Abstract: Recently, the idea that every hypothetical imperative must somehow be 'backed up' by a prior categorical imperative has gained a certain influence among Kant interpreters and ethicists influenced by Kant. Since instrumentalism is the position that holds that hypothetical imperatives can by themselves and without the aid of categorical imperatives explain all valid forms of practical reasoning, the influential idea amounts to a rejection of instrumentalism as internally incoherent. This paper argues against this prevailing view both as an interpretation (...) of Kant and as philosophical understanding of practical reason. In particular, it will be argued that many of the arguments that claim to show that hypothetical imperatives must be backed up by categorical imperatives mistakenly assume that the form of practical reasoning must itself occur as a premise within the reasoning. An alternative to this assumption will be offered. I will conclude that while instrumentalism may well be false, there is no reason to believe it is incoherent. (shrink)
The problem of the unity of the proposition asks what binds together the constituents of a proposition into a fully formed proposition that provides truth conditions for the assertoric sentence that expresses it, rather than merely a set of objects. Hanks’ solution is to reject the traditional distinction between content and force. If his theory is successful, then there is a plausible extension of it that readily solves the Frege–Geach problem for normative propositions. Unfortunately Hanks’ theory isn’t successful, but it (...) does point to significant connections between expressivism, unity, and embedding. (shrink)
The data emerging from the clinical and brain studies described above suggest that, in the case of OCD, there are two pertinent brain mechanisms that are distinguishable both in terms of neuro dynamics and in terms of the conscious experiences that accompany them. These mechanisms can be characterized, on anatomical and perhaps evolutionary grounds, as a lower level and a higher level mechanism. The clinical treatment has, when successful, an activating effect on the higher level mechanism, and a suppressive effect (...) on the lower level one. (shrink)
In this Issue Content Type Journal Article Pages 7-9 Authors Jason M. Wirth Michael Schwartz Journal Comparative and Continental Philosophy Online ISSN 1757-0646 Print ISSN 1757-0638 Journal Volume Volume 4 Journal Issue Volume 4, Number 1 / 2012.
Under shift, caused for example by eye movement, or by relative movement of the subject or object of perception, the cortical representation undergoes very large changes in “size” and “shape.” Space-variance of cortical representation rules out models that fundamentally require linear interpolation between shifted patterns (e.g., Edelman's model) or rigid shift of an invariant retinal stimulus corresponding to shift at the cortex (e.g., the shifter theory of van Essen). Recently, a computational solution of “quasi-shift” invariance for space-variant mappings has been (...) constructed (Bonmassar & Schwartz 1997a; 1997b). (shrink)
Finding Oz tells the remarkable story behind one of the world’s most enduring and best-loved books. Offering profound new insights into the true origins and meaning of L. Frank Baum’s 1900 masterwork, it delves into the personal turmoil and spiritual transformation that fueled Baum’s fantastical parable of the American Dream. Before becoming an impresario of children’s adventure tales, the J. K. Rowling of his age, Baum failed at a series of careers and nearly lost his soul before setting out on (...) a journey of discovery that would lead to the Land of Oz. Drawing on original research, Evan Schwartz debunks popular misconceptions and shows how the people, places, and events in Baum’s life gave birth to his unforgettable images and characters, from the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City to the dual view of witches that reflected the life of Baum’s mother-in-law, the radical women’s rights leader Matilda Joslyn Gage. A narrative that sweeps across late-nineteenth-century America, Finding Oz ultimately reveals how failure and heartbreak can sometimes lead to redemption and bliss, and how one individual can ignite the imagination of the entire world. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Introduction Daniel Schwartz; 2. Fundamentals in Suárez's metaphysics: transcendentals and categories Jorge J. E. Gracia and Daniel D. Novotný; 3. The reality of substantial form: Suárez, metaphysical disputations XV Christopher Shields; 4. Suárez on the ontology of relations Jorge Secada; 5. Suárez's cosmological argument for the existence of God Bernie Cantens; 6. Action and freedom in Suárez's ethics Thomas Pink; 7. Obligation, rightness, and natural law: Suárez and some critics Terence H. Irwin; 8. Suárez (...) on distributive justice Daniel Schwartz; 9. Suárez on just war Gregory M. Reichberg. (shrink)
How can one establish if a corporate code of ethics is ethical in terms of its content? One important first step might be the establishment of core universal moral values by which corporate codes of ethics can be ethically constructed and evaluated. Following a review of normative research on corporate codes of ethics, a set of universal moral values is generated by considering three sources: (1) corporate codes of ethics; (2) global codes of ethics; and (3) the business ethics literature. (...) Based on the convergence of the three sources of standards, six universal moral values for corporate codes of ethics are proposed including: (1) trustworthiness; (2) respect; (3) responsibility; (4) fairness; (5) caring; and (6) citizenship. Relying on the proposed set of universal moral values, implications are discussed as to what the content of corporate codes of ethics should consist of. The paper concludes with its limitations. (shrink)
The study examines employee, managerial, and ethics officer perceptions regarding their companies codes of ethics. The study moves beyond examining the mere existence of a code of ethics to consider the role that code content and code process (i.e. creation, implementation, and administration) might play with respect to the effectiveness of codes in influencing behavior. Fifty-seven in-depth, semi-structured interviews of employees, managers, and ethics officers were conducted at four large Canadian companies. The factors viewed by respondents to be important with (...) respect to code effectiveness include: provisions of examples; readability; tone; relevance; realism; senior management support; training; reinforcement; living up to standards; reporting requirement; anonymous phone line; communicating violations; and enforcement. The factors found to be potentially important include: justification for provisions; employee involvement; and sign-off requirements. Factors found not to be important include: objectives for the code; prior distribution; testing; and relating ones performance review to compliance with the code. (shrink)
Are corporate codes of ethics necessarily ethical? To challenge this notion, an initial set of universal moral standards is proposed by which all corporate codes of ethics can be ethically evaluated. The set of universal moral standards includes: (1) trustworthiness; (2) respect; (3) responsibility; (4) fairness; (5) caring; and (6) citizenship. By applying the six moral standards to four different stages of code development (i.e., content, creation, implementation, administration), a code of ethics for corporate codes of ethics is constructed by (...) which companies can be ethically audited for compliance. The newly proposed code of ethics for corporate codes of ethics was then applied to four large Canadian companies representing a variety of industries: telecommunications; banking, manufacturing, and high technology. The ethical audit of the four companies' ethics programs based on the proposed code indicates that all four companies have room to improve the ethical nature of their codes of ethics (i.e., content, creation, implementation, administration). (shrink)
A study was conducted in order to examine the relationship between corporate codes of ethics and behaviour. Fifty-seven interviews of employees, managers, and ethics officers were conducted at four large Canadian companies. The study found that codes of ethics are a potential factor influencing the behaviour of corporate agents. Reasons are provided why codes are violated as well as complied with. A set of eight metaphors are developed which help to explain how codes of ethics influence behaviour.
Business codes are a widely used management instrument. Research into the effectiveness of business codes has, however, produced conflicting results. The main reasons for the divergent findings are: varying definitions of key terms; deficiencies in the empirical data and methodologies used; and a lack of theory. In this paper, we propose an integrated research model and suggest directions for future research.
Schizophrenia, like other pathological conditions of mental life, has not been systematically included in the general study of consciousness. By focusing on aspects of chronic schizophrenia, we attempt to remedy this omission. Basic components of Husserl’s phenomenology (intentionality, synthesis, constitution, epoche, and unbuilding) are explicated and then employed in an account of chronic schizophrenia. In schizophrenic experience, basic constituents of reality are lost and the subject must try to explicitly re-constitute them. “Automatic mental life” is weakened such that much of (...) the world that is normally taken-for-granted cannot continue to be so. The subject must actively re-lay the ontological foundations of reality. (shrink)
College students and suburban residents completed questionnaires designed to examine the tendency of scientific explanations of undesirable behaviors to mitigate perceived culpability. In vignettes relating behaviors to an explanatory antecedent, we manipulated the uniformity of the behavior given the antecedent, the responsiveness of the behavior to deterrence, and the explanatory antecedent-type offered- physiological (e.g., a chemical imbalance) or experiential (e.g., abusive parents). Physiological explanations had a greater tendency to exonerate actors than did experiential explanations. The effects of uniformity and deterrence (...) were smaller, and the latter had a significant effect on judgment only when physiological rather than experiential antecedents were specified. Physiologically explained behavior was more likely to be characterized as "automatic", and willpower and character were less likely to be cited as relevant to the behavior. Physiological explanations of undesirable behavior may mitigate blame by inviting nonteleological causal attributions. Keywords: person perception, volition, moral attribution, responsibility. (shrink)
This article explains Iris Murdoch’s notion of moral vision and its importance as a basic concept within applied ethics. It does so by exploring the influence of Iris Murdoch upon Alasdair MacIntyre whose ideas are frequently discussed by business ethicists. Arguably, the British philosopher Iris Murdoch (1919–1999) who wrote – amongst others – Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals ( 1992 ), along with her contemporaries, Philippa Foot and Elizabeth Anscombe, pioneered the resurgence of Aristotle’s virtue ethics. Furthermore, Iris Murdoch (...) influenced Alasdair MacIntyre. Heather Widdows, in her biography of Iris Murdoch lists Alasdair MacIntyre amongst those ‘thinkers she inspired’ (Widdows, The moral vision of Iris Murdoch, Ashgate Publishing, Aldershot, 2005 , p. 10). And in his writings MacIntyre does both examine Murdoch’s work and acknowledge that ‘Iris Murdoch has … put us all in her debt’ (MacIntyre, 1993 , The New York Times on the Web , January 3, http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/12/20/specials/murdoch-metaphysics.html , p. 3). Murdoch was both an influential philosopher and a successful novelist. MacIntyre has stated that ‘Iris Murdoch’s novels are philosophy: but they are philosophy which casts doubt on all philosophy, including her own’ ( London Review of Books , 3–16 June, 1982 , p. 15). I therefore explore in this article the influence of Iris Murdoch’s literary work, where ‘true vision occasions right conduct’ upon Alasdair MacIntyre’s portrayal of us as ‘storytelling animals’ on a ‘narrative quest’. (shrink)
Joseph LaPorte in an article on `Kind and Rigidity'(Philosophical Studies, Volume 97) resurrects an oldsolution to the problem of how to understand the rigidityof kind terms and other general terms. Despite LaPorte'sarguments to the contrary, his solution trivializes thenotion of rigidity when applied to general terms. Hisarguments do lead to an important insight however. Thenotions of rigidity and non-rigidity do not usefullyapply at all to kind or other general terms. Extendingthe notion of rigidity from singular terms such as propernames to (...) general terms such as natural kind terms is amistake. (shrink)
Interpreters disagree on the origin that Francisco Suárez assigns to political obligation and correlative political subjection. According to some, Suárez, as other social contract theorists, believes that it is the consent of the individuals that causes political obligation. Others, however, claim that for Suárez, political obligation is underived from the individuals' consent which creates the city. In support of this claim they invoke Suárez's view that political power emanates from the city by way of "natural resultancy". I argue that analysis (...) of Suárez's less studied De voto and De iuramento reveals that, for Suárez, consent causes both the city and the citizen's political obligation. Moreover, close inspection of the notion of causation by natural resultancy within Suárez's metaphysics shows that what emanates from the body politic in this fashion is not, as claimed, political subjection and political obligation, but rather the city's right to self-mastership. Because for him political obligation does originate in consent it is not incorrect to regard Suárez as a social contract theorist. (shrink)
Backdating of stock options is an example of an agency problem. It has emerged despite all the measures (i.e., new regulations and additional corporate governance mechanisms) aimed at addressing such problems? Beyond such negative controlling measures, a more positive empowering approach based on ethics may also be necessary. What ethical measures need to be taken to address the agency problem? What values and norms should guide the board of directors in protecting the shareholders' interests? To examine these issues, we first (...) discuss the role values and norms can play with respect to underlying corporate governance and the proper role of directors, such as transparency, accountability, integrity (which is reflected in proper mechanisms of checks and balances), and public responsibility. Second, we discuss various stakeholder approaches (e.g., government, directors, managers, and shareholders) by which conflicts of interest (i.e., the agency problem) can be addressed. Third, we assess the practice of backdating stock options, as an illustration of the agency problem, in terms of whether the practice is legally acceptable or ethically justifiable. Fourth, we proceed to an analysis of good corporate governance practice involving backdating options based on a series of ethical standards including: (1) trustworthiness; (2) utilitarianism; (3) justice; and (4) Kantianism. We conclude that while executive compensation schemes (e. g., stock options) were originally intended to help remedy the agency problem by tying together the interests of the executives and shareholders, these schemes may have actually become "part of the problem," and that the solution ultimately depends upon whether directors and executives accept that all of their actions must be based on a set of core ethical values. (shrink)
This paper speculates upon the reasons for Peter Drucker's ongoing and vigorous denial of the relevance of business ethics. It contemplates whether Drucker consciously, or even perhaps subconsciously, associates the aims of business ethics with the aims of those associated with the Arbeitsfreude movement in Germany prior to the outbreak of the second world war. If this is the case the paper questions whether Drucker's distaste for some of the more notorious outcomes of that movement in Germany are reflected in (...) his hostility to business ethics. Drucker's reflections regarding the social responsibilities of business are discussed, as are the limitations which he imposes upon such corporate social responsibility. Drucker's distinction between societal ethics and individual ethics are also discussed. (shrink)
Can or should God be considered a managerial stakeholder? While at first glance such a proposition might seem beyond the norms of stakeholder management theory or traditional management practice, further investigation suggests that there might be both theoretical and practical support for such a notion. This paper will make the argument that God both is and should be considered a managerial stakeholder for those businesspeople and business firms that accept that God exists and can affect the world. In doing so, (...) part one of the paper first discusses the growth of religion and spirituality within the business and academic communities. Part two raises several arguments based on stakeholder theory and business reality to support the notion of God as a managerial stakeholder. Part three addresses the arguments against God as a managerial stakeholder. Part four discusses the managerial implications of considering God as a managerial stakeholder. The paper concludes with its limitations. (shrink)
Roemer's attempt to undermine the normative reasons that Marxists have thought exploitation important (domination, alienation, and inequality) is vitiated by several crucial errors. First, Roemer ignores the dimension of freedom which is Marx's main concern and replaces it with an interest in justice, which Marx rejected. This leads him to misconstrue the nature of exploitation as Marx understands it. Second, his procedure for disconnecting these evils from exploitation, or denying their importance, involves the methodological assumption that exploitation must strictly imply (...) these evils. He thus fails to see that exploitation may 'cause' domination, alienation, and inequality; this assumption and the focus on justice also lead him to overlook the sort of alienation that is most important to Marx and the way exploitation, as Marx understands it, does imply coercion. Roemer's alternative conception of exploitation thus fails to capture basic Marxist normative and explanatory concerns. But Roemer's insistence on the importance of justice and the need for an articulated alternative to capitalism are a necessary supplement to a Marxist account. (shrink)
Abstract: The natural lottery is a metaphor about the way luck affects the allocation of personal attributes, talents, skills, and defects. Susan Hurley has argued that it is incoherent to regard individual essential properties (IEPs) as a matter of lottery luck. The reason is that a lottery of identity-affecting properties generates the ‘non-identity problem’. For this reason among others she suggests substituting lottery luck with ‘thin luck’, i.e. luck as non-responsibility, which would allow us to coherently regard IEPs as a (...) matter of luck.I argue that we are not not-responsible for our IEPs. Therefore, the coherent range of ‘thin luck’ is not broader than that of lottery luck. Moreover, justice theorists need to be worried about the non-identity problem only to the extent that IEPs affect life prospects and it is far from evident that they do. After addressing some connected aspects of Hurley's analysis, I discuss the type of reasons that justify seeking to expand domain of justice and the ways of doing this, for instance by abandoning lottery luck. I close by suggesting, however, that if Parfit's view of ‘what matters about identity’ is correct, its application to the case of identity-affecting lotteries may prove the expansion of the domain of justice superfluous, as IEPs belong to it as it is. (shrink)
. Recent corporate scandals have focused the attention of a broad set of constituencies on reforming corporate governance. Boards of directors play a leading role in corporate governance and any significant reforms must encompass their role. To date, most reform proposals have targeted the legal, rather than the ethical obligations of directors. Legal reforms without proper attention to ethical obligations will likely prove ineffectual. The ethical role of directors is critical. Directors have overall responsibility for the ethics and compliance programs (...) of the corporation. The tone at the top that they set by example and action is central to the overall ethical environment of their firms. This role is reinforced by their legal responsibilities to provide oversight of the financial performance of the firm. Underlying this analysis is the critical assumption that ethical behavior, especially on the part of corporate leaders, leads to the best long-term interests of the corporation. We describe key components of a framework for a code of ethics for corporate boards and individual directors. The proposed code framework is based on six universal core ethical values: (1) honesty; (2) integrity; (3) loyalty; (4) responsibility; (5) fairness; and (6) citizenship. The paper concludes by suggesting critical issues that need to be dealt with in firm-based codes of ethics for directors. (shrink)
Most decisions in life involve ambiguity, where probabilities can not be meaningfully specified, as much as they involve probabilistic uncertainty. In such conditions, the aspiration to utility maximization may be self-deceptive. We propose “robust satisficing” as an alternative to utility maximizing as the normative standard for rational decision making in such circumstances. Instead of seeking to maximize the expected value, or utility, of a decision outcome, robust satisficing aims to maximize the robustness to uncertainty of a satisfactory outcome. That is, (...) robust satisficing asks, “what is a ‘good enough’ outcome,” and then seeks the option that will produce such an outcome under the widest set of circumstances. We explore the conditions under which robust satisficing is a more appropriate norm for decision making than utility maximizing. (shrink)
The negative consequences of physicians' failure to establish and maintain personal relationships with patients are at the heart of the humanistic crisis in medicine. To resolve this crisis, a new model of doctor-patient interaction is proposed, based on the ideas of Martin Buber's philosophy of dialogue. This model shows how the physican may successfully combine the personal (I-Thou) and impersonal (I-It) aspects of medicine in three stages. These Three Stages of Medical Dialogue include:1. An Initial Personal Meeting stage, which initiates (...) the doctor-patient relationship and involves mutual confirmation; 2. An Examination stage, which requires a shift from a personal to an impersonal style of interaction; 3. An Integration Through Dialogue or Healing Through Meeting Stage, which involves the integration of the impersonal medical data into the ongoing dialogue between doctor and patient, as a basis for shared decision-making. The use of the model, as well as common failures of doctor-patient dialogue are discussed. (shrink)
Basing ourselves on the writings of Hans Jonas, we offer to psychosomatic medicine a philosophy of life that surmounts the mind-body dualism which has plagued Western thought since the origins of modern science in seventeenth century Europe. Any present-day account of reality must draw upon everything we know about the living and the non-living. Since we are living beings ourselves, we know what it means to be alive from our own first-hand experience. Therefore, our philosophy of life, in addition to (...) starting with what empirical science tells us about inorganic and organic reality, must also begin from our own direct experience of life in ourselves and in others; it can then show how the two meet in the living being. Since life is ultimately one reality, our theory must reintegrate psyche with soma such that no component of the whole is short-changed, neither the objective nor the subjective. In this essay, we lay out the foundational components of such a theory by clarifying the defining features of living beings as polarities . We describe three such polarities: 1) Being vs. non-being: Always threatened by non-being, the organism must constantly re-assert its being through its own activity. 2) World-relatedness vs. self-enclosure: Living beings are both enclosed with themselves, defined by the boundaries that separate them from their environment, while they are also ceaselessly reaching out to their environment and engaging in transactions with it. 3) Dependence vs. independence: Living beings are both dependent on the material components that constitute them at any given moment and independent of any particular groupings of these components over time. We then discuss important features of the polarities of life: Metabolism; organic structure; enclosure by a semi-permeable membrane; distinction between "self" and "other"; autonomy; neediness; teleology; sensitivity; values. Moral needs and values already arise at the most basic levels of life, even if only human beings can recognize such values as moral requirements and develop responses to them. (shrink)
"Modern History" versions of the etiological theory claim that in order for a trait X to have the proper function F, individuals with X must have been recently favored by natural selection for doing F (Godfrey-Smith 1994; Griffiths 1992, 1993). For many traits with prototypical proper functions, however, such recent selection may not have occurred: traits may have been maintained due to lack of variation or due to selection for other effects. I examine this flaw in Modern History accounts and (...) offer an alternative etiological theory, the Continuing Usefulness account, which appears to avoid such problems. (shrink)
The article protests against the usage of ethical codes by business organisations. It asserts that professionals are in a different situation to that of employees; and that with the latter ethical codes are used by management to ensure compliance and are devoid of ethical content. Ethical codes it is argued are part of management's control system in a time of flatter organisational structures with a far wider span of control. It is also asserted that the ambitions of some to utilise (...) ethical codes so that the business organisation is able to engender societal change is dangerous and likely, if successful, to return us to an age which we could not seriously desire to re-visit. (shrink)
clusions are only probably correct. On the other hand, algorithmic information theory provides a precise mathematical definition of the notion of random or patternless sequence. In this paper we shall describe conditions under which if the sequence of coin tosses in the Solovay– Strassen and Miller–Rabin algorithms is replaced by a sequence of heads and tails that is of maximal algorithmic information content, i.e., has maximal algorithmic randomness, then one obtains an error-free test for primality. These results are only of (...) theoretical interest, since it is a manifestation of the G¨ odel incompleteness phenomenon that it is impossible to “certify” a sequence to be random by means of a proof, even though most sequences have this property. Thus by using certified random sequences one can in principle, but not in practice, convert probabilistic tests for primality into deterministic ones. (shrink)
Despite a vast philosophical literature on the epistemology of mathematics and much speculation about how, in principle, knowledge of this domain is possible, little attention has been paid to the psychological findings and theories concerning the acquisition, comprehension and use of mathematical knowledge. This contrasts sharply with recent philosophical work on language where comparable issues and problems arise. One topic that is the center of debate in the study of mathematical cognition is the question of innateness. This paper critically examines (...) the controversy. (shrink)
Thomas W. Dunfee, in addition to his many other contributions to business ethics literature, has (along with several co-authors) generated a stream of research that attempts to tackle the issue of corruption. Dunfee's research on corruption includes three primary contributions: (1) the introduction of "Integrative Social Contract Theory" which provides a normative theoretical framework by which to judge the morality of global business activity including corruption; (2) the "C2 Principles" (Combating Corruption), which outline specific content and implementation measures that corporations (...) can voluntarily adopt to combat corruption; and (3) a normative evaluation of "guanxi," a concept which can lead to questionable corruption practices in China. The article will highlight Dunfee's contribution to the literature and suggest future research directions based on his academic work. (shrink)
The antireductionist arguments of many philosophers (e.g., Baker, Fodor and Davidson) are motivated by a worry that successful reduction would eliminate rather than conserve the mental. This worry derives from a misunderstanding of the empiricist account of reduction, which, although it does not underwrite "cognitive suicide", should be rejected for its positivist baggage. Philosophy of psychology needs more detailed attention to issues in natural science which serve as analogies for reduction of the mental. I consider a range of central cases, (...) including water and H 2 O, genes and DNA, and common sense and scientific solidity. The last case is illuminated by Eddington's Two Tables paradox, a resolution which suggests the plasticity of the mental under reduction. If reduction of the mental is like any of these cases, it is neither empiricist nor eliminative. (shrink)
The opening of Halakhic man : a covert dialogue with homo religiosus -- Homo religiosus: between religion and cognition -- The first paradigm of homo religiosus : Maimonides -- The second paradigm of homo religiosus : Kant -- Halakhic man as cognitive man -- The negation of metaphysics and of the messianic idea -- Mysticism, Kabbalah, and Hasidism -- Halakhic cognition and the norm -- Halakhic man's personality structure -- Religiosity after cognition : all-inclusive consciousness -- Myth as metaphor : (...) halakhic man as a creator of worlds -- Change or interpretation: repentance as creativity -- On providence and prophecy -- Halakhic man after twenty years : what has changed?. (shrink)
A number of business ethics theorist have highlighted the potential for economics to contribute to the advancement of business ethics. In response, this article emphasizes the insights of a particular area of economics that could provide such expansion and development. Subjectivist economics may yet provide an effective analytical framework through which to investigate and evaluate business decision making, and hence the ethics of business. Integrating the concepts of uncertainty, time and imagination, subjectivist economic theory contributes to a greater appreciation of (...) economic choice and behaviour. While such notions are often effectively omitted from modern economic analysis to aid formal representation, business ethicists could utilize such concepts more effectively than their colleagues in economic theory. Significantly, the well-known economists who have championed the insights of subjectivist economics have themselves recommended its extension to an analysis of ethics. (shrink)
Despite its appeal and popularity, the view that membership in a natural kind is essential to an individual is unsupported by the logic of essences and has no compelling reflective support. While the view has strong intuitive and empirical support this is insufficient to establish it. There are advantages to abandoning the view that kind membership is essential to individuals. One of these advantages is that it allows for a reconfiguring of the problem of material constitution in a way that (...) removes much of the paradox. (shrink)
The clinical ethics propounded by Richard Zaner is unique. Partly because of his phenomenological orientation and partly because of his own daily practice as a clinical ethicist in a large university hospital, Zaner focuses on the particular concrete situations in which patients and their families confront illness and injury and struggle toward workable ways for dealing with them. He locates ethical reality in the clinical encounter. This encounter encompasses not only patient and physician but also the patients family and friends (...) and indeed the entire lifeworld in which the patient is still striving to live. In order to illuminate the central moral constituents of such human predicaments, Zaner discusses the often-overlooked features of disruption and crisis, the changed self, the patients dependence and the physicians power, the violation of personal boundaries and their necessary reconfiguring, and the art of listening. (shrink)
Recently it has been argued that a model of directed perception provides an alternative to both indirect and direct accounts of the nature of vision. An examination of this proposal serves as a basis for challenging the meaningfulness and empirical import of the theoretical and ontological differences said to separate these models. Although focusing on James Cutting's work, the analysis is meant to speak more generally to the supposed significance of the distinctions among indirect, direct, and directed theories of perception.
Smith et al. demonstrate the viability of animal metacognition research. We commend their effort and suggest three avenues of research. The first concerns whether animals are explicitly aware of their metacognitive processes. The second asks whether animals have metaknowledge of their own uncertain responses. The third issue concerns the monitoring/control distinction. We suggest some ways in which these issues elucidate metacognitive processes in nonhuman animals.
One of the fundamental questions raised by Ruchkin, Grafman, Cameron, and Berndt's (Ruchkin et al.'s) interpretation of no distinct specialized neural networks for short-term storage buffers and long-term memory systems, is that of the link between perception and memory processes. In this framework, we take the opportunity in this commentary to discuss a specific working memory task involving percept formation, temporary retention, auditory imagery, and the attention-based maintenance of information, that is, the verbal transformation effect.
This paper examines the relationship between organizational ethical culture in two large international CPA firms, auditors'' personal values and the ethical orientation that those values dictate, and judgments in ethical dilemmas typical of those that accountants face. Using an experimental task consisting of multiple judgments designed to vary in "moral intensity" (Jones, 1991), and unique as well as tried-and-true approaches to variable measurements, this study examined the judgments of more than three hundred participants in our study. ANCOVA and path analysis (...) results indicate that: (1) Ethical judgments in situations of high moral intensity are affected by personal values and by environmental variables, such as the professional code of conduct (direct and indirect effects) and previous ethics instruction (direct effect only). (2) Corporate ethical culture, and a relatively strong firm rules-orientation, affect auditors'' idealism but not relativism, and therefore indirectly affect ethical judgments. Jones'' (1991) moral intensity argument is supported: differences in the characteristics of specific judgment tasks apparently result in different decision processes. (shrink)
I attempt to raise questions regarding elements of systematics—primarily in the realm of phylogenetic reconstruction—in order to provoke discussion on the current state of affairs in this discipline, and also evolutionary biology in general: e.g., conceptions of homology and homoplasy, hypothesis testing, the nature of and objections to Hennigian “phylogenetic systematics”, and the schism between (neo)Darwinian descendants of the “modern evolutionary synthesis” and their supposed antagonists, cladists and punctuationalists.
With the growing focus on prevention in medicine, studies of how to describe risk have become increasing important. Recently, some researchers have argued against giving patients “comparative risk information,” such as data about whether their baseline risk of developing a particular disease is above or below average. The concern is that giving patients this information will interfere with their consideration of more relevant data, such as the specific chance of getting the disease (the “personal risk”), the risk reduction the treatment (...) provides, and any possible side effects. I explore this view and the theories of rationality that ground it, and I argue instead that comparative risk information can play a positive role in decision-making. The criticism of disclosing this sort of information to patients, I conclude, rests on a mistakenly narrow account of the goals of prevention and the nature of rational choice in medicine. (shrink)
G. A. Cohen defends and Jon Elster criticizes Marxist use of functional explanation. But Elster's mechanical conception of explanation is, contrary to Elster's claims, a better basis for vindication of functional explanation than Cohen's nomological conception, which cannot provide an adequate account of functional explanation. Elster also objects that functional explanation commits us to metaphysically bizarre collective subjects, but his argument requires an implausible reading of methodological individualism which involves an unattractive eliminativism about social phenomena.
Accounts of the concepts of function and dysfunction have not adequately explained what factors determine the line between low‐normal function and dysfunction. I call the challenge of doing so the line‐drawing problem. Previous approaches emphasize facts involving the action of natural selection (Wakefield 1992a, 1999a, 1999b) or the statistical distribution of levels of functioning in the current population (Boorse 1977, 1997). I point out limitations of these two approaches and present a solution to the line‐drawing problem that builds on the (...) second one. (shrink)
Although the construction of neo-Darwinism grew out of Thomas Hunt Morgan's melding of Darwinism and Mendelism, his evidence did not soley support a model of gradual change. To the contrary, he was confronted with observations that could have led him to a more "evo-devo" understanding of the emergence of novel features. Indeed, since Morgan was an embryologist before he became a fruit-fly geneticist, one would have predicted that the combination of these two lines of research would have resulted in early (...) formulations of concepts relevant to evolutionary developmental biology. It is thus of interest to review Morgan's thought processes and arguments for at first rejecting both Darwinism and Mendelism, and then for later dismissing data that would have yielded a model of rapid morphological change in favor of a model of change based on the accumulation of minor mutations and their morphological consequences. (shrink)
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) grants people with disabilities access to public accommodations, including the offices of medical providers, equal to that enjoyed by persons without disabilities. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has unequivocally declared that the law requires effective communication between the medical provider and the Deaf patient. Because most medical providers are not fluent in sign language, the DOJ has recognized that effective communication calls for the use of appropriate auxiliary aids, including sign language (...) interpreters. The final decision on what to offer the Deaf patient is the doctor's, and under current DOJ regulations, the doctor does not have to consult with the patient or give "primary consideration" to the patient's choice of auxiliary aid as long as what the doctor offers results in effective communication. However, given the great variation in people's communication styles and skills, a standard, one-size-fits-all auxiliary aid would fail to achieve effective communication in many cases, harming not only that Deaf patient, but also the medical provider, who would be potentially liable for violating the ADA as well as hamstrung in getting accurate information for purposes of diagnosis and treatment. Moreover, most doctors are not savvy about Deafness and Deaf culture. Thus, the best way to ensure effective communication would be to require the medical provider to ask the Deaf patient for his or her choice of auxiliary aid and to give "primary consideration" to the patient's expressed choice of auxiliary aid. Such an approach is required under Title II of the ADA, which makes it mandatory for state and local governments to consult with people with disabilities and give "primary consideration" to the patient's choice of auxiliary aid. Given that there is no difference between a public doctor and a private doctor that would justify the two different approaches and that cost is not a factor, since under either title, a medical provider cannot pass on the costs to the person with a disability, the DOJ should revise its interpretation of Title III in order to bring in into line with its interpretation of Title II. To fail to do so would operate to frustrate both the letter and the spirit of the ADA. Until the DOJ brings the titles into line, the courts should decline to give controlling weight to the DOJ's interpretation of Title III. (shrink)
Legal theory and scholarship are currently characterized by a division between traditional, doctrinal methods and approaches derived from extra-legal disciplines. This paper proposes a different though related distinction between two methods of understanding law and interpreting authoritative legal texts.Internal method reflects the viewpoint of the participant in a legal system and traditional doctrinal study; it is practical and decision-oriented. Limitations on the range of arguments and interpretations employed are accepted in order to render its results serviceable for practical tasks.
In November, 1991, the U.S. Congress enacted the U.S. Federal Sentencing Guidelines legislation which had a dramatic impact on corporate America. Can the Guidelines be used as a model or framework by other countries? Could other countries in the world benefit from adopting a similar piece of legislation? Are there any limitations to consider? In addressing these issues, the authors make the argument that the time has arrived for other countries to consider the development of legislation similar to the Guidelines (...) in order to improve organizational ethics. (shrink)
This paper responds to a 2004 paper by Paul Gibbs in which he remonstrates that marketing currently has no concern with the notion of well-being; and furthermore that marketing lacks 'an adequate moral grounding'. Gibbs advances the moral expectation that marketers consider not merely satisfying their actual customers, but also consider the well-being of the larger society. However, this paper contemplates whether such an expectation is not due to some confusion by Gibbs between satisfaction and exchange in marketing, and questions (...) whether marketing could pursue such aims. (shrink)
This paper looks at the role of imagery in cognition from the standpoint of treating images as forms of symbolization. It begins by making some basic distinctions about different kinds of symbolic functioning. It then proceeds to examine issues concerning: the variety of types of symbol systems used in cognition, the analog-digital distinction, image picture-percept relations, and propositionality.
A constructivist thesis of worldmaking is characterized and some misinterpretations of its claims are dispelled. An attempt is then made to reply to various common criticisms of the thesis. Although this defense of worldmaking takes into account general challenges to the thesis, the focus of the paper is narrower. It is aimed primarily at those critics who typically accept related pragmatic assumptions and themes, but still think it necessary to resist the idea of worldmaking.
In a previous paper a theory of program size formally identical to information theory was developed. The entropy of an individual finite object was defined to be the size in bits of the smallest program for calculating it. It was shown that this is − log2 of the probability that the object is obtained by means of a program whose successive bits are chosen by flipping an unbiased coin. Here a theory of the entropy of recursively enumerable sets of objects (...) is proposed which includes the previous theory as the special case of sets having a single element. The primary concept in the generalized theory is the probability that a computing machine enumerates a given set when its program is manufactured by coin flipping. The entropy of a set is defined to be − log2 of this probability. (shrink)