This article argues that a commitment to individual freedom plays a crucial role in William Godwin's utilitarian political theory. In his Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, Godwin argues that morality is grounded not in rights but rather in duties and that each individual has a constant obligation to act in the way most conducive to the general good. Yet, despite this apparently strict act-utilitarianism, he does defend one key individual entitlement: the right to a sphere of discretion in which agents can (...) exercise their own private judgment, a right that directly informs Godwin's critique of various social and political institutions. I argue that though his defence of individual freedom is an ultimately utilitarian one, its value is not contingent on consequentialist calculations. (shrink)
This paper examines the conception of disinterested love, pur amour, advocated by the Archbishop of Cambrai, Francois Fenelon, and its role in the thought of Jean-Jacques Rousseau andWilliam Godwin.We argue that for Fenelon, Rousseau, and Godwin, virtue is, or follows directly from, a form of love stripped of self-interest. Hence, virtuous activity is performed without either hope of reward or fear of punishment and sometimes with no reference to the self at all. At the same time, this disinterested love re-identifies (...) the self with something beyond, whether this is friends, God, the common weal, or utility. We demonstrate that Rousseau and Godwin adopted a specifically Fenelonian conception of disinterested love by considering the particular use they make of Fenelon's works, and, indeed, their references to him as a person. Interestingly, the logic of disinterestedness propels quite disparate thoughts about political life: for Fenelon the virtue is preeminently religious, and lawgivers and monarchs should exemplify and perpetuate pur amour; Rousseau's version is reconceptualised psychologically and reoriented such that it demands democratic politics, while for Godwin disinterestedness becomes a personal moral issue, actually requiring the dissolution of politics and government. (shrink)
This paper’s purpose is to provide a foundation for viewing critical thinking as both a maximal and typical performance construct. While maximal performance measures the best a person can do, typical performance measures what the person is most likely to do. An overview of maximal performance, including its history and limitations, will be given. The role of maximal and typical performance in cognitive development will be demonstrated through an exploration of the relationships between behavior, the environment, personality, crystallized intelligence, and (...) fluid intelligence. Furthermore, these topics will be related to the development and use of critical thinking skills. Discussion will conclude with directions for future research. (shrink)
Constructive engagement in international business practice is defined as purpose-driven behavior in which economic contributions by the foreign investor also advance social progress in the host country. This paper distinguishes between amoral and moral social agency, and proposes a model of principled constructive engagement that describes a principled constructive engagement regime enacted in a disciplined, morally-directed manner.
Love of life is the theme running through the eight chapters of this book, which cover theories of bioethics, the language of love, self love (embracing autonomy, selfishness, and altruism), love of freedom, loving relationships, animal ethics, and environmental ethics. Love of life, says Macer, is the “simplest and most all encompassing definition of bioethics, and it is universal among all peoples of the world” (page 1). This vision of love as a basis for a universal bioethics is part of (...) a more …. (shrink)