Welfare biology is the study of living things and their environment with respect to their welfare (defined as net happiness, or enjoyment minus suffering). Despite difficulties of ascertaining and measuring welfare and relevancy to normative issues, welfare biology is a positive science. Evolutionary economics and population dynamics are used to help answer basic questions in welfare biology: Which species are affective sentients capable of welfare? Do they enjoy positive or negative welfare? Can their welfare be dramatically increased? Under plausible axioms, (...) all conscious species are plastic and all plastic species are conscious (and, with a stronger axiom, capable of welfare). More complex niches favour the evolution of more rational species. Evolutionary economics also supports the common-sense view that individual sentients failing to survive to mate suffer negative welfare. A kind of God-made (or evolution-created) fairness between species is also unexpectedly found. The contrast between growth maximization (as may be favoured by natural selection), average welfare, and total welfare maximization is discussed. It is shown that welfare could be increased without even sacrificing numbers (at equilibrium). Since the long-term reduction in animal suffering depends on scientific advances, strict restrictions on animal experimentation may be counter-productive to animal welfare. (shrink)
This paper examines Alfred Schutz’s insights on types and typification. Beginning with a brief overview of the history and meaning of typification in interpretive sociology, the paper further addresses both the ubiquity and the necessity of typification in social life and scientific method. Schutz’s contribution itself is lacking in empirical application and grounding, but examples are provided of ongoing empirical research which advances the understanding of types and typification. As is suggested by illustrations from scholarship in the social studies of (...) social science, studies of social identity associated with membership categorization analysis, and constructionist social problems theory, typification can be found to be central to social research whether it is taken up as a largely unacknowledged resource or whether it is addressed by different names. The overview and illustrations suggest the continuing, widespread, and indeed foundational relevance of Schutz’s insights into types and typification. (shrink)
This interview with Kwang?Kuo Hwang offers an introductory insight into the emergence of the field of indigenous psychologies. In the process of doing so, it attempts to illuminate the main historical factors behind its development, its key issues of debate and the important challenges it faces. It also provides details pertaining to new theories and methods that have recently emerged in connection with the indigenous approach and how they have contributed to its advancement. In addition, it outlines Hwang?s proposed strategy (...) towards the goal of developing a universal psychology. (shrink)
Professor Allwood (2011, ?On the foundation of the indigenous psychologies?, Social Epistemology 25 (1): 3?14) challenges indigenous psychologists by describing their definition of culture as a rather abstract and delimited entity that is too ?essentialized? and ?reified?, as well as ?somewhat old?fashioned? and ?too much influenced by early social anthropological writings? (p. 5). In this article, I make a distinction between the scientific microworld and the lifeworld and argue that it is necessary for social scientists to construct scientific microworlds of (...) theories for the sake of pushing forward the progress of any field in the social sciences. Allwood and J. W. Berry (2006, ?Origins and development of indigenous psychologies: An international analysis?, International Journal of Psychology 41 (4): 243?68) also recognized that western mainstream psychology is a kind of indigenous psychology. Therefore, theoretical construction in western psychology also implies a reification of culture. My central question is, then: why is the reification of the western culture of individualism a merit for the progress of psychology, and why the reification of non?western cultures by indigenous psychologists a mistake? (shrink)
Intergenerational impartiality requires putting the welfare of future generations at par with that of our own. However, rational choice requires weighting all welfare values by the respective probabilities of realization. As the risk of non-survival of mankind is strictly positive for all time periods and as the probability of non-survival is cumulative, the probability weights operate like discount factors, though justified on a morally justifiable and completely different ground. Impartial intertemporal welfare maximization is acceptable, though the welfare of people in (...) the very far future has lower effects as the probabilities of their existence are also lower. However, the effective discount rate on future welfare values (distinct from monetary values) justified on this ground is likely to be less than 0.1 per annum. Such discounting does not compromise environmental protection and sustainability unduly. The finiteness of our universe implies that the sum of our expected welfare to infinity remains finite, solving the paradox of having to compare different infinite values in optimal growth/conservation theories. (shrink)
The deep structure of Confucianism is identified through structuralist analysis in order to provide a conceptual framework for conducting social psychological research in Chinese society. Through understanding and imitating the Way of Heaven (tiendao), Confucians constructed the Way of Humanity (rendao), which consists of two aspects; ethics for ordinary people and ethics for scholars. Ethics for ordinary people adopts the principle of Respecting the Superior for procedural justice and the principle of Favouring the Intimate for distributive justice; the person who (...) occupies the superior position should play the role of decision-maker and should allocate resources by favouring intimate relationships. Because Confucian cosmology suggests that the Way of Humanity corresponds to the Way of Heaven, Confucians required individuals to cultivate themselves with the Way of Humanity. Ethics for scholars further endows Confucian disciples with the mission of benefiting the whole society with the Way of Humanity. (shrink)
After reviewing the compelling case for separability (`social welfare is a separable function of individual utilities'), an argument is advanced for utilitarianism (defined as `social welfare is the unweighted sum of individual utilities'). Basically, a compelling individualism-type axiom leads us to (social welfare as an) unweighted sum (of individual utilities), given separability.
Ng and singer derive the principle of utility from the fact of finite sensibility and another principle, weak majority preference: "for a community of n individuals choosing between two possibilities, x and y, if no individual prefers y to x, and at least n/2 individuals prefer x to y, then x increases social welfare and is preferable." this derivation is regarded as incorrect in a comment. this reply explains why the derivation is valid and shows that the comment is based (...) on confusing a general social ordering with a utilitarian one. (shrink)
Some of the important conceptual debates between different approaches to class analysis can be interpreted as reflecting different ways of linking temporality to class structure. In particular, processual concepts of class can be viewed as linking class to the past whereas structural concepts link class to the future. This contrast in the temporality of class concepts in turn is grounded in distinct intuitions about why class is explanatory of social conflict and social change. Processural approaches to class see its explanatory (...) power as deriving from the way meanings and identities are linked to class via a history of experiences; structural approaches, in contrast, emphasize the linkage between class and perceived interests via the objective possibilities facing people in different class locations. This paper tries to integrate these two temporalities by exploring the ways in which trajectories of class experience intersect structures of objective possibility in shaping different dimensions of class consciousness. (shrink)
I will take David Hall and Roger Ames’s idea of “field and focus”—each unique individual is a unique focus in the communal field—as a central theme of the East Asian way of dealing with the relationship between the community and its constituent members. The pairing of these two concepts suggests the essential mutuality of the communal involvement of every person and the “insistent particularity” of each person. The worth of each individual becomes manifest only if the “egocentered” self yields to (...) the “selfless” self. An East Asian sense of justice thereby acquires the sense of attention to each unique focus (particular individual) in the field (community). Liberty and human rights are thus ineluctably bound up with a sense of communal responsibility. (shrink)
In Being and Time, Heidegger undertakes fundamental ontology. Heidegger conceives of Being as temporality. Being (Sein) is unconcealment which is replaced by be-ing (Seyn), that is, the disjunction between unconcealment and concealment. In the topological phase as in Contributions to Philosophy (CP), The Thing and Building Dwelling Thinking be-ing yields to enowning. “B-ing holds sway as enowning” (CP section 10). But be-ing holding sway entails that a being (Seiende) “is”. Which means that a thing things. Enowning is Dasein’s thinkingresponding to (...) the call of Be-ing. Hence be-inghistorical thinking (Seynsgeschichtes Denken) which is enowned thinking. When a thing things, world worlds (Die Welt weltet). Be-ing-historical thinking is thinkingthinging, that is, thinking space-time or thinking gathering (Versammlung) of elements that “belong together”. Thinging is the mirror interplay of the fourfold. In Four Seminars, Heidegger says: “There is no longer room for the very name of being. . . . Being is enowned through enowning. Sein ist durch Ereignis ereignet.” But enowning means thinking thinging. (shrink)
In this contribution, I sketch the historical context in which the first Korean translation of Sein und Zeit started and the difficulties faced during the process of translation. The translation took about ten years. It is quite difficult to understand Heidegger’s terms and more difficult to translate them into Korean because they have multiple meanings and nuances. So I translated those terms as literally as I could, but sometimes I had to take liberties. When needed, I explained the literal meaning (...) and the usage of the terms in the footnotes. (shrink)
Phillips & Silverstein's focus on schizophrenia as a failure of “cognitive coordination” is welcome. They note that a simple hypothesis of reduced Gamma synchronisation subserving impaired coordination does not fully account for recent observations. We suggest that schizophrenia reflects a dynamic compensation to a core deficit of coordination, expressed either as hyper- or hyposynchronisation, with neurotransmitter systems and arousal as modulatory mechanisms.