This paper considers two contenders for the title of highest good in Kant's theory of practical reason: happiness proportioned to virtue and the maximization of happiness and virtue. I defend the against criticisms made by Andrews Reath and others, and show how it resolves a dualism between prudential and moral practical reasoning. By distinguishing between the highest good as a principle of evaluation and an object of agency, I conclude that the maximization of happiness and virtue is a corollary of (...) the instantiation of the proportionality thesis. (shrink)
If we can wrong a work of art, then it has moral status. This paper considers two examples of putative wrongings of works of art, but in both cases, the claim that the work of art itself is wronged cannot be vindicated. The sense that a work of art has been wronged arises when that work has a special meaning for us or has a special standing in a cultural context. There is nothing intrinsic to works of art that can (...) confer moral status upon them, and so they are not moral patients. (shrink)
Against the view of some contemporary Kantians who wish to downplay Kant's retributivist commitments, I argue that Kant's theory of practical of reason implies a retributive conception of punishment. I trace this view to Kant's distinction between morality and well-being and his attempt to synthesize these two concerns in the idea of the highest good. Well-being is morally valuable only insofar as it is proportional to virtue, and the suffering inflicted on wrongdoers as punishment for wrongdoing is morally good so (...) long as it is proportional to the wrongdoing. According to Kantian retributivism, punishment is warranted as a means to promote proportionality between well-being and virtue. (shrink)
A person points to a situation, A, and says that A is morally repugnant; A ought to be condemned; we should do something about A. In response, another person says, “Well, what about B? B is analogous to A in that it is equally morally repugnant. If we ought to condemn and do something about A then we should also condemn and do something about B.” This “what about” response is an argumentative strategy, sometimes called “whataboutery” or “whataboutism.” In popular (...) discussion, whataboutery is condemned as a fallacy, in particular an instance of the tu quoque fallacy. I will present an analysis of whataboutery showing that, to the degree that this is a fallacy, it is a red herring. But this argumentative move cannot always be dismissed as fallacious. Sometimes the imputation of fallacious reasoning attempts to cover over political commitments. (shrink)
Tinnitus has long been interrogated as a medical conundrum, with little discourse between medicine and other disciplines. It involves the perception of sound in the ears or head without any external sound source, most likely a natural consequence of some form of hearing loss. For many people, tinnitus is bothersome and associated with various problems such as insomnia, difficulty concentrating and impaired listening ability. Nevertheless, with little attention from humanities or the social sciences, our understanding of the wider perspectives and (...) psychosocial context of adults with tinnitus is limited, especially among UK military veterans. The aim of this study was to explore the impact of tinnitus on aged UK veterans, and to consider the support they receive and require to live well with tinnitus. In all, 120 aged UK veterans took part in this study. Data revealed similarities and differences between UK veteran and other study populations. For example, tinnitus symptom severity was higher in aged veterans than a general research population, particularly so on measures of intrusiveness and the effect of tinnitus on listening ability. Veterans had mixed views on social support. Many did not want to talk about tinnitus with others and/or did not want to burden their family, preferring to deal with their tinnitus ‘backstage’. Others appreciated empathy or sympathy; many implied a desire that their family and/or friends could better understand their experience of living with tinnitus and the problems it caused them. These complexities support a need for cross-disciplinary work to understand and respond to tinnitus-related problems in veterans. (shrink)
This paper explores possible connections between gender and the willingness to engage in unethical business behavior. Two approaches to gender and ethics are presented: the structural approach and the socialization approach. Data from a sample of 213 business school students reveal that men are more than two times as likely as women to engage in actions regarded as unethical but it is also important to note that relatively few would engage in any of these actions with the exception of buying (...) stock with inside information. Fifty percent of the males were willing to buy stock with insider information. Overall, the results support the gender socialization approach. (shrink)
Recent developments of three-dimensional printing of biomaterials in medicine have been portrayed as demonstrating the potential to transform some medical treatments, including providing new responses to organ damage or organ failure. However, beyond the hype and before 3D bioprinted organs are ready to be transplanted into humans, several important ethical concerns and regulatory questions need to be addressed. This article starts by raising general ethical concerns associated with the use of bioprinting in medicine, then it focuses on more particular ethical (...) issues related to experimental testing on humans, and the lack of current international regulatory directives to guide these experiments. Accordingly, this article considers whether there is a limit as to what should be bioprinted in medicine; examines key risks of significant harm associated with testing 3D bioprinting for humans; investigates the clinical trial paradigm used to test 3D bioprinting; analyses ethical questions of irreversibility, loss of treatment opportunity and replicability; explores the current lack of a specific framework for the regulation and testing of 3D bioprinting treatments. (shrink)
This study investigates the impact of Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement actions on individuals holding Certified Public Accountant accreditation. While prior research has investigated both the characteristics of companies that have been investigated by the SEC and litigation against audit firms, it has not addressed the ways in which SEC investigations impact CPAs. Using a sample of 262 CPAs, we find that the most common CPA breach was associated with overstating revenues/income or earnings. The study finds serious consequences for CPAs (...) in terms of employment restrictions and SEC actions, incorporating suspension, which is often permanent. We find that the primary factors relating to the severity of actions by the SEC is whether the CPA intentionally breached the professional code of conduct, the age of the CPA, whether the CPA is still a member of the AICPA with CPA status and whether the CPA was operating as an external auditor or in a corporate accounting role. Our findings have implications for accounting practitioners, the AICPA and boards of directors. (shrink)
This article addresses the question of whether God's existence would be obvious to everyone if God performed more miracles. I conclude that it would not be so. I look at cases where people have been confronted with what they believe to be miracles and have either not come to believe in God, or have come to intellectual belief in God but declined to follow him. God's existence could be made undeniable not by spectacular signs, but only by God impressing his (...) existence upon us in a direct, non-propositional way. (shrink)
This paper contends that rationality is more properly evaluated as a property of an organization’s relationships with its stakeholders than of the organization itself. We predicate our approach on the observation that stakeholders can hold goals quite distinct from those of owners and top managers, and these too can be rationally pursued. We build upon stakeholder theory and Weber’s classic distinction between wertrationalitat and zweckrationalitat, adding to them the “new institutionalist” concept of the organization field . Stakeholders employ a variety (...) of direct and indirect mechanisms to rationalize relations with the firm. We discuss four: internal subunits, legislated stakeholder participation, legislated access to information, and direct stakeholder activism. Thesedevelopments are blurring the distinction between the environment and the organization by importing the values and goals of external stakeholders into the internal organization. They are also precipitating a more structured set of relationships among the actors who comprise the field. To the extent that the zweckrationalitat values of managers and owners as well as the wertrationalitat concerns of stakeholders are met, the firm is more rational. (shrink)
William James’ celebrated lecture on “The Will to Believe” has kindled spirited controversy since the day it was delivered. In this lively reappraisal of that controversy, Father O’Connell contributes some fresh contentions: that James’ argument should be viewed against his indebtedness to Pascal and Renouvier; that it works primarily to validate our “over-beliefs” ; and most surprising perhaps, that James envisages our “passional nature” as intervening, not after, but before and throughout, our intellectual weighing of the evidence for belief.
We argue that the stakeholder perspective on corporate social responsibility is in the process of being enlarged. Due to the process of institutional isomorphism, corporations are increasingly adopting organizational features designed to promote proactivity over mere reactivity in their stakeholder relationships. We identify two sources of pressure promoting the emergence of the proactive corporation -- stakeholder activism and the recognition of the social embeddedness of the economy. The final section describes four organizational design dimensions being installed by the more proactive (...) corporations today -- cooperation, participation, negotiation, and direct anticipation. (shrink)
When Dr. van Fleteren writes of the articles I criticized as dating from some twenty years ago, the unwary reader might infer that my criticism of those articles was, for its part, relatively recent. The fact is, however, that when the two connected articles I eventually criticized appeared in the volumes of Augustinian Studies, I wrote this reply while Fr. Robert Russell, of happy memory, was still at the helm, and was promised publication in the near future. Meanwhile, however, Fr. (...) Russell had the discourtesy to move on to a more intimate acquaintance with Augustine than any of us on this confused planet can boast of, and someone sowed cockle into field he had tended: in unaccountable fashion my article seems to have disappeared. Only a recent letter of inquiry on my part, and Fr. Allan Fitzgerald’s understanding reply, resulted in this renewal of dialogue between Dr. van Fleteren and me. Let me assure both Dr. van Fleteren and Fr. Fitzgerald that I am grateful for giving it exactly that form, a courteous dialogue. (shrink)
Connecting influence and leadership, the professor of business ethics assumes a sacred moral vocation. Directed towards the student's role in the marketplace, the business ethics course enjoins consideration of the values of social responsibility for the human community in its political, economic, and familial manifestations.
Peirce’s doctrine of God has scarcely been studied at all. This is surprising because his own naturally religious temperament, his desire for philosophical completeness and the influence of Kant, all led him to give an important place to theistic speculation in his philosophy. It is true that few parts of his philosophy reveal more than the fragmentary and unfinished nature of his thinking. This however does not take away from its importance both for the interpretation of his philosophy and for (...) the evaluation of its contribution. In this paper I want to examine his doctrine of God mainly in order to discover and outline what views he held in the matter. Such examination is an essential preliminary to any consideration of the value of his theistic thinking. Moreover, an objective exposition is already the best beginning of evaluation. However it is impossible to undertake this kind of examination without a careful search into various corners of his writings and a meticulous and slightly laboured presentation of one’s findings. But I think that the patience involved in such research has a rich reward. (shrink)
Earlier versions of this paper were read to the Departments of Philosophy at the University of New Brunswick and at Saint Francis Xavier University and to the Canadian Societh for the Study of Religion at Queen’s University, Kingston. The authors wish to thank the participants for their comments.
A great thinker once said that "all philosophy is merely footnotes to Plato."Through Plato, Father O'Connell provides us here with an introduction to all philosophy. Designed for beginning students in philosophy, Plato on the Human Paradox examines and confronts human nature and the eternal questions concerning human nature through the dialogues of Plato, focusing on the Apology, Phaedo, Books III-VI of the Republic, Meno, Symposium, and O'Connell presents us here with an introduction to Plato through the philosopher's quest (...) to define "human excellence" or arete in terms of defining what "human being" is body and soul, focusing on Plato's preoccupations with the questions of how and what it means to have a "good life" in relation to or as opposed to a "moral life.". (shrink)
This essay critically explores contemporary Euro-American feminist debate on prostitution. It argues that to develop analyses relevant to the experience of more than just a small minority of “First World” women, those who are concerned with prostitution as a form of work need to look beyond liberal discourse on property and contractual consent for ways of conceptualizing the rights and wrongs of “sex work.”.
The phase space formulation of quantum mechanics is based on the use of quasidistribution functions. This technique was pioneered by Wigner, whose distribution function is perhaps the most commonly used of the large variety that we find discussed in the literature. Here we address the question of how one can obtain distribution functions and hence do quantum mechanics without the use of wave functions.