Many health care systems include programs that allow patients in exceptional circumstances to access medical interventions of as yet unproven benefit. In this article we consider the ethical justifications for?and demands on?these special access programs (SAPs). SAPs have a compassionate basis: They give patients with limited options the opportunity to try interventions that are not yet approved by standard regulatory processes. But while they signal that health care systems can and will respond to individual suffering, SAPs have several disadvantages, including (...) the potential to undermine regulatory and knowledge-generation structures that constitute significant public goods. The ?balance? between these considerations depends in part on how broadly SAPs are used, but also on whether SAPs can be made to contribute to the generation of knowledge about the effects of health interventions. We argue that patients should usually be required to contribute outcome data while using SAPs. (shrink)
Moral psychology studies the features of cognition, judgement, perception and emotion that make human beings capable of moral action. Perspectives from feminist and race theory immensely enrich moral psychology. Writers who take these perspectives ask questions about mind, feeling, and action in contexts of social difference and unequal power and opportunity. These essays by a distinguished international cast of philosophers explore moral psychology as it connects to social life, scientific studies, and literature.
This is a revised edition of Walker's well-known book in feminist ethics first published in 1997. Walker's book proposes a view of morality and an approach to ethical theory which uses the critical insights of feminism and race theory to rethink the epistemological and moral position of the ethical theorist, and how moral theory is inescapably shaped by culture and history. The main gist of her book is that morality is embodied in "practices of responsibility" that express our identities, values, (...) and connections to others in socially patterned ways. Thus ethical theory needs to be empirically informed and politically critical to avoid reiterating forms of socially entrenched bias. Responsible ethical theory should reveal and question the moral significance of social differences. The book engages with, and challenges, the work of contemporary analytic philosophers in ethics. Moral Understandings has been influential in reaching a global audience in ethics and feminist philosophy, as well as in tangential fields like nursing ethics; research ethics; disability ethics; environmental ethics, and social and political theory. This revised edition contains a new preface, a substantive postscript to Chapter 1 about "the subject of moral philosophy"; the addition of a new chapter on the importance of emotion in practices of responsibility; and the addition of an afterword, which responds to critics of the book. (shrink)
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has emerged as an effective way for firms to create favorable attitudes among consumers. Although prior research has addressed the direct influence of proactive and reactive CSR on consumer responses, this research hypothesized that consumers’ perceived organizational motives (i.e., attributions) will mediate this relationship. It was also hypothesized that the source of information and location of CSR initiative will affect the motives consumers assign to a firms’ engagement in the initiative. Two experiments were conducted to test (...) these hypotheses. The results of Study 1 indicate that the nature of a CSR initiative influences consumer attribution effects and that these attributions act as mediators in helping to explain consumers’ responses to CSR. Study 2 suggests that the source of the CSR message moderates the effect of CSR on consumer attributions. The mediating influence of the attributions as well as the importance of information source suggests that proper communication of CSR can be a viable way to inculcate positive corporate associations and purchase intentions. (shrink)
This book sets out to generate new ways of reflecting ethically about the purposes and values of contemporary higher education in relation to agency, learning, public values and democratic life, and the pedagogies which support these.
Fifteen original essays open up a novel area of inquiry: the distinctively ethical dimensions of women's experiences of and in aging. Contributors distinguished in the fields of feminist ethics and the ethics of aging explore assumptions, experiences, practices, and public policies that affect women's well-being and dignity in later life. The book brings to the study of women's aging a reflective dimension missing from the empirical work that has predominated to date. Ethical studies of aging have so far failed to (...) emphasize gender. And feminist ethics has neglected older women, even when emphasizing other dimensions of 'difference.' Finally work on aging in all fields has focused on the elderly, while this volume sees aging as an extended process of negotiating personal and social change. (shrink)
Contributors to this volume demonstrate how the ethics of care factors into a variety of social policies and institutions, and can indeed be useful in thinking about a number of different social problems. Divided into two sections, the first looks at care as a model for an evaluative framework that rethinks social institutions, liberal society, and citizenship at a basic conceptual level. The second explores care values in the context of specific social practices or settings, as a framework that should (...) guide thinking. (shrink)
Current literature suggests that corporate social responsibility (CSR) can affect consumers' attitudes towards an organization and is regarded as a driver for reputation-building and fostering sustained consumer patronage. Although prior research has addressed the direct influence of CSR on consumer responses, this research examined the mediating influence of consumer's perceived organizational motives within an NGO setting.Given the heightened public attention surrounding the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, data were collected from consumers of the Games to assess their perceptions of the International (...) Olympic Committee's (IOC) socially responsible initiatives. We hypothesized that consumers of the Games were likely to cognitively elaborate on CSR messages by way of three specific attribution effects derived from the literature. The results show that, contingent on CSR awareness, consumers responded positively to social efforts judged to be values-driven and stakeholder-driven; and a negative response was seen for efforts judged to be strategic. These attribution effects influenced various types of patronage and perceived organizational reputation. (shrink)
Vaccine refusal occurs for a variety of reasons. In this article we examine vaccine refusals that are made on conscientious grounds; that is, for religious, moral, or philosophical reasons. We focus on two questions: first, whether people should be entitled to conscientiously object to vaccination against contagious diseases ; second, if so, to what constraints or requirements should conscientious objection to vaccination be subject. To address these questions, we consider an analogy between CO to vaccination and CO to military service. (...) We argue that conscientious objectors to vaccination should make an appropriate contribution to society in lieu of being vaccinated. The contribution to be made will depend on the severity of the relevant disease, its morbidity, and also the likelihood that vaccine refusal will lead to harm. In particular, the contribution required will depend on whether the rate of CO in a given population threatens herd immunity to the disease in question: for severe or highly contagious diseases, if the population rate of CO becomes high enough to threaten herd immunity, the requirements for CO could become so onerous that CO, though in principle permissible, would be de facto impermissible. (shrink)
Work on representing women's voices in ethics has produced a vision of moral understanding profoundly subversive of the traditional philosophical conception of moral knowledge. I explicate this alternative moral "epistemology," identify how it challenges the prevailing view, and indicate some of its resources for a liberatory feminist critique of philosophical ethics.
Research in the neurosciences continues to provide evidence that sleep plays a role in the processes of learning and memory. There is less of a consensus, however, regarding the precise stages of memory development during which sleep is considered a requirement, simply favorable, or not important. This article begins with an overview of recent studies regarding sleep and learning, predominantly in the procedural memory domain, and is measured against our current understanding of the mechanisms that govern memory formation. Based on (...) these considerations, I offer a new neurocognitive framework of procedural learning, consisting first of acquisition, followed by two specific stages of consolidation, one involving a process of stabilization, the other involving enhancement, whereby delayed learning occurs. Psychophysiological evidence indicates that initial acquisition does not rely fundamentally on sleep. This also appears to be true for the stabilization phase of consolidation, with durable representations, resistant to interference, clearly developing in a successful manner during time awake (or just time, per se). In contrast, the consolidation stage, resulting in additional/enhanced learning in the absence of further rehearsal, does appear to rely on the process of sleep, with evidence for specific sleep-stage dependencies across the procedural domain. Evaluations at a molecular, cellular, and systems level currently offer several sleep specific candidates that could play a role in sleep-dependent learning. These include the upregulation of select plasticity-associated genes, increased protein synthesis, changes in neurotransmitter concentration, and specific electrical events in neuronal networks that modulate synaptic potentiation. Key Words: consolidation; enhancement; learning; memory; plasticity; sleep; stabilization. (shrink)
This essay seeks to understand the domain and demands of reparative justice in terms of moral vulnerability. Significant harms raise the question of whether victims stand in truly reciprocal practices of accountability; if they do, they enjoy the power of calling others to account as well as bearing the liability of being accountable to others. In the aftermath of harms, victims’ moral vulnerability is tested: they may be exposed to the insult and injury of discovering that they do not enjoy (...) the moral standing of holding others accountable. While the occasion of reparative justice is significant wrongs and wrongful harms and losses, this essay argues that the aim of reparative practices is not only or even primarily to redress those harms and losses, but to address the moral vulnerability of victims by affirming their status in accountability relations. (shrink)
The attention paid to the influence of organizational philanthropy on consumer responses has precipitated a shift in the role this practice plays in organizational dynamics—with philanthropy becoming an increasingly strategic marketing tool. The authors develop and test a model predicting that: (1) perceived organizational credibility will mediate the relationship between awareness of philanthropy and the outcomes of advocacy and financial sacrifice; (2) consumer social consciousness will moderate the relationship between awareness of philanthropy and firm credibility, and between credibility and the (...) outcome variables; and (3) these moderated relationships will be mediated by perceived credibility. Data obtained from a sample of professional golf patrons support our assertions. Notably, the findings implicate perceived credibility as a key intervening variable in the hypothesized relationships for the PGA Tour. (shrink)
The primary question to be addressed here is whether pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), used for both negative and positive trait selection, benefits potential supernumerary embryos. The phrase ‘potential supernumerary embryos’ is used to indicate that PGD is typically performed on a set of embryos, only some of which will be implanted. Prior to any testing, each embryo in the set is potentially supernumerary in the sense that it may not be selected for implantation. Those embryos that are not selected, and (...) hence destroyed or frozen, are ‘actually supernumerary’. The argument to be advanced is hypothetical: If embryos may be said to benefit or be harmed by our actions, then PGD used to select for an embryo or embryos with the highest expected Wellbeing benefits potential supernumerary embryos. The argument shows that the ‘non-identity’ problem is not sufficient to show that eugenic selection does not benefit supernumerary embryos. (shrink)
A claimed benefit of epistemic externalism is that it alone can avoid skepticism. Most epistemic externalists, however, allow a residual amount of internalism in terms of a defeasibility condition. The paper argues that this internal condition is sufficient for skeptics to cast doubt on many claims to justified belief about perceptual matters about the world. Furthermore, the internal defeasibility condition also opens the door to a darker form of skepticism; skeptical dogmatism, which maintains that many of our perceptually based beliefs (...) are probably false. Thus, the claimed benefits of externalism in avoiding skepticism are greatly exaggerated. (shrink)
This study is grounded in the debate surrounding the perceived value of environmental social responsibility (ESR). Applying the Managerial Theory of the Firm, in-depth interviews were conducted to identify managerial motives, perceptions, and perceived value of ESR. Using sport and public assembly facilities as the research context, environmentally responsible information was obtained from facility managers who were members of the International Association of Venue Managers. In total, 15 one-hour, interviews with key facility personnel demonstrate that (1) internal stakeholder pressure, (2) (...) organizational culture, (3) financial cost-benefit, (4) competitiveness, and (5) ethical motives were the drivers for ESR engagement. Taken together, the findings suggest that establishing a culture of ESR, the "business case" for environmental responsibility, and ethical concerns offered the most value for the sport and public assembly facility managers. (shrink)
: I briefly reprise a few themes of my bookMoral Understandingsin order to address some questions about responsibility and justification. I argue for a thoroughly situated and naturalized view of moral justification that warns us not to take moral universalism too easily at face value. I also argue for the significance of reports of experience, among other kinds of empirical evidence, in testing the habitability of moral forms of life.
Feminist discussions of ethics in the Western philosophical tradition range from critiques of the substance of dominant moral theories to critiques of the very practice of "doing ethics" itself. I argue that these critiques really target a certain historically specific model of ethics and moral theory-a "theoretical-juridical" one. I outline an "expressive-collaborative" conception of morality and ethics that could be a politically self-conscious and reflexively critical alternative.
The article argues for an alliance of the capability approach developed by Amartya Sen with ideas from critical pedagogy for undergraduate university education which develops student agency and well being on the one hand, and social change towards greater justice on the other. The purposes of a university education in this article are taken to include both intrinsic and instrumental purposes and to therefore include personal development, economic opportunities and becoming educated citizens. Core ideas from the capability approach are outlined, (...) with examples, before possible articulations of capability and Sen's notion of process freedom with critical pedagogy are investigated. It is argued that each approach has something to offer when brought alongside as ‘critical capability pedagogies’, which seek to enhance and expand student experiences of learning and their ‘valuable beings and doings’. Finally core capabilities in a university education are considered and some of the problems of domesticating the capability approach addressed. (shrink)
If God is morally perfect then He must perform the morally best actions, but creating humans is not the morally best action. If this line of reasoning can be maintained then the mere fact that humans exist contradicts the claim that God exists. This is the ‘anthropic argument’. The anthropic argument, is related to, but distinct from, the traditional argument from evil. The anthropic argument forces us to consider the ‘creation question’: why did God not create other gods rather than (...) humans? That is, if God is omniscient, omnipotent, and morally perfect then why didn’t He create a world populated exclusively by beings that are perfect in the same way that He is—ontological equivalents— rather than choosing to create humans with finite natures and all the suffering that this entails? (shrink)
Evidence for instances of astrophysical 'fine tuning' (or 'coincidences') is thought by some to lend support to the design argument (i.e. the argument that our universe has been designed by some deity). We assess some of the relevant empirical and conceptual issues. We argue that astrophysical fine tuning calls for some explanation, but this explanation need not appeal to the design argument. A clear and strict separation of the issue of anthropic fine tuning on one hand and any form of (...) Eddingtonian numerology and teleology on the other, may help clarify arguably the most significant issue in the philosophy of cosmology. (shrink)
In the recent neuroethics literature, there has been vigorous debate concerning the ethical implications of the use of neurotechnologies that may alter a person’s identity. Much of this debate has been framed around the concept of authenticity. The argument of this chapter is that the ethics of authenticity, as applied to neurotechnological treatment or enhancement, is conceptually misleading. The notion of authenticity is ambiguous between two distinct and conflicting conceptions: self-discovery and self-creation. The self-discovery conception of authenticity is based on (...) a problematic conception of a static, real inner self. The notion of self-creation, although more plausible, blurs the distinction between identity and autonomy. Moreover, both conceptions are overly individualistic and fail sufficiently to account for the relational constitution of personal identity. The authors propose that a relational, narrative understanding of identity and autonomy can incorporate the more plausible aspects of both interpretations of authenticity, while providing a normatively more illuminating theoretical framework for approaching the question of whether and how neurotechnologies threaten identity. (shrink)
While various items closely associated with belief, such as speech?acts of assertion, or what have recently been termed acts of ?acceptance?, can clearly be voluntary, it is commonly supposed that belief itself, being intrinsically truth?directed, is essentially passive. I argue that while this may be true of belief proper, understood as a kind of disposition, it is not true of acts of assent or ?judgment?. Judgments, I contend, must be deemed voluntary precisely because of their truth?aimedness, for in their case (...) this feature entails that they can always be regarded as the subjects of a kind of implicit practical reasoning. By emphasizing the familiar point that voluntariness need not involve anything more than this, and by invoking the soft determinist option of holding causation to be compatible with choice, I seek to deflect some anticipated objections to this argument. (shrink)
I contend that while at least one of the arguments advanced by Bernard Williams in his paper ‘Deciding To Believe’ does establish that beliefs, or more precisely, judgements cannot be decided upon ‘at will’, the notion of truth‐aimedness presupposed by that argument also, ironically, provides the key to understanding why judgements are necessarily voluntary.
_ Source: _Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 1 - 29 Underdetermination arguments for skepticism maintain that our common sense view of the external world is no better, evidentially speaking, than some skeptical competitors. An important and well-known response by dogmatists, those who believe our commonsense view is justified, appeals to abduction OR inference to the best explanation. The predominant version of this strategy, going back at least to Locke, invokes Occam’s razor: dogmatists claim the common sense view is simpler than (...) any of its skeptical alternatives and so has more to recommend it, evidentially speaking. This dispute has overshadowed another possible view: skeptical dogmatism. Skeptical dogmatists hold that we are justified in believing that the common sense view is probably false. I argue that skeptical dogmatism presents some interesting complications to the dialectic between the dogmatist and the skeptic. On the one hand, even if the dogmatist’s use of Occam’s razor is sufficient to rebut skepticism, in itself it is not sufficient to refute skeptical dogmatism. On the other hand, skeptics themselves, ironically, must, given the assumptions of the paper, appeal to something like Occam’s razor in order to avoid capitulating to skeptical dogmatism. (shrink)
Editor's note: with this essay, Hypatia inaugurates a new column. We welcome musings on the state of the profession, the life of the independent scholar, political activism, teaching, publishing, or other topics of interest to feminist philosophers. We particularly invite submissions that pick up conversational threads begun by earlier contributions to the column, so that Musings becomes a forum for talking to one another. If you have an idea for the column, please tell us about it.
Recent evidence from the neurosciences and cognitive sciences provides some support for a narrative theory of self-understanding. However, it also suggests that narrative self-understanding is unlikely to be accurate, and challenges its claims to truth. This article examines a range of this empirical evidence, explaining how it supports a narrative theory of self-understanding while raising questions of these narrative's accuracy and veridicality. I argue that this evidence does not provide sufficient reason to dismiss the possibility of truth in narrative self-understanding. (...) Challenges to the possibility of attaining true, accurate self-knowledge through a self-narrative have previously been made on the basis of the epistemological features of narrative. I show how the empirical evidence is consistent with the epistemological concerns, and provide three ways to defend the notion of narrative truth. I also aim to show that neuroethical discussions of self-understanding would benefit from further engagement with the philosophical literature on narrative truth. (shrink)
‘Contract cheating’ has recently emerged as a form of academic dishonesty. It involves students contracting out their coursework to writers in order to submit the purchased assignments as their own work, usually via the internet. This form of cheating involves epistemic and ethical problems that are continuous with older forms of cheating, but which it also casts in a new form. It is a concern to educators because it is very difficult to detect, because it is arguably more fraudulent than (...) some other forms of plagiarism, and because it appears to be connected to a range of systemic problems within modern higher education. This paper provides an overview of the information and literature thus far available on the topic, including its definition, the problems it involves, its causal factors, and the ways in which educators might respond. We argue that while contract cheating is a concern, some of the suggested responses are themselves problematic, and that best practice responses to the issue should avoid moral panic and remain focussed on supporting honest students and good academic practice. (shrink)
Neil Levy argues that while addicts who believe they are not addicts are self-deceived, addicts who believe they are addicts are just as self-deceived. Such persons accept a false belief that their addictive behaviour involves a loss of control. This paper examines two implications of Levy's discussion: that accurate self-knowledge may be particularly difficult for addicts; and that an addict's self-deceived belief that they cannot control themselves may aid their attempts at self-control. I argue that the self-deceived beliefs of addicts (...) in denial and of self-described addicts differ in kind. Unlike the self-deception of an addict in denial, that of the self-described addict allows them to acknowledge their behaviour. As such, it may aid an addict to develop more self-control. A paradoxical implication is that this self-deception may allow an addict more self-knowledge. (shrink)
Objections to uploading may be parsed into substrate issues, dealing with the computer platform of upload and personal identity. This paper argues that the personal identity issues of uploading are no more or less challenging than those of bodily transfer often discussed in the philosophical literature. It is argued that what is important in personal identity involves both token and type identity. While uploading does not preserve token identity, it does save type identity; and even qua token, one may have (...) good reason to think that the preservation of the type is worth the cost. (shrink)