Arrow's Independence of Irrelevant Alternatives (IIA) has been under criticism for decades for not taking account of preference intensities. Computer-simulation results by Aki Lehtinen concerning strategic voting under various voting rules show that this intensity argument does not need to rest on mere intuition. Voters may express intensities by voting strategically, and that this has beneficial aggregate-level consequences: utilitarian efficiency is higher if voters engage in strategic behaviour than if they always vote sincerely. Strategic voting is thus unambiguously beneficial (...) under a utilitarian evaluation of outcomes. What has been considered the main argument for IIA turns out to be one against it. This paper assesses the implications of these results for interpretations of Arrow's theorem and the Gibbard-Satterthwaite theorem in a discussion on the methodological and philosophical arguments concerning preference intensities and IIA. (shrink)
N. Emrah Aydinonat's account of the invisible-hand is analysed. One of the conditions for unintended social consequences is it requires that individuals' intentions are exclusively directed at the individual level. This condition is weakened in order to accommodate cases in which individuals may also aim at consequences at the social level but the model clearly depicts the invisible hand. Lehtinen's model of counterbalancing strategic votes is proposed as an example that satisfies Aydinonat's conditions, if they are modified as suggested.
The most common argument against the use of rational choice models outside economics is that they make unrealistic assumptions about individual behavior. We argue that whether the falsity of assumptions matters in a given model depends on which factors are explanatorily relevant. Since the explanatory factors may vary from application to application, effective criticism of economic model building should be based on model-specific arguments showing how the result really depends on the false assumptions. However, some modeling results in imperialistic applications (...) are relatively robust with respect to unrealistic assumptions. Key Words: unrealistic assumptions economics imperialism rational choice as if robustness. (shrink)
Robert Sugden argues that robustness analysis cannot play an epistemic role in grounding model-world relationships because the procedure is only a matter of comparing models with each other. We posit that this argument is based on a view of models as being surrogate systems in too literal a sense. In contrast, the epistemic importance of robustness analysis is easy to explicate if modelling is viewed as extended cognition, as inference from assumptions to conclusions. Robustness analysis is about assessing the reliability (...) of our extended inferences, and when our confidence in these inferences changes, so does our confidence in the results. Furthermore, we argue that Sugden’s inductive account relies tacitly on robustness considerations. (shrink)
All economic models involve abstractions and idealisations. Economic theory itself does not tell which idealizations are truly fatal or harmful for the result and which are not. This is why much of what is seen as theoretical contribution in economics is constituted by deriving familiar results from different modelling assumptions. If a modelling result is robust with respect to particular modelling assumptions, the empirical falsity of these particular assumptions does not provide grounds for criticizing the result. In this paper we (...) demonstrate how derivational robustness analysis does carry epistemic weight and answer criticism concerning its non-empirical nature and the problematic form of the required independence of the ways of derivation. The epistemic rationale and importance of robustness analysis also challenge some common conceptions of the role of theory in economics. (shrink)
Like other mathematically intensive sciences, economics is becoming increasingly computerized. Despite the extent of the computation, however, there is very little true simulation. Simple computation is a form of theory articulation, whereas true simulation is analogous to an experimental procedure. Successful computation is faithful to an underlying mathematical model, whereas successful simulation directly mimics a process or a system. The computer is seen as a legitimate tool in economics only when traditional analytical solutions cannot be derived, i.e., only as a (...) purely computational aid. We argue that true simulation is seldom practiced because it does not fit the conception of understanding inherent in mainstream economics. According to this conception, understanding is constituted by analytical derivation from a set of fundamental economic axioms. We articulate this conception using the concept of economists' perfect model. Since the deductive links between the assumptions and the consequences are not transparent in ‘bottom‐up’ generative microsimulations, microsimulations cannot correspond to the perfect model and economists do not therefore consider them viable candidates for generating theories that enhance economic understanding. (shrink)
We claim that the process of theoretical model refinement in economics is best characterised as robustness analysis: the systematic examination of the robustness of modelling results with respect to particular modelling assumptions. We argue that this practise has epistemic value by extending William Wimsatt's account of robustness analysis as triangulation via independent means of determination. For economists robustness analysis is a crucial methodological strategy because their models are often based on idealisations and abstractions, and it is usually difficult to tell (...) which idealisations are truly harmful. (shrink)
Political science and economic science . . . make use of the same language, the same mode of abstraction, the same instruments of thought and the same method of reasoning. (Black 1998, 354) Proponents as well as opponents of economics imperialism agree that imperialism is a matter of unification; providing a unified framework for social scientific analysis. Uskali Mäki distinguishes between derivational and ontological unification and argues that the latter should serve as a constraint for the former. We explore whether, (...) in the case of rational-choice political science, self-interested behavior can be seen as a common causal element and solution concepts as the common derivational element, and whether the former constraints the use of the latter. We find that this is not the case. Instead, what is common to economics and rational-choice political science is a set of research heuristics and a focus on institutions with similar structures and forms of organization. (shrink)
This article presents an ethnomethodological respecification of the philosophical problem of the hermeneutics of ancient texts. I analyze an interactional practice, namely, noticing an aspect of the Bible text in Seventh-day Adventist Bible study. I show how noticings are used to make the text “speak” to the participants of the Bible study and discuss how the participants show their orientation to this action in the next turn and how they rely on various cultural resources to make sense of the text. (...) The article shows how the actions of the participants are contextual, cultural and moral in nature. Cultural resources and morality are embedded in the locally produced hermeneutical achievement. I discuss how this analysis can be instructive for philosophical hermeneutics. (shrink)
Many countries are now implementing human papillomavirus vaccination. There is disagreement about who should receive the vaccine. Some propose vaccinating both boys and girls in order to achieve the largest possible public health impact. Others regard this approach as too costly and claim that only girls should be vaccinated. We question the assumption that decisions about human papillomavirus vaccination policy should rely solely on estimates of overall benefits and costs. There are important social justice aspects that also need to be (...) considered. Policy makers should consider how to best protect individuals who will remain unvaccinated through no fault of their own. This is especially important if these individuals are already disadvantaged in other ways and if vaccinating other people increases their risk of infection. (shrink)
Do women conceptualize-understand, know about, and react to-shame differently from the way men do? Does the experience and knowledge of shame have a gender-specificity, and along what lines could it be analyzed? By introducing a distinction between life or enduring experiences, "Erfahrung," and episodic or occurrent experiences, "Erlebnis," and by juxtaposing this distinction with the Rylean notion that knowledge is dispositional this paper argues for the plausibility of a gender-specificity.
Consumer driven and globally competitive financial markets are crucial for the future prosperity of the Finnish society (Laitamäki, Lehti and Paasio 1996). The largest transfer of wealth in history is currently taking place as Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) prepare for their retirement and inherit the assets of the previous generation. Due to cognitive limitations and emotional biases these consumers don’t always make rational decisions with financial services. This conceptual study addresses irrational financial consumer behavior and its impact on the Finnish (...) business and society. The study focuses on two research questions: 1) What type of behavioral finance concepts explain irrational consumer behavior? 2) What are the implications of these behaviors for the Finnish business and society? The purpose of this study is to assist individual consumers, business leaders and policy makers in making better financial services related decisions in Finland. The need for better decisions has been illustrated during Finnish and international financial crises including the US sub-prime loan turmoil in 2008. (shrink)
It is argued in this paper that amalgamating confirmation from various sources is relevantly different from social-choice contexts, and that proving an impossibility theorem for aggregating confirmation measures directs attention to irrelevant issues.
This paper studies the welfare consequences of strategic voting in two commonly used parliamentary agendas by comparing the average utilities obtained in simulated voting under two behavioural assumptions: expected utility maximising behaviour and sincere behaviour. The average utility obtained in simulations is higher with expected utility maximising behaviour than with sincere voting behaviour under a broad range of assumptions. Strategic voting increases welfare particularly if the distribution of preference intensities correlates with voter types.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the world’s most common sexually transmitted infection. It is a prerequisite for cervical cancer, the second most common cause of death in cancer among women worldwide, and is also believed to cause other anogenital and head and neck cancers. Vaccines that protect against the most common cancer-causing HPV types have recently become available, and different countries have taken different approaches to implementing vaccination. This paper examines the ethics of alternative HPV vaccination strategies. It devotes particular (...) attention to the major arguments for and against one strategy: voluntary, publicly funded vaccination for all adolescent boys and girls. This approach seems attractive because it would protect more people against cervical cancer and other HPV-related cancers than less inclusive alternatives, without the sacrifice of autonomy that a comparably broad compulsory programme would require. Also, the herd immunity that it would likely generate would protect those who remain unvaccinated, a major advantage from a justice perspective. However, there is a possibility that a HPV vaccination programme targeting all adolescents of both sexes is not considered sufficiently cost-effective. Also, it might pose more difficulties for achieving informed consent than comparable vaccination programmes against other diseases. Ultimately, society’s choice of HPV vaccination strategy requires careful consideration not only of the values at stake but also of available and emerging scientific evidence. (shrink)
Most commentators agree that Leibniz advocates some version of a doctrine of the ideality or reducibility of relations, but there is considerable disagreement about what exactly this doctrine means. I argue that Leibniz’s views on relations are more complex than has been previously appreciated, and that, despite some ‘reductionist’ strands in Leibniz’s position, it is seriously misleading to describe him as a reductionist about relations without adding some important qualifications. The complexity of Leibniz’s views on relations tends to be obscured (...) by the common assumption that they can be captured in one unified thesis, or a small number of closely related theses, and by the widespread neglect to take Leibniz’s division of reality into several ontological levels into consideration. I disentangle ten Leibnizian theses about relations, extrinsic denominations, and their relation to intrinsic denominations. Some of these theses express a kind of dependence of extrinsic denominations on intrinsic ones, and some of them can even be counted as articulations of a form of reductionism. But, overall, the general tenor of Leibniz’s position on extrinsic denominations remains non-reductionist. (shrink)
Weak Quantum Theory (WQT) and the Model of Pragmatic Information (MPI) are two psychophysical concepts developed on the basis of quantum physics. The present study contributes to their empirical examination. The issue of the study is whether WQT and MPI can not only explain ‘psi’-phenomena theoretically but also prove to be consistent with the empirical phenomenology of extrasensory perception (ESP). From the main statements of both models, 33 deductions for psychic readings are derived. Psychic readings are defined as settings, in (...) which psychics support or counsel clients by using information not mediated through the five senses. A qualitative approach is chosen to explore how the psychics experience extrasensory perceptions. Eight psychics are interviewed with a half-structured method. The reports are examined regarding deductive and inductive aspects, using a multi-level structured content analysis. The vast majority of deductions is clearly confirmed by the reports. Even though the study has to be seen as an explorative attempt with many aspects to be specified, WQT and MPI prove to be coherent and helpful concepts to explain ESP in psychic readings. (shrink)
In this paper we report a study of the approach of six U.K. water and electricity companies towards managing the relationship with their ''green'' stakeholders. Stakeholders are accorded increasing importance in political discourse and stakeholder theory is emerging as a promising framework for the analysis of corporate social performance.We studied the companies'' general approach towards green stakeholders, their dealings with specific stakeholder groups and whether they emphasised the consultation or the information aspect of stakeholder management. We found that none of (...) the six companies had a systematic stakeholder approach that extended to all potential green stakeholders. Rather, the importance of specific stakeholder groups seemed to be determined by managers'' intuition and by the stance that the stakeholders themselves displayed towards the company. (shrink)
Contrary to popular belief, I argue that Leibniz is not hopelessly confused about motion: Leibniz is indeed both a relativist and an absolutist about motion, as suggested by the textual evidence, but, appearances to the contrary, this is not a problem; Leibniz’s infamous doctrine of the equivalence of hypotheses is well-supported and well-integrated within Leibniz’s physical theory; Leibniz’s assertion that the simplest hypothesis of several equivalent hypotheses can be held to be true can be explicated in such a way that (...) it makes good sense; the mere Galilean invariance of Leibniz’s conservation law does not compromise Leibniz’s relativism about motion; and Leibniz has a straightforward response to Newton’s challenge that the observable effects of the inertial forces of rotational motions empirically distinguish absolute from relative motions. (shrink)
In this conceptual article, we look at the impact of culture on ethical decision making from a Douglasian Cultural Theory (CT) perspective. We aim to show how CT can be used to explain the diversity and dynamicity of ethical beliefs and behaviours found in every social system, be it a corporation, a nation or even an individual. We introduce CT in the context of ethical decision making and then use it to discuss examples of business ethics in the Indian business (...) context. We argue that the use of CT allows for a theoretically more sophisticated treatment of culture in ethical decision making and thus the avoidance of some common problems with existing cross-cultural studies of business ethics. In our discussion, we raise questions about the compatibility between management systems and processes created in one context and ethical behaviours in another. (shrink)
This paper examines Guattari's notion of transversality through a creative and ambiguous form of political intervention, the performative encounter. Drawing from Guattari's work on subject groups, in combination with Deleuze's conjunctive ‘and’, via contemporary theorisations of creative activism and affect, it maps out a movement that destabilises categorical dualisms between activists and non-activists, artists and non-artists. It proposes that transversals such as those enacted by the performative encounter open spaces for the emergence of new subjectivities, relations and worlds. In doing (...) so it critically extends Guattari's conceptualisations of political organisation, group subjectivation and aesthetics into radical political terrains that are antagonistic of the nation-state and capital at the same time as being affirmative of possible present and future conditions. (shrink)
Philosophers of science studying scientific practice often consider it a methodological requirement that their conceptualization of "model" closely connects with the understanding and use of models by practicing scientists. Occasionally, this connection has been explicitly made (Hutten 1954, Suppes 1961, Morgan and Morrison 1999, Bailer-Jones 2002, Lehtinen and Kuorikoski 2007, Kuorikoski 2007, Morgan 2012a). These studies have been dominated by a focus on the—relatively similar forms of—mathematical models in physics and economics. Yet it has become increasingly evident that the (...) way models are conceptualized is very different in some other sciences, where philosophers' accounts of models' characteristics and .. (shrink)
Software agents extend the current, information-based Internet to include autonomous mobile processing. In most countries such processes, i.e., software agents are, however, without an explicit legal status. Many of the legal implications of their actions (e.g., gathering information, negotiating terms, performing transactions) are not well understood. One important characteristic of mobile software agents is that they roam the Internet: they often run on agent platforms of others. There often is no pre-existing relation between the owner of a running agents process (...) and the owner of the agent platform on which an agent process runs. When conflicts arise, the position of the agent platform administrator is not clear: is he or she allowed to slow down the process or possibly remove it from the system? Can the interests of the user of the agent be protected? This article explores legal and technical perspectives in protecting the integrity and availability of software agents and agent platforms. (shrink)
A peer instruction model was used whereby 78 residence dons (36 males, 42 females) provided instruction regarding academic integrity for 324 students (125 males, 196 females) under their supervision. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were conducted to assess survey responses from both the dons and students regarding presentation content, quality, and learning. Overall, dons consistently identified information-based slides about academic integrity as the most important material for the presentations, indicating that fundamental information was needed. Although student ratings of the usefulness of (...) the presentations were middling, students did indicate knowledge gains. Both interest and personal value for academic integrity were highly predictive of positive evaluations of the presentations. Dons and students provided suggestions for improvement and identified more global concerns. (shrink)
Anja Karnein has suggested that because of the importance of respect for persons, law and policy should require some human embryos created in vitro to be available for adoption for a period of time. If no one comes forward to adopt the embryos during that time, they may be destroyed (in the case of embryos left over from fertility medicine) or used in research (in the case of embryos created for that purpose or left over from fertility medicine). This (...) adoption option would increase the number of embryos available for couples looking for help in having children, but that effect is less important—Karnein argues—than the observance of respect for human persons. As possible persons, she holds that embryos ought to be treated, as if they will become children, if only for a while. If enacted as a matter of law and policy, an ‘adoption option’ would wrongly interfere with the dispositional rights women and men ought to have over embryos they create in the course of trying to have children. Karnein's proposal would also deprive researchers of certainty that the embryos they create for research would actually be available that way, leading to increased burdens of time and money and maybe even to more embryos than would otherwise be produced. Karnein's analysis does not show, moreover, that any duty of rescue applies to embryos. No woman is required to adopt any embryo, which significantly undercuts the justification for an obligatory adoption period. (shrink)
This paper presents a four layer model for working with legal knowledge in expert systems. It distinguishes five sources of knowledge. Four contain basic legal knowledge found in published and unpublished sources. The fifth consists of legal metaknowledge. In the model the four basic legal knowledge sources are placed at the lowest level. The metaknowledge is placed at levels above the other four knowledge sources. The assumption is that the knowledge is represented only once. The use of metaknowledge at various (...) levels should make it possible to use the appropriate knowledge for the problem presented to the system. The knowledge has to be represented as closely to the original format as possible for this purpose. Suitable representation formalisms for the various types of knowledge in the five knowledge sources are discussed. It is not possible to indicate a best representation formalism for each knowledge source. (shrink)
Software agents that play a role in E-commerce and E-government applications involving the Internet often contain information about the identity of their human user such as credit cards and bank accounts. This paper discusses whether this is necessary: whether human users and software agents are allowed to be anonymous under the relevant legal regimes and whether an adequate interaction and balance between law and anonymity can be realised from both the perspective of Computer Systems and the perspective of Law.
The introduction of results of AI and Law research in actual legal practice advances disturbingly slow. One of the problems is that most research can be classified as either theoretical or pragmatic, while combinations of these two are scarce. This interferes with the need for feedback as well as with the need of getting support, both financially and from actual legal practice. The conclusion of this paper is that an emphasis on research that generates operational and sophisticated systems is necessary (...) in order to provide a future for AI and Law. (shrink)
The issue of benefits in international clinical research is highly controversial. Against the background of wide recognition of the need to share benefits of research, the nature of benefits remains strongly contested. Little is known about the perspectives of research populations on this issue and the extent to which research ethics discourses and guidelines are salient to the expectations and aspirations existing on the ground. This exploratory study contributes to filling this void by examining perspectives of people in low-income South (...) African communities on benefits in international clinical research. Twenty-four individuals with and without experience of being involved in clinical research participated in in-depth interviews. Respondents felt that ancillary care should be provided to clinical research participants, while a clinical study conducted in particular community should bring better health to its members through post-trial benefits. Respondents' perspectives were grounded in the perception that the ultimate goal of international clinical research is to improve local health. We argue that perspectives and understandings of the respondents are shaped by local moral traditions rather than clinical research specificities and require attention as valid moral claims. It is necessary to acknowledge such claims and cultural worlds from which they emerge, thus building the foundation for equal and embracing dialogue to bridge different perspectives and handle contradicting expectations. (shrink)
Automated decision systems are often used to enforce legislation.As such, they have considerable regulating effects. These systemsregulate the behaviour of users and addressees mainly throughstandardization. This research classifies these systems intocategories according to which the regulating effects can bedescribed more clearly. Furthermore, this categorization resultsin a better understanding how problems encountered with atpresent can be avoided in the future. Many problems result fromthe way the development process has been organized. It turns outthe development process can be divided according to the (...) time thesystems are developed with regard to the legislation they aim toenforce. Present procedures lack good monitoring of thedevelopment process. To this end, legal procedures are needed toensure that a legally correct product will be made, partiesinvolved should change their tune, system developers should bemore concerned with the legal status of the system and thelegislator should be actively involved in the development of thesystem. Moreover, an ex ante-evaluation should notice thepossible regulating effects caused by the system to ensure acorrect balance of the pros and cons. It should be ensured thatthese systems are effectively put to control. Transparency isindispensable. (shrink)
Rhythmus figuriert in Joseph Conrads Heart of Darkness als wirkmächtige Sinneserfahrung, die Körper affiziert und auf diese Weise Gemeinsamkeiten zwischen Menschen und Maschinen oder aber Europäern und »Barbaren« herstellt. Er wird somit zu einem zentralen Ort der Aushandlung von Ängsten vor der Ansteckung durch das Fremde, wie sie für die britische Literatur zur Zeit der Jahrhundertwende typisch waren.