In this essay, Chaya Herman explores the interaction between two powerful global dynamics that have affected educational institutions and society at large: one is neoliberalism, with its attendant notions of marketization and managerialism; the other is the resurgence of ethnic and religious, often fundamentalist, communities in the search for identity. The essay is based on a larger research project that explores the profound effects of the ideological and managerial restructuring process in Johannesburg’s Jewish community schools, the broader context for (...) which has been South Africa’s transformation to democracy. Herman suggests that these two dynamics are synergetic forces and that their accumulated effect has the power to shift the discourse of the community toward ghettoization and toward the creation of a homogenous community founded on a narrowly defined common identity. (shrink)
Making room for character -- Pluralism and the community of moral judgment -- A cosmopolitan kingdom of ends --Responsibility and moral competence --Can virtue be taught?: the problem of new moral facts -- Training to autonomy: Kant and the question of moral education -- Bootstrapping -- Rethinking Kant's hedonism -- The scope of moral requirement -- The will and its objects -- Obligatory ends -- Moral improvisation -- Contingency in obligation.
Richard Henson attempts to take the sting out of this view of Kant on moral worth by arguing (i) that attending to the phenomenon of the overdetermination of actions leads one to see that Kant might have had two distinct views of moral worth, only one of which requires the absence of cooperating inclinations, and (ii) that when Kant insists that there is moral worth only when an action is done from the motive of duty alone, he need not also (...) hold that such a state of affairs is morally better, all things considered, than one where supporting inclination is present. Henson's proposals seem to me both serious and plausible. I do not think that either of his models, in the end, can take on the role Kant assigns to moral worth in the argument of the Groundwork. But seeing the ways Henson's account diverges from Kant's makes clearer what Kant intended in his discussion of those actions he credits with moral worth. [...] An action has moral worth if it is required by duty and has as its primary motive the motive of duty. The motive of duty need not reflect the only interest the agent has in the action (or its effect); it must, however, be the interest that determines the agent's acting as he did. (shrink)
If, as Kant says, "the will is practical reason", we should think of willing as a mode of reasoning, and its activity represented in movement from evaluative premises to intention by way of a validity-securing principle of inference. Such a view of willing takes motive and rational choice out of empirical psychology, thereby eliminating grounds for many familiar objections to Kant's account of morally good action. The categorical imperative provides the fundamental principle of valid practical inference; however, for good willing, (...) we also require correct premises. These come from specifications of the two obligatory ends - our own perfection and the happiness of others. Interpreting good willing as good reasoning not only fits well with Kant's metaphysics of free action, it also offers a sound method for reasoning to and about individual as well as role-dependent moral obligations. (shrink)
We dispute Penn et al.'s claim of the sharp functional discontinuity between humans and nonhumans with evidence in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) of higher-order generalizations: spontaneous integration of previously learned rules and concepts in response to novel stimuli. We propose that species-general explanations that are in approach are more plausible than Penn et al.'s innatist approach of a genetically prespecified supermodule.
The work ethic has been deeply challenged by two trends – the division of labor and the destruction of continuity in employment. Here a narrative model is proposed for reconstructing the work ethic. Narratives embody assumptions about the flow of time, and work becomes charged with meaning when "contractual time" is interrupted, when new functions are invented to cope with obstacles having to do human character and action. Content for this abstract model is provided by four historical movements in the (...) U.S. having to do with the reorganization of work or work relations: scientific management, the human-relations movement, the human-potential movement, and early management thought. (shrink)
It is shown, in a large variety of manifestations, that the Aharonov—Bohm effect has classical counterparts in aspects concerning energy and momentum balance. No counterexamples are found in the cases considered, although whenever image charges shield the magnetic field region from the electric field of the passing electron the classical momentum effects, while present, would not be observable. Similarly, if the magnetic flux is maintained by superconductors, magnetic shielding will also render the classical energy effect unobservable. Partial shieldings of either (...) type will reduce but not totally eliminate the corresponding observable classical manifestations of these effects. (shrink)
Clinical experience suggests that adult survivors of childhood trauma arrive at their memories in a number of ways, with varying degrees of associated distress and uncertainty and, in some cases, after memory lapses of varying duration and extent. Among those patients who enter psychotherapy as a result of early abuse, three general patterns of traumatic recall are identified: relatively continuous and complete recall of childhood abuse experiences coupled with changing interpretations of these experiences, partial amnesia for abuse events, accompanied by (...) a mixture of delayed recall and delayed understanding, and delayed recall following a period of profound and pervasive amnesia. These patterns are represented by three composite clinical vignettes. Variations among them suggest that the phenomena underlying traumatic recall are continuous not dichotomous. Future research into the nature of traumatic memory should be informed by clinical observation. (shrink)
In response to critical discussions of my book, Moral Literacy, by Stephen Engstrom, Sally Sedgwick and Andrews Reath, I offer a defence of Kant's formalism that is not only friendly to my claims for the moral theory's sensitivity to a wide range of moral phenomena and practices at the ground level, but also consistent with Kant's high rationalist ambitions.
Analysts studying the nexus between language and ethnic identity have characterized ethnolinguistic ideologies as the deep structure of overt language practices. By contrast, this exploratory analysis argues for the advantages of shifting from a multi-level to a single-level explanatory model, consisting of interpretive frames and data (= aspects of sociocommunicative behavior) interpreted by way of those frames. The single-level model affords, arguably, a more unified treatment of people’s everyday inferences about ethnolinguistic identity, on the one hand, and research paradigms for (...) studying language as an ethnosemiotic resource, on the other hand. Yet the “singletiered” model does not void socioideological considerations. Instead, it assumes that a continuum stretches between (1) entrenched language prejudices, (2) efforts to use language theory to question or dislodge such prejudices, and (3) the moment-by-moment hypotheses and inferences in terms of which humans make sense of their conspecifics’ linguistic behavior, along with other ethnosemiotic cues. (shrink)
Medicine has been said to be both a science and an art. Many practitioners regard this statement as containing an element of “either/or”. A brief look at what scientists and artists have written about their work and their world views, however, suggests that the two fields of endeavour form a complementary part of our attempts to understand ourselves and the world about us. Moreover, on occasion, each can perform some of the other's tasks. This paper quotes from the writings of (...) physicians, scientists and people active in the humanities in order to demonstrate how frequently their thoughts converge. It also presents a case report from general practice illustrative of the idea that there is much common ground between the “hard” and the “soft” in medicine. Indeed, the profession's art and science may really be one. (shrink)
This essay sketches a method for identifying the insights that diverse religious traditions offer to the field of business ethics. Each article in this volume asserts or assumes faith-based claims about what is "truly real" as the ground of moral aspiration and obligation. Four distinct kinds of claims yield four kinds of wisdom, that is, moral guidance for business practice. 1) In Judaism and Islam, scriptural commands, as interpreted authoritatively down through these traditions, yield precise methods for rendering specific moral (...) judgments; in Roman Catholicism, similar guidance is provided through natural law. 2) In Buddhism, Judaism, and most of the surveyed Christian traditions, the values of compassion, love, and justice provide spiritual resources to counter pressures towards immoral behavior in business. 3) The African-American and Mennonite churches interpret their particular histories of oppression to offer distinctive models of fortitude and hope. 4) In Evangelical Calvinism, Mormonism, and Roman Catholic social teaching, convictions about God's redemptive and sanctifying activity offer a robust moral vision for successful striving. (shrink)
Because the propaganda model challenges basic premises and suggests that the media serve antidemocratic ends, it is commonly excluded from mainstream debates on media bias. Such debates typically include conservatives, who criticize the media for excessive liberalism and an adversarial stance toward government and business, and centrists and liberals, who deny the charge of adversarialism and contend that the media behave fairly and responsibly. The exclusion of the propaganda model perspective is noteworthy, for one reason, because that perspective is consistent (...) with long standing and widely held elite views that 'the masses are notoriously short-sighted' (Bailey 1948: 13) and are 'often poor judges of their own interests' (Lasswell 1933: 527), so that 'our statesmen must deceive them' (Bailey 1948: 13); and they 'can be managed only by a specialized class whose personal interests reach beyond the locality' (Walter Lippmann 1921: 310). In Lippmann's view, the 'manufacture of consent' by an elite class had already become 'a self-conscious art and a regular organ of popular government' by the 1920s (Lippman 1921: 248). (shrink)
Abstract In discussing the meaning of life in the Bhagavad Git? two obvious questions arise: first, what is the meaning of ?the meaning of life'?, and second, how does that meaning apply to the Bhagavad Git?? In Part I of this brief paper I will attempt to answer the first question by focusing on one of the common meanings of that phrase; in Part II, I will apply that very common meaning to the Bhagavad Git?; and in the third and (...) final part, I will point to a puzzle, the paradox of the jivanmukta, that would seem to follow from the discussion in the first two parts of this paper. My own feeling is that the concept of ?the meaning of life? is a Western invention . This being so, perhaps it would be wise to probe for that concept and its meaning among Western authors. We turn first, then, to one ancient writer, Aristotle of Stagira, and conclude Part I with a modern writer also concerned with the meaning of life, Albert Camus. (shrink)
Abstract: Contrary to criticisms by Thomas McInerney,Durable Goods proposes a realistic and empirically testable “covenantal” ethic for moving management and labor beyond tactics of mutual coercion and evasion. Nonetheless, two questions asked by McInerney remain germane. First, should the moral claims of management and labor always receive equal moral consideration, as a matter of justice? To this substantive question Durable Goods admittedly provides a less than satisfactory answer. Second, can the normative theory proposed by Durable Goods, based in part as (...) it is on the Bible, meet the standards of cogency, coherence, and parsimony appropriate to business ethics as a field of rigorous inquiry? This methodological question remains unaddressed. (shrink)
The two statements quoted above bring out some central features of modern Latin America. A close study of recent trends including the specific totalitarian ideology of the generals, the system of ideological manipulation and terror, the diaspora, and the defensive response of the churches (and their harassment by the military juntas) reveals startling similarities with patterns of thought and behavior under European fascism, especially under Nazism. Fascist ideology has flowed into Latin American directly and indirectly. Large numbers of Nazi refugees (...) came to Latin America during and after World War II, and important ingredients of fascist ideology have been indirectly routed into that area through the U.S. military and intelligence establishment. Whatever the source, however, it has met a need of the local and foreign elites that dominate the area, and has been modified to meet their special requirements. (shrink)