In his recent book The Idea of Justice, Amartya Sen suggests that political philosophy should move beyond the dominant, Rawls-inspired, methodological paradigm – what Sen calls ‘transcendental institutionalism’ – towards a more practically oriented approach to justice: ‘realization-focused comparison’. In this article, I argue that Sen's call for a paradigm shift in thinking about justice is unwarranted. I show that his criticisms of the Rawlsian approach are either based on misunderstandings, or correct but of little consequence, and conclude that the (...) Rawlsian approach already delivers much of what Sen himself wants from a theory of justice. (shrink)
Philosophers of quantum mechanics have generally addressed exceedingly simple systems. Laura Ruetsche offers a much-needed study of the interpretation of more complicated systems, and an underexplored family of physical theories, such as quantum field theory and quantum statistical mechanics, showing why they repay philosophical attention. She guides those familiar with the philosophy of ordinary QM into the philosophy of 'QM infinity', by presenting accessible introductions to relevant technical notions and the foundational questions they frame--and then develops and defends answers (...) to some of those questions. Finally, Ruetsche highlights ties between the foundational investigation of QM infinity and philosophy more broadly construed, in particular by using the interpretive problems discussed to motivate new ways to think about the nature of physical possibility and the problem of scientific realism. (shrink)
This article provides a conceptual map of the debate on ideal and non‐ideal theory. It argues that this debate encompasses a number of different questions, which have not been kept sufficiently separate in the literature. In particular, the article distinguishes between the following three interpretations of the ‘ideal vs. non‐ideal theory’ contrast: full compliance vs. partial compliance theory; utopian vs. realistic theory; end‐state vs. transitional theory. The article advances critical reflections on each of these sub‐debates, and highlights areas for future (...) research in the field. (shrink)
Many theists of a traditional bent have been bothered by the apparent tension between God's essential omnipotence and his essential moral goodness. Nelson Pike draws attention to the conflict between these two attributes in his article ‘Omnipotence and God's Ability to Sin’, and there have been many attempts to respond to it since that time. Most of these responses argue that the essential omnipotence and essential goodness of God are not logically incompatible, so that the traditional conception of God is (...) not incoherent; I think the arguments have been largely successful. However, some theists have found the typical responses to Pike less than convincing, and are tempted to surrender the claim that God has moral perfection essentially in favour of the more modest claim that God is morally perfect in the actual world though in some possible worlds God is morally defective. I argue in this paper that this fall-back position is incoherent. More accurately, I argue that a necessary being who is essentially omniscient and essentially omnipotent cannot be contingently morally perfect or contingently morally defective. Any such being is either essentially good or essentially evil. Since the latter alternative seems unattractive, I argue that theists should embrace the essential moral perfection of God. (shrink)
This paper proposes a new relational account of concepts and shows how it is particularly well suited to characterizing normative concepts. The key advantage of our ‘connectedness’ model is that it explains how subjects can share the same normative concepts despite radical divergences in the descriptive or motivational commitments they associate with them. The connectedness model builds social and historical facts into the foundations of concept identity. This aspect of the model, we suggest, reshapes normative epistemology and provides new resources (...) for a vindication of realism in ethics. (shrink)
Are wealthy countries' duties towards developing countries grounded in justice or in weaker concerns of charity? Justice in a Globalized World offers both an in-depth critique of the most prominent philosophical answers to this question, and a distinctive approach for addressing it.
In this paper the exclusive focus on large firms in the field of business ethics is challenged. Some of the idiosyncrasies of small firms are explained, and links are made between these and potential ethical issues. A review of the existing literature on ethics in small firms demonstrates the lack of appropriate research, so that to date we can draw no firm conclusions in relation to ethics in the small firm. Recommendations are made as to the way forward for small (...) firm business ethics research. Questions for investigation are suggested using micro, meso and macro perspectives. Much exploratory work needs to be done to lay the groundwork for this important area of social and commercial research in the future. (shrink)
What does it take to count as competent with the meaning of a thin evaluative predicate like 'is the right thing to do'? According to minimalists like Allan Gibbard and Ralph Wedgwood, competent speakers must simply use the predicate to express their own motivational states. According to analytic descriptivists like Frank Jackson, Philip Pettit and Christopher Peacocke, competent speakers must grasp a particular criterion for identifying the property picked out by the term. Both approaches face serious difficulties. We suggest that (...) these difficulties derive from a shared background assumption that competence conditions must be explained in terms of a determinate conceptual role. We propose a new way of characterizing competence with evaluative terms: what's required for competence is participation in a shared epistemic practice with a term. Our approach, we argue, better explains the nature of evaluative inquiry and the extent of disagreement about evaluative questions. (shrink)
In this comprehensive new study of human free agency, Laura Waddell Ekstrom critically surveys contemporary philosophical literature and provides a novel account of the conditions for free action. Ekstrom argues that incompatibilism concerning free will and causal determinism is true and thus the right account of the nature of free action must be indeterminist in nature. She examines a variety of libertarian approaches, ultimately defending an account relying on indeterministic causation among events and appealing to agent causation only in (...) a reducible sense. Written in an engaging style and incorporating recent scholarship, this study is critical reading for scholars and students interested in the topics of motivation, causation, responsibility, and freedom. In broadly covering the important positions of others along with its exposition of the author’s own view, Free Will provides both a significant scholarly contribution and a valuable text for courses in metaphysics and action theory. (shrink)
Reference to the state is ubiquitous in debates about global justice. Some authors see the state as central to the justification of principles of justice, and thereby reject their extension to the international realm. Others emphasize its role in the implementation of those principles. This chapter scrutinizes the variety of ways in which the state figures in the global-justice debate. Our discussion suggests that, although the state should have a prominent role in theorizing about global justice, contrary to what is (...) commonly thought, acknowledging this role does not lead to anti-cosmopolitan conclusions, but to the defense of an “intermediate” position about global justice. From a justificatory perspective, we argue, the state remains a key locus for the application of egalitarian principles of justice, but is not the only one. From the perspective of implementation, we suggest that state institutions are increasingly fragile in a heavily interdependent world, and need to be supplemented—though not supplanted—with supranational authorities. (shrink)
IRBs in action -- Everyone's an expert? Warrants for expertise -- Local precedents -- Documents and deliberations: an anticipatory perspective -- Setting IRBs in motion in Cold War America -- An ethics of place -- The many forms of consent -- Deflecting responsibility -- Conclusion: the making of ethical research.
"Social capital" can be considered to be the product of co-operationbetween various institutions, networks and business partners. It haspotential as a useful tool for business ethics. In this article weidentify categories pertinent to the measurement of social capital insmall and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). By drawing on three differentsectors, one business-to-business service, one business-to-customerservice, and one manufacturing, we have enabled the consideration ofsectoral differences. We find sector to play an important part inrelation to business practices and social capital. Our inclusion (...) of SMEsfrom Germany and the United Kingdom has called attention to cultural,institutional and economic aspects of two regions of Europe and how theycan influence SME social capital. Social capital is found to beinfluenced by context and, in particular, institutional arrangements. Inanalysing the data we note particular areas of interest from the pointof view of SMEs and social capital as being: formal engagement,networking within sectors, networking across sectors, volunteerism andgiving to charity, and finally a focus on why people engage. We concludethat there is a considerable amount of further research needed on socialcapital, SME''s and business ethics. (shrink)
A philosophically and historically sensitive account of the engagement of the major protagonists of Victorian British philosophy, Reforming Philosophy considers the controversies between William Whewell and John Stuart Mill on the topics of science, morality, politics, and economics. By situating their debate within the larger context of Victorian society and its concerns, Laura Snyder shows how two very different men—Whewell, an educator, Anglican priest, and critic of science; and Mill, a philosopher, political economist, and parliamentarian—reacted to the challenges of (...) their times, each seeking to reform science as a means of reforming society as a whole. The first book-length examination of the dispute between Mill and Whewell in its entirety, Reforming Philosophy provides a rich and nuanced understanding of the intellectual spirit of Victorian Britain and will be welcomed by philosophers and historians of science, scholars of Victorian studies, and students of the history of philosophy and political economy. (shrink)
Our main focus in this paper is Herman Cappelen’s claim, defended in Fixing Language, that reference is radically inscrutable. We argue that Cappelen’s inscrutability thesis should be rejected. We also highlight how rejecting inscrutability undermines Cappelen’s most radical conclusions about conceptual engineering. In addition, we raise a worry about his positive account of topic continuity through inquiry and debate.
Patient and citizen participation is now regarded as central to the promotion of sustainable health and health care. Involvement efforts create and encounter many diverse ethical challenges that have the potential to enhance or undermine their success. This article examines different expressions of patient and citizen participation and the support health ethics offers. It is contended that despite its prominence and the link between patient empowerment and autonomy, traditional bioethics is insufficient to guide participation efforts. In addition, the turn to (...) a “social paradigm” of ethics in examinations of biotechnologies and public health does not provide an account of values that is commensurable with the pervasive autonomy paradigm. This exacerbates rather than eases tensions for patients and citizens endeavoring to engage with health. Citizen and patient participation must have a significant influence on the way we do health ethics if its potential is to be fulfilled. (shrink)
Anti-individualists claim that concepts are individuated with an eye to purely external facts about a subject's environment about which she may be ignorant or mistaken. This paper offers a novel reason for thinking that anti-individualistic concepts are an ineliminable part of commonsense psychology. Our commitment to anti-individualism, I argue, is ultimately grounded in a rational epistemic agent's commitment to refining her own representational practices in the light of new and surprising information about her environment. Since anti-individualism is an implicit part (...) of responsible epistemic practices, we cannot abandon it without compromising our own epistemic agency. The story I tell about the regulation of one's own representational practices yields a new account of the identity conditions for anti-individualistic concepts. (shrink)
This paper articulates two constraints on an acceptable account of meaning: (i) accessibility: sameness of meaning affords an immediate appearance of de jure co-reference, (ii) flexibility: sameness of meaning tolerates open-ended variation in speakers' substantive understanding of the reference. Traditional accounts of meaning have trouble simultaneously satisfying both constraints. I suggest that relationally individuated meanings provide a promising way of avoiding this tension. On relational accounts, we bootstrap our way to de jure co-reference: the subjective appearance of de jure co-reference (...) helps make it the case that two token representations really do co-refer. (shrink)
It's generally agreed that, for a certain a class of cases, a rational subject cannot be wrong in treating two elements of thought as co-referential. Even anti-individualists like Tyler Burge agree that empirical error is impossible in such cases. I argue that this immunity to empirical error is illusory and sketch a new anti-individualist approach to concepts that doesn't require such immunity.
The availability of unitarily inequivalent representations of the canonical commutation relations constituting a quantization of a classical field theory raises questions about how to formulate and pursue quantum field theory. In a minimally technical way, I explain how these questions arise and how advocates of the Hilbert space and of the algebraic approaches to quantum theory might answer them. Where these answers differ, I sketch considerations for and against each approach, as well as considerations which might temper their apparent rivalry.
The research presented in this paper focuses on business ethical values inChina, a country in which the process of institutional transformation has left cultural values in a state of flux. A survey was conducted in China and the U.S. by using five business scenarios. Survey results show similarities between the Chinese and American decision choices for three out of five scenarios. However, the results reveal significant differences in rationales, even forsimilar decisions. The implications of similarities and differences between the U.S. (...) and Chinese samples are discussed. (shrink)
In this paper we report on empirical research which investigates social capital of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). Bringing an international perspective to the work, we make a comparison between 30 firms located in West London and Munich in the sectors of food manufacturing/production, marketing services and garages. Here we present 6 case studies, which we use to illustrate the early findings from this pilot project. We identify differences in approach to associational membership in Germany and the U.K., with (...) a greater propensity to "belong" to an official group in Germany. We distinguish clear sectoral similarities across the countries, and indications that certain personality types will seek out engagement and find time beyond busy work life schedules, often merging work/home/leisure life and friends. Some of our cases illustrate that formal institutions, networks and mutual relationships can develop social capital for the SME, although we should take care not to assume a universal win-win situation for those who are engaged and contribute to the common good. Some of the obstacles to cooperation and civic engagement are outlined. (shrink)
This article seeks to expand business and society research in a number of ways. Its primary purpose is to redraw two core corporate social responsibility theories, enhancing their relevance for small business. This redrawing is done by the application of the ethic of care, informed by the value of feminist perspectives and the extant empirical research on small business social responsibility. It is proposed that the expanded versions of core theory have wider relevance, value, and implications beyond the small firm (...) context. The theorization of small business social responsibility enables engagement with the mainstream of CSR research as well as making a contribution to small business studies in scholarly, policy, and practice terms. (shrink)
The international organic agricultureand fair trade movements represent importantchallenges to the ecologically and sociallydestructive relations that characterize the globalagro-food system. Both movements critique conventionalagricultural production and consumption patterns andseek to create a more sustainable world agro-foodsystem. The international organic movement focuses onre-embedding crop and livestock production in ``naturalprocesses,'' encouraging trade in agriculturalcommodities produced under certified organicconditions and processed goods derived from thesecommodities. For its part, the fair trade movementfosters the re-embedding of international commodityproduction and distribution in ``equitable socialrelations,'' developing a (...) more stable and advantageoussystem of trade for agricultural and non-agriculturalgoods produced under favorable social andenvironmental conditions. The international market forboth organic and fair trade products has grownimpressively in recent years. Yet the success of thesemovements is perhaps better judged by their ability tochallenge the abstract capitalist relations that fuelexploitation in the global agro-food system. While theorganic movement currently goes further in revealingthe ecological conditions of production and the fairtrade movement goes further in revealing the socialconditions of production, there are signs that the twomovements are forging a common ground in definingminimum social and environmental requirements. I arguefrom a theoretical and empirical basis that what makesfair trade a more effective oppositional movement isits focus on the relations of agro-food trade anddistribution. By demystifying global relations ofexchange and challenging market competitiveness basedsolely on price, the fair trade movement creates aprogressive opening for bridging the wideningNorth/South divide and for wresting control of theagro-food system away from oligopolistic transnationalcorporations infamous for their socially andenvironmentally destructive business practices. (shrink)
: Although "brain death" and the dead donor rule—i.e., patients must not be killed by organ retrieval—have been clinically and legally accepted in the U.S. as prerequisites to organ removal, there is little data about public attitudes and beliefs concerning these matters. To examine the public attitudes and beliefs about the determination of death and its relationship to organ transplantation, 1351 Ohio residents ≥18 years were randomly selected and surveyed using random digit dialing (RDD) sample frames. The RDD telephone survey (...) was conducted using computer-assisted telephone interviews. The survey instrument was developed from information provided by 12 focus groups and a pilot study of the questionnaire. Three scenarios based on hypothetical patients were presented: "brain dead," in a coma, or in a persistent vegetative state (PVS). Respondents provided personal assessments of whether the patient in each scenario was dead and their willingness to donate that patient's organs in these circumstances. More than 98 percent of respondents had heard of the term "brain death," but only one-third (33.7%) believed that someone who was "brain dead" was legally dead. The majority of respondents (86.2%) identified the "brain-dead" patient in the first scenario as dead, 57.2 percent identified the patient in a coma as dead (Scenario 2), and 34.1 percent identified the patient in a PVS as dead (Scenario 3). Nearly one-third (33.5%) were willing to donate the organs of patients they classified as alive for at least one scenario, in seeming violation of the dead donor rule. Most respondents were not willing to violate the dead donor rule, although a substantial minority was. However, the majority of respondents were unaware, misinformed, or held beliefs that were not congruent with current definitions of "brain death." This study highlights the need for more public dialogue and education about "brain death" and organ donation. (shrink)
In this editorial to a collection of papers on ethics in small firms, the case is made for greater use of high quality empirical research on business ethics. Sociological perspectives have much to offer to the field of business ethics that continues to be dominated by normative, moral philosophy. The second contribution of the paper is to argue for a reorientation away from the large multi-national firm as a benchmark subject of business ethics research. One important point of view to (...) be included is that of the small firm, which remains the dominant organisational form throughout all the OECD countries. (shrink)
If a classical system has infinitely many degrees of freedom, its Hamiltonian quantization need not be unique up to unitary equivalence. I sketch different approaches (Hilbert space and algebraic) to understanding the content of quantum theories in light of this non‐uniqueness, and suggest that neither approach suffices to support explanatory aspirations encountered in the thermodynamic limit of quantum statistical mechanics.
Is democracy a requirement of justice or an instrument for realizing it? The correct answer to this question, I argue, depends on the background circumstances against which democracy is defended. In the presence of thin reasonable disagreement about justice, we should value democracy only instrumentally (if at all); in the presence of thick reasonable disagreement about justice, we should value it also intrinsically, as a necessary demand of justice. Since the latter type of disagreement is pervasive in real-world politics, I (...) conclude that theories of justice designed for our world should be centrally concerned with democracy. (shrink)
When and why do socially constructed norms—including the laws of the land, norms of etiquette, and informal customs—generate moral obligations? I argue that the answer lies in the duty to respect others, specifically to give them what I call “agency respect.” This is the kind of respect that people are owed in light of how they exercise their agency. My central thesis is this: To the extent that (i) existing norms are underpinned by people’s commitments as agents and (ii) they (...) do not conflict with morality, they place moral demands on us on agency-respect grounds. This view of the moral force of socially constructed norms, I suggest, is superior to views that deny the moral force of such norms, and it elegantly explains certain instances of wrongdoing that would otherwise remain unaccounted for. (shrink)
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)
It would be nice if good old a priori conceptual analysis were possible. For many years conceptual analysis was out of fashion, in large part because of the excessive ambitions of verificationist theories of meaning._ _However, those days are over._ _A priori conceptual analysis is once again part of the philosophical mainstream._ _This renewed popularity, moreover, is well-founded. Modern philosophical analysts have exploited developments in philosophical semantics to formulate analyses which avoid the counterintuitive consequences of verificationism, while vindicating our ability (...) to know a priori precisely what it is our words and thoughts represent._ _Despite its apparent promise, however, I. (shrink)
Starting from the standard quantum formalism for a single spin 1/2 system (e.g., an electron), this essay develops a model rich enough not only to afford an explication of symmetry breaking but also to frame questions about how to circumscribe physical possibility on behalf of theories that countenance symmetry breaking.
The concept of paternalism is intricately tied to the concept of autonomy. It is commonly assumed that when paternalistic interventions are wrong, they are wrong because they impede individuals’ autonomy. Our aim in this paper is to show that the recent shift towards conceiving of autonomy relationally highlights a separate conceptual space for a nonpaternalistic kind of interpersonal intervention termed maternalism. We argue that maternalism makes a twofold contribution to the debate over the ethics of interpersonal action and decision-making. Descriptively, (...) it captures common experiences that, while not unusual in everyday life, are largely absent from the present discussion. Normatively, it describes a type of intervention with justification conditions distinct from the standard framework of paternalism. We explicate these contributions by describing six key differences between maternalism and paternalism, and conclude by anticipating and responding to potential objections. (shrink)
According to David Chalmers and Frank Jackson, conceptual competence puts one in a position to have a priori knowledge of conditional claims of the form ‘If my environment is thus and so, then water = H2O’. The rationale for this position, I argue, rests on controversial semantic assumptions about the individuation of meanings or concepts. I sketch a new model of conceptual competence, which undermines the apriority of such conditionals.
In this article, I develop a new account of the liberal view that principles of justice are meant to justify state coercion, and consider its implications for the question of global socioeconomic justice. Although contemporary proponents of this view deny that principles of socioeconomic justice apply globally, on my newly developed account this conclusion is mistaken. I distinguish between two types of coercion, systemic and interactional, and argue that a plausible theory of global justice should contain principles justifying both. The (...) justification of interactional coercion requires principles regulating interstate interference; that of systemic coercion requires principles of global socioeconomic justice. I argue that the proposed view not only helps us make progress in the debate on global justice, but also offers an independently compelling and systematic account of the function and conditions of applicability of justice. -/-. (shrink)