This paper reports a computer program to generate novel designs for the arrangement of furniture within a simulated room. It is based on the engagement-reflection computer model of the creative processes. During engagement the system generates material in the form of sequences of actions (e.g. change the colours of the walls, include some furniture in the room, modify their colour, and so on) guided by content and knowledge constraints. During reflection, the system evaluates the composition produced so far and, if (...) it is necessary, modifies it. We discuss the implementation of the system and some of its most salient features, especially the use of a computational model for creativity in the terrain of design. We argue that this kind of model opens new possibilities for the simulation of the design processes as well as the development of tools. (shrink)
Action Schemes: Questions and Suggestions Content Type Journal Article Pages 83-88 DOI 10.1007/s13347-010-0007-2 Authors Evan Selinger, Department of Philosophy, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY USA Jesús Aguilar, Department of Philosophy, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY USA Kyle Powys Whyte, Department of Philosophy, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI USA Journal Philosophy & Technology Online ISSN 2210-5441 Print ISSN 2210-5433 Journal Volume Volume 24 Journal Issue Volume 24, Number 1.
Managers often ask why their firm should have an ethics program, especially if no one has complained about unethical behavior. The pursuit of business ethics can cost money, they say. It can lose sales to less scrupulous competitors and can drain management time and energy. But as Harvard business professor Francis Aguilar points out, ethics scandals (such as over Beech-Nut's erzatz "apple juice" or Sears's padded car repair bills) can severely damage a firm, with punishing legal penalties, bad publicity, (...) and irreparably injured customer relations. Equally important if less obvious, unethical behavior can undermine a firm's organizational spirit. On the other hand, Aguilar argues, in a well run firm, ethical programs can actually enhance corporate performance, strengthening the company at every level and supercharging employee risk taking and innovation. In Managing Corporate Ethics, Aguilar shows managers how to create ethical programs within their organizations that not only discourage large-scale wrongdoing, but can contribute substantially to the achievement of corporate excellence. Aguilar's program is down-to-earth and comprehensive, and based on his extensive research on highly successful, ethical companies, both large and small. He recommends action on three fronts: first, get senior management to provide effective ethical leadership; second, set up an ethics program that promotes concern for the interests of people affected by the firm's operations and that provides safeguards against corrupting business pressures; and third, staff the company with ethical people and surround the organization with ethical advisors (including legal, financial, accounting, tax, and marketing consultants). To illuminate this three-step program, Aguilar incorporates the lessons learned in his in-depth study of ten prominent firms with proven successful ethics programs--among them Hewlett-Packard, Johnson & Johnson, Nucor Steel, Cray Research, ServiceMaster, and Texas Instruments. He examines Lincoln Electric's attention to compensation and job security to ensure quality products and to reduce the pressure or temptation to act unethically. He shows how General Mills, while pushing product line managers to compete aggressively, uses corporate staff units to guard against illegal or unacceptable claims (testing cake recipes, for example, to see if a product's quality fails under the less-than-perfect conditions of a normal kitchen). And he details how Armstrong World Industries uses pep talks, inspirational stories, role models, and ready access to management to promote ethical standards among employees. Throughout, Aguilar demonstrates convincingly that an ethical program pays dividends: that employees, suppliers, customers, and the community at large know when they are being treated in a positive and constructive manner, and are likely to respond in kind. Packed with real life examples of successful (and failed) ethical programs, Managing Corporate Ethics is a valuable roadmap to an often overlooked source of business success. (shrink)
On the Causal Theory of Action (CTA), internal proper parts of an agent such as desires and intentions are causally responsible for actions. CTA has increasingly come under attack for its alleged failure to account for agency. A recent version of this criticism due to François Schroeter proposes that CTA cannot provide an adequate account of either the executive control or the autonomous control involved in full-fledged agency. Schroeter offers as an alternative a revised understanding of the proper role of (...) consciousness in agency. In this paper we criticize Schroeter’s analysis of the type of consciousness involved in executive control and examine the way in which the conscious self allegedly intervenes in action. We argue that Schroeter’s proposal should not be preferred over recent versions of CTA. (shrink)
The main objective of this thesis is to defend an account of the control that agents possess over their actions from the perspective of the causal theory of action, that is, a theory that sees actions as events caused by internal states of their agents. The explanatory strategy that is employed for this purpose consists in addressing three interdependent and fundamental problems concerning the possibility of this type of control. The first problem arises from the possibility of controlling an action (...) that is itself transitively caused by previous events. The answer given to this problem is grounded on a careful description of basic actions and on an identification of the internal states that function as the sources of control. The second problem emerges from a variety of causal deviance, namely, a conceptually possible scenario that satisfies the requirements for a bodily movement to be under the control of its agent without this movement being intuitively under the control of its agent. The answer given to this problem comes from the examination of the sources of the intuitions associated with causal deviance and from the recognition of the causal contribution of epistemic features present in the antecedents of an action. The third problem results from the possibility of producing an action that can only be partially controlled. This is problematic if one accepts that producing an action entails controlling it, as is suggested in this thesis. The reply given to this problem adapts an intention-based account of action guidance to the needs of an account of degrees of control, while remaining compatible with the proposal that producing an action is sufficient to control it. (shrink)
Research misconduct has been thoroughly discussed in the literature, but mainly in terms of definitions and prescriptions for proper conduct. Even when case studies are cited, they are generally used as a repository of “lessons learned.” What has been lacking from this conversation is how the lessons of responsible conduct of research are imparted in the first place to graduate students, especially those in technical fields such as engineering. Nor has there been much conversation about who is responsible for what (...) in training students in Responsible Conduct of Research or in allocating blame in cases of misconduct. This paper explores three seemingly disparate cases of misconduct—the 2004 plagiarism scandal at Ohio University; the famous Robert Millikan article of 1913, in which his reported data selection did not match his notebooks; and the 1990 fabrication scandal in Dr. Leroy Hood’s research lab. Comparing these cases provides a way to look at the relationship between the graduate student (or trainee) and his/her advisor (a relationship that has been shown to be the most influential one for the student) as well as at possibly differential treatment for established researchers and researchers-in-training, in cases of misconduct. This paper reflects on the rights and responsibilities of research advisers and their students and offers suggestions for clarifying both those responsibilities and the particularly murky areas of research-conduct guidelines. (shrink)
From the Hippocratic Oath on, deontological codes and other professional self-regulation mechanisms have been used to legitimize and identify professional groups. New technological challenges and, above all, changes in the socioeconomic environment require adaptable codes which can respond to new demands. We assume that ethical codes for professionals should not simply focus on regulative functions, but must also consider ideological and educative functions. Any adaptations should take into account both contents (values, norms and recommendations) and the drafting process itself.
The activism of institutional investors tends more and more toward the supervision and control of the behavior of the managers of big companies. In this article, we present a model based on the creation of an activism index that lets us evaluate such activism’s effect on the sensitivity of the investment policies of a company in the face of financial variables (such as cash flow and liquidity ratio) and market variables (ownership concentration and value creation index). To test our assertions, (...) we analyze firm-level data for United Kingdom (U.K.), Germany, France, Denmark, and Spain during the period 1995–2004. Our results point to a significant reduction in the sensitivity of company investment decisions in the face of these variables, especially relative to intangible capital, as a result of the neutralizing effect of activism on the high agency costs of free cash flow and on the information asymmetries of the market. (shrink)
From the Hippocratic Oath on, deontological codes and other professional self-regulation mechanisms have been used to legitimize and identify professional groups. New technological challenges and, above all, changes in the socioeconomic environment require adaptable codes which can respond to new demands.We assume that ethical codes for professionals should not simply focus on regulative functions, but must also consider ideological and educative functions. Any adaptations should take into account both contents (values, norms and recommendations) and the drafting process itself.In this article (...) we propose a process for developing a professional ethical code for an official professional association (Colegio Oficial de Ingenieros Industriales de Valencia (COIIV) starting from the philosophical assumptions of discursive ethics but adapting them to critical hermeneutics.Our proposal is based on the Integrity Approach rather than the Compliance Approach. A process aiming to achieve an effective ethical document that fulfils regulative and ideological functions requires a participative, dialogical and reflexive methodology. This process must respond to moral exigencies and demands for efficiency and professional effectiveness.In addition to the methodological proposal we present our experience of producing an ethical code for the industrial engineers’ association in Valencia (Spain) where this methodology was applied, and we evaluate the detected problems and future potential. (shrink)
We investigate the possibility of inducing the cosmological constant from extra dimensions by embedding our four-dimensional Riemannian space-time into a five-dimensional Weyl integrable space. Following the approach of the space-time-matter theory we show that when we go down from five to four dimensions, the Weyl field may contribute both to the induced energy-tensor as well as to the cosmological constant Λ, or more generally, it may generate a time-dependent cosmological parameter Λ(t). As an application, we construct a simple cosmological model (...) in which Λ(t) has some interesting properties. (shrink)
This paper analyzes the precautionary principle in the discussion about the ethical status of the human embryo. In this debate, some argue that the mere probability that a human person is involved justifies the duty to refrain from harming to the human embryo; from another point of view, the respect for life and human dignity decreases if the human embryo is not respected; finally, the philosophers Hans Jonas and Jürgen Habermas have proposed the existence of responsibility towards the human life (...) beginning because it is “inviolable” and “unavailable”. (shrink)
Putting migrant remittances into house construction and rebuilding is generally seen as either conspicuous consumption or productive investment, but in both cases the perspective is economistic. This article argues that only when the cultural dimension of economic action is understood will it be possible to comprehend migrant spending on houses. Specifically, this article seeks to understand why, in the case of the rural Tagalog village in this study, located in upland Batangas Province in the Philippines, overseas labour migrants build houses (...) that they do not even live in, but are given to parents or simply left unoccupied. The explanation is framed in relation to the meanings of houses in a culture of bilateral kinship, which the Philippines shares with most parts of Southeast Asia, but inflected by distinct colonial influences. The article demonstrates the ways in which houses as memorials serve as idioms of ties of relatedness within kin groups and the broader community, ties that are being transformed by global migration and experienced differently yet maintained, renegotiated yet sustained transnationally. (shrink)
The paper discusses some recent suggestions offered by the so-called sensorimotor (or enactivist) theorists as to the problem of the explanatory gap, that is, the alleged impossibility of accounting for phenomenal consciousness in any scientific theory. We argue in the paper that, although some enactivist theorists’ suggestions appear fresh and eye-opening, the claim that the explanatory gap is (dis)solved is much overstated.
New Waves in Philosophy, a book collection that stands out for giving a snapshot of research in all areas of philosophy is a successful editorial project addressed by Vincent F. Hendricks and Duncan Pritchard. New Waves in Philosophy of Action is one of its last titles, edited by Jesús H. Aguilar, Andrei A. Buckareff and Keith Frankish. -/- The book is aimed at the researchers of all fields and readers in general interested in this sub-discipline of philosophy very difficult (...) to localize (is it part of a sub-discipline such as metaphysics or maybe part of the philosophy of mind?). What is and how can we know the nature of intentions and its role in action? (shrink)
Drawing upon Bernard Stiegler’s and Jacques Rancière’s conceptions of medium as a milieu this article seeks to address the question of the political aspects of the aesthetic in relation to the notion of medium. Based on the analysis of this theoretical question the article interprets and discusses artistic endeavors to re-appropriate and reconfigure conservative symbolic orders and media milieus that have become dissociated in relation to works of art by Alfredo Jaar and Thomas Hirschhorn.
The article analyses the relatively meager response of artists to the ‘war on terror’ compared to the response of American artists to the war in Vietnam, where artists organized both exhibitions and protests against the war in South East Asia in the late 1960s. This of course has to do with the transformations going in contemporary art and the broader political context characterized by the hegemony of neo-liberalism. The article juxtaposes an installation by the Retort collective with an installation by (...)Alfredo Jaar, analyzing two different ways of confronting the image war of the capitalist state machine with either a heave-handed use of art or a negative representation. (shrink)