The act/omission distinction is likely to lead to biases and be used as a moral heuristic. However, it is frequently difficult to determine whether this act/omission distinction is responsible for a judgment outside the lab. Further, more encompassing theories of omission bias are needed to make progress in dealing with its harmful consequences. One such theory is briefly presented.
Long-term ecological research (LTER), addressing problems that encompass decadal or longer time frames, began as a formal term and program in the United States in 1980. While long-term ecological studies and observation began as early as the 1400s and 1800s in Asia and Europe, respectively, the long-term approach was not formalized until the establishment of the U.S. long-term ecological research programs. These programs permitted ecosystem-level experiments and cross-site comparisons that led to insights into the biosphere’s structure and function. The holistic (...) ecosystem approach of this initiative also allowed the incorporation of the human-dimension of ecology and recently has given rise to a new concept of long-term socio-ecological research (LTSER). Today, long-term ecological research programs exist in at least thirty-two countries (i.e., members of the International Long-Term Ecological Research Network, ILTER). However, consolidation of the international network within the long-term socio-ecological research paradigm still requires: (1) inclusion of certain remote regions of the world, such as southwestern South America, that are still poorly represented; (2) modifications of the type of research conducted, such as integrating social and natural sciences with the humanities and ethics; and (3) the incorporation of findings and results into broader social and political processes. In this context, a nascent long-term socio-ecological research network in Chile, which extends over the longest latitudinal range of temperate forest in the Southern Hemisphere, adds a new remote region to international long-term ecological research previously overlooked. In addition, collaboration with the University of North Texas and other international partners helps to further develop an interdisciplinary approach for the integration of the ecological sciences and environmental philosophy together with traditional ecological knowledge, informal and formal education, policy, the humanities, socio-political processes, and biocultural conservation. (shrink)
Nicholas Wolterstorff and Christopher J. Eberle have defended the view that the ethics of liberal citizenship allows citizens to publicly support the passage of coercive laws based solely on their religious convictions. They also develop positive conceptions of virtuous citizenship that place moral limits on how citizens may appeal to their religion. The question I address in this essay is whether the limits they impose on citizens’ appeals to their religion are adequate. Since Eberle’s “ideal of conscientious engagement” provides (...) us with the most extensive statement of these limits, it is the primary focus of my attention here. My conclusion is that in its current form, Eberle’s ideal is not constraining enough. In the first section, I argue that Eberle’s ideal does not require citizens to be self-critical enough about their religious and political commitments. In the second section, I highlight a conflict between Eberle’s ideal and the need for citizens to respect the religious freedom of their fellow citizens. I argue that the way to resolve this conflict is to adopt a more fine-grained conception of religious reasons and to hold that citizens should not rely on religious reasons of certain kinds. In the final section, I argue that laws punishing or discouraging homosexual conduct (which Eberle’s ideal would apparently allow) violate what Wolterstorff calls “the Idea of liberal democracy” and so are not the kind of proposal that virtuous citizens can defend. (shrink)
Metaphysics and language: Quine, W. V. O. On the individuation of attributes. Körner, S. On some relations between logic and metaphysics. Marcus, R. B. Does the principle of substitutivity rest on a mistake? Van Fraassen, B. C. Platonism's pyrrhic victory. Martin, R. M. On some prepositional relations. Kearns, J. T. Sentences and propositions.--Basic and combinatorial logic: Orgass, R. J. Extended basic logic and ordinal numbers. Curry, H. B. Representation of Markov algorithms by combinators.--Implication and consistency: Anderson, A. R. Fitch (...) on consistency. Belnap, N. D., Jr. Grammatical propaedeutic. Thomason, R. H. Decidability in the logic of conditionals. Myhill, J. Levels of implication.--Deontic, epistemic, and erotetic logic: Bacon, J. Belief as relative knowledge. Wu, K. J. Believing and disbelieving. Kordig, C. R. Relativized deontic modalities. Harrah, D. A system for erotetic sentences. (shrink)
The authors argue that the time is ripe for national and corporate leaders to move consciously towards the development of global ethics. This papers presents a model of global ethics, a rationale for the development of global ethics, and the implications of the model for research and practice.
Repression has remained controversial for nearly a century on account of the lack of well-controlled evidence validating it. Here we argue that the conceptual and methodological tools now exist for a rigorous scientific examination of repression, and that a nascent cognitive neuroscience of repression is emerging. We review progress in this area and highlight important questions for this field to address.
To accept that cognition is embodied is to question many of the beliefs traditionally held by cognitive scientists. One key question regards the localization of cognitive faculties. Here we argue that for cognition to be embodied and sometimes embedded, means that the cognitive faculty cannot be localized in a brain area alone. We review recent research on neural reuse, the 1/f structure of human activity, tool use, group cognition, and social coordination dynamics that we believe demonstrates how the boundary between (...) the different areas of the brain, the brain and body, and the body and environment is not only blurred but indeterminate. In turn, we propose that cognition is supported by a nested structure of task-specific synergies, which are softly assembled from a variety of neural, bodily, and environmental components (including other individuals), and exhibit interaction dominant dynamics. (shrink)
In this paper, the authors discuss Frege''s theory of logical objects (extensions, numbers, truth-values) and the recent attempts to rehabilitate it. We show that the eta relation George Boolos deployed on Frege''s behalf is similar, if not identical, to the encoding mode of predication that underlies the theory of abstract objects. Whereas Boolos accepted unrestricted Comprehension for Properties and used the eta relation to assert the existence of logical objects under certain highly restricted conditions, the theory of abstract objects uses (...) unrestricted Comprehension for Logical Objects and banishes encoding (eta) formulas from Comprehension for Properties. The relative mathematical and philosophical strengths of the two theories are discussed. Along the way, new results in the theory of abstract objects are described, involving: (a) the theory of extensions, (b) the theory of directions and shapes, and (c) the theory of truth values. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. The postmodern challenge: from modernity to postmodernity; 2. Traditional natural law: differences in Aristotle and Aquinas; 3. Patterns in historical thinking about the good; 4. The challenge of modernity: religious wars and the need for universal law; 5. The challenges of naturalism: legal realism or natural law; 6. Objectivity without a metaphysical foundation; 7. Contemporary natural law: practical rationality and legal opinions; 8. Natural law as a theory with metaphysical baggage: postmodern law; 9. Natural law (...) as the moral law; 10. Natural moral law in a postmodern world. (shrink)
The importance of a healthy mentoring relationship, and how to go about achieving one, has been explored in several disciplines, including psychology. However, little of this work has focused specifically on unique ethical issues that may arise while mentoring undergraduate students. The authors provide a definition of mentoring in the context of undergraduate education that takes into account undergraduates' status as emerging adults. We delineate both similarities and differences between mentoring undergraduate students and graduate students. Ethical issues that may arise (...) while mentoring undergraduates, especially around themes of vocation, autonomy and influence, boundaries, power, the priority of the protg's needs, the mentor's motives, and accessibility, are spotlighted. We argue that although there is considerable overlap between mentoring graduate students and mentoring undergraduates, there are issues and concerns unique to working with undergraduates that require explication so that they can be appropriately addressed to the benefit of both protg and mentor. (shrink)
Peter Winch's The Idea of a Social Science has been the subject of repeated misunderstanding. This discussion takes one recent example and shows how Winch's argument is gravely distorted. What is at issue is not, as is usually supposed, whether we can accept or endorse another society's explanations of its activities, but whether we have to look for an explanatory connection between concepts and action. Winch's argument is that before we can try to explain actions, we have to identify them (...) correctly. This can only be done by seeing how they, and the concepts they are associated with, fit within a way of life. Grasping its rule?following character is understanding action. Once the difficulties in making such identifications are appreciated, we will be less inclined to accept facile explanations why people in other societies do the things they do. (shrink)
Editors’ note: These four interrelated discussions of the role of the cerebellum in coordinating emotional and higher cognitive functions developed out of a workshop presented by the four authors for the 2000 Conference of the Cognitive Science Society at the University of Pennsylvania. The four interrelated discussions explore the implications of the recent explosion of cerebellum research suggesting an expanded cerebellar role in higher cognitive functions as well as in the coordination of emotional functions with learning, logical thinking, perceptual consciousness, (...) and action planning. (shrink)
The question of how an individual firm's social and environmental performance impacts its firm risk has not been examined in any empirical UK research. Does a company that strives to attain good environmental performance decrease its market risk or is environmental performance just a disadvantageous cost that increases such risk levels for these firms? Answers to this question have important implications for the management of companies and the investment decisions of individuals and institutions. The purpose of this paper is to (...) examine the relationship between corporate environmental performance and firm risk in the British context. Using the largest dataset assembled so far, with community and environmental responsibility (CER) rankings for all rated UK companies between 1994 and 2006, we show that a company's environmental performance is inversely related to its systematic financial risk. However, an increase of 1.0 in the CER score is associated with only a 0.028 reduction in its β. (shrink)
Using perceptions of human resource managers of top management's attitude toward corporate social responsibility, a survey of private sector firms (n=407) revealed that over half of those that employed basic-skill deficient employees took legal or economic views of corporate social responsibility toward these workers. These attitudes were confirmed by organizational policies. Employers with social obligation tendencies were less likely to undertake proactive programs such as basic skill training, deskilling, or related supervisory training. Corporate philosophies were almost independent of organizational variables. (...) One exception was manufacturing firms that were more likely to take a legal-economic view of illiterate employees; however, the relationship was weak. Little evidence was found that skill shortages or union pressures are resulting in corporate proactive programs. Implications for research and practice are discussed. (shrink)
Focusing on a discussion by Ruddich and Stassen of the ?Remarks on Frazer's Golden Bough?, this paper shows that some of the usual criticisms made by sociologists of Wittgenstein are misplaced. He does not reject causal explanations of beliefs and actions and replace them with some other form of explanation, but dismisses the idea that any explanation is called for here. His argument that the origin of the desire to explain beliefs is to be found in a misconceived parallel between (...) science and magic is explained and discussed. (shrink)
Many have attempted to respond to arguments for the incompatibility of freedom with divine foreknowledge by claiming that God’s beliefs about the future are explained by what the world is like at that future time. We argue that this response adequately advances the discussion only if the theist is able to articulate a model of foreknowledge that is both clearly possible and compatible with freedom. We investigate various models the theist might articulate and argue that all of these models fail.
An experimental survey was undertakento explore the links between thecharacteristics of a moral issue, the degree ofmoral intensity/moral imperative associatedwith the issue (Jones, 1991), and people'sstated willingness to pay (wtp) for policy toaddress the issue. Two farm animal welfareissues were chosen for comparison and thecontingent valuation method was used to elicitpeople's wtp. The findings of the surveysuggest that increases in moral characteristicsdo appear to result in an increase in moralintensity and the degree of moral imperativeassociated with an issue. Moreover, there (...) was apositive link between moral intensity/moralimperative associated with an issue andpeople's stated wtp for policy to address theissue. The paper discusses the relevance of thefindings of the survey in the context of thedebate concerning the relationship betweenmoral and economic values and the use of thecontingent valuation method to estimatepeople's wtp of policy options with moraldimensions. (shrink)
Habitats (where we live), habits (how we live), and inhabitants (who we are) constitute an ecosystem unit. The biosphere is composed of a reticulate mosaic of these habitat-habit-inhabitant units, where humans (with their indigenous languages, ecological knowledge, and practices) have coevolved. Today, these diverse ecosystem units are being violently destroyed by the imposition of a single global colonial cultural model. In Cape Horn at the southern end of the Americas, educators, authorities, and decision makers do not know about the native (...) habitats, language, and flora, and do not distinguish between Cape Horn’s flora and the flora that grows in other parts of the country or the world. In contrast, indigenous people and old residents have a detailed knowledge, but they do not participate in education, and decision making. It is not Homo sapiens in general, but bioculturally biased educators, authorities, and decision makers who need to be transformed into (educated and responsible) members and citizen of biocultural communities. The Omora Ethnobotanical Park educational program was launched to contribute to a biocultural citizenship involving three critical steps: (1) the disclosing of biocultural diversity with a “fine filter” approach that permits understanding of the cultural and ecological diversity hidden by general universal labels; (2) direct “face-to-face” encounters with human and nonhuman co-inhabitants; and (3) actions for protection of habitats and implementation of interpretative spaces that facilitate direct encounters and conservation of biocultural diversity. These steps have been implemented at local and regional scales through the creation of the Omora Ethnobotanical Park and the UNESCO Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve. (shrink)