The tension in evidence-based practice and reflective practice -- The relationship between reflection and actionresearch -- An overview of theories of consciousness and unconsciousness -- What do we mean by creativity? -- Using metaphor and symbolism as analysis -- Infinite possibilities of knowing and transformation -- Concluding thoughts; the linkages to actionresearch and critical creativity.
The article is based on the author’s experience as an administrator of three primarily social science institutional review boards (IRBs) to which researchers presented research protocols that purported to be minimal risk studies of teacher practice where the “teacher–researcher” was the “research subject.” Recently, educational, social, and behavioral science researchers encounter many problems with regard to their methodologies and the oversight mandate of the IRBs. There is a divergence between the IRB’s role and assumed bio-clinical predisposition and the (...) ability of behavioral and social science researchers to have their research methodologies and research understood and appreciated by IRB members. The article explores some of the dilemmas confronting IRB members and administrators in the review and administration of the actionresearch protocols, particularly those that involve vulnerable populations and which, from the practitioner–researcher’s perspective, focus on the practitioner–researcher as the object of the research. (shrink)
This article examines the relationship between actionresearch and policy and the kind of confidence teachers, policy makers and other potential users may have in such research. Many published teacher actionresearch accounts are criticised on the grounds that they do not fully meet the conventional standards for reporting social scientific research, and by implication are held to be less trustworthy. Actionresearch is nevertheless often seen by some academics and policy makers (...) as a potential method for developing theory, disseminating good practice, or raising standards. Through a discussion of three major approaches to actionresearch—seen variously as professional learning, practical philosophy and critical social science—it is argued that judgements about confidence depend upon understanding the various kinds of knowledge claim that can be made by action researchers, and appropriate judgements concerning the strength of evidence or reasons. (shrink)
This article focus on paradigms, methods and ethics of actionresearch in the Scandinavian countries. The specific features of the actionresearch paradigm are identified. a historical overview follows of some main actionresearch projects in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. The tendency towards upscale actionresearch projects from organisational or small community projects to large-scale, regional based network approaches are also outlined and discussed. Finally, a synthesised approach of the classical, socio-technical (...) class='Hi'>actionresearch approach and the large-scale network and holistic approaches is suggested as a promising approach for the future. (shrink)
This is an excerpt of a report that highlights and explores five questions that arose from the Network for Sensory Research workshop on perceptual learning and perceptual recognition at the University of York in March, 2012. This portion of the report explores the question: How is perceptual learning coordinated with action?
Professor John Elliott has spent the last 30 years researching, thinking and writing about some of the key and enduring issues in Education Research and ActionResearch. He has contributed over 25 books and 600 articles to the field. In this book, he brings together over 16 of his key writings, in one place. Starting with a specially written Introduction, which gives an overview of Professor Elliott's career and contextualizes his selection, the chapters cover: · Rethinking Educational (...)Research · Doing Classroom ActionResearch · Pedagogy ad Form of ActionResearch · The Challenge of ActionResearch This must-have book for anyone wishing to know more about the development of ActionResearch and Educational Research and John Elliott's contribution to these exciting fields. (shrink)
When two or more people coordinate their actions in space and time to produce a joint outcome, they perform a joint action. The perceptual, cognitive, and motor processes that enable individuals to coordinate their actions with others have been receiving increasing attention during the last decade, complementing earlier work on shared intentionality and discourse. This chapter reviews current theoretical concepts and empirical findings in order to provide a structured overview of the state of the art in joint action (...)research. We distinguish between planned and emergent coordination. In planned coordination, agents' behavior is driven by representations that specify the desired outcomes of joint action and the agent's own part in achieving these outcomes. In emergent coordination, coordinated behavior occurs due to perception action couplings that make multiple individuals act in similar ways, independently of joint plans. We review evidence for the two types of coordination and discuss potential synergies between them. (shrink)
Research on children's developing theories of mind has contributed to our understanding of the developmental relation of self and action (1) by exploring the relation of the development of self knowledge to the development of knowledge of others' minds and (2) by investigating the relation between theory of mind development and the development of action control. We argue that evidence on theory of mind reasoning in children with deficient action control (ADHD-diagnosed children) is especially relevant to (...) the second issue and we present some first evidence supporting the bi-directional hypothesis, that is, the view that theory of mind leads to improved action control which in turn supports the ability to represent mental states on-line. (shrink)
The first in a series of 4 articles, this article provides an overview of the concepts and methods developed by a team of researchers concerned with preventing harm and promoting ethical discourse in the helping professions. In this article we introduce conceptual, research, analytical, and action frameworks employed to promote the centrality of ethical discourse in mental health practice. We employ recursive processes whereby knowledge gained from case studies refines our emerging conceptual model of applied ethics. Our participatory (...) conceptual framework differs markedly from the restrictive model typically used in applied ethics. Our research relies on lived experiences of ethics, while our analytical framework draws attention to the multiple levels and contexts in which ethical dilemmas take place. Finally, our action framework is designed to collaborate with research participants and practitioners in making use of our data and interpretations. We demonstrate how the various frameworks inform each other in an integrative fashion. The article sets the stage for 2 case studies presented in subsequent articles. (shrink)
The main objective of the Flemish research project ‘Nanotechnologies for tomorrow’s society’ (NanoSoc) is to develop and try out an interactive process as a suitable methodology for rendering nanoresearchers aware of underlying assumptions that guide nanotech research and integrating social considerations into the research choices they face. In particular, the NanoSoc process should sustain scientists’ capacities to address growing uncertainties on the strategic, scientific and public acceptance level. The article elaborates on these uncertainties and involved dilemmas scientists (...) are facing and proposes a process approach which addresses strategic uncertainty by alternating between ‘visioning’ and ‘technology assessment’; a process design which manages complexity by promoting reflexivity among scientists by exposing them to deliberations in civil society (social experts, stakeholders, citizens) on plausible futures with nanotechnologies; and as an answer to societal ambivalence, certain process quality requirements such as an attitude of perplexity or openness towards ‘plurality’ and an attitude of ‘temporary closure’, both in support of understanding and learning from differences. (shrink)
of democratizing social inquiry by actively engaging the subject in the design and conduct of research. Drawing on four examples of PAR-based social science and a democratic reconstruction of "epistemic privilege," this article argues that philosophers need to take seriously PAR's notion that democratic norms should guide social inquiry. But it does not advocate replacing mainstream or expert-directed social science by PAR. Instead, it maintains that it is both possible and sensible for PAR practitioners to collaborate with conventional (...) class='Hi'>research. Indeed, certain forms of nonparticipatory social science seem indispensable for any extensive application of the PAR framework. The article concludes by drawing out its (controversial) implications for two central issues in the philosophy of social science: first, that the methods of social inquiry are distinct from those in the natural sciences and, second, that there is a sense in which social research can and should be "value neutral.". (shrink)
Realism in Action is a selection of essays written by leading representatives in the fields of action theory and philosophy of mind, philosophy of the social sciences and especially the nature of social action, and of epistemology and philosophy of science. Practical reason, reasons and causes in action theory, intending and trying, and folk-psychological explanation are some of the topics discussed by these leading participants. A particular emphasis is laid on trust, commitments and social institutions, on (...) the possibility of grounding social notions in individual social attitudes, on the nature of social groups, institutions and collective intentionality, and on common belief and common knowledge. Applications to the social sciences include, e.g., a look at the Erklären-Verstehen controversy in economics, and at constructivist and realist views on archeological reconstructions of the past. (shrink)
Academic social scientists and professional practitioners could increase the effectiveness of their undertakings to advance positive change toward solving social and organizational problems by more effectively combining their efforts. Historically, both realms have used reductionist techniques and methodologies that are unsuited for understanding and solving problems in social and organizational systems. Their efforts could be significantly enhanced by using a grounded theory/grounded action approach. Grounded theory/grounded action is designed to generate explanations directly from data that provide a theoretical (...) foothold for effecting optimal and sustainable change in social and organizational systems. (shrink)
The place for the placebo in human clinical research is addressed in this paper. The World Medical Association which is comprised of some 80 National Medical Associations uses much of its resources to address medical ethics and human rights issues. It adopted the Declaration of Helsinki in June 1964 which addressed the protection of individuals in clinical trials. The use of placebos assumes an important role in this document. Five Revisions of the Declaration of Helsinki have occurred and the (...) most recent was adopted in October 2000. The provisions on placebo are now in Paragraph 29 which reads as follows: “The benefit, risks, burdens and effectiveness of a new method should be tested against those of the best current prophylactic, diagnostic and therapeutic methods. This does not exclude the use of placebo, or no treatment, in studies where no proven prophylactic, diagnostic or therapeutic methods exists.”. (shrink)
Urban populations that live in the outskirts of major Latin American cities usually face conditions of vulnerability attached to complex environmental issues, such as the lack of sewerage, floods, pollution and soil and water contamination. This article reports an intervention research programme in S?o Paulo, Brazil that combines a moral education approach with sustainability awareness in vulnerable communities. The main conceptual foundations of the project, designed to empower the community and promote ethical and environmental awareness are: strengthening the ties (...) between the school and the surrounding community in order to construct ?moral atmosphere?; adoption of Problem- and Project-based Learning and the Design Thinking approach to reach the proposed goals. (shrink)
The current discussion of business ethics is nothing new. In fact it has been a topic of common interest to both researchers and top managers since the mid fifties; the focus adjusting to issues and problems of the times. The authors of the article list four themes they believe to be of relevance for future discussion. First, ethics as an instrument of business behavior is entering a new dimension due to negative side effects of economic activities, which are even observed (...) on a global scale and where it is doubtful that governments can adequately manage this complex environment. From this view, ethics becomes a decisive component of efficiency and requires a new way of thinking on the development of the market system and on a new delineation of responsibilities between government and markets. Second, in the process of transformation of the East-European states it seems to be all the more important to emphasize the ethical characteristics which are part of the concept of competition — the gains to the consumer due to the plurality of search and discovery procedures, the capability to correct and absorb wrong decisions, and the specific distributional ethics. Third, business ethics as an element of the firm''s guiding vision has to be incorporated into its corporate culture, which will foster an institutional ethic of the firm — the joint effect of individual ethics within the history of the firm coupled with time and experience. Fourth, conflicting business philosophies must be judged with reference to the process of communication of business ethics. Summing up business ethics has a micro and macro component and is related to the individual firm as well as to the structure of the economic and social order. Ethics will, however, have a limited effect if it is not accompanied by the change in goals, structures and processes. (shrink)
A recent review of his work describes Wilfred Carr as 'one of the most brilliant philosophers now working in the rich British tradition of educational philosophy ... His work is rigorous, refreshing and original ... and examines a number of fundamental issues with clarity and penetration'. In For Education Wilfred Carr provides a comprehensive justification for reconstructing educational theory and research as a form of critical inquiry. In doing this, he confronts a number of important philosophical questions. What is (...) educational theory? What is an educational practice? How are theory and practice related? What is the role of values in educational research? Is a genuinely educational science possible? By appealing to developments in critical theory, the philosophy of science and the philosophy of the social sciences, Wilfred Carr provides answers to these questions which vindicate the idea of an educational science that is not 'on' or 'about' education but 'for education' - a science genuinely committed to promoting educational values and ideals. (shrink)
This accessible text introduces social theory as a set of flexible and practical concepts that can be used to reflect on and make sense of social behavior. It encourages the reader to critically assess social explanations and to construct their own as active theorists in their own right. Drawing on examples chosen to appeal to a wide, international student readership, it offers a resolutely straightforward, practical and student-centered approach to theory, avoiding the heavy emphasis on individual theorists and the often (...) difficult language of many existing texts. (shrink)
This short paper, forthcoming as part of a symposium on experimental philosophy to appear in the popular publication, The Philosophers’ Magazine (including contributions by Papineau, Stich, Machery, Sommers, and Knobe), offers an accessible summary of seven years of experimental-philosophical research into intentional action attributions.
How should we characterize the functional role of conscious visual experience? In particular, how do the conscious contents of visual experience guide, bear upon, or otherwise inform our ongoing motor activities? According to an intuitive and (I shall argue) philosophically influential conception, the links are often quite direct. The contents of conscious visual experience, according to this conception, are typically active in the control and guidance of our fine-tuned, real-time engagements with the surrounding three-dimensional world. But this idea (which I (...) shall call the Assumption of Experience-Based Control) is hostage to empirical fortune. It is a hostage, moreover, whose safety is in serious doubt. Thus Milner and Goodale (1995) argue for a deep and abiding dissociation between the contents of conscious seeing, on the one hand, and the resources used for the on-line guidance of visuo-motor action, on the other. This ‘dual visual systems’ hypothesis, which finds many echoes in various other bodies of cognitive scientific research, poses a prima facie challenge to the Assumption of Experience-Based Control. More importantly, it provides (I shall argue) fuel for an alternative and philosophically suggestive account of the functional role of conscious visual experience. (shrink)
Many important thinkers in the philosophical tradition, like Aristotle or Hume, have used an explicit theory of action as the basis of their respective normative theories of practical rationality and morality. The idea behind this architecture of theories is that action theory can inform us about the origin, bonds, reach and limits of practical reason. The aim of this book is to revive this direct connection between action theory and practical philosophy, in particular to provide systematic (...) class='Hi'>action-theoretical underpinnings for the discussion about the normative structure of practical reason. This book brings together a collection of specially commissioned essays from internationally prestigious scholars in the field and represents the state of the art in contemporary philosophy of action. The book is divided into three parts: i. conceptual work about what actions, intentions and intentional actions are; ii. empirical theory of practical deliberation; and iii.theories about the action theoretic features of autonomy. The volume significantly advances these three lines of research and offers important new contributions to each of them. (shrink)
The paper motivates a novel research programme in the philosophy of action parallel to the ‘Knowledge First’ programme in epistemology. It is argued that much of the grounds for abandoning the quest for a reductive analysis of knowledge in favour of the Knowledge First alternative are mirrored in the case of intentional action, inviting the hypothesis that intentional action is also, like knowledge, metaphysically basic. The paper goes on to demonstrate the sort of explanatory contribution that (...) intentional action can make once it is no longer taken to be a target for reductive analysis, in explaining other, non-intentional kinds of action and voluntariness. (shrink)
Joint action is a growing field of research, spanning across the cognitive, behavioral, and brain sciences as well as receiving considerable attention amongst philosophers. I argue that there has been a significant oversight within this field concerning the possibility that many joint actions are driven, at least in part, by agents' social motivations rather than merely by their shared intentions. Social motivations are not directly related to the (joint) target goal of the action. Instead, when agents are (...) mutually socially motivated in joint action this is because they find acting with others rewarding in its own right. Moreover the involvement of social motivation in joint action typically enables individuals to achieve the long-term benefits associated with being part of a social bond. I argue that taking social motivations into account better prepares us for explaining a broader range of joint actions, including those that are of an antagonistic, competitive, or explorative character. Finally, I show that recognizing the importance of social motivations entails that joint actions (in general) should be understood as having the two primary functions of (1) achieving the intended target outcome of an action, and (2) attaining the benefits related to being part of a social bond. (shrink)
My goal in this paper is to generalize Kirsh and Maglio’s (1994) distinction between pragmatic and epistemic actions from the level of individuals to the level of groups. I use the concept of a collective epistemic action to refer to the ways in which groups of people actively change the structure of their social organization, with the epistemic goal of reshaping and augmenting their cognitive performance as integrated collectivities. By placing a renewed emphasis on the interactions between people, rather (...) than between people and their tools I hope to reconnect the cognitive-scientifically-driven “extended mind” thesis (Clark and Chalmers 1998; Clark 2008) with complementary areas of social-scientific research in which groups are analyzed as the seats of action and cognition in their own right. In particular, the literature to which I aim to build a bridge in this paper are certain segments of social and organizational psychology on the one hand (Larsen and Christensen 1993; Hinsz et al. 1997, Mohammed and Dumville 2001), and theories of collective and institutional action on the other hand (Ostrom 1990, List and Pettit 2011). (shrink)
IRBs in action -- Everyone's an expert? Warrants for expertise -- Local precedents -- Documents and deliberations: an anticipatory perspective -- Setting IRBs in motion in Cold War America -- An ethics of place -- The many forms of consent -- Deflecting responsibility -- Conclusion: the making of ethical research.
The grounded theory research method embodies a crucial element of postmodernist thinking due to its aversion to theory verification and its ability to imbue analysts with the power to discover theory. These processes closely mirror systems thinking because they allow for holistic examination. Postmodern systems thinking combines the worldview of postmodernism with systems thinking, creating a mechanism that is both respectful to the variations of human interaction and the need for "de-compartmentalizing" complex systems. The postmodern systems thinking framework united (...) with grounded actionresearch could be a potent approach for the dissemination of localized, culture-specific ideas in countries susceptible to Western hegemony. (shrink)
This paper reports an instructor and her students’ experiences with ethics in conducting actionresearch in a university teacher-training class. The nature of educational actionresearch suggests the dual roles of the instructor and students, the former as both a researcher and a practitioner, and the latter as both research participants and learners. However, in following an ethics procedure to allow students to opt out of the research project anonymously but, at the same time, (...) not to deny their access to learning opportunities, both the instructor and students experienced tensions as they tried to separate and switch roles for research and teaching/learning. Instead of benefiting from the research to explore and reflect on learning, many students complained about their sense of being used as research participants. The article suggests new ethics review procedures to support and help actionresearch to generate valuable results in teaching and learning. (shrink)
It is usual when writing on research methodology in dissertations and thesis work within Software Engineering to refer to Empirical Methods, Grounded Theory and ActionResearch. Analysis of Constructive Research Methods which are fundamental for all knowledge production and especially for concept formation, modeling and the use of artifacts is seldom given, so the relevant first-hand knowledge is missing. This article argues for introducing of the analysis of Constructive Research Methods, as crucial for understanding of (...)research process and knowledge production. The paper provides characterization of the Constructive Research Method and its relations to ActionResearch and Grounded Theory. Illustrative example of Blue Brain Project is presented. Finally, foundations of Constructive Research are analyzed within the framework of Info-Computationalism which provides models of knowledge construction by information processing in a cognizing agent. (shrink)
Free will can be understood as a novel form of action control that evolved to meet the escalating demands of human social life, including moral action and pursuit of enlightened self-interest in a cultural context. That understanding is conducive to scientific research, which is reviewed here in support of four hypotheses. First, laypersons tend to believe in free will. Second, that belief has behavioral consequences, including increases in socially and culturally desirable acts. Third, laypersons can reliably distinguish (...) free actions from less free ones. Fourth, actions judged as free emerge from a distinctive set of inner processes, all of which share a common psychological and physiological signature. These inner processes include self-control, rational choice, planning, and initiative. (shrink)
We think less than we think. My thesis moves from this suspicion to show that standard accounts of intentional action can't explain the whole of agency. Causalist accounts such as Davidson's and Bratman's, according to which an action can be intentional only if it is caused by a particular mental state of the agent, don't work for every kind of action. So-called automatic actions, effortless performances over which the agent doesn't deliberate, and to which she doesn't need (...) to pay attention, constitute exceptions to the causalist framework, or so I argue in this thesis. Not all actions are the result of a mental struggle, painful hesitation, or the weighting of evidence. Through practice, many performances become second nature. Think of familiar cases such as one's morning routines and habits: turning on the radio, brushing your teeth. Think of the highly skilled performances involved in sport and music: Jarrett's improvised piano playing, the footballer's touch. Think of agents' spontaneous reactions to their environment: ducking a blow, smiling. Psychological research has long acknowledged the distinctiveness and importance of automatic actions, while philosophy has so far explained them together with the rest of agency. Intuition tells us that automatic actions are intentional actions of ours all the same (I have run a survey which shows that this intuition is widely shared): not only our own autonomous deeds for which we are held responsible, but also necessary components in the execution and satisfaction of our general plans and goals. But do standard causal accounts deliver on the intentionality of automatic actions? I think not. Because, in automatic cases, standard appeals to intentions, beliefs, desires, and psychological states in general ring hollow. We just act: we don't think, either consciously or unconsciously. On the reductive side, Davidson's view can't but appeal to, at best, unconscious psychological states, the presence and causal role of which is, I argue, inferred from the needs of a theory, rather than from evidence in the world. On the non-reductive side, Bratman agrees, with his refutation of the Simple View, that we can't just attach an intention to every action that we want to explain. But Bratman’s own Single Phenomenon View, appealing to the mysterious notion of 'motivational potential', merely acknowledges the need for refinement without actually providing one. So I propose my own account of intentional action, the 'guidance view', according to which automatic actions are intentional: differently from Davidson and Bratman, who only offer necessary conditions in order to avoid the problem of causal deviance, I offer a full-blown account: E's phi-ing is intentional if and only If phi-ing is under E's guidance. This account resembles one developed by Frankfurt, with the crucial difference that Frankfurt – taking 'acting with an intention' and 'acting intentionally' to be synonymous – thinks that guidance is sufficient only for some movement being an action, but not for some movement being an intentional action. I argue that, on the other hand, Frankfurt's concept of guidance can be developed so that it is sufficient for intentional action too. In Chapter One I present and defend my definition of ‘automatic action’. In Chapter Two I show that such understanding of automatic actions finds confirmation in empirical psychology. In Chapter Three I show that Davidson's reductive account of intentional action does not work for automatic actions. In Chapter Four I show that the two most influential non-reductive accounts of intentional action, the Simple View and Bratman's Single Phenomenon View, don't work either. And in Chapter Five I put forward and defend my positive thesis, the 'guidance view'. Also, in the Appendix I present the findings of my survey on the intentionality of automatic actions. (shrink)
Extensive interest in business ethics has developed accompanied by an increase in empirical research on the determinants of unethical conduct. In setting forth the theory of reasoned action, Fishbein and Ajzen (1975) maintained that research attention on such variables as personality traits and demographic characteristics is misplaced and, instead, researchers should focus on behavioral intentions and the beliefs that shape those intentions. This study summarizes business ethics research which tests the theory of reasoned action and (...) suggests directions for further research. (shrink)
Abstract: Recent experimental research on the 'Knobe effect' suggests, somewhat surprisingly, that there is a bi-directional relation between attributions of intentional action and evaluative considerations. We defend a novel account of this phenomenon that exploits two factors: (i) an intuitive asymmetry in judgments of responsibility (e.g. praise/blame) and (ii) the fact that intentionality commonly connects the evaluative status of actions to the responsibility of actors. We present the results of several new studies that provide empirical evidence in support (...) of this account while disconfirming various currently prominent alternative accounts. We end by discussing some implications of this account for folk psychology. (shrink)
Is the thought that having a reason for action can also be the cause of the action for which it is the reason coherent? This is an attempt to say exactly what is involved in such a thought, with special reference to the case of con-reasons, reasons that count against the action the agent eventually choses.
A comparison of disjunctive theories of action and perception. The development of a theory of action that warrants the name, a disjunctive theory. On this theory, there is an exclusive disjunction: either an action or an event (in one sense). It follows that in that sense basic actions do not have events intrinsic to them.
In recent years we have seen a dramatic shift, in several different areas of communication studies, from an information-theoretic to a dynamic systems paradigm. In an information processing system, communication, whether between cells, mammals, apes, or humans, is said to occur when one organism encodes information into a signal that is transmitted to another organism that decodes the signal. In a dynamic system, all of the elements are continuously interacting with and changing in respect to one another, and an aggregate (...) pattern emerges from this mutual co-action. Whereas the information-processing paradigm looks at communication as a linear, binary sequence of events, the dynamic systems paradigm looks at the relation between behaviors and how the whole configuration changes over time. One of the most dramatic examples of the significance of shifting from an information processing to a dynamic systems paradigm can be found in the debate over the interpretation of recent advances in ape language research (ALR). To some extent, many of the early ALR studies reinforced the stereotype that animal communication is functional and stimulus bound, precisely because they were based on an information-processing paradigm that promoted a static model of communicative development. But Savage-Rumbaugh's recent results with bonobos has introduced an entirely new dimension into this debate. Shifting the terms of the discussion from an information-processing to a dynamic systems paradigm not only highlights the striking differences between Savage-Rumbaugh's research and earlier ALR studies, but further, it sheds illuminating light on the factors that underpin the development of communication skills in great apes and humans, and the relationship between communicative development and the development of language. Key Words: apes; ape language research (ALR); brain development; co-regulation; communication; dynamic systems; language development; symbols. (shrink)
In this Introduction, I identify seven discrete aspects of attention brought to the fore by by considering the phenomenon of effortless attention: effort, decision-making, action syntax, agency, automaticity, expertise, and mental training. For each, I provide an overview of recent research, identify challenges to or gaps in current attention theory with respect to it, consider how attention theory can be advanced by including current research, and explain how relevant chapters of this volume offer such advances.
Explaining the nature and mechanisms of conscious experience in neurobiological terms seems to be an attainable, if yet unattained, goal. Research at many levels is important, including research at the cellular level that explores the role of recurrent pathways between thalamic nuclei and the cortex, and research that explores consciousness from the perspective of action. Conceptually, a clearer understanding of the logic of expressions such as ‘‘causes’’ and ‘‘correlates’’, and about what to expect from a theory (...) of consciousness are required. The logic of some terms, such as ‘‘qualia’’ and ‘‘reductionism’’, continues to generate misunderstandings about the scientific possibilities and limits. Experimentally, a deeper understanding of the role of the thalamus in coordinating activity across cortical levels, and a readiness to reconsider the orthodox approach to thalamocortical organization are also required. (shrink)
Alva Noë is a modern-day empiricist. His book Action in Perception is chockablock with contemporary cognitive science; its preface and notes (not to mention general erudition) point to on-going collaboration with Evan Thompson, Kevin O’Regan, and Susan Hurley. Their research investigates the sensorimotor bases of consciousness, and Action in Perception is offered as its philosophical backdrop. As such, the book presents a series of ideas and interpretations that constitute what Noë calls the “enactive approach” to perception, many (...) of which are explicitly phenomenological in orientation. So those on the lookout for imaginative philosophy of mind will find Noë's work particularly compelling. (Noë would prefer "already feeling about for imaginative philosophy of mind," because on his account paradigmatic perceptual activity is tactile rather than visual.) In this review I will not address the empirical details concerning Noë and his compatriots, but will instead focus on the way Noë’s enactive approach should be situated vis-à-vis traditional phenomenology. Action in Perception is part of the grand project of a robustly scientific knowledge of human perceptual experience, but it is clearly also a philosophical theory, so I will address it philosophically. I address it as I take it to be: one of the best works in the philosophy of perception to appear in a very long time. (shrink)
Research shows that a culture of consumerism and materialism has a dramatic and negative impact on children's physical and psychological health. Psychologists have a duty to act to reverse this trend. Information on why and how to act is the key. This article explores the use of psychology to improve the effectiveness of advertising to youth and details the harm suffered by children as a result of some of this advertising. A discussion of ethical considerations related to specific guiding (...) principles and ethical standards of the 2002 American Psychological Association (APA) Ethics Code frames why action is imperative. Actions for psychologists to take in applying the 2002 APA Ethics Code are suggested herein. (shrink)
Recent empirical research by Joshua Knobe has uncovered two asymmetries in judgements about intentional action and moral responsibility. First, people are more inclined to say that a side effect was brought about intentionally when they regard that side effect as bad than when they regard it as good. Secondly, people are more inclined to ascribe blame to someone for bad effects than they are inclined to ascribe praise for good effects. These findings suggest that the notion of intentional (...)action has a normative component. I propose a theory of intentional action on which one acts intentionally if one fails to be motivated to avoid a bad effect. This explains the asymmetry concerning intentional action. The praise–blame asymmetry is explained in terms of the claim that praise depends on being appropriately motivated, whereas blame does not. (shrink)
Recent empirical research into the folk classification of the outcomes of actions as intentional is usually taken to show that such classification has an irreducibly normative dimension. Various interpretations of the experimental data have in common the claim that whether the side-effect of an action counts as intentional depends on some normative valence of that side-effect.1 This is the way that Joshua Knobe, for example, whose experimental research started this debate, understands the data. Some critics of this (...) view claim the experiments indicate only a bias in the folk application of the concept rather than an aspect of the concept itself. A more radical criticism denies that we should explain the data with reference to the normative valence of the side-effect, claiming instead that whether an effect is classified as intentional depends on its role in the agent’s reasoning. Edouard Machery has advanced a version of this view, although strong evidence has been presented against his position. (shrink)
The role of emotion in human action has long been neglected in the philosophy of action. Some prevalent misconceptions of the nature of emotion are responsible for this neglect: emotions are irrational; emotions are passive; and emotions have only an insignificant impact on actions. In this paper we argue that these assumptions about the nature of emotion are problematic and that the neglect of emotion's place in theories of action is untenable. More positively, we argue on the (...) basis of recent research in cognitive neuroscience that emotions may significantly affect action generation as well as action execution and control. Moreover, emotions also play a crucial role in people's explanation of action. We conclude that the concept of emotion deserves a more distinctive and central place in philosophical theories of action. (shrink)
In Embodied Minds in Action, Robert Hanna and Michelle Maiese work out a unified treatment of three fundamental philosophical problems: the mind-body problem, the problem of mental causation, and the problem of action. This unified treatment rests on two basic claims. The first is that conscious, intentional minds like ours are essentially embodied. This entails that our minds are necessarily spread throughout our living, organismic bodies and belong to their complete neurobiological constitution. So minds like ours are necessarily (...) alive. The second claim is that essentially embodied minds are self-organizing thermodynamic systems. This entails that our mental lives consist in the possibility and actuality of moving our own living organismic bodies through space and time, by means of our conscious desires. The upshot is that we are essentially minded animals who help to create the natural world through our own agency. This doctrine--the Essential Embodiment Theory--is a truly radical idea which subverts the traditionally opposed and seemingly exhaustive categories of Dualism and Materialism, and offers a new paradigm for contemporary mainstream research in the philosophy of mind and cognitive neuroscience. (shrink)
According to Rosalind Hursthouse’s virtue based account of right action, an act is right if it is what a fully virtuous person would do in that situation. Robert Johnson has criticized the account on the grounds that the actions a non-virtuous person should take are often uncharacteristic of the virtuous person, and thus Hursthouse’s account of right action is too narrow. The non-virtuous need to take steps to improve themselves morally, and the fully virtuous person need not take (...) these steps. So Johnson argues that any virtue based account of right action will have to find a way to ground a moral obligation to improve oneself. This paper argues that there is an account of virtue that can offer a partial solution to Johnson’s challenge, an account where virtue is a type of practical skill and in which the virtuous person is seen as having expertise. The paper references the account of skill acquisition developed by Hubert and Stuart Dreyfus. Their research demonstrates that novices in a skill have to employ different strategies to act well than the strategies used by the experts, and so the ‘virtue as skill’ thesis provides support for Johnson’s claim that the actions of the non-virtuous will differ from the virtuous. On the other hand, their research suggests that there is no separating the commitment to improve yourself from the possession of expertise, and so the ‘virtue as skill’ thesis has the resources for grounding the obligation to improve oneself in an account of virtue. (shrink)
Numerous philosophical theories of joint agency and its intentional structure have been developed in the past few decades. These theories have offered accounts of joint agency that appeal to higher-level states (such as goals, commitments, and intentions) that are ?shared? in some way. These accounts have enhanced our understanding of joint agency, yet there are a number of lower-level cognitive phenomena involved in joint action that philosophers rarely acknowledge. In particular, empirical research in cognitive science has revealed that (...) when individuals engage in a joint activity such as conversation or joint problem solving, they become aligned at multiple levels (e.g., behaviors, or cognitive states). We argue that this phenomenon of alignment is crucial to understanding joint actions and should be integrated with philosophical approaches. In this paper, we sketch a possible integration, and draw out its implications for understanding of joint agency and collective intentionality. The result is a process-based, dynamic account of joint action that integrates both low-level and high-level states, and seeks to capture the separate processes of how a joint action is initiated and sustained. (shrink)
This report highlights and explores five questions that arose from the Network for Sensory Research workshop on perceptual learning and perceptual recognition at the University of York on March 19th and 20th, 2012: 1. What is perceptual learning? 2. Can perceptual experience be modified by reason? 3. How does perceptual learning alter perceptual phenomenology? 4. How does perceptual learning alter the contents of perception? 5. How is perceptual learning coordinated with action?
In recent philosophy of mind, informed by ongoing research in the cognitive neurosciences, there has been a tendency to offer deflationary or reductive explanations of self and selfidentity. The background to such accounts includes a complex history of the problem of personal identity from Hume to Parfit. Paul Ricoeur has provided an insightful perspective on this history based on his distinction between ipse identity and idem identity.1 My intention is not to rehearse that history, or even to update it, (...) but rather, assuming that history as background, to engage in a dialogue with the more recent proponents of deflationary, reductive, and internalist accounts of the self, and especially those accounts that put the notion of a narrative self into question. 2 Philosophically there is some question as to whether an account of the narrative self is a sufficient account of the self more generally, that is, whether the whole <span class='Hi'>story</span> about the self is just that it is nothing more than a <span class='Hi'>story</span> about the self (this is one version of a deflationary account of the self). There is, nevertheless, a growing consensus that the concept of the narrative self captures something essential about human existence. In this regard, specifically, there are three issues that I want to address. First, is it possible to defend an account of the narrative self which is consistent with discoveries in cognitive neuroscience, but that remains nonetheless non-reductive? Second, how does such an account relate to an embodied-enactive approach to questions of self-identity? And third, to what extent does such an account involve dimensions of intersubjectivity? The appeal to neuroscience may seem misplaced to some readers. Ricoeur is clear in his insistence that questions of the mind, addressed by phenomenology and hermeneutics, belong to a discourse different from and irreducible to neuroscience.3 To speak of the body from a phenomenological perspective, or from the perspective of lived action, is quite different from speaking of the body from the perspective of natural science.. (shrink)
The research methodologies of grounded theory and grounded action are framed by a systems perspective, from which they contribute their own unique properties and processes to the evolution of systems thinking. The author provides definitions for systems, theory, grounded theory, grounded action, and systems thinking, and explores the relationships between theory, grounded theory/grounded action, and systems thinking with regard to purpose, context, and usefulness for the resolution of social concerns and systemic change.
This paper outlines a critique of the use of the genetic variance–covariance matrix (G), one of the central concepts in the modern study of natural selection and evolution. Specifically, I argue that for both conceptual and empirical reasons, studies of G cannot be used to elucidate so-called constraints on natural selection, nor can they be employed to detect or to measure past selection in natural populations – contrary to what assumed by most practicing biologists. I suggest that the search for (...) a general solution to the difficult problem of identifying causal structures given observed correlation’s has led evolutionary quantitative geneticists to substitute statistical modeling for the more difficult, but much more valuable, job of teasing apart the many possible causes underlying the action of natural selection. Hence, the entire evolutionary quantitative genetics research program may be in need of a fundamental reconsideration of its goals and how they correspond to the array of mathematical and experimental techniques normally employed by its practitioners. (shrink)
This study is a comparison of the validity of theory of reasoned action and theory of planned behavior as applied to the area of moral behavior (i.e., illegal copying of software) using structural equation modeling. Data were collected from 181 university students on the various components of the theories and used to asses the influence of attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control on the intention to make unauthorized software copies. Theory of planned behavior was found to be better (...) than the theory of reasoned action in predicting unethical behavior. A modified version of the theory of planned behavior, with a causal path linking subjective norm to attitude, provided a significant improvement on model fit. The results indicated that perceived behavioral control is a better predictor of behavioral intention then attitude. The direct effect of subjective norm on behavioral intention was not significant, but the indirect effect through attitude was highly significant. Applicability of the theory of planned behavior for moral behavior and the implications for future research are discussed. (shrink)
In this paper we discuss an approach called grounded action cognition , which aims to provide a theory of the interdependencies between motor control and action-related cognitive processes, like perceiving an action or thinking about an action. The theory contrasts with traditional views in cognitive science in that it motivates an understanding of cognition as embodied , through application of Barsalou’s general idea of grounded cognition . To guide further research towards an appropriate theory of (...) grounded action cognition we distinguish between grounding qua acquisition and grounding qua constitution. On this basis, we distinguish three possible theoretical conceptions of grounded action cognition. In addition to these methodological and conceptual analyses, we draw on recent empirical evidence to motivate our inclination towards a particular theory. According to this theory certain representations are involved in action cognition and action perception that are not modality-specific as usually proposed by advocates of grounded cognition. Further, the evidence is in favor of our more specific theory stating that for some cognitive abilities, some motor abilites are constitutive. (shrink)
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a well-accepted treatment for movement disorders and is currently explored as a treatment option for various neurological and psychiatric disorders. Several case studies suggest that DBS may, in some patients, influence mental states critical to personality to such an extent that it affects an individual’s personal identity, i.e. the experience of psychological continuity, of persisting through time as the same person. Without questioning the usefulness of DBS as a treatment option for various serious and treatment (...) refractory conditions, the potential of disruptions of psychological continuity raises a number of ethical and legal questions. An important question is that of legal responsibility if DBS induced changes in a patient’s personality result in damage caused by undesirable or even deviant behavior. Disruptions in psychological continuity can in some cases also have an effect on an individual’s mental competence. This capacity is necessary in order to obtain informed consent to start, continue or stop treatment, and it is therefore not only important from an ethical point of view but also has legal consequences. Taking the existing literature and the Dutch legal system as a starting point, the present paper discusses the implications of DBS induced disruptions in psychological continuity for a patient’s responsibility for action and competence of decision and raises a number of questions that need further research. (shrink)
Florida State University In a series of recent papers both Joshua Knobe (2003a; 2003b; 2004) and I (2004a; 2004b; forthcoming) have published the results of some psychological experiments that show that moral considerations influence folk ascriptions of intentional action in both non-side effect and side effect cases.1 More specifically, our data suggest that people are more likely to judge that a morally negative action or side effect was brought about intentionally than they are to judge that a structurally (...) similar non-moral action or side effect was brought about intentionally. So, for instance, if two individuals A and B place a single bullet in a six shooter, spin the chamber, aim the gun, and pull the trigger, but A shoots a person and B shoots a target, people are more likely to say that A shot the person intentionally than they are to say that B shot the target intentionally— even though their respective chances of success (viz., one-in-six) and their control over the outcome are identical in both cases. And while Knobe and I agree that our research creates difficulties for any analysis of the folk concept of intentional action that ignores the biasing effect of moral considerations, we disagree about how best to explain this effect. I have suggested that the moral blameworthiness of an agent can influence folk intuitions about intentional action. In a recent response to my work, Knobe and Mendlow (2004) reject this claim on two separate grounds—one a priori, one empirical. By their lights, not only is my view conceptually confused, but it also allegedly fails to explain the results of a recent experiment they have conducted. On Knobe and Mendlow’s view, it is.. (shrink)
To participate in health research, there is a need for well-administered informed consent. Understanding of informed consent, especially in international health research, is influenced by the participants' understanding of information and the meaning attached to the information communicated to them regarding the purpose and procedure of the research. Incorrect information and the power differential between researcher and participants may lead to participants becoming victims of harmful research procedures. Meningitis epidemics in Kano in early 1996 led to (...) a response from drug companies, especially Pfizer, as well as humanitarian workers from Médecins Sans Frontiers, which resulted in an unethical trial. Pfizer's drug trial during the epidemics has left a lasting controversy, which has yet to be resolved. This paper examines the key issues surrounding the controversy, discusses the context of informed decision-making, the ethical issues and implications of the incident, and concludes with some recommendations. Relevant texts, journals, Internet materials, newspaper articles and documentary materials on the conduct of the Pfizer's Trovan trial have been consulted. Four types of action (act intuitively, act rationally, act ignorantly, and act contextually – based on information provided) are identified as possible options for decision making. Participants most likely acted in ignorance due to poor understanding of the information contained in the verbal informed consent administered, thereby raising ethical issues. It is concluded that health research ethics committees have an important role to play nationally and locally in overseeing research, and in avoiding future occurrences. (shrink)
Greg Bamford (2003). Research, Knowledge and Design. In Clare Newton, Sandra Kaj-O'Grady & Simon Wollan (eds.), Design + Research: Project Based Research in Architecture. Second International Conference of the Association of Australasian Schools of Architecture, Melbourne 28 – 30 September, 2003. Association of Architecture Schools of Australasia.score: 21.0
The discussion about relations between research and design has a number of strands, and presumably motivations. Putting aside the question whether or not design or “creative endeavour” should be counted as research, for reasons to do with institutional recognition or reward, the question remains how, if at all, is design research? This question is unlikely to have attracted much interest but for matters external to Architecture within the modern university. But Architecture as a discipline now needs to (...) understand research much better than in the past when ‘research’ was whatever went on in building science, history or people/environment studies. In this paper, I begin with some common assumptions about design, considered in relation to research, and suggest how the former can constitute or be a mode of the latter. Central to this consideration is an understanding of research as the production of publicly available knowledge. (shrink)
Health researchers, research trainees, and ethics reviewers should be prepared for the special application of research ethics within complex humanitarian emergencies. This paper argues that as a precursor to published ethical guidelines for conducting research in complex emergencies, researchers and research ethics committees should observe the following primary ethical considerations: (1) the research is not at the expense of humanitarian action; (2) the research is justified in that it is needs-driven and relevant to (...) the affected populations; and (3) the research does not compromise the humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartiality and independence. These primary considerations are in harmony with the humanitarian goals of saving lives, alleviating suffering, and témoignage . Furthermore, there is an important role for research in supporting humanitarian action, and the extreme vulnerability of research participants in complex emergencies demands intense research ethics scrutiny. It is important to discern which ethical considerations are essential, and which are merely desirable, as excessive research ethics requirements may impede life-saving research. (shrink)
The outsourcing of medical research has become a strategic imperative in the global pharmaceutical industry. Spurred by the challenges of competition, the need for speed in drug development, and increasing domestic costs, pharmaceutical companies across the globe continue to outsource critical parts of their value chain activities, namely contract clinical research and drug testing, to sponsors across the globe, typically into emerging markets. While it is clear that important ethical issues arise with this practice, unraveling moral responsibility and (...) the allocation of responsibility is not so clear, considering that contracts, by their very definition transfer responsibility from the principal to the agent. This research provides a framework for exploring some of the ethical issues, including attributions of moral responsibility associated with Contract Medical Research. Using a theory of strategic and moral behavior, the research shows that both clients and sponsors in contract research have individual and collective responsibility to ensure that due care and diligence is exercised in the performance of clinical research. The research suggests some guidelines for stakeholder action. (shrink)
In little more than 30 years, China has recovered from the intellectual stagnation brought about by the Cultural Revolution to become a global leader in science and technology. Like other leading countries in science and technology, China has encountered some ethical problems related to the conduct of research. China's leaders have taken some steps to respond to these problems, such as developing ethics policies and establishing oversight committees. To keep moving forward, China needs to continue to take effective (...) class='Hi'>action to promote research integrity. Some of the challenges China faces include additional policy development, promoting education in responsible conduct of research, protecting whistle-blowers, and cultivating an ethical research environment. (shrink)
Most life science research entails dual-use complexity and may be misused for harmful purposes, e.g. biological weapons. The Precautionary Principle applies to special problems characterized by complexity in the relationship between human activities and their consequences. This article examines whether the principle, so far mainly used in environmental and public health issues, is applicable and suitable to the field of dual-use life science research. Four central elements of the principle are examined: threat, uncertainty, prescription and action. Although (...) charges against the principle exist – for example that it stifles scientific development, lacks practical applicability and is poorly defined and vague – the analysis concludes that a Precautionary Principle is applicable to the field. Certain factors such as credibility of the threat, availability of information, clear prescriptive demands on responsibility and directives on how to act, determine the suitability and success of a Precautionary Principle. Moreover, policy-makers and researchers share a responsibility for providing and seeking information about potential sources of harm. A central conclusion is that the principle is meaningful and useful if applied as a context-dependent moral principle and allowed flexibility in its practical use. The principle may then inspire awareness-raising and the establishment of practical routines which appropriately reflect the fact that life science research may be misused for harmful purposes. (shrink)
The scientific challenges and ethical controversies facing human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research continue to command attention. The issues posed by patenting hESC technologies have, however, largely failed to penetrate the discourse, much less result in political action. This paper examines U.S. and European patent systems, illustrating discrepancies in the patentability of hESC technologies and identifying potential negative consequences associated with efforts to make available hESC research tools for basic research purposes while at same time strengthening (...) the position of certain patent-holders' rights. Differences between the U.S. and the European contexts may in part explain why the course of hESC research in those jurisdictions ultimately diverges. Nevertheless, questions about whether and how patenting, related agreements, and licensing practices progress and shape the field of hESC research in both the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere must no longer be marginalised. These questions are fundamentally important in determining what benefits are likely to result from hESC research. Assuring these benefits is the moral issue with which patent systems are most intrinsically concerned, and that governments must begin to directly address rather than assume or ignore. (shrink)
Climate engineering (CE), the intentional modification of the climate in order to reduce the effects of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, is sometimes touted as a potential response to climate change. Increasing interest in the topic has led to proposals for empirical tests of hypothesized CE techniques, which raise serious ethical concerns. We propose three ethical guidelines for CE researchers, derived from the ethics literature on research with human and animal subjects, applicable in the event that CE research progresses (...) beyond computer modeling. The Principle of Respect requires that the scientific community secure the global public's consent, voiced through their governmental representatives, before beginning any empirical research. The Principle of Beneficence and Justice requires that researchers strive for a favorable risk–benefit ratio and a fair distribution of risks and anticipated benefits, all while protecting the basic rights of affected individuals. Finally, the Minimization Principle requires that researchers minimize the extent and intensity of each experiment by ensuring that no experiments last longer, cover a greater geographical extent, or have a greater impact on the climate, ecosystem, or human welfare than is necessary to test the specific hypotheses in question. Field experiments that might affect humans or ecosystems in significant ways should not proceed until a full discussion of the ethics of CE research occurs and appropriate institutions for regulating such experiments are established. (shrink)
One of the most focused research programs in the science-religion dialogue that has taken place up to the present is the series of volumes published jointly by the Vatican Observatory and the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences. Originating with the encouragement of Pope John Paul II, this series has produced seven volumes focusing on how divine action can be understood in light of contemporary science. A retrospective volume published in 2008, Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action: (...) Twenty Years of Challenge and Progress, contains articles reviewing the series as a whole. In this article I analyze the series as a whole as well as some of the pivotal problems discussed throughout the series, such as the zero-sum game, scientific “traction,” falsifiability in theories of divine action, and locating special divine action in the physical world. (shrink)
Drawing upon the collective action model of institutional change, I reconceptualize moral imagination as both a social process and a cognitive one. I argue that moral outcomes are not produced by individual actors alone; rather, they emerge from collective action processes that are influenced by political conditions and involve behaviors that include issue framing and resource mobilization. I also contend that individual moral imagination involves the integration of moral sensitivity with consideration of collective action dynamics. I illustrate (...) my arguments with a case study of the Chad-Cameroon oil project. The paper suggests new directions in teaching and research on moral imagination. (shrink)
In the field of bioethics, scholars have begun to consider carefully the impact of structural issues on global population health, including socioeconomic and political factors influencing the disproportionate burden of disease throughout the world. Human rights and social justice are key considerations for both population health and biomedical research. In this paper, I will briefly explore approaches to human rights in bioethics and review guidelines for ethical conduct in international health research, focusing specifically on health research conducted (...) in resource-poor settings. I will demonstrate the potential for addressing human rights considerations in international health research with special attention to the importance of collaborative partnerships, capacity building, and respect for cultural traditions. Strengthening professional knowledge about international research ethics increases awareness of ethical concerns associated with study design and informed consent among researchers working in resource-poor settings. But this is not enough. Technological and financial resources are also necessary to build capacity for local communities to ensure that research results are integrated into existing health systems. Problematic issues surrounding the application of ethical guidelines in resource-poor settings are embedded in social history, cultural context, and the global political economy. Resolving the moral complexities requires a commitment to engaged dialogue and action among investigators, funding agencies, policy makers, governmental institutions, and private industry. (shrink)
The art, craft, and science of policing -- Crime and criminals -- Criminal process and prosecution -- The crime-preventive impact of penal sanctions -- Contracts and corporations -- Financial markets -- Consumer protection -- Bankruptcy and insolvency -- Regulating the professions -- Personal injury litigation -- Claiming behavior as legal mobilization -- Families -- Labor and employment laws -- Housing and property -- Human rights instruments -- Constitutions -- Social security and social welfare -- Occupational safety and health -- Environmental (...) regulation -- Administrative justice -- Access to civil justice -- Judicial recruitment, training, and careers -- Trial courts and adjudication -- Appellate courts -- Dispute resolution -- Lay decision-makers in the legal process -- Evidence law -- Civil procedure and courts -- Collective actions -- Law and courts on development and democratization -- How does international law work? -- Lawyers and other legal service providers -- Legal pluralism -- Public images and understandings of courts -- Legal education and the legal academy -- The (nearly) forgotten early empirical legal research -- Quantitative approaches to empirical legal research -- Qualitative approaches to empirical legal research -- The need for multi-method approaches in empirical legal research -- Legal theory and empirical research -- Empirical legal research and policy-making -- The place of empirical legal research in the law school curriculum -- Empirical legal training in the US academy. (shrink)
This paper examines how ethically significant assumptions and values are embedded not only in environmental policies but also in the language of the environmental sciences. It shows, based on three case studies associated with contemporary pollution research, how the choice of scientific categories and terms can have at least four ethically significant effects: influencing the future course of scientific research; altering public awareness or attention to environmental phenomena; affecting the attitudes or behavior of key decision makers; and changing (...) the burdens of proof required for taking action in response to environmental concerns. The paper argues that deliberative forums, research-ethics training, and conceptual work by environmental philosophers could all promote more ethically sensitive responses to these features of scientific language. (shrink)
Joint action, critical to human social interaction and communication, has garnered increasing scholarly attention in many areas of inquiry, yet its development remains little explored. This paper reviews research on the growth of joint action over the first 2 years of life to show how children become progressively more able to engage deliberately, autonomously, and flexibly in joint action with adults and peers. It is suggested that a key mechanism underlying the dramatic changes in joint (...) class='Hi'>action over the second year of life is the ability to reflect consciously on oneself and one’s behavior and volition and correspondingly, on the behavior, goals, and intentions of others. (shrink)
The story I shall be exploring is certainly a disturbing one: a drug company funds a large-scale trial of its new AIDS therapy; when the results are unfavorable, the company tries to prevent their being published; when the researchers go ahead with publication anyway, the company seeks millions of dollars in damages; eventually, newspaper headlines tell us it gets zilch, but the arbitration proceedings are private, so beyond that we know - well, zilch; the same year, an action is (...) filed alleging that the firm had manipulated its stock price by misleading the public about the effectiveness of this drug; four years later, with this suit still pending, the company website affirms that previous clinical trials demonstrate the drug's effectiveness. Of course, when you look closely things are more complicated than they seem at first; and anyway, I don't want just to work up a good head of righteous indignation, but to offer you something with real theoretical backbone. So the plan is to sketch an account of what science is and does that suggests how and why the ways in which scientific work is funded can distort or even block its progress, to put this theory to work in the course of an analysis of the troubled history of the trials, clinical and legal, of Immune Response's AIDS drug, Remune, and to conclude with some thoughts about industrial sponsorship of scientific research in the universities. (shrink)
A review of the scanty Gestaltist literature on motor behaviour indicates that a genuine Gestalt theoretic approach to motor behaviour can be characterized by three research questions: (1) What are the natural units of motor behaviour? (2) What characterizes the self-organization in motor behaviour? (3) What are the conditions for invariance in motor behaviour? Tentative answers to these questions can be found by analysing the parallels between Gestalt theory and Bernstein's theory of motor actions and by showing that Gestalt (...) theory can be regarded as a specific approach to non-linear dynamics as exemplified by synergetics (Haken, 1991). The congruence between the Gestalt theoretic approach and synergetics becomes apparent in the analysis of how a complex motor task is learned . (shrink)
We study the sources of resistance to change among firms in the Canadian petroleum industry in response to a shift in societal level logics related to corporate environmental performance. Despite challenges to its legitimacy as a result of poor environmental performance, the Canadian petroleum industry was divided as to how to respond, with some members ignoring the concerns and resisting change (i.e., laggards) while others took action to ensure continued legitimacy (i.e., leaders). We examine why organizations within the same (...) institutional field responded differently, delaying the industry response. We found that one population of firms was aligned with increasing pressures from its stakeholders for improved environmental performance, and the other was influenced by local cultural, political, and economic ideals less demanding of environmental actions. Our results reveal that several factors both at the institutional field level and the organizational level affected how these two populations reacted to a changing societal logic. Implications for theory, practice, and future research are discussed. (shrink)
Emerging action perspectives on psychopathology depict individuals as actively shaping those environmental conditions that then impact on their risk for psychopathology, resilience in the face of it, and successful recovery from it. This view, although having important implications for research and clinical practice, has yet to be articulated in terms of its underlying philosophical framework. To begin to address this challenge, we situate action theory in the context of the writings of Deleuze and Guattari, who, in their (...) seemingly anti-psychiatric series entitled Capitalism and Schizophrenia, argue for the central role of human agency as a fundamentally active force in determining subjective life. Within this context, they propose an alternative approach to the current deficit focus of much psychopathology research, replacing the notion of deficit with a fundamentally productive notion of desire (what they call “desiring-production”). After our exposition of this philosophical perspective on human agency, implications of this approach for action-informed research and clinical practice are discussed. (shrink)
Annual reports are an important element in the genre of corporate public discourse. The reporting practices mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commission for all publicly traded corporations are intended to render the annual reports a legitimate and trustworthy medium through which management communicates information related to the financial performance of the firm. The following discussion represents an inaugural attempt to investigate the ethical characteristics of the discourse found in corporate annual reports using Habermas' principles of communicative action. In (...) preparing the Management's Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) portion of the report, managers are charged with providing narrative information for investors and other interested third parties relevant to assessing the firm's financial condition. Previous rhetorical studies of the narrative portions of annual reports argue that they serve as means for both legitimate and distorted communication. We investigate this communication medium through the lens of Habermas' norms for communicative action, which require communicators to be comprehensible, truthful, sincere, and legitimate. The study represents an initial attempt to operationalization Habermas' principles of communicative action and to employ a methodology that facilitates their application to research within a business context. From one perspective, consistent with agency theory as specified by neoclassical economics, it would seem that firms anticipating worse-than-expected financial performance would be less likely to exhibit the Habermasian principles necessary for undistorted communication because they would attempt to strategically influence the message being communicated about the firm's financial position. Instead, employing rhetorical analysis software, Diction 5.0, we found that firms expecting both good and bad earnings surprises exhibited a higher level of communicative action than a composite average firm. Although preliminary in nature, our findings suggest that firms anticipating large earnings surprises, either high or low, use the narrative portion of the annual report as a vehicle through which to communicate information about managements' veracity and trustworthiness as well as the firm's financial position. (shrink)
The context of international health research involving human subjects, and this should appear obvious, is the human community. As such, basic questions of how human beings should be treated by other human beings, particularly in situations of unequal power – e.g., in the form of control, choice, or opportunity – lay at the foundations of related ethical discourse when ethics are discussed at all. I trace a narrative that follows upon a recent revision process of international guidelines for biomedical (...)research involving human subjects. I focus in particular upon the issue of a standard of care. In the second section, I draw upon philosophers John Rawls, Claudia Card, and Allen Buchanan to discuss concerns regarding the 'least advantaged members of society' in the context of global inequality. The paper includes reflections upon pedagogy in courses focused upon international health research involving human subjects. (shrink)
Scientific misconduct includes the fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism (FFP) of concepts, data or ideas; some institutions in the United States have expanded this concept to include “other serious deviations (OSD) from accepted research practice.” It is the absence of this OSD clause that distinguishes scientific misconduct policies of the past from the “research misconduct” policies that should be the basis of future federal policy in this area. This paper introduces a standard for judging whether an action should (...) be considered research misconduct as distinguished from scientific misconduct: by this standard, research misconduct must involve activities unique to the practice of science and must have the potential to negatively affect the scientific record. Although the number of cases of scientific misconduct is uncertain (only the NIH and the NSF keep formal records), the costs are high in terms of the integrity of the scientific record, diversions from research to investigate allegations, ruined careers of those eventually exonerated, and erosion of public confidence in science. Existing scientific misconduct policies vary from institution to institution and from government agency to government agency; some have highly developed guidelines that include OSD, others have no guidelines at all. One result has been that the federal False Claims Act has been used to pursue allegations of scientific misconduct. As a consequence, such allegations have been adjudicated in federal courts, rather than judged by scientific peers. The federal government is now establishing a first-ever research misconduct policy that would apply to all research funded by the federal government regardless of which agency funded the research or whether the research was carried out in a government, industrial or university laboratory. Physical scientists, who up to now have only infrequently been the subject of scientific misconduct allegations, must nonetheless become active in the debate over research misconduct policies and how they are implemented since they will now be explicitly covered by this new federal wide policy. (shrink)
The Canadian province of Alberta has experienced phenomenal growth in its oil and gas industry. As the petroleum-industrial complex expands it has sparked a number of community-based conflicts over noxious facilities that are seen by some to be the cause of a number of health problems. The research reported here used two case studies to examine siting conflicts involving natural gas extraction facilities in rural Alberta. We found that the stories shared by citizens involved in these conflicts functioned as (...) 'moral tales'. These moral tales were political in the way they challenged implicit and institutionalized rationales for redistributing benefits and burdens of oil and gas development. They also created a space for collective action by articulating spatial transgressions and by constructing a type of moral citizenship. (shrink)
Despite a strong sensitization to the corruption problem and a large body of interdisciplinary research, scientists have only rarely investigated which motivational, volitional, emotional, and cognitive components make decision makers in companies act corruptly. Thus, we examined how their interrelation leads to corruption by proposing an action model. We tested the model using a business simulation game with students as participants. Results of the PLS structural equation modeling showed that both an attitude and subjective norm favoring corruption led (...) to a desire to act corruptly. Given high perceived behavioral control, this desire was transformed into an intention that finally resulted in corrupt action. Components related to general private and professional goals did not allow for any prediction. Based on these results, we discuss preventative measures and methods for combating intra- and inter-organizational corruption. (shrink)
This article examines capacity development for collective action and institutional change through the implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. We integrate Hargrave and Van de Ven's (2006, Academy of Management Review 31(4), 864-888) Collective Action Model with capacity development literature to develop a framework that can be used to clarify the nature of CSR involvement in capacity development, help identify alternative CSR response options, consider expected impacts of these options on stakeholders, and highlight trade-offs across alternative CSR (...) investments. Our framework encompasses CSR program investments in the capacities of individuals, organizations, and collaborations, as also their impact on the larger enabling environment. We then use this framework to provide descriptive evidence of two implementations: (1) The PhD Project, whose mission is to increase the diversity of corporate America by increasing the diversity of business school faculty, and (2) Involve, the community involvement program at KPMG, one of the Big Four Accounting firms. We discuss implications of our framework for managerial practice and future research. (shrink)
A perception-action system may underlie the mechanisms by which human speech exchange in social interaction is managed, as well as the evolutionary precursors of these mechanisms in closely related species. Some phenomena of interaction well-studied by sociologists are suggested as a point of departure for further research.
Are there distinct roles for intention and motor representation in explaining the purposiveness of action? Standard accounts of action assign a role to intention but are silent on motor representation. The temptation is to suppose that nothing need be said here because motor representation is either only an enabling condition for purposive action or else merely a variety of intention. This paper provides reasons for resisting that temptation. Some motor representations, like intentions, coordinate actions in virtue of (...) representing outcomes; but, unlike intentions, motor representations cannot feature as premises or conclusions in practical reasoning. This implies that motor representation has a distinctive role in explaining the purposiveness of action. It also gives rise to a problem: were the roles of intention and motor representation entirely independent, this would impair effective action. It is therefore necessary to explain how intentions interlock with motor representations. The solution, we argue, is to recognise that the contents of intentions can be partially determined by the contents of motor representations. Understanding this content-determining relation enables better understanding how intentions relate to actions. (shrink)
Decision making is usually viewed as involving a period of thought, while the decision maker assesses options, their likely consequences, and his or her preferences, and selects the preferred option. The process ends in a terminating action. In this view errors of thought will inevitably show up as errors of action; costs of thinking are to be balanced against costs of decision errors. Fast and frugal heuristics research has shown that, in some environments, modest thought can lead (...) to excellent action. In this paper we extend this work to situations in which action is taken after little or no thought. We show that these `highly active' or `decision cycles' processes can lead to excellent results at the cost of almost no thought. The paper examines the settings in which this effectiveness is possible, and lists a number of environmental features that are required for decision cycles to work well. Several research directions for analytical, laboratory, and field-based research are identified. (shrink)
Baez and Boyle provide evidence that educational research is inherently political and shapes how we look at the world, what research questions we ask, and what counts as a valid answer. They show how those who hold powerful governmental and academic positions advocate for and limit funding to research that is positivistic and elevates the natural sciences above all other forms of science. Such an approach not only marginalizes other forms of science but also slights ethical questions (...) of good and right action. Moreover, this narrow view of science guides what research the government, foundations, and corporations fund, what academic journals are held up as most prestigious, which research is published, and what .. (shrink)
Decisions concerning children in the health care setting have engendered significant controversy and sparked ethics policies and statements, legal action, and guidelines regarding who ought to make decisions involving children and how such decisions ought to be made. Traditionally, parents have been the default decision-makers for children not only with regard to health care but with regard to other matters, such as religious practice and education. In recent decades, there has been a steady trend away from the view that (...) parents are in authority over their children and toward the view that children are rights-bearers who should be granted greater authority over themselves. The mature minor doctrine refers to the decision to grant mature minors the authority to make decisions traditionally reserved for their parents. This essay (1) documents the trend towards expanding the understanding of some minors as “mature” and hence as having the right and authority to give informed consent, (2) examines the reasons for which some commentators have a special interest in expanding the mature minor doctrine to the research setting and allowing minors to enroll in research without parental permission, and (3) defends the view that the mature minor doctrine, regardless of its application to clinical health care decisions, ought to be set aside in the research setting in favor of greater parental involvement. (shrink)