Humanity and the very notion of the human subject are under threat from postmodernist thinking which has declared not only the 'Death of God' but also the 'Death of Man'. This book is a revindication of the concept of humanity, rejecting contemporary social theory that seeks to diminish human properties and powers. Archer argues that being human depends on an interaction with the real world in which practice takes primacy over language in the emergence of human self-consciousness, thought, emotionality (...) and personal identity - all of which are prior to, and more basic than, our acquisition of a social identity. This original and provocative new book from leading social theorist Margaret S. Archer builds on the themes explored in her previous books Culture and Agency (CUP 1988) and Realist Social Theory (CUP 1995). It will be required reading for academics and students of social theory, cultural theory, political theory, philosophy and theology. (shrink)
Creative accounting, which generally involves the preparation of financial statements with the intention of misleading readers of those statements, is prima facie a form oflying, as defined by Bok.1 This paper starts by defining and illustrating creative accounting. It examines and rejects the arguments for considering creative accounting, in spite of its deceptive intent, as not being a form of lying. It then examines the ethical issues raised by creative accounting, in the light of the literature on the ethics of (...) lying. This literature includes the evaluation of various excuses and justifications for lying, and these are examined here in relation to creative accounting. It is concluded that even in circumstances in which creative accounting would arguably serve a worthy purpose, that purpose would be at least as well served by honest communication. (shrink)
This article examines the convergence between Italian relational sociology, developed by Pierpaolo Donati and introduced here by Emmanuele Morandi, and critical realism. Whilst the latter is preoccupied with relations between people and structures, Donati sees the whole social order as a relational entity sui generis. Consequently, relational sociology can provide a fuller account of ‘social integration’ than critical realism, which concentrates upon ‘malintegration’ because of its transformative potential. This difference is viewed as a potential source of synergy between these two (...) versions of realism. (shrink)
Since the publication of Roy Bhaskar's A Realist Theory of Science in 1975, critical realism has emerged as one of the most powerful new directions in the philosophy of science and social science, offering a real alternative to both positivism and postmodernism. This reader makes accessible in one volume key readings to stimulate debate about and within critical realism, including: the transcendental realist philosophy of science elaborated in A Realist Theory of Science ; Bhaskar's critical naturalist philosophy of social science; (...) the theory of explanatory critique, which is central to critical realism; and the theme of dialectic, which is central to Bhaskar's most recent writings. The volume includes extracts from Bhaskar's most important books, as well as selections from all of the other most important contributors to the critical realist program. It also includes both a general introduction and original introductions to each section. (shrink)
Many biological investigations are organized around a small group of species, often referred to as “model organisms”, such as the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. The terms “model” and “modeling” also occur in biology in association with mathematical and mechanistic theorizing, as in the Lotka-Volterra model of predator-prey dynamics. What is the relation between theoretical models and model organisms? Are these models in the same sense? We offer an account on which the two practices are shown to have different epistemic characters. (...) Theoretical modeling is grounded in explicit and known analogies between model and target. By contrast, inferences from model organisms are empirical extrapolations. Often such extrapolation is based on shared ancestry, sometimes in conjunction with other empirical information. One implication is that such inferences are unique to biology, whereas theoretical models are common across many disciplines. We close by discussing the diversity of uses to which model organisms are put, suggesting how these relate to our overall account. (shrink)
It has been claimed, by David Heyd, that in order for an act to count as supererogatory the agent performing the act must possess altruistic intentions (1982 p.115). This requirement, Heyd claims, allows us to make sense of the meritorious nature of acts of supererogation. In this paper I will investigate whether there is good reason to accept that this requirement is a necessary condition of supererogation. I will argue that such a reason can be found in cases where two (...) people act in the same way but with only the person who acted with altruistic intent counting as having performed an act of supererogation. In such cases Heyd’s intention requirement plays an important role in ruling out acts that intuitively are not supererogatory. Despite this, I will argue that we should reject Heyd’s requirement and replace it with a moral intention requirement. I will then investigate how to formulate this requirement and respond to two objections that might be raised against it. (shrink)
Andrew Collier is the boldest defender of objectivity - in science, knowledge, thought, action, politics, morality and religion. In this tribute and acknowledgement of the influence his work has had on a wide readership, his colleagues show that they have been stimulated by his thinking and offer challenging responses. This wide-ranging book covers key areas with which defenders of objectivity often have to engage. Sections are devoted to the following: 'objectivity of value', 'objectivity and everyday knowledge', 'objectivity in political economy', (...) 'objectivity and reflexivity', 'objectivity, postmodernism and feminism', 'objectivity and nature'. The diverse contributions range from social and political thought to philosophy, reflecting the central themes of Collier's work. (shrink)
Moral Rationalism is the view that if an act is morally required then it is what there is most reason to do. It is often assumed that the truth of Moral Rationalism is dependent on some version of The Overridingness Thesis, the view that moral reasons override nonmoral reasons. However, as Douglas Portmore has pointed out, the two can come apart; we can accept Moral Rationalism without accepting any version of The Overridingness Thesis. Nevertheless, The Overridingness Thesis serves as one (...) of two possible explanations for Moral Rationalism. In this paper I will investigate which of these two explanations a moral rationalist should accept. I will argue that when we properly attend to the form of Moral Rationalism supported by the intuitions that motivate the view, we are left with no reason to accept The Overridingness Thesis. (shrink)
A deterministic perspective, believing choices are a function of hereditary and environmental factors, could theoretically impact perceived moral responsibility and lead to decreased blame in judging others. However, little consistent support has been found relating individual differences in deterministic attitudes to blame/tolerance for others. Perhaps, though, providing information regarding past background hardships affecting an individual's current lifestyle could potentially mediate harsh moralistic judgments of that individual. In the two studies reported here, we further explored the relation of free will/determinism scales (...) to attitudes toward others as well as the effect of manipulating background information on the assignment of blame. As in previous research, little support was found for the relation of deterministic attitudes to tolerance toward others. However, judgments following manipulated information about hypothetical target persons supported the conclusion that target individuals are blamed less and given more sympathy if more information related to previous hardships is provided. In addition, in the second study perceived similarity to a target individual was associated with decreased blame/greater sympathy for a target with alcohol abuse problems. (shrink)
Atheism as a belief does not have to present intellectual credentials within academia. Yet to hold beliefs means giving reasons for doing so, ones which may be found wanting. Instead, atheism is the automatic default setting within the academic world. Conversely, religious belief confronts a double standard. Religious believers are not permitted to make truth claims but are instead forced to present their beliefs as part of one language game amongst many. Religious truth claims are expected to satisfy empiricist criteria (...) of evidence but when they fail, as they must, religious belief becomes subject to the hermeneutics of suspicion. This book explores religious experience as a justifiable reason for religious belief. It uniquely demonstrates that the three pillars of critical realism --ontological intransitivity, epistemic relativity and judgemental rationality -- can be applied to religion as to any other beliefs or theories. The three authors are critical realists by philosophical position. They seek to establish a level playing field between religion and secular ideas, which has not existed in the academic world for some generations, in order for reasoned debate to be conducted. (shrink)
In September 2008, 10 years after the untimely death of Pere Alberch (1954–1998), the 20th Altenberg Workshop in Theoretical Biology gathered a group of Pere’s students, col- laborators, and colleagues (Figure 1) to celebrate his contribu- tions to the origins of EvoDevo. Hosted by the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research (KLI) outside Vienna, the group met for two days of discussion. The meeting was organized in tandem with a congress held in May 2008 at the Cavanilles Institute (...) for Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology (ICBiBE) in Valencia, Spain. The talks at the KLI were equal parts: nostalgic remembrance, excitement over new ways of thinking about old problems, and an unrepressed vitriol against the resurgence of reductionist thinking in EvoDevo. Here we highlight some of the key aspects of Pere’s life and work that informed and infused the talks. (shrink)
Gangestad & Simpson's (G&S's) analysis of strategic pluralism is welcomed as a balance to the current emphasis on between-sex variation. It could have been clarified by acknowledging the extent to which males and females represent fundamentally different mating strategies, since this affects how we view within-sex strategic variation. The distinction between conditional and alternative strategies could also have been highlighted.
We discuss our surgical philosophy concerning the subtle interplay between the size of the surgical margin taken and the resultant morbidity from ablative oncological. procedures, which is ever more evident in the treatment of head and neck malignancy. The extent of tissue resection is determined by the "trade off" between cancer control and the perioperative, functional and aesthetic morbidity and mortality of the surgery. We also discuss our dilemmas concerning recent minimally invasive endoscopic microsurgical. techniques for the trans-oral laser removal. (...) or co-ablation of aero-digestive tract tumours, which result in a minimal. surgical margin of oncological clearance. By a process of inductive argument as to the nature of the surgical margin, we consider whether the risks of taking a lesser margin with adjuvant therapy is justified by the attendant gain in reduced surgical morbidity and the possible costs in tumour control. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. (shrink)
We present an analysis of work completion couched in terms of an effective completion decision identified by its characteristic contents and functions. In our proposal, the artist's completion decision can take a number of distinct forms, including a procedural variety referred to as an ‘extended completion decision’. In the second part of this essay, we address ourselves to the question of whether collaborative art-making projects stand as counterexamples to the proposed analysis of work completion.
The children’s reader, Udmurtiia naveki s Rossiei, celebrates the “450th anniversary of the voluntary entry of Udmurtia into the Russian State structure”. Published in Russian, one of its aims is to familiarize young children (aged 10 and under) with “key events” in Udmurt-Russian relations leading up to the inclusion of Udmurt-inhabited areas in the Russian Empire; emphasizing throughout the absence of inter-ethnic conflict in a “multi-ethnic Udmurtia”. Drawing on history, corpus linguistics and Critical Discourse Analysis, we show how the official (...) representations of Udmurtia and Udmurts, as presented in the reader, fail to provide them with a distinct ethnic voice – separate from Russia – within today’s Russian Federation. Specific attention is paid to the consequences of using ‘unity’ as an argument for achieving ethno-linguistic equality via a Russian civic identity; the way(s) in which this serves the Russian government’s agenda; and its effect on the construction of Udmurt identity. (shrink)
Mazur & Booth fail to consider the conceptual complexities of dominance; it is unlikely that there is a motive to dominate in animals. Also, the lack of empirical evidence for a causal link between testosterone and dominance is obscured by the narrative reviewing procedure, which is prone to bias.
The present study assessed business students’ responses to an innovative interactive presentation on academic integrity that employed quoted material from previous students as launching points for discussion. In total, 15 business classes ( n = 412 students) including 2nd, 3rd and 4th year level students participated in the presentations as part of the ethics component of ongoing courses. Students’ perceptions of the importance of academic integrity, self-reports of cheating behaviors, and factors contributing to misconduct were examined along with perceptions about (...) the presentation. Discussion sessions revealed that academic misconduct is a complex issue. For example, knowledge of what constitutes misconduct was not consistent across domains (e.g. exam contexts versus group work), penalties were not wholly known, and there was variation in perceived responsibility for reporting and representing academic integrity. Survey measures revealed that self-reported academic misconduct was more prevalent than expected with only 7.5% of students indicating they had never cheated in any way. Furthermore, results showed gender and year of study as predictive factors for issues related to academic misconduct. In general, students were receptive to this form of presentation. The implications of such instructional interventions for enhancing ethical behaviors in higher education classrooms are discussed. (shrink)
Campbell's analysis of the evolution of human sex differences to include selection pressures on the female is generally welcomed. This commentary raises some specific issues about the evidence cited: the impact of paternal death on survival prospects; a possible mechanism underlying a sex difference in fear; the selective advantage of dominance hierarchies; and the absence of evidence that testosterone causes human aggression.
In Violence and the Sacred (henceforth, V&S), Rene Girard remarks that when we think of siblings, we often think of affectionate relationships.1 He then proposes, however, that the stories that have come down to us through mythology and sacred scriptures often tell us otherwise. Warring siblings are embedded deeply in history, religion, and literature: Girard lists Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, Eteocles and Polyneices, Romulus and Remus, Richard the Lionheart and John Lackland as just a few examples of the (...) fraternal rivalry in our collective consciousness. We might add the biblical Isaac and Ishmael and Joseph and his brothers to this list. The rivalries are so pervasive that Girard declares: “the theme itself is .. (shrink)
The issue of this paper is the extent to which historicism excludes metaphysics in the contemporary revival of American philosophical pragmatism. I have isolated three types of neo-pragmatism: philosophical, theological, and religious. My theisis is that religious pragmatism is a dialectical compromise between theological pragmatism and philosophical pragmatism. William Dean is correct that Rorty’s commitment to human solidarity implies a metaphysics, for human solidarity is valuable only because natural reality is so harsh. Jeffrey Stout, though, is correct that theistic naturalism (...) is “relevant but redundant,” for God is identical to creative natural experiences. Religious pragmatism is an unjustly neglected alternative in this contemporary revival of classical pragmatism. It is a union of the naturalistic conception of religion from theological pragmatism and the non-theistic metaphysics of philosophical pragmatism . By preserving what is true in each type of pragmatism, religious pragmatism makes constructive dialogue possible. (shrink)
The present paper outlines the main points of Heidegger’s philosophical program starting from his early lectures of Freiburg. This program is founded in two fundamental questions. On the one hand, a thematic question: the phenomenon of life and its different forms of manifestation and apprehension. On the other hand, an eminently methodological question, namely the question of how it is possible to access in a correct manner to the primary sphere of life. This last issue conducts the young Heidegger to (...) a first and deep questioning of Husserl’s reflexive phenomenology that ends up in his hermeneutic turn of phenomenology. (shrink)
This paper examines the debate around the headscarf in France with the view to critically examining two central arguments put forward by the Stasi Commission for the restriction of the headscarf in French public schools—that the headscarf imperiled public order and that it jeopardized neutrality in the public sphere. In the case of the first argument, this paper argues that France did not meet the threshold requirement necessary to curtail religious rights in public schools. In the case of the second (...) argument, this paper insists that neutrality in the pulic sphere has always involved some accommodation of religious groups in society and should include the headscarf in public schools. The paper argues that the decision to ban the headscarf is ultimately a controversy about French identity and the values on which the French community is built. (shrink)
The gelsolin gene family encodes a number of higher eukaryotic actin-binding proteins that are thought to function in the cytoplasm by severing, capping, nucleating or bundling actin filaments. Recent evidence, however, suggests that several members of the gelsolin family may have adopted unexpected nuclear functions including a role in regulating transcription. In particular, flightless I, supervillin and gelsolin itself have roles as coactivators for nuclear receptors, despite the fact that their divergence appears to predate the evolutionary appearance of nuclear receptors. (...) Flightless I has been shown to bind both actin and the actin-related BAF53a protein, which are subunits of SWI/SNF-like chromatin remodelling complexes. The primary sequences of some actin-related proteins such as BAF53a exhibit conservation of residues that, in actin itself, are known to interact with gelsolin-related proteins. In summary, there is a growing body of evidence supporting a biological role in the nucleus for actin, Arps and actin-binding proteins and, in particular, the gelsolin family of actin-binding proteins. (c) 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (shrink)
This purely theoretical paper examines the relationship between the pursuit of entrepreneurial opportunity and environmental impact. Specifically, we attempt to more effectively define environmentally-relevant entrepreneurship through comparisons of different extant definitions in the literature, and to extend Schumpeterian theory through the inclusion of environmental entrepreneurship within his framework. By doing so, we contribute to the entrepreneurship literature through a more encompassing and specified definition of environmental entrepreneurship, and by incorporating environmental entrepreneurship into Schumpeter’s (1934) theoretical framework. We propose that (1) (...) Waste-Equals-Food, (2) Public Goods, and (3) Externalities each demonstrate thatenvironmental entrepreneurship is the act of creating future goods and services with positive environmental consequences. Finally, we assert that Schumpeter would likely characterize the pursuit of any such opportunity as “opening up a new source of supply.”. (shrink)