In this paper we look at business ethics from a deontological perspective. We address the theory of ethical decision-making and deontological ethics for business executives and explore the concept of “moral duty” as transcending mere gain and profit maximization. Two real-world cases that focus on accounting fraud as the ethical conception. Through these cases, we show that while accounting fraud – from a consequentialist perspective – may appear to provide a quick solution to a pressing problem, longer term effects of (...) fraud and misconduct make ethical implications more apparent. Widely used compensation schemes also may have the tendency to fuel unethical behavior. We argue that an ethical reinvigoration of the business world can only be accomplished by encouraging the business realm to impose upon itself some measure of self-regulating along the lines of deontological ethics. Principles of deontology should guide executive decision-making particularly when executives are tempted to operate outside of codified legislation or are bound to act under judicial-free conditions. (shrink)
"Something in between : on the nature of love" -- Love's blindness (1) : love's closed heart -- Love's blindness (2) : love's friendly eye -- Beyond comparison -- Commitments, values, and frameworks -- Valuing persons -- Love and morality -- Afterword. Between the universal and the particular.
The following is not a successful skeptical scenario: you think you know you have hands, but maybe you don't! Why is that a failure, when it's far more likely than, say, the evil genius hypothesis? That's the question.<br><br>This is an earlier draft.
Attempts to capture the distinction between categorical and dispositional states in terms of more primitive modal notions – subjunctive conditionals, causal roles, or combinatorial principles – are bound to fail. Such failure is ensured by a deep symmetry in the ways dispositional and categorical states alike carry modal import. But the categorical/dispositional distinction should not be abandoned; it underpins important metaphysical disputes. Rather, it should be taken as a primitive, after which the doomed attempts at reductive explanation can be transformed (...) into circular but interesting accounts. (shrink)
One of the possible interpretations for the esteem Arendt had for the res publica makes us think of a form of government which is potentially capable of stimulate citizens to the exercise of public liberty. This form of government, based on a system of councils, constitutes, according to Arendt, the “real” republic which, although born from inside one of the branches of the revolutionary tradition, was destroyed by the State bureaucracy as well as by party apparatuses. The point in this (...) essay is to analyse the not so well known principal of organisation of these areas of liberty, which are born from the experience of the political action per se. (shrink)
Reductionists about dispositions must either say the natural properties are all dispositional or individuate properties hyperintensionally. Lewis stands in as an example of the sort of combination I think is incoherent: properties individuated by modal profile + categoricalism.
The process-dissociation procedure has been used in a variety of experimental contexts to assess the contributions of conscious and unconscious processes to task performance. To evaluate whether motivation affects estimates of conscious and unconscious processes, participants were given incentives to follow inclusion and exclusion instructions in a perception task and a memory task. Relative to a control condition in which no performance incentives were given, the results for the perception task indicated that incentives increased the participants' ability to exclude previously (...) presented information, which in turn both increased the estimate of conscious processes and decreased the estimate of unconscious processes. However, the results also indicated that incentives did not influence estimates of conscious or unconscious processes in the memory task. The findings suggest that the process-dissociation procedure is relatively immune to influences of motivation when used with a memory task, but that caution should be exercised when the process-dissociation is used with a perception task. (shrink)
It is relatively common for philosophers to doubt whether we have any reason to act as morality requires. But it is very difficult to find philosophers who are willing to doubt, in a similar way, the idea that we have reason to act as instrumental rationality requires; reason, that is, to take effective steps toward attaining the ends we have accepted as our own. The inference from the fact that a certain action is an effective means of satisfying an agent’s (...) ends to the conclusion that that agent has reason to perform that action is held by almost everyone to be, as it is sometimes said, automatic: once it is determined that the action in question bears the specified relation to one’s goals, nothing more needs to be shown. But fewer philosophers are willing to grant that morality possesses this sort of automatic reason-giving force. Rather, it is quite commonly held that some additional consideration needs to be cited in order to show that an agent has reason to act as she is morally required. The fact that an action is morally required, claim those who adhere to this type of position, is not enough in itself. (shrink)
Nathan Salmon, in his paper Trans-World Identification and Stipulation (1996) purports to give a proof for the claim that facts concerning trans-world identity cannot be conceptually reduced to general facts. He calls this claim ‘Extreme Haecceitism.’ I argue that his proof is fallacious. However, I also contend that the analysis and ultimate rejection of his proof clarifies the fundamental issues that are at stake in the debate between the reductionist and haecceitist solutions to the problem of trans-world identity. These issues (...) hinge on the ability of modal logic and possible worlds semantics to draw a hard and fast distinction between the logic and the metaphysics of modal logic. I shall claim that the considerations in this paper call into question the viability of such a distinction. (shrink)
Business ethicists are eager to connect the ethical treatment of stakeholders with financial rewards. However, little attention hasbeen paid to the cultural and industry context that influences how stakeholders are regarded by the firm, and how innovative strategiesfor engaging stakeholders can help a firm outperform its competitors. By reconnecting stakeholder theory to its roots in the field of strategy, we provide a framework for understanding the dynamic interplay between stakeholder relationships, innovation, and competitive advantage. The result is a set of (...) testable propositions aimed at better characterizing when and how “ethics pays” (Paine 2003). (shrink)
A cosmopolitan education must help us identify with those who are unlike us. In Martha Nussbaum’s words, students must learn “enough to recognize common aims, aspirations, and values, and enough about these common ends to see how variously they are instantiated in the many cultures and their histories.” It is commonly thought that reading serious literature will play a significant role in this process. However, this claim is challenged by theorists we call sentimentalists, who claim that the goals of cosmopolitan (...) education are better served by less sophisticated, overtly sentimental texts which take a certain moral framework as given and encourage straightforward emotional responses within the guidelines of that framework. This paper critiques the sentimentalists’ position, arguing that their conception of a ‘sentimental education’ is inadequate to prepare students for the increasingly diverse, complex, cosmopolitan world their fate it is to inhabit. (shrink)
Business ethicists are eager to connect the ethical treatment of stakeholders with financial rewards. However, little attention hasbeen paid to the cultural and industry context that influences how stakeholders are regarded by the firm, and how innovative strategiesfor engaging stakeholders can help a firm outperform its competitors. By reconnecting stakeholder theory to its roots in the field of strategy, we provide a framework for understanding the dynamic interplay between stakeholder relationships, innovation, and competitive advantage. The result is a set of (...) testable propositions aimed at better characterizing when and how “ethics pays”. (shrink)
Before any citizen enters the role of scientist, medical practitioner, lawyer, epidemiologist, and so on, each and all grow up in a society in which the categories of human differentiation are folk categories that organize perceptions, relations, and behavior. That was true during slavery, during Reconstruction, the eugenics period, the two World Wars, and is no less true today. While every period understandably claims to transcend those categories, medicine, law, and science are profoundly and demonstrably influenced by the embedded folk (...) notions of race and ethnicity. (shrink)
Perhaps it has always been so, but certainly in the post-Enlightenment era there are inevitable linkages between the fields of law, medicine, and science. Each of these realms of activity is embedded in the social milieu of the era, with practitioners emerging from families, communities, regions, and nations bearing deep unexamined assumptions about what is natural and normal. Equally important, these fields’ theoretical accounts of natural behavior will tend to dovetail and fit each other's – most especially as they pertain (...) to the grand social issues of the period.For the last century and a half, a conversation with a cross-section of lawyers, scientists, and physicians at any given historical juncture would produce a remarkable pattern, consistently repeated: There would be strong enthusiasm for the idea that the “current state of knowledge and practice” is both objective and transcends the current social milieu. (shrink)
This study explores models of how people perceive moral aspects of socio?scientific issues. Thirty college students participated in interviews during which they discussed their reactions to and resolutions of two genetic engineering issues. The interview data were analyzed qualitatively to produce an emergent taxonomy of moral concerns recognized by the participant. The participants expressed sensitivity to moral aspects including concern and empathy for the well?being of others, an aversion to altering the natural order and slippery slope implications. In arriving at (...) their final resolutions, many participants integrated their moral concerns with non?moral factors. The patterns revealed suggest that moral and non?moral concerns act in concert as they influence socio?scientific decision?making. (shrink)
Consequentialism involves a kind of strong impartiality which seems incompatible with the sort of partiality manifested in friendships. Consequentialists such as Kagan respond that friendship does not, in fact, require partiality. Against this, I argue that friendship cannot exist without expressions of personal feeling, and that such expressions necessarily involve a kind of partiality. Because her every action is determined by the goal of maximizing the impersonal good, a consequentialist cannot use her actions (including actions of speech) to express her (...) feelings for her fellows. I argue that we should expect this problem to afflict sophisticated as well as straightforward consequentialism. Finally, I consider and reject the suggestion that the consequentialist agent, who has no particular friends, can be considered a friend to everybody. (shrink)
Commonsense moral thought holds that what makes terrorism particularly abhorrent is the fact that it tends to be directed toward innocent victims. Yet contemporary philosophers tend to doubt that the concept of innocence plays any significant role here, and to deny that prohibitions against targeting noncombatants can be justified through appeal to their moral innocence. I argue, however, that the arguments used to support these doubts are ultimately unsuccessful. Indeed, the philosophical positions in question tend to misunderstand the justification of (...) both the prohibition against targeting noncombatants, and that of the permission to attack combatants, for which the paper offers a new account. Such misunderstandings make it all too easy to justify both terrorist actions and morally objectionable actions on the part of nations at war. Taking proper account of the role of innocence in the context of armed conflict will alter our ordinary ways of thinking about the ethics of war, with respect to both jus in bello and jus ad bellum. (shrink)
Loyalty is a highly charged and important issue, often evoking strong feelings and actions. What is loyalty? Is loyalty compatible with impartiality? How do we respond to conflicts of loyalties? In a global era, should we be trying to transcend loyalties to particular political communities? Drawing on a fascinating array of literary and cinematic examples - The Remains of the Day , No Country for Old Men , The English Patient , The Third Man , and more - Troy (...) Jollimore expertly unravels the phenomenon of loyalty from a philosophical standpoint. He reflects on the idea that loyalty shapes our very identities, and considers both the benefits and the dangers of loyalty: on the one hand, how excessive loyalty can move us to perform immoral, even evil actions; one the other, how loyalty can expand our lives and give us a sense of meaning and belonging. (shrink)
Certain philosophers maintain that there is a ‘constitutive threshold for belief’: to believe that p just is to have a degree of confidence that p above a certain threshold. On the basis of this view, these philosophers defend what is known as ‘the Lockean Thesis ’, according to which it is rational to believe that p just in case it is rational to have a degree of confidence that p above the constitutive threshold for belief. While not directly speaking to (...) the controversy over the Lockean Thesis, this paper defends the general idea behind it—namely, the thesis that there is some threshold such that it is rational to believe that p if and only if it is rational to have a degree of confidence great than that threshold. This paper identifies the threshold in question—not with the alleged constitutive threshold for belief—but with what I call ‘the practical threshold for rational belief’. Roughly, the thesis defended here is that it is rational to believe that p if and only if it is rational to have a degree of confidence that p that rationalizes engaging in certain types of practical reasoning. (shrink)
Central to Martin Heidegger’s critique of modern technology is the transformation of “things” into “objects.” This article will apply some of the insights gained by Actor-Network-Theory to the several bridges in Budapest, with a special focus on the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, in order to argue that modern technology and the creations of that technology can also be “things” in the Heideggerian sense of the term. The result is a view of bridges that is firmly grounded in the physical and geographic (...) impact that bridges can have on space and place. The use of ANT also reveals that Heidegger and one of his main critics, Bruno Latour, arenot as far apart in their thought as the latter might contend. (shrink)
"In this fresh critique of Rawls’s political liberalism, Dostert offers a bold and stimulating account of the political potential of religion that actually enhances the prospects of a genuinely democratic public discourse. Drawing lessons from the civil rights movement to the Jubilee 2000 effort, _Beyond Political Liberalism_ presents a profoundly hopeful challenge to the ways of thinking about liberalism and religion that dominate both political science and religious studies today. Setting aside worn diatribes and tattered dichotomies, _Beyond Political Liberalism _constructs (...) a promising vision of religion's role in liberal society that will be of interest to anyone concerned about the future of contemporary western culture." —_Daniel M. Bell, Jr., Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary_ "This is a fine book. It is clearly written, accessible to a broad audience, and of special relevance now, both in academia and in the larger political and intellectual culture." —_Eldon Eisenach, University of Tulsa_ In _Beyond Political Liberalism,_ Troy Dostert offers a critical examination of political liberalism, the approach to liberal political theory advanced most forcefully in the later work of John Rawls. Political liberalism's defenders claim that an “overlapping consensus” of shared values holds out the strongest prospects for regulating democratic politics in light of our moral diversity. Dostert contends, however, that the attempt to establish such a consensus in fact works to restrict and control the presence of religious and other moral perspectives that can ennoble and invigorate public life. Dostert argues that there is a steep price to be paid for this conception of politics, for what results is a political vision characterized by a profound distrust and fear of citizens' comprehensive convictions—the animating source of many citizens' political activity. He suggests that a “post-secular” ethics is a more appropriate response to moral diversity than restricting and managing the presence of religion and other moral perspectives in public life. By drawing on the religious witness of the civil rights movement and the work of theologian John Howard Yoder, Dostert elucidates several core dialogic practices and illustrates their value through a consideration of the contemporary debates surrounding international debt relief and abortion. (shrink)
For René Girard, mimetic rivalry is the main cause of violence. Mimetic theory addresses a fundamental problem of international relations theory: the problem of anarchy as it is outlined in basic texts of Realism, also acknowledging the conflicting potential of desire. The article argues for deepening the discussion between the mimetic theory of the French philosopher, anthropologist, and literary theorist Girard and the tradition of twentieth-century Realism as exemplified by Hans Morgenthau, who frequently stressed in his concept of “the political” (...) the importance of the human desire for power. For Girard, the problem of conflicting desire is solved by the scapegoat mechanism, the canalization of mimetic violence. Nevertheless, international relations theory reveals that identity is formed prior to the construction of the Other. I argue that Girard’s insights can enrich thinking about the terms Self, Other, and identity, particularly in the twentieth-century Realist tradition. Ultimately, this leads to the proposition that appreciating Girard’s thoughts helps make implicit claims and assumptions of Realism, particularly regarding violence and sub-state issues, more explicit. (shrink)
In the spring of 2005, the Portuguese government passed legislation paving the way for all residents to contribute their DNA to a national database to be used for medical and forensic purposes. There was no significant opposition. In sharp contrast, the United States will experience a contentious debate with strong opposition from many groups if and when such a law is proposed. Some of the reasons have to do with a history of sharply different experiences with, and trust of, the (...) criminal justice system. (shrink)
This paper presents the responses of 118 executives to a mail survey which examined their views of business ethics and various business practices. In addition to identifying various sources of ethical conflict, current business practices are also examined with respect to how ethical or unethical each is believed to be. Results are also presented which outline executive responses to four ethical business situations. Overall conclusions to the study are outlined, as well as future research needs.
Low birth weight, intrauterine growth retardation, and prematurity are overwhelming risk factors associated with infant mortality and morbidity. The lack of efficacious prenatal screening tests for these three outcomes illuminates the problems inherent in bivariate estimates of association. A biocultural strategy for research is presented, integrating societal and familial levels of analysis with the metabolic, immune, vascular, and neuroendocrine systems of the body. Policy decisions, it is argued, need to be based on this type of biocultural information in order to (...) impact the difficult-to-change problems of low birth weight, intrauterine growth retardation, and prematurity. (shrink)
In accordance with environmental injustice, sometimes called environmental racism, minority communities are disproportionately subjected to a higher level of environmental risk than other segments of society. Growing concern over unequal environmental risk and mounting evidence of both racial and economic injustices have led to a grass-roots civil rights campaign called the environmental justice movement. The environmental ethics aspects of environmental injustice challenge narrow utilitarian views and promote Kantian rights and obligations. Nevertheless, an environmentaljustice value exists in all ethical world views, (...) although it involves a concept of equitable distribution of environmental protection that has been lacking in environmental ethics discussion. (shrink)
In the last few years, a great deal of attention has been paid to the effects that the achievements of the Human Genome Project will have on the confidentiality of medical information. The Genetic Privacy Act is an attempt to address the privacy, confidentiality, and property rights relating to obtaining, requesting, using, storing, and disposing of genetic material. The GPA grew out of concerns over the vast amount of genetic information that is a product of the Human Genome Project. The (...) central goals of the GPA are twofold: to define an individual's right to control access to their genetic material and the privilege to control the information derived therefrom; and to prevent potential and actual abuse of genetic information by third parties, such as insurance companies, employers, and government. The GPA is one of a group of proposals that seek to control the flow of medical information from the individual to health care professionals and to other persons. (shrink)