Becoming knowledgeable about good arguments through arguing, through focused involvement and educational progress through stages of deepeningunderstanding, is a logically prior requirement to being able to give a set of criteria or a definition of a good argument. So rather than seek a definition or criteria, we should seek expertise, wisdom regarding what we were tempted to define, through the long, slow and gradually deepening involvement in thinking things through.
Although molecular biology has meant different things at different times, the term is often associated with a tendency to view cellular causation as conforming to simple linear schemas in which macro-scale effects are specified by micro-scale structures. The early achievements of molecular biologists were important for the formation of such an outlook, one to which the discovery of recombinant DNA techniques, and a number of other findings, gave new life even after the complexity of genotype–phenotype relations had become apparent. Against this (...) background we outline how a range of scientific developments and conceptual considerations can be regarded as enabling and perhaps necessitating contemporary systems approaches. We suggest that philosophical ideas have a valuable part to play in making sense of complex scientific and disciplinary issues. (shrink)
Ethical corporate marketing—as an organisational-wide philosophy—transcends the domains of corporate social responsibility, business ethics, stakeholder theory and corporate marketing. This being said, ethical corporate marketing represents a logical development vis-a-vis the nascent domain of corporate marketing has an explicit ethical/CSR dimension and extends stakeholder theory by taking account of an institution’s past, present and (prospective) future stakeholders. In our article, we discuss, scrutinise and elaborate the notion of ethical corporate marketing. We argue that an ethical corporate marketing positioning is a (...) prerequisite for corporations which claim to have an authentic ethical corporate identity. Our article expands and integrates extant scholarship vis-a-vis ethical corporate identities, the sustainable entrepreneur and corporate marketing. In delineating the breadth, significance, and challenges of ethical corporate marketing we make reference to the BP Deepwater Horizon (Gulf of Mexico) catastrophe of 2010. (shrink)
Understanding how scientific activities use naming stories to achieve disciplinary status is important not only for insight into the past, but for evaluating current claims that new disciplines are emerging. In order to gain a historical understanding of how new disciplines develop in relation to these baptismal narratives, we compare two recently formed disciplines, systems biology and genomics, with two earlier related life sciences, genetics and molecular biology. These four disciplines span the twentieth century, a period in which the processes (...) of disciplinary demarcation fundamentally changed from those characteristic of the nineteenth century. We outline how the establishment of each discipline relies upon an interplay of factors that include paradigmatic achievements, technological innovation, and social formations. Our focus, however, is the baptism stories that give the new discipline a founding narrative and articulate core problems, general approaches and constitutive methods. The highly plastic process of achieving disciplinary identity is further marked by the openness of disciplinary definition, tension between technological possibilities and the ways in which scientific issues are conceived and approached, synthesis of reductive and integrative strategies, and complex social interactions. The importance – albeit highly variable – of naming stories in these four cases indicates the scope for future studies that focus on failed disciplines or competing names. Further attention to disciplinary histories could, we suggest, give us richer insight into scientific development. (shrink)
Training in the responsible conduct of research (RCR) is required for many research trainees nationwide, but little is known about its effectiveness. For a preliminary assessment of the effectiveness of a short-term course in RCR, medical students participating in an NIH-funded summer research program at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) were surveyed using an instrument developed through focus group discussions. In the summer of 2003, surveys were administered before and after a short-term RCR course, as well as to (...) alumni of the courses given in the summers of 2002 and 2001. Survey responses were analyzed in the areas of knowledge, ethical decision-making skills, attitudes about responsible conduct of research, and frequency of discussions about RCR outside of class. The only statistically significant improvement associated with the course was an increase in knowledge, while there was a non-significant tendency toward improvements in ethical decision-making skills and attitudes about the importance of RCR training. The nominal impact of a short-term training course should not be surprising, but it does raise the possibility that other options for delivering information only, such as an Internet-based tutorial, might be considered as comparable alternatives when longer courses are not possible. (shrink)
American universities are purported to excel at technology transfer. This assumption, however, masks important features of American innovation. Attempts to emulate the US example must recognize the heterogeneity of its industries and institutions of higher education. Stanford University and the biomedical cluster in Boston, Massachusetts, illustrate the diversities that characterize this dynamic system.
The case of Twin B involves the decision to send a newborn to a less intensive Level 2 special care nursery (SCN) than to the Level 3 neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) that is considered optimal by the physician. The physician’s acceptance of the transfer is against the child’s best interest and is due to parental convenience. In analyzing the case, we reject the best interest standard. Our rejection is partly supported by the views of Douglas Diekema, John Hardwig, (...) and Lannie Ross. Instead of the best interest standard, we offer and defend an approach we base on a microeconomic analysis of externalities, such as those involved with automobile emissions. This extends our previously presented general microeconomic approach to patient decision-making. It provides a clearer way to evaluate situations, like those of Twin B, in which burdens faced by family members may be used to determine the appropriate level of treatment for a decisionally incapable patient. (shrink)
This paper analyzes what may have been a mistake by pianist Thelonious Monk playing a jazz solo in 1958. Even in a Monk composition designed for patterned mayhem, a note can sound out of pattern. We reframe the question of whether the note was a mistake and ask instead about how Monk handles the problem. Amazingly, he replays the note into a new pattern that resituates its jarring effect in retrospect. The mistake, or better, the mis-take , was “saved” by (...) subsequent notes. Our analysis, supported by reflections from jazz musicians and the philosopher John Dewey, encourages a reformulation of plans, takes, and mis-takes as categories for the interpretation of contingency, surprise, and repair in all human activities. A final section suggests that mistakes are essential to the practical plying and playing of knowledge into performances, particularly those that highlight learning. (shrink)
An inspiring collection of the personal philosophies of a fascinating group of individuals Based on the NPR series of the same name, This I Believe features eighty essays penned by the famous and the unknown—completing the thought that the book’s title begins. Each piece compels readers to rethink not only how they have arrived at their own personal beliefs but also the extent to which they share them with others. Featuring a star-studded list of contributors—including Isabel Allende, John Updike, (...) William F. Buckley, Warren Christopher, Penn Jillette, Colin Powell, Rick Moody, and Kay Redfield Jameson—the collection also contains essays by a Brooklyn lawyer; a part-time hospital clerk in Rehoboth, Massachusetts; a woman who sells yellow pages advertising in Fort Worth, Texas; and a man who serves on the state of Rhode Island’s parole board. The result is a stirring, funny, and always provocative trip inside the minds and hearts of a diverse group of Americans whose beliefs—and the incredibly varied ways in which they choose to express them—reveal the American spirit at its best. (shrink)
"The terrain of the self is vast," notes renowned psychiatrist Arnold Ludwig, "parts known, parts impenetrable, and parts unexplored." How do we construct a sense of ourselves? How can a self reflect upon itself or deceive itself? Is all personal identity plagiarized? Is a "true" or "authentic" self even possible? Is it possible to really "know" someone else or ourselves for that matter? To answer these and many other intriguing questions, Ludwig takes a unique approach, examining the art of biography (...) for the insights it can give us into the construction of the self. In The Biography of the Self, he takes readers on an intriguing tour of the biographer's art, revealing how much this can tell us about ourselves. Drawing on in-depth interviews with twenty-one of our most esteemed biographers--writers such as David McCullough (the biographer of Truman and Theodore Roosevelt), Wallace Stegner (John Wesley Powell), Gloria Steinem (Marilyn Monroe), Leon Edel (Henry James), Peter Gay (Freud), Diane Middlebrook (Anne Sexton), and many others--and interweaving fascinating observations of his own practice, Ludwig takes us through the labyrinthine hall of mirrors we term the self and shows us how malleable, elusive, and paradoxical it can be. In chapters such as "The 'Real' Marilyn," "Psychoanalyzing Freud," "How Did Hitler Live With Himself?" and "What Madness Reveals," we sit in as biographers talk not only about their work, but about their subjects (Allan Bullock on Hitler and Stalin, for instance, or Arnold Rampersad on Langston Hughes) and how their subjects saw themselves. Ludwig describes how biographers must impose a narrative structure on their subjects' lives to create order out of a mass of often contradictory views, baffling behavior, and inconsistent self-representations, much in the same way that psychotherapists try to foster self-awareness and understanding in their patients. In his concluding chapter, Ludwig introduces a new concept--biographical freedom--which brilliantly reconciles free will and determinism. We can, he asserts, become biographers of ourselves. Like the biographer, we are constrained to consider all the available facts of our lives--the personal experiences, cultural forces, and predetermined scripts that shape us--but we remain free to interpret, emphasize, and fashion these givens into a cohesive and meaningful narrative of our own choosing. This thought-provoking volume offers not only a wide-ranging and informative commentary on the biographer's art, but also a highly original theory of the self. Readers interested in biography and in the lives of others will come away with a new sense of what it means to be a "person" and, in particular, who they are. (shrink)
After half a century of growing dominance of the large corporation by non-owning managers, the 1980s were marked by a slowing or even reversing of their quiet revolution. Professional managers had come to control the corporation on the premise that they could more efficiently produce shareholder value than the original founder-owners. They turned shareholding into a passive investment on the same premise. As companies faced increasingly competitive pressures during the 1980s, however, the legitimacy of the rule of incumbent management came (...) under challenge. No longer could government interference be blamed for many of the problems facing business; fingers pointed at management itself. As the criticism of corporate leadership gathered momentum, a leading diagnosis focused on one of managerial capitalism's crowning achievements: the autonomous power of professional management.The critique viewed the managerial autonomy as excessively permissive, the agency system as no longer effective. Professional managers had come to show too much concern for the social welfare of various stakeholder groups, including themselves, and too little concern for the financial welfare of the only stakeholder group that should really count — the shareholders. Many of the restructuring efforts were thus undertaken in the name of returning companies to the single-minded pursuit of ownership interests. What had stood in the way of such a pursuit was less a matter of government constraint and more a matter of inadequate stockholder vigilance by their appointed agents.Mindful of the critique, incumbent managements moved during the mid- to late-1980s to improve stockholder returns by paring the workforce and cutting other costs. Corporate acquisitions and leveraged buyouts brought new management teams to the fore where others had seemingly fallen short. The resulting restructuring reached a large proportion of the nation's major companies. Half or more of the largest companies had undergone a significant reduction in their workforce. And the dollar value of company resources changing ownership hands expanded considerably. The aggregate purchase price of mergers and acquisitions of publicly-traded firms in 1988 was nearly three times greater than in 1981. Even more striking was the sharp increase in the number of publicly-traded companies and divisions that were taken private. The aggregate dollar value of such buyouts in 1988 had increased almost 25 times over that in 1981. This opening of the market for corporate control among major U.S. firms brought a significant fraction of the nation's large corporations more directly under the immediate oversight of ownership interests.The reassertion of ownership control over large corporations was usually taken in the name of improving corporate earnings. Would be takeover groups generally promised more internal discipline and stronger financial performance. See, for instance, Jensen, “Eclipse of the Public Corporation,” 1989. Whatever the actual financial impact of the intensification of ownership interests, available research suggests that it has had organizational impact. General company strategies may come to be more centrally guided while specific operating actions are devolved further down the organization. Ownership change and other restructuring steps have also ramified into corporate social and political action. That outreach is likely to be less vigorous and more divided. It is also being redirected. During the 1970s and early 1980s, corporate energies focused on reducing government regulation and improving community opinion. Those energies are now increasingly focused on facilitating or resisting restructuring. Companies have fought legislation that would limit the process of plant closings, but they have also sought legislation to protect themselves against hostile takeovers.The evidence also suggests that considerable managerial discretion remains in shaping company response to the restructuring pressures. Although market and organizational factors are sure to act as constraints, top management, whether a relatively autonomous non-owning management group or an owner-dominated management, retains an important independent capacity to exercise strategic choice. That choice is likely to receive special shaping by the long-term ascendance of financial managers and the decline of manufacturing personnel at the executive level.Yet corporate change must not be viewed as isolated managerial responses to changing market conditions. Companies and managements frequently look to one another for guidance in coping with ambiguous circumstances. DiMaggio and Powell's analysis of organizational “isomorphism,” for example, suggests that firms frequently adopt organizational practices not because they are dictated by the firm's market strategies, but rather because they are already used by other companies. Paul DiMaggio and Walter W. Powell, “The Iron Cage Revisited: Institutional Isomorphism and Collective Rationality in Organizational Fields,” American Sociological Review 48 (1983): 147\2-160. Similarly, Granovetter's analysis of the social “embeddedness” of economic action indicates that company decisions are partially shaped by top management's contacts with their counterparts in other firms.Mark Granovetter, “Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness,” American Journal of Sociology 91 (1985): 481–510. Understanding company responses to restructuring pressures therefore requires a focus on inter-company flows of ideas and doctrines as well as purely internally generated responses specific to the company. Reactions to the restructuring pressures that are collectively developed and defined in the broader business community may prove to be as critical as individually fashioned solutions in guiding management approaches to restructuring during the years to come. (shrink)
In the past 250 years, David Hume probably had a greater impact on the field of philosophy of religion than any other single philosopher. He relentlessly attacked the standard proofs for God's existence, traditional notions of God's nature and divine governance, the connection between morality and religion, and the rationality of belief in miracles. He also advanced radical theories of the origin of religious ideas, grounding such notions in human psychology rather than in divine reality. In the last decade of (...) his life Hume wrote 'I cou'd cover the Floor of a large Room with Books and Pamphlets wrote against me'. Indeed, most of these targeted his writings on religion. This, the third part of the Early Responses to Hume series, and perhaps the most eagerly awaited, collects responses to Hume's writings on religion published during his life, namely, 'Of Miracles', 'Of a Particular Providence and a Future State', The Natural History of Religion , and the posthumously published works Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion , 'Of Suicide' and 'Of the Immortality of the Soul'. The set covers a wide range of the replies Hume's writings provoked, including contributions by Philip Skelton, William Adams, Thomas Rutherforth, William Warburton, Anthony Ellys, John Douglas, John Leland, Thomas Stona, Voltaire, George Campbell, Herman Andrew Pistorius, Duncan Shaw, William Samuel Powell, Thomas Hayter, Joseph Milner, William Paley, Charles Moore, Richard Joseph Sulivan, John Hey, Samuel Vince, Lord Brougham and Thomas De Quincey. (shrink)