To understand the human capacity for psychological altruism, one requires a proper understanding of how people actually think and feel. This paper addresses the possible relevance of recent findings in experimental economics and neuroeconomics to the philosophical controversy over altruism and egoism. After briefly sketching and contextualizing the controversy, we survey and discuss the results of various studies on behaviourally altruistic helping and punishing behaviour, which provide stimulating clues for the debate over psychological altruism. On closer analysis, these studies prove (...) less relevant than originally expected because the data obtained admit competing interpretations – such as people seeking fairness versus people seeking revenge. However, this mitigated conclusion does not preclude the possibility of more fruitful research in the area in the future. Throughout our analysis, we provide hints for the direction of future research on the question. (shrink)
Ethical concepts are, or purport to be, normative. They make claims on us: they command, oblige, recommend, or guide. Or at least when we invoke them, we make claims on one another; but where does their authority over us - or ours over one another - come from? Christine Korsgaard identifies four accounts of the source of normativity that have been advocated by modern moral philosophers: voluntarism, realism, reflective endorsement, and the appeal to autonomy. She traces their history, showing (...) how each developed in response to the prior one and comparing their early versions with those on the contemporary philosophical scene. Kant's theory that normativity springs from our own autonomy emerges as a synthesis of the other three, and Korsgaard concludes with her own version of the Kantian account. Her discussion is followed by commentary from G. A. Cohen, Raymond Geuss, Thomas Nagel, and Bernard Williams, and a reply by Korsgaard. (shrink)
Christine Korsgaard has become one of the leading interpreters of Kant's moral philosophy. She is identified with a small group of philosophers who are intent on producing a version of Kant's moral philosophy that is at once sensitive to its historical roots while revealing its particular relevance to contemporary problems. She rejects the traditional picture of Kant's ethics as a cold vision of the moral life which emphasises duty at the expense of love and value. Rather, Kant's work is (...) seen as providing a resource for addressing not only the metaphysics of morals, but also for tackling practical questions about personal relations, politics, and everyday human interaction. This collection contains some of the finest current work on Kant's ethics and will command the attention of all those involved in teaching and studying moral theory. (shrink)
Many forms of virtue ethics, like certain forms of utilitarianism, suffer from the problem of indirection. In those forms, the criterion for status of a trait as a virtue is not the same as the criterion for the status of an act as right. Furthermore, if the virtues for example are meant to promote the nourishing of the agent, the virtuous agent is not standardly supposed to be motivated by concern for her own flourishing in her activity. In this paper, (...) I propose a virtue ethics which does not suffer from the problem. Traits are not virtues because their cultivation and manifestation promote a value such as agent flourishing. They are virtues in so far as they are habits of appropriate response to various relevant values. This means that there is a direct connection between the rationale of a virtue and what makes an action virtuous or right. (shrink)
Agency and identity -- Necessitation -- Acts and actions -- Aristotle and Kant -- Agency and practical identity -- The metaphysics of normativity -- Constitutive standards -- The constitution of life -- In defense of teleology -- The paradox of self-constitution -- Formal and substantive principles of reason -- Formal versus substantive -- Testing versus weighing -- Maximizing and prudence -- Practical reason and the unity of the will -- The empiricist account of normativity -- The rationalist account of normativity (...) -- Kant on the hypothetical imperative -- Against particularistic willing -- Deciding and predicting -- Autonomy and efficacy -- The function of action -- The possibility of agency -- Non-rational action -- Action -- Attribution -- The psychology of action -- Expulsion from the garden : the transition to humanity -- Instinct, emotion, intelligence, and reason -- The parts of the soul -- Inside or outside -- Pull yourself together -- The constitutional model -- Models of the soul -- The city and the soul -- Platonic virtues -- Justice : substantive, procedural, and platonic -- Kant and the constitutional model -- Defective action -- The problem of bad action -- Being governed by the wrong law -- Or five bad constitutions -- Conceptions of evil -- Degrees of action -- Integrity and interaction -- Deciding to be bad -- The ordinary cases -- Dealing with the disunified -- Kant's theory of interaction -- My reasons -- Deciding to treat someone as an end in himself -- Interacting with yourself -- How to be a person -- What's left of me? (shrink)
Christine Swanton offers a new, comprehensive theory of virtue ethics which addresses the major concerns of modern ethical theory from a character-based perspective. The book departs in significant ways from classical virtue ethics and neo-Aristotelianism, employing insights from Nietzsche and other sources, resulting in a highly distinctive and original brand of virtue ethics.
Emotions are crucial to human agency. But what are emotions? And how do they relate to agency? The aim of this book is to spell out an account of emotions, which is grounded on analogies between emotions and sensory experiences, and to explore the implications of this account for our understanding of human agency. The central claim is that emotions consist in perceptual experiences of values, such as the fearsome, the disgusting or the admirable. A virtue of this account is (...) that it affords a better grasp of a variety of interconnected phenomena: the relationship between emotions and motivation, the nature of evaluative judgements, the relationship between responsibility and attitudes such as anger, and, finally, the relation between emotions and reasons. (shrink)
Christine Battersby rethinks questions of embodiment, essence, sameness and difference, self and "other", patriarchy and power. Using analyses of Kant, Adorno, Irigaray, Butler, Kierkegaard and Deleuze, she challenges those who argue that a feminist metaphysics is a a contradiction in terms. This book explores place for a metaphysics of fluidity in the current debates concerning postmodernism, feminism and identity politics.
Christine M. Korsgaard presents a compelling new view of our moral relationships to the other animals. She offers challenging answers to such questions as: Are people superior to animals, and does it matter morally if we are? Is it all right for us to eat animals, experiment on them, make them work for us, and keep them as pets?
This paper criticizes two accounts of the normativity of practical principles: the empiricist account and the rationalist or realist account. It argues against the empiricist view, focusing on the Humean texts that are usually taken to be its locus classicus. It then argues both against the dogmatic rationalist view, and for the Kantian view, through a discussion of Kant's own remarks about instrumental rationality in the second section of the Groundwork. It further argues that the instrumental principle cannot stand alone. (...) Unless there are normative principles directing us to the adoption of certain ends, there can be no requirement to take the means to our ends. The familiar view that the instrumental principle is the only requirement of practical reason is incoherent. (shrink)
In contemporary Western society, people are more often called upon to justify the choice not to have children than they are to supply reasons for having them. In this book, Christine Overall maintains that the burden of proof should be reversed: that the choice to have children calls for more careful justification and reasoning than the choice not to. Arguing that the choice to have children is not just a prudential or pragmatic decision but one with ethical repercussions, Overall (...) offers a wide-ranging exploration of how we might think systematically and deeply about this fundamental aspect of human life. Writing from a feminist perspective, she also acknowledges the inevitably gendered nature of the decision; the choice has different meanings, implications, and risks for women than it has for men. After considering a series of ethical approaches to procreation, and finding them inadequate or incomplete, Overall offers instead a novel argument. Exploring the nature of the biological parent-child relationship -- which is not only genetic but also psychological, physical, intellectual, and moral -- she argues that the formation of that relationship is the best possible reason for choosing to have a child. (shrink)
In this theoretical paper, motives for CSR are considered. An underlying assumption is that the commercial imperative is not the sole driver of CSR decision-making in private sector companies, but that the formal adoption and implementation of CSR by corporations could be associated with the changing personal values of individual managers. These values may find expression through the opportunity to exercise discretion, which may arise in various ways. It is suggested that in so far as CSR initiatives represent individuals' values, (...) so the responsibility in evidence is less obviously corporate. Our emphasis on personal initiative is intended to counter a tendency to view the corporation as the agent, and may serve to remind us that individuals can, indeed, make a difference. (shrink)
The ethical behavior of a national sample of marketing professionals was examined by analyzing their responses to four different types of ethical dilemmas presented in vignette form. The ethical situations operationalize the concepts of coercion and control, deceit and falsehood, conflict of interest, and self integrity, within the context of the marketing mix elements – place, promotion, price, and product. Responses were examined to determine whether behavior varied by type of ethical situation, and whether demographic factors affected their responses. The (...) results indicate that marketing professionals vary their ethical decisions depending on which marketing mix decision they face. Among demographic variables, age, gender, and education level had significant but mixed influence on respondents' ethical decisions across the different situations. (shrink)
Christine M. Korsgaard is Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University. She was educated at the University of Illinois and received a Ph.D. from Harvard. She has held positions at Yale, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of Chicago, and visiting positions at Berkeley and UCLA. She is a member of the American Philosophical Association and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has published extensively on Kant, and about (...) moral philosophy and its history, the theory of practical reason, the philosophy of action, and personal identity. Her two published books are The Sources of Normativity (1992) and Creating the King- dom of Ends (1996). (shrink)
With the help of medicine and technology we are living longer than ever before. As human life spans have increased, the moral and political issues surrounding longevity have become more complex. Should we desire to live as long as possible? What are the social ramifications of longer lives? How does a longer life span change the way we think about the value of our lives and about death and dying? Christine Overall offers a clear and intelligent discussion of the (...) philosophical and cultural issues surrounding this difficult and often emotionally charged issue. Her book is unique in its comprehensive presentation and evaluation of the arguments—both ancient and contemporary—for and against prolonging life. It also proposes a progressive social policy for responding to dramatic increases in life expectancy. Writing from a feminist perspective, Overall highlights the ways that our biases about race, class, and gender have affected our views of elderly people and longevity, and her policy recommendations represent an effort to overcome these biases. She also covers the arguments surrounding the question of the "duty to die" and includes a provocative discussion of immortality. After judiciously weighing the benefits and the risks of prolonging human life, Overall persuasively concludes that the length of life does matter and that its duration can make a difference to the quality and value of our lives. Her book will be an essential guide as we consider our social responsibilities, the meaning of human life, and the prospects of living longer. (shrink)
Self-consciousness and the self -- Diachronic unity, diachronic singularity, and the subject of consciousness -- A modal argument for immateriality -- Intelligibility concerns and causal objections -- Concluding remarks.
The aim of this paper is twofold: In its first part, we work out the key features of constitutivism as presented by Christine Korsgaard. This reconstruction serves to clarify which goals Korsgaard wants to achieve with her account and which of its central claims she has to defend in particular. In the second part, we discuss whether Korsgaard can vindicate constitutivism's most central claim. To do this, we analyse two important arguments - the argument from unavoidability and the argument (...) from the abstract constitutive principle - that have been made in support of constitutivism. We show how both these arguments go amiss and conclude that at least for now, constitutivism's most central claim has not been successfully argued for. (shrink)
We outline the drivers, main features, and conceptual underpinnings of the compliance paradigm. We then use a similar structure to investigate the drivers, main features, and conceptual underpinnings of the cooperative paradigm for working with CSR in global value chains. We argue that the measures proposed in the new cooperation paradigm are unlikely to alter power relationships in global value chains and bring about sustained improvements in workers’ conditions in developing country export industries. After that, we provide a critical appraisal (...) of the potential and limits of the cooperative paradigm, we summarize our findings, and we outline avenues for research: purchasing practices and labor standard noncompliance, CSR capacity building among local suppliers, and improved CSR monitoring by local resources in the developing world. (shrink)
Although evidence of teaching behaviour has been identified in some nonhuman species, human teaching appears to be unique in terms of both the breadth of contexts within which it is observed, and in its responsiveness to needs of the learner. Similarly, cultural evolution is observable in other species, but human cultural evolution appears strikingly distinct. This has led to speculation that the evolutionary origins of these capacities may be causally linked. Here we provide an overview of contrasting perspectives on the (...) relationship between teaching and cultural evolution in humans, and briefly review previous research which suggests that cumulative culture can occur without teaching. We then report the results of a novel experimental study in which we investigated how the benefits of teaching may depend on the complexity of the skill to be acquired. Participants were asked to tie knots of varying complexity. In our Teaching condition, opportunities to interact with an experienced partner aided transmission of the most complex knots, but not simpler equivalents, relative to exposure to completed products alone, and also relative to information about the process of completion. We conclude by considering the plausibility of various accounts of the evolutionary relationship between teaching and cultural evolution in humans. (shrink)
This article examines joint action initiatives among small- and medium-sized enterprises in the manufacturing industries in developing countries in the context of the ascendancy of corporate social responsibility and the proliferation of a variety of international accountability tools and standards. Through empirical fieldwork in the football manufacturing industry of Jalandhar in North India, the article documents how local cluster-based SMEs stay coupled with the global CSR agenda through joint CSR initiatives focusing on child labor. Probing further, however, also reveals patterns (...) of selective decoupling in relation to core humanitarian and labor rights issues. Through in-depth interviews with a wide range of stakeholders involved in the export-oriented football manufacturing industry of Jalandhar in North India, the article highlights the dynamics of coupling and decoupling taking place, and how developing country firms can gain credit and traction by focusing on high visibility CSR issues, although the plight of workers remains fundamentally unchanged. The authors revisit these findings in the discussion and concluding sections, highlighting the main research and policy implications of the analysis. (shrink)
In a celebrated passage in ‘Of the Standard of Taste’, Hume tells us that those readers who prefer Bunyan's writings to Addison's are merely ‘pretended critics’ whose judgment is ‘absurd and ridiculous’; this is ‘no less an extravagance, than if he had maintained a mole-hill to be as high as TENERIFFE, or a pond as extensive as the ocean’. Hume shows a decisiveness and vehemence in his judgment against Bunyan that has greater significance than that of being a mere reflection (...) of his aesthetic principles. Hume does, after all, wish to make ‘durable admiration’ the foundation of his standard of taste, and both the number of eighteenth-century reprints of The Pilgrim's Progress and Johnson's comment that this work has as ‘the best evidence of its merit, the general and continued approbation of mankind’ testify to the lasting popularity of Bunyan's work. Hume's critical judgment on Bunyan is not merely a consequence of a mechanical application of his standard of taste, but is rather a reflection of what I will term Hume's ‘epistemology of ease’. (shrink)
This article explores what an ethicfor organic animal husbandry might look like,departing from the assumption that organicfarming is substantially based in ecocentricethics. We argue that farm animals arenecessary functional partners in sustainableagroecosystems. This opens up additional waysto argue for their moral standing. We suggestan ethical contract to be used as acomplementary to the ecocentric framework. Weexpound the content of the contract and end bysuggesting how to apply this contract inpractice. The contract enjoins us to share thewealth created in the agroecosystem (...) (by ourjoint contributions) by enjoining us to carefor the welfare and needs of the individualanimal, and to protect them from exploitation(just as human co-workers should not beexploited). The contract makes promoting goodanimal welfare a necessary condition forbenefiting farm animals. Animals for their partare guaranteed coverage under the contract solong as they continue to contribute to thesystem with products and services. (shrink)
The concept of animal welfare refersto the animal''s quality of life. The choice ofdefinition always reflects some basicvaluation. This makes a particular conceptionof welfare value-dependent. Also, the animalhusbandry system reflects certain values oraims. The values reflected in the chosenconception of animal welfare ought tocorrespond to values aimed for in the husbandrysystem. The IFOAM Basic Standards and otherwritings dealing with organic animal husbandryshould be taken as a departure point for adiscussion of how to interpret the conceptionof welfare in organic farming systems. (...) Theconception of welfare is related to two corevalues in the organic agriculture movement.These core values should be considered in termsof (1) aim for holistic view and (2) aim forsustainability. A third, implicit core value,based on bio- and ecocentric views: (3) respectfor nature is needed as a supplement to thesetwo core values. There are importantimplications of these core values for an``organic'''' conception of animal welfare and forconfronting two dilemmas due to conflictinginterests. Comparisons among the three commonlyused welfare definitions will show thesuperiority of the third approach, which canprovide an outline for a conception of animalwelfare more suitable for organic farmingsystems. This outline combines a holisticecocentric approach with respect for theindividual animal, and it can be used as thebasis for a complex definition with emphasis onnatural behavior. Such a systemic approachconsiders welfare in relation to differentsystemic levels. The systemic view also offerspossibilities for resolving the dilemmas in newways. (shrink)
Christine Battersby is a leading thinker in the field of philosophy, gender studies and visual and literary aesthetics. In this important new work, she undertakes an exploration of the nature of the sublime, one of the most important topics in contemporary debates about modernity, politics and art. Through a compelling examination of terror, transcendence and the ‘other’ in key European philosophers and writers, Battersby articulates a radical ‘female sublime’. A central feature of The Sublime, Terror and Human Difference is (...) its engagement with recent debates around ‘9/11’, race and Islam. Battersby shows how, since the eighteenth century, the pleasures of the sublime have been described in terms of the transcendence of terror. Linked to the ‘feminine’, the sublime was closed off to flesh-and-blood women, to ‘Orientals’ and to other supposedly ‘inferior’ human types. Engaging with Kant, Burke, the German Romantics, Nietzsche, Derrida, Lyotard, Irigaray and Arendt, as well as with women writers and artists, Battersby traces the history of these exclusions, while finding resources within the history of western culture for thinking human differences afresh The Sublime, Terror and Human Difference is essential reading for students of continental philosophy, gender studies, aesthetics, literary theory, visual culture, and race and social theory. (shrink)
The aim of the paper is to investigate the effects of the corporate governance model on social and environmental disclosure (SED). We analyze the disclosures of the 100 U.S. Best Corporate Citizens in the period 2005–2007, and we posit a series of simultaneous relationships between different attributes of the governance system and a multidimensional construct of corporate social performance (CSP). We consider both the extent and the quality of SED, with the purpose of identifying increasing levels of corporate commitment to (...) stakeholders and shedding some light on whether SED is used as a signal or rather as a legitimacy tool. Our empirical evidence shows that the stakeholders’ orientation of corporate governance is positively associated with CSP and SED. On the other hand, we do not find support for the monitoring intensity of corporate governance being negatively associated with social performance. We also find that CSP in the “product” dimension is positively associated with the extent and quality of SED whilst CSP in the “people” dimension is negatively associated with the extent and quality of SED. At a time when shareholders and stakeholders share more common aspects in their relationships with firms, this is a significant area to explore and this research fills an important lacuna in this respect. (shrink)
This article is the guest editors’ introduction to the special issue in Business & Society on “SMEs and CSR in Developing Countries.” The special issue includes four original research articles by Hamann, Smith, Tashman, and Marshall; Allet; Egels-Zandén; and Puppim de Oliveira and Jabbour on various aspects of the relationship of small and medium enterprises to corporate social responsibility in developing countries.
Aristotle believes that an agent lacks virtue unless she enjoys the performance of virtuous actions, while Kant claims that the person who does her duty despite contrary inclinations exhibits a moral worth that the person who acts from inclination lacks. Despite these differences, this chapter argues that Aristotle and Kant share a distinctive view of the object of human choice and locus of moral value: that what we choose, and what has moral value, are not mere acts, but actions: acts (...) done for the sake of ends. Morally good actions embody a kind of intrinsic value that inspires us to do them from duty (in Kant) or for the sake of the noble (in Aristotle). The chapter traces the difference in their attitudes about doing one's duty with pleasure to a difference in their attitudes towards pleasure itself: Aristotle sees it as a perception of the good, while Kant thinks of it as mere feeling. (shrink)
Existentialism and postmodernism have both abandoned the idea of a human nature. Also, the idea of naturalness as a value for education has been targeted as a blind for conservative ideology. There are, however, good reasons to re-establish a sound concept of human naturalness. First of all, the concept does not seem to have disappeared from common usage, despite all criticism. Secondly, the idea of naturalness seems essential to our sense of ourselves and for the formation of our identities. And (...) finally, the idea is the inevitable basis for the possibility of a radical criticism of society and culture. This paper presents two suggestions for a rehabilitation of the concept of naturalness: Gernot Böhme's phenomenology of body and nature, and Christoph Menke's ‘genealogical reflexion’. (shrink)
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