Teleological terms such as "function" and "design" appear frequently in the biological sciences. Examples of teleological claims include: A (biological) function of stotting by antelopes is to communicate to predators that they have been detected. Eagles' wings are (naturally) designed for soaring. Teleological notions were commonly associated with the pre-Darwinian view that the biological realm provides evidence of conscious design by a supernatural creator. Even after creationist viewpoints were rejected by most biologists there remained various grounds for concern about the (...) role of teleology in biology, including whether such terms are: 1. vitalistic (positing some special "life-force"); 2. requiring backwards causation (because future outcomes explain present traits); 3. incompatible with mechanistic explanation (because of 1 and 2); 4. mentalistic (attributing the action of mind where there is none); 5. empirically untestable (for all the above reasons). Opinions divide over whether Darwin's theory of evolution provides a means of eliminating teleology from biology, or whether it provides a naturalistic account of the role of teleological notions in the science. Many contemporary biologists and philosophers of biology believe that teleological notions are a distinctive and ineliminable feature of biological explanations but that it is possible to provide a naturalistic account of their role that avoids the concerns above. Terminological issues sometimes serve to obscure some widely-accepted distinctions. (shrink)
Large-scale whole genome sequencing (WGS) studies promise to revolutionize cancer research by identifying targets for therapy and by discovering molecular biomarkers to aid early diagnosis, to better determine prognosis and to improve treatment response prediction. Such projects raise a number of ethical, legal, and social (ELS) issues that should be considered. In this study, we set out to discover how these issues are being handled across different jurisdictions.
Readers of reports on ethical failures by four-star general officers must wonder, “Don’t they have staffs to ensure that the general follows ethics rules?” The Department of Defense publishes robust ethics guidance in several documents; however, a staff’s best efforts to implement this guidance may fail to make an impression on a senior leader who is susceptible to the “Bathsheba syndrome,” an allusion to the biblical account where the prophet Nathan rebuked King David for his moral failings. This paper proposes (...) a methodology to enable senior headquarters staffs to play the role of Nathan in supporting ethical behaviors by high-level officers. It examines the mechanisms that embed ethical behavior within members of those staffs in carrying out their three principal roles of advising, scheduling, and transporting the four-star officer. The authors offer a framework based on an ethical infrastructure of organizational climate that focuses the staff’s daily efforts to mitigate risk across seven ethical “danger areas” that threaten ethical failures by senior officers. (shrink)
Investigators surveyed 30 U.S. military veterans with PTSD who reported having benefited from living with a dog. The subject population included men and women aged 34 to 67, with a mean of 56.9 years, who were being treated at two Department of Veterans Affairs outpatient clinics. Participants received a questionnaire packet designed to assess aspects of their mental and physical health and relationship with a canine companion, which they completed at home and returned either in person or by mail. The (...) packet consisted of the PTSD Checklist-Military Version ; Beck Depression Inventory, Second Edition ; Veterans Short Form Health Survey and Health Behaviors Questionnaire ; Dog Information Sheet; Dog Relationship Questionnaire; and Lexington Attachment to Pets Scale. Respondents indicated that since adopting their dog they had experienced improvement in several areas, including feeling calmer, less lonely, less depressed, and less worried about their and their family’s safety. These results suggest that living with a companion dog may help relieve some of the psychological distress associated with PTSD in some veterans. (shrink)
Adaptive management is commonly identified as a way to address situations where ecological and social uncertainty exists. Two discourses are common: a focus on experimentation, and a focus on collaboration. The roles of experimental and collaborative adaptive management in contemporary practice are reviewed to identify tools for bridging the discourses. Examples include broadening the scope of contributions during the buy-in and goal-setting stages, using conceptual models and decision support tools to include stakeholders in model development, experimentation using indicators of concern (...) to stakeholders, an experimental focus that reflects the level of statistical confidence required by management, and the engagement of stakeholders in data interpretation so that those affected by management outcomes can learn and adapt accordingly. In this context, a framework of questions that managers can use to reflect on both ecological and social uncertainties as they relate to individual management contexts is proposed. (shrink)
In response to recent calls to extend the underlying theories used in the literature :375–413, 2005; Craft in J Bus Ethics 117:221–259, 2013), we review the usefulness of social norm theory in empirical business ethics research. We begin by identifying the seeds of social norm theory in Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments, the Glasgow Edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1759/1790) seminal work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Next, we introduce recent theory in social norm activation by Bicchieri and (...) compare the new theory to two theoretical frameworks found in the literature: Kohlberg’s Handbook of socialization theory and research, Rand McNally, Chicago, IL, 1969; in: Lickona Moral development and behavior, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York, 1976) theory of moral development and Cialdini and Trost’s The handbook of social psychology, Oxford University Press, Boston, 1998) taxonomy of social norms. We argue that the new theory provides useful insights by emphasizing the ability of situational cues and information to generate common expectations for social/moral norms. The theory is particularly useful for empirical research in business ethics because it gives both organizational and individual factors a role in motivating norm-based behavior. To demonstrate this usefulness, we present examples where the theory has been effectively applied in experimental accounting research to generate new insights. We conclude by citing specific examples where the theory may prove useful in empirical business ethics research. (shrink)
We assert that audit quality can be improved to the extent that social norms for honesty and responsibility are activated in the auditor. To test this assertion, we use an experimental audit market setting found in the literature and manipulate factors expected to activate honesty and responsibility norms in the auditor. We find that auditor misreporting is reduced when the investor is another participant in the experiment rather than computer simulated, and thus, the interests of third-party investors are salient to (...) the auditor. We also find that auditor misreporting is reduced when the auditor is required to sign-off on the audit report, but only when the investor is another participant in the experiment. Consistent with our underlying theory, we find that pre-experimental measures of sensitivity to honesty and responsibility norms help explain the effects of our manipulated variables. Finally, we find that these measures of social norm sensitivity are associated with the moral judgment that auditor misreporting is unethical. Our study helps explain previous anomalous findings in the literature and answers the call in Blay et al. for empirical researchers to use social norm theory to develop stronger tests of moral reasoning in the market for auditing services. (shrink)
Martin Heidegger is, perhaps, the most controversial philosopher of the twentieth-century. Little has been written on him or about his work and its significance for educational thought. This unique collection by a group of international scholars reexamines Heidegger's work and its legacy for educational thought.
The demise of behaviorism has made ethologists more willing to ascribe mental states to animals. However, a methodology that can avoid the charge of excessive anthropomorphism is needed. We describe a series of experiments that could help determine whether the behavior of nonhuman animals towards dead conspecifics is concept mediated. These experiments form the basis of a general point. The behavior of some animals is clearly guided by complex mental processes. The techniques developed by comparative psychologists and behavioral ecologists are (...) able to provide us with the tools to critically evaluate hypotheses concerning the continuity between human minds and animal minds. (shrink)
This book provides an in-depth analysis of consumerism that draws from a wide range of theoretical, clinical and methodological approaches. Contributors demonstrate that consumerism and the culture that surrounds it exert profound and often undesirable effects on both people's individual lives and on society as a whole. Far from being distant influences, advertising, consumption, materialism and the capitalistic economic system affect personal, social and ecological well-being on many levels. Contributors also provide a variety of potential interventions for counteracting the negative (...) influence of consumerism. (shrink)