleading translations for the Sanskrit words hiṃsā and ahiṃsā -- which were used by Gandhi as the basis for his philosophy of satyāgraha. I argue for re-reading hiṃsā as “maleficence” and ahiṃsā as “beneficence.” These two more mind-referring English words – associated with religiously contextualized discourse of the past -- capture the primacy of intention implied by Gandhi’s core principles, better than “violence” and “nonviolence” do. Reflecting a political turn in moral accountability detectable (...) through linguistic data, both the scope and the usage of the word “violence” have expanded dramatically. The expanded scope of “violence” reflects greater consciousness of the various forms that serious harm can take, but also makes it harder to convincingly characterize people and actions as “nonviolent.” New translations could clarify the distinction between hiṃsā and ahiṃsā, and thereby prevent some misunderstandings of Gandhi. Training in beneficence would reflect Gandhi’s psychological path to reducing avoidable harm: detachment from the ego, learning to love universally, and seeking truth by experiment. (shrink)
Many have argued we have a moral obligation to assist others in need, but given the scope of global suffering, how far does this obligation extend? According to one traditional philosophical view, the obligation to help others is limited by our ability to help them, or by the principle that “ought implies can”. This view is primarily defended on the grounds that it is a core principle of commonsense moral psychology. This paper reviews findings from experimental philosophy in cognitive science (...) demonstrating that “ought implies can” is rejected by moral psychology. Researchers find that moral obligations are ascribed to agents who cannot fulfill them, suggesting that moral requirements do sometimes extend beyond what we are able to do. This research furthers our understanding of moral obligation, identifies an important need for further cross-cultural work in moral psychology, and demonstrates a way in which scientific experimentation can be applied to improve upon the conceptual analysis of important philosophical concepts in normative ethics. (shrink)
When it comes to the duty of beneficence, a formidable class of moderate positions holds that morally significant considerations emerge when one's actions are seen as part of a larger series. Agglomeration, according to these moderates, limits the demands of beneficence, thereby avoiding the extremely demanding view forcefully defended by Peter Singer. This idea has much appeal. What morality can demand of people is, it seems, appropriately modulated by how much they have already done or will do. Here we examine (...) a number of recent proposals that appeal to agglomeration. None of them, we argue, succeeds. (shrink)
Philosophers concerned with what would be good for a person sometimes consider a person’s past desires. Indeed, some theorists have argued by appeal to past desires that it is in the best interests of certain dementia patients to die. I reject this conclusion. I consider three different ways one might appeal to a person’s past desires in arguing for conclusions about the good of such patients, finding flaws with each. Of the views I reject, the most interesting one is the (...) view that prudential value is, at least partly, concerned with the shape of a life as a whole. (shrink)
We sometimes witness events that might be dangerous (e.g. that might end in someone being abused) but that might not be. These cases involve various kinds of uncertainty. How does a morally responsible bystander respond? This essay describes and evaluates Active Bystander training programs.
This research examines benevolent leadership and makes three key contributions to organizational research. The first contribution is a theoretical one; the development of a theory-grounded conceptual model of benevolent leadership based on four streams of creating common good in organizations: morality, spirituality, vitality, and community. The second contribution is the development of an instrument (Benevolent Leadership Scale) to measure the construct of benevolent leadership. This scale is composed of four dimensions: Ethical Sensitivity, Spiritual Depth, Positive Engagement, and Community Responsiveness. The (...) third contribution is of empirical nature: the exploration of potential outcomes of benevolent leadership in organizations, affective commitment, and organizational citizenship behavior. (shrink)
I argue that there is a blinkering effect to decency. Being a morally sensitive person, and having internalized a code of behavior that restricts the range of actions that one takes as live options for oneself, constrains one’s imagination. It becomes harder to identify imaginatively with mportant parts of human possibility. In particular—the part of the claim that I will argue for in this chapter—it limits one’s capacity to empathize with those who perform atrocious acts. They become alien to one. (...) This is an obstacle to understanding many important, if awful, human actions. But it also creates obstacles to understanding some very ordinary,relatively harmless, actions. It is a problem that decent people have to grapple with. (These themes are developed further in my book *Emotion and Imagination* Polity 2013.). (shrink)
The article distinguishes between charity and philanthropy and answers those who argue that monies spent for either are an inefficient deployment of monies for present consumption that could better be deployed by investing in the production of future wealth. It closes by arguing that philanthropists provide a key leadership role in the free-market economy. -/- The author owns the copyright, and there was no agreement, express or implied, not to use the publisher's PDF.
Some have attempted to justify benefit/ cost analysis by appealing to a moral theory that appears to directly ground the technique. This approach is unsuccessful because the moral theory in question is wildly implausible and, even if it were correct, it would probably not endorse the unrestricted use of benefit/ cost analysis. Nevertheless, there is reason to think that a carefully restricted use of benefit/ cost analysis will be justifiable from a wide variety of plausible moral perspectives. From this, it (...) is reasonable to conclude that such use of the technique is probably morally justified and should be acceptable to most people. (shrink)