By definition, the subjective probability distribution of a random event is revealed by the (‘rational’) subject's choice between bets — a view expressed by F. Ramsey, B. De Finetti, L. J. Savage and traceable to E. Borel and, it can be argued, to T. Bayes. Since hypotheses are not observable events, no bet can be made, and paid off, on a hypothesis. The subjective probability distribution of hypotheses (or of a parameter, as in the current ‘Bayesian’ statistical literature) is therefore (...) a figure of speech, an ‘as if’, justifiable in the limit. Given a long sequence of previous observations, the subjective posterior probabilities of events still to be observed are derived by using a mathematical expression that would approximate the subjective probability distribution of hypotheses, if these could be bet on. This position was taken by most, but not all, respondents to a ‘Round Robin’ initiated by J. Marschak after M. H. De-Groot's talk on Stopping Rules presented at the UCLA Interdisciplinary Colloquium on Mathematics in Behavioral Sciences. Other participants: K. Borch, H. Chernoif, R. Dorfman, W. Edwards, T. S. Ferguson, G. Graves, K. Miyasawa, P. Randolph, L. J. Savage, R. Schlaifer, R. L. Winkler. Attention is also drawn to K. Borch's article in this issue. (shrink)
Hilary Putnam has offered two arguments to show that we cannotbe brains in a vat, and one to show that our cognitive situationcannot be fully analogous to that of brains in a vat. The latterand one of the former are irreparably flawed by misapplicationsof, or mistaken inferences from, his semantic externalism; thethird yields only a simple logical truth. The metaphysical realismthat is Putnams ultimate target is perfectly consistent withsemantic externalism.
This article provides an ISCT analysis of commercial bribery focused on transaction cost economics. In the language of Antitrust, commercial bribery is a form of vertical arrangement subject to the same efficiency analysis that has found other vertical arrangements potentially beneficial to consumers. My analysis shows that actions condemned as commerical bribery in the Honda case (1996) may well have benefited Honda's dealer network once promotional free riding and other forms of rent seeking by dealers are considered. I propose that (...) the term "commercial bribery" should be avoided until after an ISCT analysis shows that the community is likely to have been harmed. The term "third-party payments" is a more ethically neutral term with which to begin the analysis. (shrink)
Central elements of W. V. Quine’s epistemology are widely and deeply misunderstood, including the following. He held from first to last that our evidence consists of the stimulations of our sense organs, and of our observations, and of our sensory experiences; meeting the interpretive challenge this poses is a sine qua non of understanding his epistemology. He counted both “This is blue” and “This looks blue” as observation sentences. He took introspective reports to have a high degree of certainty. He (...) endorsed outright Hume’s “skeptical” argument concerning induction. His naturalized epistemology is simply naturalistic, or scientific, epistemology stripped of the project of rational reconstruction, and is thoroughly normative. Quine was unconditionally a scientific philosopher who took our theories to be answerable ultimately to our perceptual experiences (sensations)—and conditionally an empiricist, empiricism being a scientific theory that has no competitors worthy of the name. I attempt to make all of this clear, and conclude by offering a concise formulation of his epistemology. (shrink)
The rationale for pesticide use in agriculture is that costs associated with pesticide pollution are to be justified by its benefits, but this is not so obvious. Valuing the benefits by simple economic analysis has increased pesticide use in agriculture and consequently produced pesticide-induced “public ills.” This paper attempts to explore the research gaps of the economic and social consequences of pesticide use in developing countries, particularly with an example of Nepal. We argue that although the negative sides of agricultural (...) development, for example- soil, water, and air pollution; pest resistance and resurgence; bioaccumulation, bio-magnification; and loss of biodiversity and ecosystem resilience caused by the use of pesticides in agriculture, are “developmental problems” and are “unintentional,” the magnitude may be increased by undervaluing the problems in the analysis of its economic returns. Despite continuous effort for holistic system analyses for studying complex phenomena like pesticides impacts, the development within the academic science has proceeded in the opposite direction that might have accelerated marginalization of the third world subsistence agricultural communities. We hypothesize that, if these adversities are realized and accounted for, the benefits from the current use of pesticides could be outweighed by the costs of pollution and ill human health. This paper also illustrates different pathways and mechanisms for marginalization. In view of potential and overall negative impacts of pesticide use, we recommend alternative ways of controlling pests such as community integrated pest management (IPM) along with education and training activities. Such measures are likely to reduce the health and environmental costs of pesticide pollution, and also enhance the capabilities of third world agricultural communities in terms of knowledge, decision making, innovation, and policy change. (shrink)
The mass theory of the Austrian novelist and philosopher Hermann Broch has been virtually ignored in social theory. However, the recent theoretical interest in crowds makes it pertinent to scrutinize this part of his work. This article presents and examines the fundamental architecture of Broch's Massenwahntheorie, its historical context and how it may contribute to contemporary social theory. Specifically, Broch's insistence on the irrational dimensions of human behaviour is analysed as well as his emphasis on psychological anxiety in modern society. (...) It is argued that both aspects may point beyond the specific context of his writings and illuminate important general aspects of social and political life. (shrink)
Two purported proofs of the incoherence of vague identity are considered. First gareth evans's attempt is criticized and reformulated to overcome certain formal difficulties. Despite the reformulation, However, Evans's proof is demonstrated invalid in accord with a supervaluational approach. Next nathan salmon's attempt is evaluated. Here the problem is salmon's implicit assumption of a version of leibniz's law which is stronger than that strictly guaranteed by the law as it is given in classical logic. The question is raised on what (...) grounds this stronger version is to be considered a logical law: without it the proof fails. (shrink)
Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) are a subjective experience of "hearing voices" in the absence of corresponding physical stimulation in the environment. The most remarkable feature of AVHs is their perceptual quality, that is, the experience is subjectively often as vivid as hearing an actual voice, as opposed to mental imagery or auditory memories. This has lead to propositions that dysregulation of the primary auditory cortex (PAC) is a crucial component of the neural mechanism of AVHs. One possible mechanism by which (...) the PAC could give rise to the experience of hallucinations is aberrant patterns of neuronal activity whereby the PAC is overly sensitive to activation arising from internal processing, while being less responsive to external stimulation. In this paper, we review recent research relevant to the role of the PAC in the generation of AVHs. We present new data from a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, examining the responsivity of the left and right PAC to parametrical modulation of the intensity of auditory verbal stimulation, and corresponding attentional top-down control in non-clinical participants with AVHs, and non-clinical participants with no AVHs. Non-clinical hallucinators showed reduced activation to speech sounds but intact attentional modulation in the right PAC. Additionally, we present data from a group of schizophrenia patients with AVHs, who do not show attentional modulation of left or right PAC. The context-appropriate modulation of the PAC may be a protective factor in non-clinical hallucinations. (shrink)
This paper makes three important points regarding socially responsible investing. First, the current methodology involving SRI fund divestiture of the securities of firms that engage in socially irresponsible activity often results in unacceptable unintended consequences. Second, in many cases the proper methodology for SRI funds may be purposely to include the securities of such firms in the portfolio in an effort to internalize socially irresponsible interfirm spillovers. Finally, that SRI fund managers may be able to bound their performance by organizing (...) as closed-end funds subject to takeover and liquidation if the stated socially responsible objectives are not met. (shrink)
If a decision problem is said to be difficult, one usually assumes that there is a very complicated relationship between the decision and the corresponding outcome. The problem is considered as solved when this relationship has been sorted out and described. This means that the probelm of selecting the best outcome from a set of possible outcomes, is taken as trivial. The main, or only difficulty is to find the decision which will lead to the best of the possible outcomes. (...) The author argues that the real difficulty may often be to specify a preference ordering over the set of outcomes. He illustrates the point with examples from economics, and discusses some investment problems, in which the outcome of a decision naturally can be considered as a stochastic process. (shrink)
This article seeks to develop a new theory of reflexive democracy, based on practical cases of action research in regional development, with particular reference to regional development coalitions. Reflexive democracy is located in the context of the debate on Scandinavian worklife, emphasising knowledge, dialogue, and legitimacy.
The article reflects on experience of action research in the context of regional development, where there has been pressure to produce practical results. The epistemological status of Action Research is explored, in contrast to conventional social science research. The article concludes that an ongoing relationship with conventional social research is necessary.