Annual Review of Psychology, 67, Sleep leadership in high-risk occupations: An investigation of soldiers on peacekeeping and combat missions. Military Psychology, 27 4 , Pascual-Ezama, D. Context dependent cheating: Experimental evidence from 16 countries. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, , Barnes, C.
Sleep and moral awareness. Journal of Sleep Research, 24, The morality of larks and owls: Unethical behavior depends on chronotype in addition to time-of-day. Psychological Science, 25 12 , The remarkable robustness of the first-offer effect: Across culture, power, and issues. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39 12 , Gelfand, M.
Toward a culture-by-context perspective on negotiation: Negotiating teams in the U. Journal of Applied Psychology, 98 3 , Contemplation and conversation: Subtle influences on moral decision making. Academy of Management Journal, 55 1 , Paying a price: Culture, trust, and negotiation consequences.
Journal of Applied Psychology, 96 4 , Thompson, L. Annual Review of Psychology, 61, Vicarious entrapment: Your sunk costs, my escalation of commitment. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45 6 , Cohen, T. Do groups lie more than individuals? Honesty and deception as a function of strategic self-interest. Furthermore, imperfect as the current academic "economy of esteem" Philip Pettit's phrase may be, few would deny that it does track important values, insofar as the judgment of one's peers, at least much of the time, manages to track genuine values such as intelligence, insight, industry, productivity, and collegiality.
The Independent Value of Academic Research But even if the academic economy of esteem, with all of its external indicators of success - promotion, tenure, academic prizes and grants, salary level, institutional affiliation, etc. Since I am currently dedicated to the study of ethics and social philosophy, i.
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At bottom, I see two distinct values in the study of human and societal flourishing: first, the intrinsic value of understanding better who we are as human beings and as human societies. Coming to a more refined or nuanced understanding of our own nature, dispositions, capacities, and form of life, brings its own reward, quite apart from any "practical' benefit such knowledge might bring further down the line. As Aristotle taught us, "all men desire to know," and this includes knowledge of ourselves and the meaning of our lives.
Although Aristotle asserted that ethics and political science are necessarily oriented towards praxis or action, I believe that understanding the human good is something we can also delight in for its own sake. There is something beautiful about advancing in our understanding of the meaning of our lives, something that cannot be reduced to the prospect of good action or a better future.
Nevertheless, the intrinsic reward of understanding ourselves better hardly exhausts the value of ethical and social theorising. Normative studies of the human person and the communities he or she inhabits I set aside more empirical studies for the time being are not neutral about outcomes: they endeavour to understand what it means for a human person and society to flourish or do well.
Insofar as I can refine or improve my understanding of human and societal flourishing, I am a small step closer to living a better human life myself, and by sharing such insights with others, I may contribute in some small way to their understanding of the good, and thus help them, in a small but real way, to live a better life.
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Hubris or Common Sense? The best academic research is informed by conversations, insights, observations, and data provided by people other than the researcher himself.
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In fact, even a researcher who consciously avoids conversations with others is bound, by the very nature of the discipline, to enter into conversation with his peers, via the literature he has a professional obligation to review and respond to. It seems to me that if we can legitimately learn from others, recognising genuine ethical insights in their work, then we should not shy away from reciprocating with our own insights as well. If I genuinely believed I had nothing of value to offer to my peers on these questions, I am not sure what the point of my research and writing would be!
A second objection to the ambition of facilitating human and societal flourishing with one's research is that knowledge of the good does not guarantee a corresponding reform of one's behaviour. Many traitors know perfectly well that treachery is morally despicable; many adulterers know they are betraying a sacred trust; and even that pillar of integrity, St. This is what Christians call concupiscence, an effect of original sin; and what philosophers often speak of as "weakness of will" or "akrasia. Certainly not a cure for weakness of will, a panacea for human evil and injustice, or a direct reform of the wayward passions.
But ideas, though not all-powerful, are not powerless. What we come to believe and understand about the world frequently has an influence on our behaviour, for better or for worse. Good ideas, if we choose to act on them, can lead to good behaviour; while bad ideas can corrupt behaviour. That is why cognitive therapy and logotherapy have arisen as influential forms of psychological treatment: psychologists recognise that our thought patterns, our ways of perceiving and processing data, can affect our behaviour in positive as well as negative ways.
Let me return to the original question: why do I spend a large chunk of my life reading, thinking, writing, presenting ideas at conferences, and conversing with colleagues about moral and social questions? The answer, it seems to me, is twofold: first, to get a better grip on the meaning of our lives as human beings - who we are and what makes our life meaningful and purposeful; and second, to lend intellectual support and some practical guidance to our own and others' efforts to improve our lives.
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That, in a nutshell, is what makes academic study a truly worthy and worthwhile endeavour from my perspective, at least in the field of moral, political, and social philosophy. If the endeavour can also bring some prestige and a decent income, all the better. But the integrity of our profession consists, above all, in our fidelity to its foundational values of well-grounded knowledge and moral improvement, not our success at winning the respect and recognition of our peers. Powered by Create your own unique website with customizable templates.