We present this special issue on positive organizational ethics (POE) to highlight those pursuing positive subjective experiences, positive attributes of individuals and groups, and positive practices that contribute to ethical and virtuous behavior in organizations. Although prior research has offered some insight in this area, there is still much to be learned about how to cultivate and sustain ethical strength in different types of organizations and how goodness can emerge from and in spite of human failings. After describing the positive (...) movement, we position POE as a discrete area of inquiry within the broader positive behavioral sciences, at the intersection of positive behavioral studies and business ethics. After defining our terms and purpose for creating the POE domain, we introduce the articles in this special issue. The introduction concludes with suggested topics for future research. (shrink)
Leader-managers face a myriad of competing values when they engage in ethical decision-making. Few studies help us understand why certain reasons for action are justified, taking precedence over others when people choose to respond to an ethical dilemma. To help address this matter we began with a qualitative approach to disclose leader-managers' moral motives when they decide to address a work-related ethical dilemma. One hundred and nine military officers were asked to provide their reasons for taking action, justifications of their (...) reasons, and to explain these justifications. We used network analysis techniques to identify a hierarchical motive structure. The motive structure is a cognitive map that identifies ethical motives and perceptions of how these ethical motives relate to each other. The motives identified represent classic conceptualizations of moral behavior; namely, virtue theories, consequentialism, and deontological theories, along with another category that expressed the emotional significance of the moral judgment, which we refer to as emotional empiricism. (shrink)
Generic sentences (e.g., bare plural sentences such as “dogs have four legs” and “mosquitoes carry malaria”) are used to talk about kinds of things. Three experiments investigated the conceptual foundations of generics as well as claims within the formal semantic approaches to generics concerning the roles of prevalence, cue validity and normalcy in licensing generics. Two classes of generic sentences that pose challenges to both the conceptually based and formal semantic approaches to generics were investigated. Striking property generics (e.g. “sharks (...) bite swimmers”) are true even though only a tiny minority of instances have the property and thus pose obvious problems for quantificational approaches, and they also do not seem to characterize kinds in terms of the principled or statistical connections investigated in previous research ( Prasada and Dillingham, 2006 ; Prasada and Dillingham, 2009). The second class — minority characteristic generics (e.g. “ducks lay eggs”) — also poses serious problems for quantificational accounts, and appears to involve principled connections even though fewer than half of its instances have the relevant property. The experiments revealed three principal discoveries: first, striking generics involve neither principled nor statistical connections. Instead, they involve a causal connection between a kind and a property. Second, minority characteristic generics exhibit the characteristics of principled connections, which suggests that principled connections license the expectation that most instances will have the property, but do not require it. Finally, the experiments also provided evidence that prevalence and the acceptability of generics may be dissociated and provided data that are problematic for normalcy approaches to generics, and for the idea that cue validity licenses low prevalence generics. As such, the studies provided evidence in favor of a conceptually based approach to the semantics of generics ( Leslie, 2007 ; Leslie, 2008; see also Carlson, 2009). (shrink)
This article reviews recent developments in health care law, focusing on the engagement of law as a partner in health care innovation. The article addresses: the history and contents of recent United States federal law restricting the use of genetic information by insurers and employers; the recent federal policy recommending routine HIV testing; the recent revision of federal policy regarding the funding of human embryonic stem cell research; the history, current status, and need for future attention to advance directives; the (...) recent emergence of medical–legal partnerships and their benefits for patients; the obesity epidemic and its implications for the child’s right to health under international conventions. (shrink)
Do our lives have meaning? Should we create more people? Is death bad? Should we commit suicide? Would it be better if we were immortal? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic? Life, Death, and Meaning brings together key readings, primarily by English-speaking philosophers, on such 'big questions.'.
Do our lives have meaning? Should we create more people? Is death bad? Should we commit suicide? Would it be better to be immortal? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic? Since Life, Death, and Meaning: Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions first appeared, David Benatar's distinctive anthology designed to introduce students to the key existential questions of philosophy has won a devoted following among users in a variety of upper-level and even introductory courses.
Scholars have shown renewed interest in the construct of courage. Recent studies have explored its theoretical underpinnings and measurement. Yet courage is generally discussed in its broad form to include physical, psychological, and moral features. To understand a more practical form of moral courage, research is needed to uncover how ethical challenges are effectively managed in organizational settings. We argue that professional moral courage is a managerial competency. To describe it and derive items for scale development, we studied managers in (...) the U.S. military and examined prior work on moral courage. Two methods were used to measure PMC producing a five dimensional scale that organized under a single second-order factor, which we termed overall PMC. The five dimensions are moral agency, multiple values, endurance of threats, going beyond compliance, and moral goals. Convergent and discriminant validity are analyzed by use of confirmatory factor analysis procedures. We conclude by presenting a framework for proactive organizational ethics, which reflects how to support PMC as a management practice. (shrink)
I discuss two versions of the doomsday argument. According to ``Gott's Line'',the fact that the human race has existed for 200,000 years licences the predictionthat it will last between 5100 and 7.8 million more years. According to ``Leslie'sWedge'', the fact that I currently exist is evidence that increases the plausibilityof the hypothesis that the human race will come to an end sooner rather than later.Both arguments rest on substantive assumptions about the sampling process thatunderlies our observations. These sampling assumptions (...) have testable consequences,and so the sampling assumptions themselves must be regarded as empirical claims.The result of testing some of these consequences is that both doomsday argumentsare empirically disconfirmed. (shrink)
I discuss two versions of the doomsday argument. According to "Gott's Line", the fact that the human race has existed for 200,000 years licences the prediction that it will last between 5100 and 7.8 million more years. According to "Leslie's Wedge", the fact that I currently exist is evidence that increases the plausibility of the hypothesis that the human race will come to an end sooner rather than later. Both arguments rest on substantive assumptions about the sampling process that (...) underlies our observations. These sampling assumptions have testable consequences, and so the sampling assumptions themselves must be regarded as empirical claims. The result of testing some of these consequences is that both doomsday arguments are empirically disconfirmed. (shrink)