The New Economic Windows Series, derived from Massimo Salzano's ideas and work, incorporates material from textbooks, monographs and conference proceedings that deals with both the theoretical and applied aspects of various sub-disciplines ...
Extant models of moral judgment assume that an action’s intentionality precedes assignments of blame. Knobe (2003b) challenged this fundamental order and proposed instead that the badness or blameworthiness of an action directs (and thus unduly biases) people’s intentionality judgments. His and other researchers’ studies suggested that blameworthy actions are considered intentional even when the agent lacks skill (e.g., killing somebody with a lucky shot) whereas equivalent neutral actions are not (e.g., luckily hitting a bull’s-eye). The present ﬁve studies offer an (...) alternative account of these provocative ﬁndings. We suggest that people see the morally signiﬁcant action examined in previous studies (killing) as accomplished by a basic action (pressing the trigger) for which an unskilled agent still has sufﬁcient skill. Studies 1 through 3 show that when this basic action is performed unskillfully or is absent, people are far less likely to view the killing as intentional, demonstrating that intentionality judgments, even about immoral actions, are guided by skill information. Studies 4 and 5 further show that a neutral action such as hitting the bull’s-eye is more difﬁcult than killing and that difﬁcult actions are less often judged intentional. When difﬁculty is held constant, people’s intentionality judgments are fully responsive to skill information regardless of moral valence. The present studies thus speak against the hypothesis of a moral evaluation bias in intentionality judgments and instead document people’s sensitivity to subtle features of human action. (shrink)
Can an event’s blameworthiness distort whether people see it as intentional? In controversial recent studies, people judged a behavior’s negative side effect intentional even though the agent allegedly had no desire for it to occur. Such a judgment contradicts the standard assumption that desire is a necessary condition of intentionality, and it raises concerns about assessments of intentionality in legal settings. Six studies examined whether blameworthy events distort intentionality judgments. Studies 1 through 4 show that, counter to recent claims, intentionality (...) judgments are systematically guided by variations in the agent’s desire, for moral and nonmoral actions alike. Studies 5 and 6 show that a behavior’s negative side effects are rarely seen as intentional once people are allowed to choose from multiple descriptions of the behavior. Specifically, people distinguish between “knowingly” and “intentionally” bringing about a side effect, even for immoral actions. These studies suggest that intentionality judgments are unaffected by a behavior’s blameworthiness. (shrink)
Moral judgments about an agent's behavior are enmeshed with inferences about the agent's mind. Folk psychology—the system that enables such inferences—therefore lies at the heart of moral judgment. We examine three related folk-psychological concepts that together shape people's judgments of blame: intentionality, choice, and free will. We discuss people's understanding and use of these concepts, address recent findings that challenge the autonomous role of these concepts in moral judgment, and conclude that choice is the fundamental concept of the three, defining (...) the core of folk psychology in moral judgment. (shrink)
Moral judgment – even the type discussed by Knobe – necessarily relies on substantial information about an agent's mental states, especially regarding beliefs and attitudes. Moreover, the effects described by Knobe can be attributed to norm violations in general, rather than moral concerns in particular. Consequently, Knobe's account overstates the influence of moral judgment on assessments of mental states and causality.
Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs) enable one to control peripheral ICT and robotic devices by processing brain activity on-line. The potential usefulness of BCI systems, initially demonstrated in rehabilitation medicine, is now being explored in education, entertainment, intensive workflow monitoring, security, and training. Ethical issues arising in connection with these investigations are triaged taking into account technological imminence and pervasiveness of BCI technologies. By focussing on imminent technological developments, ethical reflection is informatively grounded into realistic protocols of brain-to-computer communication. In particular, (...) it is argued that human-machine adaptation and shared control distinctively shape autonomy and responsibility issues in current BCI interaction environments. Novel personhood issues are identified and analyzed too. These notably concern (i) the “sub-personal” use of human beings in BCI-enabled cooperative problem solving, and (ii) the pro-active protection of personal identity which BCI rehabilitation therapies may afford, in the light of so-called motor theories of thinking, for the benefit of patients affected by severe motor disabilities. (shrink)
Model checking, a prominent formal method used to predict and explain the behaviour of software and hardware systems, is examined on the basis of reflective work in the philosophy of science concerning the ontology of scientific theories and model-based reasoning. The empirical theories of computational systems that model checking techniques enable one to build are identified, in the light of the semantic conception of scientific theories, with families of models that are interconnected by simulation relations. And the mappings between these (...) scientific theories and computational systems in their scope are analyzed in terms of suitable specializations of the notions of model of experiment and model of data. Furthermore, the extensively mechanized character of model-based reasoning in model checking is highlighted by a comparison with proof procedures adopted by other formal methods in computer science. Finally, potential epistemic benefits flowing from the application of model checking in other areas of scientific inquiry are emphasized in the context of computer simulation studies of biological information processing. (shrink)
Psychological attitudes towards service and personal robots are selectively examined from the vantage point of psychoanalysis. Significant case studies include the uncanny valley effect, brain-actuated robots evoking magic mental powers, parental attitudes towards robotic children, idealizations of robotic soldiers, persecutory fantasies involving robotic components and systems. Freudian theories of narcissism, animism, infantile complexes, ego ideal, and ideal ego are brought to bear on the interpretation of these various items. The horizons of Human-robot Interaction are found to afford new and fertile (...) grounds for psychoanalytic theorizing beyond strictly therapeutic contexts. (shrink)
Leibniz's overall view of the relationship between reasoning and computation is discussed on the basis of two broad claims that one finds in his writings, concerning respectively the nature of human reasoning and the possibility of replacing human thinking by a mechanical procedure. A joint examination of these claims enables one to appreciate the wide scope of Leibniz's interests for mechanical procedures, concerning a variety of philosophical themes further developed both in later logical investigations and in methodological contributions to cognitive (...) psychology. (shrink)
The logic of gift and gratuitousness in business activity raised by the encyclical Caritas in Veritate stresses a deeper critical evaluation of the category of relation. The logic of gift in business includes two aspects. The first is considering the logic of gift as a new conceptual lens in order to view business relationship beyond contractual logic. In this view, it is crucial to see the circulation of goods as instrumental for the development of relationships. The second aspect is to (...) qualify the relationships established through the gift, and to think about the motivation in gift-giving, which has an ethical content. We give because we have received, and through gift-giving we develop relationships that have a high ‘bonding value’. Analysing the logic of gift in business management may permit us to gain an understanding of the ambiguity of gift-giving in organizations. Looking at the relationships between organizations and employees, and organizations and customers, we can discover why the logic of gift is often misunderstood or abused in its application, and how it should be applied to be more consistent with the message of Caritas in Veritate. (shrink)
Robots are being extensively used for the purpose of discovering and testing empirical hypotheses about biological sensorimotor mechanisms. We examine here methodological problems that have to be addressed in order to design and perform “good” experiments with these machine models. These problems notably concern the mapping of biological mechanism descriptions into robotic mechanism descriptions; the distinction between theoretically unconstrained “implementation details” and robotic features that carry a modeling weight; the role of preliminary calibration experiments; the monitoring of experimental environments for (...) disturbing factors that affect both modeling features and theoretically unconstrained implementation details of robots. Various assumptions that are gradually introduced in the process of setting up and performing these robotic experiments become integral parts of the background hypotheses that are needed to bring experimental observations to bear on biological mechanism descriptions. (shrink)
Today we are facing the rising of new needs for the firms, especially for the small ones; they find themselves acting in a context characterized by the great content of information technology. This paper wants to analyse some aspects tied to the use of some particular kinds of resources, such as knowledge and organizational culture. It's necessary, especially in the new economy, to add another attribute to the four set by Barney as elements able to make the resources sustainable competitive (...) advantage sources in 1991: this attribute is freedom, essentially as freedom of reaching and using resources. This attribute, more than coming along with the four already set, can be considered in many cases as a pre-condition to the other ones in existence.The theoretical part will be completed by the reference to a particular organizational model that is based on freedom, that is the open source model; we'll try to show how freedom is not an abstract concept in business. (shrink)
Cybernetics promoted machine-supported investigations of adaptive sensorimotor behaviours observed in biological systems. This methodological approach receives renewed attention in contemporary robotics, cognitive ethology, and the cognitive neurosciences. Its distinctive features concern machine experiments, and their role in testing behavioural models and explanations flowing from them. Cybernetic explanations of behavioural events, regularities, and capacities rely on multiply realizable mechanism schemata, and strike a sensible balance between causal and unifying constraints. The multiple realizability of cybernetic mechanism schemata paves the way to principled (...) comparisons between biological systems and machines. Various methodological issues involved in the transition from mechanism schemata to their machine instantiations are addressed here, by reference to a simple sensorimotor coordination task. These concern the proper treatment of ceteris paribus clauses in experimental settings, the significance of running experiments with correct but incomplete machine instantiations of mechanism schemata, and the advantage of operating with real machines ??? as opposed to simulated ones ??? immersed in real environments. (shrink)
I investigate collective intentionality (CI) through the “Ought” implies “Can” (OIC) principle. My leading question is does OIC impose any further requirement on CI? In answering the challenge inside a Searlean framework, I realize that we need to clarify what CI's structure is and what kind of role the agents joining a CI-act have. In the last part of the paper, I put forward an (inverted) Hartian framework to allow the Searlean CI theory to be agent sensitive and cope with (...) the problems that emerged. (shrink)