Work‐related stress is too often neglected by employers and rarely seen as an ethical issue by them. Its moral implications are explored here by the Senior Corporate Policy Manager at City and Inner London North Training and Enterprise Council, 80 Great Eastern Street, London EC2A 3DP. Sue Bryan, M.A., A.M.I.P.D., is also completing an Executive MBA degree at London Business School.
In The Impossibility of Perfection, Michael Slote tries to show that the traditional Aristotelian doctrine of the unity of the virtues is mistaken. His argumentative strategy is to provide counterexamples to this doctrine, by showing that there are what he calls “partial virtues”—pairs of virtues that conflict with one another but both of which are ethically indispensible. Slote offers two lines of argument for the existence of partial virtues. The first is an argument for the partiality of a particular pair (...) of virtues: frankness and tact. The second is a kind of feminist critique. I argue that both of these lines of argument fail. In both cases, Slote fails to ask whether the apparent conflict between putatively partial virtues has arisen from a misunderstanding of the demands of those virtues. From this error I suggest we can learn an important lesson: whether in our studies thinking about the virtues or in our everyday lives trying to practice them, it is a serious mistake to focus on the relationships among virtues without considering precisely what each of these virtues demands. (shrink)
Problems posed by HIV/AIDS differ from those ofpast epidemics by virtue of unique propertiesof the causative agent, dramatic societalchanges of the late 20th century, and thetransition of medical practice from aprofessional ethic to a technology-dependentbusiness ethic. HIV/AIDS struck during thecoming-of-age of molecular biology and also ofbioethics, and the epidemic stimulated thegrowth of both disciplines. The number ofarticles published about AIDS and ethics (asidentified by a MEDLINE search) peaked in 1990,just before the peak incidence of AIDS in theUnited States. The character (...) of ethicaldialogue has now shifted from familiar moralquandaries such as civil liberty versus publicwelfare to concerns about vaccine trials andpublic policy toward the developing world.Physicians and other health care workers whowere involved from the onset endured somethingof an emotional roller coaster. Theircompassion-based work ethic was to a largeextent replaced by a competence-based workethic after the introduction in 1996 of highlyactive antiretroviral therapy. The abundantrecent literature on ``professionalism'' inmedicine makes scant mention of AIDS/HIV. Thedisruptive effect of AIDS/HIV on society wouldhave been substantially greater had relevanttechnology such as the ability to isolateretroviruses and potent therapy againsttuberculosis not been in place. This soberingconsideration, along with such recent events asthe use of bioterrorism against civilianpopulations, suggests new relevance forPotter's definition of ``bioethics'' as a scienceof survival in which the biology of ecosystemsmust be taken into account. (shrink)
In certain respects, contemporary thought treats the politics of revenge with disdain while celebrating and employing a politics that is decidedly nostalgic. And yet, following Nietzsche’s work regarding the inherent vengefulness of nostalgic political programs, one is led to an impasse. This article attempts to make plain for politics what is at stake in Nietzsche’s account of revenge, and how political and social action might navigate the distance between revenge and nostalgia. The article brings the thought of Nietzsche and Heidegger (...) together in a new way by asking whether and how Heidegger’s thought could suffer from a hidden vengefulness by adopting a nostalgic pose, one that haunts Nietzsche’s own drive for overcoming. Through an elucidation of the difference between nostalgia and revenge, the article gestures towards the nostalgic and vengeful possibilities that politics holds. (shrink)
This article compares and contrasts Hans Kelsen's concept of normative imputation, in the Lecture Course of 1926, with the concepts of peripheral and central imputation, in The Pure Theory of Law of 1934. In this process, a wider and more significant distinction is revealed within the development of Hans Kelsen's theory of positive law. This distinction represents a shift in Kelsen's philosophical allegiance from the Neo-Kantianism of Windelband to that of Cohen. This, in turn, reflects a broader disengagement of The (...) Pure Theory of Law from the more direct connection with a political project of a civitas maxima envisaged by the Lecture Course. (shrink)
The Greek word eoikos can be translated in various ways. It can be used to describe similarity, plausibility or even suitability. This book explores the philosophical exploitation of its multiple meanings by three philosophers, Xenophanes, Parmenides and Plato. It offers new interpretations of the way that each employs the term to describe the status of their philosophy, tracing the development of this philosophical use of eoikos from the fallibilism of Xenophanes through the deceptive cosmology of Parmenides to Plato's Timaeus. The (...) central premise of the book is that, in reflecting on the eoikos status of their accounts, Xenophanes, Parmenides and Plato are manipulating the contexts and connotations of the term as it has been used by their predecessors. By focusing on this continuity in the development of the philosophical use of eoikos, the book serves to enhance our understanding of the epistemology and methodology of Xenophanes, Parmenides and Plato's Timaeus. (shrink)
[David Charles] Aristotle, it appears, sometimes identifies well-being (eudaimonia) with one activity (intellectual contemplation), sometimes with several, including ethical virtue. I argue that this appearance is misleading. In the Nicomachean Ethics, intellectual contemplation is the central case of human well-being, but is not identical with it. Ethically virtuous activity is included in human well-being because it is an analogue of intellectual contemplation. This structure allows Aristotle to hold that while ethically virtuous activity is valuable in its own right, the best (...) life available for humans is centred around, but not wholly constituted by, intellectual contemplation. /// [Dominic Scott] In Nicomachean Ethics X 7-8, Aristotle distinguishes two kinds of eudaimonia, primary and secondary. The first corresponds to contemplation, the second to activity in accordance with moral virtue and practical reason. My task in this paper is to elucidate this distinction. Like Charles, I interpret it as one between paradigm and derivative cases; unlike him, I explain it in terms of similarity, not analogy. Furthermore, once the underlying nature of the distinction is understood, we can reconcile the claim that paradigm eudaimonia consists just in contemplation with a passage in the first book requiring eudaimonia to involve all intrinsic goods. (shrink)
Sabine Hohl and Dominic Roser argue that states that emit their fair share of greenhouse gases have a duty to step in for states that emit more than their fair share. In this comment I ask two questions: First, given that Hohl and Roser are right, how relevant is the duty to step in for the polluters in practice? Second, is there such a duty on more non-ideal approaches than the one taken by Hohl and Roser as well? I (...) argue that the duty to step in for the polluters is not very relevant (because of considerations of demandingness and fairness) and that on more extremely non-ideal approaches there may be only a limited duty to take up the slack, or no such duty at all (because the duty must be weighed against other duties, and because states are poorly motivated to act in conformity with it). (shrink)
Aldo Leopold was a pragmatist in the vernacular sense of the word. Bryan G. Norton claims that Leopold was also heavily influenced by American Pragmatism, a formal school of philosophy. As evidence, Norton offers Leopold's misquotation of a definition of right (as truth) by political economist, A.T. Hadley, who was an admirer of the philosophy of William James. A search of Leopold's digitised literary remains reveals no other evidence that Leopold was directly influenced by any actual American Pragmatist or (...) by Pragmatism (although he may have been indirectly influenced by Pragmatism early in his career). A 1923 reference, by Leopold, to Hadley and Hadley's putative definition of truth, cited by Norton, is dripping with irony. Leopold, as he matured philosophically, regarded a profound cultural shift from anthropocentric dominionism and consumerism to an evolutionary-ecological worldview and an associated non-anthropocentric 'land ethic' to be necessary for successful and sustainable conservation. Hadley espoused a brutal form of Social Darwinism and his philosophy, as expressed in the book of Hadley's that Norton cites, is politically reactionary, militaristic and unconcerned with conservation. Leopold's mature philosophy and Hadley's – far from consonant, as Norton claims – are diametrically opposed. (shrink)
When I reflect on reading Bryan Warnick's Imitation and Education, I am appreciative that I was given the opportunity not only to read it but also to think about its issues as thoroughly as I have in the process of writing this essay. I share Warnick's surprise that, prior to his book, no one had attempted to explore the relationship between imitation and education in a philosophically meaningful manner. Before reading his book, I did not realize that imitation was (...) such a philosophically rich topic, especially once you consider its educational implications. In particular, I was oblivious to the connection between various conceptions of the self and imitation. I had no idea that different interpretations of the .. (shrink)
Bryan S. Turner: Can We Live Forever? A Social and Moral Inquiry Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 301-303 DOI 10.1007/s12376-009-0024-6 Authors Thomas R. Cole, University of Texas-Houston School of Medicine McGovern Center for Health, Humanities, and the Human Spirit Houston TX 77030 USA Journal Medicine Studies Online ISSN 1876-4541 Print ISSN 1876-4533 Journal Volume Volume 1 Journal Issue Volume 1, Number 3.
IntroductionThanks to Dominic Wilkinson, a formidable clinician-philosopher, for his considered response, and especially for highlighting my work's translatability outside of an theological context. In part, because bioethics’ pioneers were theologians, the discipline misses something important when theology is not an integral part of the conversation. I do not have the space to do an in-depth response,i so the best I can do is use some assertions to gesture at a few key points.Relational anthropology and the best interests of the (...) patientWilkinson spends significant time critiquing my claim that the Social Quality of Life Model is consistent with a healthcare provider acting in the best interest of her patient. And though he notes that my general argument goes through without this claim, the idea that clinicians should always act in the best interests of their patients is so commonly held that this topic deserves sustained attention. Wilkinson highlights my relational anthropology as the foundation of my claims about the sQOL, but this anthropology is not founded, as he suggests, on a crude naturalism. Ultimately, it is founded on the first principle that human beings are made in the image of a Triune God who is intrinsically relational. Many different kinds of thinkers have a similar anthropology. We may see the interconnectedness and social nature of human beings as empirical evidence which supports our position, but it is not sufficient to produce the anthropology itself without the naturalistic fallacy Wilkinson rightly mentions.Much of Wilkinson's disagreement comes down to anthropological first principles. He appears to have an enlightenment view which begins with the person, an individual subject of benefits and burdens. Someone with …. (shrink)
There is general agreement, which I share, that among the earliest of Western philosophers were three of the very greatest: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Each of these is on record as saying something – and it is almost the same thing – about the nature of philosophy itself that goes to the heart of the matter. Aristotle said: ‘It is owing to their wonder that men now begin, and first began, to philosophise’ . And Plato wrote, putting his words into (...) the mouth of Socrates: ‘This sense of wonder is the mark of the philosopher. Philosophy indeed has no other origin’. (shrink)
Bryan Ronald Wilson, a Fellow of the British Academy, was a world-renowned sociologist of religion. He was awarded a D.Litt. by the University of Oxford in 1994, the same year that he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy. Wilson was also awarded an Arnold Gerstenberg studentship, which allowed him to take up a place at the London School of Economics, where Maurice Ginsberg introduced him to the literature of the sociology of religion and where he developed a (...) life-long interest in sectarian movements. He returned to Yorkshire to take up an Assistant Lectureship in Sociology in the Department of Social Studies at the University of Leeds in October 1955, being promoted to Lecturer in 1957. There Wilson taught courses on urban sociology, sociological theory, and the social institutions of modern Britain, as well as on the sociology of religion. He was a Fellow of All Souls College for thirty years. The themes of secularisation, rationalism, and sectarianism were of particular interest to Wilson throughout his academic life. (shrink)