Observatory sciences and culture in the nineteenth century Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9546-0 Authors Steven Dick, NASA, 21406 Clearfork Ct, Ashburn, VA 20147, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Moral anti-realism comes in two forms – noncognitivism and the error theory. The noncognitivist says that when we make moral judgments we aren’t even trying to state moral facts. The error theorist says that when we make moral judgments we are making statements about what is objectively good, bad, right, or wrong but, since there are no moral facts, our moral judgments are uniformly false. This development of moral anti-realism was first seriously defended by John Mackie. In this paper I (...) explore a dispute among moral error theorists about how to deal with false moral judgments. The advice of the moral abolitionist is to stop making moral judgments, but the contrary advice of the moral fictionalist is to retain moral language and moral thinking. After clarifying the choice that arises for the moral error theorist, I argue that moral abolitionism has much to recommend it. I discuss Mackie’s defense of moral fictionalism as well as a recent version of the same position offered by Daniel Nolan, Greg Restall, and Caroline West. Then I second some remarks Ian Hinckfuss made in his defense of moral abolitionism and his criticism of “the moral society.” One of the worst things about moral fictionalism is that it undermines our epistemology by promoting a culture of deception. To deal with this problem Richard Joyce offers a “non-assertive” version of moral fictionalism as perhaps the last option for an error theorist who hopes to avoid moral abolitionism. I discuss some of the problems facing that form of moral fictionalism, offer some further reasons for adopting moral abolitionism in our personal lives, and conclude with reasons for thinking that abolishing morality may be an essential step in achieving the goals well-meaning moralists and moral fictionalists have always cherished. (shrink)
Margaret Egan and Jesse Hauk Shera's original conception of social epistemology has never been defined unambiguously, or developed significantly beyond its early formulation. An interesting consequence of this lack of conceptual clarity has been the application of several interpretations of social epistemology. This article discusses how social epistemology was linked with the ideology of apartheid, and with racially segregated library and information services in the Republic of South Africa. In a fraudulent scientific vision for librarianship, social epistemology was assigned a (...) role that violated its original purpose. The intellectual content of social epistemology needs to be articulated in order to prevent further examples of such conceptual abuse. The paper ends with an attempt to do this with some suggestions based on Shera's own seminal ideas. (shrink)
This article seeks to revisit the relationship between Rawls’s contractarianism and the moral status of animals, paying particular attention to the recent literature. Despite Rawls’s own reluctance to include animals as recipients of justice, and my own initial scepticism, a number of scholars have argued that his theory does provide resources that are useful for the animal advocate. The first type takes Rawls’s exclusion of animals from his theory of justice at face value but argues that animals can still be (...) protected within a moral realm independently of justice, or indirectly through the motivations of human contractors. The second type adapts his theory in a way that enables animals to be included within a contractarian theory of justice. It is argued, though, that none of the responses offered is successful in providing a sphere of protection for animals from within Rawls’s contractarian theory. It is doubtful if Rawls’s intention was for animals to receive a significant degree of protection within a moral realm independently of justice, and equally doubtful if the contractors in the original position would be motivated to act on behalf of animals. In the case of the second, whilst Rawlsian resources can be utilised to justify the attempt to amend the veil of ignorance so as to include animals, these are not dependent on a contractural agreement. Similarly, placing emphasis on social-co-operation as a means of incorporating animals into a theory of justice is flawed, not least because, paradoxically, it works for domesticated animals whilst they are being exploited. (shrink)
The use of ethics in everyday nursing practice will become increasingly important to the individual nurse, and nursing as a profession, as technology has a greater impact on health status and the provision of health care. Resource allocation is only one example of an ethical issue in which nursing must have input. Nursing can expand its contribution to society by ensuring that it plays a major role in shaping public policy and legislation. If nursing is to continue to serve the (...) public, the involvement of nurses within the political process must be accepted as an ethical necessity. (shrink)
This is an extensively re-written second edition of a well regarded and much cited text on the issue of animal protection. It remains the only text to combine an examination of the philosophy and politics of the issue. Its central argument is that the philosophical debate is central to an understanding and evaluation of the substantive issues involving animals and the nature of the movement for change. The book has been thoroughly revised to include major theoretical and empirical developments. Specifically, (...) the "second generation" of animal ethics literature is examined in detail, and attention is paid to the campaigns and public controversy over the export of live animals and the use of animals in research, the impact of genetic engineering on the welfare of animals and the latest developments in the controversy over hunting. (shrink)
Jacob Burckhardt's The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy is "read" as a nineteenth century conceptualization of modernity. Its method is one of induction from a dense mass of details drawn from the literature, historiography, and art of the Renaissance. In some respects, Burckhardt anticipates Weber and parallels Marx, but he also includes certain elements of modernity that are absent from the other theorists, such as the emergence of modernity from the interstices of the political order, the formation of the (...) totalitarian state, the cult of celebrity, and the tendency toward crime. He is particularly concerned with Renaissance society as a transitional form of society, and thus implicitly, with the nature of transitions. (shrink)
This article provides a critique of the IWC's traditional focus on anthropocentric conservation in the governance of whaling. It is argued that this position, which relies on accepting the view that we have no direct moral duties to whales, is out of step with the moral status that now tends, in theory and practice, to be granted to animals. More specifically, anthropocentric conservation conflicts with the widespread acceptance, in theory and practice, that non-human animals such as whales have moral standing, (...) that what we do to them matters to them directly. This does not mean that whaling should necessarily be prohibited on ethical grounds, although the animal welfare analysis of whaling sketched in this article does suggest that, on balance, it is difficult to defend morally. Rather, it is being claimed that it is morally objectionable to deny, as the whaling nations do, that the IWC ought to be mandated to consider the welfare implications of whaling. (shrink)
This article examines the extent to which Brian Barry?s contractarian political theory ? justice as impartiality ? is able to incorporate the interests of animals. Despite the initial optimism that Barry might provide a theory of justice that can provide substantial protection for the interests of animals, it is clear that he offers relatively little. Insofar as animals can be protected within justice as impartiality, they are not being protected as a result of their intrinsic value, but merely as one, (...) non-vital, human set of beliefs included within a conception of the good. As a result, those concerned about the well-being of animals need either to go beyond contractarianism, and look for alternative theories of justice that are more amenable to the inclusion of animals, or to examine the degree to which direct duties can be owed to animals within a moral realm independently of justice. (shrink)
The ethics literature has identified moral motivation as a factor in ethical decision-making. Furthermore, moral identity has been identified as a source of moral motivation. In the current study, we examine religiosity as an antecedent to moral identity and examine the mediating role of self-control in this relationship. We find that intrinsic and extrinsic dimensions of religiosity have different direct and indirect effects on the internalization and symbolization dimensions of moral identity. Specifically, intrinsic religiosity plays a role in counterbalancing the (...) negative impact of extrinsic religiosity on the internalization of moral identity. Further, intrinsic religiosity also counterbalances the negative and indirect impact of extrinsic religiosity on symbolization of moral identity via self-control. Lastly, self-control does not play a mediating role in the impact of religiosity on the internalization dimension of moral identity. We conclude that this study presents important findings that advance our understanding of the antecedents of moral identity, and that these results may have implications for the understanding of ethical decision-making. (shrink)
Silence in organizations refers to a state in which employees refrain from calling attention to issues at work such as illegal or immoral practices or developments that violate personal, moral, or legal standards. While Morrison and Milliken (Acad Manag Rev 25:706–725, 2000 ) discussed how organizational silence as a top-down organizational level phenomenon can cause employees to remain silent, a bottom-up perspective—that is, how employee motives contribute to the occurrence and maintenance of silence in organizations—has not yet been given much (...) research attention. In this paper, we argue that this perspective is a meaningful complementation of the existing literature and that it is sensible to conceptualize distinct forms of employee silence (Pinder and Harlos, Research in personnel and human resources management. JAI Press, Greenwich, 2001 ; van Dyne et al., J Manag Stud 40:1359–1392, 2003 ). Drawing on past research and theory we conceptualize four forms of employee silence, namely quiescent, acquiescent, prosocial, and opportunistic silence. We present scales to assess the four forms and provide empirical tests for their distinctiveness and patterns of relationships to various correlates and potential antecedents and consequences. (shrink)
Normals display selective deficits in morphology and syntax under adverse processing conditions. Digit loads do not impair processing of passives and object relatives but do impair processing of grammatical morphemes. Perceptual degradation and temporal compression selectively impair several aspects of grammar, including passives and object relatives. Hence we replicate Caplan & Waters's specific findings but reach opposite conclusions, based on wider evidence.
In this article, we hypothesize that leaders who display group-oriented values (i.e., values that focus on the welfare of the group rather than on the self-interest of the leader) will be evaluated more positively by their followers than leaders who do not display group-oriented values. Importantly, we expected these effects to be more pronounced for leaders who are ingroup members (i.e., stemming from the same social group as their followers) than for leaders who are outgroup members (i.e., leaders stemming from (...) a different social group than their followers). We tested our hypotheses in two studies. Results of a field study ( N = 95) showed the expected relationship between leaders’ group-oriented values and followers’ identification with their leaders. A scenario study ( N = 137) replicated the results and extended it to followers’ endorsement of their leaders. Overall, these findings suggest that displaying group-oriented values pays off more for ingroup than for outgroup leaders. (shrink)
The paper âF. W. Bessel and Russian science by K. K. Lavrinovich published in NTM-Schriftenreihe contains several errors coming mainly from re-translations of German names and texts from Russian into German. The correct spelling of names and original texts are given here. Beside this, some additional information from sources not mentioned by the author is presented, and the kind of relationship between Bessel and W. Struve is discussed on the basis of their correspondence.
Deficits observed in Broca's aphasia are much more general than Grodzinsky acknowledges. Broca's aphasics have a broad range of problems in lexical and morphological comprehension; furthermore, the classic “agrammatic” syntactic profile is observed over many populations. Finally, Broca's area is implicated in the performance of many linguistic and nonlinguistic tasks.
An exploratory survey was conducted to determine if there are differences in ethical decisions by business students based upon cultural backgrounds. Students' responses to a vignette concerning advertising of cigar products in a variety of different media provided evidence of significant cultural differences between three groups of students from different geographical locations within the United States. This article suggests that the presumption that an individuals ethical beliefs and behaviors do not change after childhood may be in error.
Assigning the moniker stakeholder to the planet has stirred a rather interesting debate in recent years. Proponents have insisted that the Earth is both the ultimate source of economic resources and the ultimate sink for economic wastes, meaning that it “affects or is affected by the achievement of the organization’s objectives” (Freeman, 1984, p. 46). They have said that giving the Earth stakeholder status can effectively tie the ecological health of the planet to the economic survival of the firm, and (...) they have demonstrated this by focusing primarily on the economic benefits which can accrue to firms that effectively respond to the ecological concerns of regulators, consumers, investors, lenders, insurers, and so forth. However, others have questioned assigning the Earth stakeholder status. They have said that doing so convolutes the definition of stakeholder too much by expanding it to something other than “person[s] and groups” (Freeman, 1984, p. 46), and they have said that referring to the planet as a stakeholder is an idealistic view which defies the realities of the relationship between economic activity and the Entropy Law. Regardless of the side, the arguments in this debate have focused primarily at the economic level. Does the Earth’s central place in humanity’s economic survival suffice to give it stakeholder status? Does the Earth have voices on boards of directors? Is the underlying assumption made by those who advocate giving the Earth stakeholder status—that economic activity is ecologically sustainable—truly reflective of the relationship between economics and entropy? However, for us this debate took an interesting turn away from the economic level at the 1997 Ruffin Lectures in Business Ethics when Ian Mitroff said, “The Earth is a stakeholder, but it is a spiritual stakeholder.”. (shrink)
I J’ai grandi au milieu des collines bleues et des lacs cristallins des Appalaches, loin de l’artifice des grandes métropoles : je vivais dans des conditions plus primitives, moins compliquées que dans l’effervescence des zones très peuplées. La nature fut mon premier professeur et les animaux domestiques mes premiers compagnons. Ma jeunesse s’écoula dans ce cadre et c’est là que je conçus pour la première fois l’idée que les animaux parlent. Enfant, je croyais que tous les animaux d’une même..
Background: Human sexual classical conditioning effects are less robust compared with those obtained in other animals. The artificiality of the laboratory environment and/or the unconditioned stimulus (US) used (e.g. watching erotic film clips as opposed to participating in sexual activity) may contribute to this discrepancy. The present experiment used a field study design to explore the conditioning of human sexual arousal. Method: Seven heterosexual couples were instructed to include a novel, neutrally preferred scent as the conditioned stimulus (CS+) during sexual (...) interaction and another novel scent during non-sexual coupledinteraction (e.g. watching a movie, studying together). Seven control couples used both scents during nonsexual interaction. Conducted over a 2-week period, both experimental and control couples had three sexual interactions (oral sex and/or intercourse). In addition, experimental couples had three, while the controls had six, non-sexual interactions. Genital responding to and affective preference for the odors were assessed in the laboratory before and after the experience in the men. Results: We observed significantly increased genital responding to the CS+in the experimental relative to the control group; however, conditioned responses were not much stronger than those obtained during laboratory conditioning. Experimental males also showed a trend for decreased preference for the CS-odor. They may have learned that this odor predicted that sexual interaction with their partner would not occur. Conclusion: The present study provides another demonstration of conditioned sexual arousal in men, specifically an instance of such learning that happened in a real-world setting. It also suggests that inhibitory learning may occur, at least with the affective measure. Keywords: sexual classical conditioning; humans; evaluative conditioning (Published: 15 March 2012) Citation: Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology 2012, 2 : 17336 - DOI: 10.3402/snp.v2i0.17336. (shrink)
The hard-drinking, joke-cracking second-mate of Melville's Moby Dick doesn't receive much respect from critics. At best Stubb is seen as a comic foil, at worst as a cruel coward and mechanical optimist. Yet this perspective distorts the text and does him an injustice. In fact, Stubb can be read quite fruitfully as an exemplar of wisdom. Using recent scholarship to fill out Melville's conception of fine philosophy, a set of criteria emerges for the true philosopher according to which Stubb (...) fares remarkably well. (shrink)
Dworkin wonders, in so far as we might be for equality, to some degree, what would we be for? He thinks equality is a complex, multi-faceted ideal. One facet is distributional equality. Here the question is, concerning money and other resources to be privately owned by individuals, when is the distribution an equal one? Equality of welfare “holds that a distributional scheme treats people as equals when it distributes or transfers resources among them until no further transfer would leave them (...) more equal in welfare.” Equality of welfare is a utilitarian version of egalitarianism. (shrink)
The past several decades have exhibited vertiginous change, surprising novelties, and upheaval in an era marked by technological revolution and the global restructuring of capitalism.1 This "great transformation," comparable in scope to the shifts produced by the Industrial Revolution, is moving the world into a postindustrial, infotainment, and biotech mode of global capitalism, organized around new information, communications, and genetic technologies. The scientific-technological-economic revolutions of the era and spread of the global economy are providing new financial opportunities, openings for political (...) amelioration, and a wealth of ingenious products and technologies that might improve the human condition. Yet these developments are accompanied by explosive conflict, crisis, and even catastrophe. The post-September 11 world reveals the contradictory dialectic of globalization in which the wide-reaching circulation of people, technology, media, and ideologies can have destructive as well as beneficial consequences. Hence, the turbulent transmutations of the contemporary situation are highly contradictory and ambiguous, with both hopeful and threatening features being played out on political, economic, social, and cultural fronts. (shrink)
In this paper we explore the extent to which implicit learning is subtended by somatic markers, as evidenced by skin conductance measures. On each trial subjects were asked to decide which ‘word’ from a pair of ‘words’ was the ‘correct’ word. Unknown to subjects, each ‘word’ of a pair was constructed using a different set of rules (grammar ‘A’ and grammar ‘B’). A (monetary) reward was given if the subject choose the ‘word’ from grammar ‘A’. Choosing the grammar ‘B’ word (...) resulted in (monetary) punishment. Skin conductance was measured during each of 100 trials. After each set of 10 trials subjects were asked how they selected the ‘correct word’. Task performance increased long before the subjects could even formulate a single relevant rule. In this ‘pre-conceptual’ phase of the experiment, skin conductance was larger before incorrect than before correct choices. Thus it was shown that artificial grammar learning is accompagnied by a somatic marker, possibly ‘warning’ the subject for the incorrect decision. (shrink)
Clifford, Dick The world outlook is rather grim. Greece is bankrupt, the efforts to cure the problem by making new loans to the banks and cutting living standards is likely only to postpone the date when bankruptcy is declared. Italy and Spain are in a similar position. Britain, Europe and the USA are loaded with debt, only a few countries like Iceland are adopting methods which are the reverse of what conventional economics requires and seem to be recovering from (...) their problems slowly. (shrink)
In The March of Unreason, Dick Taverne expresses his concern that irrationality is on the rise in Western society, and argues that public opinion is increasingly dominated by unreflecting prejudice and an unwillingness to engage with factual evidence. Discussing topics such as genetically modified crops and foods, organic farming, the MMR vaccine, environmentalism, the precautionary principle, and the new anti-capitalist and anti-globalization movements, he argues that the rejection of the evidence-based approach nurtures a culture of suspicion, distrust, and cynicism, (...) and leads to dogmatic assertion and intolerance. Science, with all the benefits it brings, is an essential part of a civilized and democratic society: it offers the most hopeful future for humankind. (shrink)
This paper considers the connection between concepts, conceptual schemes and grammar in Wittgenstein’s last writings. It lists eight claims about concepts that one can garner from these writings. It then focuses on one of them, namely that there is an important difference between conceptual and factual problems and investigations. That claim draws in its wake other claims, all of them revolving around the idea of a conceptual scheme, what Wittgenstein calls a ‘grammar’. I explain why Wittgenstein’s account does not (...) fall prey to Davidson’s animadversions against the idea of a conceptual scheme as a force operating on a pre-conceptual content. In the sequel I deny that the distinction between grammatical and empirical propositions disappears in the last writings: it is neither deliberately abandoned, nor willy-nilly undermined by the admission of hinge propositions in On Certainty or by the role accorded to agreement in judgement. (shrink)
Recent theories of epistemic contextualism have challenged traditional invariantist positions in epistemology by claiming that the truth conditions of knowledge attributions fluctuate between conversational contexts. Contextualists often garner support for this view by appealing to folk intuitions regarding ordinary knowledge practices. Proposed is an experiment designed to test the descriptive conditions upon which these types of contextualist defenses rely. In the cases tested, the folk pattern of knowledge attribution runs contrary to what contextualism predicts. While preliminary, these data inspire (...) prima facie skepticism for the contextualist hypothesis regarding folk knowledge claims, as well as challenge certain predictions made by recent theories of subject-sensitive invariantism. It is further argued that such results raise methodological questions concerning the practice of relying on an assumption of intuitions, with respect to ordinary language practices, as evidence for philosophical conclusions regarding knowledge. (shrink)