I assessed change in students’ moral reasoning following five 75-min classes on business ethics and two assignments utilizing a novel pedagogical approach designed to foster ethical reasoning skills. To minimize threats to validity present in previous studies, an untreated control group design with pre- and post-training measures was used. Training (n = 114) and control (n = 76) groups comprised freshmen business majors who completed the Defining Issues Test before and after the training. Results showed that, controlling for pre-training levels (...) of moral reasoning, students in the training group demonstrated higher levels of post-training principled moral judgment than students in the control group. (shrink)
This editorial outlines the articles included in the special thematic symposium on corporate social responsibility and employees and highlights their contributions to the literature. In doing so, it highlights the novel theoretical and empirical insights provided by the articles, how the articles inform and expand the methods and research designs researchers can use to study phenomena in this area, and identifies promising directions for future research.
Slippery slope arguments have been important in the euthanasia debate for at least half a century. In 1957 the Cambridge legal scholar Glanville Williams wrote a controversial book, The Sanctity of Life and the Criminal Law, in which he presented the decriminalizing of euthanasia as a modern liberal proposal taking its rightful place alongside proposals to decriminalize contraception, sterilization, abortion, and attempted suicide (all of which the book also advocated).1 Opposition to these reforms was in turn presented as exclusively religious (...) and particularly Roman Catholic. Thus Williams asserted that "euthanasia can be condemned only according to religious opinion" (1957, p. 312).The following year, in .. (shrink)
The diagnosis of death by neurological criteria (colloquially known as ‘brain death’) is accepted in some form in law and medical practice throughout the world, and has been endorsed in principle by the Catholic Church. However, the rationale for this acceptance has been challenged by the accumulation of evidence of integrated vital activity in bodies diagnosed dead by neurological criteria. This paper sets out 10 different Catholic responses to the current crisis of confidence and assesses them in relation to a (...) Catholic understanding of philosophical anthropology. Having considered each of these responses, none is found to provide good grounds for the moral certainty about death needed for current transplant practice to be ethically acceptable. Unless adequate grounds for the use of neurological criteria can be restored, current transplantation practice will have become what Pope John Paul II called a ‘furtive, but no less serious and real, form of euthanasia’. (shrink)
This book goes beyond historical and psychological explanations of the Holocaust to directly address the moral responsibility of individuals involved in it. While defending the view that individuals caught up in large-scale historical events like the Holocaust are still responsible for their choices, he provides the philosophical tools needed to assess the responsibility, both negative and positive, of perpetrators, accomplices, bystanders, victims, helpers and rescuers. This book will be an important addition to courses on the Holocaust in social and political (...) philosophy, history, religion, and applied ethics. (shrink)
This paper proposes a new organizational metaphor, the ‘Biophilic Organization’, which aims to counter the bio-cultural disconnection of many organizations despite their espoused commitment to sustainability. This conceptual research draws on multiple disciplines such as evolutionary psychology and architecture to not only develop a diverse bio-cultural connection but to show how this connection tackles sustainability, in a holistic and systemic sense. Moreover, the paper takes an integrative view of sustainability, which effectively means that it embraces the different emergent tensions. Three (...) specific tensions are explored: efficiency versus resilience, organizational versus personal agendas and isomorphism versus institutional change. In order to illustrate how the Biophilic Organization could potentially provide a synthesis strategy for such tensions, healthcare examples are drawn from the emerging fields of Biophilic Design in Singapore and Generative Design in the U.S.A. Finally, an example is provided which highlights how a Taoist cultural context has impacted on a business leader in China, to illustrative the significance of a transcendent belief system to such a bio-cultural narrative. (shrink)
This article examines the account of the relationship between sin and suffering provided by J. L. A. Garcia in “Sin and Suffering in a Catholic Understanding of Medical Ethics,” in this issue. Garcia draws on the Catholic tradition and particularly on the thought of Thomas Aquinas, who remains an important resource for Catholic theology. Nevertheless, his interpretation of Thomas is open to criticism, both in terms of omissions and in terms of positive claims. Garcia includes those elements of Thomas that (...) are purely philosophical, such as natural law and acquired virtue, but neglects the theological and infused virtues, the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit, and the beatitudes. These omissions distort his account of the Christian life so that he underplays both the radical problem posed by sin, and the radical character of the ultimate solution: redemption in Christ through the grace of the Holy Spirit. (shrink)
The controversy over the creation of admixed human- nonhuman embryos, and specifically of what have been termed “cybrids,” involves a range of ethical and political issues. It is not reducible to a single question. This paper focuses on one question raised by that controversy, whether creating admixed human-nonhuman entities is “an offense against human dignity.” In the last decade there has been sustained criticism of the use of the concept of human dignity within bioethics. The concept has been criticized as (...) “vague” and “useless.” Nevertheless, the concept continues to be invoked in bioethical discussion and in international instruments. This paper defends a concept of human dignity that is coherent but that is wider than contemporary post- Kantian approaches. “Human dignity” is best regarded as having a set of analogically related meanings, more than one of which is relevant to the field of bioethics. A more subtle understanding of the concept of human dignity can hel identify what is ethically problematic in human-nonhuman combinations and so shed light on one aspect of the admixed embryo debate. (shrink)
The term ‘dignity’ is used in a variety of ways but always to attribute or recognize some status in the person. The present paper concerns not the status itself but the virtue of acknowledging that status. This virtue, which Thomas Aquinas calls ‘observantia’, concerns how dignity is honoured, respected, or observed. By analogy with justice observantia can be thought of both as a general virtue and as a special virtue. As a general virtue observantia refers to that respect for human (...) dignity that is implicit in all acts of justice. As a special virtue it concerns the specific way we show esteem for people. Healthcare represents a challenge to observantia because those in need of healthcare are doubly restricted in expressing their dignity in action: in the first place by their ill health, and in the second place by the conditions required by healthcare. To be understood properly, especially in the context of healthcare, the.. (shrink)
There is an apparent gap between public policy on embryo research in the United Kingdom and its ostensible justification. The rationale is respect for the “special status” of the embryo, but the policy actively promotes research in which embryos are destroyed. Richard Harries argues that this is consistent because, the “special status” of the human embryo is less than the absolute status of persons. However, this intermediate moral status does no evident work in decisions relating to the human embryo. Rather, (...) public policy seems to be based on a different account of “special status”: that developed by Mary Warnock. According to this, the embryo has no inherent status and the language of “special status” serves rather to accommodate the feelings of those who object to embryo research. This “emotivist” account is highly problematic, not so much for its attitude to the embryo as for its subversion of public moral reasoning. (shrink)
Freud is often assumed to have given an explanation of how human beings acquire a morality, especially as it is manifested in the phenomenon of moral conscience. Freud himself certainly lends credence to such an interpretation of his theory, as the following passage testifies.
The British Parliament has recently approved regulations to allow techniques ‘to prevent the transmission of serious mitochondrial disease from a mother to her child’. The regulations term these techniques ‘mitochondrial donation’, but in the popular media, the issue has been discussed under the heading of ‘three parent’ babies or ‘three parent’ embryos. This paper examines the language of the debate, with particular reference to one of the techniques approved. It concludes that the terminology of ‘mitochondrial donation’ is scientifically inaccurate and (...) ethically misleading, while the popular media description of ‘three parent’ embryos is broadly accurate, at least for one technique. This latter phrase also has the great merit, from an ethical perspective, of drawing attention to the ‘other woman’, the egg donor. She takes risks with her health in order to provide the egg which supplies the body of the embryo. Without her, this embryo simply would not exist. (shrink)
At the very end of this revised edition of his 1976 book, in a discussion of the fear of death, Robert M. Veatch refers to the Judeo-Christian heritage, which includes the belief that humans are to have dominion over the earth and subdue it. He states, "There are two ways that they may have dominion to lessen that fear of death. In some cases it will mean ingeniously using their scientific and technological skills responsibly to challenge particular evil deaths. In (...) other cases it will mean ingeniously using their intellectual and humanistic skills responsibly to decide that death should no longer be challenged. The primary purpose of this book has been to explore this second alternative". Veatch's exploration through nine chapters is thorough, admirably nondogmatic, and reasonable; moreover, there is much that is of great practical value, from detailed discussion of several public policy issues to a model "advance directive". He provides both information on recent court cases and much essential technical medical detail for the interested lay reader, in the course of canvassing a large number of arguments on both sides of the complex ethical issues surrounding death and dying. (shrink)
In this article we explore the underpinnings of what we view as a recent" backlash" in English law, a judicial reaction against considering children's and young people's expressions of their own feelings about treatment as their" true" wishes. We use this case law as a springboard to conceptual discussion, rooted in (a) empirical psychological work on child development and (b) three key philosophical ideas: rationality, autonomy and identity.
In this article we explore the underpinnings of what we view as a recent "backlash" in English law, a judicial reaction against considering children's and young people's expressions of their own feelings about treatment as their "true" wishes. We use this case law as a springboard to conceptual discussion, rooted in (a) empirical psychological work on child development and (b) three key philosophical ideas: rationality, autonomy and identity. Using these three concepts, we explore different understandings of our central theme, true (...) wishes. These different conceptual interpretations, we argue, help to elucidate important clinical questions in the area of children's informed consent to treatment. For example, how much should a child's own wishes count in making medical decisions? Does it make a difference if the child or young person is undergoing psychiatric treatment?—if in some sense her wishes are abnormal, not "true" expressions of what she really wants? If the child's wishes do not count, why not? If they do matter but count for less, how much less? We conclude by advocating functional tests of a young person's true wishes, applicable on a case-by-case basis, rather than a black-and-white distinction between "incompetent" children and "competent" adults. (shrink)