Studies in the behavioral ethics and moral psychology traditions have begun to reveal the important roles of self-related processes that underlie moral behavior. Unfortunately, this research has resulted in two distinct and opposing streams of findings that are usually referred to as moral consistency and moral compensation. Moral consistency research shows that a salient self-concept as a moral person promotes moral behavior. Conversely, moral compensation research reveals that a salient self-concept as an immoral person promotes moral behavior. This study’s aim (...) was to integrate these two literatures. We argued that compensation forms a reactive, “damage control” response in social situations, whereas consistency derives from a more proactive approach to reputation building and maintenance. Two experiments supported this prediction in showing that cognitive depletion (i.e., resulting in a reactive approach) results in moral compensation whereas consistency results when cognitive resources are available (i.e., resulting in a proactive approach). Experiment 2 revealed that these processes originate from reputational (rather than moral) considerations by showing that they emerge only under conditions of accountability. It can thus be concluded that reputational concerns are important for both moral compensation and moral consistency processes, and that which of these two prevails depends on the perspective that people take: a reactive or a proactive approach. (shrink)
In the present article, we argue that the constant pressure that leaders face may limit the willpower required to behave according to ethical norms and standards and may therefore lead to unethical behavior. Drawing upon the ego depletion and moral self-regulation literatures, we examined whether self-regulatory depletion that is contingent upon the moral identity of leaders may promote unethical leadership behavior. A laboratory experiment and a multisource field study revealed that regulatory resource depletion promotes unethical leader behaviors among leaders who (...) are low in moral identity. No such effect was found among leaders with a high moral identity. This study extends our knowledge on why organizational leaders do not always conform to organizational goals. Specifically, we argue that the hectic and fragmented workdays of leaders may increase the likelihood that they violate ethical norms. This highlights the necessity to carefully schedule tasks that may have ethical implications. Similarly, organizations should be aware that overloading their managers with work may increase the likelihood of their leaders transgressing ethical norms. (shrink)
Researchers have emphasized the value of authenticity, but not much is known about what makes a person authentic in the eyes of others. Our research takes an interpersonal perspective to examine the determinants of followers’ perceptions of leader authenticity. Building on social identity theory, we propose that two fundamental self-identifications–a leader’s sense of uniqueness and sense of belongingness–interact to influence followers’ perceptions of a leader’s authenticity via perceptions of a leader’s self-concept consistency. In a field study conducted among leader–follower dyads (...) and in a controlled laboratory experiment, we find that when a leader feels a low sense of belongingness, there is a positive relationship between a leader’s sense of uniqueness and perceptions of leader authenticity. When a leader feels a low sense of uniqueness, there is a positive relationship between a leader’s sense of belongingness and perceptions of leader authenticity. This is because followers perceive this leader as having high self-concept consistency. (shrink)
Ethical failures are all around. Despite their pervasiveness, we know little how to manage and even survive the aftermath of such failures. In this paper, we develop the argument that as business ethics researchers we need to zoom in more closely on why ethical failures emerge, and how these insights can help us to be effective ethical leaders that can increase moral awareness and manage distrust. To succeed in this scientific enterprise, we advocate the use of a behavioral business ethics (...) approach that relies on insights from psychology. (shrink)
We studied the role of social dynamics in moral decision-making and behavior by investigating how physical sensations of dirtiness versus cleanliness influence moral behavior in leader–subordinate relationships, and whether a leader’s self-interest functions as a boundary condition to this effect. A pilot study (N = 78) revealed that when participants imagined rewarding (vs. punishing) unethical behavior of a subordinate, they felt more dirty. Our main experiment (N = 96) showed that directly manipulating dirtiness by allowing leaders to touch a dirty (...) object (fake poop) led to more positive evaluations of, and higher bonuses for, unethical subordinates than touching a clean object (hygienic hand wipe). This effect, however, only emerged when the subordinate’s unethical behavior did not serve the leader’s own interest. Hence, subtle cues such as bodily sensations can shape moral decision-making and behavior in leader–subordinate relationships, but self-interest, as a core characteristic of interdependence, can override the influence of such cues on the leader’s moral behavior. (shrink)
We studied the role of social dynamics in moral decision-making and behavior by investigating how physical sensations of dirtiness versus cleanliness influence moral behavior in leader–subordinate relationships, and whether a leader’s self-interest functions as a boundary condition to this effect. A pilot study revealed that when participants imagined rewarding unethical behavior of a subordinate, they felt more dirty. Our main experiment showed that directly manipulating dirtiness by allowing leaders to touch a dirty object led to more positive evaluations of, and (...) higher bonuses for, unethical subordinates than touching a clean object. This effect, however, only emerged when the subordinate’s unethical behavior did not serve the leader’s own interest. Hence, subtle cues such as bodily sensations can shape moral decision-making and behavior in leader–subordinate relationships, but self-interest, as a core characteristic of interdependence, can override the influence of such cues on the leader’s moral behavior. (shrink)
Punishment and forgiveness are two very different responses to a moral transgression that both have been argued to restore perceptions of moral order within an organization. Unfortunately, it is currently unclear what motivates organizational actors to punish or forgive a norm transgressor. We build on social cognitive theory to argue that punishment and forgiveness of a transgressor are both rooted in self-regulatory processes. Specifically, we argue that organizational actors are more likely to respond to intentional transgressions with punishment, and to (...) unintentional transgressions with forgiveness. However, these effects of transgressor intentionality should be found in particular among actors for whom moral identity is central. We find support for these predictions in a laboratory experiment and a field study among organizational leaders. By simultaneously studying punishment and forgiveness in organizational settings, we provide crucial insight in their shared motivational bases, as well as into important differences between the two. (shrink)
By showing disapproval of unethical follower behavior (UFB), leaders help creating an ethical climate in their organization in which it is clear what is morally acceptable or not. In this research, we examine factors influencing whether leaders consistently show such disapproval. Specifically, we argue that holding leaders accountable for their actions should motivate them to disapprove of UFB. However, this effect of accountability should be inhibited when leaders personally benefit from UFB. This prediction was supported in a lab experiment. Furthermore, (...) a follow-up study showed that followers in fact accurately predict when leaders will most likely disapprove of UFB. These findings imply that followers can thus get away with unethical behavior in some situations and they are capable of accurately predicting such situations. (shrink)
Early modern foundations for mechanics came in two kinds, nomic and material. I examine here the dynamical laws and pictures of matter given respectively by Newton, Leibniz, and Kant. I argue that they fall short of their foundational task, viz. to represent enough kinematic behavior; or at least to explain it. In effect, for the true foundations of classical mechanics we must look beyond Newton, Leibniz, and Kant.
Much early modern metaphysics grew with an eye to the new science of its time, but few figures took it as seriously as Emilie du Châtelet. Happily, her oeuvre is now attracting close, renewed attention, and so the time is ripe for looking into her metaphysical foundation for empirical theory. Accordingly, I move here to do just that. I establish two conclusions. First, du Châtelet's basic metaphysics is a robust realism. Idealist strands, while they exist, are confined to non-basic regimes. (...) Second, her substance realism seems internally coherent, so her foundational project appears successful.I have two aims in this paper. Historically, I show that du Châtelet's main source of inspiration was Christian... (shrink)
3 LIBERTARIANISM Now that we have discussed determinism and laws of nature, let us finally turn to libertarianism. Traditionally, libertarianism has been viewed as an incompatibilist theory of free will, as it requires the existence of real ...
The history of ideology and its definition continues to occupy scholars across a range of disciplines. Contrary to the vast volume of earlier work on ideology however, this books provides a challenging new theory of ideology, one that is capable of explaining not only the internal structures of ideologies, but also how ideologies function in society. In formulating theory that is capable of providing the first insights into the internal structures of ideologies while simultaneously explaining how discourse structures may be (...) used in the production and reproduction of ideologies, van Dijk offers a highly important theoretical bridge between the micro and macro structures of society. This book will be essential for all students of discourse studies, communication, social psychology, sociology, and political science. (shrink)
Craig Callender, Jonathan Cohen and Markus Schrenk have recently argued for an amended version of the best system account of laws – the better best system account (BBSA). This account of lawhood is supposed to account for laws in the special sciences, among other desiderata. Unlike David Lewis's original best system account of laws, the BBSA does not rely on a privileged class of natural predicates, in terms of which the best system is formulated. According to the BBSA, a contingently (...) true generalization is a law of a special science S iff the generalization is an axiom (or a theorem) of the best system relative to the set of predicates used by special science S. We argue that the BBSA is, at best, an incomplete theory of special science laws, as it does not account for typical features of special science laws, such as attached ceteris paribus conditions and the idealized character of law statements in these disciplines. (shrink)
This book is the first to discuss, for an English-speaking audience, the ideas of the German-Jewish man of letters, thinker, and activist Günther Anders. Anders is one of few philosophers to deal intensely with the moral consequences of Auschwitz and Hiroshima. He can rightly be called the philosopher of the atomic age, and his thinking a philosophy of modern technology. In biting manifestoes, sharp aphorisms, and penetrating essays, in stirring diary notes and political fables, Anders strikes out the age in (...) which we live. As a twentieth-century visionary, he exposes the absence of the moral and social imaginations that is necessary to prevent our history from ending in a total catastrophe. In the gap between our technical creations and our utter inability to imagine their destructive potential lies the basis for the unstoppable activity of this practical philosopher. From every possible angle, he attempts to comprehend this modern schizophrenia in its roots and consequences. Anders is one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century. He tried to describe and analyze the variety of manifestations of the “self-destructive progress of our technical civilization,” which makes humanity into an “anti-quated” sort. He diagnosed countless important problems, ranging from the world of media to the dictates of the world of machinery, and he investigated their social, political, and philosophical meaning. To read his writings is more than becoming acquainted with a rich and colorful philosopher. It is more than an encounter with a moving and passionate individual. It is ultimately a confrontation with oneself, with our own guilt and responsibility, with our personal hopes and fears, with our lack of imagination and with our need to recover it. (shrink)
In cognitive science, long-term anticipation, such as when planning to do something next year, is typically seen as a form of ‘higher’ cognition, requiring a different account than the more basic activities that can be understood in terms of responsiveness to ‘affordances,’ i.e. to possibilities for action. Starting from architects that anticipate the possibility to make an architectural installation over the course of many months, in this paper we develop a process-based account of affordances that includes long-term anticipation within its (...) scope. We present a framework in which situations and their affordances unfold, and can be thought of as continuing a history of practices into a current situational activity. In this activity affordances invite skilled participants to act further. Via these invitations one situation develops into the other; an unfolding process that sets up the conditions for its own continuation. Central to our process account of affordances is the idea that engaged individuals can be responsive to the direction of the process to which their actions contribute. Anticipation, at any temporal scale, is then part and parcel of keeping attuned to the movement of the unfolding situations to which an individual contributes. We concretize our account by returning to the example of anticipation observed in architectural practice. This account of anticipation opens the door to considering a wide array of human activities traditionally characterized as ‘higher’ cognition in terms of engaging with affordances. (shrink)
Teun van Dijk, despite he initiated his academic path on linguistics, and more specifically, in the area of grammars; he has developed over his academic whereabouts the idea that we cannot elucidate the mysteries of discourse by its purely structural analysis. More so, in time he has explored the fi..
This paper examines the origin, range and meaning of the Principle of Action and Reaction in Kant’s mechanics. On the received view, it is a version of Newton’s Third Law. I argue that Kant meant his principle as foundation for a Leibnizian mechanics. To find a ‘Newtonian’ law of action and reaction, we must look to Kant’s ‘dynamics,’ or theory of matter. I begin, in part I, by noting marked differences between Newton’s and Kant’s laws of action and reaction. I (...) argue that these are explainable by Kant’s allegiance to a Leibnizian mechanics. I show (in part II) that Leibniz too had a model of action and reaction, at odds with Newton’s. Then I reconstruct how Jakob Hermann and Christian Wolff received Leibniz’s model. I present (in Part III) Kant’s early law of action and reaction for mechanics. I show that he devised it so as to solve extant problems in the Hermann-Wolff account. I reconstruct Kant’s views on ‘mechanical’ action and reaction in the 1780s, and highlight strong continuities with his earlier, pre-Critical stance. I use these continuities, and Kant’s earlier engagement with post-Leibnizians, to explain the un-Newtonian features of his law of action and reaction. (shrink)
We explore why people feel the socially improper emotions of schadenfreude and gluckschmerz. One explanation follows from sentiment relations. Prior dislike leads to both schadenfreude and gluckschmerz. A second explanation relates to concerns over justice. Deserved misfortune is pleasing and undeserved good fortune is displeasing. A third explanation concerns appraisal of the good or bad fortunes of others as creating either benefit or harm for the self or in-group. Especially in competitive situations and when envy is present, gain is pleasing (...) and loss is displeasing. Both emotions have important implications for understanding human relations at the individual and group levels. (shrink)
The smooth integration of the natural sciences with everyday lived experience is an important ambition of radical embodied cognitive science. In this paper we start from Koffka’s recommendation in his Principles of Gestalt Psychology that to realize this ambition psychology should be a “science of molar behaviour”. Molar behavior refers to the purposeful behaviour of the whole organism directed at an environment that is meaningfully structured for the animal. Koffka made a sharp distinction between the “behavioural environment” and the “geographical (...) environment”. We show how this distinction picks out the difference between the environment as perceived by an individual organism, and the shared publicly available environment. The ecological psychologist James Gibson was later critical of Koffka for inserting a private phenomenal reality in between animals and the shared environment. Gibson tried to make do with just the concept of affordances in his explanation of molar behaviour. We argue however that psychology as a science of molar behaviour will need to make appeal both to the concepts of shared publicly available affordances, and of the multiplicity of relevant affordances that invite an individual to act. A version of Koffka’s distinction between the two environments remains alive today in a distinction we have made between the field and landscape of affordances. Having distinguished the two environments, we go on to provide an account of how the two environments are related. Koffka suggested that the behavioural environment forms out of the causal interaction of the individual with a pre-existing, ready-made geographical environment. We argue that such an account of the relation between the two environments fails to do justice to the complex entanglement of the social with the material aspects of the geographical environment. To better account for this sociomaterial reality of the geographical environment, we propose a process-perspective on our distinction between the landscape and field of affordances. While the two environments can be conceptually distinguished, we argue they should also be viewed as standing in a relation of reciprocal and mutual dependence. (shrink)
In this paper we will try to identify the concrete ways in which John Locke describes the limits of toleration between different types of faith and its metaphysical foundations. From the beginning of his text A Letter Concerning Toleration, John Locke specifies that toleration is, first and foremost, a practical ideal and, secondly, a moral one. As such, toleration must be the essential feature of the true Church because in the field of religious faith any claimed superiority is in fact (...) only the expression of the struggle for power and domination. A theoretical perspective on the idea of religious toleration is also recalled from Lockeˈs radical empiricism, which correlates man's identity with his appearance at birth, for the first time in the world, as a different form from others. Such a view is contrary to metempsychosis which could lead to innate ideas in the human soul about moral principles and especially about God, as Plato or Descartes believed. Starting from the principles of toleration, John Locke's idea was to find those elements through which a fundamental separation between the Church and the State could be achieved. But toleration ceases when the Church and the State merge discreetly until they can no longer distinguish the boundaries between them. We consider that the fundamental principle of religious toleration is based on the idea of reciprocity, i.e. toleration-to-toleration and intolerance-to-intolerance, as Locke stated. This principle is also an essential landmark for a moral law on religious toleration in the contemporary, global world. (shrink)
“Technology is an ambivalent process with promising as well as threatening aspects … it depends on our choices which promises and dangers will become real.” An exploration of this ambivalence is offered by Dr Paul van Dijk, who is a member of the Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences at the University of Twente, The Netherlands. This paper was originally delivered at the Eighth Annual Conference of the European Business Ethics Network, held in 1995 at the University of Twente.
The standardised randomised clinical trial has been exceedingly popular in medical research, economics, and practical policy making. Recently, RCTs have faced criticism. First, it has been argued by John Worrall that we cannot be certain that our sample is not atypical with regard to possible confounding factors. I will argue that at least in the case of medical research, we know enough about the relevant causal mechanisms to be justified to ignore a number of factors we have good reason not (...) to expect to be disruptive. I will also argue against an argument provided by Nancy Cartwright and Eileen Munro that RCTs should not be taken to deductively infer probabilistic causal claims, but ampliatively. The paper will end on a discussion of evidence hierarchies and a defence of the stance of evidence-based medicine that RCTs are the best available method to assess a treatment’s efficacy. (shrink)
Unfair offers in bargaining may have disruptive effects because they may reduce interpersonal trust. In such situations future trust may be strongly affected by social accounts. In the current paper we investigate when people are most likely to demand social accounts for the unfair offer, and when social accounts will have the highest impact. We hypothesized that the need for and impact of social accounts will be highest when the intentions of the other party are uncertain. The results provided support (...) for this reasoning. (shrink)
I outline a dilemma for Derek Parfit’s project to vindicate moral realism. In On What Matters, Parfit argues that the best versions of three of the main moral traditions agree on a set of moral principles, which should make us more confident about the prospects of truth in ethics. I show that the result of this Convergence Argument can be interpreted in two ways. Either there remain three separate and deontically equivalent theories or there remains just one theory, the Triple (...) Theory. Both interpretations fail to deliver what Parfit is looking for. The first interpretation leads to a situation of underdetermination of theory choice that gives rise to a skeptical challenge. The second interpretation jettisons Parfit’s Conciliatory Project, that is, the reconciliation of the three moral traditions. The dilemma, I contend, is the result of Parfit failing to resolve two antithetical lines of thought. His search for the Trinity of moral theorizing must thus fail. (shrink)
I argue that the key dynamical concepts and laws of Newton's Principia never gained a solid foothold in Germany before Kant in the 1750s. I explain this absence as due to Leibniz. Thus I make a case for a robust Leibnizian legacy for Enlightenment science, and I solve what Jonathan Israel called “a meaningful historical problem on its own,” viz. the slow and hesitant reception of Newton in pre-Kantian Germany.
I uncover here a conflict in Kant’s natural philosophy. His matter theory and laws of mechanics are in tension. Kant’s laws are fit for particles but are too narrow to handle continuous bodies, which his doctrine of matter demands. To fix this defect, Kant ultimately must ground the Torque Law; that is, the impressed torque equals the change in angular momentum. But that grounding requires a premise—the symmetry of the stress tensor—that Kant denies himself. I argue that his problem would (...) not arise if he had kept his early theory of matter as made of mass points, or “physical monads.”. (shrink)
The margravial court astronomer Simon Marius, was involved in all of the new observations made with the recently invented telescope in the early part of the seventeenth century. He also discovered the Moons of Jupiter in January 1610, but lost the priority dispute with Galileo Galilei, because he missed to publish his findings in a timely manner. The history of astronomy neglected Marius for a long time, finding only the apologists for the Copernican system worthy of attention. In (...) contrast the papers presented on the occasion of the Simon Marius Anniversary Conference 2014, and collected in this volume, demonstrate that it is just this struggle to find the correct astronomical system that makes him particularly interesting. His research into comets, sunspots, the Moons of Jupiter and the phases of Venus led him to abandon the Ptolemaic system and adopt the Tychonic one. He could not take the final step to heliocentricity but his rejection was based on empirical arguments of his time. This volume presents a translation of the main work of Marius and shows the current state of historical research on Marius. (shrink)
I explain and assess here Huygens’ concept of relative motion. I show that it allows him to ground most of the Law of Inertia, and also to explain rotation. Thereby his concept obviates the need for Newton’s absolute space. Thus his account is a powerful foundation for mechanics, though not without some tension.
Radical empiricists at the turn of the twentieth century described organisms as experiencing the relations they maintain with their surroundings prior to any analytic separation from their environment. They notably avoided separating perception of the material environment from social life. This perspective on perceptual experience was to prove the inspiration for Gibson’s ecological approach to perceptual psychology. Gibson provided a theory of how the direct perception of the organism-environment relation is possible. Central to his account was the notion of a (...) medium for direct perception. However Gibson provided two mutually inconsistent accounts of the medium leading to problems for his radical empiricism. We develop an account of the medium that does justice to ecological psychology’s radical empiricist roots. To complement this account of the medium we detail a usage-based account of information. Together they allow us to propose a novel radical empiricist view of direct perception. We then return to the notion of medium and expand it to include sociomaterial practices. We show how direct perception happens in the midst of social life, and is made possible by an active achieving and maintaining of a pragmatic relation with the environment. (shrink)