Information security can be of high moral value. It can equally be used for immoral purposes and have undesirable consequences. In this paper we suggest that critical theory can facilitate a better understanding of possible ethical issues and can provide support when finding ways of addressing them. The paper argues that critical theory has intrinsic links to ethics and that it is possible to identify concepts frequently used in critical theory to pinpoint ethical concerns. Using the example of UK electronic (...) medical records the paper demonstrates that a critical lens can highlight issues that traditional ethical theories tend to overlook. These are often linked to collective issues such as social and organisational structures, which philosophical ethics with its typical focus on the individual does not tend to emphasise. The paper suggests that this insight can help in developing ways of researching and innovating responsibly in the area of information security. (shrink)
Affective disposition theory explains well the process of enjoying hero narratives but not the appeal of narratives featuring antiheroes. Recent antihero studies suggest that character identification and moral disengagement might be important factors in the enjoyment of such fare. The current study builds on this work. A sample of 101 self-identified fans and nonfans of the television series 24 viewed a condensed version of Season 1, providing evaluation of various protagonist perceptions, moral judgments, and emotional responses to the narrative, as (...) well as overall enjoyment. As expected, fans reported greater liking of the protagonist and greater enjoyment. But more importantly, regression analyses illuminated key differences between the groups in terms of the factors predicting enjoyment, providing a clearer picture of how we enjoy antihero narratives. (shrink)
Summary The emergence of quantum theory in the early decades of the twentieth century was accompanied by a wide range of popular science books, all of which presented in words, and a few in images, new scientific ideas about the structure of the atom. The work of physicists such as Ernest Rutherford and Niels Bohr, among others, was pivotal to the so-called planetary model of the atom, which, still today, is used in popular accounts and in science textbooks. In an (...) attempt to add to our knowledge about the popular trajectory of the new atomic physics, this paper examines one book in particular, co-authored by Danish science writer Helge Holst and Dutch physicist and close collaborator of Niels Bohr, Hendrik A. Kramers. Translated from Danish into four European languages, the book not only explained contemporary ideas about the quantum atom, but also discussed unresolved problems. Moreover, the book was quite explicit in identifying the quantum atom with the atom as described by Bohr's theory. We argue that Kramers and Holst's book, along with other ?atomic books?, was a useful tool for physicists and science popularisers in trying to understand the new quantum physics. (shrink)
This article contends that an ethics of care has a particular moral ontology that makes it suitable to argue for the normative significance of relational responsibilities within professional health care. This ontology is relational. It means that moral choices always have to account for the web of relationships, the relational networks and responsibilities that are an essential part of particular moral circumstances. Given this ontology, the article investigates the conditions for health care professionals to be partial and to act on (...) the basis of particular responsibilities to their patients. We will argue that priorities could be partial in three ways: first, because there may be exceptional circumstances that allow for giving priority to one patient over another; second, because the integrity of the patient and a health care worker may be connected in special ways; and, finally, even if impartiality is essential, the institutional basis of health care must always give ample space for an ethically qualified individual and personal care for patients. Even if difficult priorities may be necessary, the conditions of institutional health care should always seek to create the prerequisites for nurses and doctors to administer proper care. (shrink)
Conscientious objection has spurred impassioned debate in many Western countries. Some Norwegian general practitioners (GPs) refuse to refer for abortion. Little is know about how the GPs carry out their refusals in practice, how they perceive their refusal to fit with their role as professionals, and how refusals impact patients. Empirical data can inform subsequent normative analysis.
Although most theorists of healthcare rationing argue that rationing, including rationing that takes place in the physician–patient relationship is unavoidable, some health professionals strongly disagree. In a recent essay, Vegard Bruun Wyller argues that bedside rationing is immoral and thoroughly at odds with a sound view of the physician–patient relationship. We take Wyller to be an articulate exponent of the reluctance to participate in rationing found among some clinicians. Our essay attempts to refute the five crucial premises of his argument (...) yet build on his genuine insights. In our analysis, Wyller’s critique of bedside rationing is instructive both for harbouring some very common misconceptions that must be exposed and refuted, but also for offering important words of caution. In particular, bedside rationing must be performed in ways that do not harm the physician–patient relationship. Read irenically, Wyller’s critique is a reminder of what must not be lost in our painful endeavour to update the ethics of medicine to encompass the unavoidability of rationing. (shrink)
While Karl Popper’s philosophy of science has only few followers among modern philosophers, it is easily the view of science with the biggest impact on practicing scientists. According to Peter Medawar, Nobel laureate and eminent physiologist, Popper was the greatest authority ever on the scientific method. He praised the “great strength of Karl Popper’s conception of the scientific process,” a main reason for the praise being “that it is realistic—it gives a pretty fair picture of what goes on in real (...) life laboratories” (Medawar 1990, p. 100). Either explicitly or (more often) implicitly, many scientists subscribe to some version of simplified Popperianism, usually by adopting the demarcation criterion that a .. (shrink)
Previous studies on corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication suggest that firms’ social initiatives should be communicated through third-party, non-corporate sources because they are perceived as unbiased and therefore reduce consumer skepticism. In this article, we extend existing research by showing that source effects in the communication of social sponsorships are contingent on the brand’s pre-existing reputation. We argue that the congruence between the credibility and trustworthiness of the message source and the brand helps predict consumer responses to a social sponsorship. (...) The results show that a non-corporate source (publicity) generates more positive brand evaluations than a corporate source (advertising) when the sponsor has a positive reputation. However, the converse effect occurs when brand reputation is low: when the sponsor has a poor reputation, a corporate source generates more positive brand evaluations than a non-corporate source. Mediation analyses show that the interaction effect between CSR information source and brand reputation can be explained by sponsorship attitude, persuasion knowledge, and perceived fit between the brand and the cause. (shrink)
This paper explores how managers’ and supervisors’ equity incentives impact the likelihood of committing corporate fraud in Chinese-listed firms. Previous research has shown that corporate fraud in China is a widespread phenomenon and has severe consequences for affected firms and executives. However, our understanding of the reasons that fraud is committed in a Chinese setting has been very limited thus far. This is an increasingly important topic, because corporate governance is rapidly changing in China, and it is unclear whether adopting (...) the executive compensation practices of the West is appropriate for Chinese firms. We show that managers’ equity incentives increase their propensity to commit corporate fraud. We also find that this effect is more pronounced for state-owned firms. However, we find a negative but not significant relationship between the equity incentives of the supervisory board and the incidence of fraud. (shrink)
Cosmology has always been different from other areas of the natural sciences. Although an observationally supported standard model of the universe emerged in the 1960s, more speculative models and conceptions continued to attract attention. During the last decade, ideas of multiple universes based on anthropic reasoning have become very popular among cosmologists and theoretical physicists. This had led to a major debate within the scientific community of the epistemic standards of modern cosmology. Is the multiverse a scientific hypothesis, or is (...) it rather a philosophical speculation disguised as science? This paper offers a review of the recent and still ongoing controversy concerning the multiverse, emphasizing its foundational nature and relation to philosophical issues. It also compares the multiverse controversy to some earlier episodes in the history of twentieth-century cosmology when particular theories and approaches came under attack for betraying the ideals of proper science. (shrink)
The ongoing legal and bioethics debates on consent requirements for collecting, storing, and utilizing human biological material for purposes of basic and applied research—that is, genomic research biobanking—have already managed to pass through three ostensibly dissimilar stages.
The focus of the study is the conflict between care and concern for particular patients, versus considerations that take impartial considerations of justice to be central to moral deliberations. To examine these questions we have conducted qualitative interviews with health professionals in Norwegian hospitals. We found a value norm that implicitly seemed to overrule all others, the norm of ‘making a difference for the patients’. We will examine what such a statement implies, aiming to shed some light over moral dilemmas (...) interwoven in bedside rationing. (shrink)
How are we individually and as a society to handle new and emerging technologies? This challenging question underlies much of the bioethical debates of modern times. To address this question we need suitable conceptions of the new technology and ways of identifying its proper management and regulation. To establish conceptions and to find ways to handle emerging technologies we tend to use analogies extensively. The aim of this article is to investigate the role that analogies play or may play in (...) the processes of understanding and managing new technology. More precisely we aim to unveil the role of analogies as analytical devices in exploring the "being" of the new technology as well the normative function of analogies in conceptualizing the characteristics and applications of new technology. Umbilical cord blood biobanking will be used as a case to investigate these roles and functions. (shrink)
New medical technologies provide us with new possibilities in health care and health care research. Depending on their degree of novelty, they may as well present us with a whole range of unforeseen normative challenges. Partly, this is due to a lack of appropriate norms to perceive and handle new technologies. This article investigates our ways of establishing such norms. We argue that in this respect analogies have at least two normative functions: they inform both our understanding and our conduct. (...) Furthermore, as these functions are intertwined and can blur moral debates, a functional investigation of analogies can be a fruitful part of ethical analysis. We argue that although analogies can be conservative; because they bring old concepts to bear upon new ones, there are at least three ways in which they can be creative. First, understandings of new technologies are quite different from the analogies that established them, and come to be analogies themselves. That is, the concepts may turn out to be quite different from the analogies that established them. Second, analogies transpose similarities from one area into another, where they previously had no bearing. Third, analogies tend to have a figurative function, bringing in something new and different from the content of the analogies. We use research-biobanking as a practical example in our investigations. (shrink)
This book presents the history of how the universe at large became the object of scientific understanding. Starting with the ancient creation myths, it offers an integrated and comprehensive account of cosmology that covers all major events from Aristotle's Earth-centred cosmos to the recent discovery of the accelearting universe.
This paper examines the effectiveness of public enforcement by studying the effects of regulatory intervention to curb tunneling through intercorporate loans in China. Specifically, we explore whether public enforcement efforts in 2006 resulted in less tunneling, and ultimately in increased performance for tunneling firms. We show that tunneling is among the dominant factors increasing the likelihood of becoming blacklisted. We also find that firms’ tunneling mechanisms decreased significantly after the regulatory shock, and that their performance increased significantly compared to non-tunneling (...) firms after the regulatory shock. Finally, we find a positive market reaction to the public announcement of tunneling both for firms that have been blacklisted and other tunneling firms that are not blacklisted. Collectively, these results suggest that public enforcement in the presence of a credible threat succeeds in deterring the effect on tunneling behavior in China. (shrink)