Sexual harassment is a problem for many organizations. Organizations must understand that sexual harassment lies within the broader context of sex discrimination and inequality of opportunity in the workplace. Sexual harassment is both an illegal and unethical practice. Companies need to implement a policy which respects the rights of individual employees by prohibiting sexual harassment. This policy need to be clearly stated in the company Code of Ethics and enforced rigorously.
Referentialism has underappreciated consequences for our understanding of the ways in which mind, language, and world relate to one another. In exploring these consequences, this book defends a version of referentialism about names, demonstratives, and indexicals, in a manner appropriate for scholars and students in philosophy or the cognitive sciences. To demonstrate his view, Kenneth A. Taylor offers original and provocative accounts of a wide variety of semantic, pragmatic, and psychological phenomena, such as empty names, propositional attitude contexts, the (...) nature of concepts, and the ultimate source and nature of normativity. (shrink)
This essay some first steps toward the naturalization of what I call rational intentionality or alternatively type II intentionality. By rational or type II intentionality, I mean that full combination of rational powers and content-bearing states that is paradigmatically enjoyed by mature intact human beings. The problem I set myself is to determine the extent to which the only currently extant approach to the naturalization of the intentional that has the singular virtue of not being a non-starter can be aggregated (...) up into an account of rational intentionality. I have in mind a broadly defined family of accounts whose main members are the indicator/information-theoretic approach of Dretske (1988), the asymmetric dependence theory of Jerry Fodor (1987, 1990, 1994) and the teleo-semantics of Ruth Millikan (1984, 1993). Somewhat inaccurately, I will call this family of approaches the information-theoretic family. To be sure, there is only a rough family resemblance among the members of the information-theoretic family. Indeed, several intense quarrels divide the members of that family one from another, but the precise outcome of those internecine struggles is not directly relevant to the aims of this essay. 2 Taken collectively, the information-theoretic family yields a compelling picture of the place of at least a crude form of intentionality -- what I call frog-like or type I intentionality -- in the natural order. Though frog-like or type I intentionality is, I think, a genuine species of intentionality, it may subsist in the absence of rational powers. It is that species of intentionality enjoyed by irritable creatures who, following Brandom (1994). (shrink)
Definitions of health and disease are of more than theoretical interest. Understanding what it means to be healthy has implications for choices in medical treatment, for ethically sound informed consent, and for accurate assessment of policies or programs. This deeper understanding can help us create more effective public policy for health and medicine. It is notable that such contentious legal initiatives as the Americans with Disability Act and the Patients' Bill of Rights fail to define adequately the medical terms on (...) which their effectiveness depends. In Ethics and the Metaphysics of Medicine, Kenneth Richman develops an "embedded instrumentalist" theory of health and applies it to practical problems in health care and medicine, addressing topics that range from the philosophy of science to knee surgery."Embedded instrumentalist" theories hold that health is a match between one's goals and one's ability to reach those goals, and that the relevant goals may vary from individual to individual. This captures the normative implications of the term health while avoiding problematic relativism. Richman's embedded instrumentalism differs from other theories of health in drawing a distinction between the health of individuals as biological organisms and the health of individuals as moral agents. This distinction illuminates many difficulties in patient-provider communication and helps us understand conflicts between promoting health and promoting ethically permissible behavior. After exploring, expanding, and defending this theory in the first part of the book, Richman examines its ethical implications, discussing such concerns as the connection between medical beneficence and respect for autonomy, patient-provider communication, living wills, and clinical education. (shrink)
Whether to treat autism as exculpatory in any given circumstance appears to be influenced both by models of autism and by theories of moral responsibility. This article looks at one particular combination of theories: autism as theory of mind challenges and moral responsibility as requiring appropriate experience of the reactive attitudes. In pursuing this particular combination of ideas, we do not intend to endorse them. Our goal is, instead, to explore the implications of this combination of especially prominent ideas about (...) autism and about moral responsibility. These implications can be quite serious and practical for autists and those who interact directly with autists, as well as for broader communities as they attend to the fair, compassionate, and respectful treatment of increasing numbers of autistic adults. We find that these theories point to a limited range of situations in which autists should not be blamed for transgressive actions for which neurotypical individuals should be blamed. We build on what others have written on these issues by bringing in a recent cognitive model of the role theory of mind plays in empathy, by discussing the social implications of the theoretical findings, and by raising questions about the compatibility of reactive attitude theories of moral responsibility with the neurodiversity approach to autism. (shrink)
This essay examines the syntax of names. It argues that names are a syntactically and not just semantically distinctive class of expressions. Its central claim is that names are a distinguished type of anaphoric device—devices of explicit co-reference. Finally it argues that appreciating the true syntactic distinctiveness of names is the key to resolving certain long-standing philosophical puzzles that have long been thought to be of a semantic nature.
Schools in liberal societies are responsible for producing liberal citizens. However, if they have too robust a view of citizenship, they may find themselves undermining the view of good lives held by many pacific and law abiding groups. Here I argue against treating citizenship as an educational good that simply trumps private values when they conflict and in favor of a view that seeks a context sensitive balance between such conflicting goods. The paper explores Rawls's distinction between two moral powers (...) as a way of understanding the character of some of the private interests in schooling. (shrink)
This paper argues that liberalism and communitarianism provide views of the moral life that are both too narrow. Communitarianism roots the moral life in the norms of particular communities. Liberals argue that communitarianism is likely to be parochial and sectarian. Liberalism has sought for norms that are universal and generalizable. Communitarians claim that liberalism is a "view from nowhere" that is more likely to produce rootlessness and anomie than justice . This paper seeks for a "space between". Its principle claim (...) is that moral capacities such as empathy and sympathy and conceptions such as kindness and decency occupy a space between liberalism and communitarianism because, while they depend on attachments more than principles, they are evoked by characteristics of others that are not rooted in group membership or shared identities. (shrink)
It has been reported by some studies that the desire to be involved in decisions concerning one’s healthcare especially with regard to obtaining informed consent is related to educational status. The purpose of this study, therefore, is to assess the influence of educational status on attitude towards informed consent practice in three south-eastern Nigerian communities.
Kenneth Strike’s essay on pluralism, personal identity, and freedom of conscience, takes up the concept of identity, and contrasts cultural and religious pluralism. He argues that the issues of affiliational obligation and recognition are often different in these two types of pluralism, and that religious groups are often asking for something very different from cultural groups. Strike makes a case for a more fluid conception of the idea of identity and against its essentialist form; he holds, e.g. that some (...) of his affiliations are stronger than others and more tied to his sense of a larger self, but it is questionable, he argues, whether any of these affiliations could not be re-evaluated without loss of the larger idea of the self. Strike does allow that members of groups more oppressed than his might certainly rally around the attributes that they hold in common, and he is sympathetic to this strategic function of identity. Nevertheless, he wants to hold onto the individualized and phenomenological conception of identity: identity is whatever the agent feels it to be. (shrink)
Agricultural research raises fundamental ethical and value questions going beyond those in other fields both because of its public funding and because its results have significant impacts on habitats and other species. Questions about the sustainability of modern agriculture, which are shared with other sectors, require us to examine alternative visions and structures. These can be seen to range from status quo preserving ideologies to change-oriented utopias. It is argued that at the national level current ideologies—which include positivistic approaches and (...) belief in the neutrality of technology—mask real structural and policy choices as well as their ethical and value implications. At the international level, the export of fossil-fuel based modes of agriculture to the developing countries raises additional structural, policy, value, and ethical issues. (shrink)
Context Conflicts over treatment decisions have been linked to physicians' emotional states. Objective To measure the prevalence of emotional exhaustion and conflicts over treatment decisions among US obstetrician/gynaecologists (ob/gyns), and to examine the relationship between the two and the physician characteristics that predict each. Methods Mailed survey of a stratified random sample of 1800 US ob/gyn physicians. Criterion variables were levels of emotional exhaustion and frequency of conflict with colleagues and patients. Predictors included physicians' religious characteristics and self-perceived empathy. Results (...) Response rate among eligible physicians was 66% (1154/1760). 36% of ob/gyns reported high levels of emotional exhaustion, and majorities reported conflict with colleagues (59%) and patients (61%). Those reporting conflict were much more likely to report emotional exhaustion (58% vs 29% who never conflict, OR, 95% CI 2.8, 1.6 to 4.8 for conflict with colleagues; 55% versus 26%, OR, 95% CI 2.2, 1.4 to 3.5 for conflict with patients). Physicians with lower self-perceived empathy were more likely to report physician-patient conflicts (65% vs 58% with higher empathy, OR, 95% CI 1.4, 1.0 to 1.9), as were female ob/gyns (66% vs 57% of males, OR, 95% CI 1.5, 1.1 to 2.0). Foreign-born physicians were less likely to report such conflicts (47% vs 64% of US born, OR, 95% CI 0.5, 0.4 to 0.8). Physicians' religious characteristics were not significantly associated with reporting conflict. Conclusions Conflicts over treatment decisions are associated with physicians' empathy, gender, immigration history and level of emotional exhaustion. With respect to the latter, conflict in the clinical encounter may represent an overlooked source or sign of burnout among ob/gyns. (shrink)
In a time when we as a society are in the process of deciding what our basic rights to health care are, it is critically important for us to have a full and complete understanding of what constitutes health. We argue for an analysis of health according to which certain states are healthy not in themselves but because they allow an individual to reach actual goals. Recognizing that the goals of an individual considered from the point of view of biology (...) and the goals of the same individual considered as an agent in the world might be different, we introduce a distinction between the health of an individual qua organism and the health of an individual qua person. We then argue that this distinction characterizes the evaluations made by patients and healthcare providers better than the widely discussed distinction between disease and illness. (shrink)
Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking Curriculum is widely used by schools across the USA and has garnered attention internationally. The curriculum addresses social language and behavior deficits among those on the autism spectrum. Although many embrace this curriculum without reservation, the emphasis on social conformity, including avoiding behaviors that make others uncomfortable, merits scrutiny. Individuals who have difficulty understanding social cues and conventions can derive tremendous benefit from learning to fit in, for example, or learning what is likely to make (...) others uncomfortable and why. However, too much emphasis on pleasing others can reinforce undesirable tendencies. For example, autism is already linked to avoidant personality disorder. An emphasis on avoiding making others uncomfortable may also inhibit the development of principled ethical thinking and action. Reframing social thinking to treat it not (or not only) as an end in itself, but as a way to achieve a variety of social and personal goals would go a long way toward addressing the weaknesses of the Social Thinking Curriculum. (shrink)