Group process methods for problem solving and planning are now widely used in organizations in the United States. Such methods, which involve active participation by employees, are not often used in Russia. We believe these methods would help Russia move from a centrally planned, authoritarian style of management to a more participatory, information-sharing style of management. Accordingly, two training sessions were held with faculty members at universities in Irkutsk and Novosibirsk. This article describes how these meetings were arranged, the results (...) of the planning activities, and the implications of participatory methods of decision making for organizations in Russia and in other transitional economies. (shrink)
Scientific models invariably involve some degree of idealization, abstraction, or fictionalization of their target system. Nonetheless, I argue that there are circumstances under which such false models can offer genuine scientific explanations. After reviewing three different proposals in the literature for how models can explain, I shall introduce a more general account of what I call model explanations , which specify the conditions under which models can be counted as explanatory. I shall illustrate this new framework by applying it to (...) the case of Bohr’s model of the atom, and conclude by drawing some distinctions between phenomenological models, explanatory models, and fictional models. (shrink)
: An examination of two thought experiments in contemporary physics reveals that the same thought experiment can be reanalyzed from the perspective of different and incompatible theories. This fact undermines those accounts of thought experiments that claim their justificatory power comes from their ability to reveal the laws of nature. While thought experiments do play a genuine evaluative role in science, they do so by testing the nonempirical virtues of a theory, such as consistency and explanatory power. I conclude that, (...) while their interpretation presupposes a whole set of background theories and putative laws, thought experiments nonetheless can evolve and be retooled for different theories and ends. (shrink)
This article is a textual analysis of messages and themes in "Calvin and Hobbes," a comic strip nationally syndicated from 1985 to 1995. The article examines the content found in "Calvin and Hobbes" to determine underlying messages concerning ethics and values. Specifically, the messages are analyzed to determine under which category of metaethics-deontological, teleological, and virtue-they fall.
This paper describes a long-standing, though little-known, debate between Paul Dirac and Werner Heisenberg over the nature of scientific methodology, theory change, and intertheoretic relations. Following Heisenberg’s terminology, their disagreements can be summarized as a debate over whether the classical and quantum theories are “open” or “closed.” A close examination of this debate sheds new light on the philosophical views of two of the great founders of quantum theory.
: Although Dirac rarely participated in the interpretational debates over quantum theory, it is traditionally assumed that his views were aligned with Heisenberg and Bohr in the so-called Copenhagen-Göttingen camp. However, an unpublished—and apparently unknown—lecture of Dirac's reveals that this view is mistaken; in the famous debate between Einstein and Bohr, Dirac sided with Einstein. Surprisingly, Dirac believed that quantum mechanics was not complete, that the uncertainty principle would not survive in the future physics, and that a deterministic description of (...) the microworld would be recovered. In this paper I show how we can make sense of this unpublished lecture in the context of Dirac's broader philosophy of quantum mechanics, and how our present understanding of Dirac's philosophical views must be revised. (shrink)
: C.M. Concepcion's review of "Pornography: An Uncivil Liberty?" (Carse 1995) fundamentally misconstrues the position defended in that article. This paper examines possible sources of this misconstrual, focusing critical attention on the narrowly crafted, morally loaded notion of "pornography" that figures centrally in the original argument under review. Pornography is not a category of speech that can be characterized as having one crucial meaning or message, nor is the message of pornography easily identifiable in instances of pornographic speech. This raises (...) the problem of interpretive privilege, which haunts many of the antipornography arguments being offered in the contemporary debate, including the author's own earlier argument. (shrink)
Morally contoured empathy is a form of reasonable partiality essential to the healthy care of dependents. It is critical as an epistemic aid in determining proper moral responsiveness; it is also, within certain richly normative roles and relationships, itself a crucial constitutive mode of moral connection. Yet the achievement of empathy is no easy feat. Patterns of incuriosity imperil connection, impeding empathic engagement; inappropriate empathic engagement, on the other hand, can result in self-effacement. Impartial moral principles and constraints (...) offer at best meager protection against these perils, and hence serve poorly in securing morally contoured empathy. More nuanced and practical guidance should be sought in normatively substantive conceptions of our roles and relationships and their defining moral stakes. These, joined with more abstract moral tools, can facilitate rich, narratively textured interpretations of moralitys demands. While the content of our normative conceptions must be continually debated, engaging in this debate is vital to the achievement of proper empathy, and thus to effective, respectful, morally healthy care of dependents. (shrink)
Pornographic speech harms women by playing a key role in sustaining the social conditions through which women's liberty and equality are undercut. Though there is a principled moral and constitutional basis for pursuing a legal strategy in fighting pornography, we should not overestimate the effectiveness of the law or underestimate its potential dangers. The struggle against pornography must be waged through education, expressive exploration, and protest, not through the law.
Niels Bohr’s “correspondence principle” is typically believed to be the requirement that in the limit of large quantum numbers (n→∞) there is a statistical agreement between the quantum and classical frequencies. A closer reading of Bohr’s writings on the correspondence principle, however, reveals that this interpretation is mistaken. Specifically, Bohr makes the following three puzzling claims: First, he claims that the correspondence principle applies to small quantum numbers as well as large (while the statistical agreement of frequencies is only for (...) large n); second, he claims that the correspondence principle is a law of quantum theory; and third, Bohr argues that formal apparatus of matrix mechanics (the new quantum theory) can be thought of as a precise formulation of the correspondence principle. With further textual evidence, I offer an alternative interpretation of the correspondence principle in terms of what I call Bohr’s selection rule. I conclude by showing how this new interpretation of the correspondence principle readily makes sense of Bohr’s three puzzling claims. (shrink)
At the center of quantum chaos research is a particular family of models known as quantum maps. These maps illustrate an important “horizontal” dimension to model construction that has been overlooked in the literature on models. Three ways in which quantum maps are being used to clarify the relationship between classical and quantum mechanics are examined. This study suggests that horizontal models may provide a new and fruitful framework for exploring intertheoretic relations.
In semiclassical mechanics one finds explanations of quantum phenomena that appeal to classical structures. These explanations are prima facie problematic insofar as the classical structures they appeal to do not exist. Here I defend the view that fictional structures can be genuinely explanatory by introducing a model-based account of scientific explanation. Applying this framework to the semiclassical phenomenon of wavefunction scarring, I argue that not only can the fictional classical trajectories explain certain aspects of this quantum phenomenon, but also that (...) an explanation that does not make reference to these classical structures is, in a certain sense, deficient. Introduction The Case of Wavefunction Scarring Model Explanations, or How Fictional Structures Can Explain Putting Understanding Back into Explanation CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
: The feminist ethic of care has often been criticized for its inability to address four problems--the problem of exploitation as it threatens care givers, the problem of sustaining care-giver integrity, the dangers of conceiving the mother-child dyad normatively as a paradigm for human relationships, and the problem of securing social justice on a broad scale among relative strangers. We argue that there are resources within the ethic of care for addressing each of these problems, and we sketch strategies for (...) developing the ethic more fully. (shrink)
This article addresses the question whether supertasks are possible within the context of non-relativistic quantum mechanics. The supertask under consideration consists of performing an infinite number of quantum mechanical measurements in a finite amount of time. Recent arguments in the physics literature claim to show that continuous measurements, understood as N discrete measurements in the limit where N goes to infinity, are impossible. I show that there are certain kinds of measurements in quantum mechanics for which these arguments break down. (...) This suggests that there is a new context in which quantum mechanics, in principle, permits the performance of a supertask. (shrink)
This essay critically assesses two strategies of accommodation used by defenders of impartialism in ethics to argue that the care orientation represents no genuine challenge to impartialist theoretical paradigms. One strategy focuses on impartiality as a constraint on moral deliberation, the other as a constraint on moral justification. While highlighting respects in which the commitment to impartiality is more consonant with the care orientation than many advocates of care have acknowledged, this essay attempts to clarify crucial ways in which each (...) accommodationist strategy falls, thus locating some of the more important contributions and challenges the care orientation offers to moral theory. (shrink)
This paper examines the ‘justice’ and ‘care’ orientations in ethical theory as characterized in Carol Gilligan's research on moral development and the philosophical work it has inspired. Focus is placed on challenges to the justice orientation – in particular, to the construal of impartiality as the mark of the moral point of view, to the conception of moral judgment as essentially principle-driven and dispassionate, and to models of moral responsibility emphasizing norms of formal equality and reciprocity. Suggestions are made about (...) the implications of these challenges, and of the care orientation in ethics, for the ethical theory taught, the issues addressed, and the skills and sensitivities encouraged through bioethical education. Keywords: bioethical education, ethics of care, impartiality, moral judgment, moral psychology CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
There is a growing recognition that fictions have a number of legitimate functions in science, even when it comes to scientific explanation. However, the question then arises, what distinguishes an explanatory fiction from a nonexplanatory one? Here I examine two cases—one in which there is a consensus in the scientific community that the fiction is explanatory and another in which the fiction is not explanatory. I shall show how my account of “model explanations” is able to explain this asymmetry, and (...) argue that realism—of a more subtle form—does have a role in distinguishing explanatory from non- explanatory fictions. (shrink)
: I argue that Alisa Carse's call for antipornography legislation sets a potentially dangerous legal move that could threaten to shut off the dialogue women need to redefine the meanings and terms of our sexualities. I also argue that the terms of legitimacy need to be re-examined outside a legal system that systematically fails to protect the rights of sexual minorities.
Classical mechanics and quantum mechanics are two of the most successful scientific theories ever discovered, and yet how they can describe the same world is far from clear: one theory is deterministic, the other indeterministic; one theory describes a world in which chaos is pervasive, the other a world in which chaos is absent. Focusing on the exciting field of 'quantum chaos', this book reveals that there is a subtle and complex relation between classical and quantum mechanics. It challenges the (...) received view that classical and quantum mechanics are incommensurable, and revives another, largely forgotten tradition due to Niels Bohr and Paul Dirac. By artfully weaving together considerations from the history of science, philosophy of science, and contemporary physics, this book offers a new way of thinking about intertheory relations and scientific explanation. It will be of particular interest to historians and philosophers of science, philosophically-inclined physicists, and interested non-specialists. (shrink)
We introduce what we call the Emergent Model of forgiving, which is a process-based relational model conceptualizing forgiving as moral and normative repair in the wake of grave wrongs. In cases of grave wrongs, which shatter the victim’s life, the Classical Model of transactional forgiveness falls short of illuminating how genuine forgiveness can be achieved. In a climate of persistent threat and distrust, expressions of remorse, rituals and gestures of apology, and acts of reparation are unable to secure the moral (...) confidence and trust required for moral repair, much less for forgiveness. Without the rudiments of a shared moral world — a world in which, at the very least, the survivor’s violation can be collectively recognized as a violation, and her moral status and authority collectively acknowledged and respected — expressions of remorse, gestures and rituals of apology, or promises of compensation have no authority as meaningful communicative acts with reparative significance. Accordingly, we argue that repair in the wake of traumatic violence involves ‘world-building,’ which supports the ability of survivors to move from despair to hope, from radical and disabling distrust to trust and engagement, and thus from impotence to effective agency. Our Emergent Model treats forgiveness as a slowly developing outcome of a series of changes in a person’s relationship to the trauma and its aftermath, in which moral agency is regained. We argue that forgiveness after grave wrongs and world-shattering harm, when it occurs, emerges from other phenomena, such as cohabitation within a community, gestures of reconciliation, working on shared projects, the developing of trust. On this view, forgiveness is an emergent phenomenon; it entails taking and exercising normative power—coming to claim one’s own moral authority in relation to oneself, one’s assailant, and one’s community. The processes that ultimately constitute forgiving are part and parcel of normative repair more broadly construed. (shrink)