Albert Einstein.--Bertrand Russell.--John Dewey.--R.A. Millikan.--Theodore Dreiser.--H.G. Wells.--Fridtjof Nansen.--Sir James Jeans.--Irving Babbitt.--Sir Arthur Keith.--J.T. Adams.--H.L. Mencken.--Julia Peterkin.--Lewis Mumford.--G.J. Nathan.--Hu Shih.--J.W. Krutch.--Irwin Edman.--Hilaire Belloc.--Beatrice Webb.--W.R. Inge.--J.B.S. Haldane.--Biographical notes. Note: This book was re-published by AMS Press, 1979.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a dramatically expanding area of activity for managers and academics. Consumer demand for responsibly produced and fair trade goods is swelling, resulting in increased demands for CSR activity and information. Assets under professional management and invested with a social responsibility focus have also grown dramatically over the last 10 years. Investors choosing social responsibility investment strategies require access to information not provided through traditional financial statements and analyses. At the same time, a group of mainstream (...) institutional investors has encouraged a movement to incorporate environmental, social, and governance information into equity analysis, and multi-stakeholder groups have supported enhanced business reporting on these issues. The majority of research in this area has been performed on European and Australian firms. We expand on this literature by exploring the CSR disclosure practices of a size-and industry-stratified sample of 50 publicly traded U. S. firms, performing a content analysis on the complete identifiable public information portfolio provided by these firms during 2004. CSR activity was disclosed by most firms in the sample, and was included in nearly half of public disclosures made during that year by the sample firms. Areas of particular emphasis are community matters, health and safety, diversity and human resources (HR) matters, and environmental programs. The primary venues of disclosure are mass media releases such as corporate websites and press releases, followed closely by disclosures contained in mandatory filings. Consistent with prior research, we identify industry effects in terms of content, emphasis, and reporting format choices. Unlike prior research, we can offer only mixed evidence on the existence of a size effect. The disclosure frequency and emphasis is significantly different for the largest one-fifth of the firms, but no identifiable trends are present within the rest of the sample. There are, however, identifiable size effects with respect to reporting format choice. Use of websites is positively related to firm size, while the use of mandatory filings is negatively related to firm size. Finally, and also consistent with prior literature, we document a generally self-laudatory tone in the content of CSR disclosures for the sample firms. (shrink)
G. Priest's anti-consistency argument (Priest 1979, 1984, 1987) and J. R. Lucas's anti-mechanist argument (Lucas 1961, 1968, 1970, 1984) both appeal to Gödel incompleteness. By way of refuting them, this paper defends the thesis of quartet compatibility, viz., that the logic of the mind can simultaneously be Gödel incomplete, consistent, mechanical, and recursion complete (capable of all means of recursion). A representational approach is pursued, which owes its origin to works by, among others, J. Myhill (1964), P. Benacerraf (1967), J. (...)Webb (1980, 1983) and M. Arbib (1987). It is shown that the fallacy shared by the two arguments under discussion lies in misidentifying two systems, the one for which the Gödel sentence is constructable and to be proved, and the other in which the Gödel sentence in question is indeed provable. It follows that the logic of the mind can surpass its own Gödelian limitation not by being inconsistent or non-mechanistic, but by being capable of representing stronger systems in itself; and so can a proper machine. The concepts of representational provability, representational maximality, formal system capacity, etc., are discussed. (shrink)
The quality of corporate disclosures has drawn increasing levels of criticism from Congress and the SEC. A subject of particularly intense scrutiny and action is the Management’s Discussion and Analysis (MD&A). This narrative, intended to provide an inside perspective on the reported results of the firm, is particularly important when attempting to evaluate the investment prospects of the marginal or poorly performing firm. However, managers may restrict the information content of the disclosure, raising potential concerns about ethical behavior. In this (...) study, we employ a proprietary instrument to measure the quality of MD&A disclosures for a sample of firms entering financial distress. We evaluate the disclosure behavior of these firms in an effort to determine whether changes in the disclosure appear to be motivated primarily by economic or ethical concerns. We find, on average, that firms increase disclosure quality in the year of initial distress. However, sustained increases in disclosure quality are limited to firms that subsequently recover from the distress. The results suggest that observed changes in disclosure are driven primarily by economic considerations, rather than ethical ones, especially in good economic times. (shrink)
Tomasello et al. provide a new account of cultural uniqueness, one that hinges on a uniquely human motivation to share intentionality with others. We favor an alternative to this motivational account – one that relies on a modular explanation of the primate intention-reading system. We discuss this view in light of recent comparative experiments using competitive intention-reading tasks.
Aristotle's four causes frame Webb's question. Comprehension requires specification of trigger, function, mechanism, and representation. Robots are real models of function. Physical, biological, and epigenetic constraints delimit the hypothesis space for candidate mechanisms. Robots constitute a simplified system more susceptible to formal representation than the target system. They thus constitute an important tool in a constructivist development of scientific knowledge.
We emphasize the feature of Webb's presentation that bears most directly on contemporary research with real animals. Many neuroscience modelers erroneously conclude that a model that performs like an animal must have achieved this goal through processes analogous with those used by the animal. A simulation failure justifies rejecting a model, but success does not justify acceptance. However, an important benefit of models, successful or otherwise, is to stimulate new research.
A slight modification of Webb's diagrammatic representation of the dimensions for describing models is proposed which extends it to cover a range of theoretical models as well as material models. It is also argued that beyond a certain level robotic simulations could offer a number of real advantages over computer simulations of organisms interacting with their environment.
Thirty or even fifty years ago, the apology on the Left for the Soviet Union was direct. Today no one can read what the Webbs wrote in the '30s or what Sartre wrote in the early ‘50s without laughing, though we should recall the seriousness of the crimes they managed to represent — and, for the relevant audience, successfully. We have come a long way from all that, or so it seems. Actually, left-wing writing these days on the whole is (...) still apologetic — even if in indirect forms. Of the two major types of exercises in mystification, the one postulates an essential parallelism between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. as forms of domination, as centers of imperial systems, in one recent version as “exterminist” social formations. (shrink)