Siblings compete for parental care and feeding, while parents must allocate scarce resources to those offspring most likely to survive and reproduce. This could cause offspring to evolve traits that advertise health, and thereby attract parental resources. For example, experimental evidence suggests that bright orange filaments covering the heads of North American coot chicks may have evolved for this fitness-advertising purpose. Could any human mental disorders be the equivalent of dull filaments in coot chicks—low-fitness extremes of mental abilities that evolved (...) as fitness indicators? One possibility is autism. Suppose that the ability of very young children to charm their parents evolved as a parentally selected fitness indicator. Young children would vary greatly in their ability to charm parents, that variation would correlate with underlying fitness, and autism could be the low-fitness extreme of this variation. This view explains many seemingly disparate facts about autism and leads to some surprising and testable predictions. (shrink)
Organic farming is expected to contribute to conserving national biodiversity on farms, especially remnant, old, and undisturbed small biotopes, forests, and permanent grassland. This objective cannot rely on the legislation of organic farming solely, and to succeed, farmers need to understand the goals behind it. A set of indicators with the purpose of facilitating dialogues between expert and farmer on wildlife quality has been developed and tested on eight organic farms. “Weed cover in cereal fields,” was used as an (...) class='Hi'>indicator of floral and faunal biodiversity in the cultivated land, and “uncultivated biotope area” on the farm was used as a general measure of wildlife habitats. Functional grouping of herbaceous plants (discriminating between “high conservation value” plant species and “competitive”/“ruderal” species) and low mobility butterflies were used as indicators of conservation value, especially focusing on the few sites left with considerable remnant conservation value. The dialog processes revealed that the organic farmers’ ideas and goals of conservation of wildlife quality were not necessarily the same as for biologists; the farmers expressed very different opinions on the biological rooted idea, that wildlife quality is related to the absence of agricultural impact. However, farmers also stated that the information given by the indicators and especially the dialogue with the biologist had influenced their perception and awareness of wildlife. We conclude that, combined with a dialogue process, using these indicators when mapping wildlife quality could be an important key component of a farm wildlife management advisory tool at farm level. (shrink)
In 'Epistemic Folkways and Scientific Epistemology' Goldman offers a theory of justification inspired by the exemplar account of concept representation. I discuss the connection and conclude that the analogy does not support the theory offered. I then argue that Goldman's rule consequentialist framework for analysis is vulnerable to a problem of epistemic access, and use this to present an analysis of justification as an indicator concept we use to track how well the evaluated agent is doing with respect to (...) the primary epistemic norm of believing truths and not falsehoods. A theory of justification along these lines is then given, and its prospects of handling the evil demon objection to reliabilism are assessed. (shrink)
Some bilateralists have suggested that some of our negative answers to yes-or-no questions are cases of rejection. Mark Textor (2011. Is ‘no’ a force-indicator? No! Analysis 71: 448–56) has recently argued that this suggestion falls prey to a version of the Frege-Geach problem. This note reviews Textor's objection and shows why it fails. We conclude with some brief remarks concerning where we think that future attacks on bilateralism should be directed.
In his Explaining Behavior, Fred Dretske uses a reliabilist theory of representation to try to vindicate the use of intentional explanation for behaviour against latter-day elitninativism. Although Dretske's indicator semantics turns on the notion of function, he himself never explicitly defines what function means. Dretske's reticence in discussing function may ultimately be an error, for, as I argue, his implicit understanding of what a function amounts to does not fit with data from op rant conditioning. Still, this need not (...) be a deep flaw in Dretske and I offer one way in which we may patch up the notion of function via the changes known to occur with learning in the brain. Ultimately, I conclude that the only facts needed to explain behaviour are (1) the conditions in the world that are paired with neuronal circuit activation (as picked out by goals in some circumstances); and (2) what motor output that condition triggers. (shrink)
Theoretical justification for the Business Ethics Index (BEI) from the emerging economics of trust literature is discussed. The BEI results for 2007, 2008, and 2009 are presented. While the Personal/Past BEI component shows no significant difference from the previous years, the Vicarious/Past component shows a dramatic drop to levels previously never recorded.However, when it came to the perception of the future business ethical behavior, respondents were significantly more optimistic than in previous measurements.This finding was more than a little surprising given (...) the depth of the economic crisis. A possible explanation is that consumers hopefully perceived the economic crisis as already abating and/or that at least the worst was over. (shrink)
In this paper I shall focus on Castaneda's notion of quasi-indicators and I shall defend the following theses: (i) Essential indexicals (‘I’, ‘here’ and ‘now’) are intrinsically perspectival mechanisms of reference and, as such, they are not reducible to any other mechanism reference...
Geographic Indications (GIs) are a form of trademark protection afforded to products that are historically the product of a particular place and production process by restricting use of the name to products that actually come from the place in question; “Champagne” can only come from that region of France, for example. GIs are often proposed as a way to protect indigenous cultural products from Western appropriation: a global GI regime would ensure that “Mysore” silk sarees were produced in India, and (...) thus ensure that the traditional producers of these goods would be the beneficiaries of purchases of them. Such a strategy would return both economic value and cultural recognition to the producers of these goods. -/- In this paper, I argue that the move to branding culture puts the source indicating function of trademarks radically into question, thereby increasing the risks associated with an expansion of GIs. Increasingly, consumers consume brands not for the products they designate, but for the affiliation with the brands themselves. Since the benefits of source protection to indigenous communities depend upon a consumer’s desire to have a product actually from that source community, if consumers care more about the brand designation than the actual source, those benefits will be more difficult to realize. Instead, the logic of trademarks in late capitalism will tend to push geographic source protections toward becoming de facto IP rights in culture. -/- After an introductory section, the second section of the paper theorizes trademarks as part of a process of commodification in order to suggest that the logic of the process leads to an emphasis on brands themselves as sources of value, rather than the products to which they refer. The third section uses this theoretical frame to discuss the risk that geographic source protections will tend to reduce cultural diversity, both by tending to promote exoticized images of cultures, and by increasing the importance of standardization. The fourth section situates these concerns in the larger context of David Harvey’s work on capitalist accumulation, in order to underscore how the reification of culture discussed in the third section can be used as a tool by cultural elites to suppress dissent and treat the source protection as intellectual property rights in culture. The concluding section offers some policy suggestions for ways to ameliorate these risks. (shrink)
McCrary's work in the late 1990s suggested that superheroes influence children's development of moral values. Similarly, Bauer and Dettore advocated adults' and educators' monitoring of children's superhero play to help children foster cooperation and conflict resolution skills. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between children's attitudes toward themselves and their attitudes towards superheroes. Forty?two fourth?grade children (aged 9?11) from a school in Massachusetts completed a questionnaire. Results indicated that participants generally rated themselves and their superhero as (...) being high on prosocial behaviour. Findings suggest that there may be a relationship between how children feel about themselves and how they feel about superheroes. (shrink)
Knowledge closure is, roughly, the following claim: For every agent S and propositions P and Q, if S knows P, knows that P implies Q, and believes Q because it is so implied, then S knows Q. Almost every epistemologist believes that closure is true. Indeed, they often believe that it so obviously true that any theory implying its denial is thereby refuted. Some prominent epistemologists have nevertheless denied it, most famously Fred Dretske and Robert Nozick. There are closure advocates (...) who see other virtues in those accounts, however, and so who introduce revisions of one sort or another in order to preserve closure while maintaining their spirit. One popular approach is to replace the “sensitivity” constraint at the heart of both of those accounts with a “safety” constraint, as advocated by Timothy Williamson, Duncan Pritchard, Ernest Sosa, Stephen Luper, and others. The purpose of this essay is to show that this approach does not succeed: safety does not save closure. And neither does a popular variation on the safety theme, the safe-basis or safe-indicator account. (shrink)
The form of nominalism known as 'mathematical fictionalism' is examined and found wanting, mainly on grounds that go back to an early antinominalist work of Rudolf Carnap that has unfortunately not been paid sufficient attention by more recent writers.
I show how a de se belief ascription such as "Privatus believes that he himself is rich" may be dealt with by means of a scope distinction over and above that one separating de dicto and de re ascriptions. The idea is, roughly, that 'Privatus...himself' forms in this statement a unity, a single "spread" sign that is at the same time in a de re and de dicto position. If so, H-N. Castañeda's contention that the "quasi-indicator" 'he himself' ('she (...) herself', 'it itself') belongs to a "unique, irreducible logical category" of singular terms is, at best, misleading. Further, my account is superior to the well-known theories of R. Chisholm and D. Lewis, according to which de se ascriptions state that the believer "directly attributes properties to himself or herself". 1. Introduction 2. Chisholm and Lewis on de se belief ascriptions 3. Fregean and Sellarsian theories of belief ascriptions 4. Geach on the reflexive pronoun 5. Admiring and self-admiring 6. A solution to the problem de se belief ascriptions 7. Belief de se 8. Conclusion. (shrink)
This study compares Australian marketers with those in the United States along lines that are particular to the study of ethics. The test measured two different moral philosophies, idealism and relativism, and compared perceptions of ethical problems, ethical intentions, and corporate ethical values. According to Hofstede''s cultural typologies, there should be little difference between American and Australian marketers, but the study did find significant differences. Australians tended to be more idealistic and more relativistic than Americans and the other results were (...) mixed, making it difficult to generalize about the effects of moral philosophies on the components of ethical decision-making measured here. This is an important finding; as firms become increasingly more globalized, marketers will more often be involved in cross-cultural ethical dilemmas and it seems natural to assume that similar cultures will have similar ethical orientations. That assumption may well prove erroneous. (shrink)
Goldman, though still a reliabilist, has made some recent concessions to evidentialist epistemologies. I agree that reliabilism is most plausible when it incorporates certain evidentialist elements, but I try to minimize the evidentialist component. I argue that fewer beliefs require evidence than Goldman thinks, that Goldman should construe evidential fit in process reliabilist terms, rather than the way he does, and that this process reliabilist understanding of evidence illuminates such important epistemological concepts as propositional justification, ex ante justification, and defeat.
In this article, I present a schema for generating counterexamples to the argument form known as Hypothetical Syllogism (HS) with indicative conditionals. If my schema for generating counterexamples to HS works as I think it does, then HS is invalid for indicative conditionals.
With the emergence of modern physics a conflict became apparent between the Principle of Sufficient Cause and the Principle of Physical Causal Closure. Though these principles are not logically incompatible, they could no longer be considered to be both true; one of them had to be false. The present paper makes use of this seldom noticed conflict to argue on the basis of considerations of comparative rationality for the truth of causal statements that have at least some degree of philosophico-theological (...) relevance and can be taken to indicate ( not prove) the existence of God. The paper’s comparatively modest aim is to establish belief in the existence of God as a rational metaphysical option, not as a rational obligation. In its final section, enriched causal considerations lead to an indication ( not proof) of God as that which guarantees the unified continuance of the physical world. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss philosophical and psychological treatments of the question “how do we decide that an occurrent mental state is a memory and not, say a thought or imagination?” This issue has proven notoriously difficult to resolve, with most proposed indices, criteria and heuristics failing to achieve consensus. Part of the difficulty, I argue, is that the indices and analytic solutions thus far offered seldom have been situated within a well-specified theory of memory function. As I hope to (...) show, when such an approach is adopted, not only do new, functionally-grounded answers emerge; we also gain insight into the adaptive significance of the processes that underwrite our belief in the memorial status of a mental state. (shrink)
Most studies into the performance of socially responsible investment vehicles have focused on the performance of sustainable or socially responsible mutual funds. This research has been complemented recently by a number of studies that have examined the performance of sustainable investment indices. In both cases, the majority of studies have concluded that the returns of socially responsible investment vehicles have either underperformed, or failed to outperform, comparable market indices. Although the impact of sustainable indices to date has been limited, the (...) recent launch of sustainable indices by Dow Jones and FTSE suggests that more attention is being paid to the subject by financial markets, investors, and companies. This development raises a number of important issues which are reviewed in this article: (a) the performance of indices compared with their benchmark indices; (b) the methodologies employed in compiling the indices; and (c) the impact of the indices on companies and the investment community. The article concludes with a number of suggestions for areas that merit future research. (shrink)
More and more businesses are aligning their activities with the principles of sustainable development. Therefore they need to adapt their ways of measuring corporate performance. However, it includes issues which may be outside the direct control of the organisation, that are difficult to characterise and often are based on value judgements rather than hard data. The difficulty in measuring performance is further complicated by the fact that many corporations have a complex organisational structure, with different business streams, functions and projects. (...) This paper has used two case studies to explore how the appropriate use of indicators can be a powerful tool in addressing the sustainability of businesses both at a corporate wide level and at a project level. (shrink)
Typical Gettieresque scenarios involve a subject, S, using a method, M, of believing something, p, where, normally, M is a reliable indicator of the truth of p, yet, in S’s circumstances, M is not reliable: M is deleteriously rigged. A different sort of scenario involves rigging that restores the reliability of a method M that is deleteriously rigged: M is restoratively rigged. Some theorists criticize (among others) the safe indication account of knowledge defended by Luper, Sosa, and Williamson on (...) the grounds that it treats such cases as knowledge. But other theorists also criticize the safe indication account because it treats the cases as examples of ignorance when they are really examples of knowledge. I answer both groups of critics by arguing that (1) restorative rigging can enable us to know things, and (2) restoratively rigged cases can meet the relevant conditions of the safe indication account. (shrink)