This article introduces the important issue of communicating with small firms about ethical issues. Evidence from two research projects from the U.K. and Spain are used to indicate some of the important issues and how small firms may differ from large firms in this area. The importance of informal mechanisms such as the influence of friends, family and employees are highlighted, and the likely ineffectiveness of formal tools such as Codes and Social and Ethical Standards suggested. Further resarch in the (...) area of small firms and ethics is essential. (shrink)
The current economic crisis is forcing us to reflect on where we have gone wrong in recent years. In the search for responsibilities some have looked to Business Schools and Administration Departments. It is surprising that this situation has come about despite the fact that Business Ethics and Social Corporate Responsibility have been taught in business schools for years. Without wanting to place all the blame on higher education institutions, but from a critical perspective and assuming responsibility, we believe it (...) is necessary to reflect rigorously on how to train leaders for the future and how we can best educate responsible Managers. In this article our objective is to reflect on the two factors which influence the training of responsible Managers: management discourse theory and the ethos of the institutions training future Managers. The central point of our article will be to argue for the need to develop an institutional ethos in Administration Faculties and business schools which is consistent with the responsibility discourse we propose and with the aim of providing high quality technical and moral training. Our central argument is that institutional ethos has enormous educational power and that the moral climate of an institution has a major influence on students' ideas, values and behaviours. The second argument for this main point is that corporate ethos can be managed and modulated. It is a process of cultural change which requires time and the setting up of specific initiatives to achieve the organisation that we want. (shrink)
Traditionally, liberals have confined religion to the sphere of the ‘private’ or ‘non-political’. However, recent debates over the place of religious symbols in public spaces, state financing of faith schools, and tax relief for religious organisations suggest that this distinction is not particularly useful in easing the tension between liberal commitments to equality on the one hand, and freedom of religion on the other. This article deals with one aspect of this debate, which concerns whether members of religious communities should (...) receive exemptions from regulations that place a distinctively heavy burden on them. Drawing on Habermas’ understanding of churches as ‘communities of interpretation’, we explore possible alternatives to both the ‘rule-and-exemption’ approach and the ‘neutralist’ approach. Our proposal rests on the idea of mutual learning between secular and religious perspectives. On this interpretation, what is required is (i) the generation and maintenance of public spaces in which there could be discussion and dialogue about particular cases, and (ii) evaluation of whether the basic conditions of moral discourse are present in these spaces. Thus deliberation becomes a touchstone for the building of a shared democratic ethos. (shrink)
With the creation of the European Higher Education Area, universities are undergoing a significant transformation that is leading towards a new teaching and learning paradigm. The competencies approach has a key role in this process. But we believe that the competence approach has a number of limitations and weaknesses that can be overcome and supplanted by the capabilities approach. In this article our objective is twofold: first, make a critical analysis of the concept of competence as it is being used (...) in higher education, identifying its limitations and weaknesses; and second, present the potential of the capabilities approach for higher education and review its complementarity to the competence approach.We begin with a brief characterisation of the capabilities approach and its implications for education. Then we examine some implications of the competencies approach in higher education and the reasons that led us to choose the DeSeCo proposal for comparison with the capability approach. We then go on to compare the two approaches, addressing 1) the aims of education and 2) the concept of competence and capability. Finally, we address the implications of incorporating the capabilities approach in learning and teaching in higher education. (shrink)
This article presents a model for the procedure of elaboration of an effective ethical code. Taking as the starting point the concept of business ethics as critical hermeneutics, we describe a process which will lead to the creation of a document that is truly ethical and efficient. We believe the elaboration of an ethical code should follow a definite procedure, and that the process is as important as the result, but we also add that in order for the process to (...) be a truly rational dialogue it is necessary to make efforts to ensure the participation of truly valid interlocutors who can represent their interests in conditions that are as close as possible to an ideal community of dialogue. Our model for the elaboration of an ethical code attempts to break with the conventional distinction between processes of elaboration and application in order to develop a truly integrative ethics, while also giving attention to the concrete conditions in which the ethical code is developed. In our view the contribution made by this model is the emphasis it places on the transformation of the will of the participants in the dialogue. (shrink)
Agricultural engineers’ jobs are especially related to sustainability and earth life issues. They usually work with plants or animals, and the aim of their work is often linked to producing food to allow people to improve their quality of life. Taking into account this dual function, the moral requirements of their day-to-day professional practice are arguably greater than those of other professions. Agricultural engineers can develop their ability to live up to this professional responsibility by receiving ethical training during their (...) university studies, not only by taking courses specifically devoted to ethics, but also by having to deal with moral questions that are integrated into their technical courses through a program of Ethics Across the Curriculum . The authors feel that a suitable pedagogical technique for achieving this goal is the use of moral dilemmas, following Kohlberg’s theory of levels of morality , with the final objective of attaining a post-conventional level. This paper examines the possibilities and limitations of using moral dilemmas as a pedagogical technique for training agricultural engineers. The cases, discussions, and evaluation used in the Agricultural Engineering Department of the Technical University of Valencia are also presented. (shrink)
Multinational enterprises have continued their increase during the last decades. What these companies do and how they do, determines not only the economic development of countries, but also their social and cultural development. This enormous power implies responsibility and new challenges.If we also take into account the role of multinational enterprises in what has been called sustainable development, we see that their importance is still more decisive.
Agricultural engineers’ jobs are especially related to sustainability and earth life issues. They usually work with plants or animals, and the aim of their work is often linked to producing food to allow people to improve their quality of life. Taking into account this dual function, the moral requirements of their day-to-day professional practice are arguably greater than those of other professions.Agricultural engineers can develop their ability to live up to this professional responsibility by receiving ethical training during their university (...) studies, not only by taking courses specifically devoted to ethics, but also by having to deal with moral questions that are integrated into their technical courses through a program of Ethics Across the Curriculum (EAC).The authors feel that a suitable pedagogical technique for achieving this goal is the use of moral dilemmas, following Kohlberg’s theory of levels of morality (1981), with the final objective of attaining a post-conventional level. This paper examines the possibilities and limitations of using moral dilemmas as a pedagogical technique for training agricultural engineers. The cases, discussions, and evaluation used in the Agricultural Engineering Department of the Technical University of Valencia (Spain) are also presented. (shrink)
At the World Economic Forum meeting in year 2000 in Davos the economic challenges for the next millennium were presented and analysed. The role of the Internet and communications in the development of the global economy were the central theme of the meeting and the evident inefficiency of traditional control mechanisms was highlighted. This situation implies greater responsibility for management for two fundamental reasons: first because management are ultimately responsible for the fortunes of their organizations, and second because they have (...) more freedom to act. I believe that the Davos manifesto (1973) of discourse is of incalculable value, but we also believe that it has a series of important weaknesses from the ethical point of view. My proposal is for a transformational review centred on the ethics of discourse and using as a starting point a conviction of the important role of the manager in the development of ethics in organizations. In this article I intend to examine the need, and the opportunity, to develop an ethical code for professional managers based on discourse ethics. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to analyse the Report on good corporate governance (Olivencia Report) from an ethical point of view. This report was drawn up by a group of experts at the request of the National Commission of the Spanish Stock Exchange Commission (Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores), in winter 1998, and began to be implemented over late 1998.This paper is the result of several sessions of discussions with businessmen and managers about the role that can be (...) played by the Olivencia Report, its virtues and weaknesses. (shrink)
El objetivo de este artículo es analizar las aportaciones que los avances en neuroética tienen en la toma de decisiones en las empresas. Empezaremos por cuestionar el paradigma dominante de la toma de decisiones empresariales desde el análisis crítico de los presupuestos epistemológicos de la teoría económica liberal, así como desde las perspectivas de las ciencias cognitivas y sus aportaciones al análisis del comportamiento humano. Continuaremos presentando dos grandes modelos de toma de decisiones éticas que se basan en la creación (...) de sentido intuitivo y que tienen sus fundamentos en los avances de las neurociencias. Concluiremos con breves observaciones críticas. (shrink)
The polemic was an important cultural event in 19th-century Cuba. From 1838 to 1840, issues of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, pedagogy, and the influence of Victor Cousin’s eclecticism were discussed in the island’s leading newspapers. A brief historical account preceding the polemic is offered. It is argued that the predominant view of the polemic as motivated by a widespread desire for Cuba’s independence from Spain is misleading — promoting an emancipatory myth. Lastly, it is argued that José de la Luz (...) y Caballero’s appeal to patriotism during the polemic unwittingly established a dangerous precedent for self-appointed guardians of patriotism to condition public debates. (shrink)
O presente artigo procura sintetizar o debate entre três autores sobre o Cristianismo e Religiões. Sendo o Cristianismo o tema central, a sua atitude em relação a outras religiões é apresentada numa forma mais ampla por Frei Félix Neefjes. Depois discute-se o Judaísmo (Reynaldo Luiz Calvo) e o Islamismo (Daniel José Fernandes Rocha) e as atitudes recíprocas entre essas três religiões.
Earlier, we have studied computations possible by physical systems and by algorithms combined with physical systems. In particular, we have analysed the idea of using an experiment as an oracle to an abstract computational device, such as the Turing machine. The theory of composite machines of this kind can be used to understand (a) a Turing machine receiving extra computational power from a physical process, or (b) an experimenter modelled as a Turing machine performing a test of a known physical (...) theory T. Our earlier work was based upon experiments in Newtonian mechanics. Here we extend the scope of the theory of experimental oracles beyond Newtonian mechanics to electrical theory. First, we specify an experiment that measures resistance using a Wheatstone bridge and start to classify the computational power of this experimental oracle using non-uniform complexity classes. Secondly, we show that modelling an experimenter and experimental procedure algorithmically imposes a limit on our ability to measure resistance by the Wheatstone bridge. The connection between the algorithm and physical test is mediated by a protocol controlling each query, especially the physical time taken by the experimenter. In our studies we find that physical experiments have an exponential time protocol, this we formulate as a general conjecture. Our theory proposes that measurability in Physics is subject to laws which are co-lateral effects of the limits of computability and computational complexity. (shrink)
From the Hippocratic Oath on, deontological codes and other professional self-regulation mechanisms have been used to legitimize and identify professional groups. New technological challenges and, above all, changes in the socioeconomic environment require adaptable codes which can respond to new demands. We assume that ethical codes for professionals should not simply focus on regulative functions, but must also consider ideological and educative functions. Any adaptations should take into account both contents and the drafting process itself. In this article we propose (...) a process for developing a professional ethical code for an official professional association starting from the philosophical assumptions of discursive ethics but adapting them to critical hermeneutics. Our proposal is based on the Integrity Approach rather than the Compliance Approach. A process aiming to achieve an effective ethical document that fulfils regulative and ideological functions requires a participative, dialogical and reflexive methodology. This process must respond to moral exigencies and demands for efficiency and professional effectiveness. In addition to the methodological proposal we present our experience of producing an ethical code for the industrial engineers’ association in Valencia where this methodology was applied, and we evaluate the detected problems and future potential. (shrink)
From the Hippocratic Oath on, deontological codes and other professional self-regulation mechanisms have been used to legitimize and identify professional groups. New technological challenges and, above all, changes in the socioeconomic environment require adaptable codes which can respond to new demands.We assume that ethical codes for professionals should not simply focus on regulative functions, but must also consider ideological and educative functions. Any adaptations should take into account both contents (values, norms and recommendations) and the drafting process itself.In this article (...) we propose a process for developing a professional ethical code for an official professional association (Colegio Oficial de Ingenieros Industriales de Valencia (COIIV) starting from the philosophical assumptions of discursive ethics but adapting them to critical hermeneutics.Our proposal is based on the Integrity Approach rather than the Compliance Approach. A process aiming to achieve an effective ethical document that fulfils regulative and ideological functions requires a participative, dialogical and reflexive methodology. This process must respond to moral exigencies and demands for efficiency and professional effectiveness.In addition to the methodological proposal we present our experience of producing an ethical code for the industrial engineers’ association in Valencia (Spain) where this methodology was applied, and we evaluate the detected problems and future potential. (shrink)
Solving numeric, logic and language puzzles and paradoxes is common within a wide community of high school and university students, fact witnessed by the increasing number of books published by mathematicians such as Martin Gardner, Douglas Hofstadter [in one of the best popular science books on paradoxes ], inspired by Gödel’s incompleteness theorems), Patrick Hughes and George Brecht and Raymond M. Smullyan, inter alia. Books by Smullyan are, however, much more involved, since they introduce learning trajectories and strategies across several (...) subjects of mathematical logic, as difficult as combinatorial logic, computability theory, and proof theory. These books provide solutions to their suggested exercises. Both statements and their solutions are written in the natural language, introducing some informal algorithms. As an exercise in Mathematics we wonder if an easy proof system could be devised to solve the amusing equations proposed by Smullyan in his books. Moreover, university students of logic could well train themselves in constructing deductive systems to solve puzzles instead of a non-uniform treatment one by one. In this paper, addressing students, we introduce one such formal systems, a tableaux approach able to provide the solutions to the puzzles involving either propositional logic, first order logic, or aspect logic. Let the reader amuse herself or himself! (shrink)
El presente artículo pretende acercarse a la propuesta de una concepción republicana de la ética empresarial realizada por la Escuela de Erlangen que se ha convertido en una referencia ineludible a nivel europeo. Esta propuesta, fundamentada en el constructivismo de la Escuela de Erlangen y la ética del discurso de la Escuela de Frankfurt, empezó a fraguarse a finales de los años ochenta en Alemania y define a la empresa como una institución con responsabilidades y deberes públicos. Con este artículo (...) se pretende mostrar una concepción de la ética empresarial sólida y coherente, tanto desde el punto de vista teórico como práctico, dada su capacidad de integrar las exigencias éticas con los aspectos organizativos, su proximidad a la praxis y su sistematicidad. The main purpose of this paper is to present the proposals of the Erlangen School for a republican conception of business ethics, which has become a key reference in the European context. Republican business ethics, based on the constructivism of the Erlangen School and the discourse ethics of the Frankfurt School, began to take shape at the end of the eighties in Germany and defines the company as "an institution with public responsibilities and duties". Throughout this article I will attempt to present a solid and coherent conception of business ethics, from both the theoretical and the practical points of view. Republican business ethics is capable of integrating ethical claims with organizational aspects, it comes close to praxis and it is systematic. (shrink)
Sumário Mostramos que, em virtude dos limites teóricos da computação, nem toda a ciência formulada com carácter preditivo pode ser simulada. Em particular, evidencia- se que a Fisica Clássica, nomeadamente a Físíca Newtoniana, padece deste mal, encerrando processos de Zenão.
The class of recursive functions over the reals, denoted by , was introduced by Cristopher Moore in his seminal paper written in 1995. Since then many subsequent investigations brought new results: the class was put in relation with the class of functions generated by the General Purpose Analogue Computer of Claude Shannon; classical digital computation was embedded in several ways into the new model of computation; restrictions of were proved to represent different classes of recursive functions, e.g., recursive, primitive recursive (...) and elementary functions, and structures such as the Ritchie and the Grzergorczyk hierarchies.The class of real recursive functions was then stratified in a natural way, and and the analytic hierarchy were recently recognised as two faces of the same mathematical concept.In this new article, we bring a strong foundational support to the Real Recursive Function Theory, rooted in Mathematical Analysis, in a way that the reader can easily recognise both its intrinsic mathematical beauty and its extreme simplicity. The new paradigm is now robust and smooth enough to be taught. To achieve such a result some concepts had to change and some new results were added. (shrink)