Research ethics committees—animal ethics committees for animal-based research and institutional research boards for human subjects—have a key role in research governance, but there has been little study of the factors influencing their effectiveness. The objectives of this study were to examine how the effectiveness of a research ethics committee is influenced by committee composition and dynamics, recruitment of members, workload, participation level and member turnover. As a model, 28 members of AECs at four universities in western Canada were interviewed. Committees (...) were selected to represent variation in the number and type of protocols reviewed, and participants were selected to include different types of committee members. We found that a bias towards institutional or scientific interests may result from a preponderance of institutional and scientist members, an intimidating atmosphere for community members and other minority members, recruitment of community members who are affiliated with the institution and members joining for reasons other than to fulfil the committee mandate. Thoroughness of protocol review may be influenced by heavy workloads, type of review process and lack of full committee participation. These results, together with results from the literature on research ethics committees, suggested potential ways to improve the effectiveness of research ethics committees. (shrink)
People often use indirect speech, for example, when trying to bribe a police officer by asking whether there might be “a way to take care of things without all the paperwork.” Recent game theoretic accounts suggest that a speaker uses indirect speech to reduce public accountability for socially risky behaviors. The present studies examine a secondary function of indirect speech use: increasing the perceived moral permissibility of an action. Participants report that indirect speech is associated with reduced accountability for unethical (...) behavior, as well as increased moral permissibility and increased likelihood of unethical behavior. Importantly, moral permissibility was a stronger mediator of the effect of indirect speech on likelihood of action, for judgments of one's own versus others' unethical action. In sum, the motorist who bribes the police officer with winks and nudges may not only avoid public punishment but also maintain the sense that his actions are morally permissible. (shrink)
Selecting provincial leaders is a fraught task for authoritarian regimes. Although central authorities more readily trust provincial leaders with close ties to the center, such loyalists may lack the local knowledge and connections necessary to govern adeptly. Using an original data set on the tenures and backgrounds of China’s provincial party standing committee members, this article explores how Beijing fine-tunes provincial leadership teams to resolve this dilemma. The analysis challenges the conventional wisdom that Beijing exerts its tightest personnel control in (...) strategically important provinces. It shows that Beijing tolerates significant embeddedness of local leadership in provinces with complex governance challenges even when these provinces are important. Moreover, it finds that when the center reasserts control through appointments of loyalist personnel during times of crisis, it does so in a balanced manner. These calibrated personnel strategies highlight the extent to which authoritarian systems rely on local expertise and experience as well as top-down control. (shrink)
This paper revisits Herbert Kliebard's figure of John Dewey in Kliebard's The Struggle for the American Curriculum . The paper argues that, while there are indeed reasons for the disembodied picture of Dewey that emerges from Struggle , such figuration ultimately has an effect that is overly reproductive: It ignores Dewey's efforts to live within and across institutional boundaries so as to reconstruct the practices and interests of the society in which he lived. Using the work of Bakhtin and Dewey, (...) I argue that it is only by such a Deweyan engagement that our own voices will ultimately be able to "ring" or "sound" in novel and potentially radical ways. (shrink)
Like yoga before it, the Buddhist mindfulness practice is sweeping across North America. As only one example, Time magazine, discussing the Center for Disease Control's recent report on mindfulness in the workplace, led its story with the claim that "the American workforce is becoming more mindful."1 A growing number of Americans are now just as likely, it seems, to meditate as they are to pray, and the Four Noble Truths have, for some, surpassed the Ten Commandments as the foundation for (...) a life of meaning and purpose.The above picture is, no doubt, a caricatured portrait. But it captures, we believe, an evolving trend that needs further attention. In this paper, we seek to explore some of these changes in North... (shrink)
For the first time, this book brings Kierkegaard into a dialogue with various postmodern forms of Christianity, on topics like revelation and the Bible, the atonement and moralism, and the church as an apologetic of witness.
Many large corporations now have written codes of ethics to guide the business/marketing activities of employees. The purpose of this study was to determine the frequency and types of topics which are covered in the ethics policy statements of large U.S. corporations. The results indicated that the topics covered most often (respectively) were: misuse of funds/improper accounting, conflicts of interest, political contributions, and confidential information. It is concluded that in addition to written ethics policy statements, top management should communicate ethical (...) values and demonstrate by example. (shrink)
This paper defends a new norm of assertion: Assert that p only if you are in a position to know that p. We test the norm by judging its performance in explaining three phenomena that appear jointly inexplicable at first: Moorean paradoxes, lottery propositions, and selfless assertions. The norm succeeds by tethering unassertability to unknowability while untethering belief from assertion. The PtK‐norm foregrounds the public nature of assertion as a practice that can be other‐regarding, allowing asserters to act in the (...) best interests of their audience when psychological pressures would otherwise prevent them from communicating the knowable truth. (shrink)
Hypocrites are often thought to lack the standing to blame others for faults similar to their own. Although this claim is widely accepted, it is seldom argued for. We offer an argument for the claim that nonhypocrisy is a necessary condition on the standing to blame. We first offer a novel, dispositional account of hypocrisy. Our account captures the commonsense view that hypocrisy involves making an unjustified exception of oneself. This exception-making involves a rejection of the impartiality of morality and (...) thereby a rejection of the equality of persons, which we argue grounds the standing to blame others. (shrink)
In our 2018 paper, “Hypocrisy and the Standing to Blame,” we offer an argument justifying the Nonhypocrisy Condition on the standing to blame. Benjamin Rossi (2018) has recently offered several criticisms of this view. We defend our account from Rossi’s criticisms and emphasize our account’s unique advantage: explaining why hypocritical blamers lack the standing to blame.
As part of a larger study eliciting Canadian producer and non-producer views about animal welfare, open-ended, semi-structured interviews were used to explore opinions about animal welfare of 20 Canadian pig producers, most of whom were involved in confinement-based systems. With the exception of the one organic producer, who emphasized the importance of a “natural” life, participants attached overriding importance to biological health and functioning. They saw their efforts as providing pigs with dry, thermally regulated, indoor environments where animals received abundant (...) feed, careful monitoring and where prospective disease outbreaks could be minimized and controlled. Emphasis was also placed on low-stress handling and agreeable working conditions which were believed to promote good animal care. The fact that pigs tend to respond to such conditions with steady growth reinforced the belief that good welfare was provided. Participants supported the use of sow gestation stalls, but with some reservations, and expressed concern about welfare problems that could occur if sows were grouped. Invasive procedures (castration, tail-docking, teeth clipping) were recognized as painful but were accepted because they were seen as: (1) necessary for sales or management; (2) satisfactory trade-offs to prevent worse welfare problems such as injury or infection; or (3) sufficiently short-term to be relatively unimportant. Participants were adamantly opposed to animal neglect and some welcomed actions of animal protectionists that expose poor care. Producers also welcomed natural-science-based approaches to improving animal welfare. The findings contribute to a broader effort to identify overlapping values among different stakeholder groups as a basis for formulating mutually agreeable, farm animal care and handling polices. (shrink)
Several theorists have observed that attitude reports have what we call “revisionist” uses. For example, even if Pete has never met Ann and has no idea that she exists, Jane can still say to Jim ‘Pete believes Ann can learn to play tennis in ten lessons’ if Pete believes all 6-year-olds can learn to play tennis in ten lessons and it is part of Jane and Jim’s background knowledge that Ann is a 6-year-old. Jane’s assertion seems acceptable because the claim (...) she reports Pete as believing is entailed by Pete’s beliefs if they are revised in light of Jane and Jim’s background knowledge. We provide a semantic theory of revisionist reports based on this idea. We observe that the admissible “revisions” are limited in a striking way. Jane cannot say ‘Pete thinks Ann is a 6-year-old and can play tennis in ten lessons’ in the same context that she can say ‘Pete believes Ann can learn to play tennis ten lessons’, even though this too follows from Jane and Jim’s background knowledge together with what Pete believes. Our theory predicts the infelicity of these latter reports. It also has the resources to predict the truth of “exported” attitude reports and casts the relationship between these reports and “singular thought” in a new light. We conclude by discussing how revisionist reports make trouble for a simplistic view of the connection between the relations expressed by attitude verbs in natural language and the relations of most interest to philosophers of mind and cognitive science. (shrink)
In the concluding chapter of Exceeding our Grasp Kyle Stanford outlines a positive response to the central issue raised brilliantly by his book, the problem of unconceived alternatives. This response, called "epistemic instrumentalism", relies on a distinction between instrumental and literal belief. We examine this distinction and with it the viability of Stanford's instrumentalism, which may well be another case of exceeding our grasp.
John Hare has proposed “prescriptive realism” in an attempt to stake out a middle-ground position in the twentieth century Anglo-American debates concerning metaethics between substantive moral realists and antirealist-expressivists. The account is supposed to preserve both the normativity and objectivity of moral judgments. Hare defends a version of divine command theory. The proposal succeeds in establishing the middle-ground position Hare intended. However, I argue that prescriptive realism can be strengthened in an interesting way.
Trust is a central concept in the philosophy of science. We highlight how trust is important in the wide variety of interactions between science and society. We claim that examining and clarifying the nature and role of trust (and distrust) in relations between science and society is one principal way in which the philosophy of science is socially relevant. We argue that philosophers of science should extend their efforts to develop normative conceptions of trust that can serve to facilitate trust (...) between scientific experts and ordinary citizens. The first project is the development of a rich normative theory of expertise and experience that can explain why the various epistemic insights of diverse actors should be trusted in certain contexts and how credibility deficits can be bridged. The second project is the development of concepts that explain why, in certain cases, ordinary citizens may distrust science, which should inform how philosophers of science conceive of the formulation of science policy when conditions of distrust prevail. The third project is the analysis of cases of successful relations of trust between scientists and non-scientists that leads to understanding better how ‘postnormal’ science interactions are possible using trust. (shrink)
Until recently, struggles for justice proceeded against the background of a taken-for-granted frame: the bounded territorial state. With that "Westphalian" picture of political space assumed by default, the scope of justice was rarely subject to open dispute. Today, however, human-rights activists and international feminists join critics of structural adjustment and the World Trade Organization in challenging the view that justice can only be a domestic relation among fellow citizens. Targeting injustices that cut across borders, they are making the scale of (...) justice an object of explicit struggle. Inspired by these efforts, Nancy Fraser asks: What is the proper frame for theorizing justice? Faced with a plurality of competing scales, how do we know which one is truly just? In exploring these questions, Fraser revises her widely discussed theory of redistribution and recognition. She introduces a third, "political" dimension of justicerepresentationand elaborates a new, reflexive type of critical theory that foregrounds injustices of "misframing." Engaging with thinkers such as Jürgen Habermas, John Rawls, Michel Foucault, and Hannah Arendt, she envisions a "postwestphalian" mapping of political space that accommodates transnational solidarity, transborder publicity, and democratic frame-setting, as well as emancipatory projects that cross borders. The result is a sustained reflection on who should count with respect to what in a globalizing world. (shrink)
What does it mean to think critically about politics at a time when inequality is increasing worldwide, when struggles for the recognition of difference are eclipsing struggles for social equality, and when we lack any credible vision of an alternative to the present order? Philosopher Nancy Fraser claims that the key is to overcome the false oppositions of "postsocialist" commonsense. Refuting the view that we must choose between "the politics of recognition" and the "politics of redistribution," Fraser argues (...) for an integrative approach that encompasses the best aspects of both. (shrink)
Recently, a number of epistemologists (notably Feldman ,  and White , ) have argued for the rational uniqueness thesis, the principle that any set of evidence permits only one rationally acceptable attitude toward a given proposition. In contrast, this paper argues for extreme rational permissivism, the view that two agents with the same evidence may sometimes arrive at contradictory beliefs rationally. This paper identifies different versions of uniqueness and permissivism that vary in strength and range, argues that evidential peers (...) with different interests need not rationally endorse all the same hypotheses, argues that evidential peers who weigh the theoretic virtues differently can sometimes rationally endorse contradictory conclusions, and finally defends the permissivist appeal to standards against objections in the works of Feldman and White. (shrink)
Indigenous peoples often embrace different versions of the concept of food sovereignty. Yet some of these concepts are seemingly based on impossible ideals of food self-sufficiency. I will suggest in this essay that for at least some North American Indigenous peoples, food sovereignty movements are not based on such ideals, even though they invoke concepts of cultural revitalization and political sovereignty. Instead, food sovereignty is a strategy of Indigenous resurgence that negotiates structures of settler colonialism that erase the ecological value (...) of certain foods for Indigenous peoples. (shrink)
Beginning in the 20th century, scientific research came to be dominated by a growing class of credentialed, professional scientists who overwhelmingly displaced the learned amateurs of an earlier time. By the end of the century, however, the exclusive realm of professional scientists conducting research was joined, to a degree, by “citizen scientists.” The term originally encompassed non-professionals assisting professional scientists by contributing observations and measurements to ongoing research enterprises. These collaborations were especially common in the environmental sciences, where citizen scientists (...) participated in counting wildlife and measuring environmental conditions. Later, patient groups began to play a more active role in supporting clinical trials and collecting health records from affected individuals. (shrink)
Ethicists are typically willing to grant that thick terms (e.g. ‘courageous’ and ‘murder’) are somehow associated with evaluations. But they tend to disagree about what exactly this relationship is. Does a thick term’s evaluation come by way of its semantic content? Or is the evaluation pragmatically associated with the thick term (e.g. via conversational implicature)? In this paper, I argue that thick terms are semantically associated with evaluations. In particular, I argue that many thick concepts (if not all) conceptually entail (...) evaluative contents. The Semantic View has a number of outspoken critics, but I shall limit discussion to the most recent--Pekka Väyrynen--who believes that objectionable thick concepts present a problem for the Semantic View. After advancing my positive argument in favor of the Semantic View (section II), I argue that Väyrynen’s attack is unsuccessful (section III). One reason ethicists cite for not focusing on thick concepts is that such concepts are supposedly not semantically evaluative whereas traditional thin concepts (e.g. good and wrong) are. But if my view is correct, then this reason must be rejected. (shrink)
This paper presents a puzzle involving embedded attitude reports. We resolve the puzzle by arguing that attitude verbs take restricted readings: in some environments the denotation of attitude verbs can be restricted by a given proposition. For example, when these verbs are embedded in the consequent of a conditional, they can be restricted by the proposition expressed by the conditional’s antecedent. We formulate and motivate two conditions on the availability of verb restrictions: a constraint that ties the content of restrictions (...) to the “dynamic effects” of sentential connectives and a constraint that limits the availability of restriction effects to present tense verbs with first-person subjects. However, we also present some cases that make trouble for these conditions, and outline some possible ways of modifying the view to account for the recalcitrant data. We conclude with a brief discussion of some of the connections between our semantics for attitude verbs and issues concerning epistemic modals and theories of knowledge. (shrink)
John Hare has proposed "prescriptive realism" in an attempt to stake out a middle-ground position in the twentieth century Anglo-American debates concerning metaethics between substantive moral realists and antirealist-expressivists. The account is supposed to preserve both the normativity and objectivity of moral judgments. Hare defends a version of divine command theory. The proposal succeeds in establishing the middle-ground position Hare intended. However, I argue that prescriptive realism can be strengthened in an interesting way.
It is widely agreed that hypocrisy can undermine one’s moral standing to blame. According to the Nonhypocrisy Condition on standing, R has the standing to blame some other agent S for a violation of some norm N only if R is not hypocritical with respect to blame for violations of N. Yet this condition is seldom argued for. Macalester Bell points out that the fact that hypocrisy is a moral fault does not yet explain why hypocritical blame is standingless blame. (...) She raises a challenge: one must explain what is distinct about hypocritical blame such that the hypocritical blamer lacks the standing to blame, even if the arrogant or petty blamer does not. Of those writing on hypocrisy, only we offer a direct response to Bell’s challenge. Recently, however, our account has come under criticism. We argue here that (1) our account can handle these criticisms and that (2) no other rival account adequately addresses Bell’s challenge of explaining what is uniquely objectionable about hypocritical blame. Because answering Bell’s challenge is a necessary component of any plausible account of the relationship between hypocrisy and standing, our account remains the best on offer. (shrink)
Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein (2008) contend that mandated choice is the most practical nudge for increasing organ donation. We argue that they are wrong, and their mistake results from failing to appreciate how perceptions of meaning can influence people's responses to nudges. We favor a policy of default to donation that is subject to immediate family veto power, includes options for people to opt out (and be educated on how to do so), and emphasizes the role of organ procurement (...) organizations and in-house transplant donation coordinators creating better environments for increasing the supply of organs and tissues obtained from cadavers. This policy will provide better opportunities for offering nudges in contexts where in-house coordinators work with families. We conclude by arguing that nudges can be introduced ethically and effectively into these contexts only if nudge designers collaborate with in-house coordinators and stakeholders. (shrink)
What is the significance of the wicked problems framework for environmental philosophy? In response to wicked problems, environmental scientists are starting to welcome the participation of social scientists, humanists, and the creative arts. We argue that the need for interdisciplinary approaches to wicked problems opens up a number of tasks that environmental philosophers have every right to undertake. The first task is for philosophers to explore new and promising ways of initiating philosophical research through conducting collaborative learning processes on environmental (...) issues. The second task is for philosophers to recognize the value of philosophical skills in their engagements with members of other disciplines and walks of life in addressing wicked problems. The wicked problems framework should be seen as an important guide for facilitating philosophical research that is of relevance to problems like climate change and sustainable agriculture. Content Type Journal Article Category Articles Pages 1-14 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9344-0 Authors Paul B. Thompson, Department of Philosophy, Michigan State University, 503 S. Kedzie Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA Kyle Powys Whyte, Department of Philosophy, Michigan State University, 503 S. Kedzie Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863. (shrink)
Refuting the argument to choose between "the politics of recognition" and the "politics of redistribution," _Justice Interruptus_ integrates the best aspects of both. ********************************************************* ** What does it mean to think critically about politics at a time when inequality is increasing worldwide, when struggles for the recognition of difference are eclipsing struggles for social equality, and when we lack any credible vision of an alternative to the present order? Philosopher Nancy Fraser claims that the key is to overcome the (...) false oppositions of "postsocialist" commonsense. Refuting the view that we must choose between "the politics of recognition" and the "politics of redistribution," Fraser argues for an integrative approach that encompasses the best aspects of both. (shrink)
This paper proposes a new Separabilist account of thick concepts, called the Expansion View (or EV). According to EV, thick concepts are expanded contents of thin terms. An expanded content is, roughly, the semantic content of a predicate along with modifiers. Although EV is a form of Separabilism, it is distinct from the only kind of Separabilism discussed in the literature, and it has many features that Inseparabilists want from an account of thick concepts. EV can also give non-cognitivists a (...) novel escape from the Anti-Disentangling Argument. §I explains the approach of all previous Separabilists, and argues that there’s no reason for Separabilists to take this approach. §II explains EV. §III fends off objections. And §IV explains how non-cognitivist proponents of EV can escape the Anti-Disentangling Argument. (shrink)