Members of organizations are continually making decisions that have important consequences for themselves and the firms for which they work. In some cases these decisions affect human well being and social welfare and thus have important ethical impacts for those affected by the decisions.This study examines if certain strategic situations (enhancement of firm profits versus personal economic well being) cause decision makers to act more or less ethically. A questionnaire consisting of two vignettes which depicted actual business situations was used (...) to collect data from 171 managers of a large Southeastern financial and communication conglomerate. Results from multivariate repeated measures tests suggest that managers will vary their level of ethical response when faced with a situation where their own economic well being is at stake. (shrink)
The claim that a functional kind is multiply realized is typically motivated by appeal to intuitive examples. We are seldom told explicitly what the relevant structures are, and people have often preferred to rely on general intuitions in these cases. This article deals with the problem by explaining how to understand the proper relation between structural kinds and the functions they realize. I will suggest that the structural kinds that realize a function can be properly identified by attending to the (...) context of functional explanation. *Received June 2006; revised June 2009. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Seton Hall University, 400 South Orange Ave., South Orange, NJ 07079; e‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
This paper will examine the nature of mechanisms and the distinction between the relevant and irrelevant parts involved in a mechanism’s operation. I first consider Craver’s account of this distinction in his book on the nature of mechanisms, and explain some problems. I then offer a novel account of the distinction that appeals to some resources from Mackie’s theory of causation. I end by explaining how this account enables us to better understand what mechanisms are and their various features.
Arguments for multiple realization depend on the idea that the same kind of function is realized by different kinds of structures. It is important to such arguments that we know the kinds used in the arguments have been individuated properly. In the philosophical literature, though, claims about how to individuate kinds are frequently decided on intuitive grounds. This paper criticizes this way of approaching kinds by considering how practicing researchers think about the matter. I will consider several examples in which (...) the practice of researchers on comparative vision conflicts with the standard account of these issues. (shrink)
Arguments about the evolutionary function of phenomenal consciousness are beset by the problem of epiphenomenalism. For if it is not clear whether phenomenal consciousness has a causal role, then it is difficult to begin an argument for the evolutionary role of phenomenal consciousness. We argue that complexity arguments offer a way around this problem. According to evolutionary biology, the structural complexity of a given organ can provide evidence that the organ is an adaptation, even if nothing is known about the (...) causal role of the organ. Evidence from cognitive neuropsychology suggests that phenomenal consciousness is structurally complex in the relevant way, and this provides prima facie evidence that phenomenal consciousness is an adaptation. Furthermore, we argue that the complexity of phenomenal consciousness might also provide clues about the causal role of phenomenal consciousness. (shrink)
Kim claims that Bechtel and Mundale's case against multiple realization depends on the wrong kind of evidence. The latter argue that neuroscientific practice shows neural states across individuals and species are type identical. Kim replies that the evidence they cite to support this is irrelevant. I defend Bechtel and Mundale by showing why the evidence they cite is relevant and shows multiple realization does not occur.
This paper argues that conceptualizing unity as "interconnection" (rather than reduction) provides a more fruitful and versatile framework for the philosophical study of scientific unification. Building on the work of Darden and Maull, Kitcher, and Kincaid, I treat unity as a relationship between fields: two fields become more integrated as the number and/or significance of interfield connections grow. Even when reduction fails, two theories or fields can be unified (integrated) in significant ways. I highlight two largely independent dimensions of unification. (...) Fields are theoretically unified to the extent that we understand how the ontologies, concepts, and generalizations of these fields are connected. (Reductionism is one form of theoretical unity, but not the only form). Fields are practically unified through heuristic connections (e.g., using the heuristics of one field to generate hypotheses in another field) and by the development of methods for integrating the qualitatively distinct bodies of data generated by the two fields. I discuss the relationship between paleontological and neontological systematics to illustrate the utility of conceptualizing unity as interconnection. (shrink)
Evolutionary convergence is often appealed to in support of claims about multiple realization. The idea is that convergence shows that the same function can be realized by different kinds of structures. I argue here that the nature of convergence is more complicated than it might appear at first look. Broad claims about convergence are made by biologists during general discussions of the mechanisms of evolution. In their specialized work, though, biologists are often more limited in the claims they make. I (...) will examine a standard example to show how claims about convergence can be oversimplified. (shrink)
Gould's Structure ofEvolutionary Theory argues that Darwinism hasundergone significant revision. Although Gouldsucceeds in showing that hierarchicalapproaches have expanded Darwinism, hiscritique of adaptationism is less successful. Gould claims that the ubiquity of developmentalconstraints and spandrels has forced biologiststo soften their commitment to adaptationism. Iargue that Gould overstates his conclusion; hisprincipal claims are compatible with at leastsome versions of adaptationism. Despite thisweakness, Gould's discussion of adaptationism –particularly his discussions of the exaptivepool and cross-level spandrels – shouldprovoke new work in evolutionary theory and (...) thephilosophy of biology. (shrink)
One of the principal difficulties in assessing Science as aProcess (Hull 1988) is determining the relationship between the various elements of Hull's theory. In particular, it is hard to understand precisely how conceptual selection is related to Hull's account of the social dynamics of science. This essay aims to clarify the relation between these aspects of his theory by examining his discussion of the``demic structure'' of science. I conclude that the social account cando significant explanatory work independently of the selectionistaccount. (...) Further, I maintain that Hull's treatment of the demicstructure of science points us toward an important set of issues insocial epistemology. If my reading of Science as a Process iscorrect, then most of Hull's critics (e.g., those who focus solelyon his account of conceptual selection) have ignored promisingaspects of his theory. (shrink)
This paper is a defense of "explanatory pluralism" (i.e., the view that some events can be correctly explained in two distinct ways). To defend pluralism, I identify two distinct (but compatible) styles of explanation in paleobiology. The first approach ("actual sequence explanation") traces out the particular forces that affect each species. The second approach treats the trend as "passive" or "random" diffusion away from a boundary in morphological space. I argue that while these strategies are distinct, some trends are correctly (...) explained in both ways. Further, since neither strategy can be reduced or eliminated from paleobiology, we should accept that both strategies can provide correct explanations for a single trend. (shrink)
Hull's recent work in evolutionary epistemology is marred by a deep tension. While he maintains that conceptual and biological evolution are both driven by selection processes, he also claims that only the former is globally progressive. In this paper I formulate this tension and present four possible responses (including Hull's). I argue that Hull's position rests on the assumption that there is a goal which is sufficiently general to describe most scientific activity yet precise enough to guide research. Working from (...) within Hull's framework, I argue that a non-progressionist stance is both preferable and more consistent with Hull's basic commitments. (shrink)
Why has it been so difficult to integrate paleontology and mainstream evolutionary biology? Two common answers are: (1) the two fields have fundamentally different aims, and (2) the tensions arise out of disciplinary squabbles for funding and prestige. This paper examines the role of fossil data in phylogeny reconstruction in order to assess these two explanations. I argue that while cladistics has provided a framework within which to integrate fossil character data, the stratigraphic (temporal) component of fossil data has been (...) harder to integrate. A close examination of how fossil data have been used in phylogeny reconstruction suggests that neither explanation is adequate. While some of the tensions between the fields may be intellectual turf wars, the second explanation downplays the genuine difficulty of combining the distinctive data of the two fields. Furthermore, it is simply not the case that the two fields pursue completely distinct aims. Systematists do disagree about precisely how to represent phylogeny (e.g., minimalist cladograms or trees with varying levels of detail) but given that every tree presupposes a pattern of branching (a cladogram), these aims are not completely distinct. The central problem has been developing methods that allow scientists to incorporate the distinctive bodies of data generated by these two fields. Further case studies will be required to determine if this explanation holds for other areas of interaction between paleontology and neontology. (shrink)
In the philosophy of Alain Badiou, ethics can only arise in relation to an evental truth procedure that breaks from the economic logic of a situation. Further, because for Badiou there cannot be economic truths per se – rather, economic matters must be understood in their relation to one or more truths in the domain of love, art, science or politics – a Badiouian business ethics would look entirely distinct from any ethics that simply places limits on certain kinds of (...) economic activity. Although Slavoj Žižek, among others, has suggested that this marks an essential weakness in Badiou's economic/political theory, it may actually be the greatest strength of his position. Within a capitalist system, a Badiouian business ethics would then be a question of mobilizing economic resources in order to serve the ongoing construction of a truth procedure. For a business to be considered ethical on Badiou's terms, it must break – and continue to break – from the dominant logic of capitalism and its merely economic pursuit of profit maximization. (shrink)
Operant conditioning is not a selection process. According to Hull et al., selection processes require entities that reproduce to form lineages. However, since operant behaviors do not reproduce, operant conditioning is not a selection process.
Issues recognized as having ethical or moral components are becoming increasingly common, for society in general, the health care system and for general practitioner/family physicians in particular. Some of the peculiar problems for GP's relate to the provision of continuing, comprehensive, primary medical care to large numbers of individuals who provide extensive potential for conflict between all the involved elements: patients, physicians, families, consultants and societal attitudes. There is a need for more formal education programs.
Despite Sartre's almost proverbial rejection of Freudian psychoanalysis, Jean-Pierre Boulé places the philosopher himself on the couch in a wonderfully detailed and suggestive work. He notes that the fruit of his study may well be "to help us gain a better understanding of Sartre as an embodied sexual being and possibly demonstrate a new way of connecting biography with oeuvre." After analyzing Boulé's argument and considering the psychoanalytic method itself, I address this last claim about relating Sartre's biography and (...) oeuvre, especially in view of the integral role assigned biography in any existentialist theory of history. (shrink)
Although much attention has been given to Jacques Lacan in his rereading of Freud and to French women analysts in their deconstruction of traditional psychoanalysis, little has been available in the US on contemporary male French analysts and their treatment of women. She Speaks/He Listens illustrates the range of thought among some well-known French male psychoanalysts today--from Lacanians to anti-Lacanians to eclectics--with regard to women and sexual difference. Through the interview format, with its possibilities for surprise and spontaneity, the book (...) makes available the thought of Alain Didier-Weill, Bela Grunberger, Patrick Guyomard, Serge Lebovici, Rene Major, Gerard Pommier and Francois Roustang, as well as the internationally famed analyst Otto Kernberg, who gives a fascinating account of the French influences on his work. Other themes addressed include the place of Freud and Lacan in current theory and the relation of feminism to contemporary French male psychoanalysts. (shrink)
The value of literature in medical education is widely accepted by medical teachers. There are examples of psychopathology in the characters of novels that provide illustrations of particular psychiatric diagnoses. Characters created by Charles Dickens, often eccentric, have been deemed to suffer from mental disorders. This may be because Dickens could draw on his extensive contact with Victorian psychiatry and interest in psychopathology to create authentic characters. He is widely acknowledged to have described many other medical conditions in his fiction (...) and his writing is already used to teach medical students. This article reviews Dickens’ contact with psychiatry and outlines the mental disorders possibly suffered by the characters under ICD 10 diagnostic headings. These descriptions, while interesting in their own right, may also prove useful to clinicians and teachers. (shrink)
This paper falls under the rubric of the sociology of knowledge, which bridges the gap between phenomenological philosophy and the human sciences (Berger et al., 1969). It presents an empirical investigation of the communicative construction of psychotherapeutic reality. I examine therapeutic talk and psychotherapists' reconstructions of the transition from state socialism in Germany in 1989. In both instances I show how psychotherapists' commonly shared interpretative conventions and rules of reasoning produce typical accounts. The first part of the paper shows how (...) certain interpretative conventions and rules of reasoning organize therapeutic talk and interaction in general. The second part focuses on how the interpretative conventions typical of therapy also inform psychotherapists' interpretations of the transition from state socialism. (shrink)
Recent work in neuroscience accords with research in attachment and developmental psychology in enabling us to understand both consciousness and the Freudian unconscious in the context of the Bayesian brain.
Roughly speaking, computationalism says that cognition is computation, or that cognitive phenomena are explained by the agent‘s computations. The cognitive processes and behavior of agents are the explanandum. The computations performed by the agents‘ cognitive systems are the proposed explanans. Since the cognitive systems of biological organisms are their nervous 1 systems (plus or minus a bit), we may say that according to computationalism, the cognitive processes and behavior of organisms are explained by neural computations. Some people might prefer to (...) say that cognitive systems are ―realized‖ by nervous systems, and thus that—according to computationalism—cognitive computations are ―realized‖ by neural processes. In this paper, nothing hinges on the nature of the relation between cognitive systems and nervous systems, or between computations and neural processes. For present purposes, if a neural process realizes a computation, then that neural process is a computation. Thus, I will couch much of my discussion in terms of nervous systems and neural computation.1 Before proceeding, we should dispense with a possible red herring. Contrary to a common assumption, computationalism does not stand in opposition to connectionism. Connectionism, in the most general and common sense of the term, is the claim that cognitive phenomena are explained (at some level and at least in part) by the processes of neural networks. This is a truism, supported by most neuroscientific evidence. Everybody ought to be a connectionist in this general sense. The relevant question is, are neural processes computations? More precisely, are the neural processes to be found in the nervous systems of organisms computations? Computationalists say ―yes‖, anti-computationalists say ―no‖. This paper investigates whether any of the arguments on offer against computationalism have a chance at knocking it off.2 Ever since Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts (1943) first proposed it, computationalism has been subjected to a wide range of objections.. (shrink)
Popper’s original definition of verisimilitude in terms of comparisons of truth content and falsity content has known counter-examples. More complicated approaches have met with mixed success. This paper uses a new account of logical content to develop a definition of verisimilitude that is close to Popper’s original account. It is claimed that Popper’s mistake was to couch his account of truth and falsity content in terms of true and false consequences. Comparison to a similar approach by Schurz and Wiengartner (...) show certain advantages of this new approach. (shrink)
There are different kinds of uncertainty. I outline some of the various ways that uncertainty enters science, focusing on uncertainty in climate science and weather prediction. I then show how we cope with some of these sources of error through sophisticated modelling techniques. I show how we maintain confidence in the face of error.
In recent times, comments have been made and arguments advanced in support of metaethical positions based on the phenomenology of ethical experience – in other words, the feel that accompanies our ethical experiences. In this paper I cast doubt on whether ethical phenomenology supports metaethical positions to any great extent and try to tease out what is involved in giving a phenomenological argument. I consider three such positions: independent moral realism (IMR), another type of moral realism – sensibility theory – (...) and noncognitivism. Phenomenological arguments have been used in support of the first two positions, but my general claim is that ethical phenomenology supports no metaethical position over any other.I discuss two types of phenomenological argument that might be offered in support of different types of moral realism, although I couch my debate in terms of IMR. The first argument asserts that ethical properties are not experienced in the way that rivals to IMR say we experience them. Against this I claim that it is odd to think that one could experience ethical properties as any metaethical theory characterizes them. The second argument is more complicated: the general thought is that an adequate metaethical theory should not distort our ethical experience unduly. I consider one aspect of our ethical experience – that there is some ethical authority to which our judgements answer – in order to illustrate this idea. I discuss why IMRealists might think that this phenomenon supports their position. Against them I claim that other metaethical positions might be able to accommodate the phenomenon of ethical authority. Even if they cannot, then, secondly, I argue that there are other aspects of our ethical experience that sit more naturally with other metaethical positions. Hence, one cannot argue that ethical phenomenology as a whole supports one theory over any others. (shrink)
The widespread embrace of imperial terminology across the political spectrum during the past three years has not led to an increased level of conceptual or theoretical clarity around the word "empire." There is also disagreement about whether the United States is itself an empire, and if so, what sort of empire it is; the determinants of its geopolitical stance; and the effects of "empire as a way of life" on the "metropole." Using the United States and Germany in the past (...) 200 years as empirical cases, this article proposes a set of historically embedded categories for distinguishing among different types of imperial practice. The central distinction contrasts territorial and nonterritorial types of modern empire, that is, colonialism versus imperialism. Against world-system theory, territorial and nonterritorial approaches have not typically appeared in pure form but have been mixed together both in time and in the repertoire of individual metropolitan states. After developing these categories the second part of the article explores empire's determinants and its effects, again focusing on the German and U.S. cases but with forays into Portuguese and British imperialism. Supporters of overseas empire often couch their arguments in economic or strategic terms, and social theorists have followed suit in accepting these expressed motives as the "taproot of imperialism" (J. A. Hobson). But other factors have played an equally important role in shaping imperial practices, even pushing in directions that are economically and geopolitically counterproductive for the imperial power. Postcolonial theorists have rightly emphasized the cultural and psychic processes at work in empire but have tended to ignore empire's effects on practices of economy and its regulation. Current U.S. imperialism abroad may not be a danger to capitalism per se or to America's overall political power, but it is threatening and remaking the domestic post-Fordist mode of social regulation. (shrink)
Evolutionary explanations of psychological phenomena have become widespread. This paper examines a recent attempt by Nichols and Grantham (2000) to circumvent the problem of epiphenomenalism in establishing the selective status of consciousness. Nichols and Grantham (2000) argue that a case can be made for the view that consciousness is an adaptation based on its complexity. I set out this argument and argue that it fails to establish that phenomenal consciousness is a complex system. It is suggested that the (...) goal of establishing consciousness as an adaptation may be better served by rejecting the distinction between access consciousness and phenomenal consciousness. (shrink)
<span class='Hi'></span> In this paper I propose a fundamental modification of standard type theory,<span class='Hi'></span> produce a new kind of type theoretic language,<span class='Hi'></span> and couch in this language a comprehensive theory of abstract individuals and abstract properties and relations of every type.<span class='Hi'></span> I then suggest how to employ the theory to solve the four following philosophical problems:<span class='Hi'></span> (A)<span class='Hi'></span> the identification and ontological status of Frege's Senses;<span class='Hi'></span> (B)<span class='Hi'></span> the deviant behavior of terms in propositional (...) attitude contexts;<span class='Hi'></span> (C)<span class='Hi'></span> the non-identity of necessarily equivalent propositions,<span class='Hi'></span> and <span class='Hi'></span>(D)<span class='Hi'></span> the paradox of analysis.<span class='Hi'></span> We can roughly describe these solutions as follows:<span class='Hi'></span> (A)<span class='Hi'></span> the senses of English names and descriptions which denote individuals will be modelled as abstract individuals;<span class='Hi'></span> the senses of English relation denoting expressions of a given type will be modelled as abstract relations of that type.<span class='Hi'></span> (B)<span class='Hi'></span> Inside de dicto attitude contexts,<span class='Hi'></span> these English expressions denote <span class='Hi'></span>(the abstract objects which serve as)<span class='Hi'></span> their senses.<span class='Hi'></span> (C)<span class='Hi'></span> Relations and propositions will not be identified with their extensions,<span class='Hi'></span> nor with functions or sets of any kind.<span class='Hi'></span> They will be taken as primitive,<span class='Hi'></span> and precise being and identity conditions will be proposed consistent with the view that necessarily equivalent relations and propositions may be distinct.<span class='Hi'></span> (D)<span class='Hi'></span> With the modelling described in <span class='Hi'></span>(A)<span class='Hi'></span>, the expressions being a brother and being a male sibling may both denote the same property,<span class='Hi'></span> though <span class='Hi'></span>(the abstract properties which serve as)<span class='Hi'></span> their senses may differ.<span class='Hi'></span> Just as Frege predicts,<span class='Hi'></span> being a brother just is being a male sibling is an informative identity statement because the terms flanking the identity sign have the same denotation,<span class='Hi'></span> though distinct senses. (shrink)