We argue that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), particularly corporate codes of conduct, has been one of global business’s preferred strategies for quelling popular discontent with corporate power. By “business strategy” we mean organized responses, through organizations like the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), to the threat that public regulation poses to business’s collective self-interest. Attention to CSR’s historical development reveals it has flourished as discourse and practice at times when corporations became subject to intense public scrutiny. In this essay we (...) outline two periods of corporate crisis, and account for the role codes have played in quieting public concern over increasing corporate power: 1) When developing countries along with Western unions and social activists were calling for a “New International Economic Order” that would more tightly regulate the activity of Transnational Corporations (1960–1976); and 2) When mass anti-globalization demonstrations and high profile corporate scandals areincreasing the demand for regulation (1998–Present). (shrink)
The author has set out to provide an introduction to the theory of knowledge through a more "thorough study of three of its central topics." Unfortunately, he does not accomplish this for many reasons. Arner never discusses the birth of the epistemological problem that can be traced as far back as Plato, nor does he go into the implications of the problem. He chooses rather to give a superficial introduction into some of the more common problematic themes. Assuming this cursory (...) survey of 18 pages to be sufficient he devotes the remainder of the book to an offering of sampling selections by philosophers. Considering that the author furnishes only nine readings it is disconcerting to find C. I. Lewis and H. A. Prichard represented when notably absent are thinkers of such import as Plato, James, and Husserl among others. That no fewer pages are devoted to Lewis than to Kant and Descartes is indicative that Arner has missed the target. When a series of texts is used at the introductory level to offer a clear exposition of the philosophers’ thoughts, problems, methods, and attempted solutions, it is incumbent on the author to provide a general but thorough introduction to the theme along with appropriate brief introductions accompanying the particular readings. The fact that Arner has failed to do this, paired with the brevity and insignificance of some of the selections makes this book of little value to the student who professes no prior familiarity with the epistemological question.—K.R.M. (shrink)
This provocative book provides a stimulating study of the self that is somewhat reminiscent of Husserl’s transcendental ego. But for Earle the ego is absolute and infinite, yet so unique and singular that it precludes any descriptive analysis in terms of a universal structure. As the primary and absolute source of objectification the ego is opposed to these "others" to which something "happens" as the necessary is opposed to the contingent. The realm of happening is the realm of existence, and (...) the ego as the constitutive agent of objects and their meanings transcends this world, and in this sense is non-existent. Yet it is, and its mode of being is "eternity." Paradoxically, the self is both absolute and independent, but so relatively dependent on others for its fulfillment that it can only realize itself as a person on the level of intersubjectivity and most significantly in transcendental love. Earle remains insistent on the incommunicability and singularity of the I and maintains that if there is no common nature in which the I partakes neither is there any universal or abstract moral ought. Value is transcendentally grounded and is what I choose it to be and what I decide ought to be. There are some valuable critical accounts found in this work on Husserl, Sartre, and a very fine in depth refutation of James’ theory of memory. For Earle memory is the one essential way for the transcendental ego to preserve itself "amid the distraction and chaos of its chosen existence." The last two chapters are devoted to a phenomenology of horror and death, and although it is somewhat unrelated to the main topic it does make interesting reading. The book is replete with rich material for critical thinking and offers a challenge to investigate the self from a new and what may appear to some a radical approach. An index facilitates the reading.—K. R. M. (shrink)
Illustrates Aristotle's use of a vast number of terms by quoting, for each term, from one to almost forty passages ranging from a brief sentence to a paragraph. References to the loci of the passages in the Bekker edition are given. The book also includes an introduction of 162 pp. by Theodore E. James, consisting of brief summaries of Aristotle's works.--K. P. F.
This new edition of William James’s 1909 classic, A Pluralistic Universe reproduces the original text, only modernizing the spelling. The books has been annotated throughout to clarify James’s points of reference and discussion. There is a new, fuller index, a brief chronology of James’s life, and a new bibliography—chiefly based on James’s own references. The editor, H.G. Callaway, has included a new Introduction which elucidates the legacy of Jamesian pluralism to survey some related questions of contemporary (...) American society. -/- A Pluralistic Universe was the last major book James published during his life time. It is a substantial philosophical work, devoted to a thorough-going criticism of Hegelian monism and Absolutism—and the exploration of philosophical and social-theological alternatives. Our world of some one hundred years on is much the better for James’s contributions; and understanding James’s pluralism deeply contributes even now to America’s self-understanding. At present, we are more certain that American is, and is best, a pluralistic society, than we are of what particular forms our pluralism should take. Keeping an eye out for social interpretations of Jamesian pluralism, this new philosophical reading casts light on our twenty-first century alternatives by reference to prior American experience and developments. -/- . (shrink)
William James had the courage to experience the collision of European and American ways of thinking head on, and to emerge from it with a new philosophy - one displaying a remarkable vitality for dealing with the transformative issues at the core of the human condition. This easy to read introduction to his life and work explains why James' work is overwhelmingly valuable to us today in getting to grips with the spiritual dimension of human experience.
We conducted focus groups to assess patient attitudes toward research on medical practices in the context of usual care. We found that patients focus on the implications of this research for their relationship with and trust in their physicians. Patients view research on medical practices as separate from usual care, demanding dissemination of information and in most cases, individual consent. Patients expect information about this research to come through their physician, whom they rely on to identify and filter associated risks. (...) In general, patients support this research, but worry that participation in research involving randomization may undermine individualized care that acknowledges their unique medical histories. These findings suggest the need for public education on variation in practice among physicians and the need for a collaborative approach to the governance of research on medical practices that addresses core values of trust, transparency, and partnership. (shrink)
The industrialization of agriculture not only alters the ways in which agricultural production occurs, but it also impacts the decisions farmers make in important ways. First, constraints created by the economic environment of farming limit what options a farmer has available to him. Second, because of the industrialization of agriculture and the resulting economic pressures it creates for farmers, the fact that decisions are constrained creates new ethical challenges for farmers. Having fewer options when faced with severe economic pressures is (...) a very different situation for farmers than having many options available. We discuss the implications of constrained choice and show that it increases the likelihood that farmers will consider unethical behavior. (shrink)
The fairness of agricultural markets is frequently invoked, especially by farmers. But fairness is difficult to define and measure. In this paper we link fairness and power with the concept of constrained choice to develop a framework for assessing fairness in agricultural markets. We use network exchange theory to define power from the dependencies that exist in agricultural networks. The structure of agricultural networks and the options that agricultural producers have to participate in agricultural networks affect the degree to which (...) they are dependent on others within the network. Dependency, in turn, affects the choices that agricultural producers have. We consider both the number and nature of these choices. We argue that constraining or limiting choices—both in number and type—violates principles of justice. Importantly, network exchange theory provides a method for assessing constraints in choices and, hence, the fairness of agricultural markets. Such an assessment could potentially lead to new policies that safeguard the liberties of marketplace participants. We present a brief case to illustrate how this framework can inform on the fairness of agricultural markets and conclude with considerations of what this means for policy, particularly in the arena of anti-trust. (shrink)
In this paper we consider the question of whether middle-scale farmers, which we define as producers generating between $100,000 and $250,000 in sales annually, are better agricultural stewards than small and large-scale producers. Our study is motivated by the argument of some commentators that farmers of this class ought to be protected in part because of the unique attitudes and values they possess regarding what constitutes a “good farmer.” We present results of a survey of Missouri farmers designed to assess (...) farmer attitudes and values regarding a variety of indicators of farmer stewardship, such as the most important issues in agriculture, environment, and treatment of farm animals, perspectives on the past and future of agriculture, and ethical behavior. We find little evidence that farmers-of-the-middle are particularly noteworthy in these regards. We do find evidence, however, that middle-scale farmers are more pessimistic and anxious about their role in the future of agriculture. (shrink)
Classical philosophical Daoism and ecofeminism converge on key points. Ecofeminism’s critique of Western dualistic metaphysics finds support in Daoism’s nondualistic, particularist, cosmological framework, which distinguishes pairs of complementary opposites within a process of dynamic transformation without committing itself to a binary, essentialist position as regards sex and gender. Daoism’s epistemological implications suggest a link to ecofeminism’s alignment with a situational and provisional model of knowledge. As a transformative philosophy, the cluster of concepts that give specificity to the Daoist notion of (...) transformation offers content and direction for the notion of transformation central to many ecofeminist philosophies. These affinities offer possibilities for developing the relevance of both philosophies to bear upon a theoretical understanding of how we can live in a respectful and sustainable relationship with our natural environment. (shrink)
Objective: To develop an approach for seeking informed consent to examine tissues retained from a previous study of sudden infant death syndrome as part of a study on asthma, and to document responses and participation rate.Design: Pilot open-ended approach to 10 volunteer SIDS parents, followed by staged approach to seek consent from the target SIDS families for the asthma study.Participants: Parents of SIDS infants known to SIDS and Kids Victoria and parents of SIDS infants from the 1991–2 SIDS in Victoria (...) case–control study.Main outcomes: Qualitative responses of the piloted parents and study parents, and participation rates.Results: The pilot group responses were used to refine the written material to be provided. Of the 72 families for which contact details were available, 45 gave verbal consent for contact by the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine regarding the asthma study, three refused and 24 did not respond to two letters. Thirty-three completed consent forms, all positive for participation in the asthma study, giving a positive response rate of 73% .Conclusions: The use of postmortem tissue for research is acceptable to the next of kin when an approach is sensitive to their concerns and needs and is made by experienced counsellors from a familiar organisation. Despite the painful memories evoked by the approach of the research group, the acceptance rate among those who could be contacted was high. (shrink)
We question the falsifiability of Tsuda's theory and emphasise the need for physiologically based, quantitative models of large scale cortical function that can be validated through experimental data. We outline such a model emphasising its verification through experimental data and possible avenues for testing Tsuda's predictions about nonlinearities in neural behaviour.