Paternalism is widely viewed as presumptively justifiable for children but morally problematic for adults. The standard explanation for this distinction is that children lack capacities relevant to the justifiability of paternalism. I argue that this explanation is more difficult to defend than typically assumed. If paternalism is often justified when needed to keep children safe from the negative consequences of their poor choices, then when adults make choices leading to the same negative consequences, what makes paternalism less justified? It seems (...) true that ordinary adults have capacities enabling them to promote their interests in ways most children lack. This can explain why paternalism is more often justified towards children than adults. What is not explained, however, is why paternalism would be justifiable for children, but not adults, when neither possess the relevant interest-promoting capacities—exactly the cases when paternalism towards adults might be considered. I argue that this dilemma undercuts capacities-based explanations for the belief that childhood is distinctively relevant for the permissibility of paternalism. I then address defenses of both consequentialist and deontological versions of the capacities-based explanation. Absent this capacities-based explanation, I argue that the intuition that less demanding justificatory standards apply to paternalism when directed at children than when directed towards adults presents unresolved problems for egalitarians. (shrink)
Godwin's Political Justice is the founding work of philosophical anarchism. Drawing on the principles of liberty and utility Godwin criticizes government and all forms of secular and religious authority, advocating the free exercise of individual judgement. He raises enduring questions about the nature of our duty to others.
Caleb Williams is a psychological thriller and suspenseful tale of detection and pursuit. It is also a powerful political novel, inspired by the events following the French Revolution. This new edition reprints the original novel of 1794, the grittier, topical text that reflects Godwin's political philosophy.
What is the primary function of consciousness in the nervous system? The answer to this question remains enigmatic, not so much because of a lack of relevant data, but because of the lack of a conceptual framework with which to interpret the data. To this end, we have developed Passive Frame Theory, an internally coherent framework that, from an action-based perspective, synthesizes empirically supported hypotheses from diverse fields of investigation. The theory proposes that the primary function of consciousness is well-circumscribed, (...) serving the 'somatic nervous system[. For this system, consciousness serves as a frame that constrains and directs skeletal muscle output, thereby yielding adaptive behavior. The mechanism by which consciousness achieves this is more counterintuitive, passive, and “low level” than the kinds of functions that theorists have previously attributed to consciousness. Passive frame theory begins to illuminate (a) what consciousness contributes to nervous function, (b) how consciousness achieves this function, and (c) the neuroanatomical substrates of conscious processes. Our untraditional, action-based perspective focuses on olfaction instead of on vision and is 'descriptive' (describing the products of nature as they evolved to be) rather than 'normative' (construing processes in terms of how they should function). Passive frame theory begins to isolate the neuroanatomical, cognitive-mechanistic, and representational (e.g., conscious contents) processes associated with consciousness. (shrink)
Drawing on social identity theory and organizational identification theory, we develop a model of the impact of perceived corporate social responsibility on employees’ organizational identification. We argue that employees’ perceptions of their company’s social responsibility behaviors are more important than organizational reality in determining organizational identification. After defining perceived corporate social responsibility (PCSR), we postulate how PCSR affects organizational identification when perception and reality are aligned or misaligned. Implications for organizational practice and further research are discussed.
As corporate scandals proliferate, organizational researchers and practitioners have made calls for research providing guidance for those wishing to influence positive moral decision-making and behavior in the workplace. This study incorporates social cognitive theory and a vignette-based cognitive measure for moral imagination to examine (a) moral attentiveness and employee creativity as important antecedents of moral imagination and (b) creativity as a moderator of the positive relationship between moral attentiveness and moral imagination. Based on the results from supervisor–subordinate dyadic data (N (...) = 162) obtained from employed students, hypotheses were largely supported as expected. Implications are discussed. (shrink)
We present this special issue on positive organizational ethics (POE) to highlight those pursuing positive subjective experiences, positive attributes of individuals and groups, and positive practices that contribute to ethical and virtuous behavior in organizations. Although prior research has offered some insight in this area, there is still much to be learned about how to cultivate and sustain ethical strength in different types of organizations and how goodness can emerge from and in spite of human failings. After describing the positive (...) movement, we position POE as a discrete area of inquiry within the broader positive behavioral sciences, at the intersection of positive behavioral studies and business ethics. After defining our terms and purpose for creating the POE domain, we introduce the articles in this special issue. The introduction concludes with suggested topics for future research. (shrink)
This article surveys recent feminist contributions to moral philosophy with an emphasis on those works which engage with debates within mainstream ethics. The article begins by examining a tension said to arise from the two criteria a theory must meet if it is to count as feminist moral theory: the women's experience requirement and the feminist conclusion requirement. Subsequent sections deal with feminist relational theories of rights, feminist work on responsibility and feminist contractarian approaches to ethics. A final section looks (...) at the application of some feminist moral theories to the problem of abortion. (shrink)
Emerging research suggests that an organization’s ability to sustain a competitive advantage is increasingly linked to its successful pursuit of a business strategy that generates mutual benefit where the business is both profitable and functional for the common good. The question remains, however: What are the attributes of decision makers that enable them to realize mutually beneficial outcomes? This dissertation argues that one critical key to solving this question is a better understanding of moral imagination in organizational decision making. To (...) test this hypothesis, a new vignette-based cognitive measure for moral imagination in organizational decision making was created to explore empirically the relationship between moral imagination and mutually beneficial decision making. Overall, findings from 180 respondents supported the hypothesis that individuals, who exercise moral imagination, including the ability for discerning moral issues and developing a range of possible outcomes during the decision-making process, are indeed more likely to generate a mutually beneficial outcome for a situation compared to those who do not exercise moral imagination. Implications and directions for future research are discussed. (shrink)
The introduction of mass public education posed unfamiliar problems for the governments of modern states, and the ways in which governments worked through those problems can reveal much about the culture and values of a state. This paper focuses on central Government officials and the Ministers they advised, with particular attention to the pivotal period 1960-1976. Trends identified include: the shift from post-War optimism to the more pessimistic view of schooling since the late 1960s; the dynamics of professional development amid (...) over-rapid expansion and contraction; relationships between training institutions and schools; and policy-makers' changing perceptions of teachers as professionals. Four themes are considered in detail: the imperatives of numbers; status concerns as a driver of change; linkages among the 'partners' in the schooling enterprise; and accountability. Some questions are posed about the sustainability of the schooling enterprise in England and Wales. (shrink)