Case-based instruction is a stable feature of ethics education, however, little is known about the attributes of the cases that make them effective. Emotions are an inherent part of ethical decision-making and one source of information actively stored in case-based knowledge, making them an attribute of cases that likely facilitates case-based learning. Emotions also make cases more realistic, an essential component for effective case-based instruction. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of emotional case content, and complementary (...) socio-relational case content, on case-based knowledge acquisition and transfer on future ethical decision-making tasks. Study findings suggest that emotional case content stimulates retention of cases and facilitates transfer of ethical decision-making principles demonstrated in cases. (shrink)
Organizational leaders face environmental challenges and pressures that put them under ethical risk. Navigating this ethical risk is demanding given the dynamics of contemporary organizations. Traditional models of ethical decision-making (EDM) are an inadequate framework for understanding how leaders respond to ethical dilemmas under conditions of uncertainty and equivocality. Sensemaking models more accurately illustrate leader EDM and account for individual, social, and environmental constraints. Using the sensemaking approach as a foundation, previous EDM models are revised and extended to comprise a (...) conceptual model of leader EDM. Moreover, the underlying factors in the model are highlighted—constraints and strategies. Four trainable, compensatory strategies (emotion regulation, self-reflection, forecasting, and information integration) are proposed and described that aid leaders in navigating ethical dilemmas in organizations. Empirical examinations demonstrate that tactical application of the strategies may aid leaders in making sense of complex and ambiguous ethical dilemmas and promote ethical behavior. Compensatory tactics such as these should be central to organizational ethics initiatives at the leader level. (shrink)
Although case-based training is popular for ethics education, little is known about how specific case content influences training effectiveness. Therefore, the effects of (a) codes of ethical conduct and (b) forecasting content were investigated. Results revealed richer cases, including both codes and forecasting content, led to increased knowledge acquisition, greater sensemaking strategy use, and better decision ethicality. With richer cases, a specific pattern emerged. Specifically, content describing codes alone was more effective when combined with short-term forecasts, whereas content embedding codes (...) within context was more effective when combined with long-term forecasts, leading to greater knowledge acquisition and sensemaking strategy use. (shrink)
This study examined how structuring case-based ethics training, either through (a) case presentation or (b) prompt questions, influences training outcomes. Results revealed an interaction between case presentation and prompt questions such that some form of structure improved effectiveness. Specifically, comparing cases led to greater sensemaking strategy use and decision-ethicality when trainees considered unstructured rather than structured prompts. When cases were presented sequentially, structuring prompts improved training effectiveness. Too much structure, however, decreased future ethical decision making, suggesting that there can be (...) too much of a good thing when structuring case-based ethics education. Implications for designing ethics training programs are discussed. (shrink)
Cases have been employed across multiple disciplines, including ethics education, as effective pedagogical tools. However, the benefit of case-based learning in the ethics domain varies across cases, suggesting that not all cases are equal in terms of pedagogical value. Indeed, case content appears to influence the extent to which cases promote learning and transfer. Consistent with this argument, the current study explored the influences of contextual and personal factors embedded in case content on ethical decision-making. Cases were manipulated to include (...) a clear description of the social context and the goals of the characters involved. Results indicated that social context, specifically the description of an autonomy-supportive environment, facilitated execution of sensemaking processes and resulted in greater decision ethicality. Implications for designing optimal cases and case-based training programs are discussed. (shrink)
The effectiveness of case-based learning in ethics education varies widely regarding how cases are presented. Case process instruction may impact case-based ethics education to promote sensemaking processes, ethical sensemaking strategy use, and ethical decision making (EDM) quality. This study examined two teaching techniques, notes and review, and participants completed note-taking and review activities examining a case-based scenario during an ethics education course. Results suggest that providing case notes in outline form improves sensemaking processes, strategy use, and EDM quality. In addition, (...) combining processes of provided notes and passive review results in incremental, additive performance via certain ethical sensemaking strategies and EDM quality. (shrink)
Case-based instruction has been regarded by many as a viable alternative to traditional lecture-based education and training. However, little is known about how case-based training techniques impact training effectiveness. This study examined the effects of two such techniques: (a) presentation of alternative outcome scenarios to a case, and (b) conducting a structured outcome evaluation. Consistent with the hypotheses, results indicate that presentation of alternative outcome scenarios reduced knowledge acquisition, reduced sensemaking and ethical decision-making strategy use, and reduced decision ethicality. Conducting (...) a structured outcome evaluation had no impact on these outcomes. Results indicate that those who use case-based instruction should take care to use clear, less complex cases with only a singular outcome if they are seeking these types of outcomes. (shrink)
This essay explores the idea of just war in two ways. Part I outlines the formation, early development, and substantive content of just war tradition in its classic form, sketches the subsequent development of this idea in the modern period, and examines three benchmarks in the recovery of just war thinking in American thought over the last four decades. Part II identifies and critiques several prominent themes in contemporary just war discourse, testing them against the context, purpose, and content of (...) the just war idea in its classic form. My argument throughout is that the historical substance of just war tradition needs to be respected in contemporary just war discourse, both to discipline that discourse and to engage contemporary moral reflection with the values embodied in just war tradition. (shrink)
What is, or should be, the role of defense in thinking about the justification of use of armed force? Contemporary just war thinking prioritizes defense as the principal, and perhaps the only, just cause for resorting to armed force. By contrast, classic just war tradition, while recognizing defense as justification for use of force by private persons, did not reason from self-defense to the justification of the use of force on behalf of the political community, but instead rendered the idea (...) of just cause for resort to force in terms of the sovereign's responsibility to maintain justice, vindicating those who had suffered from injustice and punishing evildoers. This paper moves through three major stages in the historical development of just war thinking, first examining a critical phase in the formation of the classical idea of just cause as the responsibility to maintain justice, then discussing the shift, characteristic of the modern period, to an idea of sovereignty as connected to the state and the prioritization of defense of the state as just cause for use of force, and lastly showing how this conception of the priority of defense became part of the recovery of just war thinking in the latter part of the twentieth century. The paper concludes by noting recent changes in thought on international law that tend to emphasize justice at the expense of the right of self-defense, suggesting that the roots of just war thinking imply the need for a similar rethinking of contemporary just war discourse. (shrink)
In contrast to the period when the "Journal of Religious Ethics" began publishing, the study of religion in relation to war and connected issues has prospered in recent years. This article examines three collections of essays providing comparative perspectives on these topics, two recently authored studies of Buddhism and Islam in relation to war, and a compendious collection of texts on Western moral tradition concerning war, peace, and related issues from classical Greece and Rome to the present.
Habermas's analysis of rational action is the fulcrum for his broader theoretical project. If that analysis is faulty his larger project is jeopardized. I explore the role Habermas assigns to strategic action in order to scrutinize his central concept of communicative action. Using basic game theoretic concepts as a counterpoint I argue that he both misconstrues stategic action and fails to adequately explain the mechanism underlying communicative action. I conclude by sketching several ways that Habermas might seek to rectify deficiencies (...) in his analysis of rational action. (shrink)
This project examined the ethical issues faced by academics and professionals in the Humanities. We conducted focus groups to gather information about the ethical concerns in these fields and used the qualitative data arising from the discussions to create a taxonomy that represents the structure of ethical issues in the Humanities. A key implication of our findings is that while the focus of ethics research and interventions has been primarily on the sciences and engineering, academics and professionals in other fields (...) also encounter some unique critical ethical dilemmas that require further research and methods of intervention. (shrink)
Multiverses are predictions based on theories. Focusing on each theory’s assumptions is key to evaluating a proposed multiverse. Although accepted theories of particle physics and cosmology contain non-intuitive features, multiverse theories entertain a host of “strange” assumptions classified as metaphysical topics such as: infinity, duplicate yous, hypothetical fields, more than three space dimensions, Hilbert space, advanced civilizations, and reality established by mathematical relationships. It is easy to confuse multiverse proposals because many divergent models exist. This overview defines the characteristics of (...) eleven popular multiverse proposals. The characteristics compared are: initial conditions, values of constants, laws of nature, number of space dimensions, number of universes, and fine tuning explanations. Future scientific experiments may validate selected assumptions; but until they do, proposals by philosophers may be as valid as theoretical scientific theories. (shrink)
This essay responds to the six essays on my thought above, doing so both directly on particularly important points and indirectly through my own reflections on how I understand my work and its development.
In addition to noting significant differences of interpretation between me and Kristopher Norris on understanding classic just war thought and judging its importance, this Comment flags errors of fact and faulty logic in the Norris essay.
Recent just war thought has tended to prioritize just cause among the moral criteria to be satisfied for resort to armed force, reducing the requirement of sovereign authority to a secondary, supporting role: such authority is to act in response to the establishment of just cause. By contrast, Aquinas and Luther, two benchmark figures in the development of Christian thought on just war, unambiguously gave priority to the requirement of sovereign authority as instituted by God to carry out the responsibilities (...) of ensuring a just and peaceful order in the world. On this conception it is the sovereign, in deciding whether to resort to armed force, who must make sure to satisfy the other moral requirements of the jus ad bellum. This paper examines Aquinas and Luther on sovereign authority for use of armed force. Recapturing the importance of this conception is important both for the proper understanding of just war tradition and for working out its implications for such contemporary issues as humanitarian intervention and "regime change.". (shrink)
While the origin and development of the just war tradition until the early modern period blended concerns, ideas, and practices from the moral, legal, political, and military spheres, from the mid-seventeenth century until the mid-twentieth it largely disappeared as a conscious source of moral reflection about war and its restraint. Beginning in the 1960s, however, American theologian Paul Ramsey initiated a recovery of just war thinking in a series of writings applying the principles of discrimination and proportionality, ideas he traced (...) both to Augustinian theology and to natural law, to the debate over nuclear weapons and later to the Vietnam War. Ramsey's work directly engaged both theological and policy debate over military force, initiating lines of reflection that have since developed further and become increasingly institutionalized. This brief essay examines the nature of Ramsey's just war thought and its influence over the last 40 years. (shrink)
Christians have historically differed as to whether the wrongness of an act is to be located in the objective character of the act or in the intention of the agent. By blurring this distinction, Alain Epp Weaver fails to see the real principle of consistency that unites Augustine's analyses of warfare and lying. Likewise, by not appreciating the fact that Augustine analyzes the wrongness of the act in terms of intention whereas Yoder analyzes its wrongness in terms of its objective (...) character, Weaver proposes a conversation between two figures who lack the framework of shared assumptions that makes engagement in conversation possible. (shrink)
A critique is not a matter of saying that things are not right as they are. It is a matter of pointing out on what kinds of assumptions, what kinds of familiar, unchallenged, unconsidered modes of thought, the practices that we accept rest.... Criticism is a matter of flushing out that thought and trying to change it: to show that things are not as self-evident as one believed, to see that what is accepted as self-evident will no longer be accepted (...) as such. Practicing criticism is a matter of making facile gestures difficult. Michel Foucault (1988b, 154). (shrink)
Beginning with the support given by religious groups to humanitarian intervention for the protection of basic human rights in the debates of the 1990s, this essay examines the use of the human rights idea in relation to international law on armed conflict, the “Responsibility To Protect” doctrine, and the development of the idea of sovereignty associated with the “Westphalian system” of international order, identifying a dilemma: that the idea of human rights undergirds both the principle of non-intervention in the internal (...) affairs of states and the idea of an international responsibility for humanitarian intervention in cases of oppression. The pre-Westphalian conception of sovereignty as moral responsibility for the common good is then examined as an alternative that avoids this dilemma, and the essay concludes by suggesting that religious ethics also has other resources that, if used, may shed useful light on resolving this problem. (shrink)
Abstract [Remarks at the 10th-anniversary conference for the Journal of Military Ethics, Oslo, Norway, 9 September 2011, arranged by the journal in collaboration with the Norwegian Defence University College, the Peace Research Institute Oslo, and Bj?rknes College.].
The importance of history for religious ethics lies in the fact that, in religious communities existing over time, values are encountered in history, given forms dependent on the historical experience of the believing community, and recalled by the individual moral agent through memory in the context of participation in that community. This paper has to do with the nature of that memory and its implications for moral identity. Specifically, I utilize the concept of "significant history," derived from Gordon Kaufman's notion (...) of the "living past," arguing that moral identity is defined by memory of such history, present to the self in two aspects, individual and communal. The historical task of the religious ethicist, on this view, is to render faithfully both his own significant history and that of his community of faith. With the problem thus defined, I analyze several attempts to solve it, attempting to show how a religious ethical tradition ought to be treated as normative for contemporary analysis and decision-making. (shrink)
Space is something. Space inherently contains laws of nature: universal rules, laws and symmetries. We have significant knowledge about these laws of nature because all our scientific theories assume their presence. Their existence is critical for developing either a unique theory of our universe or more speculative multiverse theories. Scientists generally ignore the laws of nature because they “are what they are” and because visualizing different laws of nature challenges the imagination. This article defines a conceptual model separating space from (...) the universe’s energy source and expansion. By considering the ramifications of changing the laws of nature, initial condition parameters, and two variables in the big bang theory, the model demonstrates that traditional fine tuning is not the whole story when creating a universe. Supporting the model, space and “nothing” are related to the laws of nature, mathematics and multiverse possibilities. Speculation on the beginning of time completes the model. (shrink)
An effort to recover and explicate the idea of just war in Christian terms spans Paul Ramsey's career for almost four decades, from his earliest book to his last. His writings on this subject constitute one of the most important thematic and substantive contributions of his thought. This essay begins with a summary of classical just war tradition and assesses the relation of Ramsey's conception of just war to it. Then it examines that conception in detail, focusing on three topics: (...) the core idea of Christian love as an absolute moral norm expressed in the principle of discrimination, Ramsey's conversionist understanding of history and of politics that undergirds his argument from both discrimination and proportionality in conversation with the secular policy community, and the imbalance between treatment of the "jus in hello and the jus ad helium" in Ramsey's just war thought. Emphasis throughout is given to the influence of the contexts of debate in which Ramsey developed his ideas. (shrink)
J. D. Monk has shown that for first order languages with finitely many variables there is no finite set of schema which axiomatizes the universally valid formulas. There are such finite sets of schema which axiomatize the formulas valid in all structures of some fixed finite size.
To assess the utility of appeals to natural law as a way of projecting ethical claims across ideological and cultural boundaries, three examples of such appeals in just war theory are critically analyzed and evaluated: those of contemporary international lawyers Myres McDougal and Florentino Feliciano, theological ethicist Paul Ramsey, and Franciscus de Victoria, a sixteenth-century Spanish theorist whose recasting of Christian just war thought gave rise to secular international law. The conclusion is that natural-law appeals today can no longer depend (...) on their own self-evidence, but must be attempts to uncover commonality as to what is natural. (shrink)
This essay explores the convergence of theoretical or foundational, historical, and comparative concerns in religious ethics through the examination of two religiously informed traditions on statecraft, that shaped by Augustine's idea of the civitas dei and that shaped by classical Islamic juristic thought on the dar alislam. Three issues are examined for each tradition: the concept of normative political order, the nature of justified use of force, and the implications of their rival claims to universality. The essay shows how the (...) normative logic and implications of each tradition can be properly understood only by attention to its historical development. It further argues that possibilities for conversation between these traditions, difficult or even nonexistent in terms of the original statements of the Augustinian and juristic ideals, may be identified by attention to the historical working out of these ideals in the practice of statecraft within the two cultures. (shrink)
As scientific and engineering efforts become increasingly global in nature, the need to understand differences in perceptions of research ethics issues across countries and cultures is imperative. However, investigations into the connection between nationality and ethical decision-making in the sciences have largely generated mixed results. In Study 1 of this paper, a measure of biases and compensatory strategies that could influence ethical decisions was administered. Results from this study indicated that graduate students from the United States and international graduate students (...) studying in the US are prone to different biases. Based on these findings, recommendations are made for developing ethics education interventions to target these decision-making biases. In Study 2, we employed an ethics training intervention based on ethical sensemaking and used a well-established measure of ethical decision-making that more fully captures the content of ethical judgment. Similar to Study 1, the results obtained in this study suggest differences do exist between graduate students from the US and international graduate students in ethical decision-making prior to taking the research ethics training. However, similar effects were observed for both groups following the completion of the ethics training intervention. (shrink)
Two significantly different, if related, themes run through pacifist ideas in western history. One school of pacifism rejects violence as itself evil by whomever practiced and in whatever cause, but accepts the state as the agent of change to abolish violence. This point of view includes an expressed hope that a Utopian reconstitution of government will produce a totally peaceful world society. The other major theme expressed by pacifists in western culture accepts violence as inevitable in history and perhaps even (...) in some sense "ordained by God." The moral rejection of violence follows from an all-encompassing desire to separate from the society where violence is practiced and to live apart in a peaceful society ruled by the love of Christ. This paper explores these two themes in the western historical context via examination of the pacifism of Erasmus, exemplifying the first theme, and that of the Anabaptists of the Schleitheim Confession, representing the second theme. (shrink)