This study examines the way ethical decisions are made in controversial cases at The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky, to see if codes of ethics can be efective at a newspaper known for its commitment to ethics. The study concludes that a code is efective in that environment especially on conflict-of-interest questions. A critical factor in the code's efectiveness is an ethical culture in which editors support ethical standards vigorously and foster a process that encourages newsroom debate over controversial cases.
As discussion intensifies, and critics exploit what they see as a serious press abuse of anonymous sources, this article explores current practices and policies, as well as examines justification for and danger of anonymous source usage. Seven guidelines are listed and discussed which may help editors and reporters decide whether to use the anonymous source: editor authorization, just cause, last resort, fullest possible identification, proportionality, just intentions, and second source verification.
Linking abstract principles and concrete cases is not always easy. Beginning deductively with ethical theory requires an a priori choice of ethical principles which, when applied, may not take account of the complexity of real problems. But beginning with cases can result in a situationalism in which the normative role of ethical principles is slighted. Casuistry, a case-centered methodology, offers one way to bridge this gap. Casuistry's bottom-up strategy develops policy guidelines out of case analysis, building a middle ground between (...) practice and principle. This article identifies the key features of casuistry and its link to ethical theory. The development of a code of ethics and the use of anonymous sources at a daily newspaper test casuistry's relevance for journalism ethics. (shrink)
In 1929, doubtless to the discomfort of his logical positivist host Moritz Schlick, Wittgenstein remarked, ‘To be sure, I can understand what Heidegger means by Being and Angst ’ . I return to what Heidegger meant and Wittgenstein could understand later. I begin with that remark because it has had an instructive career. When the passage which it prefaced was first published in 1965, the editors left it out—presumably to protect a hero of ‘analytic’ philosophy from being compromised by an (...) expression of sympathy for the arch-fiend of ‘continental’ philosophy. It was as if a diary of Churchill's had been discovered containing admiring references to Hitler. This was the period, after all, when Heidegger was, as Michael Dummett recalls, a ‘joke’ among Oxford philosophers, the paradigm of the sort of metaphysical nonsense Wittgenstein had dedicated himself to exposing. (shrink)
As suggested by David E. Boeyink, casuistry is a promising method for making ethical decisions in journalism because its “case-oriented strategy fits [the] general approach” of many journalists while its stress on consistency guards against arbitrariness. Despite its emphasis on consistency, however, casuistry gives self-interested decision makers enough wiggle room to rationalize whatever is expedient. For this reason, casuistry relies also on character. Yet writers who have studied casuistry have said relatively little about the link between character and (...) casuistry and, when they have, they have focused on the intellectual virtue of phronesis. This article articulates the essential moral virtues necessary to prevent arbitrariness in casuistry when practiced by journalists and demonstrates their relevance in relation to a recent case in which the journalist’s character was a key factor. The article concludes with several strategies for nurturing good character among journalists. (shrink)
The week, twenty-five years ago, of the Apollo spacecraft's return visit to the moon was described by Richard Nixon as the greatest since the Creation. Across the Atlantic, a French Academician judged the same event to matter less than the discovery of a lost etching by Daumier. Attitudes to technological achievement, then, differ. And they always have. Chuang-Tzu, over 2,000 years ago, relates an exchange between a Confucian passer-by and a Taoist gardener watering vegetables with a bucket drawn from a (...) well. ‘Don't you know that there is a machine with which 100 beds are easily watered in a day?’—‘How does it work?’—‘It's a counterbalanced ladle’—‘too clever to be good … all machines have to do with formulae, artificiality [which] destroy native ingenuity … and prevent the Tao from residing peacefully in one's heart’. ‘Engines of mischief, in the words of the Luddite song, or testaments to ‘the nobility of man [as] the conqueror of matter’, in those of Primo Levi, the products of technology continue to inspire phobia and philia. (shrink)
???Everyone agrees that the moral features of things supervene on their natural features??? , 22). Everyone is wrong, or so I will argue. In the first section, I explain the version of moral supervenience that Smith and others argue everyone should accept. In the second section, I argue that the mere conceptual possibility of a divine command theory of morality is sufficient to refute the version of moral supervenience under consideration. Lastly, I consider and respond to two objections, showing, among (...) other things, that while DCT is sufficient to refute this version of moral supervenience it is not necessary. (shrink)
Discussions of “indeterminacy” customarily distinguish two putative types: semantic indeterminacy (SI)—indeterminacy that’s somehow the product of the semantics of our words/concepts—and metaphysical indeterminacy (MI)—indeterminacy that exists as a mind/language-independent feature of reality itself. A popular and influential thought among philosophers is that all indeterminacy must be SI. In this paper we challenge this thought. Our challenge is guided by the question: What, exactly, does it take for a case of indeterminacy to count as SI? We argue that the only satisfactory (...) answer to this question must take SI to be grounded in a more basic type of MI. We conclude that SI cannot be made sense of without implicating MI. If there’s any indeterminacy, there must be indeterminacy in the world itself. (shrink)
We are reporting on how involved the mentor was in promoting responsible research in cases of research misconduct. We reviewed the USPHS misconduct files of the Office of Research Integrity. These files are created by Institutions who prosecute a case of possible research misconduct; ORI has oversight review of these investigations. We explored the role of the mentor in the cases of trainee research misconduct on three specific behaviors that we believe mentors should perform with their trainee: review source data, (...) teach specific research standards and minimize stressful work situations. We found that almost three quarters of the mentors had not reviewed the source data and two thirds had not set standards. These two behaviors are positively correlated. We did not see convincing evidence in the records that mentors were causing stress, but it was apparent in the convicted trainees’ confessions that over 50% experienced some kind of stress. Secondary data, while not created for this research purpose, allows us to look at concrete research behaviors that are otherwise not very researchable. We believe it is important for mentors and institutions to devote more attention to teaching mentors about the process of education and their responsibilities in educating the next generation of scientists. This becomes a critical issue for large research groups who need to determine who is in charge educating, supervising and assuring data integrity. (shrink)
The current literature on indeterminacy centers around two projects. One concerns the logic of indeterminacy; the other concerns its nature or source. The aim of this paper is to introduce, motivate and go some way toward addressing a new, third project: that of providing what I call a minimal characterization of indeterminacy. An MC, to a first approximation, is a relatively pre-theoretical characterization of indeterminacy that is neutral between the various substantive theories of the nature and logic of indeterminacy. An (...) MC thus captures a generic sense of indeterminacy that, at least in principle, is recognized by all parties to the debate over the phenomenon’s underlying nature and logic. I begin by introducing the concept of an MC and outlining some of the main theoretical virtues of providing an MC. I then establish some desiderata on a suitable MC, and use these desiderata to rule out various initially attractive proposals. In the final part of the paper I sketch the beginnings of my own MC and defend it against objections. (shrink)
A property analysis of the U.K. Biobank reveals a new imagination of the genomic biobank as a national commonpool resource. U.K. Biobank's treatment of property and governance exhibit both strengths and weaknesses that may be instructive to genome project planners around the world.
This paper examines potential predictors of ethical decisions regarding insider trading. An interactionist perspective is taken, in which person variables, situational variables, and the interaction of these two sets of variables are viewed as influencing ethical decisions. The results of our study support such a perspective. Ethical decisions regarding insider trading appear to be a function of a complex set of interacting variables related to both the person and the situation. The implications of these findings are discussed.
Albert Einstein's most important public and private political writings are put into historical context in this firsthand view of how one of the twentieth century's greatest minds responded to the political challenges of his day.
Objective Gather information from physicians about factors contributing to unnecessary noninvasive imaging and impact of possible solutions. Methods Qualitative study of 14 physicians using a phenomenological approach and the Theoretical Domains Framework. Results Most participants self-reported that >10% of the imaging tests they order are unnecessary. External sources of pressure included: peer-review, patient demands, nursing expectations, specialist requests, as well as prior experience with patient advocates, and the compensation and pension system. Internal sources of pressure included reliance on anecdote, self-doubt (...) about diagnoses, and fear of missing a diagnosis and of professional liability. Participants expressed both optimism and concern about potential solutions, such as adopting decision support software. Conclusion Physicians are under pressure from multiple sources to order unnecessary imaging. Peer review, nursing expectations, and perceptions about Veteran compensation and pension are newly reported contributing factors. (shrink)
Characterizations of philosophy abound. It is ‘the queen of the sciences’, a grand and sweeping metaphysical endeavour; or, less regally, it is a sort of deep anthropology or ‘descriptive metaphysics’, uncovering the general presuppositions or conceptual schemes that lurk beneath our words and thoughts. A different set of images portray philosophy as a type of therapy, or as a spiritual exercise, a way of life to be followed, or even as a special branch of poetry or politics. Then there is (...) a group of characterizations that include philosophy as linguistic analysis, as phenomenological description, as conceptual geography, or as genealogy in the sense proposed by Nietzsche and later taken up by Foucault. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that a theory of the firm that takes profit maximizing to be the essential activity and purpose of the firm is seriously inadequate. I argue that firms in the actual economy neither are nor should be maximizers of profit. I argue instead that firms are and must be satisficers, that they must make enough profit to satisfy the various demands which they encounter in their operation. Yet it should be clear that the notion of satisficing, (...) while it escapes the major problems encountered by maximization, itself lacks much of any very clear content. In the end I claim that the notion of satisficing can best be understood if we abandon the traditional characterization of profits and replace it with a notion of extended profits, which I define as that part of corporate revenue which is available for distribution among stockholders, management, and labor, and for reinvestment in the corporation's business operation. (shrink)
Aside from aperçus of Kant, Nietzsche, and of course, Aristotle, metaphor has not, until recently, received its due. The dominant view has been Hobbes': metaphors are an ‘abuse’ of language, less dangerous than ordinary equivocation only because they ‘profess their inconstancy’.
Not long after the historian, Seeley, had defined ‘perfect liberty’ as ‘the absence of all government’, Oscar Wilde wrote that a man can be totally free even in that granite embodiment of governmental constraint, prison. Ten years after Mill's famous defence of civil freedoms, On Liberty , Richard Wagner declaimed: I'll put up with everything—police, soldiers, muzzling of the press, limits on parliament… Freedom of the spiriti is the only thing for men to be proud of and which raises them (...) above animals. (shrink)
In lieu of an abstract, here is the chapter's first paragraph: MOST OF BERTRAND RUSSELL'S BIOGRAPHERS do not even mention Horace Liveright, yet Liveright was a key player in the development of Russell as a popular philosopher and public intellectual. In particular, it was on a commission from Liveright that Russell wrote three of his best-selling books, books that are still in print and that many people have found helpful.
I present an interpretation of Schopenhauer's metaphysics that moderates between the positions of the advocates and critics of the standard view andthe standard objection. I contend that there are two senses of "thing-initself' in Schopenhauer's philosophy. I agree with the advocates of the standard view that the will is thing-in-itself, but only in a relative sense, i.e., the will is the thing-in-itself relative to other appearances. But I agree with the critics of the standard objection and deny that Schopenhauer's metaphysics (...) is open to the standard objection. (shrink)
We investigate how the perceived uncertainty of a conditional affects a person's choice of conclusion. We use a novel procedure to introduce uncertainty by manipulating the conditional probability of the consequent given the antecedent. In Experiment 1, we show first that subjects reduce their choice of valid conclusions when a conditional is followed by an additional premise that makes the major premise uncertain. In this we replicate Byrne. These subjects choose, instead, a qualified conclusion expressing uncertainty. If subjects are given (...) a third statement that qualifies the likelihood of the additional premise, then the uncertainty of the conclusions they choose is systematically related to the suggested uncertainty. Experiment 2 confirms these observations in problems that omit the additional premise and qualify the first premise directly. Experiment 3 shows that the qualifying statement also affects the perceived probability of the consequent given the antecedent of the conditional. Experiment 4 investigates the effect of suggested uncertainty on the fallacies and shows that increases in uncertainty reduce the number of certain conclusions that are chosen while affirming the consequent but have no effect on denying the antecedent. We discuss our results in terms of rule theories and mental models and conclude that the latter give the most natural account of our results. (shrink)
‘Reactionary modernism’ is a term happily coined by the historian and sociologist Jeffrey Herf to refer to a current of German thought during the interwar years. It indicates the attempt to ‘reconcil[e] the antimodernist, romantic and irrationalist ideas present in German nationalism’ with that ‘most obvious manifestation of means–ends rationality … modern technology’. Herf's paradigm examples of this current of thought are two best-selling writers of the period: Oswald Spengler, author of the massive domesday scenario The Decline of the West (...) in 1917 and, fifteen years later, of Man and Technics, and Ernst Jünger, the now centenarian chronicler of the war in which he was a much-decorated hero, whose main theoretical work was Der Arbeiter in 1932. The label is also applied by Herf to such intellectual luminaries as the legal theorist and apologist for the Third Reich, Carl Schmitt, and more contentiously Martin Heidegger. At a less elevated level, reactionary modernism also permeated the writings of countless, now forgotten engineers, who were inspired at once by the new technology, Nietzschean images of Promethean Übermenschen, and an ethos of völkisch nationalism. (shrink)