Although consumers are increasingly engaged with ethical factors when forming opinions about products and making purchase decisions, recent studies have highlighted significant differences between consumers' intentions to consume ethically, and their actual purchase behaviour. This article contributes to an understanding of this 'Ethical Purchasing Gap' through a review of existing literature, and the inductive analysis of focus group discussions. A model is suggested which includes exogenous variables such as moral maturity and age which have been well covered in the literature, (...) together with further impeding factors identified from the focus group discussions. For some consumers, inertia in purchasing behaviour was such that the decision-making process was devoid of ethical considerations. Several consumers manifested their ethical views through post-purchase dissonance and retrospective feelings of guilt. Others displayed a reluctance to consume ethically due to personal constraints, a perceived negative impact on image or quality, or an outright negation of responsibility. Those who expressed a desire to consume ethically often seemed deterred by cynicism, which caused them to question the impact they, as an individual, could achieve. These findings enhance the understanding of ethical consumption decisions and provide a platform for future research in this area. (shrink)
In this vast and ambitious tome, Michael Nylan aims to "trace the evolution of pleasure theories in early China over the course of a millennium and a half", roughly from 400 BCE to 1100 CE. This involves dissecting the discourse surrounding a single graph, le 樂, which Nylan translates as pleasure, and actively distinguishes from other states such as happiness and joy. Nylan understands such pleasure as "deeper satisfactions" realized in long-term commitments and often relational in nature. In texts, pleasure (...) is often associated with "objects of consequence" such as intimate friends, Heaven, graceful and charismatic acts and family profession or heritage (p.... (shrink)
Today’s Left has inherited and internalized the rift that split the New Left. This split led to Alasdair MacIntyre’s Herbert Marcuse: An Exposition and a Polemic, a book that angered many because of MacIntyre’s harsh treatment of Marcuse. I situate MacIntyre’s engagement with Marcuse against the background of the split in the New Left: on the one side, E. P. Thompson, MacIntyre, and those who then saw the revolutionary class in the proletariat, and on the other side, Perry Anderson, Robin (...) Blackburn, and Marcuse who seemed to put their faith in radical student intellectuals, Third World movements, and identity politics. I examine—without polemics— this rift in search of a new basis for Left unity, particularly as regards the question of radical, working class subjectivity. I argue that we must draw from MacIntyre his concept of revolutionary practices and from Marcuse—in One-Dimensional Man and Eros and Civilization—the analysis of technological rationality, aesthetic reason, phantasy, and imagination. (shrink)
The rich diversity of avian natural history provides exciting possibilities for comparative research aimed at understanding three-dimensional navigation. We propose some hypotheses relating differences in natural history to potential behavioral and neurological adaptations possessed by contrasting bird species. This comparative approach may offer unique insights into some of the important questions raised by Jeffery et al.
It is fortunate for my purposes that English has the two words ‘almighty’ and ‘omnipotent’, and that apart from any stipulation by me the words have rather different associations and suggestions. ‘Almighty’ is the familiar word that comes in the creeds of the Church; ‘omnipotent’ is at home rather in formal theological discussions and controversies, e.g. about miracles and about the problem of evil. ‘Almighty’ derives by way of Latin ‘omnipotens’ from the Greek word ‘ pantokratōr ’; and both this (...) Greek word, like the more classical ‘ pankratēs ’, and ‘almighty’ itself suggest God's having power over all things. On the other hand the English word ‘omnipotent’ would ordinarily be taken to imply ability to do everything; the Latin word ‘omnipotens’ also predominantly has this meaning in Scholastic writers, even though in origin it is a Latinization of ‘ pantocratōr ’. So there already is a tendency to distinguish the two words; and in this paper I shall make the distinction a strict one. I shall use the word ‘almighty’ to express God's power over all things, and I shall take ‘omnipotence’ to mean ability to do everything. (shrink)
One of the most influential analytic philosophers of the late twentieth century, William P. Alston is a leading light in epistemology, philosophy of religion, and the philosophy of language. In this volume, twelve leading philosophers critically discuss the central topics of his work in these areas, including perception, epistemic circularity, justification, the problem of religious diversity, and truth.
This volume provides an updated examination of the role that moral and political philosophy can play in addressing problems in business ethics. The essays contained within its pages represent the work of new scholars and address a wide array of foundational issues such as distributive justice within firms, human rights, ethical challenges of international business, the role of virtue in business management, entrepreneurship and the relationship of markets and market actors with democratic institutions.
Social contract theory has been criticized as a “theory in search of application.” We argue that incorporating the nano, or individual, level of analysis into social contract inquiry will yield more descriptive theory. We draw upon the psychological contract perspective to address two critiques of social contract theory: its rigid macro-orientation and inattention to the process of contract formation. We demonstrate how a psychological contract approach offers practical insight into the impact of social contracting on day-to-day human interaction. We then (...) articulate several potentially testable propositions that emerge from this nano-level perspective. (shrink)
Does effective moral judgment in business ethics rely upon the identification of a suitable set of moral principles? We address this question by examining a number of criticisms of the role that principles can play in moral judgment. Critics claim that reliance on principles requires moral agents to abstract themselves from actual circumstances, relationships and personal commitments in answering moral questions. This is said to enforce an artificial uniformity in moral judgment. We challenge these critics by developing an account of (...) principle-based moral judgment that has been widely discussed by contemporary Kantian scholars. In so doing we respond to some basic problems raised by so-called “moral particularists” who voice theoretical objections to the role of principles as well as to contemporary business ethicists who have criticized principle-based moral judgment along similar lines. We conclude with some future areas of research. (shrink)
In recent years philosophers have given much attention to the ‘ontological problem’ of events. Donald Davidson puts the matter thus: ‘the assumption, ontological and metaphysical, that there are events is one without which we cannot make sense of much of our common talk; or so, at any rate, I have been arguing. I do not know of any better, or further, way of showing what there is’. It might be thought bizarre to assign to philosophers the task of ‘showing what (...) there is’. They have not distinguished themselves by the discovery of new elements, new species or new continents, nor even of new categories, although there has often been more dreamt of in their philosophies than can be found in heaven or earth. It might appear even stranger to think that one can show what there actually is by arguing that the existence of something needs to be assumed in order for certain sentences to make sense. More than anything, the sober reader will doubtlessly be amazed that we need to assume , after lengthy argument, ‘that there are events’. (shrink)
Should we conceive of corporations as entities to which moral responsibility can be attributed? This contribution presents what we will call a political account of corporate moral responsibility. We argue that in modern, liberal democratic societies, there is an underlying political need to attribute greater levels of moral responsibility to corporations. Corporate moral responsibility is essential to the maintenance of social coordination that both advances social welfare and protects citizens' moral entitlements. This political account posits a special capacity of self-governance (...) that corporations can intelligibly be said to possess. Corporations can be said to be "administrators of duty" in that they can voluntarily incorporate moral principles into their decision-making processes about how to conduct business. This account supplements and partly transforms earlier pragmatic accounts of corporate moral responsibility by disentangling responsibility from its conventional linkages with accountability, blame and punishment. It thereby represents a distinctive way to defend corporate moral responsibility and shows how Kantian thinking can be helpful in disentangling the problems surrounding the concept. (shrink)
Described by Jeffrey Masson as 'the single best introduction to animal rights ever written,' this new book by Tom Regan dispels the negative image of animal rights advocates perpetrated by the mass media, unmasks the fraudulent rhetoric of 'humane treatment' favored by animal exploiters, and explains why existing laws function to legitimize institutional cruelty.
One common justification for the pursuit of profit by business firms within a market economy is that profit is not an end in itself but a means to more efficiently produce and allocate resources. Profit, in short, is a mechanism that serves the market’s purpose of producing Pareto superior outcomes for society. This discussion examines whether such a justification, if correct, requires business managers to remain attentive to how their firm’s operation impacts the market’s purpose. In particular, it is argued (...) that the value of efficiency, despite views to the contrary, cannot be fully separated from the planning and intentions of business managers as long as those managers direct their firms in an ethically responsible fashion. This position is inspired by, and serves as a supportive clarification of Joseph Heath’s so-called “market failures approach” to business ethics. (shrink)
A compilation of all previously published writings on philosophy and the foundations of mathematics from the greatest of the generation of Cambridge scholars that included G.E. Moore, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Maynard Keynes.
People who defend “pragmatic encroachment” about knowledge generally advocate two ideas: you can rationally act according to what you know; knowledge is harder to achieve when more is at stake. In their chapter in this volume, Charity Anderson and John Hawthorne argue that these two ideas may not fit together so well. This chapter extends Anderson and Hawthorne’s argument. By applying some standard decision theory, we can calculate a precise quantity of “how much is at stake” that does fit together (...) with knowledge and action. While this calculated quantity matches intuitions about how much is at stake in certain standard cases, in others it does not.Keywords. (shrink)
Throughout its history philosophy has been thought to be a member of a community of intellectual disciplines united by their common pursuit of knowledge. It has sometimes been thought to be the queen of the sciences, at other times merely their under-labourer. But irrespective of its social status, it was held to be a participant in the quest for knowledge – a cognitive discipline.
Introduction: the question of reason -- The Frankfurt School critique of reason -- Habermas's communicative rationality -- Macintyre's tradition-constituted reason -- A substantive reason -- Beyond relativism: reasonable progress and learning from -- Conclusion: toward a Thomistic-Aristotelian critical theory of society.
In the wake of recent corporate scandals, this paper examines the claim made by John Boatright that business ethics, as it is currently conceived, “rests on a mistake.” Ethics in business should not be achieved through managerial vision, discretion or responsibility; rather, ethics should shape the design of institutions that regulate business from the outside. What ethicists should advocate for, according to Boatright, are moral markets not moral managers. I explore the empirical and normative dimensions of his claim with special (...) attention paid to the extent to which Boatright’s development of the economic theory of the firm supports his position. I conclude by suggesting some reasons why moral markets and moral management are compatible frameworks for corporate reform. (shrink)