This paper undertakes two projects: Firstly, it offers a new account of the so-called deontological conception of epistemic justification (DCEJ). Secondly, it brings out the basic weaknesses of DCEJ, thus accounted for. It concludes that strong reasons speak against its acceptance. The new account takes it departure from William Alston’s influential work. Section 1 argues that a fair account of DCEJ is only achieved by modifying Alston’s account and brings out the crucial difference between DCEJ and the less radical (...) position of epistemic deontologism. Section 2 starts by setting up two fundamental problems for proponents of DCEJ to solve. It argues further that proponents of DCEJ may not convincingly solve those problems by appeal to a notion of permissible belief. Section 3 investigates, whether an appeal to the notion of blameless belief may help DCEJ overcome its central problems. It argues that, even if an appeal to the notion of blameless belief has advantages over an appeal to the notion of permissible belief, DCEJ cannot convincingly overcome the problems set up for it. Further, it is brought out that DCEJ commits its proponents to a problematic non-standard view regarding the intrinsic value of epistemic justification. Section 4 concludes that DCEJ is not the natural conception of epistemic justification, that Alston takes it to be. However, its problems do not leave a scratch on epistemic deontologism, properly conceived. (shrink)
Crispin Wright has advanced a number of arguments to show that, in addition to evidential warrant, we have a species of non-evidential warrant, namely, “entitlement”, which forms the basis of a particular view of the architecture of perceptual justification known as “epistemic conservatism”. It is widely known, however, that Wright's conservative view is beset by a number of problems. In this article, I shall argue that the kind of warrant that emerges from Wright's account is not the standard truth-conducive justification, (...) but what is known as the deontological conception of justification. It will be argued that the deontological justification has features that make it a better candidate for representing a conservative architecture. These results will be reinforced by showing how the deontological framework can make better sense of a recent theory of justified belief that takes its inspiration from Wright's conservative account. Thus understood, we may see the liberalism–conservatism controversy as actually an extension of the older debate over which conception of justification, truth-conducive or deontological, can best represent the epistemic status of our belief-forming practices. (shrink)
The mere means principle says it is impermissible to treat someone as merely a means to someone else’s ends. I specify this principle with two conditions: a victim is used as merely a means if the victim does not want the treatment by the agent and the agent wants the presence of the victim’s body. This principle is a specification of the doctrine of double effect which is compatible with moral intuitions and with a restricted kind of libertarianism. An extension (...) of this mere means principle, where not only using but also considering someone as merely a means is immoral, can explain and unify other deontological principles: doing versus allowing, partiality in imperfect duties of beneficence, and the asymmetry of procreational duties. A loop trolley dilemma is often presented as a counterexample of the mere means principle, but I argue that this dilemma generates a moral illusion, comparable to perceptual illusions. (shrink)
One paradigmatic argument from evil against theism claims that, (1) if God exists, then there is no gratuitous evil. But (2) there is gratuitous evil, so (3) God does not exist. I consider three deontological strategies for resisting this argument. Each strategy restructures existing theodicies which deny (2) so that they instead deny (1). The first two strategies are problematic on their own, but their primary weaknesses vanish when they are combined to form the third strategy, resulting in a (...) promising new approach to the problem of evil. (shrink)
How should deontologists approach decision-making under uncertainty, for an iterated decision problem? In this paper I explore the shortcomings of a simple expected value approach, using a novel example to raise questions about attitudes to risk, the moral significance of tiny probabilities, the independent moral reasons against imposing risks, the morality of sunk costs, and the role of agent-relativity in iterated decision problems.
The article expands the traditional system of concepts used in deontic logic, in order to allow the inclusion of supererogatory behaviour. This requires the development of a deontic decagon. In addition, it is shown how this decagon can be used to interpret deontic terms, e.g. in Islamic Law.
Deontologists have long been upbraided for lacking an account of justified decision- making under risk and uncertainty. One response is to develop a deontological decision theory—a set of necessary and sufficient conditions for an act’s being permissible given an agent’s imperfect information. In this article, I show that deontologists can make more use of regular decision theory than some might have thought, but that we must adapt decision theory to accommodate agent- centered options—permissions to favor or sacrifice our own (...) interests, when doing so is overall morally worse. Accommodating options requires more than just amend- ing the decision-theoretic ‘value function’. We must change the decision rule as well. (shrink)
Deontological evidentialism is the claim that we ought to form and maintain our beliefs in accordance with our evidence. In this paper, I criticize two arguments in its defense. I begin by discussing Berit Broogard’s use of the distinction between narrow-scope and wide-scope requirements against W.K. Clifford’s moral defense of. I then use this very distinction against a defense of inspired by Stephen Grimm’s more recent claims about the moral source of epistemic normativity. I use this distinction once again (...) to argue that Hilary Kornblith’s criticism of Richard Feldman’s defense of is incomplete. Finally, I argue that Feldman’s defense is insensitive to the relation between normative requirements and privileged values: values that have normative authority over us. (shrink)
Deontological evidentialism is the claim that S ought to form or maintain S’s beliefs in accordance with S’s evidence. A promising argument for this view turns on the premise that consideration c is a normative reason for S to form or maintain a belief that p only if c is evidence that p is true. In this paper, I discuss the surprising relation between a recently influential argument for this key premise and the principle that ought implies can. I (...) argue that anyone who antecedently accepts or rejects this principle already has a reason to resist either this argument’s premises or its role in support of deontological evidentialism. (shrink)
Deontological internalism is the family of views where justification is a positive deontological appraisal of someone's epistemic agency: S is justified, that is, when S is blameless, praiseworthy, or responsible in believing that p. Brian Weatherson discusses very briefly how a plausible principle of ampliative transmission reveals a worry for versions of deontological internalism formulated in terms of epistemic blame. Weatherson denies, however, that similar principles reveal similar worries for other versions. I disagree. In this article, I (...) argue that plausible principles of ampliative transmission reveal a worry for deontological internalism in general. (shrink)
Joshua Greene has argued that several lines of empirical research, including his own fMRI studies of brain activity during moral decision-making, comprise strong evidence against the legitimacy of deontology as a moral theory. This is because, Greene maintains, the empirical studies establish that “characteristically deontological” moral thinking is driven by prepotent emotional reactions which are not a sound basis for morality in the contemporary world, while “characteristically consequentialist” thinking is a more reliable moral guide because it is characterized by (...) greater cognitive command and control. In this essay, I argue that Greene does not succeed in drawing a strong statistical or causal connection between prepotent emotional reactions and deontological theory, and so does not undermine the legitimacy of deontological moral theories. The results that Greene relies on from neuroscience and social psychology do not establish his conclusion that consequentialism is superior to deontology. (shrink)
Deontology and utilitarianism are two competing principles that guide our moral judgment. Recently, deontology is thought to be intuitive and is based on an error-prone and biased approach, whereas utilitarianism is relatively reflective and a suitable framework for making decision. In this research, the authors explored the relationship among moral identity, moral decision, and moral behavior to see how a preference for the deontological solution can lead to moral behavior. In study 1, a Web-based survey demonstrated that when making (...) decisions, individuals who viewed themselves as moral people preferred deontological ideals to the utilitarian framework. In study 2, the authors investigated the effect of moral identity and moral decision on moral behavior in an experimental study. The results showed that when deontology was coupled with the motivational power of moral identity, individuals were most likely to behave morally. (shrink)
This book offers a new way of approaching the place of the will in Descartes' mature epistemology and ethics. Departing from the widely accepted view, Noa Naaman-Zauderer suggests that Descartes regards the will, rather than the intellect, as the most significant mark of human rationality, both intellectual and practical. Through a close reading of Cartesian texts from the Meditations onward, she brings to light a deontological and non-consequentialist dimension of Descartes' later thinking, which credits the proper use of free (...) will with a constitutive, evaluative role. She shows that the right use of free will, to which Descartes assigns obligatory force, constitutes for him an end in its own right rather than merely a means for attaining any other end, however valuable. Her important study has significant implications for the unity of Descartes' thinking, and for the issue of responsibility, inviting scholars to reassess Descartes' philosophical legacy. (shrink)
One of the most controversial issues to emerge in recent studies of Fichte concerns the status of his normative ethics, i.e., his theory of what makes actions morally good or bad. Scholars are divided over Fichte’s view regarding the ‘final end’ of moral striving, since it appears this end can be either a specific goal permitting maximizing calculations (the consequentialist reading defended by Kosch 2015), or an indeterminate goal permitting only duty-based decisions (the deontological reading defended by Wood 2016). (...) While I think each interpretive position contains an element of truth, my aim in this paper is to defend a third alternative, according to which Fichte’s normative ethics presents us with a unique form of social perfectionism. (shrink)
Due to the nature of lending practices and support services offered to the poor in developing countries, portfolio risk is a growing concern for the microfinance industry. Though previous research highlights the importance of risk for microfinance organizations, not much is known about how microfinance organizations can mitigate risks incurred from providing loans to the poor in developing countries. Further, though many microfinance organizations practice corporate social responsibility to help create economic and social wealth in developing countries, the impact of (...) such CSR practices remains an underdeveloped area of inquiry. We use a normative ethics lens to develop an ethics-based CSR theory that differentiates between three forms of ethics-based CSR—virtue, consequentialist, and deontological. We argue that while all three forms can help mitigate risk, virtue ethics-based CSR is potentially the most useful form of CSR toward mitigating microfinance portfolio risk. We test our hypotheses using a sample of microfinance organizations from across the world. Our findings suggest that virtue ethics-based CSR is not just an important philosophical paradigm; it can actually help mitigate microfinance portfolio risk when implemented in practice. (shrink)
Many claim that a plausible moral theory would have to include a principle of beneficence, a principle telling us to produce goods that are both welfarist and agent‐neutral. But when we think carefully about the necessary connection between moral obligations and reasons for action, we see that agents have two reasons for action, and two moral obligations: they must not interfere with any agent's exercise of his rational capacities and they must do what they can to make sure that agents (...) have rational capacities to exercise. According to this distinctively deontological view of morality, though we are obliged to produce goods, the goods in question are non‐welfarist and agent‐relative. The value of welfare thus turns out to be, at best, instrumental. (shrink)
This article underlines and draws attention to critical insights Esposito makes regarding the prospects of rethinking community in a globalized world. Alongside Agamben and Nancy, Esposito challenges the property prejudice found in mainstream models of community. In identity politics, collective identity is converted into a form of communal property. Borders, sovereign territories, and exclusive rights are fiercely defended in the name of communal property. Esposito responds to this problem by developing what I call a “deontological communal contract” where being (...) and ethics are prioritized over having and economics. I examine this new perspective on community in relation to mainstream models found in contemporary and classical social theory. (shrink)
Historically, prominent proponents of the guidance deontological conception of epistemic justification have thought that the guidance deontological conception entails access internalism. Alvin Goldman has argued that this is not so, and that there is no good argument from the guidance deontological conception of justification to access internalism. This paper refutes Goldman's argument. If the guidance deontological conception of epistemic justification is correct, then so is access internalism.
This study examined how sales managers react to ethical and unethical acts by their salespeople. Deontological considerations and, to a much lesser extent, teleological considerations predicted sales managers' ethical judgments. Sales managers' intentions to reward or discipline ethical or unethical sales force behavior were primarily determined by their ethical judgments. An organization's perceived ethical work climate was not a significant predictor of sales managers' intentions to intervene when ethical and unethical sales force behavior was encountered.
Normative ethical theories owe us an account of how to evaluate decisions under risk and uncertainty. Deontologists seem at a disadvantage here: our best decision theories seem tailor-made for consequentialism. For example, decision theory enjoins us to always perform our best option; deontology is more permissive. In this paper, we discuss and defend the idea that, when some pro-tanto wrongful act is all-things considered permissible, because it is a ‘lesser evil’, it is often merely permissible, by the lights of deontology. (...) We show that this raises new problems for deontological decision theory, and we show that to resolve them, we need to take a more innovative approach to morally evaluating decision-making under risk and uncertainty. (shrink)
Extensive and growing use of electronic performance monitoring in organizations has resulted in considerable debate. Advocates of electronic monitoring approach the debate in teleological terms arguing that monitoring benefits organizations, customers, and society. Its critics approach the issue in deontological terms countering that monitoring is dehumanizing, invades worker privacy, increases stress and worsens health, and decreases work-life quality. In contrast to this win-lose approach, this paper argues that an approach which emphasizes communication in the design and implementation of monitoring (...) systems offers a win-win solution that should satisfy both deontological and teleological ethicists. (shrink)
Is there a reason to prevent deontological wrongdoing—an action that is wrong due to the violation of a decisive deontological constraint? This question is perplexing. On the one hand, the intuitive response seems to be positive, both when the question is considered in the abstract and when it is considered with regard to paradigmatic cases of deontological wrongdoing such as Bridge and Transplant. On the other hand, common theoretical accounts of deontological wrongdoing do not entail this (...) answer, since not preventing wrongdoing does not necessarily amount to doing harm or intending harm, for example. The puzzle is reinforced due to the fact that the intuitive response to other cases seems to be different, namely that there is no reason in favour of preventing deontological wrongdoing. This question is thus interesting in itself. It might also shed light on additional questions such as the “paradox of deontology” and the appropriate response to wrongful actions more generally. Yet, despite its importance, this question is typically overlooked. The paper explores this question. (shrink)
This is the second paper in a three-part series on the state of the enhancement debate. We report current trends and give an overview of established positions in the field of neuroenhancement. Unlike a number of articles on the bioethics of enhancement, we try to highlight connections between the contemporary debate and established positions in philosophical ethics. This specific perspective inspired the breakdown of our three-part series into consequentialist, deontological and virtue-ethical arguments.
The fact that we ought to prefer what is comparatively more likely to be good, I argue, does, contrary to consequentialism, not rest on any evaluative facts. It is, in this sense, a deontological requirement. As such it is the basis of our valuing those things which are in accordance with it. We value acting (and believing) well, i.e. we value acting (and believing) as we ought to act (and to believe). In this way, despite the fact that our (...) interest in justification depends on our interest in truth, we value believing with justification on non-instrumental grounds. A deontological understanding of justification, thus, solves the Value of Knowledge Problem. (shrink)
Public relations practitioners are uniquely positioned to promote ethical communication and practice. As Kruckeberg (2000) explained, “public relations practitioners-if they prove worthy of the task—will be called upon to be corporate—that is organizational—interpreters and ethicists and social policy-makers, charged with guiding organizational behavior as well as influencing and reconciling public perceptions within a global context (p. 37).” Public relations practitioners, however, may never take an ethics course as a student, receive on-the-job ethical training, or use the many professional codes of (...) ethics available to them. This lack begs the question: How are they tackling the various ethical decisions they face? This study examines how public relations professionals engage in ethical decision making and make meaning of deontological ethical models. Such inquiry regarding ethical decision making may assist public relations practitioners and scholars to better understand themselves, serve society, and advance the communication profession. (shrink)
There is currently an unrecognised conflict between the utilitarian nature of the overall NHS and the basic deontology of the doctor-patient interaction. This conflict leads to mistrust and misunderstanding between managers and clinicians. This misunderstanding is bad for both doctors and managers, and also leads to waste of time and resources, and poorer services to patients. The utilitarian thinkers tend to value finite, short term, evidence based technical interventions, delivered according to specifications and contracts. They appear happy to break care (...) up into smaller pieces, which can then be commissioned from multiple providers. The deontological thinkers tend to think about care delivered through a long term continuous relationship, and regard that relationship as therapeutic and salutogenic in itself. To them breaking care up into smaller fragments is a denial of what caring is really about. Very rarely are either or both sides of this debate fully aware of where their powerfully felt and often well argued positions start from. In this paper we offer an appraisal of the strengths and weaknesses of both moral viewpoints as applied in the UK NHS context and we suggest a way in which they can be reconciled, provided neither is pushed too far or too hard against the other. We believe this reconciliation would be good for patients, doctors, managers and improve the service as a whole. (shrink)
Conventional sacrificial moral dilemmas propose directly causing some harm to prevent greater harm. Theory suggests that accepting such actions (consistent with utilitarian philosophy) involves more reflective reasoning than rejecting such actions (consistent with deontological philosophy). However, past findings do not always replicate, confound different kinds of reflection, and employ conventional sacrificial dilemmas that treat utilitarian and deontological considerations as opposite. In two studies, we examined whether past findings would replicate when employing process dissociation to assess deontological and (...) utilitarian inclinations independently. Findings suggested two categorically different impacts of reflection: measures of arithmetic reflection, such as the Cognitive Reflection Test, predicted only utilitarian, not deontological, response tendencies. However, measures of logical reflection, such as performance on logical syllogisms, positively predicted both utilitarian and deontological tendencies. These studies replicate some findings, clarify others, and reveal opportunity for additional nuance in dual process theorist’s claims about the link between reflection and dilemma judgments. (shrink)
In this book, Noa Naaman-Zauderer explores the deontological and non-consequentialist dimensions of Descartes’ later writings. Focusing on the role of the will, she argues that Descartes considers the correct use of free will as not merely a means to some other end, but “an end in its own right” (1). She further argues that for Descartes, the role of reason is to govern the “right use” of free will rather than to distinguish truth from falsity (2). Naaman-Zauderer follows Descartes’ (...)deontological approach through his epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics. The focus of chapter 1 is Descartes’ theory of ideas. Contrary to the standard interpretations, which take the clarity and distinctness (and the .. (shrink)
In this paper the coherence of the precautionary principle as a guide to public health policy is considered. Two conditions that any account of the principle must meet are outlined, a condition of practicality and a condition of publicity. The principle is interpreted in terms of a tripartite division of the outcomes of action . Such a division of outcomes can be justified on either “consequentialist” or “deontological” grounds. In the second half of the paper, it is argued that (...) the precautionary principle is not necessarily opposed to risk–cost–benefit analysis, but, rather, should be interpreted as suggesting a lowering of our epistemic standards for assessing evidence that there is a link between some policy and “special bad” outcomes. This suggestion is defended against the claim that it mistakes the nature of statistical testing and against the charge that it is unscientific or antiscientific, and therefore irrational. (shrink)
In this article I discuss the ethics of synthetic biology from a broadly deontological perspective, evaluating its morality in terms of the integrity of nature, the dignity of life and the relationship between God and his creation. Most ethical analyses to date have been largely consequentialist in nature; they reveal a dual use dilemma, showing that synbio has potential for great good and great evil, possibly more so than any step humanity has taken before. A deontological analysis may (...) help to resolve this dilemma, by evaluating whether synbio is right or wrong in itself. I also assess whether deontology alone is a sufficient methodological paradigm for the proper evaluation of synbio ethics. (shrink)
I argue that a defense of deontological restrictions need not resort to what I call the 'Good/Bad asymmetry', according to which it is morally more important to avoid harming others than to prevent just such harm. I replace this paradoxical asymmetry with two non-paradoxical ones. These are the following: We ought to treat an act of preventing harm to persons precisely as such , rather than as the causing of a benefit; but we ought to treat an act that (...) causes harm precisely as such , rather than as the prevention of a benefit. It is morally more important not to cause harm than to cause benefit. I show how we can use those asymmetries, together with certain other assumptions, to defend restrictions. I also offer a partial defense of the first of the two asymmetries. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that, in his Theory of Moral Sentiments, Adam Smith conflates two different meanings of ?self-command?, which is particularly puzzling because of the central role of this virtue in his theory. The first is the matrix of rational action, the one described in Part III of the TMS and learned in ?the great school of self-command?. The second is the particular moral virtue of self-command. Distinguishing between these two meanings allows us, on the one hand, to (...) solve some apparent paradoxes of the text; and, on the other, to identify various features of both the practical reason and deontological ethical traditions that are present in Smith's sentimentalism, enriching his phenomenological account of moral actions. (shrink)
This text reconstructs the Kohlberg/Gilligan controversy between a male ethics of justice and a female ethics of care. Using Karl-Otto Apel's transcendental pragmatics, the author argues for a mediation between both models in terms of a reciprocal co-responsibility. Against this backdrop, she defends the circular procedure of an exclusively argumentative-reflexive justification of a normative ethics. From this it follows for feminist ethics that it cannot do without either of the two types of ethics. The goal is to assure the evaluative (...) variety of different types of an ethics of the good without endangering the normative boundaries of a deontological discourse ethics. (shrink)
Recently, some authors have argued that experiences of poignant evils provide non-inferential support for crucial premisses in arguments from evil. Careful scrutiny of these experiences suggests that the impermissibility of permitting a horrendous evil might be characterized by a deontological insensitivity to consequences. This has significant implications for the project of theodicy.
The teleological/deontological distinction was introduced in 1930 by C.D. Broad] and since then it has come to be accepted as the fundamental classificatory distinction for moral philosophy. I shall argue that the presupposition that there is a single fundamental classificatory distinction is false. There are too many features of moral theories that matter for that to be so. I shall argue furthermore that as it is usually drawn the teleological/deontological distinction is not even a fundamental distinction. Another distinction, (...) that between theories that make the right depend solely on considerations of goodness (axiological theories) and those that do not, is significantly more important. (shrink)
Richard Swinburne’s formulation of the argument from evil is representative of a pervasive way of understanding the challenge evil poses for theistic belief. But there is an error in Swinburne’s formulation : he fails to consider possible deontological constraints on God’s legitimate responses to evil. To demonstrate the error’s significance, I show that some important objections to Swinburne’s theodicy admit of a novel answer once we correct for Swinburne’s Lapse. While more is needed to show that the resultant “ (...) class='Hi'>deontological theodicy” succeeds, its promise highlights the significance of Swinburne’s Lapse and the prospects for theodicy it has obscured. (shrink)
Using practical formalism a deontological ethical analysis of peer relations in organizations is developed. This analysis is composed of two types of duties derived from Kant's Categorical Imperative: negative duties to refrain from the use of peers and positive duties to provide help and assistance. The conditions under which these duties pertain are specified through the development of examples and conceptual distinctions. A number of implications are then discussed.
Noa Naaman-Zauderer’s book aims to bring to light the ethical underpinnings of Descartes’ system: on her view, in both the practical and the theoretical spheres Descartes takes our foremost duty to lie in the good use of the will.The marked ethical import of Cartesian epistemology takes the form of a deontological, non-consequentialist view of error: epistemic agents are praised/blamed when they fulfill/flout the duty to not assent to ideas that are less than clear and distinct.Extra-theoretical realms admitting of no (...) clear and distinct perceptions are subject to ‘softer’ duties of acting on the basis of the best available reasons. Since Cartesian epistemology involves ethical considerations,and since the late Cartesian ethics of virtue crucially depends on metaphysical knowledge about the nature and function of the will, Descartes’ ethics is not just a fruit of his tree of knowledge but it also nourishes its own roots. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that, in his Theory of Moral Sentiments, Adam Smith conflates two different meanings of ‘self-command’, which is particularly puzzling because of the central role of this virtue in his theory. The first is the matrix of rational action, the one described in Part III of the TMS and learned in ‘the great school of self-command’. The second is the particular moral virtue of self-command. Distinguishing between these two meanings allows us, on the one hand, to (...) solve some apparent paradoxes of the text; and, on the other, to identify various features of both the practical reason and deontological ethical traditions that are present in Smith's sentimentalism, enriching his phenomenological account of moral actions. (shrink)
This paper offers a partial justification of so-called "deontological restrictions." Specifically it defends the "self/other asymmetry," that we are morally obligated to treat our own agency, and thus its results, as specially important. The argument rests on a picture of moral obligation of a broadly Kantian sort. In particular, it rests on the basic normative assumption that our fundamental obligations are determined by the principles which a rational being as such would follow. These include principles which it is not (...) essential for rational beings to accept, but acceptance of which we could non-arbitrarily attribute to them simply in their capacity as rational. Among these principles is the asymmetry mentioned above. (shrink)
Consequentialist doctrines have often been criticized for their excessive demandingness, in that they require the thorough instrumentalization of each person’s life as a vehicle for the production of good consequences. In turn, the proponents of such doctrines have often objected to what they perceive as the irrationality of the demandingness of deontological duties. In this paper, I shall address objections of the latter kind in an effort to show that they are unfounded. My investigation of this matter will unfold (...) by reference to a scenario that strikingly and concretely exemplifies the demandingness of deontological duties. That scenario, which involves a situation of torture, will serve as a springboard for my endeavor to vindicate the rationality of deontological absolutes and will help to illuminate the endeavor’s practical implications. (shrink)
I argue for the inadequacy of the Kantian approach to the analysis of personal relations in business presented by Moberg and Meyer, in A Deontological Analysis of Peer Relations in Organizations (Journal of Business Ethics). It is unclear or implausible that the (mostly reasonable) principles of business relations they advocate really do follow from Kant's theory. Kant's theory, and deontological theories in general, do not yield reasonable principles of personal relations, particularly in the business context.
It is usually assumed in moral philosophy that a teleological approach, as exemplified by Aristotle's ethics of virtue, and a deontological approach, as heralded by Kant's ethics of duty, are incompatible; either the good or the right , to designate these two major traditions by their emblematic predicates. My purpose in this paper is to show that a theory of action , broadly understood, may provide the appropriate framework of thought within which justice can be done to both the (...) Aristotelian and Kantian, the teleological and deontological moments of morality. (shrink)
In present day philosophy there are two competing views regarding practical rationality: Decision and game theory and economic theory have developed a theory of rational decision which has proven to be fruitful in many areas of social science. Practical philosophy should work with that paradigm Economic theory and decision theory do not have an adequate account of practical rationality. The homo oeconomicus model is – at best – one perspective which competes inter alia with philosophical accounts of practical reason.In this (...) article I try to show that these two seemingly opposing views are in fact compatible. I argue that consequentialism is an inadequate account of rationality because rational action is deontological in character. Nevertheless the decision theoretic conceptual frame should not be given up. Deontology and decision theory can be made compatible via comprehensive description of action. The conceptual frame of decision theory should be interpreted as coherentist, not consequentialist. With this intertretation deontological action, if rational, maximizes subjective value. (shrink)
James's ethical thought could frequently be consequentialist, but it could also on occasion show a deontological side, or "streak," as I contended in "William James on the Courage to Believe". This shows up when he speaks of the "strenuous" as against the "easy-going" moral mood, in "The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life," and it preserves the precursive intervention of our "passional natures" in "The Will to Believe" from lapsing into "wishful thinking." Toned down slightly, perhaps, in "Varieties of (...) Religious Experience", it reasserts itself in "Pragmatism", and, it could be shown, in James's succeeding works as well. (shrink)
A major problem that skeptical critics have identified with the project of environmental ethics as it is often conceived is that it involves the search for a criterion of moral considerability, and some claim that this search has not only been unsuccessful, but it is in principle mistaken. Birch has recently argued that this whole problem can be avoided through his proposal of universal consideration in a “root sense,” which applies to all beings, with no exceptions marked by any of (...) the criteria proposed by others. I argue that the strengths of this proposal are its openness to new value discoveries and its focus on agents’ practices. Its flaw is its failure to account convincingly for how values are ever formulated or obligations generated. Hence, it does not represent a viable alternative to the approach he rejects. However, rather than return to that approach, I suggest that Birch’s own line of argument could be developed more consistently if, from his starting point of “deontic experience,” one were to develop an explicitly deontological ethic that focuses more decisively on moral consideration as opposed to moral considerability. (shrink)
In this paper, I outline both a nonanthropocentric and non-subjective theory of intrinsic value which incorporates pragmatism in environmental ethics in a novel way. The theory, which I call creative actualization, is a non-hierarchical, nonsubjective theory of value which includes the value of nonhuman species and the biosphere. I argue that there are conditions to such values. These limitations include evaluations of actual improvement (meliorism) and reciprocity as conditions. These conditions are necessary limitations upon actions, i.e., duties. I incorporate a (...)deontological ethic thereby as an alternative to utilitarian and other ethical theories in environmental ethics. Duties are to species and to habitats, not to individuals. I conclude that the distinction between ethics and ecological ethics is no longer tenable, given a theory of obligation which is truly universal rather than speciesist. Ecological ethics is the ethics of the future, embracing a way of life, duty, and questions of ultimate worth. (shrink)
Preferences for options that do not secure optimal outcomes, like the ones catalogued by Sunstein, derive from two sources: cognitive heuristics and deontological rules. Although rules may stem from automatic affective reactions, they are deliberately maintained. Because strongly held convictions have important behavioral implications, it may be useful to regard cognitive heuristics and deontological rules as separate sources of nonconsequential judgment in the moral domain.
Deontologists often assume that ethical constraints hold ‘come what may’ but that violations of the constraints can be excused or pardoned. Vinit Haksar has argued for pardon as deontologically appropriate mitigation for the violation of deontological constraints. However, the reasons he adduces against excuse are inconclusive. In this paper, I show how complex the question of excuse versus pardon for deontological transgressions is. Liability for the development of character traits and the assumption of agent-centered responsibility have to be (...) taken into account before the possibility of pardon can be identified as appropriate deontological softener for strict constraints. (shrink)
This research seeks to extend the literature of trust by examining whether the amount of trust that employees have in their supervisors is contingent upon the ethical system of belief utilized by their immediate supervisors. To help answer this question, it is hypothesized that employees have a greater degree of trust in immediate supervisors practicing the deontological ethical system of belief than in those practicing the teleological ethical system of belief. This study begins the search for the moral frameworks (...) that are the antecedents of trust in immediate supervisors. The results indicate that practicing a deontological approach to ethics may stimulate a greater degree of employee trust in immediate supervisors than a teleological approach; therefore, the ethical system of belief held by immediate supervisors affects his or her employees. (shrink)