A key concern of global ethics is the equitable distribution of benefits and burdens amongst persons belonging to different populations. Until recently, the philosophical literature on global distribution was dominated by the question of how benefits and burdens should be divided amongst contemporaries. Recent years, however, have seen an increase in research on the scope and content of our duties to future generations. This has led to a number of innovative attempts to extend principles of distribution across time while retaining (...) a focus on the entitlements of the existing poor. In this article, I examine a key aspect of intergenerational justice, namely, the appropriate 'pattern' of well-being that should be obtained across generations. With the aid of research into the impacts of global climate change, I evaluate a number of rival accounts of the pattern of justice and go on to explore the merits of a 'global sufficientarian' ethic, which holds that as many persons as possible should enjoy a satisfactory level of well-being regardless of when or where they live. (shrink)
Global climate change raises profound questions for social and political theorists. The human impacts of climate change are sufficiently broad, and generally adverse, to threaten the rights and freedoms of existing and future members of all countries. These impacts will also exacerbate inequalities between rich and poor countries despite the limited role of the latter in their origins. Responding to these impacts will require the implementation of environmental and social policies that are both environmentally effective and consistent with the equality (...) and liberty of populations to which they are applied. This article considers whether global emissions trading, namely, the creation of a global market for tradable allowances conferring the right to emit a certain amount of greenhouse gas over a specified time period, is normatively defensible from a liberal egalitarian perspective. After a brief review of the theory and practice of emissions trading, a number of normative objections to the international trade in emissions allowances are analysed. These objections appeal to one, or a combination, of two claims. First, emissions trading schemes are likely to produce undesirable outcomes, such as environmental neglect, in the further future. I call these ?instrumental objections?. Second, emissions trading schemes violate non?consequential norms of justice and fairness. I call these ?intrinsic objections?. It is argued that, when combined, instrumental and intrinsic objections indicate that instituting a global network of emissions trading schemes, as envisioned by a number of parties to the Kyoto Protocol and Copenhagen Accord, would be illegitimate in absence of significant procedural and consequential safeguards. (shrink)
Policy making is not only about the cut and thrust of politics. It is also a bureaucratic activity. Long before laws are drafted, policy commitments made, or groups consulted on government proposals, officials will have been working away to shape the policy into a form in which it can be presented to ministers and the outside world. Policy bureaucracies - parts of government organizations with specific responsibility for maintaining and developing policy - have to be mobilized before most significant policy (...) initiatives are launched. -/- This book describes the range of work policy officials do. The 140 civil servants interviewed for this study included officials who helped originate policies which were subsequently taken over as manifesto commitments by the Labour Party; officials who helped devise the formula by which billions of pounds are allocated to local government in grants; and also officials who recommended to the Secretary of State that a controversial publisher be allowed to take over a national newspaper. The background and career paths of middle-ranking officials show them to be a diverse group who do not tend to develop long-term subject specialisms. The instructions to which these officials work - whether coming from ministers or senior officials - are often very broad and leave much to personal interpretation. -/- Policy Bureaucracy goes on to examine how ministers and senior officials affect the work of middle ranking officials and the cues policy bureaucrats use to develop policy. The analytical approach adopted in the book is derived from Alvin Gouldner's Patterns of Industrial Bureaucracy and his elaboration of Max Weber's notion that hierarchy and expertise place a fundamental tension at the heart of modern bureaucracies. In the UK this tension is handled by combining 'invited authority' with 'improvised expertise'. The book also explores other models of handling this tension in political systems in Europe and the USA. (shrink)
Frederick the Great of Prussia was hailed by many as the model of an Enlightened Despot. Historians continue to debate both the concept of Enlightened Despotism and Fredericks credentials as an enlightened monarch. Should we talk in terms of enlightened absolutism? Of reform absolutism? Or simply drop the use of any such terms for a monarch who used his enlightened philosophising and flute playing as window dressing for a system of governance that was essentially conventional absolutism? In light of continuing (...) debate about the nature of Fredericks reign, it is worth revisiting the views of contemporaries. As a friend of Voltaire, Fredericks place was well established in traditional depictions of the Enlightenment as centred on the French philosophes. In the past two decades, however, scholars have broadened and deepened our conception of Enlightenment by researching the social history of ideas and illuminating Enlightenment in various national and cultural contexts. In this vein, an analysis of perceptions of Frederick the Great can shed light on the nature of Enlightenment in Britain. Fredericks popularity in Britain reached dizzying heights in the late 1750s as he won spectacular victories in the Continental campaign against Britains enemies in the Seven Years War. From the 1760s on, however, British opinion was generally critical of his regulated and militaristic state and his aggrandisement through diplomacy. While it is not within the scope of this essay to explore broader perceptions of Frederick II in late eighteenth-century Britain, it appears that writers who can be located within conservative enlightened thought had a more positive perception of Frederick than dissenters. Samuel Johnson declared that the King of Prussia could get away with wearing plain cloths because of the dignity of his character. On separate occasions in 1780 Edmund Burke praised Frederick for the economy and efficiency of his royal court and for his religious toleration. An article is in preparation that will explore the range of British opinion on Frederick the Great at the end of his long reign. This essay, however, will focus on how some leading Rational Dissenters perceived the self-consciously enlightened King of Prussia, and provide an exposition of the Memoirs of the life and reign of Frederick (1788) by Joseph Towers. (shrink)
Over the last decade, fully distributed models have become dominant in connectionist psychological modelling, whereas the virtues of localist models have been underestimated. This target article illustrates some of the benefits of localist modelling. Localist models are characterized by the presence of localist representations rather than the absence of distributed representations. A generalized localist model is proposed that exhibits many of the properties of fully distributed models. It can be applied to a number of problems that are difficult for fully (...) distributed models, and its applicability can be extended through comparisons with a number of classic mathematical models of behaviour. There are reasons why localist models have been underused, though these often misconstrue the localist position. In particular, many conclusions about connectionist representation, based on neuroscientific observation, can be called into question. There are still some problems inherent in the application of fully distributed systems and some inadequacies in proposed solutions to these problems. In the domain of psychological modelling, localist modelling is to be preferred. Key Words: choice; competition; connectionist modelling; consolidation; distributed; localist; neural networks; reaction-time. (shrink)
The task of designing effective economic and political institutions requires substantial foresight. The designer must anticipate not only the behavior of individual actors, but also how that behavior will aggregate. Rising complexity brought about by increases in speeds of adaptation, diversity, connectedness, and interdependence make institutional design all the more challenging. Given the focus on equilibria, the extant literature on mechanism design might appear incapable of coping with this complexity. Yet, I suggest that a deeper engagement with the origins of (...) the mechanism-design framework reveals insights that may help us design robust, adaptive institutions that can harness complexity. (shrink)
A motivation is given for expressing classical mechanics in terms of diagonal projection matrices and diagonal density matrices. Then quantum mechanics is seen to be a simple generalization in which one replaces the diagonal real matrices with suitable Hermitian matrices.
A minor modification of the arguments of Press and Lightman leads to an estimate of the height of the tallest running, breathing organism on a habitable planet as the Bohr radius multiplied by the three-tenths power of the ratio of the electrical to gravitational forces between two protons (rather than the one-quarter power that Press got for the largest animal that would not break in falling over, after making an assumption of unreasonable brittleness). My new estimate gives a height of (...) about 3.6 meters rather than Press’s original estimate of about 2.6 cm. It also implies that the number of atoms in the tallest runner is very roughly of the order of the nine-tenths power of the ratio of the electrical to gravitational forces between two protons, which is about 3×1032. (shrink)
This paper argues that the health-related work of the RockefellerFoundation in Central Europe following the First World War flowed not somuch from geopolitical concerns as from the Foundation's ambition tocreate a global network in scientific medicine. It examines theassumptions and values that underpinned this project, and indicates someof the questions that these pose for today's world.
Probabilities in quantum theory are traditionally given by Born’s rule as the expectation values of projection operators. Here it is shown that Born’s rule is insufficient in universes so large that they contain identical multiple copies of observers, because one does not have definite projection operators to apply. Possible replacements for Born’s rule include using the expectation value of various operators that are not projection operators, or using vari-.
La genèse de la vedette de cinéma qu’effectue Walter Benjamin au chapitre 10 de L’Œuvre d’art à l’époque de sa reproductibilité technique (dernière version, 1939) trouve une résonance politique dans une note de bas de page du même chapitre où la star acquiert un statut analogue au dictateur, quand la technique (de reproduction) de l’œuvre d’art devient elle-même, à travers le cinéma, œuvre d’art. Si les démocraties bourgeoises contiennent, dans leur rapport aux médias de masse, la possibilité de leur (...) basculement dans le fascisme, c’est parce que leurs gouvernants, au même titre que l’acteur de cinéma, deviennent des marchandises, soumises à la loi de la forme équivalente (de la marchandise). L’« esthétisation de la politique » doit dès lors être comprise comme la restitution de l’« aura » et de la « valeur cultuelle » qui l’accompagne, dans et par les conditions qui par définition en constituent la liquidation, à savoir la technique, qui sont l’attribut du pouvoir. Sublimer la marchandise en la présentant sous les espèces de l’œuvre d’art quand celle-ci devient marchandise – ainsi s’institue la star –, et identifier l’homme politique à une œuvre d’art – à une star –, revient à faire de lui l’incarnation du pouvoir : un dictateur. (shrink)
With calls for (business) leaders to contribute to greater global fairness and social justice (BAWB 2006; Maak and Pless Journal of Business Ethics, 88, 537–550, 2009), this paper considers gender equality on University home web page images as one means of communicating equal access to leadership roles for both men and women. Although there are many paths for leadership development, one important purpose of Universities is to create people who will potentially become leaders in our society (Shapiro 2005). We (...) analyzed the home web pages at 24 leading universities to identify implicit messages about gender roles, building on implicit leadership theory and leadership prototypes. Using an adapted version of Goffman’s frame analysis (1979), our results suggest depiction of gender equality in university home web pages, in contrast to studies of print advertisements (cf., Kang Sex Roles, 37(11/12), 979–996, 1997; Lindner Sex Roles, 51(7/8), 409–421, 2004). Our results also identify specific opportunities to depict greater equity and to continue to expand the potential for both women and men to be seen as being capable and belonging on this leadership path. (shrink)
One of the outstanding achievements of recent cosmology has been to offer some prospect of a unified explanation of temporal asymmetry. The explanation is in two main parts, and runs something like this. First, the various asymmetries we observe are all thermodynamic in origin – all products of the fact that we live in an epoch in which the universe is far from thermodynamic equilibrium. Second, this thermodynamic disequilibrium is associated with the condition of the universe very soon after the (...) Big Bang – the essential point being that in the rapidly expanding universe of the time, gravity is able to create organisation much faster than other processes can destroy it. The stars, galaxies and other forms of organisation we find in the present universe are all products of this early period. Such concentrated energy sources themselves make possible the kinds of asymmetric phenomena with which we are most familiar, such as life itself. If this explanation proves to be right it will surely rank as one of the most impressive achievements in the whole of natural philosophy. Where else do we find this breathtaking scale, this extraordinary conjunction of fundamental physics, the first moments of Creation, the possibility of life and the basic character of human experience? And it is very much a contemporary achievement: even if its roots go back on one side to the investigation of time asymmetry in nineteenth century statistical mechanics, and on the other to Hubble's discovery in the 1920's of the expansion of the universe, the body of the picture has only begun to be filled in in the last twenty or thirty years. This fascinating story has recently been given some well-deserved publicity in Stephen Hawking's bestseller, A Brief History of Time (Bantam, 1988) – well-deserved, not least, because Hawking himself is responsible for a considerable part of the story as it presently stands. (shrink)
Our scientific concepts generally are in the melting-pot. They are all infected by relativity. This is as true in psychology and philosophy as in the physical sciences. In each case we must be willing to reconstruct our concepts on the basis of new evidence. Psychology has too long been hampered by a false tradition, and incidentally it has dragged philosophy with it into the slough of subjectivism. Brilliant discoveries in the realms of physiology and pathology throw new light on many (...) of the fundamental concepts of psychology, spite of the fact that the investigators themselves have sometimes been misled by the old tradition. We are here concerned with their data, not with their theories. The evidence, as I interpret it, gives the death-blow to the old subjectivistic psychology. As regards sensations, the evidence shows, on the one hand, that their character is independent of consciousness; but, on the other hand, it equally disproves the assumption that the sense-qualities exist in the physical world just as we know them and independently of the organism. The evidence further shows that the centers of the central nervous system constitute a hierarchy of energy patterns, not storehouses or factories of content, sensational or imaginal. The content is due to lines of motion, connecting those energy patterns with the sense-organs. The processes of selection. (shrink)
FROM the point of view of scientific investigation no two subjects could present a stronger contrast than the two named in the title of this book. Movement is the ultimate fact of physical science. The measurement of the direction and velocity of movements is the most satisfactory achievement of science, and the scientist is contented with his explanation of any natural phenomenon when he has reduced it to movements and expressed their relations in a mathematical formula. On the other hand, (...) nothing could be less attractive to the scientific investigator with such an aim than the domain of mental imagery, the world of imaginary objects. Mental images are not only removed from general observation and open to direct study only by the individual who experiences them, but even he has no satisfactory way of measuring them and reducing them to mathematics. (shrink)