In this paper we provide a psychological account of the nature and development of explanation. We propose that an explanation is an account that provides a conceptual framework for a phenomenon that leads to a feeling of understanding in the reader/hearer. The explanatory conceptual framework goes beyond the original phenomenon, integrates diverse aspects of the world, and shows how the original phenomenon follows from the framework. We propose that explanations in everyday life are judged on the criteria of (...) empirical accuracy, scope, consistency, simplicity, and plausibility. We conclude that explanations in science are evaluated by the same criteria, plus those of precision, formalisms, and fruitfulness. We discuss several types of explanation that are used in everyday life – causal/mechanical, functional, and intentional. We present evidence to show that young children produce explanations (often with different content from those of adults) that have the same essential form as those used by adults. We also provide evidence that children use the same evaluation criteria as adults, but may not apply those additional criteria for the evaluation of explanations that are used by scientists. (shrink)
This paper reports on objectivity and knowledge production in the process of submitting, revising, and publishing an experimental research article in cognitive neuroscience. The review process, as part of scientific practice, is of particular interest, since it puts the research team in direct dialog with a larger scientific community concerned with fMRI evidence. By bringing this often 'black-boxed' dimension of the manuscript's production into the picture, I illustrate the role that the visual brain representations played in the practice of scientific (...) fact production. This allows me to point out how the knowledge is constructed through seeing, and how the showing of the fact through images bears traits of the scientific culture of which it is part. (shrink)
Sydney Shoemaker leads today’s “neo-Lockean” liberation of persons from the conservative animalist charge of “neo-Aristotelians” such as Eric Olson, according to whom persons are biological entities and who challenge all neo-Lockean views on grounds that abstracting from strictly physical, or bodily, criteria plays fast and loose with our identities. There is a fundamental mistake on both sides: a false dichotomy between bodily continuity versus psychological continuity theories of personal identity. Neo-Lockeans, like everyone else today who relies on Locke’s analysis of (...) personal identity, including Derek Parfit, have either completely distorted or not understood Locke’s actual view. Shoemaker’s defense, which uses a “package deal” definition that relies on internal relations of synchronic and diachronic unity and employs the Ramsey–Lewis account to define personal identity, leaves far less room for psychological continuity views than for my own view, which, independently of its radical implications, is that (a) consciousness makes personal identity, and (b) in consciousness alone personal identity consists—which happens to be also Locke’s actual view. Moreover, the ubiquitous Fregean conception of borders and the so-called “ambiguity of is” collapse in the light of what Hintikka has called the “Frege trichotomy.” The Ramsey–Lewis account, due to the problematic way Shoemaker tries to bind the variables, makes it impossible for the neo-Lockean ala Shoemaker to fulfill the uniqueness clause required by all such Lewis style definitions; such attempts avoid circularity only at the expense of mistaking isomorphism with identity. Contrary to what virtually all philosophers writing on the topic assume, fission does not destroy personal identity. A proper analysis of public versus perspectival identification, derived using actual case studies from neuropsychiatry, provides the scientific, mathematical and logical frameworks for a new theory of self-reference, wherein “consciousness,” “self-consciousness,” and the “I,” can be precisely defined in terms of the subject and the subject-in-itself. (shrink)
Humans hunt and kill many different species of animals, but whales are our biggest prey. In the North Atlantic, a male long-ﬁ nned pilot whale (Globiceph- ala melaena), a large relative of the dolphins, can grow as large as 6.5 meters and weigh as much as 2.5 tons. As whales go, these are not particularly large, but there are more than 750,000 pilot whales in the North Atlantic, traveling in groups, “pods,” that range from just a few individuals to a (...) thousand or more. Each pod is led by an individual known as the “pilot,” who appears to set the course of travel for the rest of the group. This pilot is both an asset and a weakness to the pod. The average pilot whale will yield about a half ton of meat and blubber, and North Atlantic societies including Ireland, Iceland, and the Shetlands used to manipulate the pilot to drive the entire pod ashore. In the Faroe Islands, a group of 18 grassy rocks due north of Scotland, pilot whale hunts have continued for the last 1200 years, at least. The permanent residents of these islands, the Faroese, previously killed an average of 900 whales each year, yielding about 500 tons of meat and fat that was consumed by local residents. Hunts have declined in recent years. From 2001 to 2005, about 3400 whales were killed, yielding about 890 metric tons of blubber and 990 metric tons of meat. The whale kill, or grindadráp in the Faroese language, begins when a ﬁ shing boat spots a pod close enough to a suitable shore, on a suitably clear day. A single boat, or even a small group of ﬁ shermen, is not sufﬁ cient to trap a.. (shrink)
My title echoes Levinas' 1951 Is ontology fundamental? – a seminal piece that paved the way for his justly famous Totality and Infinity and Otherwise than Being. I suggest that the characteristically enthusiastic, uncritical reception of these works may not be due primarily to their originality and sheer intellectual brilliance, but rather to something in Levinas' position that deeply resonates with the spirit of our times and our preoccupation with the fate of the Other. My claim, however, is (...) that accepting a Levinassian ethics, in which the Other has priority over the self, comes at too high a price, for it implies definitions of otherness and selfhood that fail to address precisely the problems that prompted preoccupation with otherness in the first place. I suggest that our struggles with racism, sexism, cultural bias point to frictions in (inter-)subjectivity that are inappropriately ethicized when treated, ala Levinas, simply as examples of an unwillingness to open up to the Other. In Levinas' universe, it is impossible not to hear the Other's appeal, but I argue that this view ignores the existence of a dimension of selfhood that cannot be absorbed into intersubjectivity. A metaphysical loneliness is thus implied here that our age seems unwilling to bear, preferring to cover it up with an ethics that makes us always responsible – that is, in response, connected to the Other. I develop this criticism by analyzing what I call a non-privative notion of irresponsibility whose roots are neither ethical nor ontological. (shrink)
This paper investigates the objections that were raised by the philosopher ‘Abd al-La[tdotu ]if al-Baghdadi (d. ca. 1231 CE) against al-[Hdotu ]asan ibn al-Haytham’s (Alhazen; d. after 1041 CE) geometrisation of place. In this line of enquiry, I contrast the philosophical propositions that were advanced by al-Baghdadi in his tract: Fi al-Radd ‘ala Ibn al-Haytham fi al-makan (A refutation of Ibn al-Haytham’s place), with the geometrical demonstrations that Ibn al-Haytham presented in his groundbreaking treatise: Qawl fi al-Makan (Discourse on place). (...) In examining the particulars of al-Baghdadi’s fragile defence of Aristotle’s definition of topos as delineated in Book IV of the Physics, which was rejected on mathematical grounds by Ibn al-Haytham, a special attention is also given to highlighting the systemic distinctions between the entities that are studied within the speculative physical doctrines of common sense and immediate experience, and the postulated ‘objects’ of scientific and mathematical research. (Published Online February 12 2007) Footnotes1 An earlier concise version of this paper was presented on 18 February 2006 in Florence, under the title: ‘The physical or the mathematical? interrogating al-Baghdadi's critique of Ibn al-Haytham's geometrisation of place’, as part of the Colloque de la Société Internationale d'Histoire des Sciences et des Philosophies Arabes et Islamiques (Circulation des savoirs autour de la Méditerranée, IXe–XVIe siècles), which was held in association with the University of Florence. This text will be published as part of the Proceedings of the Colloquium (Les Actes du Colloque), under the editorship of Graziella Federici Vescovini (Florence). (shrink)
The distribution of organisms in morphologic space is clumpy. Cats are like felids, dogs are like canids and snails are (mostly) like gastropods. But cats are not like dogs and snails are not like clams. This clumpy distribution of morphology has long posed one of the greatest challenges to evolutionary biologists. Does it represent the extinction and disappearance of a oncecontinuous distribution of morphologies, clades perched on the summits of persistent selective peaks ala Sewell Wright, or a primary signature of (...) the evolutionary processes? And if the latter, what processes are responsible for generating it? Although often couched in discussions of the origin of higher taxa, such taxa are but proxies for this clumpy distribution, and ultimately the latter is the critical issue for macroevolution and for Stephen Jay Gould’s opus. Underneath all the controversies over whether species constitute individuals, whether speciation serves to divide intra-speciﬁc adaptation driven by natural selection from a set of inter- and supra-speciﬁc evolutionary processes, and over the impact of catastrophic mass extinctions on evolutionary trends, the fundamental issue is simply one of clumpiness (or, if you prefer, the inhomogeneous distribution of morphologies). Iurii Filipchenko, a Russian geneticist and the mentor of Theodosius Dobzhansky, introduced the term macroevolution in 1927 because he believed that the origin of the characters associated with higher taxa (those beyond the species level) required a different process of evolution. Filipchenko believed macroevolution was driven by cytoplasmic inheritance, but his general argument was consistent with other saltationists and macro-mutationists of the time, including the paleontologist Henry Fairﬁeld Osborne and the geneticist Richard Goldschmidt. These evolutionary biologists shared the.. (shrink)
The obsession is pursued of a word, a sign, a thought that is identical with the thing it signifies, where there is no space between the two. And the nightmare is entertained that, if such an identity is not attained, then intellectual work in general is worth nothing and should be destroyed.
In U.S. v. American Library Association (2003), the Supreme Court upheld the Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which mandated that libraries receiving federal funding for public Internet access install content-filtering programs on computers which provide that access. These programs analyze incoming content, and block the receipt of objectionable material, in particular pornography. Thus, patrons at public libraries are protected from unintentionally (or intentionally) accessing objectionable material, and, in the case of minors, from accessing potentially damaging material. At least, that is (...) the official story. In this paper, I develop three points. (1) I argue that CIPA and ALA are better read as examples of the enforcement of a regime of normative sexuality. The question of minors accessing pornography is only relevant to the official story insofar as it provides a rhetorically persuasive example of deviance from that normative regime. CIPAs full target includes information about topics such as homosexuality and contraception. (2) Rather than (or in addition to) punishing deviances directly, CIPA attempts to constitute a “public” in which such deviancy can never occur in the first place. Hence, the designation of a “public” space serves to domesticate alternative sexualities and to sanitize that space of sexual difference. (3) This interaction at the border of the public and private spheres offers an opportunity to reflect on and underscore the ways that subject formation and subjectivity are mediated through technological artifacts like the Internet. (shrink)
Ethical mysticism, by S. Coit.--The ethical import of history, by D. S. Muzzey.--The tragic and heroic in life, by W. M. Salter.--Distinctive features of the ethical movement, by A. W. Martin.--Ethical experience as the basis of religious education, by H. Neumann.--"All men are created equal," by G. E. O'Dell.--How far is art an aid to religion? by P. Chubb.--Evolution and the uniqueness of man, by H. J. Bridges.--The spiritual outlook on life, by H. J. Golding.--The ethics of Abu'l Ala al (...) Ma'arri, by N. Schmidt.--Life's unused moral force, by H. Snell.--Is the ideal real? by G. A. Smith.--Some ethical tendencies in the professions, by R. D. Kohn.--On the art of living, by W. Boerner.--The relation of the ethical ideal to social reform, by J. L. Elliott.--Concerning tolerance, by R. F. Dewey.--Ethical culture in Germany after the war, by R. Penzig.--A confession of faith, by S. B. Weston.--"Hearing the witnesses," by J. Gutmann. (shrink)
Robert Coover’s Novel, The Public Buming, merges fantasy, history, and popular myth to respond to the American Cold War culture surrounding the trial of Ethal and Julius Rosenberg. While serving as a postmodern response to, and rewrite of, the Cold War ideological narratives, Coover’s novel also raises theoretical and practical questions concerning the author’s agency in the twentieth century. This article makes use of the language theories of Bruce Andrews, Mikhail Bakhtin, and Charles Peirce to consider how Coover’s fiction addresses (...) the conflict between the public and private self, authorial discourse and collective ideological discourse. Coover’s novel reflects on these tensions, foregrounding the erosion of an autonomous concept of self and a Romantic notion of autotelic creation. At the same time, it employs a range of strategies (recovery of alternative voices, dismantling of polarities, rewriting) as a form of resistance against the monologic narratives of the Cold War.Le roman de Robert Coover, The Public Buming, combine I’imaginaire, I’histoire, et le mythe populaire pour repondre ala culture de la guerre froide américaine dans laquelle baigne le procès d’Ethal et de Julius Rosenberg. Bien qu’il serve de reponse aux narrations ideologiques de la guerre froide et de réécriture de celles-ci, le roman de Coover soulève aussi des questions théoriques et pratiques relativement à I’action de I’auteur au vingtième siècle. Le présent article utilise les théories du langage de Bruce Andrews, Mikhail Bakhtin, et Charles Peirce afin d’analyser la façon dont le roman-fiction de Coover aborde le conflit entre le soi public et privé et entre le discours de I’auteur et le discours idéologique collectif. Le roman de Coover médite sur ces tensions en mettant I’accent sur I’erosion du concept autonome de soi et de la notion romantique de création autotélique. À la même occasion, il emploie un éventail de stratégies (recouvrement de contre-voix, démantèlement des polarités, réécriture) en tant que résistances aux narrations monoloqigues de la guerre froide. (shrink)
From text to action -- Park fiction, ala plastica, and dialogue -- The risk of diversity -- Programmatic multiplicity -- Art theory and the post-structuralist canon -- Lessons in futility -- Enclosure acts -- The twelfth seat and the mirrored ceiling -- The atelier as workshop -- Labor, praxis, and representation -- The divided and incomplete subject of yesterday -- Memories of development -- The limits of ethical capitalism -- The art of the locality -- Blindness and insight -- The (...) invention of the public -- The boulevards of the inner city -- Park fiction : desire, resistance, and complicity -- A culture of needles : project row houses in Houston. (shrink)
Like many languages, Korean has a special form of negation that is used in imperative clauses (see (1)c), to the exclusion of the usual clausal negation in (1)b: (1) a. ka-la b. *ka-ci anh-ala c. ka-ci mal-ala go-Imp go-Comp Neg-Imp go-Comp Neg-Imp ‘Don’t go!’ ‘Don’t go!’ ‘Go!’ Sadock and Zwicky (1985) noted that negation in imperative(-like) clauses shows special morpho-syntax in many languages, a fact documented in more detail by Zanuttini (1997) or Han (2000). In this paper I will consider (...) the semantic properties of Korean clauses that use the negative form mal-, and suggest a more indirect relationship to the morpho-syntax than has been assumed in previous work.∗ In section 2 I present the basic account of clausal semantics in the HPSG framework of Ginzburg and Sag (2000), and then in section 3 I return to a fuller consideration of data like that in (1). (shrink)
The book is an extended study of the problem of consciousness. After setting up the problem, I argue that reductive explanation of consciousness is impossible (alas!), and that if one takes consciousness seriously, one has to go beyond a strict materialist framework. In the second half of the book, I move toward a positive theory of consciousness with fundamental laws linking the physical and the experiential in a systematic way. Finally, I use the ideas and arguments developed earlier to defend (...) a form of strong artificial intelligence and to analyze some problems in the foundations of quantum mechanics. (shrink)
This paper compares ethics in countries with different cultural dimensions based on empirical data from 12 countries. The results indicate that dimensions of national culture could serve as predictors of the ethical standards desired in a specific society. The author divided societal cultural practices into desired and undesired practices. According to this study, ethics could be seen as the means for achieving a desired state in a society: for reducing some societal characteristics and increasing others. Finally, a model of the (...) impact of cultural dimensions on desired ethical standards is proposed. (shrink)
Saul Kripke’s discussion of the necessary aposteriori in Naming and Necessity and “Identity and Necessity” -- in which he lays the foundation for distinguishing epistemic from metaphysical possibility, and explaining the relationship between the two – is, in my opinion, one of the outstanding achievements of twentieth century philosophy.1 My aim in this essay is to extract the enduring lessons of his discussion, and disentangle them from certain difficulties which, alas, can also be found there. I will argue that there (...) are, in fact, two Kripkean routes to the necessary aposteriori – one correct and philosophically far-reaching, the other incorrect and philosophically misleading. (shrink)
Alas, things are not quite so simple. As James implies, the term ‘introspection’ literally means ‘looking within’, but of course we do not visually inspect the interiors of our crania. What unites proponents of introspection is the claim that we can recognize our own mental states through some sort of attention—a non-visual ‘looking’—whose immediate objects are thoughts or sensations within oneself, in a non-spatial sense of ‘within’. (The term ‘introspection’ is occasionally given an ecumenical gloss, to refer to any method (...) of knowing one’s own mental states, and not just self-directed attention. But the more restrictive use is standard, and provides the topic of the current entry.) As we will see, some contemporary philosophers and psychologists doubt that any such introspective process underlies self-knowledge. (shrink)
Zombies recently conjured by Searle and others threaten civilized (i.e., materialistic) philosophy of mind and scientific psychology as we know it. Humanoid beings that behave like us and may share our functional organizations and even, perhaps, our neurophysiological makeups without qualetative conscious experiences, zombies seem to meet every materialist condition for thought on offer and yet -- the wonted intuitions go -- are still disqualefied (disqualified for lack of qualia) from being thinking things. I have a plan. Other zombies -- (...) good (qualia eating) zombies -- can battle their evil (behavior eating) cousins to a standoff. Perhaps even defeat them. Familiar zombies and supersmart zombies resist disqualefication, making the world safe, again, for materialism. Behavioristic materialism. Alas for functionalism, good zombies still eat programs. Alas for identity theory, all zombies -- every B movie fan knows -- eat brains. (shrink)
Touching your mother's foot is incest because all the rest is a matter of degree (or so said Diogenes). That's just one expression of the puzzle of vagueness. Here's another: the passage of one second cannot mark the transition from being a pupa to being a butterfly--if something is a pupa at one time then in all close instants it remains a pupa; alas, it follows from this, via trivial logic, that there are no butterflies. Or again: it's vague where (...) the Highlands of Scotland begin and end, so, a small step in the direction of London cannot mark the boundary between the Lowlands and the Highlands. But then it follows, via trivial logic, that one is unable to leave the Highlands (even when in London). What's driving these paradoxical arguments seems to be the very vagueness of the terms involved: such terms as 'incest', 'butterfly', 'pupa', 'The Highlands' are all vague and such vagueness seems to make them tolerant to marginal change. The puzzles of vagueness are not only deep (in that they admit of no uncontroversial and entirely satisfactory solution), they are also broad, for vague language is everywhere. In this course, you will be introduced to the various puzzles of vagueness and whether and how we might best address them. We will tackle such as questions as: Does the possibility of vagueness entail that there simply cannot be a logic of natural language? Does it entail that language is governed by inconsistent rules? Or does vagueness require some special or deviant logic? Is vagueness a special species of ignorance? Is the world, in some sense, vague? Is there an uncontroversial definition of vagueness or can we only isolate the phenomenon from within some substantive and controversial conception? What is higher-order vagueness and why is it considered to be such a puzzling phenomenon? Must the truth about vagueness be so strange? In what exact way are vague expressions tolerant? (shrink)
I started out as a student of physics, hard-working, interested, but alas, not ‘in love’ with my subject. Then logic struck, and having become interested in this subject for various reasons – including the fascinating personality of my first teacher –, I switched after my candidate’s program, to take two master’s degrees, in mathematics and in philosophy. The beauty of mathematics was clear to me at once, with the amazing power, surprising twists, and indeed the music, of abstract arguments. As (...) our professor of Analysis wrote at the time in our study guide “Mathematics is about the delight in the purity of trains of thought”, and oldfashioned though this phrasing sounded in the revolutionary 1960s, it did resonate with me. Then I had the privilege of being taught set-theoretic topology by a group of brilliant students around De Groot, our leading expert around the time, who worked with Moore’s method of discovering a subject for oneself. Topology unfolded from a few definitions and examples to real theorems that we had to prove ourselves – and the take-home exam took sleepless nights, as it included proving some results from scratch which came from a recent dissertation (as it turned out later). Only at the very end did De Groot appear, to give one lecture on Tychonoff’s Theorem where an application was made of the Axiom of Choice, a sacral act only to be performed by tenured full professors. (shrink)
An important motivation for relational theories of color is that they resolve apparent conflicts about color: x can, without contradiction, be red relative to S1 and not red relative to S2. Alas, many philosophers claim that the view is incompatible with naive, phenomenally grounded introspection. However, when we presented normal adults with apparent conflicts about color (among other properties), we found that many were open to the relationalist's claim that apparently competing variants can simultaneously be correct. This suggests that, philosophers' (...) claims to the contrary notwithstanding, introspection does not supply authoritative and unambiguous reason to reject color relationalism. (shrink)
In a memorable paper, Donald Davidson (1986, p. 446) insists that "there is no such thing as a language, not if a language is anything like what many philosophers and linguists have supposed". I have always taken this as an exaggeration, albeit an apt exaggeration that might be philosophically helpful. Now when it comes to predication, what I would have expected to hear from the same author would be along the lines of "there is no such thing as predication ... (...) ". But instead of this I hear something very different (Davidson, 2005, p. 77): [I]f we do not understand predication, we do not understand how any sentence works, nor can we account for the structure of the simplest thought that is expressible in language. At one time there was much discussion of what was called the "unity of proposition"; it is just this unity that a theory of predication must explain. The philosophy of language lacks its most important chapter without such a theory, the philosophy of mind is missing its crucial first step if it cannot describe the nature of judgment; and it is woeful if metaphysics cannot say how a substance is related to its attributes. I find myself at odds with just about everything written in this paragraph; and what is worse, my disagreement stems from a notion of language which I believe I have acquired also by reading Davidson. Reading this passage, I desperately sought for an indication that it was leading up to some catch, and not meant to be taken at face value. But, alas, I am afraid there is none. To avoid misunderstanding: I see nothing wrong in understanding predication as a clearly delimited linguistic phenomenon. We put together one kind of expression, which we have come to call the subject, with a different kind of expression, called the predicate, possibly.. (shrink)
Every fifteen years or so Stephen Schiffer writes a state of the art book on the philosophy of language, with special emphasis on belief ascriptions, meaning, and propositions. The latest is his terrific new book The Things we Mean. It is again full of ideas, insights, arguments, expositions, and theories. For us, however, who believe that that-clauses are first and foremost clauses, not referring expressions, and that they thus do not refer to propositions or anything else, The Things we Mean (...) brings home the news that our champion, the author of Remnants of Meaning, has, alas, crossed over to the dark side. Although Schiffer’s earlier book defended one of the best versions of the no-reference theory, and brought up many of the issues that need to be addressed to defend such a theory, he now has recanted and switched sides. His new theory holds that propositions do exist after all, and that-clauses do refer to them. However, some of the motivation for the no-reference theory is incorporated into his new theory. In Remnants of Meaning one of the main reasons for rejecting the reference of that-clauses was the apparent impossibility to compositionally assign that-clauses their referents, and thus to give a compositional semantics for natural language. In The Things we Mean Schiffer still finds fault with any way to compositionally determine what things propositions are. But now the conclusion is not that they are not things, but that they are things that are not reducible to certain other things: they are sui generis entities. But they are not just any kind of sui generis entities, they are pleonastic entities. The use of the term ”pleonastic” might be slightly confusing, though, since propositions according to the new theory are neither pleonastic in the sense of redundant, nor pleonastic in the sense of the pleonastic it, which suggests a no-reference theory. Rather they are pleonastic in a certain technical sense. Simply put, pleonastic entities are the ones that i) can be introduced by 1 something-from-nothing transformations, and ii) the statement that there are such entities doesn’t imply anything about other entities that wasn’t implied before.. (shrink)
1) There is widespread agreement that consciousness must be a physical phenomenon, even if it is one that we do not yet understand and perhaps may never do so fully. There is also widespread agreement that the way to defend physicalism about consciousness against a variety of well known objections is by appeal to phenomenal concepts (Loar 1990, Lycan 1996, Papineau 1993, Sturgeon 1994, Tye 1995, 2000, Perry 2001) . There is, alas, no agreement on the nature of phenomenal concepts.
This study contributes to our understanding of how work-related values, including ethics, are connected with the readiness to change in Estonian organizations. Research in Estonian companies involved 747 respondents. The author examined the influence of work-related values on attitude towards change and organizational learning. Empirical research in Estonian organizations indicates that work-related values predict attitude towards change and organizational learning. This study indicates the need for ethical conduct to achieve a competitive advantage in Estonia. Guidelines for managers and a model (...) of value-based change management are subsequently developed. (shrink)
Every author has to expect that some reviewers will dislike his book, perhaps intensely. That is par for the course. But one might hope that even a scathingly negative review would be accurate in its summary of the book’s contents and principal arguments. Alas, Peter Saulson’s review1 of my book Beyond the Hoax: Science, Philosophy and Culture 2 fails to meet this minimum standard.
The study draws attention to the transfer of management theories and practices from traditional capitalist countries such as the USA and UK to post-socialist countries that are currently experiencing radical change as they seek to introduce market reforms. It is highlighted that the efficacy of this transfer of management theories and practices is, in part, dependent upon the extent to which work-related attitudes and values vary between traditional capitalist and former socialist contexts. We highlight that practices such as Human Resource (...) Management (HRM) and Organization Development (OD) are inextricably associated with conceptions surrounding culture and society, as well as to variables such as job satisfaction and organisational commitment. The main aim of this study is to compare various attitudes and values of employees in traditional capitalist countries and post-socialist countries. On the basis of the findings of an attitudinal survey of (N = 5914) workers in 15 countries we conclude that certain aspects of the attitudes and values of workers in post-socialist countries and traditional capitalist countries differ significantly. Specifically, these differences were found in respect of context-related and job-related attitudes, and also in relation to the importance that the respondents attached to the subject of ethics more generally. The implications of the study are discussed particularly in relation to the transfer of management theory and practices between traditional capitalist and post-socialist contexts. (shrink)
: In 1999, Philosophy and Literature gave the top prize in its annual Bad Writing Contest to Judith Butler, and the national press echoed the journal in denouncing critical theory as overblown, jargon-ridden, and ungrammatical. Academic theorists reacted with pique, but not a soul in the public sphere came to their defense. Now, the professors have issued an anthology justifying their prose and denouncing Denis Dutton and other critics of bad writing. They claim that bad, or rather "difficult" writing has (...) a critical thrust: to break down common sense and dismantle unjust social notions.They fail to make their case. Much of the writing is, alas, bad. Entries offer tendentious, petulant reactions to the hubbub. Rarely do they address the basic point of the contest: that humanities professors no longer respect ideals of wit, eloquence, and learning. Instead, we have another parade of academic parochialism and radical chic passing itself off as adversarial culture and social justice. (shrink)
That parthood is a transitive relation is among the most basic principles of classical mereology. Alas, it is also very controversial. In a recent paper, Ingvar Johansson has put forward a novel diagnosis of the problem, along with a corresponding solution. The diagnosis is on the right track, I argue, but the solution is misleading. And once the pieces are properly put together, we end up with a reinforcement of the standard defense of transitivity on behalf of classical mereology.
Imagine you live in 1823 and you are about to design an advanced course on the theory of heat. About fifty years ago, Lavoisier and Laplace had posited caloric as a material substance—an indestructible fluid of fine particles—which was taken to be the cause of heat and in particular, the cause of the rise of temperature of a body, by being absorbed by the body. No doubt, you rely on the best available theory, which is the caloric theory. In particular, (...) meticulous and knowledgeable as you are, you rely on the best of the best: Laplace’s advanced account of the caloric theory of heat, with all its sophistication, detail and predictive might. You really believe that the best science teaching should be based on the best theories that are available. But you also believe that the best theory that is available is not really the best unless it has a claim to truth (or truthlikeness, or partial truth and the like). For what is the point of teaching a theory about the deep structure of the world unless it does say something or other about this deep structure? The course goes really well. Your notes are impressive. They are soon turned into a textbook with lots of explanatory detail and fancy calculations. Alas! The world does not co-operate. There are no calorific particles among the things there are in it. Heat is destroyed when work is produced. The advanced theory is challenged by alternative theories, anomalies and failed predictions. There is agony, but in your lifetime, the caloric theory gets superseded and is left discredited in the wasteland of false theories. Decades come by. You are not around anymore. Your grandchildren go to school and.. (shrink)
There are some intriguing and inviting complexities around the twin concepts of nature and naturalism. For too many evolutionary biologists, and even evolutionary psychologists, who should know better, Nature with a capital "N" is rarely analyzed and when done so it is with the crudest of instruments. And for those of us who do know better, we register with some vexation that the reigning concept of naturalism has been flattened into a dull-witted colorless perspective that veers toward some kind of (...) materialism; a belief in the exhaustive correlation of chance and law, alas, with no help from Peirce; a tendency toward a mind/brain identity thesis; an emergentism vis-à-vis consciousness (and the corollary rejection .. (shrink)
I fear I did not express myself as simply as I might have. My objection to Cao is that something must be ceded to Kuhn. One can of course try to oppose Kuhn's thesis root and branch, but to do so one had better counter his concrete examples, or one had better present an equally persuasive and wide-ranging history, but to a different effect. Perhaps Cao thinks his book provides just such an alternative, but alas, here a history of 20th (...) century field theories simply doesn't cut any ice: it is a history of _normal_ science, in Kuhn's terms, at least the way Cao tells it, devoting no time at all to the development of quantum physics, and hardly any to the discovery of special relativity, the two really revolutionary steps in physics in the last century. True, there remains one other plausible example of revolutionary science, and on this Cao does have something to say: the quantization of gravity. But this revolution is still in the making; one simply doesn't know whether gravity will be accommodated along the lines Cao suggests; one just doesn't know if his â€œgauge field program'â€, â€œgeometric programâ€, and â€œquantum field.. (shrink)
Few subjects have provoked more speculation or scholarly inquiry than the relationship between creativity and madness—or, in the case of Jason Thompson, the link between memoir writing and depression. Plato theorized that the poet’s madness is divinely inspired, and two thousand years later Sigmund Freud (1928/1961) admitted that “Before the problem of the creative artist analysis must, alas lay down its arms” (p. 177)—a cautionary injunction he then disregards. Should authors heed Thompson’s prudent advice not to write about present traumas, (...) or should they accept D. H. Lawrence’s (1981) statement that “One sheds one’s sicknesses in books, repeats and presents again one’s emotions, to be master of them” (p. .. (shrink)
This article provides current Schwartz Values Survey (SVS) data from samples of business managers and professionals across 50 societies that are culturally and socioeconomically diverse. We report the society scores for SVS values dimensions for both individual- and societal-level analyses. At the individual-level, we report on the ten circumplex values sub-dimensions and two sets of values dimensions (collectivism and individualism; openness to change, conservation, self-enhancement, and self-transcendence). At the societal-level, we report on the values dimensions of embeddedness, hierarchy, mastery, affective (...) autonomy, intellectual autonomy, egalitarianism, and harmony. For each society, we report the Cronbach’s α statistics for each values dimension scale to assess their internal consistency (reliability) as well as report interrater agreement (IRA) analyses to assess the acceptability of using aggregated individual level values scores to represent country values. We also examined whether societal development level is related to systematic variation in the measurement and importance of values. Thus, the contributions of our evaluation of the SVS values dimensions are two-fold. First, we identify the SVS dimensions that have cross-culturally internally reliable structures and within-society agreement for business professionals. Second, we report the society cultural values scores developed from the twenty-first century data that can be used as macro-level predictors in multilevel and single-level international business research. (shrink)
During the last decade and a half, Estonia has concentrated predominantly on economic development in its narrowest sense. Currently, the emphasis is gradually moving towards a broader approach, including an increasingly social agenda. The research question here concerns the awareness of corporate social responsibility among Estonian owners and managers. Empirical research in Estonia indicates that there has been a shift towards recognizing the importance of social responsibility, but this primarily concerns the “lower layers” of social responsibility, recognizing the importance of (...) economic responsibility and in some respects also public responsibility. Responses in interviews show a certain amount of personal initiative, but these are single examples rather than a general trend and are not enough to change the overall picture. Still, in any assessment of the current situation regarding social responsibility in Estonia, emphasis should be laid on the fact that changes are taking effect and will continue to do so. In transition economies, including Estonia, we should not overlook the fact that, at least in the early years of transition, the focus is on a rapid economic development where the social side will inevitably be left in the background and economic development will take place at the expense of social and environmental development. (shrink)
The Calcolo geometrico (1888) seems to have been a turning point in the scientific career of Giuseppe Peano (1858?1932) because with this book he started publishing in logic. Looking for motivations of his early interests in the field one is naturally led to investigate the background of that book. Besides his previous work in mathematical analysis, methods and results of some Italian mathematicians and?above all?the spread of Grassmann's theories in Italy played a significant role: this point seems to have been (...) often underestimated by the historians of the subject. The connections between Calcolo geometrico and other related areas are also discussed. Peano's handwritten remarks and references taken from his own working copy of the Calcolo geometrico constitute the appendix of the paper. ?Simbolismo da alas ad mente de homo? (Peano 1913, 390). (shrink)
This paper has two parts. The first is an exposition of John Foster's argument that ultimate reality, whatever else it might be, is not physical, and could not be. The second part is a somewhat tentative discussion of this argument, in which I consider ways it might be challenged or amended. I suggest that while Foster's argument may not render materialism untenable, at the very least it forces the materialist to adopt certain other controversial views, and so is a (...) force to be reckoned with. I shall use the term physical anti-realism (and sometimes just anti-realism) to denote the thesis that ultimate reality does not, and cannot possibly, contain anything material or physical. By physicalism (or materialism or physical realism) I mean the doctrine that ultimate reality can be physical, at least in part. What Foster means by "ultimate reality" will be explained shortly, but it can be taken roughly to mean: the world as it really is, objectively, as opposed to how it appears to be, or how we conceive it to be. The full-scale version of Foster's argument for physical anti-realism is to be found in the first eleven chapters of The Case for Idealism.2 In the remaining six chapters, he argues that the best way of accommodating this negative result is to adopt a version of phenomenalism, by holding that the physical world exists, but only as a "creation" of contingent constraints on the course of human sensory experience. In what follows, I shall be concerned only with the negative part of Foster's argument, his case against physicalism. Foster himself has recently provided a shorter version of his argument, in "The Succinct Case for Idealism".3 The latter work, henceforth The Succinct Case, as opposed to just The Case, is mainly given over to the anti-realist argument, and provides an excellent introduction to it. The exposition which follows may well be longer than the entire Succinct Case (and, alas, much less elegant).. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Socrates, Plato and the invention of the ancient quarrel; 2. Aristotle, poetry and ethics; 3. Plotinus, Augustine and strange sweetness; 4. Boethius, Dionysius and the forms; 5. Thomas, and some Thomists; 6. Vico's new science; 7. Kant and His Students on the Genius of Nature; 8. Hegel and the owl of Minerva; 9. Kierkegaard: a poet, alas; 10. Dilthey: poetry and the escape from metaphysics; 11. Nietzsche, Heidegger and the saving power of poetry; 12. Mikhail (...) Bakhtin and novelistic consciousness. (shrink)
This study in 29 Chinese organizations contributes to our understanding about work-related values in China. Empirical research in Chinese organizations indicates differences in work-related values between different age groups. The authors compared people (older age group) with work experience from the pre-reform period – pre-1978 China, with those who started their work life in a society that had already changed and become open to foreign investments (younger age group). The authors created a model of institutionally sensitive work-related values. The results (...) could help multinational companies achieve competitive advantage. (shrink)
It is necessary to distinguish between Boltzmann’s original lecture notes, his extemporaneous lectures, the fair copy of philosophy lectures 3 to 18 by an unknown hand which are mostly on mathematics, and the multi-published versions which only include lectures 1 and 2. There is a difference between his real thought in his notes (or “honne” in Japanese) and what seems to have survived in lectures 1 and 2 for public consumption (“tatamae”). We have stuck with honne, but where it is (...) too abbreviated to make initial sense, we have put it in grammatical and intelligible form as what we think he most probably intended or believed. It was precisely his linguistic philosophy and the relativistic and pragmatic way of presenting it which was largely suppressed or at least toned-down in the fair copy and published versions. Listeners remembered how witty he was when speaking, and the shortened published accounts are also interesting, but his first thoughts, his honne, before prudence set in will interest most readers, though alas as happens with notes there is also some extraneous material. In translating most of the notes for the first three lectures we have ended where mathematics begins to predominate. (shrink)
In Higher Superstition, published early in 1994, biologist Paul R. Gross and mathematician Norman Levitt denounced an `Academic Left' at once militant and ill-informed in its criticisms of science. Gross and Levitt showed sharp eyes for the pretentious and absurd in the works of American postmodernists, feminists, multiculturalists, radical environmentalists and, alas, exponents of science studies -- that is, historians, philosophers and sociologists of science. In the Autumn of 94, physicist Alan Sokal, inspired by Gross and Levitt's book, submitted (...) a spoof article portentously entitled `Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity' to Social Text, a leading journal in the expanding field of cultural studies. As he later told Janny Scott of the New York Times : I structured the article around the silliest quotations about mathematics and physics from the most prominent academics, and I invented an argument praising them and linking them together. All this was very easy to carry off, because my article wasn't obliged to respect any standards of evidence or logic. The editors of Social Text were hoodwinked. By an unhappy coincidence, shortly after receiving Sokal's article they decided to produce a special `Science Wars' collection, including the unrefereed article together with responses to Higher Superstition. `Transgressing the Boundaries' duly appeared in the Spring/Summer 96 double issue, accompanied by articles from a number of those denounced by Gross and Levitt and lampooned by Sokal -- the perfect setting! (shrink)
In every philosopher’s career, there comes a time to look back on accomplishments, assess achievements, evaluate one’s place in a canon that dates to an era when Ancient Greeks still roamed the Earth. Perhaps many of you have wondered when I’d finally get around to doing this. Sadly, this is not the night for that splendid occasion. Do not pretend to hide your disappointment. Also, do not hesitate to point fingers. Believe me when I tell you that I would take (...) great delight in reporting to you my accomplishments, achievements, and place in the canon. If you don’t believe me, ask anyone who knows me well, or, at any rate, has spent a few minutes in conversation with me, or, maybe, has simply observed me in conversation with someone else. They’ll tell you that I am uniquely suited to fete myself, and take obvious pleasure spreading the good word to others. Alas, I have been enlisted to concentrate my philosophical powers on a topic less interesting than myself. My focus? A woman named Ruth Millikan. For philosophers, mention of the Book of Ruth directs thoughts not to the Old Testament, but to LTOBC. This is a shame, because Ruth’s Old Testament book is quite short, as books go, and tells a heartwarming story of redemption and devotion – virtues that receive hardly any mention in LTOBC. Now that I think about it, Ruth’s later books and articles mark a significant departure from the plot line in that first Book of Ruth’s. Gone are references to Bethlehem and Moab, and in their place lurk hoverflies and push me pull yous, but more on these matters in a moment. I want first to turn my finely tuned and oft picked philosophical nose to LTOBC – unquestionably Professor Millikan’s magnum opus . Here’s a little known fact. Originally, LTOBC had a different title, requiring a different acronym. If she hadn’t taken her editor’s advice, we’d be speaking of BLTOBC, which stood for Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato on Blueberry Cobbler. There’s something down home and grannyish about this title, and Ruth deserves credit for trying to entice readers with the promise of good old fashioned, feather plucked, farm food, but, as her editor was quick to note, bacon, lettuce, and tomato have no more place on blueberry cobbler than they do on cherry cobbler, and so BLTOBC might as well be BLTOCC, and with no reason to prefer one title to the other, best just to forget about the bacon.. (shrink)
A little over a year ago Oxford Studies vol. XIII was reviewed in this journal, and the general character of the series does not need to be reiterated. This year's volume is just a bit longer (up from 296 pages) and a bit more expensive (up from $65.00). But there are only ten contributions, rather than twelve, permitting the editor to include three unusually long articles with no loss in the variety or range of periods covered. Alas, there is still (...) nothing on the Presocratics; one can only hope that this is not an indication that the field has gone moribund. (shrink)
A comparative study of business related values among business students was conducted over the last 10 years in two neighbouring countries. Although Estonia and Finland are culturally related, according to an empirical study of managerial values, including the ethical values of business students, the two countries display significant differences. During the last decade, Estonia has changed from being a country characterised by an authoritarian, centralized, totalitarian state socialism, to a democratic country with a free market economy and different attitudes and (...) values. At the same time Finland has experienced almost a century of capitalism and democracy. It is argued that the differences in values exhibited by these two countries could be explained by using the institutional and historical context. The authors propose a model of value hierarchies in relation to institutionalism. (shrink)
My occupation is applied research and - funding arrangements being the force which drives such work - I am working with feedlot cattle at the moment. I have to find out whether they are unduly stressed and, if so, how to relieve it; also how much and what type of shade they require, and what are acceptable criteria of animal welfare. Like most research scientists, I also have a personal hobbyhorse which I can weave into my work. It is that (...) stress affects the competence of an animal's immune system in subtle ways that have to do with its cognition. Alas, the plot thickens! (shrink)
There is a monumental problem with doing so, alas. This excerpt comes at the end of the book, and thus much of it will make little sense unless you have read the entire book first; indeed, several wrong conclusions will be drawn from reading this piece alone.
Understanding after the fact confers no special perspicacity. The real test for any diviner can only lie in grasping the outcome at the outset. Correct predictions, in themselves, offer no proof of true wisdom, for how can we distinguish dumb luck from horse sense? The only good experiment is, alas, the most undoable of all intriguing thoughts in a world of irrevocable history-to run back the tape and play it again, Sam.
Guns and schools. You doubtless insist they don’t mix, but alas, the brute fact is that many of our youth rather vehemently disagree with you: lots of young people these days have decided to bring guns to school, and to ﬁre them at their classmates and teachers. You know this; I know you do. You know this because you tune into the news, at least every now and then. And so you’ve seen the blood, the bodies, the swat teams, the (...) emotionless shooters in handcuﬀs and under escort, and so on. Now. I also know something else about you: I know you think that it’s morally wrong for students to shoot other students. Well, let’s suppose that you’re absolutely, positively right: let’s suppose that it is morally reprehensible for one student to shoot another. A question still remains: namely, Why not shoot nonetheless? I submit to you that this is a question our culture no longer wants to ask, because it no longer has an answer. I want you to ponder the question in earnest; I know it’s painful, but try it. Here’s the question again, personalized, just to make sure you’ve got it: Imagine that your fellow students have been taunting you a lot, perhaps because you’re not exactly athletic, or not exactly prepossessing; you can pick your own reason for why you’re the target of teasing. So, you’re angry, intensely angry. And you hit upon the idea of getting hold of a shotgun, and of blowing away your tormenters. Let’s suppose that you know it’s morally wrong to pull the trigger, but so what? Why should you be bound by morality? Why should you restrain yourself ? This is a question I’m willing to bet no one has asked you to ponder previously — because it’s a scary question, a very scary question. Maybe you think you have an answer. There are, after all, some standard ones ﬂoating about. For example, here’s one: “You shouldn’t shoot because you’re going to eventually get caught, no matter what, and then your life will eﬀectively be over.. (shrink)
Did Plato really write those Socratic Dialogues – or was it Socrates after all? Why is it doubtful that Descartes ever really uttered, “I think, therefore I am”? And what did Sartre ever have against waiters, anyway? The history of philosophy is filled with great tales – many of them fictions, misrepresentations, falsehoods, lies and fibs. Or are they just misstatements, prevarications, and narratives not entirely based on fact? In the true spirit of a broad philosophical debate, Philosophical Tales dips (...) a toe into the great sea of philosophy to collect, deconstruct, and relate many of history’s great – and not so great – philosophical tales. Enlightening and entertaining, Philosophical Tales examines a few of the fascinating biographical details of history’s greatest philosophers (alas, mostly men) and highlights their contributions to the field. By applying the true philosophical approach to philosophy itself, the text provides us with a refreshing “alternative history” of philosophy. But why should someone want to know that Kant rolled himself three times in his sheets each night before sleeping, that Schopenhauer pushed a poor old lady down the stairs, or Marx spent as much time on beer and women as he did in the British Library? By examining the seeming trivialities of philosophers’ lives – and skewering a few cherished myths along the way – Philosophical Tales provides us with illuminating insights that will encourage a more active, critical way of thinking. Blaise Pascal may have put it best when he said, “To make light of philosophy is to be a true philosopher.”. (shrink)
We investigated the current-voltage I(V) characteristics of GaAs/AlAs double-barrier heterostructures. A fine periodic structure of the resonant tunnel current has been revealed. We attribute it to a sequence of the collective excitations, presumably of the coupled plasmon-phonon type, that are induced in the heavily doped collector region by hot electrons which escape from the quantum well. An oscillatory structure appears also in the valley regions of the I(V) curve under a high magnetic field parallel to the current. It is due (...) to the off-resonance tunnelling between the Landau-quantized states of the emitter and quantum well. Particular phonon-assisted processes in the tunnelling have been identified. (shrink)
In  R.Cowen considers a generalization of the resolution rule for hypergraphs and introduces a notion of satisfiability of families of sets of vertices via 2-colorings piercing elements of such families. He shows, for finite hypergraphs with no one-element edges that if the empty set is a consequence ofA by the resolution rule, thenA is not satisfiable. Alas the converse is true for a restricted class of hypergraphs only, and need not to be true in the general case. In (...) this paper we show that weakening slightly the notion of satisfiability, we get the equivalence of unsatisfiability and the derivability of the empty set for any hypergraph. Moreover, we show the compactness property of hypergraph satisfiability (in the weaker sense) and state its equivalence to BPI, i.e. to the statement that in every Boolean algebra there exists an ultrafilter. (shrink)
Preliminary expectoration -- Alas a dirty third: the logic of death -- Thomas Bernhard's rant -- Following Sebald -- Tickling the corpse: Tom Stoppard's memento mori -- Don Rickles's rant -- Too late, my brothers -- Re: Barth.
Economics presents the paradox of the entropy of the law of diminishing returns and infinity of the substitution effect. Resolution assumes the substitution effect is greater than diminishing returns. Technology presupposing entropy, introduced is a new paradox of entropic technology generating infinite growth. Resolution assumes serial substitution of technologies, generating an infinite continuum. Physics and economics contest mechanic entropy and organic growth conceptions. A mechanic conception resolves set disjunctives exclusively, every set disjoined from a contiguous set, constituting entropy. An organic (...) conception resolves set disjunctives inclusively, every set conjoined with a contiguous set, constituting growth. Causally each instance of something decreases the preexistent set of all possible instances by one, dying. Functionally each instance of something increases the postexistent set of all possible instances by one, living. Economists have the advantage here. Endlessly divisible, substance is something constituted of nothing, ungoverned by the law of conservation of energy. Physicists implicitly concede this assuming substance emerges from a Big Bang. Alas lunch is not free. Product of an economic growth equation being endless and non-repetitive, calculation is irrational, rendering growth economics irrelevant. Calculation requires marginal analysis, sequences initiating anywhere within a set governed by conservation of energy and entropy converging in parallel upon a common limit, “the unseen hand.” Energy conserved, however, economic growth is bounded. (shrink)