The impact of smaller firm size on corporate social responsibility (CSR) is ambiguous. Some contend that small businesses are socially responsible by nature, while others argue that a smaller firm size imposes barriers on small firms that constrain their ability to take responsible action. This paper critically analyses recent theoretical and empirical contributions on the size–social responsibility relationship among small businesses. More specifically, it reviews the impact of firm size on four antecedents of business behaviour: issue characteristics, personal characteristics, organizational (...) characteristics and context characteristics. It concludes that the small business context does impose barriers on social responsibility taking, but that the impact of the smaller firm size on social responsibility should be nuanced depending on a number of conditions. From a critical analysis of these conditions, opportunities for small businesses and their constituents to overcome the constraining barriers are suggested. (shrink)
As corporate social responsibility involves a voluntary business endeavour to address social and environmental issues beyond legal compliance, governments cannot fall back on hierarchical command-and-control policies to support it. As such, it is complementary with the increasing popularity of public policies known as New Governance policies, where the government is engaged in a horizontal inter-organizational network of societal actors and where public policy is both formed and executed by the interacting and voluntary efforts from a multitude of stakeholders. However, such (...) policies are known to generate substantive uncertainty about the content of CSR and its related issues, strategic uncertainty regarding the behavior of the actors involved and institutional uncertainty related to the interaction process involved in the institutional change. We explore New Governance policy instruments to address these uncertainties in the context CSR and discuss the experiences with these methods in the European Union. (shrink)
In this introductory chapter to the volume The Aim of Belief, the editor surveys the fundamental questions in current debates surrounding the aim of belief, and identifies the major theoretical approaches. The main arguments of the ten contributions to the volume are outlined and located in the context of the existing literature.
It is often said, metaphorically, that belief "aims" at the truth. This paper proposes a normative interpretation of this metaphor. First, the notion of "epistemic norms" is clarified, and reasons are given for the view that epistemic norms articulate essential features of the beliefs that are subject to them. Then it is argued that all epistemic norms--including those that specify when beliefs count as rational, and when they count as knowledge--are explained by a fundamental norm of correct belief, which requires (...) that, if one considers a proposition at all, one should believe it if and only if it is true. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that aim-oriented empiricism (AOE), a conception of natural science that I have defended at some length elsewhere, is a kind of synthesis of the views of Popper, Kuhn and Lakatos, but is also an improvement over the views of all three. Whereas Popper's falsificationism protects metaphysical assumptions implicitly made by science from criticism, AOE exposes all such assumptions to sustained criticism, and furthermore focuses criticism on those assumptions most likely to need revision if science is (...) to make progress. Even though AOE is, in this way, more Popperian than Popper, it is also, in some respects, more like the views of Kuhn and Lakatos than falsificationism is. AOE is able, however, to solve problems which Kuhn's and Lakatos's views cannot solve. (shrink)
The hypothesis that belief aims at the truth has been used to explain three features of belief: (1) the fact that correct beliefs are true beliefs, (2) the fact that rational beliefs are supported by the evidence and (3) the fact that we cannot form beliefs.
Both Popper and van Fraassen have used evolutionary analogies to defend their views on the aim of science, although these are diametrically opposed. By employing Price's equation in an illustrative capacity, this paper considers which view is better supported. It shows that even if our observations and experimental results are reliable, an evolutionary analogy fails to demonstrate why conjecture and refutation should result in: (1) the isolation of true theories; (2) successive generations of theories of increasing truth-likeness; (3) empirically adequate (...) theories; or (4) successive generations of theories of increasing proximity to empirical adequacy. Furthermore, it illustrates that appeals to induction do not appear to help. It concludes that an evolutionary analogy is only sufficient to defend the notion that the aim of science is to isolate a particular class of false theories, namely those that are empirically inadequate. (shrink)
It is common to hear talk of the aim of belief and to find philosophers appealing to that aim for numerous explanatory purposes. What belief's aim explains depends, of course, on what that aim is. Many hold that it is somehow related to truth, but there are various ways in which one might specify belief's aim using the notion of truth. In this article, by considering whether they can account for belief's standard of correctness and the epistemic norms governing belief, (...) I argue against certain prominent specifications of belief's aim given in terms of truth, and advance a neglected alternative. (shrink)
In this paper I show that Einstein made essential use of aim-oriented empiricism in scientific practice in developing special and general relativity. I conclude by considering to what extent Einstein came explicitly to advocate aim-oriented empiricism in his later years.
Belief is generally thought to be the primary cognitive state representing the world as being a certain way, regulating our behavior and guiding us around the world. It is thus regarded as being constitutively linked with the truth of its content. This feature of belief has been famously captured in the thesis that believing is a purposive state aiming at truth. It has however proved to be notoriously difficult to explain what the thesis really involves. In this paper, I begin (...) by critically examining a number of recent attempts to unpack the metaphor. I shall then proceed to highlight an error that seems to cripple most of these attempts. This involves the confusion between, what I call, doxastic and epistemic goals. Finally, having offered my own positive account of the aim-of-belief thesis, I shall underline its deflationary nature by distinguishing between aiming at truth and hitting that target (truth). I end by comparing the account with certain prominent inflationary theories of the nature of belief. (shrink)
The theory of belief, according to which believing that p essentially involves having as an aim or purpose to believe that p truly, has recently been criticised on the grounds that the putative aim of belief does not interact with the wider aims of believers in the ways we should expect of genuine aims. I argue that this objection to the aim theory fails. When we consider a wider range of deliberative contexts concerning beliefs, it becomes obvious that the aim (...) of belief can interact with and be weighed against the wider aims of agents in the ways required for it to be a genuine aim. (shrink)
Does belief have an aim? According to the claim of exclusivity, non-truth-directed considerations cannot motivate belief within doxastic deliberation. This claim has been used to argue that, far from aiming at truth, belief is not aim-directed at all, because the regulation of belief fails to exhibit a kind of interaction among aims that is characteristic of ordinary aim-directed behaviour. The most prominent reply to this objection has been offered by Steglich-Petersen (Philos Stud 145:395–405, 2009), who claims that exclusivity is in (...) fact compatible with belief’s genuinely having an aim. I argue, based on consideration of what is involved in pursuing an aim, that Steglich-Petersen’s reply fails. I suggest that the defender of the idea that belief has an aim should instead reject the claim of exclusivity, and I sketch how this can be done. (shrink)
For three decades I have expounded and defended aim-oriented empiricism, a view of science which, l claim, solves a number of problems in the philosophy of science and has important implications for science itself and, when generalized, for the whole of academic inquiry, and for our capacity to solve our current global problems. Despite these claims, the view has received scant attention from philosophers of science. Recently, however, David Miller has criticized the view. Miller’s criticisms are, however, not valid.
Subjects appear to take only evidential considerations to provide reason or justification for believing. That is to say that subjects do not take practical considerations—the kind of considerations which might speak in favour of or justify an action or decision—to speak in favour of or justify believing. This is puzzling; after all, practical considerations often seem far more important than matters of truth and falsity. In this paper, I suggest that one cannot explain this, as many have tried, merely by (...) appeal to the idea that belief aims only at the truth. I appeal instead to the idea that the aim of belief is to provide only practical reasons which might form the basis on which to act and to make decisions, an aim which is in turn dictated by the aim of action. This, I argue, explains why subjects take only evidential considerations to favour of or justify believing. Surprisingly, then, it turns out that it is practical reason itself which demands that there be no practical reasons for belief. (shrink)
For over 30 years I have argued that we need to construe science as accepting a metaphysical proposition concerning the comprehensibility of the universe. In a recent paper, Fred Muller criticizes this argument, and its implication that Bas van Fraassen’s constructive empiricism is untenable. In the present paper I argue that Muller’s criticisms are not valid. The issue is of some importance, for my argument that science accepts a metaphysical proposition is the first step in a broader argument intended to (...) demonstrate that we need to bring about a revolution in science, and ultimately in academic inquiry as a whole so that the basic aim becomes wisdom and not just knowledge. (shrink)
Most scientists and philosophers of science take for granted the standard empiricist view that the basic intellectual aim of science is truth per se. But this seriously misrepresents the aims of scieince. Actually, science seeks explanatory truth and, more generally, important truth. Problematic metaphysical and value assumptions are inherent in the real aims of science. Precisely because these aims are profoundly problematic, they need to be articulated, imaginatively explored and critically assesseed, in order to improve them, as an integral part (...) of science itself. This was how Einstein did science in developing the special and general theories of relativity. Science needs to put a new aim-oriented empiricist methodology into practice. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that Steglich-Petersen’s response to Owens’ Exclusivity Objection does not work. Our first point is that the examples Steglich-Petersen uses to demonstrate his argument do not work because they employ an undefended conception of the truth aim not shared by his target (and officially eschewed by Steglich-Petersen himself). Secondly we will make the point that deliberating over whether to form a belief about p is not part of the belief forming process. When an agent enters into (...) this process of deliberation, he has not, contra Steglich-Petersen, already adopted the truth aim with regard to p. In closing, we further suggest that proponents of the truth aim hypothesis need to focus on aim-guidance, not mere aim attribution, for their approach to have explanatory utility so underlining the significance of Owens’ argument. (shrink)
A pervasive and influential argument appeals to trivial truths to demonstrate that the aim of inquiry is not the acquisition of truth. I argue that the argument fails, for it neglects to distinguish between the complexity of the sentence used to express a truth and the complexity of the truth expressed by a sentence.
This paper contributes to a growing body of literature analyzing the social responsibilities of SMEs (Sarbutts, 2003, Journal of Communication Management 7(4), 340-347; Castka et al., 2004, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management 11, 140-149; Enderle, 2004, Business Ethics: A European Review 14(1), 51-63; Fuller and Tian, 2006, Journal of Business Ethics 67, 287-304; Jenkins, 2006, Journal of Business Ethics 67, 241-256; Lepoutre and Heene, 2006, Journal of Business Ethics 67, 257-273; Roberts, 2003, Journal of Business Ethics 44(2), 159-170; (...) Williamson et al., 2006, Journal of Business Ethics 67, 317-330) by designing a conceptual framework based on the Strategic Management Theory, which links social issues to the creation of sustained competitive advantages for SMEs. Firstly, the paper reviews literature on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and especially on the creation of social capital for SMEs. An exploration of Strategic Management Theory follows, focusing on the Positioning and Competence Based Schools, with the objective to find an answer to the question: how do social and environmental issues fit in the logic of creation of competitive advantage and what role do they play during strategic planning? The contributions of Hart (natural resourced based view) and Porter and Kramer (development of strategic intent in social responsible actions) are then related to the framework of possible growth paths of SMEs (Hong and Jeong, 2006, Journal of Enterprise Information Management 19(3), 292-302) in order to answer this question. Strategies that could trigger or lever these growth paths are then discussed. Following the recommendation Thompson and Smith (1991, Journal of Small Business Management 29(1), 30-44) gave to focus on the "study of CSR behaviors instead of perceptions," a medium-sized Austrian company in the food producing industry has been identified for an exploratory case study analysis to test the applicability of this theoretical framework for the description of the actual responsible business behavior (RBB) of an SME. This company is typical of one of the 250.000 SMEs which account for 99.6% of the Austrian economy. Based on the findings and the discussion, this paper presents a strategic planning tool for SMEs aiming to embed RBB into the corporate strategy. (shrink)
This chapter outlines improvements and developments made to aim-oriented empiricism since "From Knowledge to Wisdom" was first published in 1984. It argues that aim-oriented empiricism enables us to solve three fundamental problems in the philosophy of science: the problems of induction and verisimilitude, and the problem of what it means to say of a physical theory that it is unified.
What is belief? "Beliefs aim at truth" is the commonly accepted starting point for philosophers who want to give an adequate account of this fundamental state of mind, but it raises as many questions as it answers. For example, in what sense can beliefs be said to have an aim of their own? If belief aims at truth, does it mean that reasons to believe must also be based on truth? Must beliefs be formed on the basis of evidence alone? (...) Is truth the constitutive norm of belief? Does aiming at truth bring in a normative dimension to the nature of belief? How can the aim of truth guide the formation of our beliefs? In what ways do partial beliefs aim at truth? Is truth the aim of epistemic justification? Last but not least, is it knowledge rather than truth which is the fundamental aim of belief? -/- In recent years, pursuing these questions has proved extremely fertile for our understanding of a wide range of current issues in philosophy of mind and action, epistemology, and meta-ethics. The Aim of Belief is the first book to be devoted to this fast-growing topic. It brings together eleven newly commissioned essays by leading authors on the aim of belief. -/- Contributors: Jonathan Adler, Krister Bykvist, Timothy Chan, Pascal Engel, Kathrin Glüer, Anandi Hattiangadi, Michael Hicks, Paul Horwich, David Papineau, Andrew Reisner, Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen, Ralph Wedgwood, Åsa Wikforss, Daniel Whiting. (shrink)
Discussion regarding education’s aims, especially its ultimate aims, is a key topic in the philosophy of education. These aims or values play a pivotal role in regulating and structuring moral and other types of normative education. We outline two plausible strategies to identify and justify education’s ultimate aims. The first associates these aims with a normative standpoint, such as the moral, prudential, or aesthetic, which is overriding, in a sense of ‘overriding’ to be explained. The second associates education’s ultimate aims (...) with the intrinsic value of personal well-being. We advance reasons to doubt that these strategies are successful. The shortcomings of these strategies impute yet further urgency to the issue of how we are to ascertain and validate education’s ultimate aims. (shrink)
The central questions raised by Allan Bloom's The Closing of theAmerican Mind are often overlooked. Among the most important ofBloom's themes is the impact of nihilism upon education. Bloom condemnsnihilism. Interestingly, we find among his critics two alternativejudgments. Richard Schacht, citing Nietzsche, asserts that nihilism,while fruitless in and of itself, is a necessary prerequisite tosomething higher. Harry Neumann, affirming the accuracy of nihilism,declares that both Bloom and Nietzsche reject nihilism out of ignoranceborn of weakness. All three philosophers understand that the (...) purpose ofeducation emerges from one's position on nihilism. If nihilism is true,then it is senseless and cowardly to teach one's students that there aregrounds for moral judgments. On the other hand, if one believes thatthere is an objective higher and lower in moral matters, then one cannotat the same time consistently endorse nihilism or the atheism upon whichit rests. There is reason to believe that a consistent nihilism isimpossible and hence that the concept is bankrupt. But then something istrue, and there are grounds for moral judgment. Education must respondaccordingly. But even Bloom with his emphasis on the Great Books fallsshort of what is required. An education which aims to defeat nihilismmust, at the very least, hold out the promise that through thecultivation of reason one may indeed arrive at the truth. (shrink)
Focusing on Nicholas Maxwell’s thesis that “science, properly understood, provides us the methodological key to the salvation of humanity”, the article discusses Maxwell’s aim oriented empiricism and his conception of Wisdom Inquiry as advocated in Maxwell’s (2009b, pp.1–56) essay entitled “How Can Life of Value Best Flourish in the Real World?” (in Science and the Pursuit of Wisdom: Studies in the Philosophy of Nicholas Maxwell 2009, edited by Leemon McHenry) and in Maxwell (2004 & 2009a).
Rape conviction rates have fallen to all-time lows in recent years, prompting governments to explore a range of strategies to improve them. This paper argues that, while the current legal impunity for rape cannot be condoned, increasing conviction rates is not in itself a valid objective of law reform. The paper problematises the measure of rape law that conviction rates provide by developing an account of (some) feminist aims for rape law reform. Three feminist aims and associated measures are explained—all (...) of which look beyond conviction rates to qualitative and victim-centred outcomes of criminal justice processes. Applying these measures, I argue that strategies designed solely to increase conviction rates are more likely to work against, rather than in support of, feminist aims. The paper thus underscores the need for continued feminist engagement with rape law reform, broadly conceived, notwithstanding its acute limitations for feminist anti-violence politics. (shrink)
A popular account of epistemic justification holds that justification, in essence, aims at truth. An influential objection against this account points out that it is committed to holding that only true beliefs could be justified, which most epistemologists regard as sufficient reason to reject the account. In this paper I defend the view that epistemic justification aims at truth, not by denying that it is committed to epistemic justification being factive, but by showing that, when we focus on the relevant (...) sense of ‘justification’, it isn’t in fact possible for a belief to be at once justified and false. To this end, I consider and reject three popular intuitions speaking in favor of the possibility of justified false beliefs, and show that a factive account of epistemic justification is less detrimental to our normal belief forming practices than often supposed. (shrink)
That truth provides the standard for believing appears to be a platitude, one which dovetails with the idea that in some sense belief aims only at the truth. In recent years, however, an increasing number of prominent philosophers have suggested that knowledge provides the standard for believing, and so that belief aims only at knowledge. In this paper, I examine the considerations which have been put forward in support of this suggestion, considerations relating to lottery beliefs, Moorean beliefs, the criticism (...) and defence of belief, and the value of knowledge. I argue that those considerations do not give us reason to give up the truth view in favour of the knowledge view and, moreover, that reflection on those considerations gives us some reason to reject the knowledge view. Thus, I conclude, we can continue to the take the apparent platitude at face value. (shrink)
In this volume, international philosophers of education explore and question diverse strains of the liberal tradition, discussing autonomy and other key issues including social justice, national identity, curriculum, critical thinking and social practices.
In 2001 the Italian Government defined Essential Assistance Levels (LEA), which can be considered as an important step forward in the health care system. The Italian health care system would provide payment of essential and uniform aid services in order to safeguard many values such as human dignity, personal health, equal assistance and good health practices. The Ministry of Health has worked to rationalize the National Formulary and to define evaluation methods for drugs in order to choose what to reimburse (...) without penalizing the rights of the individual and society.This paper describes how this job of rationalization was done and tries to illustrate the choices made in Italy by the use of two meaningful examples (statins and rivastigmine). (shrink)
This paper explores the sense in which belief "aims at the truth". In this course of this exploration, it discusses the difference between belief and make-believe, the nature of psychoanalytic explanation, the supposed "normativity of meaning", and related topics.