J.L. Austin has demonstrated that people can do things—bring about social facts — with words. Here we describe how some people do things with things. This is a study of the symbolic use and situated history of material objects during a business negotiation between two German entrepreneurs: of the practical transformation of things-at-hand from objects of use into exemplars, or into forms-at-hand that can be used for the construction of transitory symbolic artifacts. Arranging boxes in a particular fashion can be (...) the equivalent of an illocutionary act, but unlike words things remain on the scene as indexical monuments to prior interactional arrangements. (shrink)
Human interaction and communication involve space in multiple ways. This paper examines the spatial and interactional order of a covertly video-taped police interrogation. When the participants enter the interrogation room and become engaged in the interrogation process, the room itself is a constraint and a resource for interaction. While interacting within a built environment, the participants appropriate their material surroundings in ways that constitute a spatial order and make possible certain arguments. This paper examines how the physical structure of the (...) interrogation room is differentially appropriated, used, and filled in by the participants''; territorial and postural manoeuvers over the course of their interaction; and how the spatial structures thus created by the bodily appropriation of the physical locale are subsequently formulated by talk and thereby used as a metaphorical resource to frame the participants'' situated experience. Through this embedded process, the interrogators move the suspect toward confession. (shrink)
an overly long draft of an encyclopedia article forthcoming in History of Continental Thought, Volume 6: Poststructuralism and Critical Theory: The Return of Master Thinkers, ed. Alan D. Schrift (Acumen Press).
The WTO Dispute Settlement System (DSS) has been the object of many studies in politics, law, and economics focusing on institutional design problems. This paper contributes to such studies by accounting for the argumentative nature and sophisticated features of the DSS through a philosophical analysis of the procedures through which it is articulated. Jürgen Habermas's discourse theory is used as a hermeneutic device to disentangle the types of ‘orientations’ (compromise, consensus, and mutual understanding) pertaining to DSS procedures. We show (...) that these latter are oriented primarily to put the parties in a position to reach mutual understanding. Such an orientation is no mere idiosyncrasy of the DSS but is the only one consistently conducive to the WTO's general aims, in response to the various types of disputes that may arise between its Members. Before closing, we bring our procedural considerations to bear on the reform proposals of the DSS. (shrink)
This paper elaborates on discussions in Germany regarding some of the ethical and legal issues in the area of the use and patenting of inventions involving human tissue. The issues discussed pertain to the benefits and problems regarding informed consent and the issue of property rights as they relate to the donation of cells and tissue.
Over the past few years, the Virtual Organization (VO) paradigm has been emerging as an ideal solution to support collaboration among globally distributed entities (individuals and/or organizations). However, due to rapid technological and societal changes, there has also been an astonishing growth in technologies and services for mobile users. This has opened up new collaborative scenarios where the same participant can access the VO from different locations and mobility becomes a key issue for users and services. The nomadicity and mobility (...) introduces additional challenges for managing collaboration in VO environments. This paper focuses on the Identity Management challenge in a Mobile Dynamic VO environment, which is a VO that takes into account nomadicity and seamless mobility aspects as elaborated within the EU funded project Akogrimo (Access to Knowledge through the Grid in a mobile world). The resulting work is the design of the Akogrimo Identity Management system supporting the authentication and authorization process across the different administrative domains of the Mobile Dynamic VO. This design follows the service oriented approach and integrates the different perspectives: that of the network, that of the user and that of the service provider. Such an integration requires facing challenges; both from the architectural and technological viewpoints because different ‘worlds’ (i.e. network and service level) leverage different (and sometimes conflicting) approaches when addressing Identity Management. (shrink)
Data from further human experiments touch four open questions in the target article. (1) Extinction of reward acquisition postulated by Depue & Collins's model could not be confirmed if correlating craving for, liking of, and satisfaction from smoking. (2) Intraindividual correspondence between responsivity to dopamine agonists and antagonists could likewise not be confirmed. (3) Nicotine craving and drug-induced hormone responses were not substantially correlated. (4) Low serotonin can be the cause and not just the moderator of dopaminergic sensitivity, and personality (...) correlates of low dopamine/low MAO (aggressive impulsive traits) can hardly be related to the positive emotion associated with dopaminergic activity. (shrink)
This paper compares different strategies of analysing economic phe-nomena, namely individualism and holism. As it turns out, a main point for which methodological individualism is criticized is its supposed reductionism and the related arbitrariness of choosing individuals as a unit of explanation. The paper shows that there exists at least with F. A. Hayek an author who presents an evolutionary theory of economic and social change that avoids the reductionism of orthodox individualistic theory. According to Hayek, the social scientist should (...) try to receive insights about collective phenomena by analysing to what extent rules of behaviour are adopted by some individuals, larger groups or a whole population. Besides the selection argument, Hayek's observation of learning processes as primary factors determining behaviour gives rise to a conception of mankind far beyond optimization models. Hayek thus overcomes a reductionist individualism by taking recourse to hierarchical selection and learning processes. (shrink)