The theme of the third annual Spring workshop of the HUPO-PSI was proteomics and beyond and its underlying goal was to reach beyond the boundaries of the proteomics community to interact with groups working on the similar issues of developing interchange standards and minimal reporting requirements. Significant developments in many of the HUPO-PSI XML interchange formats, minimal reporting requirements and accompanying controlled vocabularies were reported, with many of these now feeding into the broader efforts of the Functional Genomics Experiment (FuGE) (...) data model and Functional Genomics Ontology (FuGO) ontologies. (shrink)
College students implicitly judge interracial sex and gay sex to be morally wrong Some moral intuitions arise from psychological processes that are not fully accessible to consciousness. For instance, most people disapprove of consensual adult incest between siblings, but are unable to articulate why—they just feel that it is wrong (Haidt, 2001). More generally, there is evidence for at least two sources of moral judgment: explicit conscious reasoning and tacit intuitions, which are motivated by emotional responses (Greene et al., 2001) (...) and learned associations (Greenwald & Banaji, 1995). (shrink)
Philosophers promoting a version ofUniversal Self Consciousness mysticism(including Wainwright, Alston, Hick, Wilber andForman) take it that their interpretations ofmysticism are consistent with currentscientific findings. However, their theorieshave been implicitly or explicitly against thecentral claim arising from science, namely, thephysical causal completeness principle. Thereis strong ground to accept physical causalcompleteness for human functioning, and theassessment of physical completeness isindependent of the phenomenology of UniversalSelf Consciousness mystical experience.Further, there is a positive account ofUniversal Self Consciousness mysticism thataccepts physical causal completeness. Such anaccount (...) is preferable to the many accounts thatboth require its denial and yet give nobasically satisfactory evidence to ground thatdenial. (shrink)
In this paper, I review the primary arguments for the traditional position that holds emotions as antagonistic to moral judgments. I argue that this position is untenable given the information about emotions and emotional processes that has emerged in the psychological literature of recent years. I then offer a theoret- ical model of emotive moral judgment that takes a closer look at how emotions, specifically empathy, play an integral role in the process of moral judgment. I argue that emotions should (...) not be dismissed as irrelevant or harmful to moral evaluations, but that affect can actually aid moral deliberations. The emphasis here will be on moral judgments (i.e., judgments concerning the rightness or wrongness of situations, actions, or individuals); I will not deal directly with the otherwise important issue of the role of emotions in moral behavior. The em- phasis will also be on empathy, as it seems to be the most prototypical moral emotion and is certainly the most widely discussed. (shrink)
Recently there has been an outpouring of consumer frustration over rising food and energy prices. Many politicians railed against “speculators” who allegedly drove up the prices of key necessities. Is speculation unethical? This article reviews the traditional arguments against speculation. Many of the standard criticisms confuse speculation with gambling. In much the same way as ethicists now draw distinctions between usury and normal business interest, we draw a distinction between socially useful speculation and gambling. Gambling involves taking on risk with (...) no plausible expectation of making a profit. Gambling may provide entertainment value to some people, but like other addictive activities causes grave harm to a subset of users. Speculation involves taking on a business risk with a plausible expectation that a profit will result. Speculators provide an important risk bearing service by taking on risks that others do not want. They help markets to function better by helping to incorporate information into prices as well as providing liquidity. Speculators may actually reduce shortages by causing quicker price increases that motivate producers to increase production and consumers to conserve. But even socially useful speculation may have an ethical dark side. Does such speculation cause damage by adding excess volatility to prices? Speculators may contribute to price bubbles. At what point does legitimate speculation become odious “price gouging?” We also draw an ethical distinction between speculation, which seeks to benefit from changing prices, and manipulation, actions taken to push prices away from their economically appropriate levels. (shrink)
First, some say that core physicalism is not anti-religion. I argue that this seems to be incorrect. Physical completeness is a core element of contemporary physicalism; (the evidence for physical completeness is strong); and physical completeness both logically and not strictly logically rejects many central religious views. Consequently, there is a sense in which core physicalism is, in an important way, anti-religion. Second, physical completeness positively supports one significant religious view; and physical completeness permits one to hold two others. The (...) view that physical completeness supports states that there is no natural grounding of the ordinarily taken boundary of the human body. The two views that physical completeness permits one to hold state that a person can be contrastlessly blissful in an ongoing way, and that a person can experience something like light circulating through the ordinary body in an ongoing way. It is further maintained that physicalism allows religious systems to develop in new forms. (shrink)
The controversy over short selling has continued unabated from the introduction of modern equity trading in Amsterdam in 1610 to the present day. Nevertheless, the business ethics literature has not really addressed short selling. Short sellers not only profit from the misery of others, they also create it through their selling activities. However, they also provide a socially useful service by making prices better reflect true values, protecting other investors from purchasing overpriced securities. Short sellers can also help to provide (...) liquidity in the markets. Recently, there has been a hue and cry against so called "naked" short selling, which involves not delivering the shares that have been sold. This gives manipulators a tool for depressing stock prices and deprives purchasers of voting rights and potential stock lending revenue. Naked short selling creates ethical issues for short sellers, buyers, brokers, market makers, and regulators. Is it ethical to exploit a legal loophole that permits sellers to sell stock and delay delivering shares indefinitely? (shrink)
Two studies demonstrate that a dispositional proneness to disgust (“disgust sensitivity”) is associated with intuitive disapproval of gay people. Study 1 was based on previous research showing that people are more likely to describe a behavior as intentional when they see it as morally wrong (see Knobe, 2006, for a review). As predicted, the more disgust sensitive participants were, the more likely they were to describe an agent whose behavior had the side effect of causing gay men to kiss in (...) public as having intentionally encouraged gay men to kiss publicly— even though most participants did not explicitly think it wrong to encourage gay men to kiss in public. No such effect occurred when subjects were asked about heterosexual kissing. Study 2 used the Implicit Association Test (IAT; Nosek, Banaji, & Greenwald, 2006) as a dependent measure. The more disgust sensitive participants were, the more they showed.. (shrink)
This paper examines the ethics of contemporary managerial compensation in the context of executive stock options. Economic considerations would dictate that executive stock options should be adjusted to eliminate the effect of overall stock market movements which are beyond the control of the executive. However, in practice, most executive stock options are not adjusted to control for these outside factors. Agency considerations are the most likely culprit. Adjusting for the influence of outside factors, such as a generally rising stock market, (...) from executive stock options sets a higher bar for managers to reach. Furthermore, traditional accounting standards permitted firms that did not adjust options to avoid reporting options as expenses. This presents CEOs and boards of directors with a major ethical dilemma. On the one hand, their duty to their shareholders and stakeholders dictates that executive stock options should be adjusted to eliminate outside noise from unrelated movements in the overall stock market. However, financial statements are presented in the language of accounting. If the overwhelming majority of the users of a language define a particular item in one way, then to deviate from the norm implies that the recipient of such a deviant statement may not properly interpret the statement. Likewise, if the standard practice is for firms to use unadjusted options and thus under-report expenses, to deviate from this industry norm risks that users of financial statements would not properly interpret the financial statements, with perhaps negative consequences for the shareholders. In short, if "everyone else does it," then it could be wrong for an individual firm to deviate from the norm as that would harm the shareholders. (shrink)
This paper suggests that an ontologically reductionist view of nature which also accepts the completeness of causality at the level of physics can support (1) the blissful transfiguration of the moral, (2) mystical release from standard ego-identification, and (3) psycho-physical transformation cultivated through meditative practice. This mystical naturalism provides the basis for a thicker, more vigorous institutional religious life, including religious life centred around meditation practices, personalist meanings, and the theology of incarnation, than current proposals for strongly naturalist religions allow.
Sunstein's review of research on moral heuristics is rich and informative – even without his central claim that individuals often commit moral errors. We question the value of positing such a normative moral framework for the study of moral judgment. We also propose an alternative standard for evaluating moral judgments – that of subjective rationality.
A model of a new version of Zeno's arrow paradox is presented in a plausible extension of Newtonian collision mechanics. In exploring various avenues for resolution of the paradox, it becomes evident that a prerelativistic classical physical topology which is locally deterministic can mechanically generate nonclassical ontological properties such as the appearance of a particle in many places at once. It can also mimic some properties of quantum physics, including unprepared spatially-separated correlations. 1 Zeno's arrow paradox 2 Newtonian collision mechanics (...) and extensions of it 3 Our initial condition (IC) 4 Demonstrating the model paradox 5 Resolving the paradox 6 Unprepared correlations in spatially-separated events 7 Lessons. (shrink)
A model of Zeno's dichotomy paradox is presented in Newtonian collision mechanics. One of several resolutions of the paradox illustrates the point that even in Newtonian ontology there is a spacetime weave. In a Newtonian system in which the base rules permit only spatial contact interactions, we find the mechanical emergence of action-at-a-distance effects.
Faith in reason, reason in faith -- The nature of God, the God of nature -- Torah from heaven -- Divine providence -- The oral Torah and rabbinic tradition -- Religion and superstition -- Israel and humanity -- Conversion to Judaism -- Eternal Torah, changing times -- Faith and reason.
Dominant theories of moral blame require an individual to have caused or intended harm. However, across four studies we demonstrate cases where no harm is caused or intended, yet individuals are nonetheless deemed worthy of blame. Specifically, individuals are judged to be blameworthy when they engage in actions that enable them to benefit from another’s misfortune (for example, betting that a company’s stock will decline or that a natural disaster will occur). We present evidence suggesting that perceptions of the actor’s (...) wicked desires are responsible for this phenomenon. We argue that these results are consistent with a growing literature demonstrating that moral judgments are often the product of evaluations of character in addition to evaluations of acts. (shrink)
Extension of the system that includes the key substrates for sensation, perception, emotion, volition, and cognition, and all representational sources for cognition, supports the view that there is an extended mind and an extended body. These intellectual views can be made practical in a humanist system based on extensions and in religious systems based on extensions. Independently, there is also an institutional extension of secularism. Hence, I maintain, there are five principal forms of extension.
LA Universal Self reports his phenomenology, according to which, as he puts it, ‘I am the universe’. The Interviewer challenges the report in a variety of ways, and LA Universal Self responds to each challenge. A traditional Universal Self mysticism is given a new physicalist interpretation.
Religious thought often assumes that the principle of physical causal completeness (PCC) is false. But those who explicitly deny or doubt PCC, including William Alston, W. D. Hart, Tim Crane, Paul Moser and David Yandell, Charles Taliaferro, Keith Yandell, Dallas Willard, William Vallicella, Frank Dilley, and, recently, David Chalmers, have ignored not only the explicit but also the implicit grounds for acceptance of PCC. I review the explicit grounds, and extend the hitherto implicit grounds, which together constitute a greater challenge (...) to contemporary religious philosophy than has been realized. Religious philosophers need to find a better way around PCC than has been found, or, if PCC is unavoidable, religious philosophers need to work toward a worldview that both accepts PCC and defends strong forms of religious experience. (shrink)
Recent concern over “high frequency trading” (HFT) has called into question the fairness of the practice. What does it mean for a financial market to be “fair”? We first examine how high frequency trading is actually used. High frequency traders often implement traditional beneficial strategies such as market making and arbitrage, although computers can also be used for manipulative strategies as well. We then examine different notions of fairness. Procedural fairness can be viewed from the perspective of equal opportunity, in (...) which all market participants are treated alike. The same rules apply to HFT as to other traders. Another approach to fairness is in the equality of outcomes. Many HFT strategies are beneficial to other market participants, so one cannot categorically denounce the practice as unfair. Other strategies, for both high and low frequency trading, are not. It is thus important to distinguish between the technology and the use of the technology to make judgments on fairness. (shrink)
can prevent non-contact interactions in Newtonian collision mechanics. The proposal is weakened by the apparent arbitrariness of what will be shown as the requirement of only an odd number of sets of some ex nihilo-created self-exciting particles. There is, however, an initial condition such that, without the ex nihilo self-exciting particles, either there is a contradictory outcome, or there is a non-contact configuration law, or there are odds versus evens indeterminacies. With the various odds versus evens arbitrarinesses and other such (...) difficulties, there seems to be an ontological unsatisfactoriness in the speed-unbounded Newtonian collision system. Introduction Taking self-excitations very seriously A problematic initial condition Another alternative. (shrink)
What are the ethical obligations of the sellers of financial products to their customers? Stockbrokers in the U.S. have a legal and ethical requirement to recommend only “suitable” investments to their customers. This is a fairly weak standard. Currently, there are proposals to raise the standard to a fiduciary one in which the recommendations would have to be in the best interests of the clients. Brokers sell solutions to financial problems. Similar to an auto mechanic or a doctor, the product (...) often consists of both the professional advice and its implementation. There are numerous conflicts of interest between brokerage firms and their customers in that the products that pay the highest commissions may not be the best ones for the customers. The societal perspective adds complications, however. Society depends on modern financial markets to raise capital for productive enterprises and to spread risk. Issuers of financial products need distribution channels for their products just like the producers of any other products. Commissions create powerful incentives for the distribution channels, but at the same time produce conflicts of interest—a type of ethical pollution. Just as our society tolerates some pollution as a byproduct of other useful activities, it may be useful to tolerate some of these financial conflicts of interest. The nature of the relationship should govern the ethical standard. Those selling advice, regardless of how they label themselves, should adhere to a best-interest fiduciary standard. More limited relationships should be limited to the mandate involved in the relationship. (shrink)
Ego-justifying, group-justifying, and system-justifying motivations contribute to base-rate respect. People tend to neglect (and use) base rates when doing so allows them to draw desired conclusions about matters such as their health, the traits of their in-groups, and the fairness of the social system. Such motivations can moderate whether people rely on the rule-based versus associative strategies identified by Barbey & Sloman (B&S).
Despite the wealth of recent work implicating disgust as an emotion central to human morality, the nature of the causal relationship between disgust and moral judgment remains unclear. We distinguish between three related claims regarding this relationship, and argue that the most interesting claim (that disgust is a moralizing emotion) is the one with the least empirical support.
El autor refiere al contexto de crisis del ‘socialismo real’ y en occidente al ataque conservador al Estado de Bienestar, para afirmar que ha existido un debilitamiento de las posiciones que históricamente lucharon por superar la desigualdad, y también una debilitación de la protección social. Y que a esto se añade un modelo económico que define las estrategias en todo el mundo y que ha provocado un inédito aumento de las desigualdades. Pero pese a este panorama, en el último tiempo (...) habría renacido la discusión en torno a la igualdad. Se focaliza luego el texto en la desigualdad en Chile, siguiendo su historia a partir de las reformas neoliberales y analizando sus expresiones sectoriales, para advertir finalmente que es en esta desigualdad donde reside el verdadero ‘riesgo país’. (shrink)
Este artículo de homenaje a la Profesora Yolanda Ruano se divide en dos partes. En la primera discuto las críticas que ella realizara a mi libro sobre la diosa Fortuna en las que avanzaba su propio análisis de las complejas relaciones entre razón y fortuna en el pensamiento occidental. En la segunda parte, desde el punto de vista del “giro icónico” en humanidades y ciencias sociales, analizo el caso concreto del auge y desaparición de la diosa Fortuna en la iconografía (...) política de la ciudad de Berlín. A lo largo del siglo XIX la diosa Fortuna desaparece de la escena berlinesa y es sustituida por la diosa Niké o Victoria, que popularmente se interpreta como un Ángel de la Victoria. Este es el marco de la infancia de Walter Benjamin, quien más tarde expresará su visión de la historia con un otro ángel completamente distinto, el Angelus Novus de Paul Klee. (shrink)
Franz Rosenzweig : the other side of the West -- Dissimilation -- Hegel taken literally -- Utopia and redemption -- Walter Benjamin : the three models of history -- Metaphors of origin : ideas, names, stars -- The esthetic model -- The angel of history -- Gershem Scholem : the secret history -- The paradoxes of messianism -- Kafka, Freud, and the crisis of tradition -- Language and secularization.