Corporate social responsibility is a recognised and common part of business activity. Some of the regularly cited motives behind CSR are employee morale, recruitment and retention, with employees acknowledged as a key organisational stakeholder. Despite the significance of employees in relation to CSR, relatively few studies have examined their engagement with CSR and the impediments relevant to this engagement. This exploratory case study-based research addresses this paucity of attention, drawing on one to one interviews and observation in a large UK (...) energy company. A diversity of engagement was found, ranging from employees who exhibited detachment from the CSR activities within the company, to those who were fully engaged with the CSR activities, and to others who were content with their own personal, but not organisational, engagement with CSR. A number of organisational context impediments, including poor communication, a perceived weak and low visibility of CSR culture, and lack of strategic alignment of CSR to business and personal objectives, served to explain this diversity of employee engagement. Social exchange theory is applied to help explore the volition that individual employees have towards their engagement with CSR activities, and to consider the implications of an implicit social, rather than explicit economic, contract between an organisation and its employees in their engagement with CSR. (shrink)
G. E. Moore's ‘A Defence of Common Sense’ has generated the kind of interest and contrariety which often accompany what is new, provocative, and even important in philosophy. Moore himself reportedly agreed with Wittgenstein's estimate that this was his best article, while C. D. Broad has lamented its very great but largely unfortunate influence. Although the essay inspired Wittgenstein to explore the basis of Moore's claim to know many propositions of common sense to be true, A. J. Ayer judges its (...) enduring value to lie in provoking a more sophisticated conception of the very type of metaphysics which disputes any such unqualified claim of certainty. (shrink)
This study represents an improvement in the ethics scales inventory published in a 1988 Journal of Business Ethics article. The article presents the distillation and validation process whereby the original 33 item inventory was reduced to eight items. These eight items comprise the following ethical dimensions: a moral equity dimension, a relativism dimension, and a contractualism dimension. The multidimensional ethics scale demonstrates significant predictive ability.
This essay explores the role of informal logicand its application in the context of currentdebates regarding evidence-based medicine. This aim is achieved through a discussion ofthe goals and objectives of evidence-basedmedicine and a review of the criticisms raisedagainst evidence-based medicine. Thecontributions to informal logic by StephenToulmin and Douglas Walton are explicated andtheir relevance for evidence-based medicine isdiscussed in relation to a common clinicalscenario: hypertension management. This essayconcludes with a discussion on the relationshipbetween clinical reasoning, rationality, andevidence. It is argued that (...) informal logic hasthe virtue of bringing explicitness to the roleof evidence in clinical reasoning, and bringssensitivity to understanding the role ofdialogical context in the need for evidence inclinical decision making. (shrink)
Evidence based medicine has been a topic of considerable controversy in medical and health care circles over its short lifetime, because of the claims made by its exponents about the criteria used to assess the evidence for or against the effectiveness of medical interventions. The central epistemological debates underpinning the debates about evidence based medicine are reviewed by this paper, and some areas are suggested where further work remains to be done. In particular, further work is needed on the theory (...) of evidence and inference; causation and correlation; clinical judgment and collective knowledge; the structure of medical theory; and the nature of clinical effectiveness. (shrink)
The thesis of this article is that there has never been any ground for the controversy between the doctrine of free will and determinism, that it is based upon a misapprehension, that the two assertions are entirely consistent, that one of them strictly implies the other, that they have been opposed only because of our natural want of the analytical imagination. In so saying I do not tamper with the meaning of either phrase. That would be unpardonable. I mean free (...) will in the natural and usual sense, in the fullest, the most absolute sense in which for the purposes of the personal and moral life the term is ever employed. I mean it as implying responsibility, merit and demerit, guilt and desert. I mean it as implying, after an act has been performed, that one " could have done otherwise " than one did. I mean it as conveying these things also, not in any subtly modified sense but in exactly the sense in which we conceive them in life and in law and in ethics. These two doctrines have been opposed because we have not realised that free will can be analysed without being destroyed, and that determinism is merely a feature of the analysis of it. And if we are tempted to take refuge in the thought of an "ultimate ", an "innermost" liberty that eludes the analysis, then we have implied a deterministic basis and constitution for this liberty as well. For such a basis and constitution lie in the idea of liberty. -/- The thesis is not, like that of Green or Bradley, that the contending opinions are reconciled if we adopt a certain metaphysic of the ego, as that it is timeless, and identifies itself with a desire by a " timeless act". This is to say that the two are irreconcilable, as they are popularly supposed to be, except by a theory that delivers us from the conflict by taking us out of time. Our view on the contrary is that from the natural and temporal point of view itself there never was any need of a reconciliation but only of a comprehension of the meaning of terms. (The metaphysical nature of the self and its identity through time is a problem for all who confront memory, anticipation, etc.; it has no peculiar difficulties arising from the present problem.) -/- I am not maintaining that determinism is true; only that it is true insofar as we have free will. That we are free in willing is, broadly speaking, a fact of experience. That broad fact is more assured than any philosophical analysis. It is therefore surer than the deterministic analysis of it, entirely adequate as that in the end appears to be. But it is not here affirmed that there are no small exceptions, no slight undetermined swervings, no ingredient of absolute chance. All that is here said is that such absence of determination, if and so far as it exists, is no gain to freedom, but sheer loss of it; no advantage to the moral life, but blank subtraction from it. -- When I speak below of "the indeterminist" I mean the libertarian indeterminist, that is, him who believes in free will and holds that it involves indetermination. (shrink)
“To whom is the Consecration of Medal, Stature or even Pyramid more jusly due, than to … the late Illustraious Boyle? … for the happy Improvement of Otto Guericks Magdeburg Exhausterm and for his Profound and Noble Researches into all the abstruser Parts and Recesses of the most useful Philosophy … I have named the Illustrious Boyle, and fix his Trophy here.”John Evelyn, Numismata, 1697.
Background: Patient autonomy has been promoted as the most important principle to guide difficult clinical decisions. To examine whether practising physicians indeed value patient autonomy above other considerations, physicians were asked to weight patient autonomy against three other criteria that often influence doctors’ decisions. Associations between physicians’ religious characteristics and their weighting of the criteria were also examined. Methods: Mailed survey in 2007 of a stratified random sample of 1000 US primary care physicians, selected from the American Medical Association masterfile. (...) Physicians were asked how much weight should be given to the following: (1) the patient’s expressed wishes and values, (2) the physician’s own judgment about what is in the patient’s best interest, (3) standards and recommendations from professional medical bodies and (4) moral guidelines from religious traditions. Results: Response rate 51% (446/879). Half of physicians (55%) gave the patient’s expressed wishes and values “the highest possible weight”. In comparative analysis, 40% gave patient wishes more weight than the other three factors, and 13% ranked patient wishes behind some other factor. Religious doctors tended to give less weight to the patient’s expressed wishes. For example, 47% of doctors with high intrinsic religious motivation gave patient wishes the “highest possible weight”, versus 67% of those with low (OR 0.5; 95% CI 0.3 to 0.8). Conclusions: Doctors believe patient wishes and values are important, but other considerations are often equally or more important. This suggests that patient autonomy does not guide physicians’ decisions as much as is often recommended in the ethics literature. (shrink)
This paper explores the relationship between concepts of probability and hermeneutics. It seeks to examine the relationship between subjective (Bayesian) views of probability and hermeneutic descriptions of understanding. It is argued that Gadamer'saccount of the prejudicial nature of understanding, derived from Heidegger'sanalysis of foreunderstanding, offers a provocative model of clinical reasoning. The implications of this model for evidence-based medicine are discussed in conclusion.
Hume's is/ought distinction has long limited the role of empirical research in ethics, saying that data about what something is cannot yield conclusions about the way things ought to be. However, interest in empirical research in ethics has been growing despite this countervailing principle. We attribute some of this increased interest to a conceptual breakdown of the is/ought distinction. MacIntyre, in reviewing the history of the is/ought distinction, argues that is and ought are not strictly separate realms but exist in (...) a close relationship that is clarified by adopting a teleological orientation. We propose that, instead of recovering a teleological orientation, society tends to generate its own goals via democratic methods like those described by Rousseau or adopt agnosticism about teleology such as described by Richard Rorty. In both latter scenarios, the distinction between is and ought is obscured, and the role for empirical research grows, but for controversial reasons. MacIntyre warns that the is/ought distinction should remain, but reminds ethicists to make careful arguments about when and why it is legitimate to move from is to ought. (shrink)
David Benatar argues that coming into existence is always a harm, and that – for all of us unfortunate enough to have come into existence – it would be better had we never come to be. We contend that if one accepts Benatar’s arguments for the asymmetry between the presence and absence of pleasure and pain, and the poor quality of life, one must also accept that suicide is preferable to continued existence, and that his view therefore implies both anti-natalism (...) and pro-mortalism. This conclusion has been argued for before by Elizabeth Harman – she takes it that because Benatar claims that our lives are ‘awful’, it follows that ‘we would be better off to kill ourselves’. Though we agree with Harman’s conclusion, we think that her argument is too quick, and that Benatar’s arguments for non-pro-mortalism deserve more serious consideration than she gives them. We make our case using a tripartite structure. We start by examining the prima facie case for the claim that pro-mortalism follows from Benatar’s position, presenting his response to the contrary, and furthering the dialectic by showing that Benatar’s position is not just that coming into existence is a harm, but that existence itself is a harm. We then look to Benatar’s treatment of the Epicurean line, which is important for him as it undermines his anti-death argument for non-pro-mortalism. We demonstrate that he fails to address the concern that the Epicurean line raises, and that he cannot therefore use the harm of death as an argument for non-pro-mortalism. Finally, we turn to Benatar’s ro-life argument for non-pro-mortalism, built upon his notion of interests, and argue that while the interest in continued existence may indeed have moral relevance, it is almost always irrational. Given that neither Benatar’s anti-death nor pro-life arguments for non-pro-mortalism work, we conclude that pro-mortalism follows from his anti-natalism, As such, if it is better never to have been, then it is better no longer to be. (shrink)
Francis Fukuyama, in his Our Posthuman Future, and Gregory Stock, in his Redesigning Humans, present competing versions of the biomedical future of human beings, and debate the merits of more or less stringent regimes of regulation for biomedical innovation. In this article, these positions are shown to depend on a shared discourse of market liberalism, which limits both the range of ends for such innovation discussed by the authors, and the scope of their policy analyses and proposals. A proper evaluation (...) of the human significance and policy imperatives for biomedical innovation needs to be both more utopian in its imagination, and more sophisticated in its political economy. In essence, the Fukuyama/Stock debate tells us more about current US political ideology than it does about the morality of human genetic and biopsychological engineering. (shrink)
Shoemaker (1996) presented a priori arguments against the possibility of ‘self-blindness’, or the inability of someone, otherwise intelligent and possessed of mental concepts, to introspect any of her concurrent attitude states. Ironically enough, this seems to be a position that Gopnik (1993) and Carruthers (2006, 2008, 2009a,b) have proposed as not only possible, but as the actual human condition generally! According to this ‘Objectivist’ view, supposed introspection of one's attitudes is not ‘direct’, but an ‘inference’ of precisely the sort we (...) make about the attitudes of others, an inference that has the advantage in our own case of only our own sensory data and memories, our behavior, and of the context we are in; i.e. we are all substantially self- blind. After sorting out a number of methodological and verbal issues, I argue, first, that the a priori arguments against Objectivism don't succeed, and that Gopnik and Carruthers are right to regard the issue as an empirical one. On the other hand, I think they seriously underestimate the difficulty of establishing Objectivism. It is unlikely there is an inferential procedure from the data of pure sensation, behavior and context to the relevant self-attributions that would be as spectacularly reliable as people manifestly seem to be. Moreover, there is a simpler model: the mind very likely consists of a panoply of sub-routines some of whose outputs are ‘tagged’ for their having been so processed, rather in the way that software ‘documents’ are on standard computers. Introspection plausibly consists in a person's simply attending to distinctive constellations of these tags, even though they may lack phenomenal feels. This draws attention to an important independent fact: that much of phenomenology (or ‘what it's like’ to be in a certain state) may be constituted by facts that are not phenomenal. (shrink)
When denial of medical treatment is being used as a lever to move people out of the country, ethicists and healthcare professionals should speak out.An ugly feature of political life throughout the Western world, and beyond, is the suspicion towards, and maltreatment of, migrants from poor to rich countries. People who would otherwise be horrified at being labelled racist nevertheless find it acceptable to support practices which can range from stigmatisation to confinement in brutalising conditions in “reception” and “removal” centres.1–5An (...) hour spent searching through government and NGO websites concerned with the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees in developed world countries is an hour well spent – but profoundly depressing. This is not only because of the frankly Orwellian language used by the governments of the UK and Australia , or because of the conditions and treatment meted out, but also because of the apparent support these practices have among the voting public. In the pointedly optimistic reports of Her Majesty’s Inspector of Prisons, for example, one can find praise for the fact …. (shrink)
As health care embraces the tenets of evidence-based medicine it is important to ask questions about how evidence is produced and interpreted. This essay explores normative dimensions of evidence production, particularly around issues of setting the tolerable level of uncertainty of results. Four specific aspects are explored: what health care providers know about statistics, why alpha levels have been set at 0.05, the role of randomization in the generation of sufficient grounds of belief, and the role of observational studies. The (...) essay concludes with recommendations to acknowledge the value permeation of outcome measures and suggests that attention to reasoning and argument analysis can augment traditional evidence-based approaches in providing a robust critical approach to medical knowledge. (shrink)
In this philosophy classic, which was first published in 1951, E. R. Dodds takes on the traditional view of Greek culture as a triumph of rationalism. Using the analytical tools of modern anthropology and psychology, Dodds asks, "Why should we attribute to the ancient Greeks an immunity from 'primitive' modes of thought which we do not find in any society open to our direct observation?" Praised by reviewers as "an event in modern Greek scholarship" and "a book which it would (...) be difficult to over-praise," _The Greeks and the Irrational _was Volume 25 of the Sather Classical Lectures series. (shrink)
This is a translation of Carnap's early classic, Der Logische Aufbau der Welt and his less technical but also important article from the same period, Scheinprobleme in der Philosophie. It is no secret that Carnap abandoned the phenomenalism of the Aufbau for the physicalism of Logische Syntax der Sprache, but there is no doubt that the real message of the Aufbau—which is punctuated with the Messianic spirit of early logical positivism—is the program of "rational reconstruction" which becomes, on an inverted (...) reading and with the addition of a bias in favor of the universal descriptive and explanatory power of scientific discourse, the program of scientific reductionism. In this light, the continuities between the Aufbau and Carnap's later work completely dwarf in importance the discrepancies between these two periods of his creative output. The Aufbau remains an important book in its own right, and is not simply a detailed manifesto of a now defunct program; it is a pleasure to have it in English.—E. A. R. (shrink)
Evaluation of the potential of a cocaine vaccine requires a detailed understanding of the intended and unintended social consequences of its use. Prospective technology assessment is always difficult, but in the case of treatment and prevention of cocaine addiction we need to understand not only the neuroscience and pharmacology of cocaine addiction, but also social attitudes to drug use and addiction, the social context of drug use, and the factors which make drug use a rational strategy for an addict and (...) make treatment seeking or relapse more or less likely. By considering different scenarios related to differing levels of effectiveness of the vaccine, the authors argue that vaccination will be at best a useful adjunct to existing methods of treatment, rather than a substitute for them. (shrink)
No one is excused from doing what he ought to do merely because he is unwilling to do it. But what if others are unwilling to play their necessary role in some joint venture that you all ought to undertake: might that excuse you from doing what you yourself ought to do as part of that? It would, if you were genuinely willing to play your necessary part if they were. But the unwillingness of everyone involved cannot reciprocally serve to (...) excuse one another from doing what they ought to do. (shrink)
This is a comprehensive study of the English word 'or', and the logical operators variously proposed to present its meaning. Although there are indisputably disjunctive uses of or in English, it is a mistake to suppose that logical disjunction represents its core meaning. 'Or' is descended from the Anglo-Saxon word meaning second, a form which survives in such expressions as "every other day." Its disjunctive uses arise through metalinguistic applications of an intermediate adverbial meaning which is conjunctive rather than disjunctive (...) in character. These conjunctive uses have puzzled philosophers and logicians, and have been discussed extensively under such headings as "free choice permission." This study examines the textbook myths that have clouded our understanding of how or and other "logical" vocabulary comes to have something approaching its logical meaning in natural languages. It considers the various historical conceptions of disjunction and its place in logic from the Stoics to the present day. (shrink)