Challenges to Legal Theory offers the reader a fascinating journey though a variety of multi-disciplinary topics, ranging from law and literature, and law and religion, to legal philosophy and constitutional law. The collection reflects some of the challenges that the field of legal theory currently faces. It is compiled by a selection of international and Spanish scholars, whose essays are made available in English translation for the first time. The volume is based on a collection of essays, published in Spanish, (...) in honour of Professor José Iturmendi Morales, of Complutense University, Madrid, and brings the rich scholarship of pre-eminent Spanish scholars of law and legal theory to an international audience. (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. 1 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.
ABSTRACT Ethical leaders can influence followers’ ethical behaviors by establishing an ethical climate. However, followers’ responses to an ethical climate may also differ according to the amount of attention they devote to moral questions. This study analyzes whether moral attentiveness augments the positive effect of an ethical climate on employees’ ethical behaviors, as well as the indirect effect of ethical leadership on employee ethical behavior through an ethical climate. Data from 270 employees in the Malaysian manufacturing industry indicate that the (...) positive impact of an ethical climate on ethical behavior is greater among employees who exhibit high rather than low moral attentiveness; this moderating role also applies to the relationship between ethical leadership and employee ethical behavior through the ethical climate. This study thus sheds new light on the notable role of moral attentiveness in ensuring that ethical leadership and ethical climate enhance ethical behavior in the workplace. (shrink)
All contentious moral issues--from gay marriage to abortion and affirmative action--raise difficult questions about the justification of moral beliefs. How can we be justified in holding on to our own moral beliefs while recognizing that other intelligent people feel quite differently and that many moral beliefs are distorted by self-interest and by corrupt cultures? Even when almost everyone agrees--e.g. that experimental surgery without consent is immoral--can we know that such beliefs are true? If so, how? These profound questions lead to (...) fundamental issues about the nature of morality, language, metaphysics, justification, and knowledge. They also have tremendous practical importance in handling controversial moral questions in health care ethics, politics, law, and education. Sinnott-Armstrong here provides an extensive overview of these difficult subjects, looking at a wide variety of questions, including: Are any moral beliefs true? Are any justified? What is justified belief? The second half of the book explores various moral theories that have grappled with these issues, such as naturalism, normativism, intuitionism, and coherentism, all of which are attempts to answer moral skepticism. Sinnott-Armstrong argues that all these approaches fail to rule out moral nihilism--the view that nothing is really morally wrong or right, bad or good. Then he develops his own novel theory,--"moderate Pyrrhonian moral skepticism"--which concludes that some moral beliefs can be justified out of a modest contrast class but no moral beliefs can be justified out of an extreme contrast class. While explaining this original position and criticizing alternatives, Sinnott-Armstrong provides a wide-ranging survey of the epistemology of moral beliefs. (shrink)
Este trabajo se ocupa de algunas ideas éticas del filósofo latinoamericano Andrés Bello (1781-1865), en especial de su “teoría de los sentimientos morales”. En la polémica del siglo XIX entre el llamado racionalismo ético (representado por Théodore Jouffroy) y el utilitarismo (Bentham), Bello adopta una postura intermedia, que pudiera calificarse de “hedonismo moderado” o de “eudemonismo”. Sus puntos de vista sobre la motivación moral o la manera en que la razón y el sentimiento se entrelazan para formar nuestras creencias morales, (...) se revelan como muy próximos a las doctrinas de Aristóteles y de algunos autores contemporáneos. (shrink)
Current frameworks on ethical decision-making process have some limitations. This paper argues that the consideration of moral competencies, understood as moral virtues in the workplace, can enhance our understanding of why moral character contributes to ethical decision-making. After discussing the universal nature of four moral competencies (prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance), we analyse their influence on the various stages of the ethical decision-making process. We conclude by considering the managerial implications of our findings and proposing further research.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that Elizabeth Anscombe, long known as a student, friend and translator of Wittgenstein, was herself one of the most important philosophers of the twentieth century. No Morality, No Self examines her two best-known papers, in which she advanced her most amazing theses. In 'Modern Moral Philosophy', she claimed that the term moral, understood as picking out a special, sui generis category, is literally senseless and should therefore be abandoned. In 'The First Person', she maintained (...) that the word 'I' is not a referring expression: in other words, its function in the language is not to pick out the speaker, or 'the self' - or any entity whatsoever. Both papers are considered influential, and are frequently cited; but their main claims, and many of their arguments, have been widely misunderstood. In this book James Doyle shows that once various errors of interpretation have been cleared away, the claims can be seen to be far more plausible, and the arguments far more compelling, than even her defenders have realized. Philosophers often seek attention by making startling claims which are subsequently revealed as little more than commonplaces wrapped in hyperbole. Doyle's book makes it clear that here, in her greatest papers, Anscombe achieves something vanishingly rare in philosophy: a persuasive case for genuinely unsettling and profound conclusions. The two lines of argument, seemingly so disparate, are also shown to be connected by Anscombe's deep opposition to the Cartesian picture of the mind.--. (shrink)
The morality of our distant ancestors bears a remarkable resemblance to the moral experiences of modern athletes. This book brings together stories from today’s sports world and the moral practices of hunter-gatherers to shed new light on both sports and morality and offer a unique interpretation of America’s love affair with sports.
Renowned moral philosopher Jonathan Glover confronts the brutal history of the twentieth century to unravel the mystery of why so many atrocities occurred. In a new preface, Glover brings the book through the post-September 11 era and into our own time—and asks whether humankind can "weaken the grip war has on us." _Praise for the first edition:_ “It is hard to imagine a more important book. Glover makes an overwhelming case for the need to understand our own inhumanity, and reduce (...) or eliminate the ways in which it can express itself—and he then begins the task himself. _Humanity _is_ _an extraordinary achievement.”—Peter Singer, Princeton University “This is an extraordinary book: brilliant, haunting and uniquely important. Almost 40 years ago a president read a best seller and avoided a holocaust. I like to think that some of the leaders and followers of tomorrow will read _Humanity._”_—_Steven Pinker, _New York Times Book Review_. (shrink)
Anthropologists have provided rich field descriptions of the norms and conventions governing behavior and interactions in small-scale societies. Here, we add a further dimension to this work by presenting hypothetical moral dilemmas involving harm, to a small-scale, agrarian Mayan population, with the specific goal of exploring the hypothesis that certain moral principles apply universally. We presented Mayan participants with moral dilemmas translated into their native language, Tseltal. Paralleling several studies carried out with educated subjects living in large-scale, developed nations, the (...) Mayan participants judged harms caused as the means to a greater good as more forbidden than harms caused as a side-effect (i.e., side-effect bias). However, unlike these other populations living in large-scale societies, as well as a more educated and less rural Mayan comparison group, the target rural Mayan participants did not judge actions causing harm as worse than omissions (i.e., omission bias). A series of probes targeting the action-omission distinction suggest that the absence of an omission bias among the rural Mayan participants was not due to difficulties comprehending the dilemmas, using the judgment scale, or in attributing a greater causal role for actions over omissions. Thus, while the moral distinction between means and side-effect may be more universal, the moral distinction between actions and omission appears to be open to greater cross-cultural variation. We discuss these results in light of issues concerning the role of biological constraints and cultural variation in moral decision-making, as well as the limitations of such experimental, cross-cultural research. (shrink)
Constructing Moral Concepts of God in a Global Age sets aside arguments about God's existence and focuses on what people say and think about God. It offers a theological method, or step-by-step approach to exploring and, if warranted, reframing personal convictions about God and the worldviews shaped by those convictions. Since a moral God is more likely to foster a moral life, this method integrates an ethical check to ensure that conceptions of God and their associated worldviews are validly moral. (...) The proposed method builds on the work of 20th Century theologian Gordon Kaufman during the Kantian phase of his work. It anticipates a person-like God who hears prayers, loves without end, and comforts in times of hardship. To accommodate today's pluralistic and globalized world, the moral check integrated in the method is a widely-collaborative and vetted global ethic, the Parliament of the World's Religions "Declaration Towards a Global Ethic." This volume of constructive philosophical theology is written for seminary students, educators, clergy, study groups, and anyone interested in delving more deeply and systematically into understandings of God, whether their own or other understandings. (shrink)
This is the first critical edition ever produced of Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary by David Hume, who is widely widely considered to be the most important British philosopher and an author celebrated for his moral, political, historical, and literary works. The editors' Introduction is primarily historical and written for advanced students and scholars from many disciplines. It is neither an orientation to Hume's philosophy nor an introduction aimed at philosophers. It is not an attempt to interpret Hume's text, but (...) rather discusses the genesis, revision, and reception of the essays, which went into many editions at the author's hand. The annotations provide information about Hume' s sources, allusions, and citations, as well as background facts pertinent to an informed reading of the essays. The primary goal is to aid readers in their interpretations of the text. This edition also includes a detailed commentary on Hume's essay 'On the Populousness of Ancient Nations', which will be of special interest to ancient historians. The two volumes present a full critical edition, in every respect. They assemble a massive amount of historical and textual information never previously published. The editorial apparatus is comprehensive and includes extensive historical and bibliographical detail. The Clarendon Edition of the Works of David Hume as a whole is on the cutting-edge of editorial work in the history of great works in the eighteenth century. (shrink)
Situated within the framework of Confucian family-oriented ethics, this book explores the issue of familial partiality and specifically discusses whether it is morally praiseworthy to love one's family partially. In reviewing the tension between familial partiality and egalitarian impartiality from different perspectives while also drawing on binary metrics to understand the issue - that is, the weak and strong sense of familial partiality in Confucian moral theory - the author carefully discusses the efficacy of three major arguments to justify moral (...) partiality. It is concluded that the tree argument fails to justify moral partiality in Confucianism, the evolutionary argument only justifies moral partiality in the weak sense that we should devote more resources to our family, and the care argument fails to justify moral partiality in the strong sense that family takes priority in any case even at the expense of the principle of justice. Seeking to address the quandary, the author advances an alternative argument based on Thomas Aquinas' theory of love to interpret Confucian view of partial relationships, holding that partial treatment is assumed in partial relationships. The title will appeal to scholars and students interested in Confucianism, Chinese Philosophy, Moral Philosophy, and Comparative Philosophy. (shrink)
Derk Pereboom argues that since we are not ultimately morally responsible for our thoughts and actions, it is irrational and unfair to feel and express moral anger towards agents for their wrongdoings. Furthermore, he argues, moral anger is not practically beneficial, typically causing more harm than good. Thus, he proposes that we replace moral anger with moral sadness, or disappointment in response to agents’ wrongdoings. I offer a functional account of moral anger to argue that moral anger has important intrapersonal (...) and interpersonal functions that cannot be served by moral sadness. I show that when we feel and express moral anger in the right contexts, it a) promotes long-term wellbeing, b) benefits relationships, and c) is the best way to change agents’ future behavior. I conclude by discussing implications of my functional account for Pereboom’s claim that moral anger is rational and fair only if we are ultimately morally responsible. (shrink)
According to the Free Will Explanation of a traditional view of hell, human freedom explains why some people are in hell. It also explains hell’s punishment and finality: persons in hell have freely developed moral vices that are their own punishment and that make repentance psychologically impossible. So, even though God continues to desire reconciliation with persons in hell, damned persons do not want reconciliation with God. But this moral vice explanation of hell’s finality is implausible. I argue that God (...) can and would make direct or indirect alterations in their character to give them new motivational reasons that re-enable their freedom to repent. Subsequently, I argue that it is probable that each damned person will be saved eventually, because there is a potential infinity of opportunities for free repentance. Thus, if the Free Will Explanation’s descriptions of hell and divine love are correct, it is highly probable that each person in hell escapes to heaven. (shrink)
This book critically analyses the basic questions regarding the principle of beneficence within its moral domain, to suggest and work out a more credible form of Principle of Beneficence. The Moral Quest for a More Credible Principle of Beneficence evolves from the common goodness of the three major confronting theories of ethics, i.e., Utilitarianism, Deontology, and Virtue Ethics. After analysing and exploring the common ground of the three views, the aim is to prescribe a more convincing form of the principle (...) of beneficence. -/- The book starts with a brief discussion of the principle of beneficence and then critically analyses previous views related to the principle of beneficence, virtue of benevolence, and their relationship, and proposes a more credible form of the Principle of Beneficence. The Moral Quest for a More Credible Principle of Beneficence aims to provide a significant contribution towards the theory of beneficence. (shrink)
Philosophers have long debated whether morality is objective. But how do lay people think about this matter? Folk Moral Objectivism: Volume 1, A Philosophical Perspective discusses the philosophical aspects of this question in an accessible, integrated and coherent way. The first part argues that many empirical studies have been unsuccessful in fully or exclusively measuring beliefs about moral objectivity. Still, there are a few lessons that can be drawn from them. Most importantly, lay people are not objectivists.
In this book, Charles Larmore develops an account of morality, freedom, and reason that rejects the naturalistic metaphysics shaping much of modern thought. Reason, Larmore argues, is responsiveness to reasons, and reasons themselves are essentially normative in character, consisting in the way that physical and psychological facts - facts about the world of nature - count in favor of possibilities of thought and action that we can take up. Moral judgments are true or false in virtue of the moral (...) reasons there are. We need therefore a more comprehensive metaphysics that recognizes a normative dimension to reality as well. Though taking its point of departure in the analysis of moral judgment, this book branches widely into related topics such as freedom and the causal order of the world, textual interpretation, the nature of the self, self-knowledge, and the concept of duties to ourselves. (shrink)
Are there objective moral truths, i.e. things that are morally right, wrong, good, or bad independently of what anybody thinks about them? To answer this question more and more scholars have recently turned to evidence from psychology, neuroscience, cultural anthropology, and evolutionary biology. This book investigates this novel scientific approach in a comprehensive, empirically-focused, and partly meta-theoretical way. It suggests that while it is possible for the empirical sciences to contribute to the moral realism/anti-realism debate, most arguments that have so (...) far been proposed fail (because they misrepresent, cherry-pick, or overlook the invalidity of (parts of) the available scientific evidence). The book’s main chapters address five prominent science-based arguments for or against the existence of objective moral truths: the argument from moral disagreement, the evolutionary debunking argument, the sentimentalist argument, the presumptive argument, and the projectivist argument. Thomas Pölzler investigates in which sense the underlying empirical hypotheses would have to be true in order for these arguments to work, and then shows how the available scientific evidence fails to support them. Finally, he makes suggestions as to how to test these hypotheses in a more valid way. Moral Reality and the Empirical Sciences is an important contribution to the moral realism/anti-realism debate that will appeal to philosophers and scientists interested in moral psychology and metaethics. (shrink)
Moral Luck centres on questions of moral philosophy and the theory of rational action. That whole area has of course been strikingly reinvigorated over the last decade, and philosophers have both broadened and deepened their concerns in a way that now makes much earlier moral and political philosophy look sterile and trivial.
C.D. Broad’s Reflections stands out as one of the few serious examinations of Moral Sense Theory in twentieth century analytic philosophy. It also constitutes an excellent discussion of the interconnections that allegedly exist between questions concerning what Broad calls the ‘logical analysis’ of moral judgments and questions about their epistemology. In this paper I make three points concerning the interconnectedness of the analytical and epistemological elements of versions of Moral Sense Theory. First, I make a general point about Broad’s association (...) between the Naïve Realist Moral Sense Theory (an epistemological view) and Objectivist Moral Sense Theory (a ‘logical analysis’). Second, I raise doubts about one of Broad’s arguments that Trans-Subjectivist Moral Sense Theory (logical analysis) can account for the apparent synthetic necessity of general moral propositions (epistemological). Third, I briefly discuss a view about logical analysis that should be of interest to contemporary Moral Sense Theorists – Neo-Sentimentalism – and respond to an argument whose conclusion is that this analysis is incompatible with a particular kind of epistemological view. (shrink)
Shared views regarding the moral respect which is owed to children in family life are used as a guide in determining the moral permissibility of nontherapeutic clinical research procedures involving children. The comparison suggests that it is not appropriate to seek assent from the preadolescent child. The analogy with interventions used in family life is similarly employed to specify the permissible limit of risk to which children may be exposed in nontherapeutic research procedures. The analysis indicates that recent writers misconceive (...) how certain moral principles, such as respect for personal autonomy, require us to act toward children. The results are also used to assess proposed federal regulations on research with children. (shrink)
Moral deliberation has been receiving more attention in nursing ethics. Several ethical conversation models have been developed. This article explores the feasibility of the so-called CARE (Considerations, Actions, Reasons, Experiences) model as a framework for moral deliberation in psychiatric nursing practice. This model was used in combination with narrative and dialogical approaches to foster discourse between various stakeholders about coercion in a closed admission clinic in a mental hospital in the Netherlands. The findings demonstrate that the CARE model provides a (...) substantial framework for structuring moral deliberations. Narratives and dialogue are useful tools for broadening issues in conversations, to engage various stakeholders (including patients), and to gain shared understandings. (shrink)
People disagree about whether “moral facts” are objective facts like mathematical truths (moral realism) or simply products of the human mind (moral antirealism). What is the impact of different meta-ethical views on actual behavior? In Experiment 1, a street canvasser, soliciting donations for a charitable organization dedicated to helping impoverished children, primed passersby with realism or antirealism. Participants primed with realism were twice as likely to be donors, compared to control participants and participants primed with antirealism. In Experiment 2, online (...) participants primed with realism as opposed to antirealism reported being willing to donate more money to a charity of their choice. Considering the existence of non-negotiable moral facts may have raised the stakes and motivated participants to behave better. These results therefore reveal the impact of meta-ethics on everyday decision-making: priming a belief in moral realism improved moral behavior. (shrink)
Arguably his most famous book, Moral Man and Immoral Society is Reinhold Niebuhr's important early study in ethics and politics. Widely read and continually relevant, this book marked Niebuhr's decisive break from progressive religion and politics toward a more deeply tragic view of human nature and history. Forthright and realistic, Moral Man and Immoral Society argues that individual morality is intrinsically incompatible with collective life, thus making social and political conflict inevitable. Niebuhr further discusses our inability to imagine the (...) realities of collective power; the brutal behavior of human collectives of every sort; and, ultimately, how individual morality can mitigate the persistence of social immorality. This new edition includes a foreword by Cornel West that explores the continued interest in Niebuhr's thought and its contemporary relevance. (shrink)
My thesis is that any course in professional ethics —even in a philosophy department —is, all else equal, better without moral theory than with it. In defending this thesis, I shall return to a debate I had with Bernie Gert and Ed Harris a few years ago, itself the culmination of almost four decades of teaching professional ethics and more than two decades of teaching others to do the same. I am, I should make clear, not against moral theory (the (...) attempt to understand morality as a reasonable undertaking). Indeed, not only do I enjoy teaching a course in moral theory every few years and publish on the subject now and then, I would agree that, in principle, moral theory can not only enlighten students but also be useful to them, helping them to identify moral issues they might otherwise overlook, seek information they might otherwise not think relevant, and formulate courses of action that might otherwise not occur to them. My thesis is entirely practical: Given the time normally allotted to a course in professional ethics (45 or so classroom hours), moral theory will never be useful enough. There is always a less-timeconsuming way to do what moral theory can also do, leaving more room for other topics that a course in professional ethics should include. Moral theory is, therefore, always a waste of time in a professional-ethics course. (shrink)
Immanuel Kant’s notion of weakness or frailty warrants more attention, for it reveals much about his theory of motivation and general metaphysics of mind. As the first and least severe of the three grades of evil, frailty captures those cases where an agent fails to act on their avowed recognition that the moral law is the only legitimate determining ground of the will. The possibility of such cases raises many important questions that have yet to be settled by interpreters. Most (...) importantly, should we account for the failures of weakness by appealing to the activity of reason or sensibility? I will discuss this question in light of a tendency to adopt an overly dualistic reading of Kant’s moral psychology. Focusing on Kant’s remarks on weakness from the Religion and the Metaphysics of Morals, I argue that we should understand weakness as arising from the unique difficulties of sense-dependent judgment, rather than from self-deception, flagging commitment, or overwhelming desire. The resulting account offers a unified moral psychology capable of accommodating the many features of weakness that are difficult to reconcile on other readings. (shrink)
Brian Leiter draws on empirical psychology to defend a set of radical ideas from Nietzsche: there is no objectively true morality, there is no free will, no one is ever morally responsible, and our conscious thoughts play almost no significant role in our actions. Nietzsche emerges as not just a great philosopher but a prescient psychologist.
This book provides a rich, systematic, and accessible introduction to moral psychology, aimed at undergraduate philosophy and psychology majors. There are eight chapters, in addition to a short introduction, prospective conclusion, and extensive bibliography. The recipe for each chapter will be: a) to introduce a philosophical topic (e.g., altruism, virtue, preferences, rules) and some prominent positions on it, without assuming prior acquaintance on the part of the reader b) to canvass and explain the relevance of a particular domain of empirical (...) inquiry (e.g., evolutionary psychology, behavioral economics, neuroscience) to the topic c) to argue for some tentative conclusions about the topic d) to suggest further avenues for conceptual and empirical research The guiding theme of the book is that moral philosophy without psychological content is empty, whereas psychological investigation without philosophical insight is blind. Thus, I advocate a holistic approach that pictures moral psychology as a project of collaborative inquiry into the descriptive and normative aspects of the human condition. Ideally, students will come away from (a course built around) the book with the sense that, though philosophy may not be the queen of the sciences, its role is not merely to interpret scientific results. (shrink)