Earthcare: Readings and Cases in Environmental Ethics presents a diverse collection of writings from a variety of authors on environmental ethics, environmental science, and the environmental movement overall. Exploring a broad range of world views, religions and philosophies, David W. Clowney and Patricia Mosto bring together insightful thoughts on the ethical issues arising in various areas of environmental concern.
Two interpretations of the precautionary principle are considered. According to the normative interpretation, the precautionary principle should be characterised in terms of what it urges doctors and other decision makers to do. According to the epistemic interpretation, the precautionary principle should be characterised in terms of what it urges us to believe. This paper recommends against the use of the precautionary principle as a decision rule in medical decision making, based on an impossibility theorem presented in Peterson . However, (...) the main point of the paper is an argument to the effect that decision theoretical problems associated with the precautionary principle can be overcome by paying greater attention to its epistemic dimension. Three epistemic principles inherent in a precautionary approach to medical risk analysis are characterised and defended. (shrink)
A transformative decision rule transforms a given decision probleminto another by altering the structure of the initial problem,either by changing the framing or by modifying the probability orvalue assignments. Examples of decision rules belonging to thisclass are the principle of insufficient reason, Isaac Levi'scondition of E-admissibility, the de minimis rule, andthe precautionary principle. In this paper some foundationalissues concerning transformative decision rules are investigated,and a couple of formal properties of this class of rules areproved.
ABSTRACTRecent critics have suggested that character education is overly individualised and, as a result, fails to engage adequately with the political. In this paper, I offer an account of character education which takes issue with such criticisms, and seeks to make clear connections between the moral and the political necessary for character formation and expression. Drawing on an Aristotelian understanding of the political, I argue that individuals are intimately connected with their social associations, which in contemporary plural, westernised democracies include (...) the sort of engagement with the political advocated by critics of character education. Through a focus on civic virtue and deliberative engagement, it is argued that an Aristotelian-inspired account of character addresses the precise concerns, including recognising and challenging social injustices and deliberative engagement with difference, which critics suggest are lacking from character education. (shrink)
Joseph Heath defends competitive markets and conceptualizes business ethics with reference to Pareto efficiency, which he takes to be the “implicit morality of the market.” His justification for markets is that they generate Pareto efficient outcomes, meaning that markets optimally satisfy consumer preferences. And, for Heath, business ethics is the set of normative constraints—regulation and beyond-compliance norms—needed to preserve that outcome. The present paper accepts Heath’s claim that the economic justification for markets is ethical, in that satisfying consumer preferences is (...) a good. But, contra Heath, the ethical consideration at work is a consequentialist one; and acknowledging this consequentialism exposes limitations of Heath’s “market failures” approach to business ethics. We suggest two limitations, and we expect many will accept our argument that Heath’s conception of business ethics is too narrow. The present paper outlines two broader implications. First, acknowledging that the justification for markets is ethical eliminates the apparent—and false—conflict between purportedly amoral economic activity on one hand and ethical considerations on the other; instead, business ethics is a matter of weighing the consequentialist ethical benefit of economic activity and markets against other moral arguments/other ethical considerations. Second, Heath restricts business ethics to the constraints needed to protect the market’s ability to efficiently satisfy consumer preferences, constraints he calls “efficiency imperatives”; this restriction supports the widespread tendency to think that all social problems are economic; and, a business ethics so-conceived diminishes the perceived importance of noneconomic values—this attitude is dangerous. (shrink)
In Australia and other countries, certain groups of women have traditionally been denied access to assisted reproductive technologies . These typically are single heterosexual women, lesbians, poor women, and those whose ability to rear children is questioned, particularly women with certain disabilities or who are older. The arguments used to justify selection of women for ARTs are most often based on issues such as scarcity of resources, and absence of infertility , or on social concerns: that it “goes against nature”; (...) particular women might not make good mothers; unconventional families are not socially acceptable; or that children of older mothers might be orphaned at an early age. The social, medical, legal, and ethical reasoning that has traditionally promoted this lack of equity in access to ARTs, and whether the criteria used for client deselection are ethically appropriate in any particular case, are explored by this review. In addition, the issues of distribution and just “gatekeeping” practices associated with these sensitive medical services are examined. (shrink)
Although some attention has been devoted to assessing the attitudes and concerns of businesspeople toward ethics, relatively little attention has focused on the attitudes and concerns of tomorrow's business leaders, today's college students. In this investigation a national sample was utilized to study college students' attitudes toward business ethics, with the results being analyzed by academic classification, academic major, and sex. Results of the investigation indicate that college students are currently somewhat concerned about business ethics in general, and that female (...) students in particular are more concerned about ethical issues than are their male counterparts. (shrink)
Biological theories of religious belief are sometimes understood to undermine the very beliefs they are describing, proposing an alternative explanation for the causes of belief different from that given by religious believers themselves. This article surveys three categories of biological theorizing derived from evolutionary biology, cognitive science of religion, and neuroscience. Although each field raises important issues and in some cases potential challenges to the legitimacy of religious belief, in most cases the significance of these theories for the holding of (...) religious beliefs is not very great. (shrink)
Armchair philosophers have questioned the significance of recent work in experimental philosophy by pointing out that experiments have been conducted on laypeople and undergraduate students. To challenge a practice that relies on expert intuitions, so the armchair objection goes, one needs to demonstrate that expert intuitions rather than those of ordinary people are sensitive to contingent facts such as cultural, linguistic, socio-economic, or educational background. This article does exactly that. Based on two empirical studies on populations of 573 and 203 (...) trained philosophers, respectively, it demonstrates that expert intuitions vary dramatically according to at least one contingent factor, namely, the linguistic background of the expert: philosophers make different intuitive judgments if their native language is English rather than Dutch, German, or Swedish. These findings cast doubt on the common armchair assumption that philosophical theories based on armchair intuitions are valid beyond the linguistic background against which they were developed. (shrink)
According to the canonical formulation of the modal account of luck [e.g. Pritchard ], an event is lucky just when that event occurs in the actual world but not in a wide class of the nearest possible worlds where the relevant conditions for that event are the same as in the actual world. This paper argues, with reference to a novel variety of counterexample, that it is a mistake to focus, when assessing a given event for luckiness, on events distributed (...) over just the nearest possible worlds. More specifically, our objection to the canonical formulation of the modal account of luck reveals that whether an event is lucky depends crucially on events distributed over all possible worlds–viz., across the modal universe. It is shown that an amended modal account of luck which respects this point has the additional virtue of avoiding a notable kind of counterexample to modal accounts of luck proposed by Lackey. (shrink)
Following neo-Aristotelians Alasdair MacIntyre and Martha Nussbaum, we claim that humans are story-telling animals who learn from the stories of diverse others. Moral agents use rational emotions, such as compassion which is our focus here, to imaginatively reconstruct others’ thoughts, feelings and goals. In turn, this imaginative reconstruction plays a crucial role in deliberating and discerning how to act. A body of literature has developed in support of the role narrative artworks (i.e. novels and films) can play in allowing us (...) the opportunity to engage imaginatively and sympathetically with diverse characters and scenarios in a safe protected space that is created by the fictional world. By practising what Nussbaum calls a ‘loving attitude’, her version of ethical attention, we can form virtuous habits that lead to phronesis (practical wisdom). In this paper, and taking compassion as an illustrative focus, we examine the ways that students’ moral education might usefully develop from engaging with narrative artworks through Philosophy for Children (P4C), where philosophy is a praxis, conducted in a classroom setting using a Community of Inquiry (CoI). We argue that narrative artworks provide useful stimulus material to engage students, generate student questions, and motivate philosophical dialogue and the formation of good habits which, in turn, supports the argument for philosophy to be taught in schools. (shrink)
Pure time preference is a preference for something to come at one point in time rather than another merely because of when it occurs in time. In opposition to Sidgwick, Ramsey, Rawls, and Parfit we argue that it is not always irrational to be guided by pure time preferences. We argue that even if the mere difference of location in time is not a rational ground for a preference, time may nevertheless be a normatively neutral ground for a preference, and (...) this makes it plausible to claim that the preference is rationally permitted. (shrink)
Homology is a biological sameness relation that is purported to hold in the face of changes in form, composition, and function. In spite of the centrality and importance of homology, there is no consensus on how we should understand this concept. The two leading views of homology, the genealogical and developmental accounts, have significant shortcomings. We propose a new account, the hierarchical-dependency account of homology, which avoids these shortcomings. Furthermore, our account provides for continuity between special, general, and serial homology.
Based on a modern reading of Aristotle’s theory of friendship, we argue that virtual friendship does not qualify as genuine friendship. By ‘virtual friendship’ we mean the type of friendship that exists on the internet, and seldom or never is combined with real life interaction. A ‘traditional friendship’ is, in contrast, the type of friendship that involves substantial real life interaction, and we claim that only this type can merit the label ‘genuine friendship’ and thus qualify as morally valuable. The (...) upshot of our discussion is that virtual friendship is what Aristotle might have described as a lower and less valuable form of social exchange. (shrink)
ABSTRACTIn this article, we defend two claims about the precautionary principle. The first is that there is no ‘core’ precautionary principle that unifies all its different versions. It is more plausible to think of the different versions as being related to each other by way of family resemblances. So although precautionary principle x may have much in common with precautionary principle y, and y with z, there is no set of necessary and sufficient conditions that unify all versions of the (...) principle. Our second claim is that it is sometimes appropriate to think of the precautionary principle as a midlevel principle in the sense proposed by Beauchamp and Childress in their Principles of Biomedical Ethics, i.e. as a non-rigid moral principle. We argue that if the precautionary principle is conceived as a non-rigid principle that needs to be balanced against other principles before a moral verdict can be reached, then this enables us to address some standard objections to the principle. (shrink)
A multiphase study tested a proposed mediated moderation model for the joint effects of ethical pressure and power distance orientation on accountants’ ethical judgments of earnings management. Results based on a sample of 354 accountants from China indicated that the relationship between ethical pressure and ethical judgments of earnings management is contingent on the accountants’ power distance orientation. That is, the relationship between ethical pressure and ethical judgments of earnings management was stronger for accountants with a high power distance orientation. (...) The results also demonstrated that ethical beliefs in support of the company serve as a mediator for the interaction effect of ethical pressure and power distance orientation on the outcome. These results are discussed in terms of viewing earnings management as a form of unethical pro-organizational behavior which can be effectively investigated within the framework of the person-situation interactionist model. (shrink)
Romano Guardini was one of the most important intellectuals of German Catholicism in the twentieth century. He influenced nearly an entire generation of German Catholic theologians and was the leading figure of the German Catholic youth movement as it grew exponentially in the 1920s. Yet there are many open questions about his early intellectual development and his academic contribution to religious, cultural, social and political questions in the Weimar Republic and in National Socialist Germany. This article draws upon Guardini’s publications, (...) the secondary literature on Guardini and on some archival material, seeking to outline his early development and his engagement with the ideological context following World War I and in National Socialist Germany. Here Guardini’s criticisms of the modern age are presented. Besides this many other issues are addressed, such as his criticism of the women’s movement, his understanding of the youth movement, reception of Carl Schmitt, views of race, interpretation of the controversial Volk-concept, contribution to a Jewish journal in 1933, and his basic positions on the issues of obedience, order and authority. While Guardini was viewed critically by some National Socialists in the Third Reich, the administrative correspondences on him in the 1940s actually show that there was an internal debate about him among the National Socialist officials. This involved different figures, including a diplomat who came to Guardini’s defense. The internal disagreements were made more complicated because Guardini’s brothers were apparently members of the Fascist Party in Italy at this time. (shrink)
In den historiographischen Debatten über die verschiedenen Ideologien der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts wird der Begriff „katholischer Faschismus“ gelegentlich verwendet, um eine spezifische Version des Faschismus in den 1920ern, 1930ern und 1940ern Jahren zu bezeichnen. Im vorliegenden Aufsatz wird dieses Konzept in historischer und historiographischer Perspektive analysiert. Dabei geht es v. a. um den religiösen Hintergrund, die verschiedenen begrifflichen Unterscheidungen, die wichtigsten Ereignisse und die ideologischen Zusammenhänge. Der protestantische Faschismus sowie das Konfliktfeld zwischen Katholizismus und faschistischer Ideologie werden auch (...) thematisiert.In the historiographical debates about the different streams of ideology in the first half of the 20th century, the term “Catholic fascism” has been used on occasion to refer to a specific version of fascism and Catholicism in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. The following article analyzes this concept in historical and historiographical perspective, drawing attention to the religious background, the various conceptual distinctions, key events and ideological interrelationships. Protestant fascism is also addressed along with the ideological conflict between Catholicism and fascist ideology. Before turning to these themes, however, the critical role of papal theological and cultural analysis will be addressed. (shrink)
In diesem Aufsatz werden die Veröffentlichungen des Jesuiten Erich Przywara und der sehr einflussreichen jesuitischen Zeitschrift Stimmen der Zeit aus den frühen 193oern Jahren und besonders aus dem Jahr 1933 analysiert. In diesem Zusammenhang antworte ich auch meinen Kritikern. Außerdem werden die Hintergründe und Quellen der spezifischen Form des Antisemitismus dargestellt, die in den Stimmen der Zeit vertreten wurde. Deutsche Jesuiten propagierten 1933 durchaus radikale Positionen in der Zeitschrift. In dem katholischen Blatt liest man u. a., dass die Juden dem (...) deutschen Volk mehr Schaden als Nutzen brächten. Es wurde damals auch die nordische Rasse als für Herrschaft besonders geeignet bezeichnet. Im letzten Teil dieses Aufsatzes werden Przywaras spätere Briefe an Carl Schmitt, den gläubigen antisemitischen deutschen Katholiken, analysiert. Sie zeigen, dass Przywara von dessen antidemokratischer politischer Theorie der 1930er Jahre zutiefst beeindruckt war und die Ideen des Kronjuristen des Dritten Reiches sogar noch in der Zeit nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg verbreiten wollte. (shrink)
The monthly magazine Hochland was probably the most influential Catholic cultural periodical in Germany in the Weimar Period. According to Georg Cardinal von Kopp’s assessment in 1911, it was “unfortunately the most read periodical in all of the educated circles of Germany, Austria and German Switzerland”. Moving beyond the simple rejection of modern culture in Germany, the journal tried to follow a new program of mediatory engagement, although it did continue to hold to traditional positions in many regards. In this (...) article the reception of modern, Enlightenment-affirmative philosophy of religion in the journal is introduced with reference to reviews and essays from the later 1910s to the early 1930s. The journal’s treatment of a few critical subject areas is given close interpretive analysis, including the journal’s treatment of Gertrud Simmel’s Über das Religiöse, individually conceptualized forms of personalist moral theory, and the general shift to phenomenological discourses and the individual in the philosophy of religion. The fundamental rejections of these ideas and these schools of thought in reviews and essays, which are also found in the journal at this time, are not addressed in this article. The article thus sheds light on an often-forgotten and relatively small minority phenomenon in German Catholic intellectual circles of the Weimar Period, namely the positive embrace of Enlightenment-oriented modern thought. By promoting these ideas at this time, this group made themselves highly vulnerable to disciplinary measures by the Catholic Church. (shrink)