As part of his case for emergent dualism, William Hasker proffers a _unity-of-_ _consciousness_ (UOC) argument against materialism. I formalize the argument and show how the warrant for two of its premises accrues from the warrant one assigns to two distinct theses about unified conscious experience. I then argue that though both unity theses are plausible, the materialist has little to fear from Hasker.
Many authors have taken up the challenge of formulating physicalism as a supervenience thesis. These endeavors have met with varying response, but it seems that the general consensus still remains that a supervenience thesis that is both sufficient and necessary for physicalism has yet to be developed. Terence Horgan1 and Jaegwon Kim2 have most famously argued that supervenience theses are not sufficiently strong for physicalism. Nonetheless, several recent articles suggest that there are philosophers who still hold out hope for some (...) type of supervenience of the mental upon the physical being, if not both sufficient and necessary, at least necessary for physicalism.3 In this paper, I will 1) investigate some of the motivation for finding a supervenience thesis that characterizes physicalism, 2) briefly review the types of supervenience theses that have been proposed as necessary (or necessary and sufficient) for physicalism, and 3) investigate in some detail the recent supervenience thesis proposed by Frank Jackson and expounded upon by Gene Witmer. Jackson, in his recent book, claims to have a supervenience thesis that is both necessary and sufficient for physicalism. (shrink)
Sydney Shoemaker has recently given an account of emergent properties according to which emergent properties are a special type of structural property and the determination relation holding between emergent properties and their base properties is one of "mere nomological supervenience." According to Shoemaker, emergent properties are what he calls type-2 microstructural properties, whereas physical properties are type-1 microstructural properties. After highlighting the advantages of viewing emergent properties as a special class of microstructural properties, I show how according to his own (...) causal theory of properties type-2 microstructural properties actually reduce to type-1 microstructural properties, and thus do not truly count as emergent. I then suggest an alternative view according to which emergent properties are actually a third type of microstructural property, one not considered by Shoemaker. I conclude with reflections why we might view the dependence relation between emergent properties and their physical base properties as a causal relation rather than one of mere supervenience. (shrink)
This paper is an investigation into the nature of physicalism as well as to the possibility of formulating physicalism as a supervenience thesis. First, I review the motivation for finding a supervenience thesis that characterizes physicalism. Second, I briefly survey the types of supervenience theses that have been proposed as necessary (or, in some cases, as necessary and sufficient) for physicalism. Third, I analyze the recent supervenience thesis proposed by Frank Jackson and expounded upon by Gene Witmer. Jackson claims the (...) supervenience thesis is both necessary and sufficient for physicalism; Witmer has proposed a different interpretation of one of the Jackson’s key notions and has suggested an amended supervenience thesis that is, if not sufficient, at least necessary for physicalism. However, I will argue that neither Jackson’s nor Witmer’s supervenience theses as stated are necessary for physicalism. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a natural experiment involving academic cheating by university students. We explore the relationship of moral judgment (as measured using the defining issues test) to actual behavior, as well as the relationship between the honesty of students self-reports and the extent of cheating. We were able to determine the extent to which students actually cheated on the take-home portion of an accounting exam. The take-home problem was not assigned with the (...) intent of inducing cheating among students. However, the high rate of observed cheating prompted the instructor to return to class and ask the students to provide information on their motivation. The students'' responses are the data analyzed in this natural experiment. We found that in a simple regression the relationship between moral judgment scores and cheating behavior was insignificant. However, when we tested whether including Utilizer scores (i.e. the extent to which people select actions based on notions of justice) affected the relationship of cheating and moral judgment we found that Utilizer affected the relationship significantly. Finally, we found that moral judgment and honesty were not related, but higher levels of cheating behavior related to less honesty. (shrink)
Recent, well-publicized accounting scandals have shown that the penalties outsiders impose on those found culpable of earnings management can be severe. However, less is known about how colleagues within internal labor markets respond when they believe fellow managers have managed earnings. Designers of responsibility accounting systems need to understand the reputational costs managers impose on one another within internal labor markets. In an experimental study, 159 evening MBA students were asked to assume the role of a manager in a company (...) and respond to a scenario in which another manager (the target manager) has the opportunity to engage in earnings management. Participants provided causal attributions, assessed the morality of the target manager, and indicated whether they would change their judgments about the target manager's reputation. The study manipulated three between-subjects factors: (1) whether the target manager chose to engage in earnings management, (2) whether the company's budgetary control system was rigid or flexible, and (3) whether the target manager's work history was average or above average. We found that causal attributions are affected more by the budgetary systems when the target did not manage earnings than when the manager did. We also found that morality judgments were significantly associated with the target manager's behavior, but not with the budgetary system. In addition, participants' judgments about the target manager's reputation were more strongly associated with morality judgments than with causal attributions. We discuss implications of the role of reputation in management control systems design. (shrink)
Utilizing Rest's moral development and Victor and Cullen's ethical climate surveys, we examine differences in moral reasoning and ethical climate between board members in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. Six for-profit corporations and seven not-for-profit corporations, all with base operations in a major midwestern state, participated in the study. We find that profit and not-for-profit boards may not differ in moral reasoning, but do exhibit different types of ethical climates. We also find that for-profit board members may utilize higher stages (...) of reasoning a greater percentage of the time than not-for-profit directors. In contrast, the ethical climates of the two types of organizations are significantly different. For-profit companies had climates higher in egoism than did not-for-profit companies. In addition, not-for-profit firms reflected higher benevolence factors than for-profit firms. Not-forprofit organizations also had somewhat higher, but not significantly different, mean scores on the principle factor compared to the for-profit organizations. (shrink)
Are philosophers of science limited to conducting autopsies on dead scientific theories, or might they also help resolve contemporary methodological disputes in science? This essay (1) gives an overview of thought experiments, especially in mathematics; (2) outlines three major positions on the current dose-response controversy for ionizing radiation; and (3) sketches an original mathematical thought experiment that might help resolve the low-dose radiation conflict. This thought experiment relies on the assumptions that radiation "hits'' are Poisson distributed and that background conditions (...) cause many more radiation-induced cancers than human activities. The essay closes by responding to several key objections to the position defended here. (shrink)
Kristin Shrader-Frechette: Taking Action, Saving Lives: Our Duties to Protect Environmental and Public Health Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11948-011-9267-1 Authors Matthew Benjamin Reisman, Environmental Studies, The University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, USA Journal Science and Engineering Ethics Online ISSN 1471-5546 Print ISSN 1353-3452.
Shrader-Frechette offers a rigorous philosophical discussion of environmental justice. Explaining fundamental ethical concepts such as equality, property rights, procedural justice, free informed consent, intergenerational equity, and just compensation--and then bringing them to bear on real-world social issues--she shows how many of these core concepts have been compromised for a large segment of the global population, among them Appalachians, African-Americans, workers in hazardous jobs, and indigenous people in developing nations. She argues that burdens like pollution and resource depletion need to be (...) apportioned more equally, and that there are compelling ethical grounds for remedying our environmental problems. She also argues that those affected by environmental problems must be included in the process of remedying those problems; that all citizens have a duty to engage in activism on behalf of Environmental Justice; and that in a democracy it is the people, not the government, that are ultimately responsible for fair use of the environment. (shrink)
What Will Work makes a rigorous and compelling case that energy efficiencies and renewable energy-and not nuclear fission or "clean coal"-are the most effective, cheapest, and equitable solutions to the pressing problem of climate change. Kristin Shrader-Frechette, a respected environmental ethicist and scientist, makes a damning case that the only reason that debate about climate change continues is because fossil-fuel interests pay non-experts to confuse the public. She then builds a comprehensive case against the argument made by many that nuclear (...) fission is a viable solution to the problem, arguing that data on the viability of nuclear power has been misrepresented by the nuclear industry and its supporters. In particular she says that they present deeply flawed cases that nuclear produces low greenhouse gas emissions, that it is financially responsible, that it is safe, and that its risks do not fall mainly on the poor and vulnerable. She argues convincingly that these are all completely false assumptions. Shrader-Frechette then shows that energy efficiency and renewable solutions meet all these requirements - in particular affordability, safety, and equitability. In the end, the cheapest, lowest-carbon, most-sustainable energy solutions also happen to be the most ethical. This urgent book on the most pressing issue of our time will be of interest to anyone involved in environmental and energy policy. -/- "An extraordinary achievement by a philosopher-scientist and public intellectual. The book is unmatched in its synthesis of the empirical data, theory and ethics that infuse the climate-change debates. Its overpowering but transparent argument should be mandatory reading for every elected official. Shrader-Frechette takes practical logic and scientific transparency to new heights. The best book written in the last decade on climate change." - Sheldon Krimsky, Tufts University -/- "Shrader-Frechette's book is outstanding. She makes a thorough review of the scientific evidence on nuclear health risks, and also explains the political and economic forces affecting public policy. Very readable for scientists, policy makers, and the public." - Joseph J. Mangano, Radiation and Public Health Project, New York -/- "Fascinating and important! Shrader-Frechette presents the scientific, economic, and ethical evidence for the failure of nuclear power -- it is neither carbon-free nor a viable solution to the energy crisis and global warming. While explaining the nuances of the scientific, economic and ethical arguments, the author teaches the reader why solar and wind energy, along with energy efficiency changes, will yield a safe, healthy, reliable and economically efficient energy future for the planet." - Colleen F. Moore, University of Wisconsin, author of Children and Pollution: Why Scientists Disagree. (shrink)
In the United States alone, industrial and agricultural toxins account for about 60,000 avoidable cancer deaths annually. Pollution-related health costs to Americans are similarly staggering: $13 billion a year from asthma, $351 billion from cardiovascular disease, and $240 billion from occupational disease and injury. Most troubling, children, the poor, and minorities bear the brunt of these health tragedies. Why, asks Kristin Shrader-Frechette, has the government failed to protect us, and what can we do about it? In this book, at once (...) brilliant and accessible, Shrader-Frechette reveals how politicians, campaign contributors, and lobbyists--and their power over media, advertising, and public relations--have conspired to cover up environmental disease and death. She also shows how science and regulators themselves are frequently "captured" by well-funded polluters and special interests. But most important, the author puts both the blame--and the solution--on the shoulders of ordinary citizens. She argues that everyone, especially in a democracy, has a duty to help prevent avoidable environmental deaths, to remain informed about, and involved in, public-health and environmental decision-making. Toward this end, she outlines specific, concrete ways in which people can contribute to life-saving reforms, many of them building on recommendations of the American Public Health Association. As disturbing as it is, Shrader-Frechette's message is ultimately hopeful. Calling for a new "democratic revolution," she reminds us that while only a fraction of the early colonists supported the American Revolution, that tiny group managed to change the world. Her book embodies the conviction that we can do the same for environmental health, particularly if citizens become the change they seek. -/- "Influential and impressive. " - Nicholas A. Ashford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology "Important and compelling, clearly written, accessible. I enthusiastically recommend this book." - James F. Childress, University of Virginia "This book shakes the reader." - Avner de-Shalit, Hebrew University of Jerusalem "Powerful, perspicuous, convincing. Essential reading for today." - Inmaculada de Melo-Martin "A must-read - a book you won't want to put down." - Kevin Elliott, University of South Carolina "An eloquent and persuasive plea to scientists and citizens." - George W. Fisher, Johns Hopkins University "Engaging, compelling - deserves to be read by nearly everyone." - William R. Freudenberg, University of California, Santa Barbara "By one of America's foremost philosophers and public intellectuals; immensely readable, courageous, often startling, insightful." - Richard Hiskes, University of Connecticut "Timely, accessible, and written with enviable clarity and passion. A distinguished philosopher sounds an ethical call to arms to prevent illness and death from pollution." - Sheila Jasanoff, Harvard University "A blistering account of how advocacy must be brought to bear on issues of justice and public health." - Jeffrey Kahn, University of Minnesota "Breaks new ground in linking environmental protection with social justice. A brilliant inquiry." - Sheldon Krimsky, Tufts University "Powerful, lucid, disturbing, poignantly hopeful, lively; deserves to be widely read." - Hugh Lacey, Swarthmore College "A powerful call to action that needs to be heard by consumers and policymakers alike." - Anna C. Mastroianni, University of Washington "No other author can so forcefully bring together ethical analysis, government policy, and environmental science. Outstanding." - Colleen Moore, University of Wisconsin "Accessible, thoughtful, exceptional. It made me want to go out and slay a few dragons of my own!" - Felicity Sackville Northcott, Johns Hopkins University "Convincing, with an impressive command of scientific knowledge. No book more clearly demonstrates the need for citizen action." - Mark Sagoff, University of Maryland "Like Rachel Carson's Silent Spring - brilliant, brave." - Sylvia Hood Washington, University of Illinois, Chicago "This book is inspirational as much as it is scientific....Highly recommended." -- CHOICE. (shrink)
Merck suppressed data on harmful effects of its drug Vioxx, and Guidant suppressed data on electrical flaws in one of its heart-defibrillator models. Both cases reveal how financial conflicts of interest can skew biomedical research. Such conflicts also occur in electric-utility-related research. Attempting to show that increased atomic energy can help address climate change, some industry advocates claim nuclear power is an inexpensive way to generate low-carbon electricity. Surveying 30 recent nuclear analyses, this paper shows that industry-funded studies appear to (...) fall into conflicts of interest and to illegitimately trim cost data in several main ways. They exclude costs of full-liability insurance, underestimate interest rates and construction times by using overnight costs, and overestimate load factors and reactor lifetimes. If these trimmed costs are included, nuclear-generated electricity can be shown roughly 6 times more expensive than most studies claim. After answering four objections, the paper concludes that, although there may be reasons to use reactors to address climate change, economics does not appear to be one of them. (shrink)
Scientists are divided on the status of hypothesis H that low doses of ionizing radiation (under 20 rads) cause hormetic (or non-harmful) effects. Military and industrial scientist s tend to accept H, while medical and environmental scientists tend to reject it. Proponents of the strong programme claim this debate shows that uncertain science can be clari ed only by greater attention to the social values in uencing it. While they are in part correct, this paper argues that methodological analyses (not (...) merely attention to social values) also can help clarify uncertain science. The paper analyzes ve measurement uncertainties , as well as seven methodological value judgments, relevant to H. Using criteria of internal and external consistency, as well as predictive power, it argues that metascience also helps resolve this debate. And if so, then value-laden, policy-relevan t science may need, not only more attention to social values in order to resolve and to clarify disputes, but also more conceptual and methodological analyses of science. (This paper suggests what such methodological analyses might be like and uses the case of low-dose risks from radiation to illustrate its points, while a companion paper (“Chemical Hormesis, Conceptual Clari cation, and the Warrant for Policy-Driven Science”) in this same issue of POS suggests what such conceptual analyses might be like and uses the case of low-dose risks from chemicals to illustrate its points.) If this paper’s thesis holds in the very politicize d “hard case” of radiation hormesis, then it suggests that the metascientist s may be right about what is also often necessary to clarify scienti c disputes. (shrink)
As Kenneth Pimple points out, scientists’ responsibilities to the larger society have received less attention than ethical issues internal to the practice of science. Yet scientists and specialists who study science have begun to provide analyses of the foundations and scope of scientsts’ responsibilities to society. An account of contributions from Kristen Shrader-Frechette, Melanie Leitner, Ullica Segerstråle, John Ahearne, Helen Longino, and Carl Cranor offers work on scientists’ social responsibilities upon which to build.
Experts often tout highly subjective methods of policy analysis as scientific and value?free. In The Myth of Scientific Public Policy, Robert Formaini exposes the uncertainties in two of these methods, cost?benefit analysis and risk assessment. Because of these deficiencies, he concludes that ethics and political philosophy, not science, are the proper foundation for public policy. While Formaini is right to emphasize the value?ladenness of cost?benefit analysis and risk assessment, his rejection of scientific methods of policy analysis is questionable. His criticisms, (...) especially in his study of the swine?ßu case, seem to establish that experts have misused such methods, not that the methods themselves are seriously ßawed. Also, his rejection of cost?benefit analysis and risk assessment would be more realistic if he offered a well?developed alternative to these two methods. One such alternative, for example, is ethically weighted cost?benefit analysis. (shrink)
The paper begins with a brief analysis of the concepts of environmental justice and environmental racism and classism. The authors argue that pollution- and environment-related decision-making is prima facie wrong whenever it results in inequitable treatment of individuals on the basis of race or socio-economic status. The essay next surveys the history of the doctrine of free informed consent and argues that the consent of those affected is necessary for ensuring the fairness of decision-making for siting hazardous facilities. The paper (...) also points out that equal opportunity to environmental protection and free informed consent are important rights. Finally, it presents a case study on the proposed uranium enrichment facility near Homer, Louisiana and argues that siting the plant would violate norms of distributive equity and free informed consent. It concludes that siting the facility is a case of environmental injustice and likely an example of environmental racism or classism. (shrink)
: Scientists are divided on the status of hypothesis H that low doses of ionizing radiation (under 20 rads) cause hormetic (or non-harmful) effects. Military and industrial scientists tend to accept H, while medical and environmental scientists tend to reject it. Proponents of the strong programme claim this debate shows that uncertain science can be clarified only by greater attention to the social values in(integral)uencing it. While they are in part correct, this paper argues that methodological analyses (not merely attention (...) to social values) also can help clarify uncertain science. The paper analyzes five measurement uncertainties, as well as seven methodological value judgments, relevant to H. Using criteria of internal and external consistency, as well as predictive power, it argues that metascience also helps resolve this debate. And if so, then value-laden, policy-relevant science may need, not only more attention to social values in order to resolve and to clarify disputes, but also more conceptual and methodological analyses of science. (This paper suggests what such methodological analyses might be like and uses the case of low-dose risks from radiation to illustrate its points, while a companion paper ("Chemical Hormesis, Conceptual Clarification, and the Warrant for Policy-Driven Science") in this same issue of POS suggests what such conceptual analyses might be like and uses the case of low-dose risks from chemicals to illustrate its points.) If this paper's thesis holds in the very politicized "hard case" of radiation hormesis, then it suggests that the metascientists may be right about what is also often necessary to clarify scientific disputes. (shrink)
This paper responds to a recent claim by Shrader-Frechette that current particle physics, with its essentially atomist paradigm, is in a state of Kuhnian crisis. We respond to Shrader-Frechette's claim in two ways: first, we argue directly against much of the evidence used by Shrader-Frechette as indicators of Kuhnian crisis; second, we question Shrader-Frechette's application of Kuhnian categories to current research in general, pointing out the dangers inherent in such an analysis.
We provide examples of the extent and nature of environmental and human health problems and show why in the United States prevailing scientific and legal burden of proof requirements usually cannot be met because of the pervasiveness of scientific uncertainty. We also provide examples of how may assumptions, judgments, evaluations, and inferences in scientific methods are value-laden and that when this is not recognized results of studies will appear to be more factual and value-neutral than warranted. Further, we show that (...) there is a "tension" between the use of the 95 percent confidence rule as a normative basis to reduce speculation in scientific knowledge and other public policy and moral concerns embodied by the adoption of a precautionary principle. Finally, although there is no precise agreement regarding what a precautionary principle might entail, we make several recommendations regarding the placement of the burden of proof and the standard of proof that ought to be required in environmental and human health matters. (shrink)
Ethics requires good science. Many scientists, government leaders, and industry representatives support tripling of global-nuclear-energy capacity on the grounds that nuclear fission is “carbon free” and “releases no greenhouse gases.” However, such claims are scientifically questionable (and thus likely to lead to ethically questionable energy choices) for at least 3 reasons. (i) They rely on trimming the data on nuclear greenhouse-gas emissions (GHGE), perhaps in part because flawed Kyoto Protocol conventions require no full nuclear-fuel-cycle assessment of carbon content. (ii) They (...) underestimate nuclear-fuel-cycle releases by erroneously assuming that mostly high-grade uranium ore, with much lower emissions, is used. (iii) They inconsistently compare nuclear-related GHGE only to those from fossil fuels, rather than to those from the best GHG-avoiding energy technologies. Once scientists take account of (i)–(iii), it is possible to show that although the nuclear fuel cycle releases (per kWh) much fewer GHG than coal and oil, nevertheless it releases far more GHG than wind and solar-photovoltaic. Although there may be other, ethical, reasons to support nuclear tripling, reducing or avoiding GHG does not appear to be one of them. (shrink)
The argument in this essay is twofold. (1) Procedural justice requires,in particular cases, that we restrict property rights in natural resources, e.g., California agricultural land or Appalachian coal land. (2) Conditions imposed by Locke's political theory and by dense population require,in general, that we restrict property rights in finite or non-renewable natural resources such as land. If these arguments are correct, then we have a moral imperative to use land-use controls (such as taxation, planning, zoning, and acreage limitations) to restructure (...) land ownership and land use in a far more radical way than has ever been accomplished in the past. (shrink)
In a world of massive extinctions where not all taxa can be saved, how ought biologists to decide their preservation priorities? When biologists make recommendations regarding conservation, should their analyses be based on scientific criteria, on public or lay criteria, on economic or some other criteria? As a first step in answering this question, we examine the issue of whether biologists ought to try to save the endangered Florida panther, a well known glamour taxon. To evaluate the merits of panther (...) preservation, we examine three important arguments of biologists who are skeptical about the desirability of panther preservation. These arguments are (1) that conservation dollars ought to be spent in more efficient ways than panther preservation; (2) that biologists and conservationists ought to work to preserve species before subspecies; and (3) that biologists and conservationists ought to work to save habitats before species or subspecies. We conclude that, although all three arguments are persuasive, none of them provides convincing grounds for foregoing panther preservation in favor of other, more scientifically significant conservation efforts. Our conclusion is based, in part, on the argument that biologists ought to employ ethical, as well as scientific, rationality in setting conservation priorities and that ethical rationality may provide persuasive grounds for preserving taxa that often are not viewed by biologists as of great importance. (shrink)