There is an increasingly widespread belief, both within and outside the discipline, that modern economics is irrelevant to the understanding of the real world. Economics and Reality traces this irrelevance to the failure of economists to match their methods with their subject, showing that formal, mathematical models are unsuitable to the social realities economists purport to address. Tony Lawson examines the various ways in which mainstream economics is rooted in positivist philosophy and examines the problems this causes. It focuses (...) on human agency, social structure and their interaction and explores how the understanding of this social phenomena can be used to transform the nature of economic practice. Economics and Reality concludes by showing how this newly transformed economics might set about shaping economic policy. (shrink)
Lawson provides a comprehensive look at the history of western thought, the evolution of science and its attempts to provide us with a "theory of everything" and an evaluation of the relativist multiple truths. He discusses why this scientific mind-set no longer works and why relativist truths are no longer sustainable. He then offers a new theory to help us better understand ourselves and our world.
Some instances of right and wrongdoing appear to be of a distinctly collective kind. When, for example, one group commits genocide against another, the genocide is collective in the sense that the wrongness of genocide seems morally distinct from the aggregation of individual murders that make up the genocide. The problem, which I refer to as the problem of collective wrongs, is that it is unclear how to assign blame for distinctly collective wrongdoing to individual contributors when none of those (...) individual contributors is guilty of the wrongdoing in question. I offer Christopher Kutz’s Complicity Principle as an attractive starting point for solving the problem, and then argue that the principle ought to be expanded to include a broader and more appropriate range of cases. The view I ultimately defend is that individuals are blameworthy for collective harms insofar as they knowingly participate in those harms, and that said individuals remain blameworthy regardless of whether they succeed in making a causal contribution to those harms. (shrink)
Cognitive science is beginning to make a contribution to the science-and-religion dialogue by its claims about the nature of both scientific and religious knowledge and the practices such knowledge informs. Of particular importance is the distinction between folk knowledge and abstract theoretical knowledge leading to a distinction between folk science and folk religion on the one hand and the reflective, theoretical, abstract form of thought that characterizes both advanced scientific thought and sophisticated theological reasoning on the other. Both folk science (...) and folk religion emerge from commonsense reasoning about the world, a form of reasoning bequeathed to us by the processes of natural selection. Suggestions are made about what scientists and theologians can do if they accept these claims. (shrink)
Theorizing about religious ritual systems from a cognitive viewpoint involves (1) modeling cognitive processes and their products and (2) demonstrating their influence on religious behavior. Particularly important for such an approach to the study of religious ritual is the modeling of participants' representations of ritual form. In pursuit of that goal, we presented in Rethinking Religion a theory of religious ritual form that involved two commitments. The theory’s first commitment is that the cognitive apparatus for the representation of action in (...) general is the same system deployed for the representation of religious ritual form. The differences between everyday action and religious ritual action turn out to be fairly minor from the standpoint of their cognitive representation. This system for the representation of action includes representations of agents. Whether we focus on an everyday action such as closing a door or a ritual action such as initiating a person into a religious group, our understanding of these forms of behavior as actions at all turns critically on recognizing agents. The theory's second crucial commitment (1990, p. 61) is that the roles of culturally postulated superhuman agents (CPS-agents hereafter) in participants' representations of religious rituals will prove pivotal in accounting for a wide variety of those rituals' properties. On our view religious ritual systems typically involve presumptions about CPS-agents. This theoretical commitment is orthogonal to the pervasive assumption throughout the study of religion that only meanings matter. By contrast, we hold that other things matter too (specifically, cognitive representations of religious ritual form). Large conflicts lurk behind the previous sentences but we cannot adequately address them here. For now we will only identify two of the most fundamental and comment on them briefly. First, amazingly (by our lights anyway), our claim that (conceptual) commitments to the existence of CPS-agents is the most important recurrent feature of religion across cultures is quite controversial.. (shrink)
Previous studies have reportedstudents' widely held belief that they are moreethical than businessmen. On the other hand,widespread cheating among college students hasbeen reported. This paper examines thisinconsistency between the beliefs of collegestudent regarding the need for ethical behaviorin a business setting and their actions in anacademic setting.The results of this study indicate that whilestudents are generally upset with cheating intheir class, a large proportion of themnonetheless engage in such behavior. It wasfurther found that students have a goodunderstanding of what constitutes (...) ethicalbehavior in the business world and the need forsuch behavior. However, they also believe thatbusiness people fail to act in an ethicalmanner, and that they may need to actunethically to advance their careers. (shrink)
Professor Sterba argues for two interesting and provocative positions regarding affirmative action. First, affirmative action programs are still needed to ensure diversity in educational institutions of higher learning. Secondly, the proponents and opponents of affirmative action are not as far apart as they seem to think. To this end, he proposes a position that would give weight to race as a category for affirmative action that can withstand the challenges of affirmative action opponents while giving the needed support for affirmative (...) action proponents. It is his contention that both sides can support arguments for diversity affirmative action. This paper raises concerns about the ability of arguments for racial diversity to resolve or bring together opponents and proponents of affirmative action. It is argued that the negative social climate, regarding the social and intellectual merits of black Americans, works against the acceptance of affirmative action programs. In sum, it is argued that Professor Sterba’s position continues to put the social onus of changing racial attitudes on blacks with little or no effort on the part of whites other than allowing blacks admittance to formerly segregated educational institutions to interact with white students. (shrink)
In this paper, I make a case for interpreting the Lysis as a dialogue of definition, designed to answer the question of “What is a friend?” The main innovation of my interpretation is the contention – and this is argued for in the paper – that Socrates hints towards a definition of being a friend that applies equally to mutual friendship and one-way attraction – the two kinds of friend relation very clearly identified by Socrates in the dialogue. The key (...) to understanding how the two different kinds of friendship can have a common definition is to appreciate that the property of being a friend has a relational character. (shrink)
In all the current alienating discourse on Islam as a source of extremism and fanatic violence this new publication takes a timely and refreshing look at the traditions of Islamic mysticism, philosophy and intellectual debate in a series of diverse and stimulating approaches. It tackles the major figures of Islamic thought as well as shedding light on hitherto unconsidered aspects of Islam utilizing new source material. The contributors are impressive list of scholars and experts.
A lively exchange sparked by Ortmann and Hertwig's (1997) call to outlaw deception in psychological research was intensified by underlying differences in the meaning of deception. The conception held by Broder (1998), who defended deception, would restrict research more than Ortmann and Hertwig's (1997, 1998) conception. Historically, a similar difference in conceptions has been embedded in the controversy over deception in research. The distinction between informational and relational views of deception elucidates this difference. In an informational view, giving false information, (...) allowing false assumptions, and withholding information are deceptive. In a relational view these failures to inform are not necessarily deceptive. Rather, relational criteria, including denial of right to the truth, betrayal of trust, and impairment of commerce with reality finally determine what is deceptive. Analyses reveal that fewer research procedures are deceptive on a relational view than on an informational view. Surveys of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology correspondingly show that a lower percentage of studies are deceptive on the relational view applied in this analysis than on the informational view applied by Sieber, Iannuzzo, and Rodriguez (1995). If restrictions on deception keep increasing, more studies will be vetoed on the currently salient informational view than would be vetoed on a relational view. (shrink)
The views of Frederick Douglass, Thurgood Marshall, and Clarence Thomas on how the United States Constitution should be read are examined. Thomas claims that his understanding of the Constitution aligns with Douglass. I conclude that Thomas misunderstands the strategy of Douglass and fails to appreciate the honesty of Marshall.
Levine's discussion of Rethinking Religion (1990) and "Crisis of Conscience, Riddle of Identity" (1993) includes some rash charges, some useful comments, and some profound misunderstandings. The latter, especially, reveal areas where we need to clarify and further defend our claims. In the second section we shall discuss the epistemological and methodological issues that Levine raises. Then we shall turn in the third section to theoretical and substantive matters. In fact, Levine remains almost completely silent on substantive matters (except to say (...) that our claims are "obvious" and "trite.") Levine claims, in effect, (1) that religion is outside of the scope of scientific analysis, (2) that our competence approach to theorizing is not necessary for generating the theoretical claims that we make, and (3) that the substantive consequences of those theoretical claims are obvious and trivial. We unequivocally reject the first and third claims and, Levine's profound misunderstandings about the competence approach to theorizing notwithstanding, completely agree with the second. Identifying the confusions in Levine's discussion that inform item (3) will clarify our position. We turn first, though, to matters of epistemology and method (as these bear on items (1) and (2)). (shrink)
No one owns 'culture' [i]: anyone with a viable theoretical proposal can contend for the right to determine that concept's fate. Not everyone agrees with this view. Throughout its century long struggle for academic respectability, anthropology has regularly insisted on its unique role as the proprietor of 'culture.' Its variety of approaches and feuding factions notwithstanding, it is this proprietary claim that unifies anthropology to an extent sometimes unrecognized even by its own (post modernist) practitioners. The history of anthropology has (...) witnessed at least three important moments in the case for autonomous cultural phenomena based, first, on traditional ontological and methodological presumptions, second, on the hermeneutic turn, and third, on postmodern analyses of discourses and their influences. Historically, anthropologists cite two closely related bases for these proprietary presumptions. The first, which we shall not belabor here, hearkens to inevitably vague discussions about culture's autonomy (with various passes at making sense of the ontological foundations of that alleged autonomy). Cultural anthropologists have advanced such claims for a century, but Geertz' gloss on this topic is representative both in what it endorses and in the vagueness of the grounds for the endorsement. While advancing a host of claims about culture's ontological status (for example, (1) that culture is "ideational," (2) that it, nonetheless, "does not exist in someone's head," (3) that it has the same status -whatever that is -as a Beethoven quartet, and (4) that it is "public"), Geertz insists that "the thing to ask . . . is not what . . . [its] ontological status is." (Geertz 1973: 10 12.) Unfortunately for Geertz and cultural anthropology generally, any convincing case for the autonomy of culture must account for its relations to the things that constitute it. Moreover, because Geertz never relinquishes anthropology's scientific aspirations, the issue of clarifying such ontological questions.... (shrink)
Cognitive developmentalists have had a long-standing interest in neurodevelopmental conditions, such as autism. This is not only out of a desire to understand the causes of such atypical development, in order to advance medical science and develop interventions. It is also because studying the processes that cause atypicality can sometimes throw light on typical development. It is this two-way influence that characterises the field of developmental psychopathology. In this chapter, we focus on autism. We bring out this interaction between what (...) we now understand about autistic cognition, and how this has helped us understand ‘normality’. (shrink)
For the last 50 years the idea of consumer rights has formed an essential element in the formulation of policy to guide the workings of the marketplace. The extent and coverage of these rights has evolved and changed over time, yet there has been no comprehensive analysis as to the purpose and scope of consumer rights. In moral and ethical philosophy, rights are integrally linked to the notion of justice. By reassessing consumer rights through a justice-based framework, a number of (...) key issues emerge regarding the way in which markets enable justice for consumers. The consumer rights which underpin the United Nations consumer protection guidelines address all forms of justice to some degree, but the predominant focus is on procedural justice. Our conclusions question whether this is sufficient and also whether there is a case to develop the notion of consumer ‘duties’ that complement the idea of rights. (shrink)
Using a sample of seventy-seven countries, this paper focuses on marginal tax rates and the income thresholds at which they apply to examine how the tax changes of the 1980s and 1990s have influenced economic growth, the distribution of income, and the share of taxes paid by various income groups. Many countries substantially reduced their highest marginal rates during the 1985-1995 period. The findings indicate that countries that reduced their highest marginal rates grew more rapidly than those that maintained high (...) marginal rates. At the same time, the income distribution in several of the tax cutting countries became more unequal while there was little change or even a reduction in income inequality in most countries that maintained high marginal rates. Finally, the evidence suggests that there was a shift in the payment of the personal income tax away from those with low and middle incomes and toward those with the highest incomes. (shrink)
Ontology tends to be held in deep suspicion by many currently engaged in the study of technology. The aim of this paper is to suggest an ontology of technology that will be both acceptable to ontology’s critics and useful for those engaged with technology. By drawing upon recent developments in social ontology and extending these into the technological realm it is possible to sustain a conception of technology that is not only irreducibly social but able to give due weight to (...) those features that distinguish technical objects from other artefacts. These distinctions, however, require talk of different kinds of causal powers and different types of activity aimed at harnessing such powers. Such discussions are largely absent in recent technological debates, but turn out to be significant both for ongoing technology research and for the recasting of some more traditional debates within the philosophy of technology. (shrink)
Nearly every common theory of truth has been attributed to Nietzsche, while some commentators have argued that he simply has no theory of truth. This essay argues that Nietzsche’s remarks on truth are better situated within either the coherence or pragmatist theories of truth rather than the correspondence theory. Nietzsche’s thoughts conflict with the correspondence framework because he believes that the truth-conditions of propositions are constitutively related to our interests and that truth is approximate.
How do people use past experience to generalise to novel cases? This paper reports four experiments exploring the significance on one class of past experiences: encounters with negative or contrasting cases. In trying to decide whether all ravens are black, what is the effect of learning about a non-raven that is not black? Two experiments with preschool-aged, young school-aged, and adult participants revealed that providing a negative example in addition to a positive example supports generalisation. Two additional experiments went on (...) to ask which kinds of negative examples offer the most support for generalisations. These studies contrasted similarity-based and category-based accounts of inductive generalisation. Results supported category-based predictions, but only for preschool-aged children. Overall, the younger children showed a greater reliance on negative evidence than did older children and adults. Most things we encounter in the world are negative evidence for our generalisations. Understanding the role of negative evidence is central for psychological theories of inductive generalisation. (shrink)
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No one owns 'culture'[i]:Â anyone with a viable theoretical proposal can contend for the right to determine that concept's fate.Â Not everyone agrees with this view.Â Throughout its century-long struggle for academic respectability, anthropology has regularly insisted on its unique role as the proprietor of 'culture.'Â Its variety of approaches and feuding factions notwithstanding, it is this proprietary claim that uniﬁes anthropology to an extent sometimes unrecognized even by its (...) own (post-modernist) practitioners.Â The history of anthropology has witnessed at least three important moments in the case for autonomous cultural phenomena based, ﬁrst, on traditional ontological and methodological presumptions, second, on the hermeneutic turn, and third, on postmodern analyses of discourses and their inﬂuences. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Historically, anthropologists cite two closely related bases for these proprietary presumptions.Â The ﬁrst, which we shall not belabor here, hearkens to inevitably vague discussions about culture's autonomy (with various passes at making sense of the ontological foundations of that alleged autonomy).Â Cultural anthropologists have advanced such claims for a century, but Geertz' gloss on this topic is representative both in what it endorses and in the vagueness of the grounds for the endorsement.Â While advancing a host of claims about culture's ontological status (for example,Â (1) that culture is "ideational,"Â (2) that it, nonetheless, "does not exist in someone's head,"Â (3) that it has the same status--whatever that is--as a Beethoven quartet, andÂ (4) that it is "public"), Geertz insists that "the thing to ask . . . is not what . . . [its] ontological status is."Â (Geertz 1973: 10-12.)Â Unfortunately for Geertz and cultural anthropology generally, any convincing case for the autonomy of culture must account for its relations to the things that constitute it.Â Moreover, because Geertz never relinquishes anthropology's scientiﬁc aspirations, the issue of.... (shrink)
A feature of recent social science theorizing has been a revival of interest in the concept of culture. While always fundamental to the discipline of anthropology, the culture concept is now commonly employed in other fields as well. Since the end of the Cold War in particular, theories of international politics have been in search of fresh explanatory categories and the culture concept has been adopted in some influential approaches to serve this purpose. As with other social science concepts, however, (...) culture may serve various causes: liberal, socialist, conservative, and so on. Among its uses is the construction of political community in narrow and exclusionary terms, thereby reinforcing, among other things, atavistic forms of nationalism. Such exercises depend very heavily on the idea of cultural difference as constituting the ?natural? political and moral boundaries between communities. This article critically reviews some of these ideas about culture and nationalism and their implications for normative theories of international politics. (shrink)
In this article, I present a contractualist conception of human-participant research ethics, arguing that the most appropriate source of the rights and responsibilities of researcher and participant is the contractual understanding between them. This conception appears to explain many of the more fundamental ethical incidents of human-participant research. I argue that a system of contractual rights and responsibilities would allow a great deal of research that has often been felt to be ethically problematic, such as research involving deception, concealed research, (...) and research on dependent populations. However, in defining the conditions under which such research should be permissible, my contractualist theory also makes it clear that there are limits-and explains what those limits are-to the propriety of such research. (shrink)
This paper describes the research carried out into small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and corporate responsibility (CR) in the Northwest of England during Phase I of Responsibility Northwest, a partnership programme designed to significantly increase the CR of the region. By engaging with significant numbers of SMEs and SME support providers across the region, key insights were gained in three key areas: • The current attitudes to, understanding of, and management of CR issues in the SME sector.• The barriers to (...) greater implementation of CR management.• The opportunities for overcoming the barriers and improving regional CR. The research revealed a large diversity both in terms of understanding of the issues and their management. Seven key barriers to improve CR performance were identified which centred round the inappropriateness and inaccessibility of current CR approaches and support services on CR, certain characteristics of SMEs which tend to reduce their interest and opportunities for engaging in CR activities and supply-chain barriers. Fortunately there was significant agreement on the mechanisms which should be used to overcome these barriers, in particular the importance of delivering CR support through existing business networks that are valued and trusted by SMEs. These results have been used to create the partnership programme, Responsibility Northwest Phase II that runs until 2008 and aims to significantly increase the overall CR of Northwest England. (shrink)
Patients' wishes regarding health care and dying must be taken into consideration by their physicians. Competent patients need to record directives about their care in advance of a crisis situation. The primary care physician, seeing the patient at the time of a routine office visit, is in a favorable position to explore and record attitudes. A patient's value system should be part of a medical history before hospital admission. Details in a Value History Questionnaire facilitate guiding an incompetent patient through (...) a terminal illness in accordance with wishes previously expressed.An instrument in the form of a questionnaire was designed to record the attitudes of 200 patients regarding health care and dying. Respondents ranged in age from 17 to 84 years, and all were members of one family practice. They reacted positively to the opportunity to record their values, opinions, and wishes about their health care and process of dying. They clearly indicated that, in the absence of prior directives, they would want their families consulted about crucial decisions. (shrink)