Mindfulness can be understood as the mental ability to focus on the direct and immediate perception or monitoring of the present moment with a state of open and nonjudgmental awareness. Descriptions of mindfulness and methods for cultivating it originated in eastern spiritual traditions. These suggest that mindfulness can be developed through meditation practice to increase positive qualities such as awareness, insight, wisdom, and compassion. In this article we focus on the relationships between mindfulness, with associated meditation practices, and the cognitive (...) neuroscience of attention and awareness. Mindful awareness is related to distributed attention, phenomenal consciousness, and momentary self-awareness, as characterized by recent findings in cognitive psychology and neuroscience as well as in influential consciousness models. Finally, we outline an integrated neurocognitive model of mindfulness, attention, and awareness, with a key role of prefrontal cortex. (shrink)
. Each predicate of the Aristotelian square of opposition includes the word “is”. Through a twofold interpretation of this word the square includes both classical logic and non-classical logic. All theses embodied by the square of opposition are preserved by the new interpretation, except for contradictories, which are substituted by incommensurabilities. Indeed, the new interpretation of the square of opposition concerns the relationships among entire theories, each represented by means of a characteristic predicate. A generalization of the square of opposition (...) is achieved by not adjoining, according to two Leibniz’ suggestions about human mind, one more choice about the kind of infinity; i.e., a choice which was unknown by Greek’s culture, but which played a decisive role for the birth and then the development of modern science. This essential innovation of modern scientific culture explains why in modern times the Aristotelian square of opposition was disregarded. (shrink)
This paper investigates the ethical issues surrounding the concept of Internet neutrality focusing specifically on the correlation between neutrality and fairness. Moving from an analysis of the many available definitions of Internet neutrality and the heterogeneity of the Internet infrastructure, the common assumption that a neutral Internet is also a fair Internet is challenged. It is argued that a properly neutral Internet supports undesirable situations in which few users can exhaust the majority of the available resources or in which specific (...) types of applications and services cannot be developed or properly deployed. The solution offered to these shortcomings is based on (1) an environmental approach to the Internet, (2) the four guiding principles of Floridi’s Information Ethics and (3) a principle called ‘Information Diversity’. The paper is divided into six sections. Section 1 briefly presents the debate concerning the concepts of network and Internet neutrality. Section 2 poses a general and unifying definition of Internet neutrality based on the critical assessment of several domain-specific approaches to the problem of neutrality. Section 3 is dedicated to the analysis of the relationship between Internet neutrality and the ethical principle of fairness. Section 4 introduces Floridi’s Information Ethics, the definition of Information Diversity and an analysis of how they can be used to address the limitations of Internet neutrality. Section 5 summarises the ethics of Internet neutrality and Information Diversity defining their relationship. Section 6 reviews the arguments presented in the paper clarifying the foundational role played by Information Diversity and Information Ethics in Internet policy-making activity. (shrink)
In his work, Jules Coleman has held that the rule of recognition, if conceived of as a shared cooperative activity, should be the gateway through which to incorporate moral constraints on the content of law. This analysis, however, leaves unanswered two important questions. For one thing, we do not know when or even why morality becomes a criterion of legality. And, for another thing, we still do not know what conception of morality it is that we are dealing with. In (...) this article, we will attempt to clarify in greater depth what relations there are between the social practice of law and morality. We will thus see how the cooperative nature of social practices imbues law with a moral force, and how this makes it possible to establish a "weak" connection between law and morality: To see this, we will need to single out some basic features of cooperative social practices, thus setting out a suitable framework for the view just mentioned. (shrink)
The term “corporate transparency” is frequently used in scholarly discussions of business ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR); however, it remains a volatile and imprecise term, often defined incompletely as “information disclosure” accomplished through standardized reporting. Based on the results of empirical studies of organizational behaviors, this paper identifies a new set of managerial practices based on the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) and particularly Internet-based tools. These practices are resulting in what can be termed “dynamic transparency.” ICT (...) allows for an informational environment characterized by two-way exchange between corporations and their stakeholders, which fosters a more collaborative marketplace. It is proposed that such dynamic information sharing, conducted by means of ICT, drives organizations to display greater openness and accountability, and more transparent operations, which benefit both the corporations and their constituents. One of the most important outcomes that will accrue to consumers and other individuals is the “right to know,” especially about corporate strategies and activities that might directly affect their quality of life. This paper demonstrates that dynamic transparency is more desirable and more effective than the more common “static transparency” where firms’ information disclosure is one-way, usually in response to government regulation. We present three ethical arguments to justify the implementation by business firms of dynamic transparency and demonstrate that their doing so is related to CSR and to augment and complement stakeholder engagement and dialogue. The paper concludes with a summary of the possible limits to and the problems involved in the implementation of dynamic transparency for corporations, and suggests some strategies to counter them. (shrink)
This paper contributes to the debate on online trust addressing the problem of whether an online environment satisfies the necessary conditions for the emergence of trust. The paper defends the thesis that online environments can foster trust, and it does so in three steps. Firstly, the arguments proposed by the detractors of online trust are presented and analysed. Secondly, it is argued that trust can emerge in uncertain and risky environments and that it is possible to trust online identities when (...) they are diachronic and sufficient data are available to assess their reputation. Finally, a definition of trust as a second-order property of first-order relation is endorsed in order to present a new definition of online trust. According to such a definition, online trust is an occurrence of trust that specifically qualifies the relation of communication ongoing among individuals in digital environments. On the basis of this analysis, the paper concludes by arguing that online trust promotes the emergence of social behaviours rewarding honest and transparent communications. (shrink)
In this paper we investigate the role of performative contradictions in legal discourse. First of all we identify the argumentative roles of performative contradictions and two possible interpretations of them. With this done, we show that one use of performative contradictions can be fruitfully applied in analysing normative speech acts implementing norm enactment, namely, those speech acts that are designed to produce new legal norms. We conclude the paper by showing that our analysis provides strong support for Robert Alexy's claim-to-correctness (...) thesis, according to which speech acts of the norm-enacting kind raise a claim to correctness. (shrink)
Conceptual knowledge is acquired through recurrent experiences, by extracting statistical regularities at different levels of granularity. At a fine level, patterns of feature co-occurrence are categorized into objects. At a coarser level, patterns of concept co-occurrence are categorized into contexts. We present and test CONCAT, a connectionist model that simultaneously learns to categorize objects and contexts. The model contains two hierarchically organized CALM modules (Murre, Phaf, & Wolters, 1992). The first module, the Object Module, forms object representations based on co-occurrences (...) between features. These representations are used as input for the second module, the Context Module, which categorizes contexts based on object co-occurrences. Feedback connections from the Context Module to the Object Module send activation from the active context to those objects that frequently occur within this context. We demonstrate that context feedback contributes to the successful categorization of objects, especially when bottom-up feature information is degraded or ambiguous. (shrink)
How can firms support their customers' collaborative, social responsibility initiatives — and especially pro-environmental, firm—customer collaborations? Does corporate transparency affect customers' willingness to undertake pro-environmental collaborative programs? This study addresses these questions in relation to the US residential electricity market. It focuses on the impact of customers' perceptions of the utility's degree of transparency and on the willingness to engage in proenvironmental behavior related to electricity consumption. The responses of 1257 interviewees from US households to questions related to their electricity (...) suppliers are analyzed through structural equation models (SEMs) using latent variables. Results show that customers' perceptions of an electricity utility's transparency affect their willingness to collaborate in environmental programs, and that the degree of perceived transparency of the utility is related to customers' environmental awareness. (shrink)
Theabstract variable binding calculus (VB-calculus) provides a formal frame-work encompassing such diverse variable-binding phenomena as lambda abstraction, Riemann integration, existential and universal quantification (in both classical and nonclassical logic), and various notions of generalized quantification that have been studied in abstract model theory. All axioms of the VB-calculus are in the form of equations, but like the lambda calculus it is not a true equational theory since substitution of terms for variables is restricted. A similar problem with the standard formalism (...) of the first-order predicate logic led to the development of the theory of cylindric and polyadic Boolean algebras. We take the same course here and introduce the variety of polyadic VB-algebras as a pure equational form of the VB-calculus. In one of the main results of the paper we show that every locally finite polyadic VB-algebra of infinite dimension is isomorphic to a functional polyadic VB-algebra that is obtained from a model of the VB-calculus by a natural coordinatization process. This theorem is a generalization of the functional representation theorem for polyadic Boolean algebras given by P. Halmos. As an application of this theorem we present a strong completeness theorem for the VB-calculus. More precisely, we prove that, for every VB-theory T that is obtained by adjoining new equations to the axioms of the VB-calculus, there exists a model D such that T s=t iff D s=t. This result specializes to a completeness theorem for a number of familiar systems that can be formalized as VB-calculi. For example, the lambda calculus, the classical first-order predicate calculus, the theory of the generalized quantifierexists uncountably many and a fragment of Riemann integration. (shrink)
Tsuda's article suggests several plausible concepts of neurodynamic representation and processing, with a thoughtful discussion of their neurobiological grounding and formal properties. However, Tsuda's theory leads to a holistic view of brain functions and to the controversial conclusion that the “binding problem” is a pseudo-problem. By contrast, we stress the role of chaotic patterns in solving the binding problem, in terms of flexible temporal coding of visual scenes through graded and intermittent synchrony.
La philosophie de l’animalité chez Heidegger et Merleau-PontyLe présent essai est une tentative de réflexion à partir de l’oeuvre de Merleau-Ponty sur le problème anthropologique: comment penser l’humain dans son rapport ontologique avec l’animal sans retomber dans les dichotomies traditionnelles du spiritualisme et du naturalisme ou de la philosophie et de la non-philosophie, dans lesquelles la pensée contemporaine, en particulier la pensée heideggerienne, est restée à notre avis enfermée. L’originalité théorique de l’approche merleau-pontienne à l’égard de la thématique de la (...) différence anthropologique consiste dans le fait de vouloir repenser la vie, humaine et non humaine, au-delà des dichotomies classiques anthropologico-métaphysiques de la matière et de l’esprit, de l’instinct et de la raison, de la nature et de l’histoire, et ainsi de suite. Par conséquent, ce que nous proposons ici est de repenser la philosophie de l’animalité capable de rendre compte de la spécificité de l’humain sur la base d’une proximité ontologique inédite avec l’animal, comprise comme élément central de l’ontologie de la nature que Merleau-Ponty tentait d’élaborer dans les dernières années de sa vie. Une tâche qui, sans doute, plus qu’un aboutissement théoriques, pourrait être l’indice d’une série de problèmes que la philosophie, grâce avant tout à la contribution fondamentale de Merleau-Ponty, pourrait enfin affronter de manière radicale.The Philosophy of Animality in Heidegger and Merleau-PontyBased on Merleau-Ponty’s work, the present essay attempts to reflect on the anthropological problem: how to conceive the human in its ontological relation withthe animal – without falling back into the traditional dichotomies of spiritualism and naturalism or philosophy and non-philosophy, in which contemporary thought, in particular Heidegger’s thought, has remained, in our opinion, confined. The theoretical originality of Merleau-Ponty’s approach in regard to the thematic of anthropological difference consists in the fact of wanting to rethink life – both human and non-human life – beyond the classic anthropologico-metaphysical dichotomies of matter and spirit, of instinct and reason, nature and history, and so forth. As a result, what we propose here is to rethink the philosophy of animality in a way that is capable of accounting for the specificity of the human on the basis of a new ontological proximity with the animal. We understand this new ontological proximity as the central element of the ontology of nature that Merleau-Ponty attempts to elaborate in the last years of his life. No doubt, this is a task which, being more than a theoretical result, could be the index of a series of problems that philosophy, thanks above all to Merleau-Ponty’s fundamental contribution, can finally confront in a radical manner. (shrink)
In this paper we provide a formal analysis of the idea of normative co-ordination. We argue that this idea is based on the assumption that agents can achieve flexible co-ordination by conferring normative positions to other agents. These positions include duties, permissions, and powers. In particular, we explain the idea of declarative power, which consists in the capacity of the power-holder of creating normative positions, involving other agents, simply by proclaiming such positions. In addition, we account also for the concepts (...) of representation, namely the representatives capacity of acting in the name of his principal, and of mandate, which is the mandatees duty to act as the mandator has requested. Finally, we show how the framework can be applied to represent the contract-net protocol. Some brief remarks on future research and applications conclude this contribution. (shrink)
In this paper we show that the Hilbert system of agency and ability presented by Dag Elgesem is incomplete with respect to the intended semantics. We argue that completeness result may be easily regained. Finally, we shortly discuss some issues related to the philosophical intuition behind his approach. This is done by examining Elgesem's modal logic of agency and ability using semantics with different flavours.
The tension between focusing on species similarities versus species differences (phylogenetic versus adaptationist approaches) recurs in discussions about the nature of neural connectivity and organization following brain expansion. Whereas Striedter suggests a primary role for response inhibition, other possibilities include dense recurrent connectivity loops. Computer simulations and brain imaging technologies are crucial in better understanding actual neuronal connectivity patterns.
The paper deals with a method of hierarchization of alternatives in a multicriteria environment by means of statistical nonparametric procedures. For each criterion, alternatives are disposed on an ordinal scale. After that a procedure similar to ANOVA is activated on the data. The differences relating to the average ranks of each action are used to build the hierarchical algorithm. The concept of outranking, in a probabilistic meaning, is reached in this way. Thereafter, we arrive at the concept of dominance using (...) pairwise comparisons. A case study is presented which implements the methodological suggestion. (shrink)
We note two important problems in the Theory of Event Coding. First, because the representational format of features and events is unspecified, the theory is difficult to test. Second, the theory lacks a mechanism for the integration of features into an event code when the features are shared by different events. Possible ways of solving these problems are suggested.
Phillips & Silverstein emphasize the gain-control properties of NMDA synapses in cognitive coordination. We endorse their view and suggest that NMDA synapses play a crucial role in biased attentional competition and (visual) working memory. Our simulations show that NMDA synapses can control the storage rate of visual objects. We discuss specific predictions of our model about cognitive effects of NMDA-antagonists and schizophrenia.
Transparency in business and society is one of the challenges raised in the encyclical Caritas in Veritate by Benedict XVI. This paper focuses on the issue by extending the literature on business ethics, corporate social responsibility, and corporate transparency in two dimensions. First, it reviews the understanding and framing of the transparency issue in Caritas in Veritate and in a selection of relevant Catholic Social Teaching (CST) publications. Second, this paper provides normative indications for corporate transparency decisions which reflect four (...) permanent principles of CST, that is, the common good, solidarity, subsidiarity, and respect for the human being. Inasmuch as human beings are worthy of love for their own sakes, the dimension of gift should always be present in relationships among them. This paper also provides insights for further studies on corporate transparency and the impact of religion on business ethics and corporate social responsibility. (shrink)
The paper discusses the identity-building power and motivational force of patriotism. The basic idea underlying the discussion is that far from being a mere irrational and destructive force, patriotism is an expression of ‘existing human social identity.’ Thus, it argues that rather than dismissing patriotism altogether as an undesirable and/or irrational phenomenon, we need to understand how to discriminate between alternative forms of patriotism while investigating what constitutional reforms might be required to support those forms of patriotic identification that are (...) morally desirable. I argue that to flourish, desirable forms of patriotism (what I call Ethical Patriotism) require a political milieu where forms of subsidiarity, functional representation and local participation combine to produce a more democratic and decentralized system of governance. Applied to a post-national polity like the EU, this conclusion invites to rethink the European constitutional project so as to make it less elitist and more open to influence and participation from below. Keywords: cosmopolitanism; communitarianism; identity; nationalism; governance; Europe (Published: 4 December 2009) Citation: Ethics & Global Politics, Vol. 2, No. 4, 2009, pp. 321–348. DOI: 10.3402/egp.v2i4.2002. (shrink)
This paper provides a computational framework, based on defeasible logic, to capture some aspects of institutional agency. Our background is Kanger-Lindahl-Pörn account of organised interaction, which describes this interaction within a multi-modal logical setting. This work focuses in particular on the notions of counts-as link and on those of attempt and of personal and direct action to realise states of affairs. We show how standard defeasible logic (DL) can be extended to represent these concepts: the resulting system preserves some basic (...) properties commonly attributed to them. In addition, the framework enjoys nice computational properties, as it turns out that the extension of any theory can be computed in time linear to the size of the theory itself. (shrink)
Nous pourrions, d?une formule générale, avancer que selon le médecin psychiatre et philosophe Ludwig Binswanger, l?action de la psychothérapie vise à aider le malade à recouvrer quelque chose de la mobilité de son existence au sein des structures, volontiers qualifiées d?existentiales ou de transcendantales, ou encore a priori , de l?être-au-monde et de l?être-avec-autrui. Je m?attacherai à montrer ici que la capacité à endurer l?indétermination inhérente à l?ouverture des possibles, à se porter depuis l?au-delà des préfigurations de l?avenir, est comme (...) la condition de l?historicisation de l? ipse , d?une traversée des conditions destinales de l?existence, une traversée de la passivité, commerce dialectique avec elle mais sans telos glorieux. Pâtir l?indétermination pour élaborer sa passivité. Chacun sait que du côté de la philosophie, l??uvre de Binswanger a reçu ses principales impulsions, après l?étude précoce de Kant 1 , de la phénoménologie, en particulier celle de Husserl, et de l?analytique existentiale de Heidegger. Chez chacun de ceux-ci, Binswanger a cherché les moyens de décrire la mondanéisation du monde dans l?expérience normale et, sur la base des résultats acquis avec ces seuls moyens descriptifs, de mettre au jour les Umwandlungen , les modifications, les « flexions » de l?existence au cours des expériences morbides de ses patients. Encore faut-il voir, si nous. (shrink)
Barlow's concept of the exploitation of environmental statistical regularities may be more plausibly related to brain mechanisms than Shepard's notion of internalisation. In our view, Barlow endorses a bottom-up approach to neural coding and processing, whereas we suggest that feedback interactions in the visual system, as well as chaotic correlation dynamics in the brain, are crucial in exploiting and assimilating environmental regularities. We also discuss the “conceptual tension” between Shepard's ideas of law internalisation and evolutionary adaptation. [Barlow; Shepard].
This article presents the results of the longitudinal study of Addiopizzo, a successful anti-bribery organization founded in Sicily in 2004. It analyzes how this organization has used information disclosure as a strategy to fight adverse environmental conditions and the immoral activities of the Sicilian Mafia. This article extends the business ethics and corporate social responsibility literature by showing how multi-level strategic information disclosure processes can help gain organizational legitimacy in adverse social environments and successfully fight against social resistance to change, (...) low levels of moral imagination and attacks from criminal organizations. This article provides an additional contribution to the literature by linking the three research streams on corporate transparency, the fight against corruption, and organizational legitimacy. The results of this research also contribute to the special issue of the EBEN AC 2010, “Which values for which organizations”, since it provides a unique example of an organization capable of spreading the values of social justice and honesty in a difficult social environment plagued by Mafia. (shrink)