Since scholarly interest in corporate social responsibility (CSR) has primarily focused on the synergies between social and economic performance, our understanding of how (and the conditions under which) companies use CSR to produce policy outcomes that work against public welfare has remained comparatively underdeveloped. In particular, little is known about how corporate decision-makers privately reconcile the conflicts between public and private interests, even though this is likely to be relevant to understanding the limitations of CSR as a means of aligning (...) business activity with the broader public interest . This study addresses this issue using internal tobacco industry documents to explore British-American Tobacco’s (BAT) thinking on CSR and its effects on the company’s CSR Programme. The article presents a three-stage model of CSR development, based on Sykes and Matza’s theory of techniques of neutralization, which links together: how BAT managers made sense of the company’s declining political authority in the mid-1990s; how they subsequently justified the use of CSR as a tool of stakeholder management aimed at diffusing the political impact of public health advocates by breaking up political constituencies working towards evidence-based tobacco regulation; and how CSR works ideologically to shape stakeholders’ perceptions of the relative merits of competing approaches to tobacco control. Our analysis has three implications for research and practice. First, it underlines the importance of approaching corporate managers’ public comments on CSR critically and situating them in their economic, political and historical contexts. Second, it illustrates the importance of focusing on the political aims and effects of CSR. Third, by showing how CSR practices are used to stymie evidence-based government regulation, the article underlines the importance of highlighting and developing matrices to assess the negative social impacts of CSR. (shrink)
Social reality is a key problem in the philosophy of social science. Outlining the major historical and contemporary issues raised by the social reality and social facts, this book has something to offer both philosophers and social scientists. To the former is shows how the well-worn topic of realism versus anti-realism assumes new and interestingly varied forms when social reality is substituted for physical reality. For the social scientist, the book offers conceptual clarification of key issues in recent social science (...) which are really philosophical issues. (shrink)
In the debate between internalists and externalists in philosophy of language and philosophy of psychology, internalists such as Jerry Fodor have invoked a strong a priori argument to show that externalist descriptions can play no role in a science of the human mind and of human action. Shifting the ground of the debate from psychology to social science, I try to undermine Fodor's reasoning. I also point to a role for externalist theorising in the area where the socio-semantic theory of (...) the 'division of linguistic labour' makes contact with traditional micro-sociological theorising. (shrink)
If we think of artistic creation as a basic dimension of humanity we need to question the absence of female artists in history. We should also look at their gradual emergence in the late 20th century, an emergence that coincides with the feminist movement and a change in the conception of art itself, revealed chiefly by Duchamp. But does art by women have some specificity? Without giving a definite answer as far as subject matter is concerned, we note that the (...) conditions suited to both history and the history of art may affect their creation but without specifying it ontologically. If, moreover, some women artists define their work as feminist, it is through an act that combines artistic and political transgression. The exhibition currently arranged by the Georges Pompidou Centre, elles@ beaubourg, provides new resources for these complex questions. (shrink)
Introduction: I lay out the broad contours of my thesis: a defence of mathematical nominalism, and nominalism more generally. I discuss the possibility of metaphysics, and the relationship of nominalism to naturalism and pragmatism. Chapter 2: I delineate an account of abstractness. I then provide counter-arguments to claims that mathematical objects make a di erence to the concrete world, and claim that mathematical objects are abstract in the sense delineated. Chapter 3: I argue that the epistemological problem with abstract objects (...) is not best understood as an incompatibility with a causal theory of knowledge, or as an inability to explain the reliability of our mathematical beliefs, but resides in the epistemic luck that would infect any belief about abstract objects. To this end, I develop an account of epistemic luck that can account for cases of belief in necessary truths and apply it to the mathematical case. Chapter 4: I consider objections, based on (meta)metaphysical considerations and linguistic data, to the view that the existential quantifier expresses existence. I argue that these considerations can be accommodated by an existentially committing quantifier when the pragmatics of quantified sentences are properly understood. I develop a semi-formal framework within which we can define a notion of nominalistic adequacy. I show how our notion of nominalistic adequacy can show why it is legitimate for the nominalist to make use of platonistic “assumptions” in inference-making. Chapter 5: I turn to the application of mathematics in science, including explanatory applications, and its relation to a number of indispensability arguments. I consider also issues of realism and anti-realism, and their relation to these arguments. I argue that abstraction away from pragmatic considerations has acted to skew the debate, and has obscured possibilities for a nominalistic understanding of mathematical practices. I end by explaining the notion of a pragmatic meta-vocabulary, and argue that this notion can be used to carve out a new way of locating our ontological commitments. Chapter 6: I show how the apparatus developed in earlier chapters can be utilised to roll out the nominalist project to other domains of discourse. In particular, I consider propositions and types. I claim that a unified account of nominalism across these domains is available. Conclusion: I recapitulate the claims of my thesis. I suggest that the goal of mathematical enquiry is not descriptive knowledge, but understanding. (shrink)
Alvin Plantinga's evolutionary argument against naturalism makes the case that the conjunction of evolutionary theory and naturalism cannot be rationally believed, as, if both evolutionary theory and naturalism were true, it would be highly unlikely that our cognitive faculties are reliable. I present Plantinga's evolutionary argument against naturalism and survey a theory of meaning espoused by Robert Brandom, known as semantic inferentialism. I argue that if one accepts semantic inferentialism, as it is developed by Brandom, then Plantinga's motivation for the (...) evolutionary argument against naturalism is undermined. (shrink)
The strong programme in the sociology of science is officially "inductively" based, generalizing a number of highly acclaimed case studies into a general approach to the social study of science. However, at a critical juncture, the programme allies itself with certain radical ideas in philosophical semantics, notablyWittgenstein's "rule following considerations". The result is an implausible, radical conventionalist view of natural science which undermines the empirical programme.
Les nouvelles formes de démocratie dans la métropole s'affirment aujourd'hui en Europe en relation concrète avec de grandes opérations architecturales. De multiples groupes y affirment leurs besoins spécifiques dans la vision de la ville qui leur est propre. L'actuelle rénovation des Halles constitue de ce point de vue un cas d'école pour analyser les potentialités de glissements progressifs des impératifs de la technologie fordienne vers la geste architecturale spectaculaire, puis des expertises citoyennes qui dessinent d'autres besoins jusqu'ici ignorés par l'institué. (...) Dans ces mutations, les dimensions à la fois technique et esthétique de l'architecture lui permettent de focaliser les échanges entre ces multiples points de vue dans la ville. La situation parisienne permet aussi de mettre en évidence les fortes pesanteurs de son système étatique par rapport à d'autres métropoles européennes. (shrink)
Comment penser au-delà de la nouvelle vulgate urbaine sur la ville mondiale ? Nous croyons en effet nécessaire d'entamer une réflexion sur les opportunités d'un autre concept de ville. Peut-on développer un point de vue territorialisé, au-delà des clichés mondialistes, et quels sont les domaines que l'on doit particulièrement approfondir dans les villes européennes ?
In his new book on Pascal's Wager, Jeff Jordan argues that only the ‘Jamesian’ version of the wager argument, as he sees it presented in William James' essay The Will to Believe , constitutes a sound pragmatic argument in favour of theism, whereas Pascal's original wager argument is doomed to fail on various grounds. This article argues that Jordan's theory is untenable. The many-gods objection is used as an example: it is demonstrated that the Jamesian Wager argument too is (...) powerless to rebut this objection. (shrink)
The main aim of Jeff McMahan's manuscript on the morality of war is to answer the question: why and accordingly when is it justified or permissible to kill people in war? However, McMahan argues that the same principles apply to individual actions and to war. McMahan rejects all doctrines of collective responsibility and liability. His claim is that every individual is liable for what he has done and not for the actions of others - even if both are part (...) of the same collective. Accordingly, McMahan challenges the common view that it is much easier to justify killing in war compared to killing in other contexts. Therefore, the scope of his project exceeds the context of war and extends to interpersonal conflicts between individuals that do not qualify as war. Many of McMahan's main claims are appealing. Particularly, appealing is his rejection of the collectivist account of war. Indeed, it seems that the simple story according to which people are responsible solely for their actions - rather than (also) to the actions of others - should be held on until a different, more complex, account of collective responsibility is put forward and its plausibility is explained. Therefore, the article focuses on the general principles advocated by McMahan with regard to the resolution of all interpersonal conflicts: Whether these conflicts are small scale or large scale (that is, whether few or a many people are involved in the conflict), and within the latter category of conflicts involving many people, whether these conflicts qualify as war (according to some standard) or not. (shrink)
This essay responds to Jeff Malpas's foregoing article, itself written in response to my various publications over the past two decades concerning Donald Davidson's ideas about truth, meaning, and interpretation. It has to do mainly with our disagreement as regards the substantive content of Davidson's truth-based semantic approach in relation to the problematic legacy of logical empiricism, including Quine's incisive but no less problematical critique of that legacy. I also raise questions with respect to Malpas's coupling of Davidson with (...) Heidegger, intended to provide a more adequate depth-ontological grounding for the formalized (logico-semantic) conception of truth that Davidson adopts from Tarski. My essay then argues the case for an outlook of objectivist causal realism joined with a theory of inference to the best, most rational explanation that would satisfy this need in more philosophically (as well as scientifically) accountable terms. (shrink)
Can we interpret human reason simultaneously as a product of neurochemistry and natural selection and as a transcendental standard? Jeff Mason asks the analogous question of philosophical writing. Can we interpret philosophical discourse as "rhetorical," embodied in language, and designed to persuade historical audiences, and at the same time preserve its traditional intention to disclose truths that transcend language, history, and audiences? Mason argues that these polar attitudes toward philosophical writing are untenable precisely when they exclude each other. This (...) is a significant project with important literary and metaphilosophical consequences. (shrink)
This is a review essay of Jeff McMahan's recent book The Ethics of Killing: Problems at the Margins of Life (OUP: 2002). In the first part, I lay out the central features of McMahan's account of the wrongness of killing and its implications for when it is permissible to kill. In the second part of the essay, I argue that we ought not to accept McMahan's rejection of species membership as having any bearing on whether it is permissible to (...) kill a particular individual, as there are ways of understanding its relevance that are more plausible than McMahan allows. (shrink)
According to the dominant position in the just war tradition from Augustine to Anscombe and beyond, there is no “moral equality of combatants.” That is, on the traditional view the combatants participating in a justified war may kill their enemy combatants participating in an unjustified war— but not vice versa (barring certain qualifications). I shall argue here, however, that in the large number of wars (and in practically all modern wars) where the combatants on the justified side violate the rights (...) of innocent people (“collateral damage”), these combatants are in fact liable to attack by the combatants on the unjustified side. I will support this view with a rights-based account of liability to attack and then defend it against a number of objections raised in particular by Jeff McMahan. The result is that the thesis of the moral equality of combatants holds good for a large range of armed conflicts while the opposing thesis is of very limited practical relevance. (shrink)
A survey of just war theory literature reveals the existence of quite different lists of principles. This apparent arbitrariness raises a number of questions: What is the relation between ad bellum and in bello principles? Why are there so many of the former and so few of the latter? What order is there among the various principles? To answer these questions, I first draw on some recent work by Jeff McMahan to show that ad bellum and in bello principles (...) are not, as often portrayed, independent—the justice of conduct in war largely presupposes the justice of the recourse to war. Undermining this independence claim is one important step toward revealing the unified logical structure of just war theory. I then argue that we can see the dependence of the jus in bello upon the jus ad bellum , not just in the content of certain principles, but also in the structure of the two sets of principles: I construct a one-to-one mapping between ad bellum and in bello principles. In doing so, I argue also that the shared structure successfully finds place for the questions central to the evaluation of the morality of war: what is a sufficient provocation to use force, what objectives may be sought by force, why or for what ends, who has authority to decide to use force, and when or in what circumstances? Despite variations in expression, the theory allows for a coherent and comprehensive evaluation of morality in warfare. (shrink)