The purpose of this paper is to advance research on CSR beyond the stalemate of economic versus ethical models by providing an alternative perspective integrating existing views and allowing for more shared dialog and research in the field. It is suggested that we move beyond making a normative case for ethical models and practices of CSR by moving beyond the question of how to manage organizational self-interest toward the question of how accurate current conceptions of the organizational self seem to (...) be. Specifically, it is proposed that CSR is not a question of how self-interested the corporation should be, but how this self is defined. Economic and ethical models of CSR are not models of opposition but exist on a continuum between egoic and post-egoic, illusory and authentic conceptions of the organizational self. This means that moving from one to the other is not a question of adopting different paradigms but rather of moving from illusion and dysfunction to authenticity and functionality, from pathology to health. (shrink)
This essay defends moral expertise against the skeptical considerations raised by Gilbert Ryle and others. The core of the essay articulates an account of moral expertise that draws on work on expertise in empirical moral psychology, and develops an analogy between moral expertise and linguistic expertise. The account holds that expertise is contrastive, so that a person is an expert relative to a particular contrast. Further, expertise is domain specific and characterized by behavior and judgment. Some disagreements in the literature (...) regarding moral expertise are diagnosed as being due to failures to adequately distinguish different ways in which someone can be a moral expert. For example, expertise in action does not imply expertise in judgment or analysis. (shrink)
Virtue ethics has generated a great deal of excitement among ethicists largely because it is seen as an alternative to the traditional theories – utilitarianism and Kantian ethics – which have come under considerable scrutiny and criticism in the past 30 years. Rather than give up the enterprise of doing moral theory altogether, as some have suggested, others have opted to develop an alternative that would hopefully avoid the shortcomings of both utilitarianism and Kantian ethics. Several writers, such as Jorge (...) Garcia and Michael Slote, have tried to develop this alternative of virtue ethics, or at least sketch out ways such a theory could be developed. (shrink)
The predominant view of moral virtue can be traced back to Aristotle. He believed that moral virtue must involve intellectual excellence. To have moral virtue one must have practical wisdom - the ability to deliberate well and to see what is morally relevant in a given context. Julia Driver challenges this classical theory of virtue, arguing that it fails to take into account virtues which do seem to involve ignorance or epistemic defect. Some 'virtues of ignorance' are counterexamples to (...) accounts of virtue which hold that moral virtue must involve practical wisdom. Modesty, for example, is generally considered to be a virtue even though the modest person may be making an inaccurate assessment of his or her accomplishments. Driver argues that we should abandon the highly intellectualist view of virtue and instead adopt a consequentialist perspective which holds that virtue is simply a character trait which systematically produces good consequences. (shrink)
Consequentialism is the view that the rightness or wrongness of actions depend solely on their consequences. It is one of the most influential, and controversial, of all ethical theories. In this book, Julia Driver introduces and critically assesses consequentialism in all its forms. After a brief historical introduction to the problem, Driver examines utilitarianism, and the arguments of its most famous exponents, John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham, and explains the fundamental questions underlying utilitarian theory: what value is (...) to be specified and how it is to be maximized. Driver also discusses indirect forms of consequentialism, the important theories of motive consequentialism and virtue consequentialism, and explains why the distinction between subjective and objective consequentialism is so important. Including helpful features such as a glossary, chapter summaries, and annotated further reading at the end of each chapter, Consequentialism is ideal for students seeking an authoritative and clearly explained survey of this important problem. (shrink)
We seem less likely to endorse moral expertise than reasoning expertise or aesthetic expertise. This seems puzzling given that moral norms are intuitively taken to be at least more objective than aesthetic norms. One possible diagnosis of the asymmetry is that moral judgments require autonomy of judgement in away that other judgments do not. However, the author points out that aesthetic judgments that have been ‘borrowed’ by aesthetic experts generate the same autonomy worry as moral judgments which are borrowed by (...) moral experts. The author then explores various approaches to accepting the testimony of moral experts and concludes that the asymmetry may best be explained by (1) the conditions for moral expertise being more difficult to satisfy than those of aesthetic expertise and (2) the intuitive greater seriousness of accepting the moral judgments of others, since moral norms are generally viewed as more binding than aesthetic norms. (shrink)
Many organisms possess multiple sensory systems, such as vision, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. The possession of multiple ways of sensing the world offers many benefits. However, combining information from different senses also poses many challenges for the nervous system. In recent years there has been dramatic progress in understanding how information from the different senses gets integrated in order to construct useful representations of external space. This volume brings together the leading researchers from a broad range of scientific approaches (...) to present the first overview of this central topic in cognitive neuroscience. (shrink)
_Ethics: The Fundamentals_ explores core ideas and arguments in moral theory by introducing students to different philosophical approaches to ethics, including virtue ethics, Kantian ethics, divine command theory, and feminist ethics. The first volume in the new Fundamentals of Philosophy series. Presents lively, real-world examples and thoughtful discussion of key moral philosophers and their ideas. Constitutes an excellent resource for readers coming to the subject of ethics for the first time.
In The Virtues of Ignorance the author demonstrates that classical theories of virtue are flawed and developes a consequentialist theory of virtue. ;Virtues are excellences of character. They are traits which are considered to be valuable in some way. A person who is virtuous is one who has a tendency to act well. Classical philosophers, such as Plato and Aristotle, believed that virtues, as human excellences, could not involve ignorance in any way. On their view, the virtuous agent, when acting (...) well, knows what she is doing under the description which makes the action conform to virtue. For example, the generous person must know that she is, in fact, helping others in need. Yet, there is a class of virtues, the "virtues of ignorance," which essentially involve ignorance. For example, modesty requires that the agent underestimate self worth. In the first portion of the dissertation, this class of virtues is discussed, and problems raised for the traditional theories of virtue. ;In the latter portion of the dissertation, the author outlines a consequentialist theory of virtue. It is argued that the only hope of developing a unified theory of virtue is along consequentialist lines, because attempts at identifying the psychological state which is necessary for virtue have failed. On a consequentialist theory, a virtue is defined in terms of its consequences. Thus, the moral quality of the character trait is determined by how much good it brings about . The virtues of ignorance can easily be accommodated in such a theory because these traits do bring about good, even if the agent possessing the trait acts out of ignorance. (shrink)
Some of our moral commitments strike us as necessary, and this feature of moral phenomenology is sometimes viewed as incompatible with sentimentalism, since sentimentalism holds that our commitments depend, in some way, on sentiment. His dependence, or contingency, is what seems incompatible with necessity. In response to this sentimentalists hold that the commitments are psychologically necessary. However, little has been done to explore this kind of necessity. In this essay I discuss psychological necessity, and how the phenomenon of imaginative resistance (...) offers some evidence that we regard our moral commitments as necessary, but in a way compatible with viewing them as dependent on desires (in some way). A limited strategy for defending sentimentalism against a common criticism is also offered. (shrink)
Peter Singer is well known as an ethicist who has contributed much to current debates in ethics and public policy. He has published on topics ranging from vegetarianism to famine relief to bioethics, always with something interesting to say, and often with something provocative as well. How Are We to Live? adds to Singer’s work in the area of applied, or practical, ethics. This book is not as deeply challenging as some of Singer’s earlier work. However, it is not intended (...) for an audience composed exclusively of professional philosophers. It is written for people who feel that ethics doesn’t speak to the concern of living a full and fruitful life, who believe that ethics, at best, is too narrow to guide us in a wide spectrum of decisions, and, at worst, is for “suckers.” This sentiment is one that professional ethicists encounter all too frequently. Singer’s book does a splendid job of addressing these sorts of concerns. He does so with a light touch, without being too moralistic. It is easy to read, engaging, and will appeal to a wide audience. Thus, the book accomplishes its goals admirably. (shrink)
This paper begins with the idea that we can learn a good deal about promising by examining the conditions and norms that govern promise- breaking. Sometimes promises are broken as a deliberate plan, other times they are broken because they are simply incompatible with other, more signifi cant moral norms, or because it becomes clear that they are impossible to keep. There are cases where people make promises that are actually incompatible with each other. Politicians, for example, often give such (...) incompatible promises, either intentionally, or by making too many commitments, some of which turn out to be incompatible. In making such promises, agents guarantee that at least one promise be broken. Is the agent who makes incompatible promises under any obli- gation? If ‘ought’ implies ‘can,’ and promises entail obligations, then it seems that one cannot, in fact, make promises one cannot keep. This paper explores the problem by drawing analogies between incompatible promises and other promises that cannot be kept. It suggests that we can deny ‘ought’ implies ‘can’ strictly speaking, but recognize that there is a practical limit on what the agent can be called on to do. On this view, even promises to do the impossible commit the agent. Similarly, politi- cians who promise too much are still obligated to do as promised. (shrink)
This essay is a rejoinder to comments on Uneasy Virtue made by Onora O'Neill, John Skorupski, and Michael Slote in this issue. In Uneasy Virtue I presented criticisms of traditional virtue theory. I also presented an alternative – a consequentialist account of virtue, one which is a form of ‘pure evaluational externalism’. This type of theory holds that the moral quality of character traits is determined by factors external to agency (e.g. consequences). All three commentators took exception to this account. (...) Therefore, the bulk of my response focuses on defending the externalist account of virtue presented in the final chapters of Uneasy Virtue. (shrink)
This paper responds to criticisms of sympathy-based approaches to ethics made by Jesse Prinz, focusing on the criticism that emotions are too variable to form a basis for ethics. I draw on the idea, articulated by early sentimentalists such as Hutcheson and Hume, that proper reliance on sympathy is subject to a corrective procedure in order, in part, to avoid the variability problem.
abstract In this paper moralism is defined as the illicit use of moral considerations. Three different varieties of moralism are then discussed — moral absolutism, excessive standards and demandingness, and presenting non‐moral considerations as moral ones. Both individuals and theories can be regarded as moralistic in some of these senses. Indeed, some critics of consequentialism have regarded that theory as moralistic. The author then describes the problems associated with each sense of ‘moralism’ and how casuistry evolved to try to deal (...) with some of these problems. The author also defends consequentialism against one charge of moralism . (shrink)
This paper focuses on an underappreciated issue that dreams raise for moral evaluation: is immorality possible in dreams? The evaluatiotial internalist is committed to answering ‘yes.’ This is because the internalist account of moral evaluation holds that the moral quality of a person's actions, what a person does, her agency in any given case is completely determined by factors that are internal to that agency, such as the person's motives and/or intentions. Actual production of either good or bad effects is (...) completely irrelevant to the moral evaluation of that agency. Since agency can be expressed in a dream, the internalist is committed to dream immorality. Some may take this as a reductio of evaluational internalism, but whether or not this is the case the issue reveals what such a theory is committed to. In this paper I explore the significance of dreams to morality, and argue that the absurdity of dream immorality supports an account of moral evaluation with an externalist component, rather than a purely internalist account of moral evaluation. (shrink)