Comparing Mill's "Non-Intervention" and Walzer's "Just and Unjust Wars" links two classic statements on just wars of intervention. Doyle concludes that interventionist arguments should go beyond the three paradigmatic cases Walzer explores in "Just and Unjust Wars.".
The question of when or if a nation should intervene in another country’s affairs is one of the most important concerns in today’s volatile world. Taking John Stuart Mill’s famous 1859 essay “A Few Words on Non-Intervention” as his starting point, international relations scholar Michael W. Doyle addresses the thorny issue of when a state’s sovereignty should be respected and when it should be overridden or disregarded by other states in the name of humanitarian protection, national self-determination, or national (...) security. In this time of complex social and political interplay and increasingly sophisticated and deadly weaponry, Doyle reinvigorates Mill’s principles for a new era while assessing the new United Nations doctrine of responsibility to protect. In the twenty-first century, intervention can take many forms: military and economic, unilateral and multilateral. Doyle’s thought-provoking argument examines essential moral and legal questions underlying significant American foreign policy dilemmas of recent years, including Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan. (shrink)
This paper reports on the development of a research instrument designed to explore ethical reasoning in a tax context. This research instrument is a version of the Defining Issues Test (DIT) originally developed by Rest [1979a, Development in Judging Moral Issues (Univer sity of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN); 1979b, Defining Issues Test (University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN)], but adapted to focus specifically on the environment encountered by tax practitioners. The paper explores reasons for developing a context-(and profession-) specific test, (...) and details the manner in which this was undertaken. The study on which it is based aims to compare the reasoning of tax practitioners in the taxspecific context and in the general social context covered by the original DIT, and to compare this with the reasoning of non-specialists in these two contexts. The paper therefore also considers the issues that arise when using such tests to compare reasoning in different domains or to compare groups. The focus on instrument development to measure ethical reasoning in a specific domain will contribute to the literature on research methods in the area of the DIT and will facilitate cross-study comparisons. (shrink)
While much of the empirical accounting literature suggests that, if differences do exist, Big Four employees are more ethical than non-Big Four employees, this trend has not been evident in the recent media coverage of Big Four tax practitioners acting for multinationals accused of aggressive tax avoidance behaviour. However, there has been little exploration in the literature to date specifically of the relationship between firm size and ethics in tax practice. We aim here to address this gap, initially exploring tax (...) practitioners’ perceptions of the impact of firm size on ethics in tax practice using interview data in order to identify the salient issues involved. We then proceed to assess quantitatively whether employer firm size has an impact on the ethical reasoning of tax practitioners, using a tax context-specific adaptation of a well-known and validated psychometric instrument, the Defining Issues Test. (shrink)
I argue that there is nothing wrong with perfect voyeurism , covert watching or listening that is neither discovered nor publicized. After a brief discussion of privacy I present attempts from Stanley Benn, Daniel Nathan, and James Moor to show that the act is wrong. I argue that these authors fail to make their case. However, I maintain that, if detected or publicized, voyeurism can do grave harm and to that extent should be severely punished. I conclude with some thoughts (...) on the stubborn intuition that perfect voyeurism is wrong despite the absence of harm. (shrink)
Since the end of the Cold War, international ethicists have focused largely on issues outside the traditional scope of security studies. The nuclear ethics literature needs to be revived and reoriented to address the new and evolving 21st century nuclear threats and policy responses.
This paper examines how Nietzsche’s view of the mind and its relationship to nature informs his account of human agency. In particular, it focuses on his approach to the causal efficacy of conscious mental states. By examining the Leibnizean and Kantian background to this approach, I contend that Nietzsche proposes a naturalist but non-eliminativist account of mind, central to which is his anti-Cartesian denial that consciousness is intrinsic to the mental. However, Nietzsche ultimately oscillates between two accounts: the first, which (...) I call the ‘enchantment thesis,’ sacrifices the extrinsicality of consciousness but secures the causal efficacy of conscious mental states, whilst the second avoids enchanting nature, securing the extrinsicality of consciousness but sacrificing its causal efficacy. I argue that it is possible to reconstruct his arguments to combine elements of the conflicting accounts and to successfully hold together his anti-Cartesian account of mind with the possibility of autonomous human action. (shrink)
Nonintervention has been a particularly important and occasionally disturbing principle for liberal scholars, such as John Stuart Mill and Michael Walzer, who share a commitment to basic and universal human rights. On the one hand, liberals have provided some of the strongest reasons to abide by a strict form of the nonintervention doctrine. It was only with the security of national borders that peoples could work out the capacity to govern themselves as free citizens. On the other hand, those very (...) same principles of universal human dignity when applied in different contexts have provided justifications for overriding or disregarding the principle of nonintervention. In explaining this dual logic I present an interpretive summary of Mill's famous argument against and for intervention, presented in his "A Few Words on Non-Intervention" (1859), that illustrates what makes Mill's "few words" both so attractive and alarming to us. We should be drawn to Mill's arguments because he is among the first to address the conundrums of modern intervention. The modern conscience tries simultaneously to adhere to three contradictory principles: first, the cosmopolitan, humanitarian commitment to assistance, irrespective of international borders; second, respect for the significance of communitarian, national self-determination; and, third, accommodation to the reality of international anarchy, which puts a premium on self-help national security. I stress, more than has been conventional, the consequentialist character of the ethics of both nonintervention and intervention. Comparing Mill's "Non-Intervention" and Walzer's Just and Unjust Wars (1977) links two classic statements on just wars of intervention. I conclude that interventionist arguments should go beyond the three paradigmatic cases Walzer explores in Just and Unjust Wars . But while they can draw on Mill's "Non-Intervention," they need to offer a more convincing set of criteria for when such interventions are likely to do more good than harm. (shrink)
French political philosophy has experienced a renewal over the last twenty years. One of its leading projects is Marcel Gauchet’s reflection on democracy and religion. This project situates itself within the context of the French debate on modernity and autonomy launched by the work of Cornelius Castoriadis. Gauchet’s work makes a significant contribution to this debate by building on the pioneering work of Lefort on the political self-instituting capacity of modern societies and the associated shift from religion to ideology. It (...) thus explores the centrality of the notion of sovereignty in the advent of liberal democracy and conducts this reflection within an overall discussion of the role played by Christianity in the genesis of European modernity. It elaborates an anthropology of modernity which explores the relationship between individualism and democracy and redefines modernity as a project of sovereignty which aims at creating a radically new society, the society of individuals. (shrink)
This paper explores the specific contribution of a strand of contemporary French social theory founded by Cornelius Castoriadis and Claude Lefort to the understanding of human power. It formulates a conception of power that transcends its definitions in terms of physical coercion or institutionalised violence to reveal the way power is creative and institutes the social. Its reflection on the cultural nature of political power and it role in society is shown to extend the pioneering reflection of Durkheim's sociology, especially (...) as regards the homology that exists between religion and politics. The social role performed by the state explored by Durkheim prefigures Gauchet's theory of the state, which builds on Lefort's work. Gauchet's theory can be said to elaborate a critical synthesis of the two stands of Durkheim's work: the sociology of religion and the sociology of the modern state. This synthesis raises questions on the role played by the European state in the development of individualism, in both its political and economic manifestations. (shrink)
This article advances a critical analysis of John Rawls’s justification of liberal democratic nuclear deterrence in the post-Cold War era as found in The Law of Peoples. Rawls’s justification overlooked how nuclear-armed liberal democracies are ensnared in two intransigent ethical dilemmas: one in which the mandate to secure liberal constitutionalism requires both the preservation and violation of important constitutional provisions in domestic affairs, and the other in which this same mandate requires both the preservation and violation of the liberal commitment (...) to international legal arrangements and to the rule of law generally. On this view, the choice to violate constitutional provisions and international legal arrangements is evidence of nuclear despotism. Moreover, this choice does not imply that the ethical foreign policy dilemmas were resolved. Instead, it implies that the dilemmas force liberal democratic governments into implementing ethically paradoxical policy outcomes. (shrink)
Moral rationalism is identified as the view that moral constraints are rational constraints. This view seems implausible to many because it seems to involve belief in the fantastic-sounding possibility of egoist-conversion: that, in principle, an argument for moral constraints could be produced which would motivate a rational person who does not yet accept those constraints to observe them. Furthermore, the Humean want-belief model of motivation---the view that beliefs alone are incapable of motivating---seems to provide a good explanation for the impossibility (...) of egoist-conversion. I argue that the moral rationalist is not in fact committed to the possibility of egoist-conversion, and that an explanation of its impossibility can be given which is compatible with rationalism; so this impossibility counts neither against rationalism nor for the want-belief model. I consider a number of apparent objections to my position and rebut them. (shrink)
In a widely cited and controversial speech, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan highlighted the moral character of the boundaries of political sovereignty when he questioned whether respecting national sovereignty everywhere and always precluded the international protection of human rights. He argued that it did not and highlighted the importance of multilateral authorization. In this article, I explore the difference that multilateral authority, as opposed to unilateral national decision, should make in justifying armed intervention. Should the more salient role of the United (...) Nations lead us to a more expansive tolerance of international intervention? And, if multilateralism does make a difference—and many think its impartiality is key—are good intentions enough? Had the international community also discovered how to intervene more effectively, with a better prospect of self-sustaining self-determination, at an acceptable humanitarian cost? I will conclude that multilateralism should widen our acceptance of intervention, even though the intentions at play are not reliably superior to unilateral intentions. (shrink)
Starting with a discussion of the crisis of French national identity that became fully apparent in the 1980s, this article examines the historical paradigm that conditioned the birth of French universalism and ultimately spelt its demise. Identifying as the determining experience the reification/deification of power performed by monarchical absolutism, it examines the evolution of what can be termed after Marcel Gauchet the French `political-intellectual system', with its exclusive emphasis on the ideological legitimacy of power, and highlights the crucial role played (...) by intellectuals in its formation, be it on an oppositional mode. Looking back to the 17th century, it thus identifies in Montaigne's essays and their complex dialectic of order and revolt the fundamental paradox within which French intellectual culture evolved right up to post-structuralism, which, whilst it attempted a most radical critique of the French intellectual mystique, ultimately remained prisoner to its underlying statism. Post-structuralism is thus to be seen as the first manifestation of a profound crisis of French intellectual culture, triggered in the 1970s by the crisis of French republicanism, in the wake of the worldwide decline of national sovereignty. What characterized French political and intellectual culture from its inception was indeed the reductive absorption of the notion of society into that of state, and the concomitant belief in a rational vanguard. However, whilst post-structuralism belongs to a tradition of resistance to the republican legacy of the French Enlightenment, it remains deeply conditioned by the pessimism of its distant Augustinian and Jansenist origins: unable to conceive of any effective social action outside of the state, it condemns itself to the marginality of counter-culture. Rather than a total deconstruction of French universalism, post-structuralism must thus be identified as its last, contradictory manifestation. (shrink)
In this paper I try to solve some problems concerning the interpretation of Socrates' conversation with Gorgias about the nature of rhetoric in Plato's Gorgias (448e6-461b2). I begin by clarifying what, ethically, is at stake in the conversation (section 2). In the main body of the paper (sections 3-6) I address the question of what we are to understand Gorgias as believing about the nature of rhetoric: I criticise accounts given by Charles Kahn and John Cooper, and suggest an alternative (...) account of my own. In the final section I spell out some of the implications of my account for the interpretation of the Gorgias, and of Plato more generally. (shrink)
The requirements of the UK Equality Act 2010 and some high profile criticism for using a potentially ageist methodology have prompted the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to assess the processes and methodology it uses to make appraisal decisions. This paper argues that NICE has established rigorous systems to protect against ageist decisions, has no track record of ageism and is well placed to meet the requirements of new UK equality legislation.