The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the most recent public policy and ethical issues as they relate to the growing usage of nonunion employment arbitration particularly in relation to financial services firms and professional firms. In this era of increasing employment-related litigation, it is wise from an employer’s point of view to find alternative procedures that offer assurances of fairness yet provide expeditious means for resolving disputes. From an employee’s vantage point, however, it is essential (...) that the fundamental issue of procedural and substantive due process be maintained and guaranteed. Therefore, a number of strategic ethical issues arise: How should employment arbitration procedures be designed following the Due Process Protocol of the Task Force on Alternative Dispute Resolution in Employment? How should arbitration procedures follow the national rules for the resolution of employment disputes of the American Arbitration Association? Do recent court decisions shed light on these issues? What ethical principles can be gleaned from these public policy pronouncements? A final objective of this paper is to study some of the current initiatives on this topic. (shrink)
Probably no doctrine has excited as much horror and abuse as atheism. This first history of British atheism, first published in 1987, tries to explain this reaction while exhibiting the development of atheism from Hobbes to Russell. Although avowed atheism appeared surprisingly late – 1782 in Britain – there were covert atheists in the middle seventeenth century. By tracing its development from so early a date, Dr Berman gives an account of an important and fascinating strand of intellectual history.
Our article identifies and describes the metaphoric fallacy to a deductive inference (MFDI) that is an example of incorrect reasoning along the lines of the false analogy fallacy. The MFDI proceeds from informal semantical (metaphorical) claims to a supposedly formally deductive and necessary inference. We charge that such an inference is invalid. We provide three examples of the MFDI to demonstrate the structure of this invalid form of reasoning. Our goal is to contribute to the set of known informal fallacies.
In the Laura Ashworth case in 2008, the Human Tissue Authority considered itself bound to overturn a deceased daughter's alleged wish that one of her kidneys should go to her mother, who at the time had end stage kidney failure and was on dialysis. 12 This was so even though Laura's earlier wish to be a living donor would most likely have been authorised, had the formal assessment process begun. The decision provoked much criticism. The recent Department of Health document (...) Requested Allocation of a Deceased Donor Organ, published 29 March 2010, developed by the UK health administrations together with the HTA and NHS Blood and Transplant , which is the main organ allocation body in the UK, seeks to resolve this ethical dilemma by setting out the circumstances in which requests for such deceased donations may be acceptable. 3 The most important conditions appear to be:a. the donation must be unconditional in nature;b. there must be …. (shrink)
Since 1999 Thoemmes Press (now Thoemmes Continuum) has been engaged in a large-scale programme of biographical dictionaries of philosophy and related subjects. This volume on Irish philosophers follows the standard format of arranging entires alphabetically by thinker. It includes two forms of entry: (1) entries reproduced from previous editions of Thoemmes encyclopedias of British philosophy and (2) wholly new entries on early (renaissance-period) and_ modern (20th century) philosophers, together with some new entries on the intervening centuries. >.
The “nation” has been the primary unit of political membership in modernity, typically stronger than “region” (the American 1865) and almost always stronger than “class” (the European 1914). Membership in the nation has meant citizenship, the basis of civil rights and civic responsibility within the rule of law. However “nation” is also related to the “people,” the source of all democratic power. The “people” was the population in the age of the democratic revolutions before anything like contemporary mass immigration. While (...) the Enlightenment notion of “the people” was not an ethnic definition, the romanticization of the term and its metamorphosis.. (shrink)
Some argue that humans should enhance their moral capacities by adopting institutions that facilitate morally good motives and behaviour. I have defended a parallel claim: that we could permissibly use biomedical technologies to enhance our moral capacities, for example by attenuating certain counter-moral emotions. John Harris has recently responded to my argument by raising three concerns about the direct modulation of emotions as a means to moral enhancement. He argues that such means will be relatively ineffective in bringing about moral (...) improvements, that direct modulation of emotions would invariably come at an unacceptable cost to our freedom, and that we might end up modulating emotions in ways that actually lead to moral decline. In this article I outline some counter-intuitive potential implications of Harris' claims. I then respond individually to his three concerns, arguing that they license only the very weak conclusion that moral enhancement via direct emotion modulation is sometimes impermissible. However I acknowledge that his third concern might, with further argument, be developed into a more troubling objection to such enhancements. (shrink)
Weighing complex sets of evidence (i.e., from multiple disciplines and often divergent in implications) is increasingly central to properly informed decision-making. Determining “where the weight of evidence lies” is essential both for making maximal use of available evidence and figuring out what to make of such evidence. Weighing evidence in this sense requires an approach that can handle a wide range of evidential sources (completeness), that can combine the evidence with rigor, and that can do so in a way other (...) experts can assess and critique (transparency). But the democratic context in need of weight-of-evidence analysis also places additional constraints on the process, including communicability of the process to the general public, the need for an approach that can be used across a broad range of contexts (scope), and timeliness of process (practicality). I will compare qualitative and quantitative approaches with respect to both traditional epistemic criteria and criteria that arise from the democratic context, and argue that a qualitative explanatory approach can best meet the criteria and elucidate how to utilize the other approaches. This should not be surprising, as the approach I argue for is the one that most closely tracks general scientific reasoning. (shrink)
I suggest that the social justice issues raised by Internet regulation can be exposed and examined by using a methodology adapted from that described by John Rawls in 'A Theory of Justice'. Rawls' theory uses the hypothetical scenario of people deliberating about the justice of social institutions from the 'original position' as a method of removing bias in decision-making about justice. The original position imposes a 'veil of ignorance' that hides the particular circumstances of individuals from them so that they (...) will not be influenced by self-interest. I adapt Rawls' methodology by introducing an abstract description of information technology to those deliberating about justice from within the original position. This abstract description focuses on computing devices that users can use to access information and information networks that information devices use to communicate. The abstractness of this description prevents the particular characteristics of the Internet and the computing devices in use from influencing the decisions about the just use and regulation of information technology and networks. From this abstract position, the principles of justice that the participants accept for the rest of society will also apply to the computing devices people use to communicate, and to Internet regulation. (shrink)
This study developed and tested a model of culture’s effect on budgeting systems, and hypothesized that system variables and reactions to them are influenced by culture-specific work-related and ethical values. Most organizational and behavioral views of budgeting fail to acknowledge the ethical components of the problem, and have largely ignored the role of culture in shaping organizational and individual values. Cross-cultural differences in reactions to system design variables, and in the behaviors motivated or mitigated by those variables, has implications for (...) the design and effectiveness of budgeting systems. The data largely support our research model, demonstrating the hypothesized national cultural differences in system design variables (e.g., participation, standards tightness, budget emphasis, etc. which we characterized as the opportunity and incentives to create budgetary slack), and the expected relationship between incentives (but not opportunity) to create slack and slack creation behavior. The data demonstrate hypothesized cultural differences in ethical ideology but show ethical ideology related to slack creation behavior only for U.S. managers. A discussion of the results and their implications is included. (shrink)
This paper carries forward the conceptual clarification of normative theories of business ethics ably begun by Hasnas in the January 1998 issue of BEQ. This paper proposes a normatively neutral framework for discussing and assessing such normative theories. Every normative theory needs to address these seven issues: it needs to specify a moral principle that identifies (1) recommended values and (2) the grounds for accepting those values. It also must specify (3) a decision principle that business people who accept the (...) theory can use. It must determine (4) who the normative theory applies to and (5) whose interests need to be considered. It must also outline (6) in what contexts it applies, and (7) what legal and regulatory structures it assumes. Once clarified, this paper applies the framework to the normative versions of stockholder theory, stakeholder theory, and ISCT. It is concluded that ISCT is the most promising normative theory currently under discussion, but that there are some major issues that ISCT has not dealt with yet. (shrink)
In some situations a number of agents each have the ability to undertake an initiative that would have significant effects on the others. Suppose that each of these agents is purely motivated by an altruistic concern for the common good. We show that if each agent acts on her own personal judgment as to whether the initiative should be undertaken, then the initiative will be undertaken more often than is optimal. We suggest that this phenomenon, which we call the unilateralist’s (...) curse, arises in many contexts, including some that are important for public policy. To lift the curse, we propose a principle of conformity, which would discourage unilateralist action. We consider three different models for how this principle could be implemented, and respond to an objection that could be raised against it. (shrink)
The "Ibercorp affair" was front-page news in Spain at various times between 1992 and 1995. In itself, there was nothing particularly new about it: a newly formed financial group engaged in legally and ethically reprehensible behaviour that eventually came to light in the media, ruining the company (and the careers of those involved). What aroused public interest at the time was the fact that it involved individuals connected with Spanish public and political life, the media and certain business circles. Above (...) all, it demonstrated the personal, economic, social and political consequences of a business culture based on the pursuit of easy profits at any price (what came to be known as the cultura del pelotazo or "culture of the fast buck"). Again, this is all too familiar in business ethics. But it served to goad Spanish society into a rejection of such behaviour. This article describes the facts and their ethical implications. (shrink)
A world of legal conflicts -- The limits of sovereigntist territoriality -- From universalism to cosmopolitanism -- Towards a cosmopolitan pluralist jurisprudence -- Procedural mechanisms, institutional designs, and discursive practices for managing pluralism -- The changing terrain of jurisdiction -- A cosmopolitan pluralist approach to choice of law -- Recognition of judgments and the legal negotiation of difference.
Nicholas Agar argues, that enhancement technologies could be used to create post-persons—beings of higher moral status than ordinary persons—and that it would be wrong to create such beings.1 I am sympathetic to the first claim. However, I wish to take issue with the second.Agar's second claim is grounded on the prediction that the creation of post-persons would, with at least moderate probability, harm those who remain mere persons. The harm that Agar has in mind here is a kind of meta-harm: (...) the harm of being made more susceptible to being permissibly harmed—more liable to harm. Agar suggests that, if post-persons existed, mere persons could frequently be permissibly sacrificed in order to provide benefits to the post-persons. For instance, perhaps they could be permissibly used in lethal medical experiments designed to develop medical treatments for post-persons. By contrast, he suggests that mere persons typically cannot be permissibly sacrificed to provide benefits to other mere persons. He thus claims that mere persons would be more liable to sacrifice if post-persons existed than they are in the absence of post-persons. The creation of post-persons would make them worse off in at least this one respect.Agar then argues that, since this meta-harm imposed on mere persons would not be compensated, it would be wrong to create post-persons. It is here that I believe his argument begins to go awry. According to the concept of compensation that Agar deploys , a harm imposed on X is compensated just in …. (shrink)
This article explores the integrity of the discourse in the Anglican eucharistic tradition by considering the philosophical assumptions that underlie eucharistic theology. It argues that where the conversation of the Anglican eucharistic tradition is open and unfinished then the integrity of the discourse is facilitated as opposed to the conversations of party positions and particular interests which suggest exclusive versions of truth. The conversation or dialogue of Anglican eucharistic theology is seen to be enhanced through the consideration of the philosophical (...) assumptions of realism and nominalism to both the moderate and immoderate degrees that underpin eucharistic theology as a state of affairs. The insights of contemporary philosophers are used as a way of conceptualising the discourse of the Anglican eucharistic tradition and a model of Anglican eucharistic theology is suggested as a means of facilitating the integrity of the discourse through the recognition of multiformity in the tradition and by distancing the discourse from the hermeneutic idealism of particular interest. (shrink)
Existing descriptions of stakeholder management have primarily been static and one-dimensional. In this paper, we offer a multidimensional perspective and outline four main profiles of stakeholder management. We then explain how and why companies change their stakeholder management approach over time.
In this issue, Elizabeth Shaw and Gulzaar Barn offer a number of replies to my arguments in ‘Criminal Rehabilitation Through Medical Intervention: Moral Liability and the Right to Bodily Integrity’, Journal of Ethics. In this article I respond to some of their criticisms.
A Platonic explanation of non-modal and modal truths is explained and defended using non-spatiotemporal entities as their truthmakers. It is argued, further, that this theory is parsimonious, naturalistic, and ontologically serious. These features should commend the view to a wide swath of philosophers.
Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception (1945) essentially aims at debunking the myth of objectivity. The Phenomenology takes the entire Western tradition to task over its reliance on the objective attitude, showing how this attitude structures the architectonics of idealism and empiricism. These philosophies share the same presuppositions: their metaphysics and epistemologies are inherently dualistic. The problematics that stem from this objectivism have informed the Western understanding of God. This essay undertakes an examination of one of the more extended treatments of God (...) in Merleau-Ponty's magnum opus. The aim is not to justify or critique the objective attitude per se, but to show some of its radical implications for theology after Descartes. The passage of focus is on pages 358–9 in the English translation of the Phenomenology. The attempt here is to bring some of the research on Merleau-Ponty into dialogue with the philosophy of religion, and is a tentative step in a larger project of looking at the role of God in Merleau-Ponty's corpus. (shrink)
In this article I dispute the claim, made by several contemporary scholars, that Spinoza was a naturalist. ‘Naturalism’ here refers to two distinct but related positions in contemporary philosophy. The first, ontological naturalism, is the view that everything that exists possesses a certain character permitting it to be defined as natural and prohibiting it from being defined as supernatural. I argue that the only definition of ontological naturalism that could be legitimately applied to Spinoza's philosophy is so unrestrictive as to (...) tell us nothing about the content of his ideas. The second, methodological naturalism, is the view that the natural sciences are the best means of finding out substantial truths about the concrete world. I present some historical research showing that Spinoza's way of positioning himself with respect to other philosophers in the Dutch Republic casts very serious doubt on the claim that he was a methodological naturalist. This adds further weight to arguments that have already been made against the naturalist reading of Spinoza. (shrink)
This research explores the making of physical models as a design process where that act of making 'models for'1 design intention is itself a rich field of speculation. These models for design intention are different to the models of design intention as they are less a finished and singular object, and more an instrument for thinking. The aim of this research is to explore the qualities of models for design intention through an engagement with the landscape in order to understand (...) making as a transformative and emergent process of space, time, material, technique, and the role of the observer. Making for design, the model as idea, seeks to both test and provide opportunities for the convergence of forces and relationships to be created and emergent. Fundamental to this notion is an understanding that the act of making is itself a continual re-making process. The reciprocity invoked by this action engages a rich field of criteria which are potent because of their schizophrenic nature. This paper will discuss my research through a number of projects and esquisses that have been explored during the course of this research which demonstrate the development of my position of making as a continual re-making of space. (shrink)
Like the ownership of physical property, the issues computer software ownership raises can be understood as concerns over how various rights and duties over software are shared between owners and users. The powers of software owners are defined in software licenses, the legal agreements defining what users can and cannot do with a particular program. To help clarify how these licenses permit and restrict users’ actions, here I present a conceptual framework of software rights and duties that is inspired by (...) the terms of various proprietary, open source, and free software licenses. To clarify the relationships defined by these rights and duties, this framework distinguishes between software creators (the original developer), custodians (those who can control its use), and users (those who utilise the software). I define the various rights and duties that can be shared between these parties and how these rights and duties relate to each other. I conclude with a brief example of how this framework can be used by defining the concepts of free software and copyleft in terms of rights and duties. (shrink)
In this issue, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Franklin G. Miller argue that what makes killing wrong, when it is wrong, is not that it ends life, but that it causes complete and irreversible disability—what they call total disability. They hold that the wrongness of killing should be explained by reference to the harm that killing causes to the person who dies. And the only harm of this sort that killing causes, they argue, is the harm of being totally disabled: once one (...) is totally disabled, there is no further harm to one in losing one's life. It is no worse to be dead, and thus totally disabled, than it is to be totally disabled but alive.In fact, Sinnott-Armstrong and Miller concede that the story may be more complicated than this. For example, it may be that what makes killing wrong, when it is wrong, is not that it causes harm, but that it is intended to do so, or that it violates a right which protects against harm. But either way, harm plays a crucial role in explaining the wrongness of killing, and the relevant harm, they claim, is the harm of being disabled, not that of losing one's life.The Authors’ argument has important implications for medical ethics. Their view implies that killing a person need not be wrong when that person is already completely and irreversibly disabled. This suggests, for example, that the dead donor rule in organ donation is mistaken. Contrary to the rule, it could be morally permissible to harvest organs from a living donor provided that the donor is totally disabled. Harvesting organs will kill the donor, but it will not disable her, since the donor has no abilities left to lose.Four …. (shrink)
Leonhard Praeg’s A Report on Ubuntu is a clever, if dense, treatise about the potential of Ubuntu as an emancipatory concept in the context of adjudication because of its function as a persistent demand to re-ask the question: ‘what is justice?’. The book is a welcome defense of Ubuntu and a mesmerizing synthesis of existing literatures that, in combination, point to the transformative potential of Ubuntu as it may be deployed in adjudication in South African court cases. However, the ultimate (...) place and thrust of Ubuntu in this equation is not entirely apparent. While Praeg admits that this project is messy, some of the messiness, especially that brought about by material inequalities as opposed to epistemological differences, might be more helpfully brought to the fore. (shrink)
Many of the reforms being required or recommended to ensure that for-profit companies achieve greater transparency and more effective governance are similarly being promoted for adoption by nonprofit health care organizations. The demands are coming from a variety of sources - government officials, donors, business partners, companies that provide directors and officers (D&O) liability insurance, the media, and directors themselves. To meet these demands, nonprofit health care boards and executives need to assess whether they have the right number, mix, and (...) caliber of board members, and to modify their recruitment and/or retention strategies where they don't. -/- The following discussion is another in an ongoing Inquiry series called "Dialogue," a collaboration with the Alliance for Advancing Nonprofit Health Care to provide a variety of voices on current, major issues in the nonprofit health care sector. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to argue for psychological egoism, i.e., the view that the ultimate motivation for all human action is the agent’s self-interest. Two principal opponents to psychological egoism are considered. These two views are shown to make human action inexplicable. Since the reason for putting forward these views is to explain human action, these views fail. If psychological egoism is the best explanation of human action, then humans will not differ as regards their motivations for their (...) actions. However, humans will differ as regards their knowledge of what is in fact in their self-interest. (shrink)