Derided and disregarded by many of his contemporaries, Michel Foucault is now regarded as probably the most influential thinker of the twentieth century, his work is studied across the humanities and social sciences. Reading Foucault, however, can be a challenge, as can writing about him, but in Understanding Foucault, the authors offer an entertaining and informative introduction to his thinking. They cover all the issues Foucault dealt with, including power, knowledge, subjectivity and sexuality and discuss the development of his analysis (...) throughout his work. (shrink)
This paper critically assesses John Danaher’s ‘ethical behaviourism’, a theory on how the moral status of robots should be determined. The basic idea of this theory is that a robot’s moral status is determined decisively on the basis of its observable behaviour. If it behaves sufficiently similar to some entity that has moral status, such as a human or an animal, then we should ascribe the same moral status to the robot as we do to this human or animal. (...) The paper argues against ethical behaviourism by making four main points. First, it is argued that the strongest version of ethical behaviourism understands the theory as relying on inferences to the best explanation when inferring moral status. Second, as a consequence, ethical behaviourism cannot stick with merely looking at the robot’s behaviour, while remaining neutral with regard to the difficult question of which property grounds moral status. Third, not only behavioural evidence ought to play a role in inferring a robot’s moral status, but knowledge of the design process of the robot and of its designer’s intention ought to be taken into account as well. Fourth, knowledge of a robot’s ontology and how that relates to human biology often is epistemically relevant for inferring moral status as well. The paper closes with some concluding observations. (shrink)
What is techno-optimism and how can it be defended? Although techno-optimist views are widely espoused and critiqued, there have been few attempts to systematically analyse what it means to be a techno-optimist and how one might defend this view. This paper attempts to address this oversight by providing a comprehensive analysis and evaluation of techno-optimism. It is argued that techno-optimism is a pluralistic stance that comes in weak and strong forms. These vary along a number of key dimensions but each (...) shares the view that technology plays a key role in ensuring that the good prevails over the bad. Whatever its strength, to defend this stance, one must flesh out an argument with four key premises. Each of these premises is highly controversial and can be subjected to a number of critiques. The paper discusses five such critiques in detail. The paper also considers possible responses from the techno-optimist. Finally, it is concluded that although strong forms of techno-optimism are not intellectually defensible, a modest, agency-based version of techno-optimism may be defensible. (shrink)
Rape and sexual assault are major problems. In the majority of sexual assault cases consent is the central issue. Consent is, to borrow a phrase, the ‘moral magic’ that converts an impermissible act into a permissible one. In recent years, a handful of companies have tried to launch consent apps which aim to educate young people about the nature of sexual consent and allow them to record signals of consent for future verification. Although ostensibly aimed at addressing the problems of (...) rape and sexual assault on university campuses, these apps have attracted a number of critics. In this paper, I subject the phenomenon of consent apps to philosophical scrutiny. I argue that the consent apps that have been launched to date are unhelpful because they fail to address the landscape of ethical and epistemic problems that arise in the typical rape or sexual assault case: they produce distorted and decontextualised records of consent which may in turn exacerbate the other problems associated with rape and sexual assault. Furthermore, because of the tradeoffs involved, it is unlikely that app-based technologies could ever be created that would significantly address the problems of rape and sexual assault. (shrink)
There is a concern that the widespread deployment of autonomous machines will open up a number of ‘responsibility gaps’ throughout society. Various articulations of such techno-responsibility gaps have been proposed over the years, along with several potential solutions. Most of these solutions focus on ‘plugging’ or ‘dissolving’ the gaps. This paper offers an alternative perspective. It argues that techno-responsibility gaps are, sometimes, to be welcomed and that one of the advantages of autonomous machines is that they enable us to embrace (...) certain kinds of responsibility gap. The argument is based on the idea that human morality is often tragic. We frequently confront situations in which competing moral considerations pull in different directions and it is impossible to perfectly balance these considerations. This heightens the burden of responsibility associated with our choices. We cope with the tragedy of moral choice in different ways. Sometimes we delude ourselves into thinking the choices we make were not tragic ; sometimes we delegate the tragic choice to others ; sometimes we make the choice ourselves and bear the psychological consequences. Each of these strategies has its benefits and costs. One potential advantage of autonomous machines is that they enable a reduced cost form of delegation. However, we only gain the advantage of this reduced cost if we accept that some techno-responsibility gaps are virtuous. (shrink)
This paper argues against the view that trolley cases are of little or no relevance to the ethics of automated vehicles. Four arguments for this view are outlined and rejected: the Not Going to Happen Argument, the Moral Difference Argument, the Impossible Deliberation Argument and the Wrong Question Argument. In making clear where these arguments go wrong, a positive account is developed of how trolley cases can inform the ethics of automated vehicles.
The principle of homophily says that people associate with other groups of people who are mostly like themselves. Many online communities are structured around groups of socially similar individuals. On Twitter, however, people are exposed to multiple, diverse points of view through the public timeline. The authors captured 30,000 tweets about the shooting of George Tiller, a late-term abortion doctor, and the subsequent conversations among pro-life and pro-choice advocates. They found that replies between like-minded individuals strengthen group identity, whereas replies (...) between different-minded individuals reinforce in-group and out-group affiliation. Their results show that people are exposed to broader viewpoints than they were before but are limited in their ability to engage in meaningful discussion. They conclude with implications for different kinds of social participation on Twitter more generally. (shrink)
Can robots have significant moral status? This is an emerging topic of debate among roboticists and ethicists. This paper makes three contributions to this debate. First, it presents a theory – ‘ethical behaviourism’ – which holds that robots can have significant moral status if they are roughly performatively equivalent to other entities that have significant moral status. This theory is then defended from seven objections. Second, taking this theoretical position onboard, it is argued that the performative threshold that robots need (...) to cross in order to be afforded significant moral status may not be that high and that they may soon cross it (if they haven’t done so already). Finally, the implications of this for our procreative duties to robots are considered, and it is argued that we may need to take seriously a duty of ‘procreative beneficence’ towards robots. (shrink)
This book provides an integrated and philosophically-grounded framework which enables a coherent approach to organizations and organizational ethics from the perspective of practitioners in the workplace, from the perspective of managers in organizations, as well as from the perspective of organizations themselves.
Published in 2014, the Facebook “emotional contagion” study prompted widespread discussions about the ethics of manipulating social media content. By and large, researchers focused on the lack of corporate institutional review boards and informed consent procedures, missing the crux of what upset people about both the study and Facebook’s underlying practices. This essay examines the reactions that unfolded, arguing the public’s growing discomfort with “big data” fueled the anger. To address these concerns, we need to start imagining a socio-technical approach (...) to ethics that does not differentiate between corporate and research practices. (shrink)
Contextualism in epistemology has traditionally been understood as the view that “know” functions semantically like an indexical term, encoding different contents in contexts with different epistemic standards. But the indexical hypothesis about “know” faces a range of objections. This article explores an alternative version of contextualism on which “know” is a semantically stable term, and the truth-conditional variability in knowledge claims is a matter of pragmatic enrichment. The central idea is that in contexts with stringent epistemic standards, knowledge claims are (...) narrowed: “know” is used in such contexts to make assertions about particularly demanding types of knowledge. The resulting picture captures all of the intuitive data that motivate contextualism while sidestepping the controversial linguistic thesis at its heart. After developing the view, the article shows in detail how it avoids one influential linguistic objection to traditional contextualism concerning indirect speech reports, and then answers an objection concerning the unavailability of certain types of clarification speeches. (shrink)
A concise but informative overview of AI ethics and policy. -/- Artificial intelligence, or AI for short, has generated a staggering amount of hype in the past several years. Is it the game-changer it's been cracked up to be? If so, how is it changing the game? How is it likely to affect us as customers, tenants, aspiring homeowners, students, educators, patients, clients, prison inmates, members of ethnic and sexual minorities, and voters in liberal democracies? Authored by experts in fields (...) ranging from computer science and law to philosophy and cognitive science, this book offers a concise overview of moral, political, legal and economic implications of AI. It covers the basics of AI's latest permutation, machine learning, and considers issues such as transparency, bias, liability, privacy, and regulation. -/- Both business and government have integrated algorithmic decision support systems into their daily operations, and the book explores the implications for our lives as citizens. For example, do we take it on faith that a machine knows best in approving a patient's health insurance claim or a defendant's request for bail? What is the potential for manipulation by targeted political ads? How can the processes behind these technically sophisticated tools ever be transparent? The book discusses such issues as statistical definitions of fairness, legal and moral responsibility, the role of humans in machine learning decision systems, “nudging” algorithms and anonymized data, the effect of automation on the workplace, and AI as both regulatory tool and target. (shrink)
Suppose a driverless car encounters a scenario where harm to at least one person is unavoidable and a choice about how to distribute harms between different persons is required. How should the driverless car be programmed to behave in this situation? I call this the moral design problem. Santoni de Sio defends a legal-philosophical approach to this problem, which aims to bring us to a consensus on the moral design problem despite our disagreements about which moral principles provide the correct (...) account of justified harm. He then articulates an answer to the moral design problem based on the legal doctrine of necessity. In this paper, I argue that Santoni de Sio’s answer to the moral design problem does not achieve the aim of the legal-philosophical approach. This is because his answer relies on moral principles which, at least, utilitarians have reason to reject. I then articulate an alternative reading of the doctrine of necessity, and construct a partial answer to the moral design problem based on this. I argue that utilitarians, contractualists and deontologists can agree on this partial answer, even if they disagree about which moral principles offer the correct account of justified harm. (shrink)
One of the most noticeable trends in recent years has been the increasing reliance of public decision-making processes on algorithms, i.e. computer-programmed step-by-step instructions for taking a given set of inputs and producing an output. The question raised by this article is whether the rise of such algorithmic governance creates problems for the moral or political legitimacy of our public decision-making processes. Ignoring common concerns with data protection and privacy, it is argued that algorithmic governance does pose a significant threat (...) to the legitimacy of such processes. Modelling my argument on Estlund’s threat of epistocracy, I call this the ‘threat of algocracy’. The article clarifies the nature of this threat and addresses two possible solutions. It is argued that neither solution is likely to be successful, at least not without risking many other things we value about social decision-making. The result is a somewhat pessimistic conclusion in which we confront the possibility that we are creating decision-making processes that constrain and limit opportunities for human participation. (shrink)
Human obsolescence is imminent. We are living through an era in which our activity is becoming less and less relevant to our well-being and to the fate of our planet. This trend toward increased obsolescence is likely to continue in the future, and we must do our best to prepare ourselves and our societies for this reality. Far from being a cause for despair, this is in fact an opportunity for optimism. Harnessed in the right way, the technology that hastens (...) our obsolescence can open us up to new utopian possibilities and enable heightened forms of human flourishing. (shrink)
In his excellent essay, ‘Nudges in a post-truth world’, Neil Levy argues that ‘nudges to reason’, or nudges which aim to make us more receptive to evidence, are morally permissible. A strong argument against the moral permissibility of nudging is that nudges fail to respect the autonomy of the individuals affected by them. Levy argues that nudges to reason do respect individual autonomy, such that the standard autonomy objection fails against nudges to reason. In this paper, I argue that Levy (...) fails to show that nudges to reason respect individual autonomy. (shrink)
Traditional approaches tend to regard figuration (and by extension, deference in general) as an essentially marked or playful use of language, which is associated with a pronounced stylistic effect. For linguistic purposes, however, there is no reason for assigning a special place to deferred uses that are stylistically notable — the sorts of usages that people sometimes qualify with a phrase like "figuratively speaking." There is no important linguistic difference between using redcoat to refer to a British soldier and using (...) suit to refer to a corporate executive (as in "A couple of suits stopped by to talk about the new products"). What creates the stylistic effect of the latter is not the mechanism that generates it, but the marked background assumptions that license it — here, the playful presupposition that.. (shrink)
Suppose we are about to enter an era of increasing technological unemployment. What implications does this have for society? Two distinct ethical/social issues would seem to arise. The first is one of distributive justice: how will the efficiency gains from automated labour be distributed through society? The second is one of personal fulfillment and meaning: if people no longer have to work, what will they do with their lives? In this article, I set aside the first issue and focus on (...) the second. In doing so, I make three arguments. First, I argue that there are good reasons to embrace non-work and that these reasons become more compelling in an era of technological unemployment. Second, I argue that the technological advances that make widespread technological unemployment possible could still threaten or undermine human flourishing and meaning, especially if they do not remain confined to the economic sphere. And third, I argue that this threat could be contained if we adopt an integrative approach to our relationship with technology. In advancing these arguments, I draw on three distinct literatures: the literature on technological unemployment and workplace automation; the antiwork critique—which I argue gives reasons to embrace technological unemployment; and the philosophical debate about the conditions for meaning in life—which I argue gives reasons for concern. (shrink)
The paper begins by exploring whether a “tendency to avarice” exists in most capitalist business organisations. It concludes that it does and that this is problematic. The problem centres on the potential threat to the integrity of human character and the disablement of community.What, then, can be done about it? Building on previous work in which MacIntyre’s notions of practice and institution were explored , the paper offers a philosophically based argument in favour of the rediscovery of craftsmanship by those (...) who work in business organisations, and the exercise of craftsmanship in community.The practical implications for individuals of this way of conceptualising business, and the virtues which must then come to the fore, are discussed. (shrink)
The growth of self-tracking and personal surveillance has given rise to the Quantified Self movement. Members of this movement seek to enhance their personal well-being, productivity, and self-actualization through the tracking and gamification of personal data. The technologies that make this possible can also track and gamify aspects of our interpersonal, romantic relationships. Several authors have begun to challenge the ethical and normative implications of this development. In this article, we build upon this work to provide a detailed ethical analysis (...) of the Quantified Relationship. We identify eight core objections to the QR and subject them to critical scrutiny. We argue that although critics raise legitimate concerns, there are ways in which tracking technologies can be used to support and facilitate good relationships. We thus adopt a stance of cautious openness toward this technology and advocate the development of a research agenda for the positive use of QR technologies. (shrink)
This paper adds another argument to the rising tide of panic about robots and AI. The argument is intended to have broad civilization-level significance, but to involve less fanciful speculation about the likely future intelligence of machines than is common among many AI-doomsayers. The argument claims that the rise of the robots will create a crisis of moral patiency. That is to say, it will reduce the ability and willingness of humans to act in the world as responsible moral agents, (...) and thereby reduce them to moral patients. Since that ability and willingness is central to the value system in modern liberal democratic states, the crisis of moral patiency has a broad civilization-level significance: it threatens something that is foundational to and presupposed in much contemporary moral and political discourse. I defend this argument in three parts. I start with a brief analysis of an analogous argument made in pop culture. Though those arguments turn out to be hyperbolic and satirical, they do prove instructive as they illustrates a way in which the rise of robots could impact upon civilization, even when the robots themselves are neither malicious nor powerful enough to bring about our doom. I then introduce the argument from the crisis of moral patiency, defend its main premises and address objections. (shrink)
Alvin Plantinga has argued that evolutionary naturalism (the idea that God does not tinker with evolution) undermines its own rationality. Natural selection is concerned with survival and reproduction, and false beliefs conjoined with complementary motivational drives could serve the same aims as true beliefs. Thus, argues Plantinga, if we believe we evolved naturally, we should not think our beliefs are, on average, likely to be true, including our beliefs in evolution and naturalism. I argue herein that our cognitive faculties are (...) less reliable than we often take them to be, that it is theism which has difficulty explaining the nature of our cognition, that much of our knowledge is not passed through biological evolution but learned and transferred through culture, and that the unreliability of our cognition helps explain the usefulness of science. (shrink)
Soon there will be sex robots. The creation of such devices raises a host of social, legal and ethical questions. In this article, I focus in on one of them. What if these sex robots are deliberately designed and used to replicate acts of rape and child sexual abuse? Should the creation and use of such robots be criminalised, even if no person is harmed by the acts performed? I offer an argument for thinking that they should be. The argument (...) consists of two premises. The first claims that it can be a proper object of the criminal law to regulate wrongful conduct with no extrinsically harmful effects on others. The second claims that the use of robots that replicate acts of rape and child sexual abuse would be wrongful, even if such usage had no extrinsically harmful effects on others. I defend both premises of this argument and consider its implications for the criminal law. I do not offer a conclusive argument for criminalisation, nor would I wish to be interpreted as doing so; instead, I offer a tentative argument and a framework for future debate. This framework may also lead one to question the proposed rationales for criminalisation. (shrink)
This paper presents a dilemma for the additive model of reasons. Either the model accommodates disjunctive cases in which one ought to perform some act \phi just in case at least one of two factors obtains, or it accommodates conjunctive cases in which one ought to \phi just in case both of two factors obtains. The dilemma also arises in a revised additive model that accommodates imprecisely weighted reasons. There exist disjunctive and conjunctive cases. Hence the additive model is extensionally (...) inadequate. The upshot of the dilemma is that one of the most influential accounts of how reasons accrue to determine what we ought to do is flawed. -/- . (shrink)
Algorithms and data-driven technologies are increasingly being embraced by a variety of different sectors and institutions. This paper examines how algorithms and data-driven technologies, enacted by an organization like Facebook, can induce similarity across an industry. Using theories from organizational sociology and neoinstitutionalism, this paper traces the bureaucratic roots of Big Data and algorithms to examine the institutional dependencies that emerge and are mediated through data-driven and algorithmic logics. This type of analysis sheds light on how organizational contexts are embedded (...) into algorithms, which can then become embedded within other organizational and individual practices. By investigating technical practices as organizational and bureaucratic, discussions about accountability and decision-making can be reframed. (shrink)
Transitional justice scholars are increasingly concerned with measuring the impact of transitional justice initiatives. Scholars often assume that TJ mechanisms must be properly designed and ordered to achieve lasting effect, but the impact of TJ timing and sequencing has attracted relatively little theoretical or empirical attention. Focusing on Latin America, this article explores variation within the region as to when TJ occurs and the order in which mechanisms are implemented. We utilize qualitative comparative analysis to assess the impact of TJ (...) timing and sequencing on democratic development. We find little evidence for path dependency owing to the chronological order of mechanisms. We do find, however, that amnesties and trials approach a sufficient condition for democratic consolidation in Latin America; trials, however, come closest to being a necessary condition for successful democratic consolidation. (shrink)
Do psychotherapists' unethical practices influence how they are perceived? The 202 Israeli lay and professional psychology participants rated systematically varied descriptions of effective therapists and potential clients under conditions of no difficulties, practice without a license, and a previous sexual boundary violation on indexes of evaluation and willingness to refer. Participants completed a measure of important variables in therapist selection. Effective standard therapists were rated most favorably, unlicensed therapists were rated favorably, and therapists who violated sexual boundaries in the past (...) were rated least favorably. When results were analyzed by respondent characteristics, laypersons rated unlicensed professionals and sexual boundary violators more positively than did clinical psychologists. Men rated the violators more favorably than did women. Factor analysis of therapist selection measures identified professional and personal factors, but only the former were associated with ratings of "problem" therapists. The results underscore the gap between ethical standards and applied decisions made by professionals and laypersons. Further investigation is needed to ensure quality care in both professional and consumer approaches to psychotherapy. (shrink)
If a robot sends a deceptive signal to a human user, is this always and everywhere an unethical act, or might it sometimes be ethically desirable? Building upon previous work in robot ethics, this article tries to clarify and refine our understanding of the ethics of robotic deception. It does so by making three arguments. First, it argues that we need to distinguish between three main forms of robotic deception (external state deception; superficial state deception; and hidden state deception) in (...) order to think clearly about its ethics. Second, it argues that the second type of deception – superficial state deception – is not best thought of as a form of deception, even though it is frequently criticised as such. And third, it argues that the third type of deception is best understood as a form of betrayal because doing so captures the unique ethical harm to which it gives rise, and justifies special ethical protections against its use. (shrink)
We are living through an era of increased robotisation. Some authors have already begun to explore the impact of this robotisation on legal rules and practice. In doing so, many highlight potential liability gaps that might arise through robot misbehaviour. Although these gaps are interesting and socially significant, they do not exhaust the possible gaps that might be created by increased robotisation. In this article, I make the case for one of those alternative gaps: the retribution gap. This gap arises (...) from a mismatch between the human desire for retribution and the absence of appropriate subjects of retributive blame. I argue for the potential existence of this gap in an era of increased robotisation; suggest that it is much harder to plug this gap than it is to plug those thus far explored in the literature; and then highlight three important social implications of this gap. (shrink)
Friendship is an important part of the good life. While many roboticists are eager to create friend-like robots, many philosophers and ethicists are concerned. They argue that robots cannot really be our friends. Robots can only fake the emotional and behavioural cues we associate with friendship. Consequently, we should resist the drive to create robot friends. In this article, I argue that the philosophical critics are wrong. Using the classic virtue-ideal of friendship, I argue that robots can plausibly be considered (...) our virtue friends - that to do so is philosophically reasonable. Furthermore, I argue that even if you do not think that robots can be our virtue friends, they can fulfil other important friendship roles, and can complement and enhance the virtue friendships between human beings. (shrink)
The phenomenon of systematic polysemy offers a fruitful domain for examining the theoretical differences between lexicological and lexicographic approaches to description. We consider here the process that provides for systematic conversion of count to mass nouns in English (a chicken Æ chicken, an oak Æ oak etc.). From the point of view of lexicology, we argue, standard syntactic and pragmatic tests suggest the phenomenon should be described by means of a single unindividuated transfer function that does not distinguish between interpretations (...) (rabbit = "meat" vs. "fur"). From the point of view of lexicography, however, these pragmatically determined"sense precisions" are made part of explicit description via the inclusion of semantic "licenses," a mechanism distinct from lexical rules. (shrink)
Personal AI assistants are now nearly ubiquitous. Every leading smartphone operating system comes with a personal AI assistant that promises to help you with basic cognitive tasks: searching, planning, messaging, scheduling and so on. Usage of such devices is effectively a form of algorithmic outsourcing: getting a smart algorithm to do something on your behalf. Many have expressed concerns about this algorithmic outsourcing. They claim that it is dehumanising, leads to cognitive degeneration, and robs us of our freedom and autonomy. (...) Some people have a more subtle view, arguing that it is problematic in those cases where its use may degrade important interpersonal virtues. In this article, I assess these objections to the use of AI assistants. I will argue that the ethics of their use is complex. There are no quick fixes or knockdown objections to the practice, but there are some legitimate concerns. By carefully analysing and evaluating the objections that have been lodged to date, we can begin to articulate an ethics of personal AI use that navigates those concerns. In the process, we can locate some paradoxes in our thinking about outsourcing and technological dependence, and we can think more clearly about what it means to live a good life in the age of smart machines. (shrink)
This chapter examines a common objection to sex robots: the symbolic-consequences argument. According to this argument sex robots are problematic because they symbolise something disturbing about our attitude to sex-related norms such as consent and the status of our sex partners, and because of the potential consequences of this symbolism. After formalising this objection and considering several real-world uses of it, the chapter subjects it to critical scrutiny. It argues that while there are grounds for thinking that sex robots could (...) symbolically represent a troubling attitude toward women (and maybe children) and the norms of interpersonal sexual relationships, the troubling symbolism is going to be removable in many instances and reformable in others. What will ultimately matter are the consequences of the symbolism but these consequences are likely to be difficult to ascertain. This may warrant an explicitly experimental approach to the development of this technology. (shrink)
Some expressions of English, like the demonstratives ‘this’ and ‘that’, are referentially promiscuous: distinct free occurrences of them in the same sentence can differ in content relative to the same context. One lesson of referentially promiscuous expressions is that basic logical properties like validity and logical truth obtain or fail to obtain only relative to a context. This approach to logic can be developed in just as rigorous a manner as David Kaplan’s classic logic of demonstratives. The result is a (...) logic that applies to arguments in English containing multiple occurrences of referentially promiscuous expressions. (shrink)
Allshorn, Geoff I believe the year in which I was born to be a very important year, perhaps not surprisingly, but particularly because of other events which would ultimately become significant in my own life.
This paper is a further development of two previous pieces of work in which modern virtue ethics, and in particular MacIntyre’s related notions of “practice” and “institution,” have been explored in the context of business. It first introduces and defines the concept of corporate character and seeks to establish why it is important. It then reviews MacIntyre’s virtues-practice-institution schema and the implications of this at the level of the institution in question—the corporation—and argues that the concept of corporate character follows (...) from, but is a novel development of, MacIntyre’s schema. The paper contrasts corporate character and virtues with the more familiar concepts of corporate culture and values. The constitutive and substantive elementsof corporate character, including the essential corporate virtues, are then drawn out and illustrated with reference to the cases explored in Koehn . Finally, the paper acknowledges and counters a specific criticism of this approach. (shrink)
Abstract: After exploring MacIntyre’s (1985) practice—institution distinction, the article demonstrates its applicability to business-as-practice and to corporations as institutions. It then considers the implications of MacIntyre’s schema to ethical schizophrenia, to the claim that the market is a source of the virtues and to the opposite claim that capitalism corrodes character. A fully worked out modern virtue ethics, based on MacIntyre’s work, is then established and the claim is made and substantiated that such an understanding of MacIntrye’s work revitalises it (...) and makes it directly applicable to business and to corporations. (shrink)
The paper begins by exploring whether a “tendency to avarice” exists in most capitalist business organisations. It concludes that it does and that this is problematic. The problem centres on the potential threat to the integrity of human character and the disablement of community.What, then, can be done about it? Building on previous work (Moore, 2002) in which MacIntyre’s notions of practice and institution were explored (MacIntyre, 1985), the paper offers a philosophically based argument in favour of the rediscovery of (...) craftsmanship by those who work in business organisations, and the exercise of craftsmanship in community.The practical implications for individuals of this way of conceptualising business, and the virtues which must then come to the fore, are discussed. (shrink)
Suppose that an autonomous vehicle encounters a situation where (i) imposing a risk of harm on at least one person is unavoidable; and (ii) a choice about how to allocate risks of harm between different persons is required. What does morality require in these cases? Derek Leben defends a Rawlsian answer to this question. I argue that we have reason to reject Leben’s answer.
In this paper the problematic nature of the morality of management, in particular related to business organisations operating under Anglo-American capitalism, is explored. MacIntyre’s critique of managers in After Virtue serves as the starting point but this critique is itself subjected to analysis leading to a more balanced and contemporary view of the morality of management than MacIntyre provides. Paradoxically perhaps, MacIntyre’s own virtues-goods-practice-institution schema is shown to provide a way of re-imagining business organisations and management and thereby holds out (...) the possibility of resolving the issue of the morality of management within such organisations. Implications for management practice are drawn out. (shrink)
This paper is a further development of two previous pieces of work (Moore 2002, 2005) in which modern virtue ethics, and in particular MacIntyre’s (1985) related notions of “practice” and “institution,” have been explored in the context of business. It first introduces and defines the concept of corporate character and seeks to establish why it is important. It then reviews MacIntyre’s virtues-practice-institution schema and the implications of this at the level of the institution in question—the corporation—and argues that the concept (...) of corporate character follows from, but is a novel development of, MacIntyre’s schema. The paper contrasts corporate character and virtues with the more familiar concepts of corporate culture and values. The constitutive and substantive elementsof corporate character, including the essential corporate virtues, are then drawn out and illustrated with reference to the cases explored in Koehn (1998). Finally, the paper acknowledges and counters a specific criticism of this approach. (shrink)
The product/process distinction with regards to “argument” has a longstanding history and foundational role in argumentation theory. I shall argue that, regardless of one’s chosen ontology of arguments, arguments are not the product of some process of arguing. Hence, appeal to the distinction is distorting the very organizational foundations of argumentation theory and should be abandoned.
1. Introduction Geoff Cockfield, Ann Firth and John Laurent -/- 2. The Role of Thumos in Adam Smith’s System Lisa Hill -/- 3. Adam Smith’s Treatment of the Greeks in The Theory of Moral Sentiments: The Case of Aristotle Richard Temple-Smith -/- 4. Adam Smith, Religion and the Scottish Enlightenment Pete Clarke -/- 5. The ‘New View’ of Adam Smith and the Development of his Views Over Time James E. Alvey -/- 6. The Moon Before the Dawn: A Seventeenth-Century (...) Precursor of Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments Jack Barbalet -/- 7. Adam Smith’s Moral Philosophy as Ethical Self-formation Ann Firth -/- 8. Science and its Applications in The Theory of Moral Sentiments David Thorpe -/- 9. Adam Smith, Charles Darwin and the Moral Sense John Laurent and Geoff Cockfield. (shrink)
The comparison of corporate social performance with corporate financial performance has been a popular field of study over the past 25 years. The results, while broadly conclusive of a positive relationship, are not entirely consistent. In addition, most of the previous studies have concentrated on large-scale cross-industry studies and often with a single variable for corporate social performance, in order to produce statistically significant results. This weakens the richness of understanding that might be obtained from a single industry study with (...) multiple social variables, which would also allow investigation of inter-relationships between individual and sub-sets of social performance measures and between individual and sub-sets of social performance and financial performance measures. There have also been criticisms that the results lack a rigorous theoretical basis, and the paper demonstrates clearly how stakeholder theory must form the basis for this area of research. Following a review of the literature this paper presents the initial findings from a study of the U.K. Supermarket industry which suggest that contemporaneous social and financial performance are negatively related, while prior-period financial performance is positively related with subsequent social performance. Positive relationships between both age and size of the company with social performance are also found. (shrink)
This paper extends previous discussions of corporate character and corporate virtues. By drawing particularly on the work of Alasdair MacIntyre, it offers a perspective on context-dependent categories of the virtues. It then provides a philosophically grounded framework which enables a discussion of which virtues are required for business organizations to qualify as virtuous. It offers a preliminary taxonomy of such corporate virtues and provides a revised definition of corporate character.