In God, Morality, and Beauty, Randall B. Bush argues that a Trinitarian vision of reality, combined with the disciplines of aesthetics and ethics, is the most satisfactory way to address questions pertaining to the philosophy of value that are currently being debated in the social sciences and humanities.
Aristotle’s Politics: Living Well and Living Together, Eugene Garver’s third book on key texts of the Aristotelian corpus, charts the relationship between politics and philosophy through careful detailing of Aristotle’s text. In other words, Garver reads the Politics for us. This is an achievement in itself given the gravity of both Garver’s and Aristotle’s thinking. Garver’s reading elaborates the arguments of the Politics in order to establish a claim for what he calls “political philosophy.” His reading offers a methodological defense (...) for a form of thinking that is itself not necessarily either “practical” or “political,” at least as scholars of rhetoric would tend to understand these terms. But Garver gives us .. (shrink)
Applied Christian Ethics addresses selected themes in Christian social ethics. Part one shows the roots of contributors in the realist school; part two focuses on different levels of the significance of economics for social justice; and part three deals with both existential experience and government policy in war and peace issues.
Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is a part of the brain's limbic system. Classically, this region has been related to affect, on the basis of lesion studies in humans and in animals. In the late 1980s, neuroimaging research indicated that ACC was active in many studies of cognition. The findings from EEG studies of a focal area of negativity in scalp electrodes following an error response led to the idea that ACC might be the brain's error detection and correction device. In (...) this article, these various findings are reviewed in relation to the idea that ACC is a part of a circuit involved in a form of attention that serves to regulate both cognitive and emotional processing. Neuroimaging studies showing that separate areas of ACC are involved in cognition and emotion are discussed and related to results showing that the error negativity is influenced by affect and motivation. In addition, the development of the emotional and cognitive roles of ACC are discussed, and how the success of this regulation in controlling responses might be correlated with cingulate size. Finally, some theories are considered about how the different subdivisions of ACC might interact with other cortical structures as a part of the circuits involved in the regulation of mental and emotional activity. (shrink)
In the popular misconception fostered by blockbuster action movies and best-selling thrillers--not to mention conventional explanations by social scientists--violence is easy under certain conditions, like poverty, racial or ideological hatreds, or family pathologies. Randall Collins challenges this view in Violence, arguing that violent confrontation goes against human physiological hardwiring. It is the exception, not the rule--regardless of the underlying conditions or motivations. -/- Collins gives a comprehensive explanation of violence and its dynamics, drawing upon video footage, cutting-edge forensics, and (...) ethnography to examine violent situations up close as they actually happen--and his conclusions will surprise you. Violence comes neither easily nor automatically. Antagonists are by nature tense and fearful, and their confrontational anxieties put up a powerful emotional barrier against violence. Collins guides readers into the very real and disturbing worlds of human discord--from domestic abuse and schoolyard bullying to muggings, violent sports, and armed conflicts. He reveals how the fog of war pervades all violent encounters, limiting people mostly to bluster and bluff, and making violence, when it does occur, largely incompetent, often injuring someone other than its intended target. Collins shows how violence can be triggered only when pathways around this emotional barrier are presented. He explains why violence typically comes in the form of atrocities against the weak, ritualized exhibitions before audiences, or clandestine acts of terrorism and murder--and why a small number of individuals are competent at violence. (shrink)
This study examines the impact of a social desirability response bias as a personality characteristic (self-deception and impression management) and as an item characteristic (perceived desirability of the behavior) on self-reported ethical conduct. Findings from a sample of college students revealed that self-reported ethical conduct is associated with both personality and item characteristics, with perceived desirability of behavior having the greatest influence on self-reported conduct. Implications for research in business ethics are drawn, and suggestions are offered for reducing the effects (...) of a socially desirable response bias. (shrink)
Recent research on the metaethical beliefs of ordinary people appears to show that they are metaethical pluralists that adopt different metaethical standards for different moral judgments. Yet the methods used to evaluate folk metaethical belief rely on the assumption that participants interpret what they are asked in metaethical terms. We argue that most participants do not interpret questions designed to elicit metaethical beliefs in metaethical terms, or at least not in the way researchers intend. As a result, existing methods are (...) not reliable measures of metaethical belief. We end by discussing the implications of our account for the philosophical and practical implications of research on the psychology of metaethics. (shrink)
Using 94 published empirical articles in academic journals as a data base, this paper provides a critical review of the methodology employed in the study of ethical beliefs and behavior of organizational members. The review revealed that full methodological detail was provided in less than one half of the articles. Further, the majority of empirical research articles expressed no concern for the reliability or validity of measures, were characterized by low response rates, used convenience samples, and did not offer a (...) theoretic framework, hypotheses, or a definition of ethics. Several recommendations, including a reviewer rating form addressing methodological decisions and inclusion of methodologists on the review panel, are offered to improve methodological rigor in published ethics research. (shrink)
It is widely believed that such old-fashioned questions have been rendered absurd by the materialism of modern empirical science, but some seemingly 'magical' properties of quantum mechanics have brought them back into serious discussion in some circles. I will examine the possibility of making miracles using well-established principles of quantum mechanics--in particular, the possibility that quantum theory allows for the most desirable ' miracle ' of all: immortality.
While there is growing awareness of the existence and activities of Academic Custom Writing websites, which form a small part of the contract cheating industry, how they work remains poorly understood. Very little research has been done on these sites, probably because it has been assumed that it is impossible to see behind their firewalls and password protection. We have found that, with some close scrutiny, it is indeed possible to find some ‘cracks’ in these sites through which we can (...) look to gain insights into the business processes that operate within them. We have reverse engineered the business processes that operate within some of these sites. From this we have also been able to identify three different business models that are supported by these sites. Our analysis supports important findings about how these sites operate that can be used to inform future strategies to detect and deter contract cheating. (shrink)
The stucly assesses how a social desirabiIity bias influences the relationship between several independent and dependent variables commonly investigated in ethics research. The effect of a SD bias was observed when a questionnaire was administered under varying conditions of anonymity and with different measurement techniques for the SD construct. Findings reveal that a SD bias is present in the majority of relationships studied, and it most frequently plays a moderating role. While the measure of SD influences the strength and type (...) of relationship, condition of anonymity has relatively little effect on the level of SD. (shrink)
Aristotle regarded law and education as the two fundamental and deeply interdependent tools of political art, making the use of education by the statesman a topic of the first importance in his practical philosophy. The present work develops the first comprehensive treatment of this neglected topic, and assesses the importance of Aristotle's defense of public education for current debates about school choice and privatization, and educational equality.
There has been considerable debate in the literature about the relative merits of information processing versus dynamical approaches to understanding cognitive processes. In this article, we explore the relationship between these two styles of explanation using a model agent evolved to solve a relational categorization task. Specifically, we separately analyze the operation of this agent using the mathematical tools of information theory and dynamical systems theory. Information-theoretic analysis reveals how task-relevant information flows through the system to be combined into a (...) categorization decision. Dynamical analysis reveals the key geometrical and temporal interrelationships underlying the categorization decision. Finally, we propose a framework for directly relating these two different styles of explanation and discuss the possible implications of our analysis for some of the ongoing debates in cognitive science. (shrink)
cis is presented of Randall Collins's book, The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change. It presents a sociological theory of intellectual networks that connect thinkers in chains of masters and pupils, colleagues and rivals, and of the internalized conversations that constitute the social processes of thinking. The theory is used to analyze long-term developments of the intellectual communities of philosophers in ancient Greece, ancient and medieval China and India, medieval and modern Japan, medieval Islam and Judaism, (...) medieval Christendom, and modern Europe through the early 20th century. (shrink)
Character education in schools has been high on the UK political agenda for the last few years. The government has invested millions in grants to support character education projects and declared its intention to make Britain a global leader in teaching character and resilience. But the policy has many critics: some question whether schools should be involved in the formation of character at all; others worry that the traits schools are being asked to cultivate are excessively competitive or military. In (...) this pamphlet Randall Curren sets out a robust defence of character education. He welcomes the political support it presently enjoys, but contends that greater clarity about the nature, benefits and acquisition of good character is essential. In particular, he argues that too narrow a focus on traits like perseverance and resilience is a serious mistake: these traits are only virtues when they are part of a wider set of moral and intellectual qualities, and when their exercise is guided by good judgment. Curren offers us a compelling and coherent account of what good character is and how it might be cultivated in schools. He explains why schools must be needs-supporting environments that provide students with opportunities to engage in rewarding activity, and why cultivating good character implies promoting the ‘fundamental British values’ of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance. His groundbreaking pamphlet promises to expand the scope and strengthen the foundations of character education in British schools, and should go a long way towards allaying the fears of its detractors. (shrink)
This paper explores the introduction of mindfulness into courses in higher education. Some of these courses are taught by Buddhist scholars; others are taught by scholars within other disciplines who themselves have a meditation practice. Those scholars included here represent a much larger number in diverse settings, including state universities, liberal arts colleges, Ivy League institutions, and historically black colleges. They teach in almost every discipline, including architecture, poetry, chemistry, economics, and law. The courses discussed in this paper are taught (...) by Contemplative Practice Fellows, a programme of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. The paper also places this movement into a short history of contemplative education and raises questions about its future impact on the academy. (shrink)
The paper addresses several issues in the morality of cyberwar and cyberwarfare, defined as one nation's attacks on the governmental or civilian information systems of another nation. It sketches the diverse technical ways in which an attack may occur, including denial-of-service attacks and the insertion of various forms of malware. It argues that existing international law and widely discussed principles of Just War Theory do not straightforwardly apply to cyberwarfare, and many forms of cyberwarfare differ from previous forms of warfare (...) in neither injuring nor killing human beings, nor causing lasting physical damage ? but can nevertheless cause serious harm to a nation's vital interests. Another dissimilarity with traditional warfare is in the degree of knowledge of the identity of an attacker (the ?attribution problem?). The paper argues that cyberwarfare is not amenable to regulation by international pacts and that we can expect long periods of low-level, multilateral cyberwarfare, a Cyber Cold War, as a game-theoretic equilibrium is sought,. The paper laments the lack of a cyberwarfare policy, and concludes that it is only by applying game-theoretic principles that strategies can be discovered that are both moral and effective in suppressing overall harm to all parties in the long run. (shrink)
Salespeople have long been considered unique employees. They tend to work apart from each other and experience little daily contact with supervisors and other organizational employees. Additionally, salespeople interact with customers in an increasingly complex and multifunctional environment. This provides numerous opportunities for unethical behavior which has been chronicled in the popular press as well as academic research. Much of the research in sales ethics has relied on conceptual foundations which focus on individual and organizational influencers on ethical decision making. (...) While significant, contributors to this research suggest that alternative theoretical perspectives and methods of investigation should be utilized and call for more research on the status of professional selling as a whole. We answer this call by exploring an alternative and complementary perspective based on the theory of occupational choice, social learning, and work groups to gain insight on how the sales profession evolves as its own subculture that extends beyond individual and organizational boundaries. First, we discuss the characteristics of the sales profession and empirically examine the relationship between typical individual and organizational factors and sales professionals’ perceptions of ethical behavior. Second, we offer a theoretical explanation that our findings may be due to how salespeople choose and are socialized into the subculture of the sales profession. Third, we examine this theoretical perspective via qualitative in-depth interviews with experienced sales professionals. Results and implications are discussed in terms of a sales profession code of ethics and future research directions. (shrink)
Many researchers in the field of business ethics have attempted to develop methods to determine and evaluate the ethics of a variety of different classes of people, including students, professionals, and mixed samples of students and professionals. Unfortunately, most of these studies were disjunctive, simply adding confusion to an already unfocused area of research. However, Reidenbach and Robin (1988, 1990), have changed this trend by attempting to quantify the various ethical philosophies into a multi-dimensional scale of business ethics. This paper (...) examines the background of the Reidenbach and Robin (1988, 1990) scale — including the authors'' findings, empirically tests the scale, and concludes that the scale needs further refinement. A promising result is a model with four dimensions: a broadbased ethical judgment dimension, a deontological judgment dimension, a teleological judgment dimension, and a social contract dimension. (shrink)
This paper addresses a puzzle about moral learning concerning its social context and the potential for moral progress: Won't the social context of moral learning shape moral perceptions, beliefs, and motivation in ways that will inevitably limit moral motivation, perceptiveness, and progress? It addresses the relationships between habituation and moral reasoning in Aristotelian moral education, and assesses Julia Annas’s attempt to defend the possibility of moral progress within a virtue ethical framework. Focusing on the motivational core of the puzzle, the (...) paper argues that Self-determination Theory provides resources for better understanding how moral progress is possible and how moral education can facilitate such progress. (shrink)
The present study applied Ajzen's (1985) theory of planned behavior to the explanation of ethical decision making. Nurses in three hospitals were provided with scenarios that depicted inadequate patient care and asked if they would report health professionals responsible for the situation. Study results suggest that the theory of planned behavior can explain a significant amount of variation in the intent to report a colleague. Attitude toward performing the behavior explained a large portion of the variance; subjective norms explained a (...) moderate amount of the variance; and, perceived behavioral control added little to the explanation of variance. Implications for research and practice are discussed. (shrink)
The astonishing growth of the Internet coupled with its unique capabilities has captured the attention of the marketing community. Although many businesses are acknowledging the importance of a Web site, to date, little attention has been given to the business community'sperceptions of the ethicality of this new medium. A national sample of marketing executives was surveyed regarding their perceptions of: (1) regulation of the Internet, (2) the potential ethical issues via Internet marketing facing their industry, and (3) the role of (...) ethics and Internet marketing in their organization. Results and recommendations for incorporating Internet ethical guidelines into organizations are discussed. (shrink)
Extensive interest in business ethics has developed accompanied by an increase in empirical research on the determinants of unethical conduct. In setting forth the theory of reasoned action, Fishbein and Ajzen (1975) maintained that research attention on such variables as personality traits and demographic characteristics is misplaced and, instead, researchers should focus on behavioral intentions and the beliefs that shape those intentions. This study summarizes business ethics research which tests the theory of reasoned action and suggests directions for further research.
presents a puzzle as to whether Aristotle views morally virtuous activity as happiness, as book 1 seems to indicate, or philosophical contemplation as happiness, as book 10 seems to indicate. The most influential attempts to resolve this issue have been either monistic or inclusivist. According to the monists, happiness consists exclusively of contemplation. According to the inclusivists, contemplation is one constituent of happiness, but morally virtuous activity is another. In this essay I will examine influential defenses of monism. Finding these (...) accounts superior to inclusivism, but still deficient, I will present and defend a dualistic account of happiness in which two different types of happiness, one divine and one human, are present in Nicomachean Ethics. When Aristotle commends contemplation as a happiness that humans can attain, he is careful to specify that this activity corresponds to a capacity (nous) that is not, properly speaking, human, even though humans can exercise it. Contemplation, the divine good, is the highest good that humans can obtain, but it is not the characteristic human good. The characteristic human good corresponds to the specifically and merely human function, which is an activity of the compound of human reason and emotions. (shrink)
THIS VOLUME owcs its existence to the suggestion and the persuasive insistence of my friend and colleague Justus Buchler... the unpublished papers dealing with "the theory of history" and “the theory of nature” bulked large enough to form a volume in themselves. Hence the volume appears ...with [these] essays in philosophic analysis of two themes that have for some years been central in my own interests. -/- Each of the two Parts deals with a unified theme, and the two together (...) not only exhibit, it is hoped, a consistent philosophic attitude and approach, but also treat two different aspects of what is a common metaphysical inquiry. Aside from the prologue and the epilogue, none of these papers has appeared in this form before... History and nature together offer the great challenge to the philosophic mind. [Excerpt from Foreword]. (shrink)
_A Companion to the Philosophy of Education_ is a comprehensive guide to philosophical thinking about education. Offers a state-of-the-art account of current and controversial issues in education, including issues pertaining to multiculturalism, special education, sex education, and academic freedom. Written by an international team of leading experts, who are directly engaged with these profound and complex educational problems. Serves as an indispensable guide to the field of philosophy of education.
A central focus of care ethics is on the compelling moral salience of attending to the needs of our particular others. However, there is no consensus within the care literature for how and when such partiality is morally justified. This article outlines and defends a novel justificatory argument that grounds partiality in the facts and values of the relation itself. Specifically, this article argues that partiality is justified when grounded in caring values exemplified in good caring relations. Hence, this justification (...) is termed the argument from good caring relations. This justification is promising for two reasons. First, the argument from good caring relations has the potential to spur engagement between care ethics and the broader partiality literature. In particular, the argument from good caring relations could enhance what Simon Keller has termed ‘the relationships view’. Second, the argument from good caring relations is more persuasive than the other major justificatory argument for partiality presently in the care literature: a distributive argument, which takes the form of a modified version of Robert Goodin’s assigned responsibility model of moral obligation. Indeed, where this distributive argument fails, the argument from good caring relation succeeds. This article thus concludes that the argument from good caring relations is preferable for justifying partiality in care ethics. (shrink)