Drawing an analogy between Wang Yangming’s endeavor to know ethicaltruth and Descartes’ quest for epistemic certainty, this paper proposes a reading of Wang's doctrine of the unity of knowing and acting to the effect that the doctrine does not express an ethical teaching about how the knowledge that is already acquired is to be related to acting, but an epistemological claim as to how we know ethical truths. A detailed analysis of Wang’s relevant texts is (...) offered to support the claim. (shrink)
Truth-telling is often regarded as a challenge in Chinese medical practices given the amount of clinical and ethical controversies it may raise. This study sets to collect and synthesize relevant ethical evidence of the current situation in mainland China, thereby providing corresponding guidance for medical practices. This study looks into the ethical issues on the basis of the philosophy of deontology and utilitarianism and the ethical principles of veracity, autonomy, beneficence, and nonmaleficence. Chinese philosophy, context (...) and culture are also discussed to provide some suggestions for decision-making about disclosure in a medical setting. This study holds that, in order to respect the basic rights to which critically ill patients are entitled, decisions regarding truth-telling and their implementation should be carried out with thorough consideration, which can be achieved by critical thinking, well-developed and effective communication skills, the consideration of cultural context, an understanding of individual differences, and compliance with relevant laws and regulations. (shrink)
Consider truth predicates. Minimalist analyses of truth predicates may involve commitment to some of the following claims: (i) truth “predicates” are not genuine predicates -- either because the truth “predicate” disappears under paraphrase or translation into deep structure, or because the truth “predicate” is shown to have a non-predicative function by performative or expressivist analysis, or because truth “predicates” must be traded in for predicates of the form “true-in-L”; (ii) truth predicates express ineligible, (...) non-natural, gerrymandered properties; (iii) truth predicates express metaphysically lightweight properties; (iv) truth predicates have thin conceptual roles; (v) truth predicates express properties with no hidden essence; (vi) truth predicates express properties which have no causal or explanatory role in canonical formulations of fundamental theories. (shrink)
The construction of the modern subject and the pursuit of human freedom and autonomy, as well as the practice of human science has been pivotal in the development of modern education. But for Foucault, the subject is only the effect of discourses and power?knowledge arrangements, and modern human science is part of the very arrangement that has given birth to the subject who is thoroughly subjected. In his final years, however, a strong passion for human liberty reemerged, and he proposed (...) that a different truth game, the ancient ethicaltruth practices may actually constitute a self that is free and enjoys self-mastery. In this article, I analyze how modern human science, exemplified by Piaget's child developmental research, has become the means of unfreedom and domination and discuss the ancient ethicaltruth games Foucault so admired and how they bring self-mastery and freedom to the self. Furthermore, I discuss whether liberal education can ground its notions of autonomy and liberty on the Foucauldian concept of the subject and truth games. (shrink)
There are several strategies for exposing the defects of established moral discourse, one of which is critical argumentation. However, under certain specific historical circumstances, the apparent self-evidence of established moral discourse has gained such dominance, such a capacity of resistance or incorporation, such an ability to conceal its basic vulnerability that its validity simply seems beyond contestation. Notwithstanding the moral subject’s basic discontent, he or she remains unable to challenge the dominant discourse effectively by means of critical argument. Or, to (...) borrow a phrase from Michel Foucault, individuals find themselves faced with a certain rationality, a moral regime that dominates moral discourse to such an extent that they cannot offer any resistance without raising the suspicion of being unreasonable. They (that is, we) find ourselves confronted with a discourse quite unable to recognize its own deficiencies. Although we are forced to accept its basic claims, our chronic discontent nevertheless persists. That is, although we are forced to participate in this discourse, we remain basically ambivalent, and our attitude towards established morality contains both a Yes and a No. Then, all of a sudden, the basic vulnerability of the dominant regime dawns on us or is revealed to us – and this is the experience of laughter. (shrink)
Ethical relativism is the thesis that ethical principles or judgments are relative to the individual or culture. When stated so vaguely relativism is embraced by numerous lay persons and a sizeable contingent of philosophers. Other philosophers, however, find the thesis patently false, even wonder how anyone could seriously entertain it. Both factions are on to something, yet both miss something significant as well. Those who whole-heartedly embrace relativism note salient respects in which ethics is relative, yet erroneously infer (...) that ethical values are noxiously subjective. Those who reject relativism do so because they think ethics is subject to rational scrutiny, that moral views can be correct or incorrect. But in rejecting objectionable features of relativism they overlook significant yet non-pernicious ways in which ethics is relative. (shrink)
In this article, we explore the tension between truth telling and the demands of civic life, with an emphasis on the tension between serving one's country and reporting the truth as completely and independently as possible. We argue that the principle of truth telling in journalism takes priority over the promotion of civic values, including a narrow patriotism. Even in times of war, responsible journalism must not allow a narrow patriotism to undermine its commitment to truth (...) telling. Journalists best fulfill their civic role by adopting the perspective of a democratic patriotism. We conclude that if news organizations accept the primacy of truth telling and democratic patriotism, they should not embed reporters with military units, or if they do, they have an ethical obligation to implement special editorial precautions. (shrink)
Our aim is to analyze the position of the leader in relation to the ethical dimension of truth-telling within the organization under his/her control. Based on Michel Foucault’s study of truth-telling, we demonstrate that the role of the leader toward the corporation and the imperative of organizational performance place the leader in an ambiguous position: he/she is obliged to take the lead in “telling the truth” internally and externally, but also to bear the consequences of this (...) “truth-telling” for the organization and for himself/herself. In this process of construction and implementing the truth, the leader is organizer and figurehead of the corporation’s truth-telling practices: determining the frontiers between truth that can be said and that which should remain hidden, both inside and outside the corporation; establishing a dialogue based on truth ; guaranteeing that the rules of truth-telling are respected; and offering a truth which is compatible with the firm’s economic and ethical interest. Invested with the authority—the office—of managing truth within the corporation, the leader can be considered to be the “Chief Truth Officer.” From this perspective, we demonstrate that this role requires specific skills, like courage and practical wisdom. (shrink)
Is the point of belief and assertion invariably to think or say something true? Is the truth of a belief or assertion absolute, or is it only relative to human interests? Most philosophers think it incoherent to profess to believe something but not think it true, or to say that some of the things we believe are only relatively true. Common sense disagrees. It sees many opinions, such as those about matters of taste, as neither true nor false; it (...) takes it as obvious that some of the truth is relative. Mark Richard's accessible book argues that when it comes to truth, common sense is right, philosophical orthodoxy wrong. The first half of the book examines connections between the performative aspects of talk, our emotions and evaluations, and the conditions under which talk and thought qualifies as true or false. It argues that the performative and expressive sometimes trump the semantic, making truth and falsity the wrong dimension of evaluation for belief or assertion. Among the topics taken up are: racial slurs and other epithets; relations between logic and truth; the status of moral and ethical talk; vagueness and the liar paradox. The book's second half defends the idea that much of everyday thought and talk is only relatively true or false. Truth is inevitably relative, given that we cannot work out in advance how our concepts will apply to the world. Richard explains what it is for truth to be relative, rebuts standard objections to relativism, and argues that relativism is consistent with the idea that one view can be objectively better than another. The book concludes with an account of matters of taste and of how it is possible for divergent views of such matters to be equally valid, even if not true or false. When Truth Gives Out will be of interest not only to philosophers who work on language, ethics, knowledge, or logic, but to any thoughtful person who has wondered what it is, or isn't, for something to be true. (shrink)
Iris murdoch claims that the ethical significance of truth links the goodness of good literature with moral goodness. Her philosophical formulations of this claim evoke the pervasive model of truth as correspondence between mental representations and a mind-Independent reality. This paper criticises these formulations and attempts to revise them in the light of murdoch's literary explorations of the moral force of truth, Especially in "the sacred and profane love machine".
Consequentialist positions in philosophy spell out normative notions by recourse to final aims. Hedonistic versions of ETHICAL consequentialism spell out what is MORALLY right/justified via recourse to the aim of increasing pleasure and decreasing pain. Veritistic versions of EPISTEMIC consequentialism spell out what is EPISTEMICALLY right/justified via recourse to the aim of increasing the number of true beliefs and decreasing the number of false ones. Even though these theories are in many respects structurally analogous, there are also interesting disanalogies. (...) For example, popular versions of epistemic consequentialism implicitly endorse the truth-indication principle (which claims that a belief is epistemically justified only if there are factors indicating that the belief itself is true), whereas popular versions of ethical consequentialism do not subscribe to an analogous pleasure-indicating principle (which claims that an act is morally justified only if there are factors indicating that performing the act itself is pleasurable). In a first step I will argue that this difference rests on the fact that plausible versions of epistemic consequentialism have to meet certain constraints, which versions of ethical consequentialism do not have to satisfy. As these constraints can be easily met by incorporating the truth-indication principle, epistemic consequentialists tend to subscribe to it. In a second step I will investigate whether the identified constraints can also be met independent from the truth-indication principle. Are there plausible versions of veritistic epistemic consequentialism that reject the principle, thereby allowing that some beliefs can be epistemically justified even though no factors speak in favor of their truth? Building on ideas put forward by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Crispin Wright, and others, I will answer this question affirmatively. (shrink)
In ‘The Status of Content,’ Paul Boghossian points out an embarrassment in which A.J. Ayer finds himself in his extensive irrealism. Ayer embraces both an emotivist theory of ethics and a deflationary theory of truth. According to an emotivist theory, sentences that look like perfectly good declarative sentences, such as ‘One ought not to kill,’ should be interpreted as non-declarative sentences. According to a deflationary theory of truth, ‘truth’ is not a predicate of sentences, and sentences of (...) the form ‘“p” is true’ are equivalent to sentences of the form ‘p.’ Boghossian argues that emotivism and deflationism turn out to be incompatible.Boghossian's criticism should not be presented before we ask this question: What motivates Ayer's subversion of surface grammar? A typical motivation to provide an analysis of a certain region of discourse is to find a way in which patterns of inference and compositionality could be more perspicuously presented. (shrink)
Clinical Ethics, Ahead of Print. In medical practice, physicians are often faced with tough ethical and moral dilemmas, one such example is the reoccurring conflict between a patient’s hope and the truth. This paper explores two ethical dilemmas centered on compassion and the reduction of suffering: truth-telling with terminal patients and the clinical use of placebos. In each case the disclosure of truthful information could interfere with hope and suffering relief.
This article recounts the evolution of a global debate on the development of a common international code of journalistic ethics that would apply to East and West, Developed and Developing Countries. It sees as unlikely universal principles and prescriptions for professionals can be adopted across the divergent sociopolitical philosophies involved. Even common ground for constructive discussion on the topic is limited. Scholars, journalists, and educators are encouraged to instill an appreciation for the differences and to help create an understanding of (...) the special problems involved in media relationships among countries. (shrink)
In this article, I present one view of Guardini’s ethics, to which he dedicated his late academic life. Christian ethics for Guardini is only a natural consequence of the whole Christian existence and thus unique. Therefore, it is fundamentally a christocentric ethics but it affirms also the being of man as creature and hence realistic. It is indeed based on the nature of man, but not natural in the biological sense. I focus on the interpretation of the good that is (...) never in Guardini’s eyes a mere concept, but objectively existing and concrete. I point out that ethics is always connected with the personal dimension, that man’s doing is radically a working-with-God, and that in and through action man grasps and perfects himself. Christian ethics is a participation in Christ’s properties and conformity to him, who is the personal and living norm of the new life. (shrink)
This essay presents an overview of the TRC— its establishment, procedures, and operating principles — and examines the way in which the commission emphasizes forgiveness rather than retribution for past wrongs.
In Moonshadows, the Cowherds, a team of ten scholars of Buddhist Studies, address the nature of conventional truth as it is understood in the Madhyamaka tradition deriving from Nagarjuna and Candrakarti. Moonshadows combines textual scholarship with philosophical analysis to elucidate the metaphysical, epistemological and ethical consequences of this doctrine.
In Australia, as in many countries, the early advertising industry had a poor reputation for honesty. However, in 1920 ?truth in advertising? and raising ethical behavior became the focus of the Second Convention of Advertising Men of Australasia, held in Sydney. This was a major event in Australia's advertising history and was seen as a way to legitimize the industry in the eyes of those who doubted advertising's honesty. This paper will look at the Sydney Advertising Convention, with (...) particular reference to quotes from presenters and the establishment of self-regulatory bodies, to help gain an insight into the beginning of a system to observe ethical behavior in advertising. (shrink)
We have recently reached a watershed in the research community’s consideration of the ethics of research. The way is now open for a more nuanced discussion than the one of the last decade in which attention to legal and quasi-legal procedures for handling misconduct dominated. The new discussion of ethical issues focused on trustworthiness takes us beyond consideration of conduct that is straightforwardly permitted, forbidden or required, to consideration of criteria for responsible behavior. This paper develops an overview of (...) the subject of trustworthiness among researchers. It illustrates and discusses various types of betrayal and defections in research conduct, and locates these in relation to many of the situations discussed elsewhere in this issue. (shrink)
Truth, Trust and Medicine investigates the notion of trust and honesty in medicine, and questions whether honesty and openness are of equal importance in maintaining the trust necessary in doctor-patient relationships. Jackson begins with the premise that those in the medical profession have a basic duty to be worthy of the trust their patients place in them. Yet questions of the ethics of withholding information and consent and covert surveillance in care units persist. This book boldly addresses these questions (...) which disturb our very modern notions of a patient's autonomy, self-determination and informed consent. (shrink)
Truth, Christopher Norris reminds us, is very much out of fashion at the moment whether at the hands of politicians, media pundits, or purveyors of postmodern wisdom in cultural and literary studies. Across a range of disciplines the idea has taken hold that truth-talk is either redundant or the product of epistemic might. Questions of truth and falsehood are always internal to some specific language-game; history is just another kind of fiction; philosophy is only a kind of (...) writing; law is a wholly rhetorical practice. In _Reclaiming Truth_, Norris critiques these fashionable trends of thought and mounts a specific challenge to cultural relativist doctrines in epistemology, philosophy of science, ethics, and political theory. Norris presents his case in a series of closely argued chapters that take issue with the relativist position. He attempts to rehabilitate the value of truth in philosophy of science by restoring a lost distinction between concept and metaphor and argues that theoretical discourse, so far from being an inconsequential activity, has very real consequences, particularly in ethics and politics. This debate has become skewed, he suggests, through the widespread and typically postmodern idea that truth-claims must always go along with a presumptive or authoritarian bid to silence opposing views. On the contrary, there is nothing as dogmatic—or as silencing—as a relativism that acknowledges no shared truth conditions for valid or responsible discourse. Norris also offers a timely reassessment of several thinkers—Althusser and Derrida among them—whose reception history has been distorted by the vagaries of short-term intellectual fashion. _Reclaiming Truth _will be welcomed by readers concerned with the uses and abuses of theory at a time when such questions are in urgent need of sustained and serious debate. (shrink)
Even those aware of Nietzsches ambivalent (rather than purely negative) attitude to Plato, tend to accept Nietzsches account of Plato and himself as occupying the poles of philosophy. Much that Nietzsche says supports this view, but we need not take him at his word. I consider Nietzsche and Plato on three planes: their view of truth, their view of philosophy, and their use of certain emblematic figures (the New Philosopher, the Philosopher King) as the bearers of philosophys future. On (...) these planes Nietzsche and Plato can be seen to be remarkably close, and to stand together outside much of the tradition that separates them. In defence of these claims, (1) I draw a distinction in Plato between an absolutist theory of truth and one that treats truth as situated and partial; (2) I interpret Nietzsches perspectivism as an ethical theory of truth (a theory which is, like Platos situated theory, both non-substantive and not equivalent to pragmatism); (3) I claim that both the Philosopher-King and the New Philosopher are given the task of balancing between absolutism and nihilism; (4) and I draw from these tensions an image of philosophy as an inherently unstable process. (shrink)
In this chapter I argue that there are three different senses of 'lie' in Kant's moral philosophy: the lie in the ethical sense (the broadest sense, which includes lies to oneself), the lie in the 'juristic' sense (the narrowest sense, which only includes lies that specifically harm particular others), and the lie in the sense of right (or justice), which is narrower than the ethical sense, but broader than the juristic sense, since it includes all lies told to (...) others, including those who are bent on harming innocent others. (shrink)
Ethical loneliness is the experience of being abandoned by humanity, compounded by the cruelty of wrongs not being heard. It is the result of multiple lapses on the part of human beings and political institutions that, in failing to listen well to survivors, deny them redress by negating their testimony and thwarting their claims for justice. Jill Stauffer examines the root causes of ethical loneliness and how those in power revise history to serve their own ends rather than (...) the needs of the abandoned. Out of this discussion, difficult truths about the desire and potential for political forgiveness, transitional justice, and political reconciliation emerge. Moving beyond a singular focus on truth commissions and legal trials, she considers more closely what is lost in the wake of oppression and violence, how selves and worlds are built and demolished, and who is responsible for re-creating lives after they are destroyed. Stauffer boldly argues that rebuilding worlds and just institutions after violence is a broad obligation and that those who care about justice must first confront their own assumptions about autonomy, liberty, and responsibility before an effective response to violence can take place. In building her claims, Stauffer draws on the work of Emmanuel Levinas, Jean Améry, Eve Sedgwick, and Friedrich Nietzsche, as well as concrete cases of justice and injustice across the world. (shrink)
Whistleblowing is the public disclosure of information with the purpose of revealing wrongdoings and abuses of power that harm the public interest. This book presents a comprehensive theory of whistleblowing: it defines the concept, reconstructs its origins, discusses it within the current ethical debate, and elaborates a justification of unauthorized disclosures. Its normative proposal is based on three criteria of permissibility: the communicative constraints, the intent, and the public interest conditions. The book distinguishes between two forms of whistleblowing, civic (...) and political, showing how they apply in the contexts of corruption and government secrecy. The book articulates a conception of public interest as a claim concerning the presumptive interest of the public. It argues that public interest is defined in opposition to corporate powers and its core content identified by the rights that are all-purposive for the distribution of social benefits. A crucial part of the proposal is dedicated to the impact of security policies and government secrecy on civil liberties. It argues that unrestrained secrecy limits the epistemic entitlement of citizens to know under which conditions their rights are limited by security policies and corporate interests. When citizens are denied the right to assess when these policies are prejudicial to their freedoms, whistleblowing represents a legitimate form of political agency that safeguards the fundamental rights of citizens against the threat of unrestrained secrecy by government power. Finally, the book contributes to shifting the attention of democratic theory from the procedures of consent formation to the mechanisms that guarantee the expression of dissent. It argues that whistleblowing is a distinctive form of civil dissent that contributes to the demands of institutional transparency in constitutional democracies and explores the idea that the way institutions are responsive to dissent determines the robustness of democracy, and ultimately, its legitimacy. What place dissenters have within a society, whether they enjoy personal safety, legal protection, and safe channels for their disclosure, are hallmarks of a good democracy, and of its sense of justice. (shrink)
Here lies the real problem of moral knowledge that occupies Aristotle in his ethics. For we find action governed by knowledge in an exemplary form where the Greeks speak of techne. This is the skill, the knowledge of the craftsman who knows how to make some specific thing. The question is whether moral knowledge is knowledge of this kind. This would mean that it was knowledge of how to make oneself. Does man learn to make himself what he ought to (...) be, in the same way that the craftsman learns to make things according to his plan and will. (shrink)
The principle of respect for autonomy requires informing patients adequately and appropriately about diagnoses, treatments, and prognoses. However, some clinical cases may cause ethical dilemmas regarding telling the truth. Under the existence especially of certain cultural, social, and religious circumstances, disclosing all the relevant information to all pertinent parties might create harmful effects. Even though the virtue of telling the truth is unquestionable, sometimes de facto conditions compel physicians to act paternalistically to protect the patient/patients from imminent (...) dangers. This article, which aims to study the issue of whether a physician should always tell the truth, analyzes an interesting case that represents the detection of misattributed paternity during pre-transplant tests for a kidney transplant from the son to the father in Turkey, where social, cultural, and religious factors have considerable impact on marital infidelity. After analyzing the concept of telling the truth and its relationship with paternalism and two major ethical theories, consequentialism and deontology, it is concluded that the value of the integrity of life and survival overrides the value of telling the truth. For this reason, in the case of a high possibility of severe and imminent threats, withholding some information is ethically justifiable. (shrink)
As Post observes, accounting firms are unique among multinationals. They are more likely than firms in almost any other category to go abroad. They also have less choice in location as their expansion is determined largely by the desired locations of their clients. Given the widespread global presence of such firms, it can be argued that the global audit firm is uniquely at risk from variations in ethical perceptions across nations. This study extends the U.S. accounting literature on determinants (...) of cheating among accounting students to the U.K. Based on the work of Cohen et al. it develops a model that suggests that students in lower "uncertainty avoidance" countries will be both less likely to cheat, and when they do cheat, will be driven by internal rather than external mode. Our results supported the model as proposed as our results indicated that U.S. students were more likely to cheat and were more responsive to external stimuli than were the U.K. students. (shrink)
As to the preference which most people—as long as they are not annoyed by instances—feel in favor of true propositions, this must be based, apparently, upon an ultimate ethical proposition: ‘It is good to believe true propositions, and bad to believe false ones’. This proposition, it is to be hoped, is true; but if it is not, there is no reason to think that we do ill in believing it. Bertrand Russell, “Meinong’s Theory of Complexes and Assumptions” (1904).
This article seeks to broaden contemporary scholarship on the Lotus S?tra by arguing that it is a philosophically critical, self-reflective text struggling with problems of truth in Buddhist discourse. While all Lotus S?tra scholars agree that the doctrine of skillful means is a central teaching in the text, there is a common tendency to frame skillful means as a passive vehicle (or ?means?) for expressing truth rather than an active philosophical critique of truth. This article argues that (...) the Lotus S?tra uses skillful means as a distinct form of criticism within a larger debate over the nature and efficacy of Buddhist practice, and that it raises important issues about truth that are shared by other important Buddhist thinkers and texts such as N?g?rjuna, Lin-chi and the Vimalak?rtinirde?a. It analyzes key passages and parables without reducing the ethical teachings of the Lotus S?tra to simplistic versions of utilitarianism, paternalism, or relativism, and without dissolving the critical elements that make the Lotus S?tra a genuinely philosophically interesting text. (shrink)
The management of child protection concerns arouses strong emotions and controversies and creates ethical tensions for all concerned. This paper provides a rational analysis of some of the issues involved and suggests responses to them. The ethical and legal duties of health-care professionals are to act in the best interests of the child by safeguarding children and reporting concerns. But this may involve conflicts with parents and produce reluctance of professionals to become involved, especially in controversial types of (...) abuse. Mandatory reporting of concerns might overcome such reluctance, but may be ineffective in the face of diagnostic uncertainties. Assembly of a stronger diagnostic evidence base would seem ethically justified, but organization of the necessary case controlled studies might be problematic. Even with a comprehensive evidence base, individual diagnoses of abuse will always involve value judgements that should be underpinned by effective training and assessment of core competencies of professionals. These manoeuvres are unlikely to prevent both justified and vexatious complaints, often in relation to breaches in professional duties or concerning professional misconduct. The tendency to blame experts may have contributed to a reluctance of other professionals to become involved, despite proposals for reforms in the expert witness and court systems. Current approaches to child protection may neither promote greater understanding nor be in the best interests of children. A revised social contract for the effective protection of children could include: a duty of care that adequately addresses the primacy of the child's welfare; the acquisition of a sound evidence base; professional transparency and accountability (but with protection from malicious and vexatious complaints); and a shift emphasis towards a more inquisitorial system that embraced the principles of truth and reconciliation. (shrink)
Disclosure of health information is a sensitive matter, particularly in the context of serious illness. In conservative societies—those which predominate in the developing world—direct truth disclosure undoubtedly presents an ethical conundrum to the modern physician. The aim of this study is to explore the truth disclosure practices of physicians in Jordan, a developing country. In this descriptive, cross-sectional study, 240 physicians were initially selected by stratified random sampling. The sample was drawn from four major hospitals in Amman, (...) Jordan. A closed-ended questionnaire was distributed and completed by self-report. A total of 164 physicians completed the questionnaire. Thirty-seven physicians usually withheld the diagnosis of “serious illness” from patients, while 127 physicians usually divulged the information directly. Among the latter, 108 physicians made exceptions to their disclosure policy. Specialists were more likely to withhold health information. Non-disclosure was primarily motivated by request from the patient’s family. In twenty cases, non-disclosure was undertaken independently. In conclusion, most respondents opt to disclose the truth; however, the vast majority of these respondents make exceptions. Instances of non-disclosure are primarily motivated by sociocultural constructs. (shrink)