•  1530
    Military-Industrial Complex
    Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics. 2017.
    The military-industrial complex (MIC) refers to a self-sustaining politico-economic system that perpetuates profitability in military supplies industries, de facto in multiple countries but primarily in the USA. It is made up of competing and/or collaborating entities -- the maintenance of which is on the whole financially advantageous to all concerned. The complex business objectives sought by participants are fostered in part by exalting technical possibilities but also in part by spreading …Read more
  •  840
    The U.S. Military-Industrial Complex is Circumstantially Unethical
    Journal of Business Ethics 95 (2). 2010.
    Business ethicists should examine not only business practices but whether a particular type of business is even prima facie ethical. To illustrate how this might be done I here examine the contemporary U.S. defense industry. In the past the U.S. military has engaged in missions that arguably satisfied the just war self-defense rationale, thereby implying that its suppliers of equipment and services were ethical as well. Some recent U.S. military missions, however, arguably fail the self-defense …Read more
  •  806
    Assessing arms makers' corporate social responsibility
    Journal of Business Ethics 74 (3). 2007.
    Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become a focal point for research aimed at extending business ethics to extra-corporate issues; and as a result many companies now seek to at least appear dedicated to one or another version of CSR. This has not affected the arms industry, however. For, this industry has not been discussed in CSR literature, perhaps because few CSR scholars have questioned this industry's privileged status as an instrument of national sovereignty. But major changes in th…Read more
  •  606
    Arms Industry
    Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics. 2017.
    A summary assessment of the dimensions and concentrations of military equipment manufacture primarily in the United States and western Europe and the extent of availability of this equipment to buyers throughout the world. Treaty-based limitations are also listed.
  •  435
    Work Ethic
    In D. C. Poff, A. C. Michalos & Deborah Poff and Alex Michalos (eds.), Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics, Springer. 2017.
    A work ehic is a value-based motivation for working. In the now developed world, three such values have been stressed over time: soial status, duty, and wealth or, simply, money. Craft pride has also been proffered but is increasingly a victim of automation. Each will be considered here. First, however, a few remarks about how socio-economic conditions influence a society's stance regarding one's obligation to work.
  •  388
    Business Ethics Should Study Illicit Businesses: To Advance Respect for Human Rights
    Journal of Business Ethics 103 (4): 497-509. 2011.
    Business ethics should include illicit businesses as targets of investigation. For, though such businesses violate human rights they have been largely ignored by business ethicists. It is time to surmount this indifference in view of recent international efforts to define illicit businesses for regulatory purposes. Standing in the way, however, is a meta-ethical question as to whether any business can be declared unqualifiedly immoral. In support of an affirmative answer I address a number of co…Read more
  •  330
    Business ethics: A helpful hybrid in search of integrity
    Journal of Business Ethics 37 (2). 2002.
    What sort of connection is there between business ethics and philosophy? The answer given here: a weak one, but it may be getting stronger. Comparatively few business ethics articles are structurally dependent on mainstream academic philosophy or on such sub-specialities thereof as normative ethics, moral theory, and social and political philosophy. Examining articles recently published in the Journal of Business Ethics that declare some dependence, the author finds that such declarations often …Read more
  •  245
    Some progress has been made in recent decades to articulate corporate social responsibility (CSR) and, more recently, to associate CSR with international enforcement of human rights. This progress continues to be hampered, however, by the ability of a multinational corporation (MNC) that violates human rights not only to shift liability from itself to a nation-state but even to win compensation from that nation-state for loss of profits due to restrictions on its business activities. In the proc…Read more
  •  243
    Survey of (mostly English-language) philosophical studies of techology as of 1987. Includes studies of work as affected by technology, the extent of technology's impact on workers, a comparison between the value of work as seen by synchronists and by diachronists and by feminists, and finally some projections as to work and technology in the future.
  •  219
    Theorists and activists favor empowering government agencies to regulate technology; but an examination of such regulation by the US government exposes the inadequacy of any such regimen. Vested interests routinely interfere, e.g., keeping administration of polio vaccine in the hands of physicians, political infighting with regard to cancer research funding, advantages gained from noncompliance with military technology-constraining treaties. Public/private salary differences limit availability …Read more
  •  208
    Woods C., Sudden Justice: America's Secret Drone Wars (review)
    Michigan War Studies Review 2015 (106). 2015.
  •  200
    Ethical issues that arise because of the transcendent power of globally oriented corporate entities vis-a-vis local communities. Common problems arise from plant closings and automation, here illustrated by cases of restructuring in Indiana. Public use limitations on "eminent domain" decisions are considered. Then attention turns to the lack of constraints available to regulate decisions made by a transnational corporation. Limited applicability of Rawls's contract theory is noted, then ten r…Read more
  •  196
    Making Drones to Kill Civilians: Is it Ethical?
    Journal of Business Ethics 147 (1): 81-93. 2018.
    A drone industry has emerged in the US, initially funded almost exclusively for military applications. There are now also other uses both governmental and commercial. Many military drones are still being made, however, especially for surveillance and targeted killings. Regarding the latter, this essay calls into question their legality and morality. It recognizes that the issues are complex and controversial, but less so as to the killing of non-combatant civilians. The government using drones f…Read more
  •  189
    Not the publicly asserted reasons (humanitarianism and self-defense) but cooptation of oil reserves was the objective behind the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. This underlying motive utterly fails to satisfy just war jus ad bellum conditions. This prioritization of petroleum is well documented and is consistent with decades old US policy towards the Middle East, especially as codified by Anthony Cordesman in 1998 and US DoD's Strategic Assessment 1999 and then adopted by Bush II. This fraudulent …Read more
  •  187
    A description of how microelectronics and robotics are tending to increase unemployment, followed by comparisons between the social policies of Western European countries and the United States with reard to this problem. A conclusion points out the need for a social philosophy of technology that acknowledges workers' rights.
  •  183
    Workplace Democracy for Teachers: John Dewey's Contribution
    In Paul T. Durbin (ed.), Philosophy and Technology, Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 81-95. 1989.
    Dewey's instrumentalist approach to problem-solving stressed social organization; and under this umbrella he included unionization. First part of this article: his active involvement in and support for the union movement summarized. Second part: his theoretical defense of unions is addressed, especially as to "democratic liberalism" and its implementation in the fabric of society. Third part: a brief account of the current status of unions in universities.
  •  161
    This article was first published in Technology and Contemporary Life, Philosophy and Technoloy vol. IV, ed. Paul T. Durbin, Dordrecht/Boston: D. Reidel, 1988, pp. 63-85.
  •  157
    An account of presentations at an historic (4/30/1977) meeting of the recently formed Society for Philosophy and Technology in conjunction with the Western Division of the American Philosophical Association in Chicago. Speakers on theoretical topics included David Lovekin, Michael Zimmerman, Bernard Gendron and Nancy Holmstrom, and several individuals involved in "outreach activities."
  •  154
    Many scholars and activists favor banning illicit businesses, especially given that such businesses constitute a large part of the global economy. But these businesses are commonly operated as if they are subject only to the ethical norms their management chooses to recognize, and as a result they sometimes harm innocent people. This can happen in part because there are no effective legal constraints on illicit businesses, and in part because it seems theoretically impossible to dispose definiti…Read more
  •  152
    The Post-9/11 State of Emergency: Reality versus Rhetoric
    Social Philosophy Today 19 193-215. 2004.
    After the 9/11 attacks the U.S. administration went beyond emergency response towards imperialism, but cloaked its agenda in the rhetoric of fighting ‘terrorists’ and ‘terrorism.’ After distinguishing between emergency thinking and emergency planning, I question the administration’s “war on terrorism” rhetoric in three stages. First, upon examining the post-9/11 antiterrorism discourse I find that it splits into two agendas: domestic, protect our infrastructure; and foreign, select military targ…Read more
  •  143
    After “Mental Illness” What? A Philosophical Endorsement of Statutory Reform
    Bowling Green Studies in Applied Philosophy 2 122-131. 1980.
    This article argues in favor of modifying the medical model of severe psychiatric disturbances that underlies calling them "mental illness." The key reason for this proposal is that numerous specialists other than physicians as well as non-specialists contribute to the process of assisting a person recover from what the author suggests might better be called "extraordinary functional disability." There is little uniformity in existing definitions under state laws, but all involve three types of …Read more
  •  140
    Appropriating Resources: Land Claims, Law, and Illicit Business
    Journal of Business Ethics 106 (4): 453-466. 2012.
    Business ethicists should examine ethical issues that impinge on the perimeters of their specialized studies (Byrne 2011 ). This article addresses one peripheral issue that cries out for such consideration: the international resource privilege (IRP). After explaining briefly what the IRP involves I argue that it is unethical and should not be supported in international law. My argument is based on others’ findings as to the consequences of current IRP transactions and of their ethically indefens…Read more
  •  130
    The planned obsolescence of the humanities: Is it unethical?
    Journal of Academic Ethics 5 (2-4): 141-152. 2007.
    The humanities have not enjoyed preeminence in academe since the Scientific Revolution marginalized the old trivium. But they long continued to play a subordinate educational role by helping constitute the distinguishing culture of the elite. Now even this subordinate role is becoming expendable as devotees of the profit motive seek to reduce culture to technological delivery of cultural products (Noble, Digital diploma mills: The automation of higher education, New York: Monthly Review Press, 2…Read more
  •  130
    Robots and the Future of Work
    In Howard Didsbury Jr (ed.), The World of Work: Careers and the Future, World Future Society. pp. 30-38. 1983.
    In anticipation of an imminent "robot revolution," data-based answers are given to these questions: what is a robot; what impact will robots have on the work force; and what can we do about displaced workers?
  •  130
    Review Article: Just War Theory and Peace Studies (review)
    Teaching Philosophy 32 (3): 297-304. 2009.
    Scholarly critiques of the just war tradition have grown in number and sophistication in recent years to the point that available publications now provide the basis for a more philosophically challenging Peace Studies course. Focusing on just a few works published in the past several years, this review explores how professional philosophers are reclaiming the terrain long dominated by the approach of political scientist Michael Walzer. On center stage are British philosopher David Rodin’s critiq…Read more
  •  128
    A complimentary assessment of Blum's award-winning book about racism and its affects. Well written as it is, it needs to be supplemented with a definition of racial injustice, and also to analyze racism not only on the level of individual morality but from a human rights perspective that discredits political and economic motives for racism (e.g., by drawing on Hannah Arendt's Origins of Totalitarianism).