Questioning the usual judgements of political ethics, Ruth W. Grant argues that hypocrisy can actually be constructive while strictly principled behavior can be destructive. _Hypocrisy and Integrity_ offers a new conceptual framework that clarifies the differences between idealism and fanaticism while it uncovers the moral limits of compromise. "Exciting and provocative.... Grant's work is to be highly recommended, offering a fresh reading of Rousseau and Machiavelli as well as presenting a penetrating analysis of hypocrisy and integrity."—Ronald J. Terchek, (...) _American Political Science Review_ "A great refreshment.... With liberalism's best interests at heart, Grant seeks to make available a better understanding of the limits of reason in politics."—Peter Berkowitz, _New Republic_. (shrink)
In this article, I explicate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s account of emancipatory history and activism by examining the influence of G. W. F. Hegel’s account of world-historical individuals on his thought. Both thinkers, I argue, affirm that history’s spiritual destiny works through individuals who are driven by the contingencies of their subjective character and given situation to undertake particular actions, and yet who nevertheless freely and decisively break the new from the old by forsaking subjective satisfaction to spur events forward (...) to a more rational state of affairs. This synthetic unity of abstract freedom and concrete embodiment reflects the ‘civil war’ between the universal and infinite essence, and particular and finite passions, that King and Hegel identify as equally constitutive of human will. Through an examination of King’s account of Rosa Parks’ pivotal arrest, I develop the consequences of this ‘Hegelian’ view for our understanding of political action and historical progress. (shrink)
This volume offers two complementary works, unabridged, in modernized, annotated texts--the only available edition priced for classroom use. Grant and Tarcov provide a concise introduction, a note on the texts, and a select bibliography.
There is considerable confusion regarding the ethical appropriateness of using incentives in research with human subjects. Previous work on determining whether incentives are unethical considers them as a form of undue influence or coercive offer. We understand the ethical issue of undue influence as an issue, not of coercion, but of corruption of judgment. By doing so we find that, for the most part, the use of incentives to recruit and retain research subjects is innocuous. But there are some instances (...) where it is not. Specifically, incentives become problematic when conjoined with the following factors, singly or in combination with one another: where the subject is in a dependency relationship with the researcher, where the risks are particularly high, where the research is degrading, where the participant will only consent if the incentive is relatively large because the participant's aversion to the study is strong, and where the aversion is a principled one. The factors we have identified and the kinds of judgments they require differ substantially from those considered crucial in most previous discussions of the ethics of employing incentives in research with human subjects. (shrink)
This study investigated the differences in responses of undergraduate business students to an ethical dilemma. Demographic characteristics were collected on the respondents and profiled as a means of examining common bases for decision. The authors found that certain demographic characteristics appear to be predictors of ethical decision behavior of future businessmen.
A well-known objection to divine simplicity holds that the doctrine is incompatible with God’s contingent knowledge. I set out the objection and reject two problematic solutions. I then argue that the objection is best answered by adopting an “extrinsic model of divine knowing” according to which God’s contingent knowledge, which varies across worlds, does not involve any intrinsic variation in God. Solutions along these lines have been suggested by others. This paper advances the discussion by developing and offering partial defenses (...) of three such models. (shrink)
Increasingly in the modern world, incentives are becoming the tool we reach for when we wish to bring about change. In government, in education, in health care, between and within institutions of all sorts, incentives are offered to steer people's choices in certain directions. But despite the increasing interest in ethics and economics, the ethics of the use of incentives has raised very little concern. From a certain point of view, this is not surprising. When incentives are viewed from the (...) perspective of market economics, they appear to be entirely unproblematic. An incentive is an offer of something of value, sometimes with a cash equivalent and sometimes not, meant to influence the payoff structure of a utility calculation so as to alter a person's course of action. In other words, the person offering the incentive means to make one choice more attractive to the person responding to the incentive than any other alternative. Both parties stand to gain from the resulting choice. In effect, it is a form of trade, and as such, it meets certain ethical requirements by definition. A trade involves voluntary action by all parties concerned to bring about a result that is beneficial to all parties concerned. If these conditions were not met, the trade would simply not occur. And as inducements in a voluntary transaction, incentives certainly have the moral high ground over coercion as an alternative. (shrink)
Peter Furlong has recently raised an objection to my defense of Aquinas’s approach to explaining how God could cause all creaturely actions without causing sin. In this short paper, I argue that the objection fails.
Aquinas maintains that, although God created the universe, he could have created another or simply refrained from creating altogether. That Aquinas believesin divine free choice is uncontroversial. Yet doubts have been raised as to whether Thomas is entitled to this belief, given his claims concerning divine simplicity.According to simplicity, there is no potentiality in God, nor is there a distinction in God between God’s willing, His essence, and His necessary being. On the surface, it appears that these claims leave no (...) room for divine free choice. I argue that attempts by Aquinas and a pair of his contemporary defenders to reconcile God’s freedom with God’s simplicity fail to resolve the problem. Nevertheless, I maintain that Aquinas provides the key to a resolution in his claim that while creatures are really related to God, God is not really related to creatures. (shrink)
The privation account of moral evil holds that the badness of morally bad acts consists not in the positive act itself or in any positive feature of the act but rather in the act’s lack of conformity to the moral standard. Traditionally recognized for its theological usefulness, the account has been the target of at least five recent objections. In this paper I offer a positive philosophical argument for the account and then show that the objections fail.
According to prevailing opinion, if a creaturely act is caused by God, then it cannot be free in the libertarian sense. I argue to the contrary. I distinguish intrinsic and extrinsic models of divine causal agency. I then show that, given the extrinsic model, there is no reason one holding that our free acts are caused by God could not also hold a libertarian account of human freedom. It follows that a libertarian account of human freedom is consistent with God’s (...) being the source and cause of all being apart from himself, including the being of free human actions. (shrink)
Aquinas teaches that human acts are caused by God. Assuming that such causation entails theological determinism, philosophers with libertarian intuitions tend either to read around Aquinas’s teaching on the relation of divine causality and human action, or to reject that teaching altogether. Unfortunately, the arguments most often used by Aquinas and his contemporary defenders to show that his teaching is compatible with human freedom fail to address thelibertarian’s main concerns. In part one of this essay, I consider these arguments and (...) show why they fail. In part two, I attempt to address the libertarian’s concerns more directly by arguing that Aquinas should not be thought of as a theological determinist. I will show that theological determinism presupposes acertain logic or explanatory scheme, which Aquinas’s understanding of God, and in particular of divine simplicity, will not accommodate. Hence, the kinds ofinferences needed to make theological determinism intelligible do not apply in Aquinas’s case. (shrink)
Incentives are typically conceived as a form of trade, and so voluntariness appears to be the only ethical concern. As a consequence, incentives are often considered ethically superior to regulations because they are voluntary rather than coercive. But incentives can also be viewed as one way to get others to do what they otherwise would not; that is, as a form of power. When incentives are viewed in this light, many ethical questions arise in addition to voluntariness: What are the (...) responsibilities of the powerful in using incentives? Can incentives be manipulative or exploitative, even if people are free to refuse them? Like all other forms of power, incentives can be abused. This paper develops criteria for distinguishing their legitimate from their illegitimate uses, viz. legitimacy of purpose, voluntariness, and effect on character. The criteria are then applied to three cases: plea bargaining, recruiting medical research subjects, and motivating children to learn. Thinking of incentives in terms of.. (shrink)
According to a classical teaching, God is not really related to creatures even by virtue of creating them. Some have objected that this teaching makes unintelligible the claim that God causally accounts for the universe, since God would be the same whether the universe existed or not. I defend the classical teaching, showing how the doctrine is implied by a popular cosmological argument, showing that the objection to it would also rule out libertarian agent causality, and showing that the objection (...) rests on an account of causality and sufficient reason that we have good reason to reject. (Published Online January 15 2007). (shrink)