Ng and singer derive the principle of utility from the fact of finite sensibility and another principle, weak majority preference: "for a community of n individuals choosing between two possibilities, x and y, if no individual prefers y to x, and at least n/2 individuals prefer x to y, then x increases social welfare and is preferable." this derivation is regarded as incorrect in a comment. this reply explains why the derivation is valid and shows that the comment is based (...) on confusing a general social ordering with a utilitarian one. (shrink)
Utilitarianism seems to be going out of fashion, amidst increasing concerns for issues of freedom, equality, and justice. At least, anti-utilitarian and non-utilitarian moral philosophers have been very active. This paper is a very modest attempt to defend utilitarianism in particular and welfarism in general. Section I provides an axiomatic defence of welfarism and utilitarianism. Section II discusses the divergences between individual preferences and individual welfares and argues in favour of welfare utilitarianism. Section III criticizes some non-utilitarian principles, including knowledge (...) as intrinsically good, rights-based ethics, and Rawls's second principle. Section IV argues that most objections to welfarism are probably based on the confusion of non-ultimate considerations with basic values. This is discussed with reference to some recent philosophical writings which abound with such confusion. Section V argues that the acceptance of utilitarianism may be facilitated by the distinction between ideal morality and self-interest which also resolves the dilemma of average versus total utility maximization in optimal population theory. (shrink)
Parfit's requirements for an ideal Theory X cannot be fully met since the Mere Addition Principle and Non-Antiegalitarianism imply the Repugnant Conclusion: Theory X does not exist. However, since the Repugnant Conclusion is really compelling, the Impersonal Total Principle should be adopted for impartial comparisons concerning future generations. Nevertheless, where our own interests are affected, we may yet choose to be partial, trading off our concern for future goodness with our self-interests. Theory X' meets all Parfit's requirements except the Mere (...) Addition Principle in less compelling cases. (shrink)
Presented here is the German translation of Jan Patočka’s fragment Nitro a svět which was written in the 1940s and belongs to the so called „Strahov Papers“. The fragment reflects Patočka’s early attempts towards a thinking of subjectivity and the world. Thereby Patočka’s approach is phenomenological, but also integrates motives of German Idealism. The critical impact of the fragment lies in its orientation against the scientific biologism of its times.
The subject of this essay is political, and therefore social, philosophy; and therefore, ethics. We want to know whether the right thing for a society to do is to incorporate in its structure requirements that we bring about equality, or liberty, or both if they are compatible, and if incompatible then which if either, or what sort of mix if they can to some degree be mixed. But this fairly succinct statement of the issue before us requires considerable clarification, even (...) as a statment of the issue. For it is widely, and in my view correctly, held that some sort of equality is utterly fundamental in these matters. We seek a principle, or principles, that apply to all, are the same for all. In that sense, certainly, equality is fundamental and inescapable. But this is a very thin sort of “equality.” It will almost equally widely be agreed that the principles in question should in some more interesting sense “treat” people equally, e.g., by allotting to all the same set of rights, and moreover, rights that are – again we have to say “in some sense” – nonarbitrary, so that whatever they are, persons of all races, sexes, and so on will have the same fundamental rights assigned to them. Taking this to be, again, essentially uncontroversial, though not without potentially worrisome points of unclarity, it needs, now, to be pointed out that this characterization does not settle the issue that this essay is concerned with. That issue is about economic matters in particular. (shrink)
Jan Sprenger and Stephan Hartmann offer a fresh approach to central topics in philosophy of science, including causation, explanation, evidence, and scientific models. Their Bayesian approach uses the concept of degrees of belief to explain and to elucidate manifold aspects of scientific reasoning.
In this article we argue that puzzle of tax compliance can be explained, at least in part, by recognizing the typically neglected role of ethics in individual behavior; that is, individuals do not always behave as the selfish, rational, self-interested individuals portrayed in the standard neoclassical paradigm, but rather are often motivated by many other factors that have as their main foundation some aspects of “ethics.” We argue that it is not possible to understand fully an individual’s compliance decisions without (...) considering in some form these ethical dimensions. Specifically, we argue here that there is much direct and indirect evidence that ethics differ across individuals and that these differences matter in significant ways for their compliance decisions. We then put this in the larger context of the inability of the standard neoclassical paradigm to explain compliance of at least some individuals, and we suggest several possible avenues by which theory can be expanded to incorporate ethics. We conclude by arguing that a full house of compliance strategies is needed to combat tax evasion, strategies that include the traditional “enforcement” paradigm suggested by and consistent with neoclassical theory, a less traditional “service” paradigm that recognizes the important role of a “kinder and gentler” tax administration in encouraging compliance, and, importantly, a new “trust” paradigm that is built on the foundation of ethics, in which the tax administration must recognize that it can erode the ethics of taxpayers by its own decisions. (shrink)
Ng :255–285, 1995. https://doi.org/10.1007/bf00852469) models the evolutionary dynamics underlying the existence of suffering and enjoyment and concludes that there is likely to be more suffering than enjoyment in nature. In this paper, we find an error in Ng’s model that, when fixed, negates the original conclusion. Instead, the model offers only ambiguity as to whether suffering or enjoyment predominates in nature. We illustrate the dynamics around suffering and enjoyment with the most plausible parameters. In our illustration, we find surprising results: (...) the rate of failure to reproduce can improve or worsen average welfare depending on other characteristics of a species. Our illustration suggests that for organisms with more intense conscious experiences, the balance of enjoyment and suffering may lean more toward suffering. We offer some suggestions for empirical study of wild animal welfare. We conclude by noting that recent writings on wild animal welfare should be revised based on this correction to have a somewhat less pessimistic view of nature. (shrink)
To get distracted, to enclose and to give oneself. The Gesture of Transcendence in Jan Patočka The problem of transcendence can be traced throughout the whole work of Jan Patočka. The appeal to transcend our bonds to mere objectivity is a constant issue of his thought. It finds a new substantiation in the 1960s in his studies focusing on the meaning of the other as human being. The relation to the other person offers a special "occasion" or "place" of transcendence (...) and poses the challenge to transcend one's own particular setting. While in the mid-1960s Patočka maintains his earlier dramatic vocabulary to describe the process of transcendence, in the late 1960s his idiom becomes less vehement. Yet, it is precisely within this more "sober" framework that he symbolizes the process of transcendence with an emphatic turn to a "myth of the divine man" and its key metaphor of resurrection. To transcend means, for Patočka, always to liberate oneself from a state of self-distraction between things. However, in his late lectures, he briefly refers to a deeper layer, suggesting that this self-distraction has its "roots" in a self-enclosure or self-isolation, in the exclusive concentration on our own interests and in the illusion of our self-sufficiency. Transcendence, then, means to overcome this self-enclosure by means of a self-forgetting love. Are these rarely mentioned "roots" perhaps implicitly present in all Patočka's accounts of transcendence? (shrink)
I distinguish between two forms of consequentialism: reductionist and anti-reductionist. Reductionist consequentialism holds that the deontic properties of rightness and wrongness are identical with the axiological properties of optimality and suboptimality, respectively. Anti-reductionist consequentialism denies this identification, hence accepting what I call the autonomy of the deontic. In this article I ignore reductionist consequentialism. Instead I argue that anti-reductionist consequentialism is deeply problematic or even incoherent. Simply put, the main point is that the criterion of rightness of any ethical theory (...) that respects the autonomy of the deontic must entail that an object that meets that criterion is an action, and anti-reductionist consequentialism does not meet that requirement (while certain competing theories arguably do). (shrink)
This paper describes the work of the Polish logician Jan Kalicki (1922?1953). After a biographical introduction, his work on logical matrices and equational logic is appraised. A bibliography of his papers and reviews is also included.
Adaptation to climate change impacts is a key research topic in business ethics that poses substantial implications on the good lives of human beings. The commercial port sector is a highly relevant study focus with its pivotal roles in supply chains and international trade. Hence, it is important to investigate whether the port planning system and practice is appropriate in tackling climate change impacts. But beforehand, we must thoroughly understand the attitude and behaviors of port planners and operators on ports’ (...) climate adaptation planning. Through a survey towards 21 ports in Canada, the paper investigates the attitude and behaviors of port planners and operators on ports’ climate adaptation planning. Towards the end, we propose a new approach so as to enable port stakeholders to carry out climate adaptation planning effectively. The paper offers important insight to researchers to investigate the ways in developing effective climate adaptation plans and practice for ports and other business sectors. (shrink)
In an ingenious argument, Ng and Singer claim to show that it is possible to derive the general principle of utility from another principle, Weak Majority Preference, which many who are not utilitarians would be prepared to accept. WMP does indeed sound acceptable: ‘For a community of N individuals choosing between two possibilities, X and Y, if no individual prefers Y to X, and at least individuals prefer X to Y, then X increases social welfare and is preferable’. But from (...) this seemingly innocuous rule, Ng and Singer maintain, quite substantial results follow if one takes account the well-established fact of intransitive indifference owing to the existence of finite sensibility. (shrink)
This study examines the extent to which business students from Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan react differently to ethical dilemmas involving employees, supervisors, customers, suppliers, and business rivals. The empirical results show that the national origin of the students does have an impact on their reactions to particular ethical dilemmas. In addition, the results indicate that controlling for the problem of social desirability response bias is important to ensure the validity of the empirical findings.
Interaction between drivers and pedestrians is often facilitated by informal communicative cues, like hand gestures, facial expressions, and eye contact. In the near future, however, when semi- and fully autonomous vehicles are introduced into the traffic system, drivers will gradually assume the role of mere passengers, who are casually engaged in non-driving-related activities and, therefore, unavailable to participate in traffic interaction. In this novel traffic environment, advanced communication interfaces will need to be developed that inform pedestrians of the current state (...) and future behavior of an autonomous vehicle, in order to maximize safety and efficiency for all road users. The aim of the present review is to provide a comprehensive account of empirical work in the field of external human–machine interfaces for autonomous vehicle-to- pedestrian communication. In the great majority of covered studies, participants clearly benefited from the presence of a communication interface when interacting with an autonomous vehicle. Nevertheless, standardized interface evaluation procedures and optimal interface specifications are still lacking. (shrink)
Modern societies are characterized by a division of epistemic labor between laypeople and epistemic authorities. Authorities are often far more competent than laypeople and can thus, ideally, inform their beliefs. But how should laypeople rationally respond to an authority’s beliefs if they already have beliefs and reasons of their own concerning some subject matter? According to the standard view, the beliefs of epistemic authorities are just further, albeit weighty, pieces of evidence. In contrast, the Preemption View claims that, when one (...) discovers what an authority believes, it is not permissible to rely on any of one’s own reasons concerning the subject matter. The original version of this view, as proposed by Linda Zagzebski, has recently been severely criticized for recommending blind trust and for abandoning even minimal standards for critical thinking. In our paper, we defend a new version of the Preemption View—Defeatist Preemptionism—in a way that differs radically from Zagzebski’s. We argue that our view can be derived from certain widely accepted general epistemic principles. In particular, we claim that preemption can be identified as a special case of source sensitive defeat. Moreover, we argue that Defeatist Preemptionism does not lead to the undesirable consequences that critics ascribe to the Preemption View. The paper thus articulates the foundations and refinements of the Preemption View, such that it adequately captures the phenomenon of epistemic authority and the rational requirements related to it. (shrink)
The world we live in is unjust. Preventable deprivation and suffering shape the lives of many people, while others enjoy advantages and privileges aplenty. Cosmopolitan responsibility addresses the moral responsibilities of privileged individuals to take action in the face of global structural injustice. Individuals are called upon to complement institutional efforts to respond to global challenges, such as climate change, unfair global trade, or world poverty. Committed to an ideal of relational equality among all human beings, the book discusses the (...) impact of individual action, the challenge of special obligations, and the possibility of moral overdemandingness in order to lay the ground for an action-guiding ethos of cosmopolitan responsibility. This thought-provoking book will be of interest to any reflective reader concerned about justice and responsibilities in a globalised world. Jan-Christoph Heilinger is a moral and political philosopher. He teaches at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany, and at Ecole normale supérieure, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (shrink)
The bulk of this volume consists of a somewhat revised version of the Axel Hägerström Lectures given in Uppsala, Sweden in 1991. It also contains previously published papers on the relevance of philosophy of language to ethics and the interpretation of Kant’s moral philosophy. The latter, in particular, deserves comment, but space considerations force me to devote my attention to the Hägerström Lectures, entitled “A Taxonomy of Ethical Theories.”.
The inconsistent findings of past board diversity research demand a test of competing linear and curvilinear diversity–performance predictions. This research focuses on board age and gender diversity, and presents a positive linear prediction based on resource dependence theory, a negative linear prediction based on social identity theory, and an inverted U-shaped curvilinear prediction based on the integration of resource dependence theory with social identity theory. The predictions were tested using archival data on 288 large organizations listed on the Australian Securities (...) Exchange, with a 1-year time lag between diversity (age and gender) and performance (employee productivity and return on assets). The results indicate a positive linear relationship between gender diversity and employee productivity, a negative linear relationship between age diversity and return on assets, and an inverted U-shaped curvilinear relationship between age diversity and return on assets. The findings provide additional evidence on the business case for board gender diversity and refine the business case for board age diversity. (shrink)
A unifying framework of probabilistic reasoning Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9573-x Authors Jan Sprenger, Tilburg Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science, Tilburg University, P.O. Box 90153, 5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Scholars from all the continents have written articles to celebrate the seventieth birthday of Jan Srzednicki, a thinker still at the height of his powers. Born in Warsaw on 24 April 1993, Jan Srzednicki divided his energies between his philosophical studies at the University of Warsaw and his service in the underground army. In 1944 he was caught up in the dramatic attempt to liberate Warsaw from the Nazis. Srzednicki's scientific work alternates between problems of Austrian and German philosophy and (...) questions of political philosophy. The papers published in this volume discuss topics of general philosophy, in the clear and deep style both of Srzednicki's own philosophical work and of the Authors investigated in his writings. The topics developed pertain to the fields of epistemology and of logic and philosophy of logic. (shrink)
This paper draws on the economics of ethical compliance model to examine the association between ethical reasoning, perceived risk of detection, perceived levels of penalties and Chinese auditors'' ethical behavior in an audit conflict situation. Using 53 Chinese auditors from Shenzen as subjects, and a survey questionnaire, this study found that there is a significant negative association between ethical reasoning and the likelihood of unethical behavior and that this negative association is weaker for auditors who perceive higher risks of detection.
In this article I will describe the main elements of the Norwegian presss moral confrontation with the Government Pension Funds ethical investment management when it was in an introductory phase in early 2005, with special emphasis on one newspaper, Stavanger Aftenblad. The press criticized the funds fresh investment profile and intended exclusionary practice before it had really started in earnest. Then I will focus on how the presss unilateral criticism of the funds investment practice at the time overshadowed a discussion (...) of any defects in the ethical principles for investment. And I will focus on the presss lack of distinguishing between information and sensation. In conclusion I point out that in 2006 the press has abandoned its critical stance from 2005 and has now a tendency to idealize the funds exclusionary practice and the underlying principles. (shrink)
This paper addresses theoretical challenges, still relevant today, that arose in the first decades of the twentieth century related to the concept of the organism. During this period, new insights into the plasticity and robustness of organisms as well as their complex interactions fueled calls, especially in the UK and in the German-speaking world, for grounding biological theory on the concept of the organism. This new organism-centered biology understood organisms as the most important explanatory and methodological unit in biological investigations. (...) At least three theoretical strands can be distinguished in this movement: Organicism, dialectical materialism, and holistic biology. This paper shows that a major challenge of OCB was to describe the individual organism as a causally autonomous and discrete unit with consistent boundaries and, at the same time, as inextricably interwoven with its environment. In other words, OCB had to conciliate individualistic with anti-individualistic perspectives. This challenge was addressed by developing a concept of life that included functionalist and metabolic elements, as well as biochemical and physical ones. It allowed for specifying organisms as life forms that actively delimit themselves from the environment. Finally, this paper shows that the recent return to the concept of the organism, especially in the so-called “Extended Evolutionary Synthesis,” is challenged by similar anti-individualistic tendencies. However, in contrast to its early-twentieth-century forerunner, today’s organism-centered approaches have not yet offered a solution to this problem. (shrink)
The article focuses on the report of the International Workshop on “17th Century Polish Jesuits in China: Michal Boym, Jan Mikolaj Smogulecki, and Andrzej Rudomina” held at the University School of Philosophy and Education in Poland organized by the Monumenta Serica Institute. The author focuses on the Chinese philosophy lecture by Professor Shi Yunli about the influence of Smogulecki on Xue Fengzou, Chinese culture and science and their work on astrology and astronomy.
In this paper I take another look at the view, defended by C. Nino, that we may punish criminals because, by knowingly breaking a law, they have consented to becoming liable to the prescribed punishment. I will first rebut the criticisms usually aimed at this view in the literature, aiming to show that they are inconclusive. They are all efforts to show that criminal offenders in fact do not consent to becoming liable to punishment simply by committing crimes. I then (...) turn to a different line of criticism, which I find more promising. I argue that the moral power of effecting normative changes by consenting reflects the power holder’s value as a person, and show how this idea makes sense of how refusal to recognize that power wrongs a person. I then argue that the “power” of consenting to punishability does not fit that model, and is better explained as reflecting the value of other people, whom the offender has wronged. Hence the power of consenting is not involved in typical cases of wrongdoing. (shrink)
Is knowledge-how, or “practical” knowledge, a species of knowledge-that, or “theoretical” knowledge? There is no comfortable position to take in the debate around this question. On the one hand, there are counterexamples against the anti-intellectualist thesis that practical knowledge is best analysed as an ability. They show that having an ability to ϕ is not necessary for knowing how to ϕ. On the other hand, the intellectualist analysis of practical knowledge as a subspecies of theoretical knowledge is threatened by its (...) own set of counterexamples, which convincingly establish that practical knowledge lacks many of the typical characteristics of theoretical knowledge. Most strikingly it does not even appear to require a belief. In this paper, I develop an account of practical knowledge that avoids these counterexamples. It also manages to preserve both the status of such knowledge as a cognitive achievement and its apparently close conceptual relation to abilities. I start with the counterexamples against the necessity of abilities for practical knowledge and show that they fail because they underestimate the cognitive demands of attempts. I then make use of the logic of dispositions to bridge the gap that counterexamples against the necessity of abilities for practical knowledge open. It is argued that, instead of the ability to ϕ, it is a specific disposition to have the ability to ϕ that constitutes practical knowledge about ϕ. The resulting theory is an anti-intellectualist position that preserves essential intellectualist motivations and thus should be satisfactory for proponents of both views. (shrink)
Based on prior studies which show that firms headquartered in high religiosity counties exhibit high level of business ethics, this study examines whether these firms are associated with low audit risk, and therefore low audit fees. In investigating this relationship, we draw a distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic religiosity of auditees. Using a sample of 25,872 U.S. observations from 2003 to 2012, we find that intrinsic religiosity of the auditees is associated with low audit fees after controlling for auditee extrinsic (...) religiosity, social capital, firm-specific characteristics, and county-specific characteristics. Furthermore, we find that external monitoring weakens the negative relationship between auditee intrinsic religiosity and audit fees. Finally, we conclude that the effect of auditor religiosity on audit fees is a regional effect that may affect the relationship between audit fees and auditee intrinsic religiosity. (shrink)
Jan Westerhoff unfolds the story of one of the richest episodes in the history of Indian thought, the development of Buddhist philosophy during the first millennium CE. He aims to offer the reader a systematic grasp of key Buddhist concepts such as non-self, suffering, reincarnation, karma, and nirvana.