Are Ethicists Any More Likely to Pay Their Registration Fees at Professional Meetings?

Eric Schwitzgebel

Economics & Philosophy, 29 (2013), 371-380.

Abstract: Lists of paid registrants at Pacific Division meetings of the American Philosophical Association from 2006-2008 were compared to lists of people appearing as presenters or chairs on the meeting program those same years.  These were years in which fee payment depended on an honor system rather than on enforcement.  74% of ethicist participants and 76% of non-ethicist participants appear to have paid their meeting registration fees.  This finding of no difference survives scrutiny for several possible confounds.  Thus, professional ethicists seem no less likely to free ride in this context than do philosophers not specializing in ethics.  These data fit with other recent findings suggesting that on average professional ethicists are no morally better behaved than are professors not specializing in ethics.

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