Collected and edited by Noah Levin -/- Table of Contents: -/- UNIT ONE: INTRODUCTION TO CONTEMPORARY ETHICS: TECHNOLOGY, AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, AND IMMIGRATION 1 The “Trolley Problem” and Self-Driving Cars: Your Car’s Moral Settings (Noah Levin) 2 What is Ethics and What Makes Something a Problem for Morality? (David Svolba) 3 Letter from the Birmingham City Jail (Martin Luther King, Jr) 4 A Defense of Affirmative Action (Noah Levin) 5 The Moral Issues of Immigration (B.M. Wooldridge) 6 The Ethics of our (...) Digital Selves (Noah Levin) -/- UNIT TWO: TORTURE, DEATH, AND THE “GREATER GOOD” 7 The Ethics of Torture (Martine Berenpas) 8 What Moral Obligations do we have (or not have) to Impoverished Peoples? (B.M. Wooldridge) 9 Euthanasia, or Mercy Killing (Nathan Nobis) 10 An Argument Against Capital Punishment (Noah Levin) 11 Common Arguments about Abortion (Nathan Nobis & Kristina Grob) 12 Better (Philosophical) Arguments about Abortion (Nathan Nobis & Kristina Grob) -/- UNIT THREE: PERSONS, AUTONOMY, THE ENVIRONMENT, AND RIGHTS 13 Animal Rights (Eduardo Salazar) 14 John Rawls and the “Veil of Ignorance” (Ben Davies) 15 Environmental Ethics: Climate Change (Jonathan Spelman) 16 Rape, Date Rape, and the “Affirmative Consent” Law in California (Noah Levin) 17 The Ethics of Pornography: Deliberating on a Modern Harm (Eduardo Salazar) 18 The Social Contract (Thomas Hobbes) -/- UNIT FOUR: HAPPINESS 19 Is Pleasure all that Matters? Thoughts on the “Experience Machine” (Prabhpal Singh) 20 Utilitarianism (J.S. Mill) 21 Utilitarianism: Pros and Cons (B.M. Wooldridge) 22 Existentialism, Genetic Engineering, and the Meaning of Life: The Fifths (Noah Levin) 23 The Solitude of the Self (Elizabeth Cady Stanton) 24 Game Theory, the Nash Equilibrium, and the Prisoner’s Dilemma (Douglas E. Hill) -/- UNIT FIVE: RELIGION, LAW, AND ABSOLUTE MORALITY 25 The Myth of Gyges and The Crito (Plato) 26 God, Morality, and Religion (Kristin Seemuth Whaley) 27 The Categorical Imperative (Immanuel Kant) 28 The Virtues (Aristotle) 29 Beyond Good and Evil (Friedrich Nietzsche) 30 Other Moral Theories: Subjectivism, Relativism, Emotivism, Intuitionism, etc. (Jan F. Jacko). (shrink)
The western consensus is that obese women are considered attractive by Afro-Americans and by many societies from nonwestern developing countries. This belief rests mainly on results of nonstandardized surveys dealing only with body weight and size, ignoring body fat distribution. The anatomical distribution of female body fat as measured by the ratio of waist to hip circumference (WHR) is related to reproductive age, fertility, and risk for various major diseases and thus might play a role in judgment of attractiveness. Previous (...) research (Singh 1993a, 1993b) has shown that in the United States Caucasian men and women judge female figures with feminine WHRs as attractive and healthy. To investigate whether young Indonesian and Afro-American men and women rate such figures similarly, female figures representing three body sizes (underweight, normal weight, and overweight) and four WHRs (two feminine and two masculine) were used. Results show that neither Indonesian nor Afro-American subjects judge overweight figures as attractive and healthy regardless of the size of WHR. They judged normal weight figures with feminine WHRs as most attractive, healthy, and youthful. The consensus on women’s attractiveness among Indonesian, Afro-American, and U.S. Caucasian male and female subjects suggests that various cultural groups have similar criteria for judging the ideal woman’s shape. (shrink)
Julietta Singh challenges the drive toward the mastery over self and others by showing how the forms of self-mastery advocated by anticolonial thinkers like Fanon and Gandhi unintentionally reproduced colonial logic, thereby leading her to argue for a more productive human subjectivity that is not centered on concepts of mastery.
It is shown how to identify potential signatures of noncommutative geometry within the decay spectrum of a muon in orbit near the event horizon of a microscopic Schwarzschild black hole. This possibility follows from a re-interpretation of Moffat’s nonsymmetric theory of gravity, first published in Phys. Rev. D 19:3554, 1979, where the antisymmetric part of the metric tensor manifests the hypothesized noncommutative geometric structure throughout the manifold. It is further shown that for a given sign convention, the predicted signatures counteract (...) the effects of curvature-induced muon stabilization predicted by Singh and Mobed in Phys. Rev. D 79:024026, 2009. While it is unclear whether evidence for noncommutative geometry may become observable anytime soon, this approach at least provides a useful direction for future quantum gravity research based on the ideas presented here. (shrink)
Blending classic wisdom with over 100 pop culture references, Singh whimsically switches the lens in this book from the traditional society teaching math to a new and bold math teaching society. With charming buoyancy and intimacy, he takes us on an emotional and surprising journey through the deepest goldmine of mathematics—our personal happiness.
The three works brought together in this collection explore Buddhism as a rich source of literary legend, an austere ethical guide, and a contemporary philosophy very relevant in the modern world in view of the resurgence of interest in the Buddha and his philosophy. Matthew T. Kapstein in his Introduction provides a concise historical overview of Buddhism in India and the renewal of interest in the Buddha s teachings and also situates the works in their proper contexts. Gautama Buddha by (...) Iqbal Singh views the life of the Buddha in the context of the eventful age in which he lived, keeping in mind the significant connection of the personality of Gautama and his understanding of the nature of human experience and destiny, the deeper problems of our age. The Dhammapada or the path of virtue is the founding text of Buddhist teaching. The verses of the Dhammapada are believed to have been the utterances of Gautama the Buddha himself. Presented here in both Pali and English this classic edition was translated, edited, and annotated by S. Radhakrishnan, one of India s foremost philosophers. The Philosophy of Religion by Arvind Sharma interrogates key philosophical issues such as the nature of evil, belief or disbelief in God, human destiny, immortality, karma, and reincarnation, from the perspective of Buddhist philosophy and compares them with the tenets of the Western-dominated philosophy of religion. (shrink)
Susanna Rinard has recently offered a new argument for pragmatism and against evidentialism. According to Rinard, evidentialists must hold that the rationality of belief is determined in a way that is different from how the rationality of other states is determined. She argues that we should instead endorse a view she calls Equal Treatment, according to which the rationality of all states is determined in the same way. In this paper, I show that Rinard’s claims are mistaken, and that evidentialism (...) is more theoretically virtuous than its opponents sometimes give it credit for. Not only does evidentialism not make an exception for belief, but it fits naturally into a unified, explanatorily powerful account of the rationality of intentional mental states. According to such an account, the rationality of all intentional mental states, including belief, is determined by the right kind of reasons for those states. Since the right kind of reasons for belief just are evidential considerations, this unified account entails evidentialism. I conclude, contra Rinard, that evidentialism can be situated within a general account of rationality that is at least as theoretically virtuous as pragmatism, if not more so. (shrink)
In business ethics, there is a large body of literature focusing on the conditions, factors, and influences in the ethical decision-making processes. This work builds upon the past critical reviews by updating and extending the literature review found in Craft’s :221–259, 2013) study, extending her literature review to include a total of 141 articles. Since past reviews have focused on categorizing results based upon various independent variables, we instead synthesize and look at the trends of these based upon the four (...) ethical decision making categories: Awareness, Behavior, Judgment, and Intention. We focus on the moderation and mediation effects found within these studies and provide an in-depth analysis of future trends. Furthermore, we also highlight key statistical and methodological concerns, outline overarching trends, and directions of future research in empirical ethical decision making. (shrink)
Qualitative studies are an important component of business ethics research. This large amount of research covers a wide array of factors and influences on ethical decision making published between 2004 and 2014. Following the methodology of past critical reviews, this work provides a synopsis of the diverse array of qualitative studies in ethical decision making within the business ethics literature. We highlight the distinct and investigative nature of qualitative research, synthesize and summarize findings, and suggest opportunities for future research. We (...) conclude with a recommendation for developing qualitative studies in business ethics and a call for an increased openness when considering this valuable and underrepresented strategy of inquiry. (shrink)
This article presents the results of a study that investigated the roles that religiosity and ones money ethic play in determining consumer attitudes/beliefs in various situations regarding questionable consumer practices. One dimension of religiosity – intrinsic religiousness – was studied. Four separate dimensions of a money ethic scale were initially examined, but only one was used in the final analyses. Results indicated that both intrinsic religiousness and one’s money ethic were significant determinants of most types of consumer ethical beliefs.
Early intervention aims to identify children or families at risk of poor health, and take preventative measures at an early stage, when intervention is more likely to succeed. EI is concerned with the just distribution of “life chances,” so that all children are given fair opportunity to realize their potential and lead a good life; EI policy design, therefore, invokes ethical questions about the balance of responsibilities between the state, society, and individuals in addressing inequalities. We analyze a corpus of (...) EI policy guidance to investigate explicit and implicit ethical arguments about who should be held morally responsible for safeguarding child health and well-being. We examine the implications of these claims and explore what it would mean to put the proposed policies into practice. We conclude with some remarks about the useful role that philosophical analysis can play in EI policy development. (shrink)
This article presents the results of a study that investigated the roles that one’s money ethic, religiosity and attitude toward business play in determining consumer attitudes/beliefs in various situations regarding questionable consumer practices. Two dimensions of religiosity – intrinsic and extrinsic religiousness – were studied. A global scale of money ethic was examined, as was a global measure of attitude toward business. Results indicate that both types of religiosity as well as one’s money ethic and attitude toward business were significant (...) determinants of at least some types of consumer ethical beliefs. (shrink)
This article presents the results of an exploratory study that investigated the role that religiosity plays in determining consumer attitudes/beliefs in various situations regarding questionable consumer practices. Two dimensions of religiosity – intrinsic and extrinsic religiousness – were studied. Results indicated that an intrinsic religiousness was a significant determinant of consumer ethical beliefs, but extrinsic religiousness was not related to those beliefs.
This article presents the results of a study that investigated the roles that one's money ethic, religiosity and attitude toward business play in determining consumer attitudes/beliefs in various situations regarding questionable consumer practices. Two dimensions of religiosity - intrinsic and extrinsic religiousness - were studied. A global scale of money ethic was examined, as was a global measure of attitude toward business. Results indicate that both types of religiosity as well as one's money ethic and attitude toward business were significant (...) determinants of at least some types of consumer ethical beliefs. (shrink)
The recent rise in ethical consumerism has seen increasing numbers of corporate brands project a socially responsible and ethical image. But does having a corporate brand that is perceived to be ethical have any influence on outcome variables of interest for its product brands? This study analyzes the relationship between perceived ethicality at a corporate level, and brand trust, brand affect and brand loyalty at a product level. A theoretical framework with hypothesized relationships is developed and tested in order to (...) answer the research question. Data have been collected for 45 product categories in the fast moving consumer goods sector using a panel of 4,027 Spanish consumers. The proposed relationships are tested using structural equations modeling. The results suggest there is a positive relationship between perceived ethicality of a brand and both brand trust and brand affect. Brand affect also positively influences brand trust. Further, brand trust and brand affect both show a positive relation with brand loyalty. The managerial and academic implications of the results are discussed. (shrink)
In the current socioeconomic environment, brands increasingly need to portray societal and ethical commitments at a corporate level, in order to remain competitive and improve their reputation. However, studies that relate business ethics to corporate brands are either purely conceptual or have been empirically conducted in relation to the field of products/goods. This is surprising because corporate brands are even more relevant in the services sector, due to the different nature of services, and the subsequent need to provide a consistent (...) high-quality customer experience across all the brand–customer interactions and touch-points. Thus, the purpose of this article is to study, at a corporate brand level and in the field of services, the effect of customer perceived ethicality of a brand on brand equity. The model is tested by structural equations, using data collected for eight service categories by means of a panel composed of 2179 customers. The test of measurement equivalence between these categories is conducted using generalizability theory. Confirmatory factor analysis marker technique is applied in order to check for common method variance. The results of the hypothesized model indicate that customer perceived ethicality has a positive, indirect impact on brand equity, through the mediators of brand affect and perceived quality. However, there is no empirical evidence for a direct effect of customer perceived ethicality on brand equity. (shrink)
Recent figures reported by KPMG confirm the growing prevalence of corporate codes of ethics globally. Svensson et al. (Bus Ethics 18:389–407, 2009 ) in surveys of the largest corporations in Australia, Canada, and Sweden found a similar trend. The increased prevalence of corporate codes of ethics has been accompanied by heightened research interest in various aspects of these documents, e.g., the contents and focus of the codes. However, there is a paucity of research examining the effectiveness of these documents and (...) the organizational infrastructure that accompany them. This study, based on a survey of Canada’s largest corporations, sought to empirically assess the determinants of the effectiveness of corporate codes of ethics by regressing managers’ perceptions of code effectiveness against various elements of ethics programs. It was found that, in a statistically significant model, eighteen independent variables explain 58.5% of the variance in the perceived effectiveness of corporate codes of ethics. (shrink)
We propose a framework for including information-processing bounds in rational analyses. It is an application of bounded optimality (Russell & Subramanian, 1995) to the challenges of developing theories of mechanism and behavior. The framework is based on the idea that behaviors are generated by cognitive mechanisms that are adapted to the structure of not only the environment but also the mind and brain itself. We call the framework computational rationality to emphasize the incorporation of computational mechanism into the definition of (...) rational action. Theories are specified as optimal program problems, defined by an adaptation environment, a bounded machine, and a utility function. Such theories yield different classes of explanation, depending on the extent to which they emphasize adaptation to bounds, and adaptation to some ecology that differs from the immediate local environment. We illustrate this variation with examples from three domains: visual attention in a linguistic task, manual response ordering, and reasoning. We explore the relation of this framework to existing “levels” approaches to explanation, and to other optimality-based modeling approaches. (shrink)
The use of Ritalin and other stimulant drug treatments for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) raises distinctive moral dilemmas for parents; these moral dilemmas have not been adequately addressed in the bioethics literature. This paper draws upon data from a qualitative empirical study to investigate parents' use of the moral ideal of authenticity as part of their narrative justifications for dosing decisions and actions. I show that therapeutic decisions and actions are embedded in valued cultural ideals about masculinity, self-actualization and success, (...) as well as in moral conceptions of authenticity and personal freedom. I argue that this investigation of parents' moral justifications and dosing dilemmas raises questions about the validity of authenticity as a transcendent moral principle. Moreover, this study demonstrates that in order to be relevant, bioethical analysis of neurocognitive enhancement must engage with ground-up studies of moral principles and decision-making in context. (shrink)
We present evidence that preschool children oftentimes understand disjunctive sentences as if they were conjunctive. The result holds for matrix disjunctions as well as disjunctions embedded under every. At the same time, there is evidence in the literature that children understand or as inclusive disjunction in downward-entailing contexts. We propose to explain this seemingly conflicting pattern of results by assuming that the child knows the inclusive disjunction semantics of or, and that the conjunctive inference is a scalar implicature. We make (...) two assumptions about implicature computation in the child: that children access only a proper subset of the adult alternatives, and that children possess the adult capacity to strengthen sentences with implicatures. As a consequence, children are expected to sometimes not compute any implicatures at all, but in other cases they are expected to compute an implicature that is different from the adult implicature. We argue that the child’s conjunctive strengthening of disjunctive sentences realizes the latter possibility: the adult infers that the conjunction is false but the child infers that the conjunction is true. This behaviour is predicted when our assumptions about child development are coupled with the assumption that a covert exhaustive operator is responsible for strengthening in both the child and the adult. Specifically, children’s conjunctive strengthening is predicted to follow from the same mechanism used by adults to compute conjunctive free choice implicatures in response to disjunctive permission sentences. We furthermore argue that this parallel between the child and the adult extends to disambiguation preferences. In particular, we present evidence that children prefer to strengthen disjunctions to conjunctions, in matrix and embedded positions ; this result mirrors previous findings that adults prefer to compute free choice, at the root and under every. We propose a disambiguation strategy that explains the preference for conjunctive strengthening – by both the child and the adult – even though there is no general preference for exhaustification. Specifically, we propose that the preference for a conjunctive strengthening follows from a pragmatic preference for a complete answer to the Question Under Discussion. (shrink)
This paper compares the findings of content analyses of the corporate codes of ethics of Canada’s largest corporations in 1992 and 2003. For both years, a modified version of a technique used in several other studies was used to determine and categorize the contents of the codes. It was found, inter alia, that, in 2003, as in 1992, more of the codes were concerned with conduct against the firm than with conduct on behalf of the firm. Among the changes from (...) 1992 to 2003 were a significant increase in the frequency of mention of environmental affairs, legal responsibility as the basis of codes and enforcement/compliance procedures. (shrink)
The Médecins Sans Frontières ethics review board has been solicited in an unprecedented way to provide advice and review research protocols in an ‘emergency’ mode during the recent Ebola epidemic. Twenty-seven Ebola-related study protocols were reviewed between March 2014 and August 2015, ranging from epidemiological research, to behavioural research, infectivity studies and clinical trials with investigational products at early development stages. This article examines the MSF ERB’s experience addressing issues related to both the process of review and substantive ethical issues (...) in this context. These topics include lack of policies regarding blood sample collection and use, and engaging communities regarding their storage and future use; exclusion of pregnant women from clinical and vaccine trials; and the difficulty of implementing timely and high-quality qualitative/anthropological research to consider potential upfront harms. Having noticed different standards across ethics committees, we propose that when multiple ethics reviews of clinical and vaccine trials are carried out during a public health emergency they should be accompanied by transparent communication between the ECs involved. The MSF ERB experience should trigger a broader discussion on the ‘optimal’ ethics review in an emergency outbreak and what enduring structural changes are needed to improve the ethics review process. (shrink)
The concept of corporate social responsibility is becoming integral to effective corporate brand management. This study adopts a multidimensional and cross-country perspective of the concept and analyses consumer perceptions of behaviour of four leading consumer products manufacturers. Data was collected from consumers in two countries – Spain and the UK. The study analyses consumers’ degree of interest in corporate responsibility and its impact on their perception about the company. The findings here suggest a weak impact of company-specific communication on consumers’ (...) perception. The implications of this study are relevant to companies for strengthening their social responsibility associations with the consumers. (shrink)
Porter and Kramer :78–92, 2006; Harv Bus Rev 89, 62–77, 2011) introduced ‘shared value’ as a ‘new conception of capitalism,’ claiming it is a powerful driver of economic growth and reconciliation between business and society. The idea has generated strong interest in business and academia; however, its theoretical precepts have not been rigorously assessed. In this paper, we provide a systematic and thorough analysis of shared value, focusing on its ontological and epistemological properties. Our review highlights that ‘shared value’ has (...) spread into the language of multiple disciplines, but that its current conceptualization is vague, and it presents important discrepancies in the way it is defined and operationalized, such that it is more of a buzzword than a substantive concept. It also overlaps with many other concepts and lacks empirical grounding. We offer recommendations for defining and measuring the concept, take a step toward disentangling it from related concepts, and identify relevant theories and research methods that would facilitate extending the knowledge frontier on shared value. (shrink)
Academic research studies examining the ethical attitudes and behaviors of salespeople have produced several frameworks that explore the ethical decision-making processes to which salespeople adhere when faced with ethical dilemmas. Past literature enriches our understanding; however, a critical review of the relevant literature suggests that an emotional route to salesperson ethical decision-making has yet to be explored. Given the fact that individuals’ emotional capacities play an important role in decision-making when faced with an ethical dilemma, there is a need for (...) empirical research in this area. We address this issue by outlining and testing an emotion-based model to study the ethical attitudes and behaviors of salespeople in a relational selling context. Building on the cognitive-affective model proposed by Gaudine and Thorne (J Bus Ethics 31:175–187, 2001 ), we outline a framework that incorporates higher order prosocial emotions: capacity for concern and capacity for guilt. We include salesperson’s role clarity within the organization as a moderator to examine person–situation interaction. (shrink)
In order to be competitive in an era of ethical consumerism, brands are facing an ever-increasing pressure to integrate ethical values into their identities and to display their ethical commitment at a corporate level. Nevertheless, studies that relate business ethics to corporate brands are either theoretical or have predominantly been developed empirically in goods contexts. This is surprising, because corporate brands are more relevant in services settings, given the nature of services, and the fact that services settings comprise a greater (...) number of customer–brand interactions and touch points than goods contexts. Accordingly, the purpose of this article is to empirically examine the effects of customer perceived ethicality of corporate brands that operate in the services sector. Based on data collected for eight service categories using a panel of 2179 customers, the hypothesized structural model is tested using path analysis. The generalizability theory is applied to test for measurement equivalence between these categories. The results of the hypothesized model show that, in addition to a direct impact, customer perceived ethicality has a positive and indirect impact on brand equity, through the mediators of recognition benefits and brand image. Moreover, brand heritage negatively influences the impact of customer perceived ethicality on brand image. The main implication is that managers need to be aware of the need to reinforce brand image and recognition benefits, as this can facilitate the translation of customer perceived ethicality into brand equity. (shrink)
This paper primarily reports the findings of content analyses of seventy-five codes of ethics ofFinancial Post 500 corporations. The contents of each code were comprehensively evaluated along sixty-one criteria according to four levels. It was found that the focus of these codes was the protection of the firm. While some of them refer to issues of social responsibility, they are principally concerned with conduct against the firm.
There has been growing scholarly interest in understanding individual-level antecedents of counterproductive workplace behavior (CWB). While researchers have found a positive relationship between individuals’ negative affect and engagement in CWB, to date, our understanding of the factors which may affect this relationship is limited. In this study, we investigate the moderating roles of moral disengagement and gender in this relationship. Consistent with our hypotheses, we found that individuals with a greater tendency to experience negative emotions were more likely to engage (...) in CWB when they had a higher propensity to morally disengage. Moreover, we found that this interacting relationship varied across men and women. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of our findings and offer avenues for future research. (shrink)
Maximize Presupposition! is an economy condition that adjudicates between contextually equivalent competing structures. Building on data discovered by O. Percus, I will argue that the constraint is checked in the local contexts of embedded constituents. I will argue that this architecture leads to a general solution to the problem of antipresupposition projection, and also allows I. Heim’s ‘Novelty/Familiarity Condition’ to be eliminated as a constraint on operations of context change.
In this article, I examine children's reported experiences with stimulant drug treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in light of bioethical arguments about the potential threats of psychotropic drugs to authenticity and moral agency. Drawing on a study that involved over 150 families in the USA and the UK, I show that children are able to report threats to authenticity, but that the majority of children are not concerned with such threats. On balance, children report that stimulants improve their capacity (...) for moral agency, and they associate this capacity with an ability to meet normative expectations. I argue that although under certain conditions stimulant drug treatment may increase the risk of a threat to authenticity, there are ways to minimise this risk and to maximise the benefits of stimulant drug treatment. Medical professionals in particular should help children to flourish with stimulant drug treatments, in good and in bad conditions. (shrink)
In the past few decades, a growth in ethical consumerism has led brands to increasingly develop conscientiousness and depict ethical image at a corporate level. However, most of the research studying business ethics in the field of corporate brand management is either conceptual or has been empirically conducted in relation to goods/products contexts. This is surprising because corporate brands are more relevant in services contexts, because of the distinct nature of services and the key role that employees have in the (...) services sector. Accordingly, this article aims at empirically examining the effects of customer perceived ethicality in the context of corporate services brands. Based on data collected for eight service categories using a panel of 2179 customers, the hypothesized structural model is tested using path analysis. The results show that, in addition to a direct effect, customer perceived ethicality has a positive and indirect effect on customer loyalty, through the mediators of customer affective commitment and customer perceived quality. Further, employee empathy positively influences the impact of customer perceived ethicality on customer affective commitment, and customer loyalty positively impacts customer positive word-of-mouth. The first implication of these results is that corporate brand strategy needs to be aligned with human resources policies and practices if brands want to turn ethical strategies into employee behavior. Second, corporate brands should build more authentic communications grounded in their ethical beliefs and supported by evidence from actual employees. (shrink)
In this paper, I defend an account of the reasons for which we act, believe, and so on for any Ф such that there can be reasons for which we Ф. Such reasons are standardly called motivating reasons. I argue that three dominant views of motivating reasons all fail to capture the ordinary concept of a motivating reason. I show this by drawing out three constraints on what motivating reasons must be, and demonstrating how each view fails to satisfy at (...) least one of these constraints. I then propose and defend my own account of motivating reasons, which I call the Guise of Normative Reasons Account. On the account I defend, motivating reasons are propositions. A proposition is the reason for which someone Ф-s when she represents that proposition as a normative reason to Ф, and her representation explains, in the right way, her Ф-ing. As I argue, the Guise of Normative Reasons Account satisfies all three constraints on what motivating reasons must be, and weathers several objections that might be leveled against propositionalist views. (shrink)
Biobanks are precariously situated at the intersection of science, genetics, genomics, society, ethics, the law and politics. This multi-disciplinarity has given rise to a new discourse in health research involving diverse stakeholders. Each stakeholder is embedded in a unique context and articulates his/her biobanking activities differently. To researchers, biobanks carry enormous transformative potential in terms of advancing scientific discovery and knowledge. However, in the context of power asymmetries in Africa and a distrust in science born out of historical exploitation, researchers (...) must balance the scientific imperative of collecting, storing and sharing high quality biological samples with obligations to donors/participants, communities, international collaborators, regulatory and ethics authorities. To date, researcher perspectives on biobanking in South Africa have not been explored and documented. In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of 21 researchers – 8 in the Western Cape, 3 in Gauteng and 10 in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Interviews lasted approximately 40–60 min and were audiotaped with consent. Thematic analysis of the transcribed interviews was conducted by the co-authors. Researchers articulated serious concerns over standardised regulatory approaches that failed to consider the heterogeneity of biobanks. Given that biobanks differ considerably, guidelines and RECs need to stratify risk accordingly and governance processes and structures must be flexible. While RECs were regarded as an important component of the governance structure researchers expressed concern about their expertise in biobanking. Operational management of biobanks was regarded as an ethical imperative and a pre-requisite to building trust during consent processes. While broad general consent was preferred, tiered consent was thought to be more consistent with respect for autonomy and building trust. Material Transfer Agreements were often lacking when biosamples were exported and this was perceived to impact negatively on trust. On the other hand, researchers believed that authentic community engagement would help to build trust. Building trust will best be achieved via a system of governance structures and processes that precede the establishment of a biobank and monitor progress from the point of sample collection through to future use, including export. Such governance structures must be robust and must include comprehensive national legislation, policy and contextualised guidelines. Currently such governance infrastructure appears to be lacking in many African countries including South Africa. Capacity development of all stakeholders including REC members will enhance expeditious and efficient review of biobanking protocols which in turn will reinforce trust in the researcher-donor relationship. Science translation and community engagement in biobanking is integral to the success of biobanking in South Africa. (shrink)
There has been increased interest in the “dark side” of organizational behavior in recent decades. Workplace bullying, in particular, has received growing attention in the social sciences literature. However, this literature has lacked an integrated approach. More specifically, few studies have investigated causes at levels beyond the individual, such as the group or organization. Extending victim precipitation theory, we present a conceptual model of workplace bullying incorporating factors at the individual-, dyadic-, group-, and organizational-levels. Based on our theoretical model, a (...) number of propositions are offered which emphasize an interactionist, multi-level approach. This approach provides a valuable stepping stone and framework to guide future empirical research. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed. (shrink)