One sometimes believes a proposition without grasping it. For example, a complete achromat might believe that ripe tomatoes are red without grasping this proposition. My aim in this paper is to shed light on the difference between merely believing a proposition and grasping it. I focus on two possible theories of grasping: the inferential theory, which explains grasping in terms of inferential role, and the phenomenal theory, which explains grasping in terms of phenomenal consciousness. I argue that the phenomenal (...) theory is more plausible than the inferential theory. (shrink)
This paper examines the prospects for a conceptual or functional role theory of moral concepts. It is argued that such an account is well-placed to explain both the irreducibility and practicality of moral concepts. Several versions of conceptual role semantics for moral concepts are distinguished, depending on whether the concept-constitutive conceptual roles are wide or narrow normative or non-normative and purely doxastic or conative. It is argued that the most plausible version of conceptual role semantics for moral (...) concepts involves only ‘narrow’ conceptual roles, where these include connections to motivational, desire-like, states. In the penultimate section it is argued, contrary to what Wedgwood, Enoch and others have claimed, that such an account of moral concepts cannot plausibly be combined with the claim that moral concepts refer to robust properties. (shrink)
This paper outlines a new approach to the task of giving an account of the meaning of moral statements: a sort of "conceptual role semantics", according to which the meaning of moral terms is given by their role in practical reasoning. This role is sufficient both to distinguish the meaning of any moral term from that of other terms, and to determine the property or relation (if any) that the term stands for. The paper ends by suggesting (...) reasons for regarding this "conceptual role semantics" approach as preferable to noncognitivism, the causal theory of reference, and noncircular conceptual analysis. (shrink)
In this paper, we discuss the use of role plays in ethics education for engineering students. After presenting a rough taxonomy of different objectives, we illustrate how role plays can be used to broaden students’ perspectives. We do this on the basis of our experiences with a newly developed role play about a Dutch political controversy concerning pig transport. The role play is special in that the discussion is about setting up an institutional framework for responsible (...) action that goes beyond individual action. In that sense, the role play serves a double purpose. It not only aims at teaching students to become aware of the different dimensions in decision making, it also encourages students to think about what such an institutional framework for responsible action might possibly look like. (shrink)
This paper offers a critical review of the notion of a “singular cognitive role”, which is central to some recent theories of singular thought. According to those theories, whether a thought is singular depends on the role it plays in the subject’s cognitive activity. We compare the two most developed accounts of this type: Crane’s (Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume, 85(1):21–43 2011, The Objects of Thought 2013) and Jeshion’s (New Essays on Singular Thought, 105–141, 2010). Both theories aim to (...) capture the notion of a singular cognitive role in terms of mental files. We argue that Jeshion’s theory is much more promising as it provides a more detailed and non-circular characterization of the mental files responsible for singular thinking. We examine the prospects for enhancing that account in light of three major concerns about it present in the literature. First, we discuss whether the weakest aspect of the whole proposal, i.e. the condition for the initiation of mental files, can be replaced without debilitating the rest of the theory. Second, we examine Goodman’s (Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 7(2): 437–461 2014, The Philosophical Quarterly 2015) argument against mental file theories of singular thought and show that it does not affect Jeshion’s account. Third, we argue against Sawyer (Mind and Language, 27(3):264–283 2012) that Jeshion’s notion of a singular cognitive role is in strong opposition to acquaintance-based theories of singular thought and cannot be incorporated into any of them. Thus, the paper concludes that Jeshion’s proposal, despite its shortcomings, is currently the most promising account of a singular cognitive role. (shrink)
The debate and implementation of Clinical Ethics Consultation is still in its beginnings in Europe and the issue of the patient's perspective has been neglected so far, especially at the theoretical and methodological level. At the practical level, recommendations about the involvement of the patient or his/her relatives are missing, reflecting the general lack of quality and practice standards in CEC. Balance of perspectives is a challenge in any interpersonal consultation, which has led to great efforts to develop “technical”approaches, e.g., (...) in psychological counseling or psychotherapeutic treatment. In ethics, unbalance or partiality is a matter of justice and has provoked significant theoretical work, also relevant for practical medical ethics. A lack of balance seems to be particularly serious in those situations, where ethical conflict is triggering a consultation and where the “parties” involved may try to persuade the consultant that their particular opinion is the most convincing; but to our knowledge the connection between patient/relatives involvement and balance has not yet been discussed in the context of CEC. Central questions of access and involvement of the patient and his/her relatives will be analysed and discussed regarding the challenge of balance and the adequate role or attitude of a Clinical Ethics Consultant. It is argued that the Clinical Ethics Consultant should have a methodological awareness regarding the concepts of “neutrality” versus “advocacy” in his/her role and try to achieve a balanced procedure that allows for an optimum of change of perspectives. The argumentation is developed along the narrative of a real case study. Recommendations concerning the involvement of the patient or the relatives are formulated for the practice of CEC. (shrink)
Role conflict occurs when a job possesses inconsistent expectations incongruent with individual beliefs, a situation that precipitates considerable frustration and other negative work outcomes. Increasing interest in processes that reduce role conflict is, therefore, witnessed. With the help of information collected from a large sample of individuals employed at an education-based healthcare institution, this study identified several factors that might decrease role conflict, namely mindfulness and organizational ethics. In particular, the results indicated that mindfulness was associated with (...) decreased role conflict, and that perceived ethical values and a shared ethics code were associated with decreased role conflict and increased mindfulness. Despite the study's limitations, these findings imply that companies might better manage role conflict through the development of mindfulness and organizational ethics. (shrink)
Role-functionalism for mental events attempts to avoid epiphenomenalism without psychophysical identities. The paper addresses the question of whether it can succeed. It is argued that there is considerable reason to believe it cannot avoid epiphenomenalism, and that if it cannot, then it is untenable. It is pointed out, however, that even if role- functionalism is indeed an untenable theory of mental events, a role-functionalism account of mental dispositions has some intuitive plausibility.
While according to the inferentialists, meaning is always a kind of inferential role, proponents of other approaches to semantics often doubt that actual meanings, as they see them, can be generally reduced to inferential roles. In this paper we propose a formal framework for considering the hypothesis of the.
The moral ideology of banking and insurance employees in Spain was examined along with supervisor role modeling and ethics-related policies and procedures for their association with ethical behavioral intent. In addition to main effects, we found evidence supporting that the person–situation interactionist perspective in supervisor role modeling had a stronger positive relationship with ethical intention among employees with relativist moral ideology. Also as hypothesized, formal ethical polices and procedures were positively related to ethical intention among those with universal (...) beliefs, but the relationship was much weaker among relativists. Thus, firms wishing to optimally promote ethical attitudes and behavior must tailor their organization-based initiatives to the individual characteristics of their employees. (shrink)
Despite the voluminous literature on biological functions produced over the last 40 years, few philosophers have studied the concept of function as it is used in neuroscience. Recently, Craver (forthcoming; also see Craver 2001) defended the causal role theory against the selected effects theory as the most appropriate theory of function for neuroscience. The following argues that though neuroscientists do study causal role functions, the scope of that theory is not as universal as claimed. Despite the strong prima (...) facie superiority of the causal role theory, the selected effects theory (when properly developed) can handle many cases from neuroscience with equal facility. It argues this by presenting a new theory of function that generalizes the notion of a ‘selection process’ to include processes such as neural selection, antibody selection, and some forms of learning—that is, to include structures that have been differentially retained as well as those that have been differentially reproduced. This view, called the generalized selected effects theory of function, will be defended from criticism and distinguished from similar views in the literature. (shrink)
Although the terms mentor and thesis advisor (or research supervisor) are often used interchangeably, the responsibilities associated with these roles are distinct, even when they overlap. Neither are role models necessarily mentors, though mentors are role models: good examples are necessary but not sufficient. Mentorship is both a personal and a professional relationship. It has the potential for raising a number of ethical concerns, including issues of accuracy and reliability of the information conveyed, access, stereotyping and tracking of (...) advisees, and the abuse of power. Nevertheless, mentors can be critically important for professional success and are one of a number of elements that affect the responsible conduct of research. In addition, the community as a whole has a responsibility to mentor junior members. (shrink)
Role plays are extremely valuable tools to address different aspects of teaching social responsibility, because they allow students to “live through” complex ethical decision making dilemmas. While role plays are getting high marks from students because their entertainment value is high, their educational value depends on their closeness to students’ work experience and the skills of the teacher in helping students comprehend the lessons they are meant to convey.
In stakeholder theory, most research on cooperation has been focused on inter-organizational collaboration field centered at the dyadic level, excluding the relational or network data. Relational or network data are important as the firms do not simply respond to each stakeholder individually but to an interaction of influences from the entire stakeholder set. The purpose of this article is to analyze the cooperation process among the firm and its stakeholders by considering the relational data and to describe the role (...) of the firm in such cooperation processes. The empirical evidence is provided by an inductive in-depth case study on the company 'Gas-Nat' and its stakeholders cooperating on the 'natural gas pipeline program' in Argentina. To do so, I combined both quantitative sociometric data and qualitative data from grounded theory and ethnographic observations. This research suggests a stakeholder cooperation model based on structural (stakeholder's position) and relational factors (framing process). The results indicate that stakeholder cooperation is not just determined by stakeholder position, but they can vary depending on the political opportunity structure in the network and on the framing process. It was found that network structure may create a context for selective cooperation but doesn't explicitly determine it which is different from the previous research in stakeholder network literature. The role of the firm in the cooperation process was found as a tertius iungens role which implies to join, unite, or connect, and it is different from the existing prominent network literature of tertius gaudens. (shrink)
We describe the development, testing, and formative evaluation of nine role-play scenarios for teaching central topics in the responsible conduct of research to graduate students in science and engineering. In response to formative evaluation surveys, students reported that the role-plays were more engaging and promoted deeper understanding than a lecture or case study covering the same topic. In the future, summative evaluations will test whether students display this deeper understanding and retain the lessons of the role-play experience.
The paper examines how Brandom can respond to two objections raised against another sort of inferentialism, conceptual role semantics. After a brief explanation of the difference between the motivations and the nature of the two accounts (I), I argue that externalism can be accommodated within Brandomian inferentialism (II). Then I offer a reconstruction of how Brandom tries to explain mutual understanding (III-IV). Finally I point out a problem in Brandom’s account, which is this. Brandom’s inferential roles are social and (...) normative, but he also seeks to explain cases of understanding which involve novelty and individual ingenuity which cannot be reduced to social norms (V). (shrink)
In this paper I will do three things. One, to explain why conceptual role semantics seems an attractive theory of meaning (I). Two, to sketch a version of it which has a good chance of withstanding some of the standard objections (II-III). Three, to see what follows from this version with respect to the naturalization of meaning (IV).
In the philosophy of language, conceptual role semantics (hereafter CRS) is a theory of what constitutes the meanings possessed by expressions of natural languages, or the propositions expressed by their utterance. In the philosophy of mind, it is a theory of what constitutes the contents of psychological attitudes, such as beliefs or desires. CRS comes in a variety of forms, not always clearly distinguished by commentators. Such versions are known variously as functional/causal/computational role semantics, and more broadly as (...) use-theories of meaning. Nevertheless, all are united in seeking the meaning or content of an item, not in what it is made of, nor in what accompanies or is associated with it, but in what is done with it, the use it is put to. Roughly, according to CRS, the meaning or propositional content of an expression or attitude is determined by the role it plays in a person’s language or in her cognition. Currently, many view CRS as the main rival to theories that take notions such as truth or reference as central (for example, Davidson 2001), although the relationship between the two is not straightforward. The following outlines the main varieties of CRS, provides a cursory survey of its history, introduces the central arguments offered in its favor, and provisionally assesses how the variants fair against a number of prominent criticisms. (shrink)
Role morality can be defined as “claim(ing) a moral permission to harm others in ways that, if not for the role, would be wrong” (A. Applbaum: 1999, Ethics for Adversaries: The Morality of Roles in Public and Professional Life (Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ) p. 3). Adversarial situations resulting in role morality occur most frequently in the fields of law, business, and government. Within the realm of accounting, professional obligations may place the accountant in a situation where (...) he/she is susceptible to the pressures of role morality. If the accountant engages in acts consistent with role morality, significant harm to others may result. The current study represents an initial investigation into role morality in accounting and includes survey data from three samples of professionals: accountants, physicians, and attorneys. Results suggest that accountants generally do not agree that role morality is acceptable. Additionally, when compared to the groups of physicians and attorneys, physicians agree the least with role morality, while attorneys agree the most. Implications for practicing accountants and suggestions for future research into the theory of role morality are offered. (shrink)
Businesses are eager to present themselves as honest and reliable corporate citizens who care about the overall well-being of society. This article researches whether different role conceptions of businesses regarding social issues are related to their success in dealing with social demands. Do socially active companies have a better social reputation than inactive companies? This relationship is determined by first extracting the social role conceptions of the companies from their Corporate Social Responsibility reports and then comparing this data (...) to their social reputations. The analysis shows that there is indeed a relationship between these two variables. Companies with a broad social role conception score significantly better on their social reputations than companies with a narrow role conception. Social role conceptions therefore matter when dealing with social demands. (shrink)
How is the Confucian moral agent motivated to do what he or she judges to be right or good? In western philosophy, the answer to a question such as this depends on whether one is an internalist or externalist concerning moral motivation. In this article, I will first interpret Confucian ethics as role-based ethics and then argue that we can attribute to Confucianism a position on moral motivation that is neither internalist nor externalist but somewhere in between. I will (...) then illustrate my claim with my reading of Mencius 6A4, showing that it is superior to readings found in the literature, which typically assume that Mencius is an internalist. (shrink)
Igal Kvart RATIONAL ASSERTIBILITY, THE STEERING ROLE OF KNOWLEDGE, AND PRAGMATIC ENCROACHMENT Abstract In the past couple of decades, there were a few major attempts to establish the thesis of pragmatic encroachment – that there is a significant pragmatic ingredient in the truth-conditions for knowledge-ascriptions. Epistemic contextualism has flaunted the notion of a conversational standard, and Stanley's subject-sensitive invariantism (SSI) promoted stakes, each of which, according to their proponents, play a major role as pragmatic components in the truth (...) conditions of knowledge ascriptions. These conceptions were propelled first and foremost by examples of knowledge ascriptions with obvious pragmatic aspects that seemed to require a pragmatic component in the truth-conditions of knowledge ascriptions in order to be accounted for. However, if such examples can be adequately explained not by pragmatic encroachment purely pragmatically, the central role that such examples play in supporting these accounts will be undermined. I lay out here a new pragmatic account, offering a different, purely pragmatic picture that explains such examples, and much more. If such an account and its associated explanations are adequate, then much of a need or a motivation for pragmatic encroachment is undermined. Specifically, I will develop the notion of rational assertibility, appealing to rational norms (which are not Gricean) as interfacing with semantic and epistemic (and other) norms to yield assertibility simpliciter. More importantly, I will argue for a well-entrenched pragmatic profile of knowledge, the so-called steering role of knowledge. Knowledge ascriptions, or simple assertions (that don't invoke the notion of knowledge), it will be argued, play a pragmatic role of steering audiences in joint deliberational setups to the speaker's preferred action by invoking an impending practical inference leading to that preferred action, and of ignoring incompatible alternatives. The recognition of rational forces as affecting, sometimes strongly and predominantly, intuitions associated with knowledge ascriptions, has important implications to philosophical methodology regarding what count as evidence for semantic features. One such lesson calls for securing examples with no significant rational forces at play in order to establish semantic features. Another calls attention to the ill-suitability of employing assertibility by figures in examples featuring deliberational setups for such a purpose in view of the role that such assertibility plays in reflecting rational aspects of such figures, in addition to their epistemic and semantic characteristics. Still another lesson points to a specific role that audiences play in such deliberational setups. (shrink)
Drawing on the Agency-Stewardship approach, which suggests that manager profile may range from the agent model to the steward model, this article aims to examine how important CEOs are to corporate social responsibility (CSR). Specifically, this exploratory study proposes the existence of a relationship between manager profile and CSR practices and that this relation is mediated by the perceived role of ethics and social responsibility. After applying a mediated regression analysis using survey information collected from 149 CEOs in Spain, (...) results show that those closer to the steward model are more inclined to attach great importance to ethics and social responsibility, and to implement CSR practices in their companies. Results also provide support for the suggested mediating effect. Thus, this article extends research in understanding top managers as drivers for CSR and suggests new ways to deal with this issue empirically. (shrink)
William Alston’s argument against epistemological deontologism rests upon two key premises: first, that we lack a suitable amount of voluntary control with respect to our beliefs, and, second, the principle that “ought” implies “can.” While several responses to Alston have concerned rejecting either of these two premises, I argue that even on the assumption that both premises are true, there is room to be made for deontologism in epistemology. I begin by offering a criticism of Richard Feldman’s invaluable work on (...) ‘role-oughts’, whereupon I development my own positive view in light of Feldman’s shortcomings. The upshot is that while we as epistemic agents are not responsible for the beliefs we form, we are nonetheless responsible for the various bodily or mental activities that typically bear a causal influence on belief formation. (shrink)
Recently, Sean Cordell has raised a problem for Aristotelians who seriously consider social roles: When the demands of the role conflict with the demands of morality, which norms ought one follow? However, this problem, which I call the role dilemma, is not specific to Aristotelians. Classical Confucians face a similar problem. How do Confucians resolve conflicts between the demands of humaneness (ren 仁) and the demands of social roles and the social norms (li 礼) that govern these roles? (...) Confucians who favor humaneness, maintaining that other demands are defeasible, offer an externalism about roles. This response is similar to the Aristotelian argument that the demands of human excellence trump other demands. Consequently, Confucian externalism collapses into a virtue ethic. Confucians who favor the demands of li offer an internalism about roles. However, internalism is undesirable because it implies relativism and condones oppressive social institutions. The Confucian role ethicist must offer a tenable solution that steers clear of the pitfalls of both externalism and internalism. Although I do not advance a solution here, I believe a tenable alternative exists. The goals of this paper, instead, are to demonstrate that classical Confucians face the role dilemma and to initiate a discussion about the theoretical apparatus required of Confucian role ethics in order to distinguish it from other ethical theories. I conclude with some programmatic remarks about additional questions and problems that ought to be addressed. (shrink)
This article is about ‘role responsibility’ as understood by H. L. A. Hart in his taxonomy of responsibility concepts in his book, Punishment and Responsibility. More particularly, it focuses on what I call ‘public, institutional role responsibility’. The main arguments are that such role responsibility is based on authority and power rather than physical and mental capacity; and the foundation of role responsibility in authority has significant implications for what Hart referred to as ‘liability–responsibility’, which I (...) unpack in terms of ‘attribution’, ‘accountability’ and ‘liability’. The article addresses possible objections to the authority-based analysis of role responsibility based on the concept of ‘moral’ responsibility, and on understandings of what types of question are ‘philosophical.’. (shrink)
Thus far, we know much more about the significant outcomes of perceived ethical leadership than we do about its antecedents. In this study, we focus on multiple types of ethical role models as antecedents of perceived ethical leadership. According to social learning theory, role models facilitate the acquisition of moral and other types of behavior. Yet, we do not know whether having had ethical role models influences follower perceptions of one’s ethical leadership and, if so, what kinds (...) of role models are important. We conducted a field study, surveying supervisors and their subordinates to examine the relationship between three types of ethical role models and ethical leadership: the leader’s childhood role models, career mentors, and top managers. We found that having had an ethical role model during the leader’s career was positively related to subordinate-rated ethical leadership. As expected, this effect was moderated by leader age, such that the relationship between career mentoring and ethical leadership was stronger for older leaders. Leader age also moderated the relationship between childhood models and ethical leadership ratings, such that having had childhood ethical role models was more strongly and positively related to ethical leadership for younger leaders. We found no effect for top management ethical role models. Implications for research and practice are discussed. (shrink)
This essay examines whether Confucian role ethics offers resources to identify and redress gender inequality and oppression. On its face, Confucian role ethics seems ill suited for this task for two reasons. First, a central tenet of role ethics is that a person is constituted by her roles. Because roles are constituted by norms that govern them, many social roles are, and have been, historically oppressive. Second, discussions of Confucian role ethics tend to avoid talk of (...) autonomy, yet autonomy is helpful in identifying and rectifying gender inequalities insofar as autonomy tracks the ways oppression disables individuals’ abilities to achieve personhood. My goal in this essay is to work... (shrink)
Role models can be highly influential in conveying ethical standards. This study investigates the influence various categories of role models have had on a population of over 1,600 undergraduate students in Texas, Oregon and Michigan. Those identifying clergy, boy scout leaders, friends and college advisors as role models exhibited less willingness to adopt questionable ethical behavior in negotation situations. Journalist and spouse role models tended to cause students to be more accepting of questionable behavior. Individuals with (...) strong end-result and social contract ethical philosophies, as well as males and those who served in the military exhibited strong tendencies toward less than ethical behavior. Individuals with strong rule ethical philosophy, high levels of religiousity, and those with a cooperative attitude in negotiations tended to adopt higher ethical standards in negotiations. (shrink)
Consultancy firms inform, advise, implement and mediate in their own interests and in the interests of their clients. We can only guess if their work is also in the interest of the public. There is no critical and systematical assessment of the behavior of consultancy firms. What roles do consultancy firms chose? And what arguments do they use? In the nineties the international consultancy firm Hill & Knowlton took on two assignments that showed a remarkable difference in the required (...) class='Hi'>role the firm had to play. In the first role the firm acted as an impartial advocate, in the second role the firm acted as a political agent. An analysis of the argumentation for both roles shows us the familair short-sighted choice for the annual turnover at the cost of internal and external trustworthiness. In this decade consultancy firms will need to develop ethical assessments that meet more professional standards. (shrink)
In our dynamic social world, a premium is placed on the individual's ability to innovate and to change . Yet traditional role theory has difficulty accounting for innovation, leaving unanswered the question of how individual level negotiations affect social-structural processes . This study addresses this tension by linking role theory with social cognition. By positioning behavior and cognition as two interrelated continuums, I stretch the meaning of role enactment to include 4 role typologies. I utilize these (...) typologies as a heuristic to chart the processes through which individuals adapt to and affect a role performance over time. I conclude by outlining how sociocognitive role typologies aid social researchers in accounting for individual efficacy in response to social-structural situations. (shrink)
In Western societies scientists are increasingly expected to seek media exposure and cooperate with industry. Little attention has been given to the way such expectations affect the role of scientific experts in society. To investigate scientists’ own perspectives on these issues eight exploratory, in-depth interviews were conducted in Denmark with reputable nutrition scientists. Additionally, eight interviews were held with ‘key informants’ from the field of nutrition policy. It was found that nutrition scientists experience two dilemmas: first, between their aspiration (...) to make a collective impact on public health and the powerful incentives of each to appear frequently in the media with new messages; second, between their need to cooperate with the food industry for financial reasons and their fear that this may compromise their independence and scientific integrity. It is argued that the dilemmas identified in this study should be dealt with openly by the relevant groups of scientists. (shrink)
This article surveys recent scholarship on Confucian role ethics, examines some of its fundamental commitments, and suggests future directions for scholarship. Role ethics interprets early Confucianism as promoting a relational conception of persons and employs this conception to emphasize how a person's roles and relationships are the source of her ethical obligations and ethical growth. While there is much consensus among role ethic scholars, they disagree over the role of theory in further explicating the view and (...) about the metaphysical basis of relational persons. Strong and moderate versions of role ethics emerge, and the article explores the strengths and weaknesses of both. (shrink)
For a long time, female endorsers in advertising have been doing product information promotion in the market. However, with more and more highly educated women participating in the labor force, the conception of feminist depictions in advertising have become a perplexing issue. The traditional female role portrayals or stereotypes of the past are not able to totally reflect the expectations, behavior, attitudes, and beliefs of contemporary women. The author collected print ads as data from three types of the highest (...) circulation magazines: foreign women’s magazines, domestic women’s magazines, and domestic management magazines subscribed to in Taiwan to investigate what were the favorite feminine patterns and feminist depictions in a traditionally masculine society. The results showed classical beauty and girl-next-door images were “acceptable” gender-role behavior exposed highly in domestic magazines, which might contribute to conservative Confucian beliefs. On the other hand, being trendy was a significantly high preference for contemporary feminist depictions in foreign women's magazines; it might be considered as being due to the increased educational level of women and female labor participation rate in the work place as well as upgrading of social status. (shrink)
Two-Factor conceptual role theories of mental content are often intended to allow mental representations to satisfy two competing requirements. One is the Fregean requirement that two representations, like public language expressions, can have different meanings even though they have the same reference (as in the case of âmorning starâ and âevening starâ). The other is Putnam's Twin-earth requirement that two representations or expressions can have the same conceptual role but differ in meaning due to differing references. But I (...) argue that the hidden agenda behind these theories is to make misrepresentation possible. A simple, one-factor conceptual role theory (like the "crude causal theory" Fodor describes) falls prey to the disjunction problem. If every use or application of a concept is meaning-determining, then there can be no misuse of that concept. Each use will partially determine its meaning, and, use which is covered in the meaning cannot be a misuse, error, or misrepresentation. I argue that the referential factor in two-factor conceptual role theories is what is supposed to make misrepresentation possible. But it fails to do so, because when the two factors do not determine the same meaning, there is no non-question-begging way to have one of them take precedence and force meaning to align with one factor and deviate from the other. (shrink)
The use of role-playing (“active learning”) as a teaching tool has been reported in areas as diverse as social psychology, history and analytical chemistry. Its use as a tool in the teaching of engineering ethics and professionalism is also not new, but the approach develops new perspectives when used in a college class of exceptionally wide cultural diversity. York University is a large urban university (40,000 undergraduates) that draws its enrolment primarily from the Greater Toronto Area, arguably one of (...) the most culturally diverse cities in the world, embracing the largest percentage of Canada’s immigration. Among the area’s five million inhabitants, 50% identify themselves as a visible minority born outside Canada, while over 100 languages and dialects are spoken daily. Although students admitted from this international pool have usually been exposed to western attitudes during secondary education and are rapidly assimilated into Canadian culture, responses to specific ethical issues are strongly influenced by their prior culture. Two and three-part scripts for case studies based on NSF or original scenarios were written to illustrate issues such as gifts, attitudes towards women and ethnic minorities, conflict of interest, whistle-blowing, sexual harassment, individual rights, privacy, environment, intellectual property, and others. Following the presentation, the actors lead group discussion based on previously specified questions. Once the initial shyness and reluctance of some cultures has been overcome through the building of rapport, students have written original scripts based on hypothetical or prior personal situations. The method is now being adopted in a short course format to assist the professional integration of foreign trained engineers. (shrink)
Is there a relationship between the psychological construct of hierarchic managerial role motivation and the moral construct of role-related ethical orientation? In this study we examine this question using responses from a sample of 147 business students in Hong Kong. Managerial role motivation or motivation to manage is defined as an internal force that leads select individuals to pursue, enjoy, and succeed in management positions in relatively large hierarchical organizations. As hypothesized, respondents with higher levels of managerial (...)role motivation demonstrated greater managerial role-related ethical orientation as compared with their less managerially motivated counterparts. Similarly, respondents with higher levels of respect for authority figures, competitive games, competitive situations, assertive role, imposing wishes, and a liking for routine administrative functions possessed greater ethical orientations. The research significance, limitations and future field applications are discussed. (shrink)
The role dilemma raises a problem for role ethic interpretations of Confucianism. The dilemma arises from the conflict between the demands and obligations of Humaneness and the demands and obligations of roles one occupies. Favoring the demands of Humaneness undermines a role ethic because roles and role-obligations no longer ground the ethic. However, favoring social role-obligations permits immoral and unjust role-obligations and allows for uncharitable readings of Confucianism.This paper examines how Mengzi resolves the dilemma. (...) I argue that Mengzi’s account of human nature privileges the demands of Humaneness; social roles are central but defeasible in light of Humaneness. I briefly discuss a prominent articulation of Confucian role ethics as well as the role dilemma. Then, after considering the technical resources within the Mengzi, I argue that Mengzi espouses an externalism about roles. Finally, I explore the relationship between Mengzi’s externalism and role e.. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to examine the role that trustworthiness plays in the ability of teachers to function as moral role models. Through exploration of Muriel Spark’s novel, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, I explain some of the central features of trustworthiness as a moral virtue and suggest how these features are critical to developing moral relationships between teachers and students. I show how and why the character of Miss Jean Brodie fails to embody trustworthiness, (...) and how moral philosophy and psychological insight are bound up with teachers’ efforts to treat students well and to behave in ways that morally warrant the trust most of us typically grant them. Finally, I propose some of the important implications this analysis has for teacher education. (shrink)
I propose a version of inferential role theory which says that having a concept is having the disposition to draw most of the inferences based on the stereotypical features associated with this concept. I defend this view against Fodor and Lepore.
In today’s globalized world, nations cannot be totally isolated from or indifferent to their neighbors, especially in regards to medicine and health. While globalization has brought prosperity to millions, disparities among nations and nationals are growing raising once again the question of justice. Similarly, while medicine has developed dramatically over the past few decades, health disparities at the global level are staggering. Seemingly, what our humanity could achieve in matters of scientific development is not justly distributed to benefit everyone. In (...) this paper, it will be argued that a global theoretical agreement on principles of justice may prove unattainable; however, a grass-roots change is warranted to change the current situation. The UNESCO Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights will be considered as a starting point to achieve this change through extracting the main values embedded in its principles. These values, namely, respecting human dignity and tending to human vulnerability with a hospitable attitude, should then be revived in medical practice. Medical education will be one possible venue to achieve that, especially through role models. Future physicians will then become the fervent advocates for a global and just distribution of health care. (shrink)
In addition to a person's character and training, the organization's ethical work climate (EWC) can assess how the organization influences an individual's ethical decision-making process by examining the individuals' perception of "what is the right thing to do" in a particular organizational environment. Relatively little research has explored which EWCs dominate military units and the impact of organizational role and environmental uncertainty on individuals in the military and their ethical decision making. In this study, we examined the predominant EWCs (...) among military units and found that certain organizational influences are associated with the specific EWCs. Based on these discoveries, we discuss the implications of EWC studies and the influence of organizational role and environmental uncertainty for researchers, as well as military leaders. (shrink)
Both Confucianism and the Bhagavad Gītā emphasize the moral authority of social roles. But how deep does the likeness between these ethical philosophies run? In this essay I focus upon two significant points of comparison between the role-based ethics of Confucianism and the Gītā: (1) the interrelation between formalized social roles and family feeling, and (2) the religious dimension of moral action. How is it that Confucians ground their social roles in family feeling, while the Gītā emphasizes rupture between (...)role and sentiment? Furthermore, are we to understand Confucianism as presenting a social philosophy that eschews religious concerns, whereas the Gītā denies the moral significance of family feeling in lieu of obtaining soteriological freedom? Examining the aesthetic and religious dimensions of the ethics of Confucianism and the Gītā clarifies a key distinction that both views implicitly make, albeit for divergent reasons: the difference between living one’s roles and playing one’s roles. (shrink)
In this essay, Jennifer Morton discusses educators as central examples of agents who engage in ideal and nonideal ways of thinking. The educator, as a representative of the political community, is tasked with two aims. The first is nurturing students with the skills and knowledge they need for the world as they will find it. In pursuing this goal, the educator is assuming certain social facts, some of them unjust, that constitute the present nonideal world. The second aim is civic (...) — educating future citizens. Insofar as the educator is involved in pursuing this goal, his or her role is to work at making certain future social facts true, in the hope of making the future slightly more ideal. Morton argues that if we think of these two aims instrumentally, they can come into conflict. She does not suggest a resolution to this conflict, but rather develops an alternative expressive account of the civic role of the educator. Ideal thinking by educators, Morton maintains, should be thought of as constituting an expression of respect toward their fellow citizens here and now. Ultimately, she argues that this expressive component of the educator's job is crucial to the educator's role in the political community. (shrink)
Dans le contexte actuel de nombreuses contestations de grands projets au Québec, le rôle de l’État au regard de l’acceptabilité sociale de tels projets doit être examiné. Or, les interventions de l’État et leur influence sur les réponses du public sont le plus souvent considérées à la pièce, sans perspective globale ni référence à une certaine conduite ou posture attendue de l’État dans la société, rendant la discussion difficile. Cet article propose des repères pour un tel examen. Nous appuyant sur (...) une analyse critique de la littérature afférente à l’acceptabilité sociale, sur l’observation participante au cœur de plusieurs débats récents au Québec et l’analyse d’ouvrages multidisciplinaires sur le rôle de l’État, nous proposons une synthèse des mécanismes par lesquels l’État influence la réponse du public à un projet, une grille classifiant les différentes approches du rôle de l’État comme conduite sociale organisée et, enfin, six critères génériques pour examiner ce rôle tant comme influence que comme conduite sociale. (shrink)
We demonstrate in this article how critical realism can be used to explain indeterminacy in role behaviour systematically. In so doing, we both rebut various criticisms of critical realism made recently by Kemp and Holmwood and attempt to illustrate the weaknesses and absences of approaches that concentrate unduly on the collection of expectations of actors concerning roles and the behaviour of incumbents. Within a framework that recognises that structure and agency are ontologically distinct but necessarily empirically related entities, we (...) argue that structures should be seen as sources of indeterminacy within role behaviour for at least four reasons: the co-determination of roles through the intersection of structures; conflicting role expectations caused by contradictions inhering within structures; asymmetries of power within social relations; and asymmetric repetition within structural reproduction/transformation. In light of this discussion of structural sources of indeterminacy, we then go on to demonstrate how critical realism is also able to analyse systematically the agential sources of indeterminacy within role behaviour and expectations through theories of psychobiography and reflexivity. We thus conclude that critical realism contains the conceptual tools required to illuminate the point of intersection between structure, culture and agency which is central to understanding both role behaviour and the plurality of expectations concerning such behaviour. (shrink)
Ancients and moderns alike have constructed arguments and assessed theories on the basis of common sense and intuitive judgments. Yet, despite the important role intuitions play in philosophy, there has been little reflection on fundamental questions concerning the sort of data intuitions provide, how they are supposed to lead us to the truth, and why we should treat them as important. In addition, recent psychological research seems to pose serious challenges to traditional intuition-driven philosophical inquiry. Rethinking Intuition brings together (...) a distinguished group of philosophers and psychologists to discuss these important issues. Students and scholars in both fields will find this book to be of great value. (shrink)
Abstract: Introspection reveals that one is frequently conscious of some form of inner speech, which may appear either in a condensed or expanded form. It has been claimed that this speech reflects the way in which language is involved in conscious thought, fulfilling a number of cognitive functions. We criticize three theories that address this issue: Bermúdez’s view of language as a generator of second-order thoughts, Prinz’s development of Jackendoff’s intermediate-level theory of consciousness, and Carruthers’s theory of inner speech as (...) a rehearsal of action-schemata. We contend they have problems to account for those cases in which inner speech is fragmentary, and for the difference with those instances in which it appears as more sentence-like. In addition, we present verbal overshadowing as a phenomenon that neither of them can easily explain. Finally, we propose an account in which inner speech is fundamentally silent outer speech and argue that it is more explanatory than the alternatives. (shrink)
What is the normative role of knowledge? I argue that knowledge plays an important role as a norm of assertion and action, which is explained and unified by its more fundamental role as a norm of belief. Moreover, I propose a distinctive account of what this normative role consists in. I argue that knowledge is the aim of belief, which sets a normative standard of correctness and a corresponding normative standard of justification. According to my proposal, (...) it is correct to believe, assert and act on a proposition if and only if one is in a position to know it, but one has justification to believe, assert and act on a proposition if and only if one has justification to believe that one is in a position to know it. (shrink)