This anthology of essays on the work of David Kaplan, a leading contemporary philosopher of language, sprang from a conference, "Themes from Kaplan," organized by the Center for the Study of Language and Information at Stanford University.
Judaism, like Gilbert Meilaender, analogizes food and sex. Traditionally, Judaism saw the primary purpose of sex as procreation, the fulfillment of a biblical mandate. It did not, however, link sex to the Garden of Eden story, and it acknowledged that sex was also important for couples' bonding. While Meilaender sees bonding as a value co-equal with procreation, Judaism traditionally kept procreation as the primary goal. Couples were encouraged to have sex when infertile and were permitted contraception when pregnancy endangered life, (...) but whenever possible, they were directed to also have sex for procreation. Many modern rabbis, in agreement with Meilaender, permit contraception in order to foster bonding as a separate goal of sex. However, reproductive technology is seen, in Judaism, as partnership with God, allowing for a process of birth that is as natural as the process of producing food by farming. Last, when sex is permitted, Judaism celebrates the joy attendant to sex as a Divine gift. (shrink)
Is Bayesian decision theory a panacea for many of the problems in epistemology and the philosophy of science, or is it philosophical snake-oil? For years a debate had been waged amongst specialists regarding the import and legitimacy of this body of theory. Mark Kaplan had written the first accessible and non-technical book to address this controversy. Introducing a new variant on Bayesian decision theory the author offers a compelling case that, while no panacea, decision theory does in fact have (...) the most profound consequences for the way in which philosophers think about inquiry, criticism and rational belief. The new variant on Bayesian theory is presented in such a way that a non-specialist will be able to understand it. The book also offers new solutions to some classic paradoxes. It focuses on the intuitive motivations of the Bayesian approach to epistemology and addresses the philosophical worries to which it has given rise. (shrink)
In 'Hempel and Oppenheim on Explanation', (see preceding article) Eberle, Kaplan, and Montague criticize the analysis of explanation offered by Hempel and Oppenheim in their 'Studies in the Logic of Explanation'. These criticisms are shown to be related to the fact that Hempel and Oppenheim's analysis fails to satisfy simultaneously three newly proposed criteria of adequacy for any analysis of explanation. A new analysis is proposed which satisfies these criteria and thus is immune to the criticisms brought against the (...) earlier analysis. (shrink)
Will a synthesis of developmental and evolutionary biology require a focus on the role of nongenetic resources in evolution? Nongenetic variation may exist but be hidden because the phenotypes are stable (developmentally canalized) under certain background conditions. In this case, those differences may come to play important roles in evolution when background conditions change. If this is so, then a focus on the way that developmental resources are made reliable, and the ways in which reliability fails, may prove to be (...) of crucial importance to linking developmental and evolutionary biology. †To contact the author, please write to: 208 Hovland Hall, Philosophy Department, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331‐3902; e‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
Recently, Estes and Arnold claimed to have “solved” the paradox of evolutionary stasis; they claim that stabilizing selection, and only stabilizing selection, can explain the patterns of evolutionary divergence observed over “all timescales.” While Estes and Arnold clearly think that they have identified the processes that produce evolutionary stasis, they have not. Instead, Estes and Arnold identify a particular evolutionary pattern but not the processes that produce that pattern. This mistake is important; the slippage between pattern and process is common (...) in population and quantitative genetics and contributes to a persistent misunderstanding of the nature of explanations in evolutionary biology. †To contact the author, please write to: Philosophy Department, 208 Hovland Hall, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331‐3902; e‐mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
In her latest book, Dr. Louise Kaplan, author of the groundbreaking Female Perversions, explores the fetishism strategy, a psychological defense that aims to tame, subdue, and if necessary, murder human vitalities. Through an exploration of such cultural phenomena as footbinding, reality television, and the construction of robots, Kaplan demonstrates how, in a technology-driven world, an understanding of the fetishism strategy can help to preserve the human dialogue that is the basis of all human relationships. Kaplan writes from (...) the heart as well as from the intellect. (shrink)
It is illegitimate to read any ontology about "race" off of biological theory or data. Indeed, the technical meaning of "genetic variation" is fluid, and there is no single theoretical agreed-upon criterion for defining and distinguishing populations (or groups or clusters) given a particular set of genetic variation data. Thus, by analyzing three formal senses of "genetic variation"—diversity, differentiation, and heterozygosity—we argue that the use of biological theory for making epistemic claims about "race" can only seem plausible when it relies (...) on the user’s own assumptions about race; the move from biological measures to claims about “race” inevitably amounts to a pernicious reification. We also excavate assumptions in the history of the technical discourse over the concept of "race" (e.g., Livingstone's and Dobzhansky's 1962 exchange, Edwards' 2003 response to Lewontin 1972, as well as contemporary discussions of cladistic "race", and "races" as clusters). We show that claims about the existence (or non-existence) of "race" are underdetermined by biological facts, methods, and theories. Biological theory does not force the concept of "race" upon us; our social discourse, social ontology, and social expectations do. We become prisoners of our abstractions at our own hands, and at our own expense. (shrink)
Part 1 sets out the logical/semantical background to ‘On Denoting’, including an exposition of Russell's views in Principles of Mathematics, the role and justification of Frege's notorious Axiom V, and speculation about how the search for a solution to the Contradiction might have motivated a new treatment of denoting. Part 2 consists primarily of an extended analysis of Russell's views on knowledge by acquaintance and knowledge by description, in which I try to show that the discomfiture between Russell's semantical and (...) epistemological commitments begins as far back as 1903. I close with a non-Russellian critique of Russell's views on how we are able to make use of linguistic representations in thought and with the suggestion that a theory of comprehension is needed to supplement semantic theory. (shrink)
This paper criticizes three assumptions regarding terrorism and the agents who carry it out: 1) terrorists are always indiscriminate in their targeting, 2) terrorism is never effective in combating oppression, and 3) terrorists never participate in fair negotiations as they merely wish to switch places with their oppressors. By criticizing these three prejudices against terrorism, the paper does not attempt to justify or excuse terrorism generally nor in the specific case of Sri Lanka which is examined. Instead, it creates the (...) necessary room for such justifications or excuses to be critically appraised by dismantling the popular myths surrounding terrorism. (shrink)
Advocates of extended cognition argue that the boundaries of cognition span brain, body, and environment. Critics maintain that cognitive processes are confined to a boundary centered on the individual. All participants to this debate require a criterion for distinguishing what is internal to cognition from what is external. Yet none of the available proposals are completely successful. I offer a new account, the mutual manipulability account, according to which cognitive boundaries are determined by relationships of mutual manipulability between the properties (...) and activities of putative components and the overall behavior of the cognitive mechanism in which they figure. Among its main advantages, this criterion is capable of (a) distinguishing components of cognition from causal background conditions and lower-level correlates, and (b) showing how the core hypothesis of extended cognition can serve as a legitimate empirical hypothesis amenable to experimental test and confirmation. Conceiving the debate in these terms transforms the current clash over extended cognition into a substantive empirical debate resolvable on the basis of evidence from cognitive science and neuroscience. (shrink)
In this paper, a two-fold strategy is carried out for gaining conceptual clarity in response to the question: What is terrorism? The first stage is to defend a broad working definition of terrorism that emphasizes the instrumental employment of terror or fear to obtain any number of possible ends. As proposed in this paper, Terrorism is an act or threat of violence to persons or property that elicits terror, fear, or anxiety regarding the security of human life or fundamental rights (...) and that functions as an instrument to obtain further ends. This instrumentality relies upon either an explicit or implicit threat of separate acts of future violence. It is argued that such a functionalist approach to defining terrorism captures the core qualities that unite the broad family of both political and nonpolitical terrorist actions. At the same time, the proposed definition avoids the problems associated with other approaches that either focus upon the terrorist’s ‘unconventional’ tactics, or the ‘innocence’ of their targets, or their coercive intentions. The breadth of the proposed definition allows for the more nuanced typological analysis in the second stage. The typology is primarily an analysis of the modes of terrorism’s instrumentality. Thus, the broad phenomenon of terrorism is divided according to factors of targets, the degree of force employed, agency, and the geographic context of the action. It is only by drawing out the diverse types of terrorism that the projects of morally evaluating terrorism and formulating a just response to terrorism can take place in a concrete and meaningful way. (shrink)
Abstract While agreeing that dynamical models play a major role in cognitive science, we reject Stepp, Chemero, and Turvey's contention that they constitute an alternative to mechanistic explanations. We review several problems dynamical models face as putative explanations when they are not grounded in mechanisms. Further, we argue that the opposition of dynamical models and mechanisms is a false one and that those dynamical models that characterize the operations of mechanisms overcome these problems. By briefly considering examples involving the generation (...) of action potentials and circadian rhythms, we show how decomposing a mechanism and modeling its dynamics are complementary endeavors. (shrink)
All eyes are turned towards genomic data and models as the source of knowledge about whether human races exist or not. Will genomic science make the final decision about whether racial realism (e.g., racial population naturalism) or anti-realism (e.g., racial skepticism) is correct? We think not. We believe that the results of even our best and most impressive genomic technologies underdetermine whether bio-genomic races exist, or not. First, different sub-disciplines of biology interested in population structure employ distinct concepts, aims, measures, (...) and models, producing cross-cutting categorizations of population subdivisions rather than a single, universal bio-genomic concept of “race.” Second, within each sub-discipline (e.g., conservation biology, phylogenetics), genomic results are consistent with, and map multiply to, racial realism and anti-realism. Indeed, racial ontologies are constructed conventionally, rather than discovered. We thus defend a /constructivist conventionalism/ about bio-genomic racial ontology. Choices and conventions must always be made in identifying particular kinds of groups. Political agendas, social programs, and moral questions premised on the existence of naturalistic race must accept that no scientifically grounded racial ontology is forthcoming, and adjust presumptions, practices, and projects accordingly. (shrink)
Biological research on race has often been seen as motivated by or lending credence to underlying racist attitudes; in part for this reason, recently philosophers and biologists have gone through great pains to essentially deny the existence of biological human races. We argue that human races, in the biological sense of local populations adapted to particular environments, do in fact exist; such races are best understood through the common ecological concept of ecotypes. However, human ecotypic races do not in general (...) correspond with 'folk' racial categories, largely because many similar ecotypes have multiple independent origins. Consequently, while human natural races exist, they have little or nothing in common with 'folk' races. (shrink)
Orthodox Probabilists hold that an inquirer ought to harbor a precise degree of confidence in each hypothesis about which she is concerned. Modest Probabilism is one of a family doctrines inspired by the thought that Orthodox Probabilists are thereby demanding that an inquirer effect a precision that is often unwarranted by her evidence. The purpose of this essay is (i) to explain the particular way in which Modest Probabilism answers to this thought, and (ii) to address an alleged counterexample to (...) Modest Probabilism meant to offer proof that Modest Probabilism is no better than its orthodox predecessor at avoiding unwarranted precision. (shrink)
This paper praises and criticizes Peter-Paul Verbeek’s What Things Do ( 2006 ). The four things that Verbeek does well are: (1) remind us of the importance of technological things; (2) bring Karl Jaspers into the conversation on technology; (3) explain how technology “co-shapes” experience by reading Bruno Latour’s actor-network theory in light of Don Ihde’s post-phenomenology; (4) develop a material aesthetics of design. The three things that Verbeek does not do well are: (1) analyze the material conditions in which (...) things are produced; (2) criticize the social-political design and use context of things; and (3) appreciate how liberal moral-political theory contributes to our evaluation of technology. (shrink)
The central aim of this paper is to shed light on the nature of explanation in computational neuroscience. I argue that computational models in this domain possess explanatory force to the extent that they describe the mechanisms responsible for producing a given phenomenon—paralleling how other mechanistic models explain. Conceiving computational explanation as a species of mechanistic explanation affords an important distinction between computational models that play genuine explanatory roles and those that merely provide accurate descriptions or predictions of phenomena. It (...) also serves to clarify the pattern of model refinement and elaboration undertaken by computational neuroscientists. (shrink)
We attempt to improve the understanding of the notion of agene being `for a phenotypic trait or traits. Considering theimplicit functional ascription of one thing being `for another,we submit a more restrictive version of `gene for talk.Accordingly, genes are only to be thought of as being forphenotypic traits when good evidence is available that thepresence or prevalence of the gene in a population is the resultof natural selection on that particular trait, and that theassociation between that trait and the gene (...) in question isdemonstrably causal. It is therefore necessary to gatherstatistical, biochemical, historical, as well as ecologicalinformation before properly claiming that a gene is for aphenotypic trait. Instead of hampering practical use of the `genefor talk, our approach aims at stimulating much needed researchinto the functional ecology and comparative evolutionary biologyof gene action. (shrink)
Biological research on race has often been seen as motivated by or lending credence to underlying racist attitudes; in part for this reason, recently philosophers and biologists have gone through great pains to essentially deny the existence of biological human races. We argue that human races, in the biological sense of local populations adapted to particular environments, do in fact exist; such races are best understood through the common ecological concept of ecotypes. However, human ecotypic races do not in general (...) correspond with ‘folk’ racial categories, largely because many similar ecotypes have multiple independent origins. Consequently, while human natural races exist, they have little or nothing in common with ‘folk’ races. (shrink)
The work of Ernesto Laclau (both with and without his occasional collaborator, Chantal Mouffe) has exerted considerable influence in rhetorical studies over the past two decades. Emerging alongside the so-called epistemic and cultural turns, the project of "critical rhetoric" and cognate endeavors have found in Laclau a revision of Gramsci's hegemony thesis that places discursive—and thus, evidently, rhetorical—operations at the center of politics, culture, and social processes generally. While Raymie McKerrow's seminal essay (1989) drew on Laclau and Mouffe to outline (...) a set of tasks for rhetoric that clearly remained within the ambit of ideology critique, subsequent appropriations of what is variously called .. (shrink)
J. L. Austin famously thought that facts about the circumstances in which it is ordinarily appropriate and reasonable to make (challenge) claims to knowledge have a great bearing on the propriety of a philosophical account of knowledge. His major criticism of the epistemological doctrines about which he wrote was precisely that they lacked fidelity to our ordinary linguistic practices. In The Significance of Philosophical Scepticism, Barry Stroud argues that Austin was misguided: it is one thing for it to be inappropriate (...) under ordinary circumstances to (say) deny that someone knows that P, another thing for it to be true that she knows that P. Thus, to the philosophical enterprise of determining which knowledge attributions are true, Austin's form of criticism is beside the point. I argue that, attractive though it may be, this response to Austin badly under-estimates the force of his sort of criticism. (shrink)
This paper examines recent arguments by Michael Walzer and Uwe Steinhoff for justifying or excusing indiscriminate terrorism by means of invoking ‘emergency’ circumstances. While both authors claim that the principle of non-combatant immunity can be justifiably overridden under extreme circumstances, it is argued here that neither provides a convincing argument as to when and why the survival of some innocents ought to counterbalance the harms or rights violations of indiscriminate terrorism. A defensible emergency justification for indiscriminate terrorism is proposed and (...) shown to open the door to a broader, non-emergency rationale for conceivably excusing or justifying indiscriminate terrorism. (shrink)
Hempel and Oppenheim, in their paper 'The Logic of Explanation', have offered an analysis of the notion of scientific explanation. The present paper advances considerations in the light of which their analysis seems inadequate. In particular, several theorems are proved with roughly the following content: between almost any theory and almost any singular sentence, certain relations of explainability hold.
Twenty years have passed since Gould and Lewontin published their critique of ‘the adaptationist program’ – the tendency of some evolutionary biologists to assume, rather than demonstrate, the operation of natural selection. After the ‘Spandrels paper’, evolutionists were more careful about producing just-so stories based on selection, and paid more attention to a panoply of other processes. Then came reactions against the excesses of the anti-adaptationist movement, which ranged from a complete dismissal of Gould and Lewontin’s contribution to a positive (...) call to overcome the problems. We now have an excellent opportunity for finally affirming a more balanced and pluralistic approach to the study of evolutionary biology. (shrink)
The Depue & Collins model is intended to explain a normal human personality trait: extraversion. In contrast, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is generally considered to be a type of psychopathology not found in so-called normals; however, the clinical and neurobiological research done on ADHD seems to amplify and support Depue & Collins's model.
The concepts of adaptive/fitness landscapes and adaptive peaks are a central part of much of contemporary evolutionary biology; the concepts are introduced in introductory texts, developed in more detail in graduate-level treatments, and are used extensively in papers published in the major journals in the field. The appeal of visualizing the process of evolution in terms of the movement of populations on such landscapes is very strong; as one becomes familiar with the metaphor, one often develops the feeling that it (...) is possible to gain deep insights into evolution by thinking about the movement of populations on landscapes consisting of adaptive valleys and peaks. But, since Wright first introduced the metaphor in 1932, the metaphor has been the subject of persistent confusion, from equivocation over just what the features of the landscape are meant to represent to how we ought to expect the landscapes to look. Recent advances—conceptual, empirical, and computational—have pointed towards the inadequacy and indeed incoherence of the landscapes as usually pictured. I argue that attempts to reform the metaphor are misguided; it is time to give up the pictorial metaphor of the landscape entirely and rely instead on the results of formal modeling, however difficult such results are to understand in ‘intuitive’ terms. (shrink)
Rachlin's thought-provoking analysis could be strengthened by greater openness to evolutionary interpretation and the use of the directed attention concept as a component of self-control. His contribution to the understanding of prosocial behavior would also benefit from abandoning the traditional (and excessively restrictive) definition of altruism.
The works of the later Wittgenstein resonate with aspects of the pragmatist tradition in American philosophy. Davidson’s work is similarly informed. We argue that because of their association with the pragmatist tradition, their work can be put to use by philosophers interested in social justice issues, including, for example, feminism, and critical race theory. Philosophers concerned with social justice continue to struggle between the extremes of an untenable foundationalism and a radical relativism. Given their holistic understanding of knowledge, meaning and (...) communication, the work of Wittgenstein and Davidson is particularly suited to dissolving the foundationalist/relativist dichotomy. We explore how this and other features of their work facilitates philosophy for social change. (shrink)
This essay treats the idea specific to the French republican culture, where the state does not oppose individual freedom, but rather makes it possible. It tries to assess and defend this idea using philosophical and historical arguments on the nature of democracy and the meaning of freedom. If liberty requires some sort of equality that goes beyond equality of rights, the state is a necessary component for freedom whenever equality is not simply given, but gained in opposition to private and (...) non-private domination. (shrink)
A “functional food” is a food-based product that provides a demonstrable physiological benefit beyond its dietary or nutritional value. This class of foods for specific health uses are designed to assist in the prevention or treatment of disease, or to enhance and improve human capacities. They include products like vitamin-fortified grains, energy bars, low-fat or low-sodium foods, and sports drinks. Three sets of concerns about functional foods deserve attention. 1) Their health benefits are greatly exaggerated and, in many cases, non-existent; (...) practical questions remain about their efficacy. 2) Their medicinal properties blur the boundaries between food and drugs; public health questions remain about their appropriate use, distribution, and regulation. 3) Their proliferation is fueled by the food industry, not by the medical profession; political questions remain about the role of market forces that too often benefit producers more than consumers. (shrink)
Perceptual learning mechanisms derived from Hebb's theory of cell assemblies can generate prototypic representations capable of extending the representational power of TEC (Theory of Event Coding) event codes. The extended capability includes categorization that accommodates “family resemblances” and problem solving that uses cognitive maps.
Crucial to bayesian contributions to the philosophy of science has been a characteristic psychology, according to which investigators harbor degree of confidence assignments that (insofar as the agents are rational) obey the axioms of the probability calculus. The rub is that, if the evidence of introspection is to be trusted, this fruitful psychology is false: actual investigators harbor no such assignments. The orthodox bayesian response has been to argue that the evidence of introspection is not to be trusted here; it (...) is to investigators' dispositions--not to their felt convictions--that the psychology is meant to be (and succeeds in being) faithful. I argue that this response, in both its orthodox and convex-set bayesian forms, should be rejected--as should the regulative ideals that make the response seem so attractive. I offer a different variant of bayesianism, designed to give the evidence of introspection its due and thus realize (as I claim the other forms of bayesianism cannot) the prescriptive mission of the bayesian project. (shrink)
Attempts to explain human behavior that appeal to economic rationality share many of the same ontological as- sumptions and methodological practices that the so-called ‘adaptationist program’ in biology was criticized for. This program in biology was largely abandoned by biologists as poorly motivated, and replaced with the active testing of both adaptive and non-adaptive hypotheses regarding the spread and maintenance of traits in populations. This development was largely welcome by the biological <span class='Hi'>community</span>, despite having required the development of new (...) tools, both conceptual and method- ological. Many analysts of contemporary microeconomic practice criticize the assumptions and practices employed therein as similarly poorly motivated. Close attention to these criticisms reveal them to have more than superficial similarities to the critiques of adaptationism in biology. These similarities extend to some macroeconomics researchers recent suggestions of ways that hypotheses regarding the causes of people’s actions might be tested; as yet, however, these suggestions have not been embraced by the field as a whole. By attending to the ways in which biological practice has moved beyond the adaptationist program, similar changes in economic practice may be motivated. (shrink)
Recent, well-publicized accounting scandals have shown that the penalties outsiders impose on those found culpable of earnings management can be severe. However, less is known about how colleagues within internal labor markets respond when they believe fellow managers have managed earnings. Designers of responsibility accounting systems need to understand the reputational costs managers impose on one another within internal labor markets. In an experimental study, 159 evening MBA students were asked to assume the role of a manager in a company (...) and respond to a scenario in which another manager (the target manager) has the opportunity to engage in earnings management. Participants provided causal attributions, assessed the morality of the target manager, and indicated whether they would change their judgments about the target manager's reputation. The study manipulated three between-subjects factors: (1) whether the target manager chose to engage in earnings management, (2) whether the company's budgetary control system was rigid or flexible, and (3) whether the target manager's work history was average or above average. We found that causal attributions are affected more by the budgetary systems when the target did not manage earnings than when the manager did. We also found that morality judgments were significantly associated with the target manager's behavior, but not with the budgetary system. In addition, participants' judgments about the target manager's reputation were more strongly associated with morality judgments than with causal attributions. We discuss implications of the role of reputation in management control systems design. (shrink)
Previous accounting ethics research berates auditors for ethical lapses that contribute to the failure of Andersen (e.g., Duska, R.: 2005, Journal of Business Ethics 57, 17–29; Staubus, G.: 2005, Journal of Business Ethics 57, 5–15; however, some of the blame must also fall on regulatory and professional bodies that exist to mitigate auditors’ ethical lapses. In this paper, we consider the ethical and economic context that existed and facilitated Andersen’s failure. Our analysis is grounded in Akerlof’s (1970, Quarterly Journal of (...) Economics August, 488–500) Theory of the Market for Lemons and we characterize the market for audit reports as a market for lemons. Consistent with Akerlof’s model, we consider the appropriateness of the countervailing mechanisms that existed at the time of Andersen’s demise that appeared to have effectively failed in counteracting Andersen’s ethical shortcomings. Finally, we assess the appropriateness of the remedies proposed by the Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002 (SOA) to ensure that similar ethical lapses will not occur in the future. Our analysis indicates that the SOA regulatory reforms should counteract some of the necessary conditions of the Lemons Model, and thereby mitigate the likelihood of audit failures. However, we contend that the effectiveness of the SOA critically depends upon the focus and attention of the␣Public Companies Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) towards assessing the ethical climates of public accounting firms. Assessments by the PCAOB of public accounting firm’s ethical climate are needed to sufficiently ensure that public accounting firms effectively promote and maintain audit quality in situations where unconscious bias or economic incentives may erode the public accounting firm’s independence. (shrink)
Phylogenetic information is often necessary to distinguish between evolutionary scenarios. Recently, some prominent proponents of evolutionary psychology have acknowledged this, and have claimed that such evidence has in fact been brought to bear on adaptive hypotheses involving complex human psychological traits. Were this possible, it would be a valuable source of evidence regarding hypothesized adaptive traits in humans. However, the structure of the Hominidae family makes this difficult or impossible. For many traits of interest, the closest extant relatives to the (...) human species are too phenotypically different from humans for such methods to provide meaningful data. While phylogenetic information can be useful for testing adaptive hypotheses in humans, these generally involve traits that are (a) not widely shared in the species or (b) fairly widely shared in the Hominidae family, and hence likely of a lower order of complexity than the sorts of traits evolutionary psychology has so far been interested in. (shrink)
Krishnachandra Bhattacharyya, one of the preeminent Indian philosophers of the 20th century, proposed that the absolute appears in three alternative forms - truth, freedom and value. Each of these forms are for Bhattacharyya absolute, ultimate, not penultimate. Each is different from the other, yet they cannot be said to be one or many. He contends that these absolutes are incompatible with each other and that an articulation of the relation between the three absolutes is not feasible. This paper (...) will review Bhattacharyya's presentation of the absolute in its alternative forms and will place these abstractions within the context of three specific religious traditions that he sees illustrating his point. Then, using a model based upon holography, I will illuminate with 'concrete images' that which Bhattacharyya could deductively formulate but could not logically integrate. Holography, the process by which three-dimensional images are produced from an imageless film - a film in which each part can reproduce the whole - will be used as a heuristic device to illuminate the simultaneous and mutually interpenetrating existence of the absolute in three forms. This model will illumine how these three forms can be conceived of as not the same yet not other and how these forms can be incompatible as absolutes, but metaphysically inseparable. (shrink)
The frequency of earnings restatements has been increasing over the last decade. Restating previous earnings erodes perceived trustworthiness and competence of management, giving firms strong incentives to take actions to enhance perceived credibility of future financial reports [Farber, D. B.: 2005, The Accounting Review 80(2), 539–561.]. Using an experimental case, we examine the ability of post-restatement actions taken by a firm to positively influence non-professional investors’ perceptions of management’s financial reporting credibility. Our examination considers credibility judgments following two types of (...) restatements – those resulting from fraud in which the character, ethics, and values of an organization may be called into question [cf. Copeland, Jr., J. E.: 2005, Accounting Horizons 19(1), 35–43.], and those resulting from non-fraud (i.e., aggressive accounting). Based on the information in the experimental case, non-professional investors take the role of potential equity investors and make a judgment about management’s financial reporting credibility after reviewing a set of post-restatement actions taken by a firm. The possible actions include changes in four corporate governance mechanisms (i.e., internal audit function, external audit firm, board of directors, CFO) and a buyback of company stock. Our results provide an important contribution to the literature by demonstrating that among non-professional investors, perceptions of management’s financial reporting credibility are affected both by the post-restatement action taken and the nature of the restatement. These results offer insight into the formation of a key credibility judgment made by non-professional investors following a trust-destroying event, an earnings restatement. (shrink)
Organizations are increasingly embedded with consultants and other non-employees who have the opportunity to engage in wrongdoing. However, research exploring the reporting intentions of employees regarding the discovery of wrongdoing by consultants is scant. It is important to examine reporting intentions in this setting given the enhanced presence of consultants in organizations and the fact that wrongdoing by consultants changes a key characteristic of the wrongdoing. Using an experimental approach, the current paper reports the results of a study examining employees (...) reporting intentions subsequent to their discovery of wrongdoing by a consultant. The results of the study indicate that perceptions about the seriousness of a wrongdoing, personal costs and personal responsibility related to reporting a wrongdoing, and moral-equity judgments are significantly associated with reporting intentions for a normal (non-anonymous) reporting channel. Only perceptions of seriousness and personal costs are significantly associated for an anonymous reporting channel. Lastly, while personal costs for the anonymous reporting channel were lower than the normal reporting channel, reporting intentions were similar across the two channels. (shrink)
Merchant and Rockness (1994, p. 92) characterize earnings management as "probably the most important ethical issue facing the accounting profession" and provide initial evidence of the ethical judgments of various organizational members. The current study extends their work by examining the extent to which an individual''s ethically-related judgments in response to earnings management activities are associated with the individual''s role.In an experimental study, evening MBA students read three hypothetical scenarios involving a manager engaging in earnings management. The scenarios involved a (...) gain from an operating activity, a gain from an accounting activity, and a loss from an accounting activity. Before reading the cases, however, participants were randomly assigned to one of three roles: a shareholder, another manager from the company who is unfamiliar with the manager in the case, or another manager from the company who is familiar with the manager in the case. Following each case, participants made four ethically related judgments. (shrink)
The renewed interest in the issue of black reparations, both in the public sphere and among scholars, is a welcome development because the racial injustices of the past continue to shape American society by disadvantaging African Americans in a variety of ways. Attention to the past and how it has shaped present-day inequality seems essential both to understanding our predicament and to justifying policies that would address and undermine racial inequality. Given this, any argument for policies designed to pursue racial (...) justice must be, at least in part, backward-looking, justifi ed partly as compensation for the effects of the wrongs of the past. However, some arguments about black reparations, both pro and con, are focused too far in the past. An unspoken assumption of much of the debate about black reparations is that these would be reparations for slavery. This, we argue, is a mistake. Racial inequality in the United States today may, ultimately, be based on slavery, but it is also based on the failure of the country to take effective steps since slavery to undermine the structural racial inequality that slavery put in place. From the latter part of the nineteenth century through the fi rst half of the twentieth century, the Jim Crow system continued to keep Blacks “in their place,” and even during and after the civil rights era no policies were adopted to dismantle the racial hierarchy that already existed. An important part of the story of racial inequality today is the history of housing and lending discrimination in the second half of the twentieth century (McCarthy 2002; 2004). Home equity, for many Americans, is a very important source of wealth, and the decades after World War II were ones of rapid home equity growth. They were the decades that saw the creation of a large, mostly suburban, middle class. But the middle class that was created was also mostly White, and this was due largely to government policies that (in many cases intentionally) excluded Blacks from the opportunities to get into the home market and benefi t from home equity growth. In this paper we argue that recent housing and lending discrimination constitutes an important basis for black reparations.. (shrink)
We believe that an account of the role of mirror neurons in language evolution should involve a greater emphasis on the auditory properties of these neurons. Mirror neurons in premotor cortex which respond to the visual and auditory consequences of actions allow for a modality-independent and agent-independent coding of actions, which may have been important for the emergence of language.
This paper praises and criticizes Peter-Paul Verbeek's What Things Do (2006). The four things that Verbeek does well are: (1) remind us of the importance of technological things; (2) bring Karl Jaspers into the conversation on technology; (3) explain how technology "co-shapes" experience by reading Bruno Latour's actor-network theory in light of Don Ihde's post-phenomenology; (4) develop a material aesthetics of design. The three things that Verbeek does not do well are: (1) analyze the material conditions in which things are (...) produced; (2) criticize the social-political design and use context of things; and (3) appreciate how liberal moral-political theory contributes to our evaluation of technology. (shrink)
This paper examines the role of management’s earnings preannouncements on judgments about its trustworthiness by nonprofessional investors. We predict that management’s preannouncement decision and the resulting direction (e.g., favorable vs. unfavorable) of the earnings surprise influence investors’ ethical judgments about management’s trustworthiness; these judgments, in turn, are associated with investors’ other investment related judgments. We test our predictions in an experiment in which MBA students make investment-related judgments under four different preannouncement strategies. Consistent with our predictions, the results of our (...) study show that managers’ preannouncement decisions are significantly associated with investors’ evaluations of management’s trustworthiness. Specifically, holding the size of the earnings surprise constant, we find that judgments of management’s trustworthiness are damaged more following (a) a negative as opposed to a positive earnings surprise, and (b) the release of a preannouncement compared to when management does not issue a preannouncement. Also consistent with our predictions, we find that evaluations of management’s trustworthiness are significantly and positively associated with judgments of the attractiveness of the firm’s equity as an investment. Based on our findings, we encourage further research to explore whether managers understand the trust implications associated with their preannouncement decisions and the extent to which this understanding influences their disclosure decisions. (shrink)
Matthen (Philos Sci 76(4):464–487, 2009) argues that explanations of evolutionary change that appeal to natural selection are statistically abstractive explanations, explanations that ignore some possible explanatory partitions that in fact impact the outcome. This recognition highlights a difficulty with making selective analyses fully rigorous. Natural selection is not about the details of what happens to any particular organism, nor, by extension, to the details of what happens in any particular population. Since selective accounts focus on tendencies, those factors that impact (...) the actual outcomes but do not impact the tendencies must be excluded. So, in order to properly exclude the factors irrelevant to selection, the relevant factors must be identified, and physical processes, environments, and populations individuated on the basis of being relevantly similar for the purposes of selective accounts. Natural selection, on this view, becomes in part a measure of the robustness of particular kinds of outcomes given variations over some kinds of inputs. (shrink)