This essay evaluates John Martin Fischer and MarkRavizza's mature semi-compatibilist account of moral responsibility, focusingon their new theory of moderate reasons-responsiveness as a model of "moral sanity." This theory, presented in _Responsibility and Control_, solves many of the problems with Fischer's earlier weak reasons-responsiveness model, such as its unwanted implication that agents who are only erratically responsive to bizarre reasons can be responsible for their acts. But I argue that the new model still faces several problems. It (...) does not allow sufficiently for non-psychotic agents (who are largely reasons-responsive) with localized beliefs and desires incompatible with full responsibility. Nor does it take into account that practical "fragmentation of the self" over time may also reduce competence, since moral sanity requires some minimum level of narrative unity in our plans and projects. Finally, I argue that actual-sequence accounts cannot adequately explain sane but weak-willed agency. (shrink)
In the fourteenth chapter of The Philosophy of Information, Luciano Floridi puts forth a criticism of ‘digital ontology’ as a step toward the articulation of an ‘informational structural realism’. Based on the claims made in the chapter, the present paper seeks to evaluate the distinctly Kantian scope of the chapter from a rather unconventional viewpoint: while in sympathy with the author’s doubts ‘against’ digital philosophy, we follow a different route. We turn our attention to the concept of construction as used (...) in the book with the hope of raising some additional questions that might contribute to a better understanding of what is at stake in Floridi’s experimental epistemological response to digital ontology. (shrink)
Drawing on a landscape analysis of existing data-sharing initiatives, in-depth interviews with expert stakeholders, and public deliberations with community advisory panels across the U.S., we describe features of the evolving medical information commons. We identify participant-centricity and trustworthiness as the most important features of an MIC and discuss the implications for those seeking to create a sustainable, useful, and widely available collection of linked resources for research and other purposes.
In response to recent calls to extend the underlying theories used in the literature :375–413, 2005; Craft in J Bus Ethics 117:221–259, 2013), we review the usefulness of social norm theory in empirical business ethics research. We begin by identifying the seeds of social norm theory in Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments, the Glasgow Edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1759/1790) seminal work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Next, we introduce recent theory in social norm activation by Bicchieri and (...) compare the new theory to two theoretical frameworks found in the literature: Kohlberg’s Handbook of socialization theory and research, Rand McNally, Chicago, IL, 1969; in: Lickona Moral development and behavior, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York, 1976) theory of moral development and Cialdini and Trost’s The handbook of social psychology, Oxford University Press, Boston, 1998) taxonomy of social norms. We argue that the new theory provides useful insights by emphasizing the ability of situational cues and information to generate common expectations for social/moral norms. The theory is particularly useful for empirical research in business ethics because it gives both organizational and individual factors a role in motivating norm-based behavior. To demonstrate this usefulness, we present examples where the theory has been effectively applied in experimental accounting research to generate new insights. We conclude by citing specific examples where the theory may prove useful in empirical business ethics research. (shrink)
This article takes the form of a set of edited diary entries containing reflections on incidents drawn mainly from the author?s professional life as a university professor and as a consultant to a disadvantaged multi-ethnic secondary school in the north of England. The form of the article allows a wide range of issues to be touched on, including respect, equality, authority, discipline, postmodernism, multicultural education, complexities in the concept of teaching by example and tensions between the enforcement of morality and (...) the goal of moral autonomy. Entries were selected to illustrate the dilemmas teachers face in their role as moral educators, to suggest a number of priorities for moral education and to encourage further reflection on the experiences, values and emotional responses described in the narratives. The form is intended to mirror the fragmentary way that learning actually takes place in the moral domain. (shrink)
: Within both popular and academic literature, concerns have been expressed about the implications of antidepressant use on character development. In this paper, I identify specific versions of these worries and argue that they are misguided. I begin by arguing that the obligation to suffer if it will bring about a noble character is imagined. Legitimate concerns about character enhancement remain, but they do not count against most antidepressant use. Thus there is no moral prohibition against antidepressant use. Furthermore, some (...) of the calls for caution about antidepressant use, such as those expressed by the President's Council on Bioethics, are overstated. (shrink)
This book provides a comprehensive, systematic theory of moral responsibility. The authors explore the conditions under which individuals are morally responsible for actions, omissions, consequences, and emotions. The leading idea in the book is that moral responsibility is based on 'guidance control'. This control has two components: the mechanism that issues in the relevant behavior must be the agent's own mechanism, and it must be appropriately responsive to reasons. The book develops an account of both components. The authors go on (...) to offer a sustained defense of the thesis that moral responsibility is compatible with causal determinism. (shrink)
This is the last of the four essays in Part II of the book on liberalism and traditionalist education; all four are by authors who would like to find ways for the liberal state to honour the self-definitions of traditional cultures and to find ways of avoiding a confrontation with differences. One of the tasks of the book is to separate out different kinds of affiliation and the extent to which the arguments made about cultural recognition can be extended to (...) other objects of affiliation. Mark Halstead’s chapter on schooling and cultural maintenance for religious minorities in the liberal state provides a catalogue of the different types of groups that are to be found in liberal societies, and the different kinds of cultural and educational claims that are typically attached to each of them. His definition of minority group is useful in conceptualizing many of the papers in the volume. The chapter falls into three sections: Section 10.1, which looks at four types of disadvantaged minorities, attempts to distinguish non-Western fundamentalist religious minorities living in the West from other minorities that may experience disadvantage of various kinds in liberal societies; Section 10.2, on religious minorities in the liberal state, explores some of the educational and other difficulties encountered by such religious minorities in more detail, and typical liberal responses; Section 10.3, on rethinking the liberal response, contains some proposals that are designed to meet the educational needs of both the liberal state and the religious minorities at the same time. (shrink)
On Monday, June 25, 2018, H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr., PhD, MD, co-founder of The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, was laid to rest in the beautiful Hill Country of Texas near Comal County. Professor Engelhardt co-founded The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy in 1976 with Dr. Edmund Pellegrino. Engelhardt first served as Associate Editor, and then Editor and Senior Editor from 1976 until 2018. The Journal thrived for more than four decades through his energy, vision, and dedication. One of the (...) intellectual founders of the fields that would become known as bioethics and the philosophy of medicine, Engelhardt’s seminal scholarship has framed the philosophical debates surrounding healthcare policy and medical practice throughout the world. The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy mourns his passing. (shrink)
"O'Meara masterfully situates Pryzwara in relation to the traditional and contemporary theological, philosophical, ecclesial, cultural, and social contexts within which he wrote." --_William P. Loewe, professor of religious studies, Catholic University of America_ Erich Przywara, S.J. is one of the important Catholic intellectuals of the twentieth century. Yet, in the English-speaking world Przywara remains largely unknown. Few of his sixty books or six hundred articles have been translated. In this engaging new book, Thomas O'Meara offers a comprehensive study of the (...) German Jesuit Erich Przywara and his philosophical theology. Przywara's scholarly contributions were remarkable. He was one of three theologians who introduced the writings of John Henry Cardinal Newman into Germany. From his position at the Jesuit journal in Munich, _Stimmen der Zeit_, he offered an open and broad Catholic perspective on the cultural, philosophical, and theological currents of his time. As one of the first Catholic intellectuals to employ the phenomenologies of Edmund Husserl and Max Scheler, he was also responsible for giving an influential, more theological interpretation of the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola. Przywara was also deeply engaged in the ideas and authors of his times. He was the first Catholic dialogue partner of Karl Barth and Paul Tillich. Edmund Husserl was counted among Przywara's friends, and Edith Stein was a close personal and intellectual companion. Through his interactions with important figures of his age and his writings, ranging from speculative systems to liturgical hymns, Przywara was of marked importance in furthering a varied dialogue between German Catholicism and modern culture. Following a foreword by Michael Fahey, S.J., O'Meara presents a chapter on Pryzwara's life and a chronology of his writings. O'Meara then discusses Pryzwara's philosophical theology, his lecture-courses at German universities on Augustine and Aquinas, his philosophy of religion, and his influence on important intellectual contemporaries. O'Meara concludes with an in-depth analysis of Pryzwara's theology, focusing particularly on his Catholic views of person, liturgy, and church. (shrink)
. Recent corporate scandals have focused the attention of a broad set of constituencies on reforming corporate governance. Boards of directors play a leading role in corporate governance and any significant reforms must encompass their role. To date, most reform proposals have targeted the legal, rather than the ethical obligations of directors. Legal reforms without proper attention to ethical obligations will likely prove ineffectual. The ethical role of directors is critical. Directors have overall responsibility for the ethics and compliance programs (...) of the corporation. The tone at the top that they set by example and action is central to the overall ethical environment of their firms. This role is reinforced by their legal responsibilities to provide oversight of the financial performance of the firm. Underlying this analysis is the critical assumption that ethical behavior, especially on the part of corporate leaders, leads to the best long-term interests of the corporation. We describe key components of a framework for a code of ethics for corporate boards and individual directors. The proposed code framework is based on six universal core ethical values: (1) honesty; (2) integrity; (3) loyalty; (4) responsibility; (5) fairness; and (6) citizenship. The paper concludes by suggesting critical issues that need to be dealt with in firm-based codes of ethics for directors. (shrink)
YouTube has been implicated in the transformation of users into extremists and conspiracy theorists. The alleged mechanism for this radicalizing process is YouTube’s recommender system, which is optimized to amplify and promote clips that users are likely to watch through to the end. YouTube optimizes for watch-through for economic reasons: people who watch a video through to the end are likely to then watch the next recommended video as well, which means that more advertisements can be served to them. This (...) is a seemingly innocuous design choice, but it has a troubling side-effect. Critics of YouTube have alleged that the recommender system tends to recommend extremist content and conspiracy theories, as such videos are especially likely to capture and keep users’ attention. To date, the problem of radicalization via the YouTube recommender system has been a matter of speculation. The current study represents the first systematic, pre-registered attempt to establish whether and to what extent the recommender system tends to promote such content. We begin by contextualizing our study in the framework of technological seduction. Next, we explain our methodology. After that, we present our results, which are consistent with the radicalization hypothesis. Finally, we discuss our findings, as well as directions for future research and recommendations for users, industry, and policy-makers. (shrink)
In this paper we present two compatible hypotheses to explain interest in celebrity gossip. The Learning Hypothesis explains interest in celebrity gossip as a by-product of an evolved mechanism useful for acquiring fitness-relevant survival information. The Parasocial Hypothesis sees celebrity gossip as a diversion of this mechanism, which leads individuals to misperceive celebrities as people who are part of their social network. Using two preliminary studies, we tested our predictions. In a survey with 838 respondents and in-depth interviews with 103 (...) individuals, we investigated how interest in celebrity gossip was related to several dimensions of the participants’ social lives. In support of the Learning Hypothesis, age proved to be a strong predictor of interest in celebrities. In partial support of the Parasocial Hypothesis, media exposure, but not social isolation, was a strong predictor of interest in celebrities. The preliminary results support both theories, indicate that across our life span celebrities move from being teachers to being friends, and open up a list of future research opportunities. (shrink)
This paper provides a description and evaluation of the main features of John Wilson's approach to moral education. In the first section we analyse the central elements of his approach under eight headings, and in the second, we outline a number of areas of difficulty and lines of criticism relating to his claims, arguments and conclusions. Our aim is twofold: to invite recognition of the extensiveness, distinctiveness, ambition and importance of Wilson's contribution to moral education, and to facilitate a judicious (...) appraisal of this contribution. (shrink)
This paper examines the account of guidance control given in Fischer and Ravizza's book, Responsibility and Control, with the aim of revising it so as to make it a better account of what needs to be added to having alternatives open to yield a specification of the control condition for responsibility that will be acceptable to an adherent of the principle that one is responsible for something only if one could have avoided it.
Medicalization was the theme of the 29th European Conference on Philosophy of Medicine and Health Care that included a panel session on the DSM and mental health. Philosophical critiques of the medical model in psychiatry suffer from endemic assumptions that fail to acknowledge the real world challenges of psychiatric nosology. The descriptive model of classification of the DSM 3-5 serves a valid purpose in the absence of known etiologies for the majority of psychiatric conditions. However, a consequence of the “atheoretical” (...) approach of the DSM is rampant epistemological confusion, a shortcoming that can be ameliorated by importing perspectives from the work of Jaspers and McHugh. Finally, contemporary psychiatry’s over-reliance on neuroscience and pharmacotherapy has led to a reductionist agenda that is antagonistic to the inherently pluralistic nature of psychiatry. As a result, the field has suffered a loss of knowledge that may be difficult to recover. (shrink)
Economists and legal scholars routinely posit an implicit contract between Japanese firms and their principal lender. Under this arrangement, the bank implicitly agrees to rescue the firm when times turn bad. Out of court, it rescues the firm from insolvency. Not only does it save the investments specific to the troubled firm, it lowers the use of costly bankruptcy proceedings and cuts the costs of those bankruptcy procedures firms do occasionally invoke. Given the creditor-shareholder conflicts of interest that arise as (...) firms approach insolvency, such arrangements would seem unstable. Yet according to a long sociological tradition, conflicts of interest matter less in Japan than in the West. According to the emerging economic and legal tradition, Japanese economic actors do face those conflicts, but keep them in check through reputational concerns, close-knit ties, and government supervision. Using two datasets of troubled firms from the 1970s and 1980s, we ask whether Japanese main banks in fact rescue distressed borrowers. We find no evidence that they do: large Japanese firms fail; when large firms approach insolvency, main banks do not increase the share of the firm’s debt they bear; stronger ties between distressed firms and their main bank do not facilitate loans; and troubled firms do not try to preserve their main bank relationship. All told, the claim that Japanese banks ever implicitly agreed to rescue firms is sheer myth. That Japanese banks let troubled firms fail is no recent development; it has been thus for decades. Conflicts of interest do indeed matter in Japan and long have. They matter enough to prevent precisely the incentive-incompatible rescue deals that scholars in the field so routinely posit. (shrink)
On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and thirty-eightmeter high tsunami destroyed Tokyo Electric’s Fukushima nuclear power complex. The disaster was not a high-damage, low-probability event. It was a high-damage, high-probability event. Massive earthquakes and tsunamis assault the coast every century. Tokyo Electric built its reactors as it did because it would not pay the full cost of a meltdown anyway. Given the limited liability at the heart of corporate law, it could externalize the cost of running reactors. In (...) most industries, firms rarely risk tort damages so enormous they cannot pay them. In nuclear power, “unpayable” potential liability is routine. Privately owned companies bear the costs of an accident only up to the fire-sale value of their net assets. Beyond that, they pay nothing — and the damages from a nuclear disaster easily soar past that point. Government ownership could eliminate this moral hazard — but it would replace it with problems of its own. Unfortunately, the electoral dynamics in wealthy modern democracies combine to replicate nearly perfectly the moral hazard inherent in private ownership. Private firms will build reactors on fault lines — but so will governments. (shrink)
After a brief discussion of the concept of love and contemporary attitudes towards it, the article examines previously unpublished findings about children's ways of thinking about love, using evidence drawn from a research project on the developing sexual values of 9 and 10 year-old children. Love features extensively in their discussions and appears central to their worldview. They are aware of some of the complexities of love, and would value opportunities to discuss it further. The article concludes with a discussion (...) of current inadequacies and future possibilities in schools' provision. (shrink)
The Barrett and Arntzenius (1999) decision paradox involves unbounded wealth, the relationship between period-wise and sequence-wise dominance, and an infinite-period split-minute setting. A version of their paradox involving bounded (in fact, constant) wealth decisions is presented, along with a version involving no decisions at all. The common source of paradox in BarrettâArntzenius and these other examples is the indeterminacy of their infinite-period split-minute setting.
We present a new English translation of L.E.J. Brouwer's paper ‘De onbetrouwbaarheid der logische principes’ of 1908, together with a philosophical and historical introduction. In this paper Brouwer for the first time objected to the idea that the Principle of the Excluded Middle is valid. We discuss the circumstances under which the manuscript was submitted and accepted, Brouwer's ideas on the principle of the excluded middle, its consistency and partial validity, and his argument against the possibility of absolutely undecidable propositions. (...) We note that principled objections to the general excluded middle similar to Brouwer's had been advanced in print by Jules Molk two years before. Finally, we discuss the influence on George Griss' negationless mathematics. (shrink)
Purpose: The paper provides an overview of Ernst von Glasersfeld's life and theory, concentrating on subjects such as the acquisition of knowledge, language and communication, ethical questions, and aspects of teaching and learning. Conclusion: Ernst von Glasersfeld interests cover a wide range of disciplines. Therefore his work is genuinely rooted in interdisciplinarity.
With the great increase in litigation, insurance costs, and consumer prices, both managers and businesses should take a proactive position in avoiding liability. Legal liability may attach when a duty has been breached; many actions falling into this category are also considered unethical. Since much of business liability is caused by a breach of a duty by a business to either an individual, another business, or to society, this article asserts that the practice of liability prevention is a practical business (...) application of ethics. In today's highly litigious environment, it is appropriate for the concept of general liability prevention to be included in corporate codes of ethics. (shrink)
We are entering an era in which “cultural construction of the body” refers to a literal technological enterprise. This era was anticipated in the 1920s by geneticist J. B. S. Haldane in a lecture which inspired Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. In that lecture, Haldane reinterpreted the Greek myth of Daedalus and the Minotaur as heroic fable. Seventy years later another geneticist, François Jacob, used the same myth as cautionary tale. Here I explain the Minotaur's “genetic” monstrosity in terms of (...) disability and hybridity, using the movie Gattaca to argue that ancient fears of monstrously disabled bodies are being recycled as bioethics. (shrink)
Mark S. Massa argues that the history of natural law discourse in American Catholic moral theology, since the promulgation of Humanae Vitae in 1968, is marked more by discontinuity, rupture, and revolution than has been appreciated.
This paper seeks to reinterpret the life and work of J. B. S. Haldane by focusing on an illuminating but largely ignored essay he published in 1927, "The Last Judgment" -- the sequel to his better known work, "Daedalus" (1924). This astonishing essay expresses a vision of the human future over the next 40,000,000 years, one that revises and updates Wellsian futurism with the long range implications of the "new biology" for human destiny. That vision served as a kind of (...) lifelong credo, one that infused and informed his diverse scientific work, political activities, and popular writing, and that gave unity and coherence to his remarkable career. (shrink)
No one has done more than John Martin Fischer and MarkRavizza to advance our understanding of the important dispute in the theory of responsibility between structuralists and historicists. This makes it all the more important to take the measure of Responsibility and Control, their most recent contribution to the historicist side of the discussion. In this paper I examine some novel features of their most recent version of responsiblity-historicism, especially their new notions of "moderate reasons-responsiveness" and "ownership-of-agency." (...) Fischer and Ravizza intend these new elements to solve two problems untouched by earlier versions of their theory: the "problem of strange preference patterns" and the "reasons-responsiveness problem of induction." I argue that they cannot solve these problems within the theoretical strictures they place upon themselves, namely a minimalist meta-ethics of value and practical reason, and attention only to certain formal features of preference-acquisition. I conclude that historicist compatibilists cannot hope to meet the challenge of structuralist compatibilism, from the one side, and of incompatibilism, from the other, unless they take on the full task of accounting for the difference between the child's acquisition of autonomous substantive preferences and values and her acquisition of heteronomous ones. (shrink)
In this article, I explore preliminarily whether Peter Comestor’s Historia scholastica was well suited to extended theological inquiry. After providing a brief introduction to Comestor’s method to acquaint the reader with the literary character of the History, I turn my attention to the use by Stephen Langton and Hugh of St. Cher, two prominent commentators on the History, of source material that Comestor himself used in composing the History. I pay particular attention to the Lombard’s Sentences, the most important source (...) for Comestor’s treatment of the first three chapters of Genesis in the first twenty-five chapters of the History and, not surprisingly, a crucial source for his two commentators. Focusing on source material from the Lombard’s Sentences used both by Comestor and by Langton and Hugh illustrates well the disparate ends of Comestor and his commentators. It also provides a common basis for comparing not only how the two Peters treated certain problematic theological matters but also how Langton and Hugh interpreted and commented upon Comestor’s presentation of the same. I conclude that, at least in certain instances, a work like the History was not entirely amenable to the new ways of pursuing theological inquiry in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. (shrink)
In this paper I investigate the relationship between the serious and the playful elements in Socrates’ character as these unfold within the context of Xenophon’s Symposium. For the Greeks, the concept of value is attached to the meaning of seriousness, and this accounts for the natural preference for the serious over the playful. Despite the potential rivalry of the playful and philosophy, Socrates mixes the playful with the serious in such a way as to conceal their boundary. This mixing serves (...) the purpose of education, by both attracting us to Socrates and placing us at a distance from the intended meaning of his words. (shrink)
We assert that audit quality can be improved to the extent that social norms for honesty and responsibility are activated in the auditor. To test this assertion, we use an experimental audit market setting found in the literature and manipulate factors expected to activate honesty and responsibility norms in the auditor. We find that auditor misreporting is reduced when the investor is another participant in the experiment rather than computer simulated, and thus, the interests of third-party investors are salient to (...) the auditor. We also find that auditor misreporting is reduced when the auditor is required to sign-off on the audit report, but only when the investor is another participant in the experiment. Consistent with our underlying theory, we find that pre-experimental measures of sensitivity to honesty and responsibility norms help explain the effects of our manipulated variables. Finally, we find that these measures of social norm sensitivity are associated with the moral judgment that auditor misreporting is unethical. Our study helps explain previous anomalous findings in the literature and answers the call in Blay et al. for empirical researchers to use social norm theory to develop stronger tests of moral reasoning in the market for auditing services. (shrink)
Virtue and the Moral Life brings together distinguished philosophers and theologians with younger scholars of consummate promise to produce ten essays that engage both academics and students of ethics. This collection explores the role virtues play in identifying the good life and the good society.
Ferdinand Canning Scott Schiller was the foremost first generation British pragmatist; he is also the most overlooked pragmatist. F. C. S. Schiller and the Dawn of Pragmatism: The Rhetoric of a Philosophical Rebel, by Mark J. Porrovecchio, provides the first comprehensive examination of his philosophical career, examining the rhetorical practices that gave rise to his pragmatic humanism and the ways those strategies led to his erasure from the intellectual history of pragmatism.
Some critics of Mill understand him to advocate the forced assimilation of people he regards as uncivilized, and to defend toleration and the principle of liberty only for civilized people of the West. Examination of Mill’s social and political writings and practice while serving the British East India Company shows, instead, that Mill is a ‘tolerant imperialist’: Mill defends interference in India to promote the protection of legal rights, respect and toleration for conflicting viewpoints, and a commercial society that can (...) cope with natural threats. He does not think the principle of liberty is waived for the uncivilized, or that the West should forcibly reshape them in its own monistic image. Mill’s tolerant imperialism reflects a tension between liberty and moral development that surfaces also when Mill thinks about the scope of government in civilized societies. (shrink)