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 individual's 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 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)
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)
Researchers display confirmation bias when they persevere by revising procedures until obtaining a theory-predicted result. This strategy produces findings that are overgeneralized in avoidable ways, and this in turn binders successful applications. (The 40-year history of an attitude-change phenomenon.
Prominent evolutionary psychologists have argued that our innate psychological endowment consists of numerous domainspecific cognitive resources, rather than a few domaingeneral ones. In the light of some conceptual clarification, we examine the central inprinciple arguments that evolutionary psychologists mount against domaingeneral cognition. We conclude (a) that the fundamental logic of Darwinism, as advanced within evolutionary psychology, does not entail that the innate mind consists exclusively, or even massively, of domainspecific features, and (b) that a mixed innate cognitive economy of domainspecific (...) and domaingeneral resources remains a genuine conceptual possibility. However, an examination of evolutionary psychology's 'grain problem' reveals that there is no way of establishing a principled and robust distinction between domainspecific and domaingeneral features. Nevertheless, we show that evolutionary psychologists can and do live with this grain problem without their whole enterprise being undermined. (shrink)
Direct Doxastic Voluntarism — the notion that we have direct voluntary control over our beliefs — has widely been held to be false. There are, however, two ways to interpret the impossibility of our having doxastic control: as either a conceptual/ logical/metaphysical impossibility or as a psychological impossibility. In this paper I analyse the arguments for and against both types of claim and, in particular, evaluate the bearing that putative cases of self-deception have on the arguments in defence of voluntarism (...) about belief. For it would seem that if it is the case that self-induced cases of self-deception are indeed possible, then voluntarism about belief could be true after all. Bennett claims that Williams’ argument for the impossibility case proves too much in that if it is successful in ruling out direct doxastic voluntarism, it is also successful in ruling out cases of indirect doxastic voluntarism. If cases of self-deception can also be cases of indirect doxastic voluntarism, then such cases support the argument against the impossibility case. I argue that Bennett is right in claiming that Williams’ argument proves too much, that cases of self-deception are indeed also sometimes cases of indirect self-deception and so that they cause genuine trouble for the conceptual impossibility case. However, I also argue that this is the only genuine worry for Williams’ argument. I end, while considering whether cases of self-deception can tell us anything about the psychological possibility of direct doxastic control, by suggesting a way of establishing the conceptual impossibility of direct doxastic control that circumvents Bennett’s counter-argument. (shrink)
The paper addresses the nature of duties grounded in human rights. Rather than being protections against harm, per se, I contend that human rights largely shield against risk impositions to protected interests. “Risk imposition” is a normative idea requiring explication, but understanding dutiful action in its terms enables human rights to provide prospective policy guidance, hold institutions accountable, operate in non-ideal circumstances, embody impartiality among persons, and define the moral status of agencies in international relations. Slightly differently, I indicate a (...) general understanding of dutiful action that permits human rights to see to the tasks of an institutional morality. (shrink)
Ronald Dworkin once identified the basic question of jurisprudence as: ‘What, in general, is a good reason for a decision by a court of law?’ I argue that, over the course of his career, Dworkin gave an essentially sound answer to this question. In fact, he gave a correct answer to a broader question: ‘What is a good reason for a legal decision, generally?’ For judges, officials of executive and administrative agencies, lawyers, non-governmental organizations, and ordinary subjects acting in the (...) variety of legal contexts, Dworkin identified the proper basis for a legal decision, and its implications for the form of well-conducted legal reasoning. Dworkin's stance on the above questions can be characterised by two theses. I defend his view by substantiating each. The result is agnostic about the viability of other aspects of Dworkin's legal theory, as it focuses on the grounds of proper legal decision-making. Whatever the fate of his other philosophical views, Dworkin's jurisprudence includes a clear-heade... (shrink)
Judicial obligation to enforce the law is typically regarded as both unproblematic and important: unproblematic because there is little reason to doubt that judges have a general, if prima facie, obligation to enforce law, and important because the obligation gives judges significant reason to limit their concern in adjudication to applying the law. I challenge both of these assumptions and argue that norms of political legitimacy, which may be extra-legal, are irretrievably at the basis of responsible judicial reasoning.
I here address the question of how judges should decide questions before a court in morally imperfect legal systems. I characterize how moral considerations ought inform judicial reasoning given that the law may demand what it has no right to. Much of the large body of work on legal interpretation, with its focus on legal semantics and epistemology, does not adequately countenance the limited legitimacy of actual legal institutions to serve as a foundation for an ethics of adjudication. I offer (...) an adjudicative theory in the realm of non-ideal theory: I adopt a view of law that has achieved consensus in legal philosophy, make some plausible assumptions about human politics, and then consider directly the question of how judges should reason. Ultimately, I argue that judges should be cognizant of the goods that are at stake on particular occasions of adjudication and that this requires treating legal requirements transparently, i.e., as sensitive to their moral justifications. (shrink)
This paper argues for a largely unnoted distinction between relational and modal components in the lexical semantics of verbs. Wehypothesize that many verbs encode two kinds of semantic information:a relationship among participants in a situation and a subset ofcircumstances or time indices at which this relationship isevaluated. The latter we term sublexical modality.We show that linking regularities between semantic arguments andsyntactic functions provide corroborating evidence in favor of thissemantic distinction, noting cases in which the semantic groundingof linking through participant-role properties (...) apparently fails. Thissemantic grounding can be preserved, however, once we abstractaway from sublexical modality in lexical semantic representations.Semantically-based linking constraints are insensitive to the sublexicalmodality component of lexical entries and depend only on informationin a predicator's situational core. (shrink)
In this paper, we examine the intersection of existentialism and management, in particular to illustrate how existential thought offers three key insights to the pragmatic world of work and applied act of management: (1) Existentialism places a primacy upon the individual and the existential self that is continually being formed within the workplace. (2) Existentialism allows for a coherent examination of individual and organisational-level decision making and ethics as an integral part of the philosophy. (3) Existentialism is inherently ‘applied’ and (...) focused on ‘process’ in that it allows for an understanding of the meaning of work. (shrink)
Crespi & Badcock (C&B) provide a novel hypothesis outlining a role for imprinted genes in mediating brain functions underlying social behaviours. The basic premise is that maternally expressed genes are predicted to promote hypermentalistic behaviours, and paternally expressed genes hypomentalistic behaviours. The authors provide a detailed overview of data supporting their ideas, but as we discuss, caution should be applied in interpreting these data.
Using principally, though not exclusively, the learning of the biblical languages, this paper seeks to demonstrate four things. Firstly, from their beginnings in the early seventeenth century the majority of British Baptists have believed that the study of theology is essential for their ministers, and that the provision of such an education through their colleges is necessary for the well-being of the churches. Secondly, and contrary to misconceptions among Baptists and those of other traditions, Baptists have always had ministers who (...) have been highly trained theologically, and that this has enriched their service as pastors. Thirdly, it reveals that Baptists today have a wealth of both academically-gifted and theologically-astute pastortheologians and pastor-scholars. Finally, it argues that theology has always played its part in the renewal of Christian life and witness for which so many Christians today are praying. (shrink)
In a morally non-ideal legal system, how can law bind its subjects? How can the fact of a norm’s legality make it the case that practical reason is bound by that norm? Moreover, in such circumstances, what is the extent and character of law’s bindingness? I defend here an answer to these questions. I present a non-ideal theory of legality’s ability to produce binding reasons for action. It is not a descriptive account of law and its claims, it is a (...) normative theory of legal reasoning for particular social circumstances. The approach is, somewhat like Raz’s influential account, instrumental in character. Yet, it denies that the morally binding legal norms are, in whole or part, exclusionary reasons for the responsible subject. Law’s instrumentality must be given an alternative characterization. (shrink)
Demonstrating that a developing norm is not yet well established in international law is frequently thought to show that states are not bound by the norm as law. More precisely, showing that a purported international legal norm has only limited support from well-established international legal sources is normally seen as sufficient to rebut an obligation on the part of subjects to comply with the norm in virtue of its legal status. I contend that this view is mistaken. Nascent norms of (...) international law (e.g., crystallizing norms of customary law) can be binding in much the same way as better-established doctrine. This point becomes perspicuous, I argue, once we get a clear sense of the plausible options for grounding the moral authority of international law generally. -/- This result is interesting in its own right, but it also reveals two other features of the character of state responsibility under international law. First, the distinction between legislation and compliance is less pronounced compared to domestic law. Consequently, the virtues of good governance will frequently be pertinent to determining the content of states’ obligations under international law. Second, normally more powerful and influential agents will be more strongly bound by international law than other subjects. This is an attractive result, addressing a concern that motivates many international lawyers to view international law as absolutely binding. An absolutist view international legal authority is unnecessary for showing that the most powerful and dangerous states are strongly bound by the terms of much existing law. (shrink)
It is obvious that bringing to light the founding murder completely rules out any compromise with the principle of sacrifice, or indeed with any conception of the death of Jesus as sacrifice.If anyone says that a true and proper sacrifice is not offered to God in the Mass … let him be anathema.René Girard's thought has produced both admiration and unease among Catholic sacramental theologians struggling to come to grips with what his theory of scapegoating and sacrifice implies for "the (...) holy sacrifice of the Mass." The language of sacrifice permeates the liturgy itself, official Church teaching—including the documents of Vatican II—and centuries of Eucharistic theology, so Girard's critique has the potential to... (shrink)
This study adds to a small but growing literature that situates sleep within gendered work— family responsibilities. We conducted interviews with 25 heterosexual dual-earner working-class couples with children, most of whom had one partner who worked at night. A few men suffered disrupted sleep because of their commitment to being a coparent to their children, but for most their provider status gave them rights to longer and more continuous sleep. By contrast, as they were the primary caregiver during sentient hours, (...) women’s sleep was curtailed and interrupted by responding to the needs of family members at night and at the beginning of each day, and this was true for women who worked nights as well as days. Furthermore, in struggling to meet their daily employment and familial obligations while tired and sleepy, women further stressed their bodies in ways that can cause cumulative sleep debt. This article demonstrates that sleep deficits are another manifestation of gender inequality, with important implications for long-term health and well-being. (shrink)
This paper examines the challenges that climate change raises for animal agriculture and discusses the contributions that may come from a virtue ethics based approach. Two scenarios of the future role of animals in farming are set forth and discussed in terms of their ethical implications. The paper argues that when trying to tackle both climate and animal welfare issues in farming, proposals that call for a reorientation of our ethics and technology must first and foremost consider the values that (...) drive current livestock production. This paper sets forth and discusses the broader societal values implicit in livestock production. We suggest that a virtues approach would improve our thinking and practice regarding animal agriculture, facilitating a move from livestock production to animal husbandry. This change in animal agriculture in a time of climate change would stress virtues such as attentiveness, responsibility, competence, and responsiveness as central elements in any mitigation or adaptation program. (shrink)
While in principle probabilistic logics might be applied to solve a range of problems, in practice they are rarely applied at present. This is perhaps because they seem disparate, complicated, and computationally intractable. However, we shall argue in this programmatic paper that several approaches to probabilistic logic into a simple unifying framework: logically complex evidence can be used to associate probability intervals or probabilities with sentences.