Critiques of casestudies as an epistemic genre usually focus on the domain of justification and hinge on comparisons with statistics and laboratory experiments. In this domain, casestudies can be defended by the notion of “infirming”: they use many different bits of evidence, each of which may independently “infirm” the account. Yet their efficacy may be more powerful in the domain of discovery, in which these same different bits of evi- dence must be fully integrated (...) to create an explanatory account with internal validity. (shrink)
Ethics instructors often use cases to help students understand ethics within a corporate context, but we need to know more about the impact a case-based pedagogy has on students’ ability to make ethical decisions. We used a pre- and post-test methodology to assess the effect of using cases to teach ethics in a finance course. We also wanted to determine whether recent corporate ethics scandals might have impacted students’ perceptions of the importance and prevalence of ethics in business, so (...) we used in-depth casestudies of several of the major scandals (e.g., Enron, Tyco, Adelphia). Our results are somewhat surprising since studying ethics scandals positively impacts students’ ethical decision making and their perceptions of the ethics of businesspeople. (shrink)
What can we conclude from a mere handful of casestudies? The field of HPS has witnessed too many hasty philosophical generalizations based on a small number of conveniently chosen casestudies. One might even speculate that dissatisfaction with such methodological shoddiness contributed decisively to a widespread disillusionment with the whole HPS enterprise. Without specifying clear mechanisms for history-philosophy interaction, we are condemned to either making unwarranted generalizations from history, or writing entirely "local" histories with no (...) bearing on an overall understanding of the scientific process. I propose a move away from the habit of viewing historical cases as an inductive evidence-base for general philosophical theses. The relation between historical and philosophical studies should not be seen as one between the particular and the general, but as a relation between the concrete and the abstract. An abstract framework is necessary for telling any concrete story at all. In this paper I explore how doing concrete history can help our abstract philosophizing. In the absence of ready-made philosophical concepts appropriate for understanding a given historical episode, the historian is compelled to craft new abstract philosophical concepts. Therefore, history-writing can be a very effective method of philosophical discovery. I will illustrate these claims through a discussion of two investigations in HPS from my own recent and current work: (1) temperature measurement and epistemic iteration; (2)constitution and laboratory practices in the Chemical Revolution. (This will also raise, and solve, a problem of reflexivity: how can we use casestudies to show how to go beyond casestudies?). (shrink)
Philosophers of science turned to historical casestudies in part in response to Thomas Kuhn's insistence that such studies can transform the philosophy of science. In this issue Joseph Pitt argues that the power of casestudies to instruct us about scientific methodology and epistemology depends on prior philosophical commitments, without which casestudies are not philosophically useful. Here I reply to Pitt, demonstrating that casestudies, properly deployed, illustrate styles of (...) scientific work and modes of argumentation that are not well handled by currently standard philosophical analyses. I illustrate these claims with exemplary findings from casestudies dealing with exploratory experimentation and with interdisciplinary cooperation across sciences to yield multiple independent means of access to theoretical entities. The latter cases provide examples of ways that scientists support claims about theoretical entities that are not available in work performed within a single discipline. They also illustrate means of correcting systematic biases that stem from the commitments of each discipline taken separately. These findings illustrate the transformative power of case study methods, allow us to escape from the horns of Pitt's "dilemma of casestudies," and vindicate some of the post-Kuhn uses to which casestudies have been put. (shrink)
This paper attempts a partial, critical look at the construction and use of casestudies in ethics education. It argues that the authors and users of casestudies are often insufficiently aware of the literary nature of these artefacts: this may lead to some confusion between fiction and reality. Issues of the nature of the genre, the fictional, story-constructing aspect of casestudies, the nature of authorship, and the purposes and uses of case (...)studies as "texts" are outlined and discussed. The paper concludes with some critical questions that can be applied to the construction and use of casestudies in the light of the foregoing analysis. (shrink)
The goal of achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) can generally be realized only in stages. Moreover, resource, capacity and political constraints mean governments often face difficult trade-offs on the path to UHC. In a 2014 report, Making fair choices on the path to UHC, the WHO Consultative Group on Equity and Universal Health Coverage articulated principles for making such trade-offs in an equitable manner. We present three casestudies which illustrate how these principles can guide practical decision-making. These (...)casestudies show how progressive realization of the right to health can be effectively guided by priority-setting principles, including generating the greatest total health gain, priority for the worse off, and financial risk protection. They also demonstrate the value of a fair and accountable process of priority setting. (shrink)
To prepare for ethically challenging situations in the workplace, it is useful for students to explore their attitudes toward ethical issues and their own value systems. An experiential assignment to teach ethics in business programs is presented. This method allows instructors to incorporate a “stand alone” assignment in ethics into a course that focuses on another area in management. The assignment, student-developed casestudies of ethical situations in the workplace, requires students to develop individual casestudies (...) in ethics drawing on their workplace experiences to illustrate ethical principles. The assignment requires students to describe an ethical situation they encountered in the workplace, their relevant value systems, sources of information consulted, their role in the organization, and how they resolved the ethical situation, considering how their experiences since the time of the situation might influence analogous decision making today. To assess student learning, we used thematic analysis to evaluate the content of the casestudies, and descriptive statistics to analyze responses to a post-assignment survey. Based on our analysis of the content of the casestudies and student responses, this appears to be an effective learning tool to actively engage students in a consideration of, and discussion about, ethical issues in management, and to learn from the experiences of others. (shrink)
: What do appeals to casestudies accomplish? Consider the dilemma: On the one hand, if the case is selected because it exemplifies the philosophical point, then it is not clear that the historical data hasn't been manipulated to fit the point. On the other hand, if one starts with a case study, it is not clear where to go from there—for it is unreasonable to generalize from one case or even two or three.
A model for ethical problem solving -- Values in health and illness -- What is the source of moral judgments? -- Benefiting the patient and others : duty to do good and avoid harm -- Justice : allocation of health resources -- Autonomy -- Veracity : honesty with patients -- Fidelity : promise-keeping, loyalty to patients, and impaired professionals -- Avoidance of killing -- Abortion, sterilization, and contraception -- Genetics, birth, and the biological revolution -- Mental health and behavior control (...) -- Confidentiality : ethical disclosure of medical information -- Organ transplants -- Health insurance, health system planning, and rationing -- Experimentation on human subjects -- Consent and the right to refuse treatment -- Death and dying. (shrink)
This book brings together eleven casestudies of inductive risk-the chance that scientific inference is incorrect-that range over a wide variety of scientific contexts and fields. The chapters are designed to illustrate the pervasiveness of inductive risk, assist scientists and policymakers in responding to it, and productively move theoretical discussions of the topic forward.
Philosophy has never delivered on its promise to settle the great moral and religious questions of human existence, and even most philosophers conclude that it does not offer an established body of disciplinary knowledge. Gary Gutting challenges this view by examining detailed casestudies of recent achievements by analytic philosophers such as Quine, Kripke, Gettier, Lewis, Chalmers, Plantinga, Kuhn, Rawls, and Rorty. He shows that these philosophers have indeed produced a substantial body of disciplinary knowledge, but he challenges (...) many common views about what philosophers have achieved. Topics discussed include the role of argument in philosophy, naturalist and experimentalist challenges to the status of philosophical intuitions, the importance of pre-philosophical convictions, Rawls' method of reflective equilibrium, and Rorty's challenge to the idea of objective philosophical truth. The book offers a lucid survey of recent analytic work and presents a new understanding of philosophy as an important source of knowledge. (shrink)
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)is supporting a research project entitled ?Casestudies towards the establishment of a social history of logic? with a grant, initially for two years. The project is being carried out by a team of five members under the direction of Professor Christian Thiel in the Institut für Philosophie and the Interdisziplinäres Institut für Wissenschaftstheorie und Wissenschaftsgeschichte (IIWW) of the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg.
This open access book provides original, up-to-date casestudies of “ethics dumping” that were largely facilitated by loopholes in the ethics governance of low and middle-income countries. It is instructive even to experienced researchers since it provides a voice to vulnerable populations from the fore mentioned countries. Ensuring the ethical conduct of North-South collaborations in research is a process fraught with difficulties. The background conditions under which such collaborations take place include extreme differentials in available income and power, (...) as well as a past history of colonialism, while differences in culture can add a new layer of complications. In this context, up-to-date casestudies of unethical conduct are essential for research ethics training. (shrink)
How should we think about the many ethical dilemmas that face us today? How should research in current ethical dilemmas be conducted to move beyond impasses in judgment towards developing a consensus for action? According to Anthony Weston, “we need a more expansive view of ethics,” one that incorporates creativity. Following Weston’s lead, I shall discuss our new Honors Interdisciplinary Seminar on CaseStudies in Ethics. This course is designed to prepare our students to participate in the Ethics (...) Bowl, which is already a creative act of engagement, but more importantly, we hope to open new possibilities in the study of ethical dilemmas that would allow for creative problem-solving in ethics. In this paper I explain background reasons for the course, the methodsfor preparing students for creative research in ethics, as well as potential problems to be avoided in the process. (shrink)
A collection of more than 40 casestudies covering diverse topics such as genetic engineering, aesthetics, pollution, animal rights, population, and resource management, CaseStudies in Environmental Ethics is intended as a supplemental book for college courses primarily in environmental ethics. Each case presents factual information on a particular topic, followed by a discussion of the ethical implications of each topic and several insightful discussion questions.
Th i s study is a quick take on how pedagogical research and journalism ethics case study methodology can be combined with a creative formulation and applied to the classroom. The result is a more active, engaging, and meaningful experience for students as they are able to build relations between and among journalistic values in casestudies of their own creation.
This article notes that much case study research focusing on educational inequalities is evaluative in character, in the sense that it draws value conclusions. Moreover, the evaluative character of these conclusions is often implicit. We argue that practical evaluation of this kind is inappropriate in research reports. We then discuss the legitimate role that values can play in case study research, notably in providing the basis for identifying important topics for inquiry and in selecting explanations from among causal (...) factors. We outline the obligations associated with this role: that the non-evaluative character of the conclusions of the research must be emphasised, and that the value assumptions used to frame descriptions and explanations must be made explicit. We conclude by briefly examining the implications of our argument for educational evaluation, for action research, and for the notion of internal critique that is central to critical research. (shrink)
There are benefits to organizing an introductory ethics course around the ethical, social, and political questions related to climate change. One topic such a course may fruitfully explore is the issue of whether, when, and how climate scientists should advocate for climate policy. When is scientific advocacy a failure of scientific objectivity, and what are the ethical consequences of scientists attempting to influence policy objectives? This paper lays out a method for using illustrative casestudies that helps students (...) understand, first, how scientists interact with policy-makers and the public and, second, the reasons why such activity can—in many actual cases—be seen as ethically unproblematic. (shrink)
The four casestudies on chance in evolution provide a rich source for further philosophical analysis. Among the issues raised are the following: Are there different conceptions of chance at work, or is there a common underlying conception? How can a given concept of chance be distinguished from other chance concepts and from nonchance concepts? How can the occurrence of a given chance process be distinguished empirically from nonchance processes or other chance processes? What role does chance play (...) in evolutionary theory? I argue that in order to answer these questions, a careful distinction between process and outcome must be made; however, the purpose of this essay is not to answer these questions definitively, but rather to elaborate on them and to provide a starting point for further discussion. (shrink)
A series of survey studies on corporations' institutionalization of ethics has been done in the U.S. and Japan. Among them, one Japanese study suggests that company policy is the most influential factor in managers' ethical decision-making and behavior. This empirical evidence suggests that, in Japan, company efforts to institutionalize ethics are effective in improving business behavior. The author examines this by describing three casestudies of Japanese managers' ethical decision-making.
Casestudies invite students to share in an ethical dilemma and challenge them about their values. Dr Sheldrake is Reader in Modern History at London Guildhall University, Old Castle St., London E1 7NT. A version of his case study appeared in Sarah Vickerstaff , 1992, Human Resource Management in Europe: Text and Cases, London: Chapman & Hall.
A common method for warranting the historical adequacy of philosophical claims is that of relying on historical casestudies. This paper addresses the question as to what evidential support historical casestudies can provide to philosophical claims and doctrines. It argues that in order to assess the evidential functions of historical casestudies, we first need to understand the methodology involved in producing them. To this end, an account of historical reconstruction that emphasizes the (...) narrative character of historical accounts and the theory-laden character of historical facts is introduced. The main conclusion of this paper is that historical casestudies are able to provide philosophical claims with some evidential support, but that, due to theory-ladenness, their evidential import is restricted. (shrink)
This article examines the relevance of survey data of scientists’ attitudes about science and values to casestudies in philosophy of science. We describe two methodological challenges confronting such casestudies: 1) small samples, and 2) potential for bias in selection, emphasis, and interpretation. Examples are given to illustrate that these challenges can arise for casestudies in the science and values literature. We propose that these challenges can be mitigated through an approach in (...) which casestudies and survey methods are viewed as complementary, and use data from the Toolbox Dialogue Initiative to illustrate this claim. (shrink)