As customer return rates increase, retailer bottom lines suffer from customers’ misuse of the policies and to the ethics of such practice. The purpose of this study is to explore customers’ orientation toward return behaviors, and to develop a return orientation assessing these dimensions. This research identified three dimensions relevant to consumer return behavior: the planned/unethical returner; the eager returner; and the reluctant/educated returner. A retest with another sample confirmed these three dimensions. Each dimension was analyzed for its relationship with (...) consumer ethical beliefs as measured by the Muncy–Vitell Consumer Ethics Scale, ethical philosophies and shopping behaviors. These relationships supported the ethical and unethical aspects of returner orientation. Results of this research imply that the core aspect of returner orientation is relevant to ethical behavior and misuse of retail return policies. The three return orientations identified partially support the Rosenbaum & Bitner-Olson research. (shrink)
In information societies, operations, decisions and choices previously left to humans are increasingly delegated to algorithms, which may advise, if not decide, about how data should be interpreted and what actions should be taken as a result. More and more often, algorithms mediate social processes, business transactions, governmental decisions, and how we perceive, understand, and interact among ourselves and with the environment. Gaps between the design and operation of algorithms and our understanding of their ethical implications can have severe consequences (...) affecting individuals as well as groups and whole societies. This paper makes three contributions to clarify the ethical importance of algorithmic mediation. It provides a prescriptive map to organise the debate. It reviews the current discussion of ethical aspects of algorithms. And it assesses the available literature in order to identify areas requiring further work to develop the ethics of algorithms. (shrink)
This paper argues that there are true synthetic modal claims and that modal questions in philosophy in general are to be interpreted not in terms of logical necessity but in terms of syn- thetic necessity. I begin by sketching the debate about modality between logical empiricism and phenomenology. Logical empiri- cism taught us to equate being tautological with being necessary. The now common view is that tautologies are necessary in the narrow sense but that there is also necessity in a (...) wider sense. I argue against this that we should distinguish analyticity and necessity more strictly. (shrink)
A theory of causation with ‘tendencies’ as causal con- nections is proposed. Not, however, as ‘necessary connec- tions’: causes are not sufficient, they do not necessitate their effects. The theory is not an analysis of the concept of causation, but a description of what is the case in typical cases of causation. Therefore it does not strictly contradict any analysis of the concept of causation, not even reduct- ive ones. It would even be supported by a counterfactual or a probabilistic (...) analysis. (shrink)
This article argues that there is a great divide between semantics and metaphysics. Much of what is called metaphysics today is still stuck in the linguistic turn. This is illustrated by showing how Fraser MacBride misunderstands David Armstrong's theory of modality.
While other philosophers have pointed out that Libet’s experiment is compatible with compatibilist free will and also with some kinds of libertarian free will, this article ar- gues that it is even compatible with strong libertarian free will, i.e. a person’s ability to initiate causal processes. It is widely believed that Libet’s experiment has shown that all our actions have preceding unconscious causes. This article argues that Libet’s claim that the actions he invest- igated are voluntary is false. They are (...) urges, and there- fore the experiment shows at most that our urges have preceding unconscious causes, which is what also strong libertarianism leads us to expect. Further, Libet’s correct observation that we can veto urges undermines his claim that our actions are initiated unconsciously and supports the thesis that we have strong libertarian free will. (shrink)
This article argues against Benjamin Libet’s claim that his experiment has shown that our actions are caused by brain events which begin before we decide and before we even think about the action. It assumes, contra the com- patibilists and pro Libet, that this claim is incompatible with free will. It clarifies what exactly should be meant by saying that the readiness potential causes, initiates, or pre- pares an action. It shows why Libet’s experiment does not support his claim and (...) why the experiments by Herrmann et al. and by Trevena & Miller provide evidence against it. The empirical evidence is compatible with strong liber- tarian free will. Neither the readiness potential nor the lateralized readiness potential causes our actions. (shrink)
If God brings about an event in the universe, does it have a preceding cause? For example, if the universe began with the Big Bang and if God brought it about, did the Big Bang then have a preceding cause? The standard answer is: yes, it was caused by a divine willing. I propose an alternative view: God’s actions, unlike human actions, are not initiated by willings, undertakings, or volitions, but God brings about the intended event directly. Presenting a solution (...) to the dilemma of free will I explain what ‘bringing about directly’ means and show that the question of what an action begins with is distinct from the question whether it is a basic action. (shrink)