What motivated British colonialism? What motivated renaissance Florentines to finance their state? Why did Brazilian men find mixed-race women so attractive? What promotes falsity in reports of human affairs? Why did historical-mindedness develop in ancient Greece and China, but not India? When homosexual communities developed, why did gay men pursue sexual strategies so different from those of lesbians? Why does a Heian-period Japanese description of fear of snakes sound so familiar to a Westerner? Why have rebels tended to be youngest (...) rather than eldest siblings? To each of these(and many others) questions, part of the answer lies in specific, identifiable features of human nature. Thus human nature is and should be a substantial concern to anyone trying to understand the past. But human nature is also an object of scientific study. This paper explores a portion of this convergence of humanistic and scientific concerns by outlining and illustrating interrelations between human nature and history. Exploration of the interrelations between history and human nature requires a detailed understanding of what human nature is. And whatever human nature may be, it is a product of human evolution. Accordingly, key concepts in evolutionary psychology are presented to provide theoretical tools for understanding the centerpiece of human nature, the human mind. As much as the study of history may benefit from an understanding of human nature, the study of history and the use of historical materials may also promote the scientific study of human nature. Examples are given and several suggestions are presented to forward this task. Finally, an argument is made for a sort of back engineering in which historical events and conditions are traced to the specific features of human nature that motivated, facilitated, or shaped them. Insofar as this task is achieved, it closes the gap between recorded history and evolutionary history, between the humanities and the sciences. (shrink)
Because complex environmental problems are relegated to scientific experts, the ethical questions that are embedded in these problems are often hidden or distorted in scientific and administrative methodology and communication. The administrative process requires that facts and values be separated. Those values that cannot simply be ignored are usually translated into technical economic language and settled in terms of economic costs and benefits. Calls for regulatory reform-i.e., to reduce or eliminate environmental regulation--create additional pressures on analysts that encourage them to (...) focus on quantitative questions at the expense of qualitative ones. Distortion can also result from the use of standard risk assessment procedures and from the improper placement of burden of proof on govemment agencies. The greatest problem, nevertheless, is the narrow scientific training of technical experts which frequently leaves them unprepared to deal with the ethical and value issues in environmental public policy. (shrink)
Next SectionIn an online study conducted separately in the UK and the US, participants rated the acceptability and fairness of four interventions: two types of financial incentives (rewards and penalties) and two types of medical interventions (pills and injections). These were stated to be equally effective in improving outcomes in five contexts: (a) weight loss and (b) smoking cessation programmes, and adherence in treatment programmes for (c) drug addiction, (d) serious mental illness and (e) physiotherapy after surgery. Financial incentives (weekly (...) rewards and penalties) were judged less acceptable and to be less fair than medical interventions (weekly pill or injection) across all five contexts. Context moderated the relative preference between rewards and penalties: participants from both countries favoured rewards over penalties in weight loss and treatment for serious mental illness. Only among US participants was this relative preference moderated by perceived responsibility of the target group. Overall, participants supported funding more strongly for interventions when they judged members of the target group to be less responsible for their condition, and vice versa. These results reveal a striking similarity in negative attitudes towards the use of financial incentives, rewards as well as penalties, in improving outcomes across a range of contexts, in the UK and the USA. The basis for such negative attitudes awaits further study. (shrink)
Several forms of naturalism are currently extant. Proponents of the various approaches disagree on matters of strategy and detail but one theme is common: we have not received any revelations about the nature of the world -- including our own nature. Whatever knowledge we have has been acquired through a fallible process of conjecture and revision. This common theme will bring to mind the writings of Karl Popper and, in many respects, Popper is the father of contemporary naturalism. Along with (...) Popper, the form of naturalism that I would defend is realistic in the following sense: it considers the acquisition of knowledge of the nature of the world to be a pursuable long-term goal of our epistemic activities. (See Brown [1987, 1988, 1990].) Popper's central interest in truth has led him to object to the pervasive concern with concepts among contemporary philosophers. Truth, Popper insists, is the fundamental epistemic concern; propositions are the bearers of truth; and the evaluation of propositions should be at the center of our epistemic focus (e.g., 1965, pp. 18-21; 1972, pp. 123-24). Concern with concepts, Popper maintains, is a distraction. Yet, this leaves us in an odd position. When we study a particular subject matter, one of our main problems is to determine what kinds of entities and processes occur in that domain. But the kinds of entities and processes we attribute to a domain will be captured in the concepts we use for describing that domain and, from a naturalistic point of view, concepts are no more available through revelation than are propositions. As our knowledge develops, we must not only propose and evaluate propositions, we must also propose and evaluate concepts. (shrink)
In this study, we comprehensively examine the relationships between ethical leadership, social exchange, and employee commitment. We find that organizational and supervisory ethical leadership are positively related to employee commitment to the organization and supervisor, respectively. We also find that different types of social exchange relationships mediate these relationships. Our results suggest that the application of a multifoci social exchange perspective to the context of ethical leadership is indeed useful: As hypothesized, within-foci effects (e.g., the relationship between organizational ethical leadership (...) and commitment to the organization) are stronger than cross-foci effects (e.g., the relationship between supervisory ethical leadership and commitment to the organization). In addition, in contrast to the “trickle down” model of ethical leadership (Mayer et al. in Org Behav Hum Decis Process 108:1–13, 2009), our results suggest that organizational ethical leadership is both directly and indirectly related to employee outcomes. (shrink)
This book adds to the growing literature on thought experiments. There are numerous examples drawn from the sciences and philosophy. The principle claim is that thought experiments are a limiting case of real experiments. It is a moderate empiricist view, in contrast to, e.g., the Platonism of Brown or the strict empiricism of Norton. Highly recommended.
The theory of Brown, Woolhouse and Valdrè (1968) is extended to include the possibility of the nucleation of interface dislocations by prismatic punching and the condensation of point defects. It is shown that neither process can occur spontaneously (i.e. without the introduction of dislocations by another process such as deformation or irradiation) unless the misfit exceeds a critical value, estimated to be 0·05. Furthermore, unless the radius of the precipitate exceeds certain critical values, the processes will not occur because (...) the energy of the system is not thereby lowered. A comparison of the theory with experiment enables limits to be placed on the stress necessary to cause the generation of dislocations in a perfect lattice, and at an incoherent interface. In the former case the generation stress is higher than hitherto supposed; but in the latter case it appears that an incoherent interface behaves as an ideal source of dislocations, in the sense that when the energy of the system can be lowered by their generation, they will be formed. (shrink)
Visual targets can be processed more quickly and reliably when a hand is placed near the target. Both unimodal and bimodal representations of hands are largely lateralized to the contralateral hemisphere, and since each hemisphere demonstrates specialized cognitive processing, it is possible that targets appearing near the left hand may be processed differently than targets appearing near the right hand. The purpose of this study was to determine whether visual processing near the left and right hands interacts with hemispheric specialization. (...) We presented hierarchical-letter stimuli (e.g. small characters used as local elements to compose large characters at the global level) near the left or right hands separately and instructed participants to discriminate the presence of target letters (X and O) from non-target letters (T and U) at either the global or local levels as quickly as possible. Targets appeared at either the global or local level of the display, at both levels, or were absent from the display; participants made foot-press responses. When discriminating target presence at the global level, participants responded more quickly to stimuli presented near the left hand than near either the right hand or in the no-hand condition. Hand presence did not influence target discrimination at the local level. Our interpretation is that left-hand presence may help participants discriminate global information, a right hemisphere process, and that the left hand may influence visual processing in a way that is distinct from the right hand. (shrink)
The adaptationist framework is necessary and sufficient for unifying the social and natural sciences. Gintis's “beliefs, preferences, and constraints” (BPC) model compares unfavorably to this framework because it lacks criteria for determining special design, incorrectly assumes that standard evolutionary theory predicts individual rationality maximisation, does not adequately recognize the impact of psychological mechanisms on culture, and is mute on the behavioural implications of intragenomic conflict. (Published Online April 27 2007).
Animal health is key to successful livestock production in developing countries. The development and delivery of vaccines against major epidemic diseases is one component of improving animal health. This paper presents a case study from Kenya on the production and delivery of a vaccine against Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia (CCPP), a major disease of goats. The vaccine, while technically a viable preventative measure against CCPP, has not been well integrated into Kenya's animal health care system. From February through November, 1992, the (...) authors explored the organizational and policy constraints to vaccine production and distribution. Data were obtained through interviews, field visits, and available documents. Results suggest an animal health system that 1) does not have a well developed infrastructure to track, identify, and control animal diseases; 2) tends to place greater emphasis on cattle, rather than small ruminant health care; and 3) is not well linked in terms of research, development, and extension services. (shrink)
This paper deals with an analysis of debris produced during the polishing of diamond. The debris is carefully collected 'as ejected' to shorten the history of the freshly removed material. Using high-resolution electron microscopy as well as electron-energy-loss spectroscopy, the structure of the material is revealed and analysed in terms of density, percentage of sp 2 hybridized carbon, and oxygen content. Debris from polishing in the so-called hard and soft directions were involved in this investigation. Overall the structure of all (...) debris is amorphous carbon. The material appears to be composed of small clusters, some nanometres in diameter, in which the graphite basal planes can be recognized. Very few and very small nanometre-sized diamond particles were found in the debris from polishing in the hard direction. The results support a polishing mechanism based on a mechanically induced transformation of diamond to graphite, after which material removal easily occurs. The well-known anisotropy observed in polishing can be explained satisfactorily on the basis of this model. Finally, in appendices, the art of polishing and the role of the black powder during preparation of the scaife are discussed. (shrink)
The food industry faces many significant risks from public criticism of corporate social responsibility (CSR) issues in the supply chain. This paper draws upon previous research and emerging industry trends to develop a comprehensive framework of supply chain CSR in the industry. The framework details unique CSR applications in the food supply chain including animal welfare, biotechnology, environment, fair trade, health and safety, and labor and human rights. General supply chain CSR issues such as community and procurement are also considered. (...) Ultimately, the framework serves as a comprehensive tool to support food industry practitioners and researchers in the assessment of strategic and operational supply chain CSR practices. (shrink)
This study examines the potential effects of unethically perceived advertising executionson consumer responses to the ad. The study found that the unethical perceptions of the advertisement shown significantly and negatively affected all advertising response variables examined in the study.
Despite sustained attention to ethical leadership in organizations, scholarship remains largely descriptive. This study employs an empirical approach to examine the consequences of ethical leadership on leader promotability. From a sample of ninety-six managers from two independent organizations, we found that ethical leaders were increasingly likely to be rated by their superior as exhibiting potential to reach senior leadership positions. However, leaders who displayed increased ethical leadership were no more likely to be viewed as promotable in the near-term compared to (...) those who displayed less ethical leadership. Our findings also show ethical culture and pressure to achieve results are important contextual factors that moderate the relationships between ethical leadership and leader promotability to senior leadership roles. (shrink)
Everyone knows a picture is worth a thousand words. But sometimes, especially in journalism, a picture can be worth much, much more. This added value isn't always positive. Pictures can inflict lasting pain on victims of grief and tragedy. This paper by an undergraduate journalism student explores the ethical dilemmas photographers face when capturing such traumatic incidents on film and explores the lack of professional guidelines available to guide them.
Burning fossil fuel in the North American continent contributes more to the CO2 global warming problem than in any other continent. The resulting climate changes are expected to alter food production. The overall changes in temperature, moisture, carbon dioxide, insect pests, plant pathogens, and weeds associated with global warming are projected to reduce food production in North America. However, in Africa, the projected slight rise in rainfall is encouraging, especially since Africa already suffers from severe shortages of rainfall. For all (...) regions, a reduction in fossil fuel burning is vital. Adoption of sound ecological resource management, especially soil and water conservation and the prevention of deforestation, is important. Together, these steps will benefit agriculture, the environment, farmers, and society as a whole. (shrink)
This essay was written for the 1984 General Motors Intercollegiate Business Understanding Program. It consists of three sections, each responding to a separate issue posed by General Motors. The opinions expressed are not those of the General Motors management.The first section attempts to document, through the use of Harvard Business Review articles, a shift in the notion of managerial responsibility from a narrowly focused role responsibility to a more widely focused moral responsibility.
Part 1. Introduction -- Introduction: Navigating the Perfect Moral Storm in Light of a Thirty-Five Year Debate -- Thirty-Five Year Climate Change Policy Debate -- Part 2. Priority Ethical Issues -- Ethical Problems with Cost Arguments -- Ethics and Scientific Uncertainty Arguments -- Atmospheric Targets -- Allocating National Emissions Targets -- Climate Change Damages and Adaptation Costs -- Obligations of Sub-national Governments, Organizations, Businesses, and Individuals -- Independent Responsibility to Act -- Part 3. The Crucial Role of Ethics in Climate (...) Change Policy Making -- Why Has Ethics Failed to Achieve Traction? -- Conclusion: Navigating the Perfect Moral Storm. (shrink)
In this paper we re-examine the semantics of classical higher-order logic with the purpose of clarifying the role of extensionality. To reach this goal, we distinguish nine classes of higher-order models with respect to various combinations of Boolean extensionality and three forms of functional extensionality. Furthermore, we develop a methodology of abstract consistency methods (by providing the necessary model existence theorems) needed to analyze completeness of (machine-oriented) higher-order calculi with respect to these model classes.