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)
In this paper I argue for an account of the evolution of human values according to which it is only through the resolution of local conflicts that broader social values develop. Global issues can only be understood as issues of increasingly broadening our understanding of the local, our understanding of who are the neighbors with whom we must productively and amicably engage. My analysis argues primarily for open dialogue based on listening carefully and maintaining a strong awareness of our own (...) areas of systematic blindness to those with whom we disagree. While my approach offers no recipe here to guarantee successful resolution to value conflict, any other approach is far more likely to lead to failure. (shrink)
This book presents an exposition and critique of John Hick's theodicy, with an "Afterword" by Hick. Hick notes two claims in the book: "One is that rational argument can establish the existence of God to the satisfaction of a reasonable person. The second is that a theodicy of the traditional Augustinian kind is to be preferred to one of the Irenaean kind, such as [Hick has] advocated". Geivett sees these two claims as interconnected: "the significance of the problem of evil (...) and the possibility of constructing an adequate theodicy both depend upon the fortunes of natural theology". (shrink)
This 1993 book discusses the rise of the marginalist conception of the firm in the context of economic thought over the past two centuries, and explains why economists continue to defend a theory with demonstrable shortcomings. Professor Schrader argues that the marginalist view of the firm retains its support not through any comparative advantage in empirical or predictive power, but by virtue of its being a part of the predominant marginalist economic programme. The clear problems that beset the marginalist (...) approach to the firm signal a general dilemma for economic theory as a whole. (shrink)
Environmental ethics uniquely challenges us to re-examine the foundations of ethical thought. Ethical frameworks that focus on individual ethical agents and ethical patients, ignoring their status as parts of interrelated communities, lead to strongly counterintuitive results in important cases. Ideas only hinted at in Aldo Leopold’s idea of “land ethic” can be developed fruitfully by extending a pragmatist ethical framework drawn from the work of William James. Such a framework is not without difficulties, but does offer a potentially valuable way (...) of framing our ethical obligations toward the encompassing environment within which we live. (shrink)
This work examines the range of work in which value theorists are engaging in the first decade of the 21st century with essays illustrating the ways in which theorists from different parts of thw world draw on an increasingly broad range of intellectual thought.
The increasingly ubiquitous use of technology has led to the concomitant rise of intensified data collection and the ethical issues associated with the privacy and security of that data. In order to address the question of how these ethical concerns are discussed in the literature surrounding the subject, we examined articles published in IEEE Security and Privacy, a magazine targeted towards a general, technically-oriented readership spanning both academia and industry. Our investigation of the intersection between the ethical and technological dimensions (...) of privacy and security is structured as a bibliometric analysis. Our dataset covers all articles published in IEEE Security and Privacy since its inception in 2003 to February 06, 2014. This venue was chosen not only because of its target readership, but also because a preliminary search of keywords related to ethics, privacy, and security topics in the ISI Web of Knowledge and IEEE Xplore indicated that IEEE Security and Privacy has published a preponderance of articles matching those topics. In fact, our search returned two-fold more articles for IEEE Security and Privacy than the next most prolific venue. These reasons, coupled with the fact that both academia and industry are well-represented in the authorship of articles makes IEEE Security and Privacy an excellent candidate for bibliometric analysis. Our analysis examines the ways articles in IEEE Security and Privacy relate ethics to information technology. Such articles can influence the development of law, policy and the future of information technology ethics. We employed thematic and JK-biplot analyses of content relating privacy and ethics and found eight dominant themes as well as the inter-theme relationships. Authors and institutional affiliations were examined to discern whether centers of research activity and/or authors dominated the overall field or thematic areas. Results suggest avenues for future work in critical areas, especially for closing present gaps in the coverage of ethics and information technology privacy and security themes particularly in the areas of ethics and privacy awareness. (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)
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)
Awareness of global warming has been widespread for two decades, yet the American political system has been slow to respond. This essay examines, first, political explanations for policy failure, focusing at the federal level and outlining both short-term partisan and structural explanations for the stalemate. The second section surveys previous energy regimes and the transitions between them, and policy failure is explained by the logic of Thomas Hughes’s ‘technological momentum’. The third section moves to an international perspective, using the Kaya (...) Identity and its distinction between energy intensity and carbon intensity to understand in policy terms ‘technological fixes’ vs. low-carbon alternatives. The final section reframes US energy policy failure and asks: Why, between 1980 and 1999, was America’s actual performance in slowing CO2 emissions better than its politics would seem capable of delivering? How and why has the United States since c. 2007 managed to reduce per capita CO2 emissions? (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 his quest to solve 'the ever-disquieting riddle of existence', Schopenhauer explored almost every dimension of human existence, developing a darkly compelling worldview that found deep resonance in contemporary literature, music, philosophy, and psychology. This is the first comprehensive biography of Schopenhauer written in English. Placing him in his historical and philosophical contexts, David E. Cartwright tells the story of Schopenhauer's life to convey the full range of his philosophy. He offers a fully documented portrait in which he explores (...) Schopenhauer's fractured family life, his early formative influences, his critical loyalty to Kant, his personal interactions with Fichte and Goethe, his ambivalent relationship with Schelling, his contempt for Hegel, his struggle to make his philosophy known, and his reaction to his late-arriving fame. (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)
This study uses theories of moral reasoning and moral competence to investigate how university codes of ethics, perceptions of ethical culture, academic pressure from significant others, and ethics pedagogy are related to the moral development of students. Results suggest that ethical codes and student perceptions of such codes affect their perceptions of the ethical nature of the cultures within these institutions. In addition, faculty and student discussion of ethics in business courses is significantly and positively related to moral competence among (...) students. Our results point to the need to further examine the connections among academic institutional structures, ethics pedagogy, and students’ moral development. (shrink)
David Cooper explores and defends the view that a reality independent of human perspectives is necessarily indescribable, a "mystery." Other views are shown to be hubristic. Humanists, for whom "man is the measure" of reality, exaggerate our capacity to live without the sense of an independent measure. Absolutists, who proclaim our capacity to know an independent reality, exaggerate our cognitive powers. In this highly original book Cooper restores to philosophy a proper appreciation of mystery-that is what provides a measure (...) of our beliefs and conduct. (shrink)
Personal values have long been associated with individual decision behavior. The role played by personal values in decision making within an organization is less clear. Past research has found that managers tend to respond to ethical dilemmas situationally. This study examines the relationship between personal values and the ethical dimension of decision making using Partial Least Squares (PLS) analysis. The study examines personal values as they relate to five types of ethical dilemmas. We found a significant positive contribution of altruistic (...) values to ethical decision making and a significant negative contribution of self-enhancement values to ethical decision making. (shrink)
Why do gardens matter so much and mean so much to people? That is the intriguing question to which David Cooper seeks an answer in this book. Given the enthusiasm for gardens in human civilization ancient and modern, Eastern and Western, it is surprising that the question has been so long neglected by modern philosophy. Now at last there is a philosophy of gardens. David Cooper identifies garden appreciation as a special human phenomenon distinct from both from the (...) appreciation of art and the appreciation of nature. He discusses the contribution of gardening and other garden-related pursuits to "the good life." And he distinguishes the many kinds of meanings that gardens may have, from their representation of nature to their spiritual significance. A Philosophy of Gardens will open up this subject to students and scholars of aesthetics, ethics, and cultural and environmental studies, and to anyone with a reflective interest in things horticultural. (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)
First published in 1990, _Existentialism_ is widely regarded as a classic introductory survey of the topic, and has helped to renew interest in existentialist philosophy. The author places existentialism within the great traditions of philosophy, and argues that it deserves as much attention from analytic philosophers as it has always received on the continent.
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