We argue that pain behaviour cannot be wholly accounted for within the operant model of Fordyce (1976). Many pain behaviours, including facial expression, are not socially reinforced but are evolutionarily predetermined. We urge researchers to take into consideration other learning accounts. Building on the idea that pain sufferers learn to suppress the expression of pain, we begin the development of a framework for a relational understanding of pain complaint.
The current issue of the Zeitschrift für Medien- und Kulturforschung presents a discussion of social media's future. Geert Lovink and Stefan Heidenreich debate the sense and non-sense of network-critique in light of the internet's modified usage and perception, which is commonly labeled Web 2.0. Lovink is critical about the increasing tendency towards monopolization in Web 2.0. Users, he contends, become thrilled by walled gardens , which are presented to them by big companies. Independent of the question whether the need (...) for practical information and the prevalence of economical interests is understandable or not, Lovink is most of all concerned with artistic alternatives and an activist usage of the nets. According to him, it is time for developers, programmers, freaks and nerds of all nations to become conscious of and active against the dark sides of economical and political control over the internet. Heidenreich, on the other hand, is skeptical. In contrast to the project of network-critique, he pursues a rigorously medial approach, which presents itself as unimpressed by ethical or engaged observations of social media. In his view, the heroization of hackers and nerds is informed by Science Fiction and nostalgia, both of which miss Reality 2.0. Heidenreich asserts that the internet's new generation, which has grown up with the new media, is not particularly interested in network-critique, but uses the given internetservices in various ways. German In der aktuellen Ausgabe der Zeitschrift für Medien- und Kulturforschung wird über die Zukunft der Social Media gestritten. Geert Lovink und Stefan Heidenreich debattieren über den Sinn und Unsinn von Netzkritik angesichts einer veränderten Nutzung und Wahrnehmung des Internets, die sich hinter dem Schlagwort Web 2.0 verbirgt. Lovink sieht die zunehmende Tendenz zur Monopolisierung im Web 2.0 kritisch. Die Nutzer lassen sich von walled gardens begeistern, die Großunternehmen ihnen vorsetzen. Netzkritik solle sich daher nicht in der Frage erschöpfen, wie man Facebook und Twitter am besten nutzen kann, sondern sich mit echten Alternativen im Netz auseinandersetzen. Unabhängig davon, wie nachvollziehbar der Bedarf an praktischen Informationen und die Dominanz ökonomischer Interessen ist, geht es Lovink vor allem um künstlerische Alternativen und eine aktivistische Nutzung der Netze. Es sei an der Zeit, dass Entwickler, Programmierer, Freaks und Nerds aller Nationen sich die dunklen Seiten der ökonomisch-staatlichen Kontrolle des Internets bewusst machen und dagegen aktiv werden. Heidenreich ist dagegen skeptisch. Im Gegensatz zum Projekt der Netzkritik verfolgt er einen strikt medialen Ansatz, der sich gegenüber einer ethischen oder engagierten Beobachtung sozialer Medien kühl gibt. Die Heroisierung von Hackern und Nerds ist aus seiner Sicht von Science Fiction und Nostalgie geprägt, die an der Realität 2.0 vorbeigeht. Die neue Internetgeneration, die mit dem Medium aufgewachsen ist, habe gar kein ausgeprägtes Interesse an Netzkritik, sondern nutze die gegebenen Netzwerkfunktionen auf unterschiedliche Weise. (shrink)
This is an attempt to interpret the history of mechanism vs. vitalism in relation to the changing framework of culture and to show the interrelation between both these views and experimental science. After the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century, causal mechanism of classical physics provided the framework for the study of nature. The teleological and holistic properties of life, however, which are incompatible with this theory yielded — as a result both of internal developments within biology and of a (...) general reaction against dogmatic rationalism — to a vitalistic interpretation of life which ascribed a mysterious force to living organisms. It will be shown that both mechanism and vitalism are related to the experimental climate of the time in which they were popular. The controversy has now lost its raison d'être as a result of the development of the theory of systems and of a better understanding of the chemistry and evolution of life. (shrink)
In this paper, I will argue that it is a moral obligation for companies, firstly, to accept their moral responsibility with respect to non-discrimination, and secondly, to address the issue with a full-fledged programme, including but not limited to the countering of microsocial discrimination processes through specific policies. On the basis of a broad sketch of how some discrimination mechanisms are actually influencing decisions, that is, causing intended as well as unintended bias in Human Resources Management (HRM), I will argue (...) that the well known tools of legislation and ethical codes are necessary although insufficient to cope with the problem. However, based on empirical evidence, we know which set of measures is likely to diminish discrimination. Taking non-discrimination seriously implies complex and longitudinal policies which include assigning responsibility for a non-discrimination policy within the firm, making managers conscious of implicit stereotypes and helping them to cope with prejudices that no one can totally overcome. Insofar as corporate responsibility with respect to non-discrimination is accepted and strategies that are not prohibitively expensive are known, companies are bound to implement them. Not implementing the best set of measures may be considered at least as a moral shortcoming or, depending on the size of the company, mere lip service to the non-discrimination principle. Although the paper refers to empirical material of diverse backgrounds, its intent is clearly normative. It wishes to spell out what companies ought to do if they are committed to responsible behaviour. The discussion of effective remedies against discrimination is based on a case study of a French company. The retailer Auchan was recently surprised to learn that it was discriminating against ethnic minorities despite strong ethical standards, an ethics committee and ethical leadership. The company dropped its naïve beliefs and set up an ambitious policy cope with the issue. The case illustrates what recent empirical research has revealed about the effectiveness of diversity policies: establishing responsibility for diversity results, firm ethical commitment and support from top management make diversity programs effective. (shrink)
This book contains selected papers from the First International Conference on the Ontology of Spacetime. Its fourteen chapters address two main questions: first, what is the current status of the substantivalism/relationalism debate, and second, what about the prospects of presentism and becoming within present-day physics and its philosophy? The overall tenor of the four chapters of the book’s first part is that the prospects of spacetime substantivalism are bleak, although different possible positions remain with respect to the ontological status of (...) spacetime. Part II and Part III of the book are devoted to presentism, eternalism, and becoming, from two different perspectives. In the six chapters of Part II it is argued, in different ways, that relativity theory does not have essential consequences for these issues. It certainly is true that the structure of time is different, according to relativity theory, from the one in classical theory. But that does not mean that a decision is forced between presentism and eternalism, or that becoming has proved to be an impossible concept. It may even be asked whether presentism and eternalism really offer different ontological perspectives at all. The writers of the last four chapters, in Part III, disagree. They argue that relativity theory is incompatible with becoming and presentism. Several of them come up with proposals to go beyond relativity, in order to restore the prospects of presentism. · Space and time in present-day physics and philosophy · Relatively low level of technicality, easily accessible · Introduction from scratch of the debates surrounding time · Top authors explaining their positions · Broad spectrum of approaches, coherently represented. (shrink)
Quine famously holds that "philosophy is continuous with natural science". In order to find out what exactly the point of this claim is, I take up one of his preferred phrases and trace it through his writings, i.e., the phrase "Science itself teaches that …". Unlike Wittgenstein, Quine did not take much interest in determining what might be distinctive of philosophical investigations, or of the philosophical part of scientific investigations. I find this indifference regrettable, and I take a fresh look (...) at Quine's metaphilosophy, trying to defuse his avowed naturalism by illustrating how little influence his naturalistic rhetoric has on the way he actually does philosophy. (shrink)
Culture has been identified as a significant determinant of ethical attitudes of business managers. This research studies the impact of culture on the ethical attitudes of business managers in India, Korea and the United States using multivariate statistical analysis. Employing Geert Hofstede''s cultural typology, this study examines the relationship between his five cultural dimensions (individualism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity, and long-term orientation) and business managers'' ethical attitudes. The study uses primary data collected from 345 business manager participants of (...) Executive MBA programs in selected business schools in India, Korea and the United States using Hofstede''s Value Survey Module (94) and an instrument designed by the researchers to measure respondents'' ethical attitudes (attitudes toward business ethics in general and toward twelve common questionable practices in particular). Results indicate that national culture has a strong influence on business managers'' ethical attitudes. In addition to national culture, respondents'' general attitudes toward business ethics are related to their personal integrity; their attitudes toward questionable business practices are related to the external environment and gender, as well as to their personal integrity. A strong relationship exists between cultural dimensions of individualism and power distance and respondents'' ethical attitudes toward certain questionable practices. The analysis of the relationship between cultural dimensions of masculinity, uncertainty avoidance and long-term orientation and respondents'' ethical attitudes toward questionable practices produced mixed results, likely due to the lack of notable differences in cultural dimension scores among the countries surveyed. (shrink)
This article provides somephilosophical ``groundwork'' for contemporary debatesabout the status of the idea(l) of critical thinking.The major part of the article consists of a discussionof three conceptions of ``criticality,'' viz., criticaldogmatism, transcendental critique (Karl-Otto Apel),and deconstruction (Jacques Derrida). It is shown thatthese conceptions not only differ in their answer tothe question what it is ``to be critical.'' They alsoprovide different justifications for critique andhence different answers to the question what giveseach of them the ``right'' to be critical. It is arguedthat (...) while transcendental critique is able to solvesome of the problems of the dogmatic approach tocriticality, deconstruction provides the most coherentand self-reflexive conception of critique. A crucialcharacteristic of the deconstructive style of critiqueis that this style is not motivated by the truth ofthe criterion (as in critical dogmatism) or by acertain conception of rationality (as intranscendental critique), but rather by a concern forjustice. It is suggested that this concern should becentral to any redescription of the idea(l) ofcritical thinking. (shrink)
Risk analysis as a regulatory driver has now become firmly entrenched in public health and environmental protection. Risk analysis at any level essentially has to accommodate two gut feelings of the constituency: whether society should be risk-prone or risk averse, and whether government and its institutions can be trusted to make the necessary decisions with a high or a low degree of discretion. The precautionary principle (or rejection thereof) arguably is the ultimate reflection of the promotion of risk to a (...) societal value. There is no doubt that especially amongst the representatives of the Member States (as opposed to the officials at the European Commission), public (pre)caution with respect to the long-term environmental and public health implications of gene technology influenced the reluctance to allow marketing of GM foods and feeds until a strict regulatory regime had been rolled out. Industry would argue that the delay in regulation, as well as the eventual regime was of such a nature as to stifle the technology. This contribution reviews a number of features of standard EU risk analysis decisions, so as to assess its current propensity towards smothering rather than smoothing the introduction of new technology. The current development of a regulatory framework for nanotechnology serves as a case study. (shrink)
This article discusses the conditions under which the use of expert knowledge may provide an adequate response to public concerns about high-tech, late modern risks. Scientific risk estimation has more than once led to expert controversies. When these controversies occur, the public at large – as a media audience – faces a paradoxical situation: on the one hand it must rely on the expertise of scientists as represented in the mass media, but on the other it is confused by competing (...) expert claims in the absence of any clear-cut standard to judge these claims. The question then arises, what expertise can the public trust? I argue that expert controversies cannot be settled by appealing to neutral, impartial expertise, because each use of expert knowledge in applied contexts is inextricably bound up with normative and evaluative assumptions. This value-laden nature of expert contributions, however, does not necessarily force us to adopt a relativist conception of expert knowledge. Nor does it imply active involvement of ordinary citizens in scientific risk estimation – as some authors seem to suggest. The value-laden, or partisan, nature of expert statements rather requires an unbiased process of expert dispute in which experts and counter-experts can participate. Moreover, instead of being a reason for discrediting expert contributions, experts'' commitment may enhance public trustworthiness because it enlarges the scope of perspectives taken into account, to include public concerns. Experts who share the same worries as (some of) the public could be expected to voice these worries at the level of expert dispute. Thus, a broadly shaped expert dispute, that is accessible to both proponents and opponents, is a prerequisite for public trust. (shrink)
The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has issued a revised “Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants” (IFAC Code). The IFAC Code is intended to be a model code of ethics for national accounting organizations throughout the world. Prior research demonstrates that approximately 50% of IFAC member organizations have adopted the IFAC Code as their organizational code of conduct. There is therefore empirical evidence that international convergence of accounting ethical standards is occurring. We employ Hofstede’s ( 2008 , http://www.geert-hofstede.com/hofstede_dimensions.php ) (...) cultural dimensions in an attempt to empirically explain accounting organizations’ decisions about whether to adopt the IFAC Code or to retain their organization-specific code. Our results indicate that accounting organizations in cultures with high levels of Individualism and Uncertainty Avoidance are less likely to adopt the model IFAC Code. Organizations in high Individualism and Uncertainty Avoidance societies are therefore less likely to surrender the setting of ethical standards to an outside, international organization. (shrink)
This article presents a qualitative research about the way in which business leaders of a retail company gradually clarify the ethical responsibilities of their company – in an ongoing discussion of particular cases. It is based on 12 years of experience as an external member of the ethics committee. The aim of the article is not so much as to evaluate the different single decisions that were made and implemented to make the company meet high ethical standards, but rather to (...) focus on three issues and on how they relate to each other: (1) the shift from a communitarian Christian set of values to a broader secular framework of basic principles; (2) the way in which business people in a retailing company cope with issues that seem ethically troublesome, when reflected upon from a ethical point of view; and (3) how the process of ethical dialogue has led to a typology of the different levels of responsibility that retailers are willing to attribute to themselves according to the kind of problem at stake. The three issues together illustrate how a company that took the business ethics question head-on systematically moved into a particular ongoing collective learning process. (shrink)
Welfare expenditure is under attack, so that a grasp of the determinants of welfare policy is timely. Neither functionalist nor instrumentalist theory, whether of a Marxist or mainstream kind, has been successful here. This paper offers a systematic presentation of the bourgeois state and of its interdependence with the economy, of which welfare policy is a key aspect. Controversially, the systemic necessity of welfare policy grounds a right to existence not adequately sustained by the value-form determination of the economy, reproduced (...) by market mechanisms: formal equality of process does not ensure equity of outcome. The state is thus faced with a problem of managing the conflicting demands of economic efficiency and individual's right to existence, while at the same time maintaining the autonomy of the economy. (shrink)
Some comments on the the papers of Wilhelm Beermann, Geert-Lueke Lueken and Thomas Rentsch are given. The central question is whether Adorno and Wittgenstein do really share a common philosophical project.
In this survey of business ethics in Europe, we compare the present state of business ethics in Europe with the situation as described by Enderle (BEER 5(1):33–46, 1996 ). At that time, business ethics was still dominated by a mainly philosophical, normative analysis of business issues with a maximum of 25 chairs in business ethics all over Europe. It has since expanded dramatically in numbers as well as diversified into many different domains. We find this rich diversity in the conception (...) of business ethics back in the answers of our respondents to every single question. The concepts they propose, the courses they teach, the subjects under research as well as the training and consultancy offered to clients and even the challenges for the future all reflect this diversity. Decisive for the expansion of business ethics in Europe has been the advance of CSR and the official backing of CSR by the European Commission. We further argue that the prevalence and importance of business ethics and CSR differs throughout Europe. A rough approximation based on our survey results and literature review is that it is more important and more developed in core and Nordic European countries and somewhat less in Southern and Eastern European countries. The real East with countries like Belarus and Bulgaria remains a challenge. (shrink)
Even if falsificationism in the strict Popper-Lakatos sense may be too harsh for economics, falsifiability and refutability are eminent criteria for theory appraisal. Hausman's (1997) revision of his (1992) methodology of economics does not come sufficiently close to meeting such a methodological requirement and risks allowing the prioritising of irrefutable theories over empirical phenomena. It therefore needs further advancement.
Norman's reconciliation of the two theories of perception is challenged because it directly leads to the nature-nurture dichotomy in the development of the two visual systems. In contrast, the proposition of a separate development of the two visual systems may be better understood as involving different types of information that follow a distinct temporal sequence.
After answering relatively minor criticisms of The Inexact and Separate Science of Economics by Geert Reuten and Uskali Mäki, this essay grants their main charge that I could not sensibly defend the way economists assess theories while at the same time criticizing their insistence that economic theories be unified and of maximal scope. I should have said that economists are mistaken in their methods of assessment because they focus on the wrong data and because they unjustifiably insist that only (...) unified theories with wide scope need be considered. (shrink)
In this paper we evaluate the ethical aspects of a public-private partnership (PPP) for the production and distribution of electricity in a particular context, i.e.,in a developing country characterized by a high corruption rate. In general, multinational enterprises (MNE) are considered suspect in developing countries by their own populations and by others, especially in those countries perceived as corrupt. A second source of suspicion concerns the privatization of utilities: utilities such as electricity and clean water play an essential role in (...) people’s lives, thus, leaving their production and distribution in the hands of for-profit companies may seem imprudent, particularly with respect to the poorest people. On the basis of a questionnaire submitted to managers of a privatized utility company in Cameroon, this case study suggests that the combination of these two sources of suspicion does not automatically lead to negative outcomes. (shrink)
Biology as a scientific discipline has relied heavily upon advances in chemistry and physics. An inherent danger in this relationship is the reduction of living phenomena to physico-chemical terms. Whitehead's Philosophy of Organism is utilized to examine current methodologies within biology and to evaluate their appropriateness for future research. Hemostatic regulation is employed to illustrate the applications of organistic concepts to biological research. It is concluded that understanding of living entities and their properties as well as possibly life itself will (...) require synthesis of the many analytical elements as informational structures. (shrink)
The practice of neoclassical economics is characterized as an ?axiomatic positivism?, which is far removed from the official (Popper-Lakatos) methodology of neoclassicism. Hausman (1992) attempts to provide a full revision of that official methodology, for which he takes recourse to the methodological work of J.S. Mill. Hausman's methodology is problematical because of: (1) an inadequate distinction between a normative and a descriptive methodology; (2) an insufficient consideration of the empirical stages of theory appraisal; (3) a misleading account of the tendential (...) character of economic generalizations, as revealed by his treatment of them as ceteris paribus formulations. Further, an arbitrary part of the theory assessment in Hausman's approach seems to run in praxeological terms, apparently divorced from the methodological appraisal. (shrink)
Clahsen's claim that output forms of productive processes are never listed in the lexicon is a consequence of the rule/list fallacy, empirically incorrect, and not necessary for the hypothesis that the human language faculty has a dual structure, that is, a lexicon and a set of rules.
On a general level, this paper proposes a critical analysis of one of the attempts to make bridges between economics and moral and political philosophy. A priori, we may expect that formal methods may lead to clearer and more rigorous arguments, and may facilitate practical applications. However, this paper illustrates how precision is bought at the price of becoming tautological. Therefore, the statement that "it is already widely recognized that formal methods derived from economics can contribute to ethics" (Broome 1989: (...) ix) seems hasty. The paper is organized as follows: Section 2 discusses some philosophical background assumptions which underlie a decision theoretic argument in favour of utilitarianism. Section 3 recalls briefly John Harsanyi's decision theoretic arguments in favour of utilitarianism. It then focuses on the crucial assumption of separability in order to show that separability can always be saved as an assumption if one applies the strategy of dispersion. Section 4, finally, shows how the theorem may indeed reconcile the concern for equality and utilitarianism, at the price of becoming futile. (shrink)