Recent work on the mechanisms underlying auditory verbal hallucination (AVH) has been heavily informed by self-monitoring accounts that postulate defects in an internal monitoring mechanism as the basis of AVH. A more neglected alternative is an account focusing on defects in auditory processing, namely a spontaneous activation account of auditory activity underlying AVH. Science is often aided by putting theories in competition. Accordingly, a discussion that systematically contrasts the two models of AVH can generate sharper questions that will lead to (...) new avenues of investigation. In this paper, we provide such a theoretical discussion of the two models, drawing strong contrasts between them. We identify a set of challenges for the self-monitoring account and argue that the spontaneous activation account has much in favor of it and should be the default account. Our theoretical overview leads to new questions and issues regarding the explanation of AVH as a subjective phenomenon and its neural basis. Accordingly, we suggest a set of experimental strategies to dissect the underlying mechanisms of AVH in light of the two competing models. (shrink)
For any inquiry into Tasan (茶山)'s philosophy, it is absolutely necessary to investigate its relationship with Neo-Confucianism. Out of the many notions of his philosophy, the Kung-fu theory (工夫論) is considered to be important. Therefore, the comparison between Chu-hui 's (朱熹) system of Neo-Confucianism and Tasan's theory on Kung-fu is expected to offer clues that help us understand Tasan's philosophy. The purpose of this paper is to investigate Tasan’s viewpoints on the notion of ‘having not yet arisen,’ especially in regards (...) to his issues of 'the mind, intelligence, consideration, and discretion (心知思慮),' as presented in his Kung-fu theory. Tasan insists that the statement that "The joy, anger, sorrow, and pleasure have not yet arisen." differs from the statement that "The mind, intelligence, consideration, and discretion (心知思慮) have not yet arisen." In this paper, the author will inquire into Tasan's assertions on the meaning, contents, subject, and significance of ‘the mind, intelligence, consideration, and discretion,’ which he emphasizes. In addition, the author will make clear that the above assertion is related to the following: 1) Tasan’s recognition of Cheon (天), 2) his assertion on the capability of the mind to make decisions by itself (心自主權), and 3) his emphasis on the actualization of morality. (shrink)
This is a comparative study of the discourses on the nature of sacred language found in Indian Abhidharma texts and those written by 7th century Chinese Buddhist scholars who, unlike the Indian Buddhists, questioned 'the essence of the Buddha's teaching'. This issue labeled fo-chiao t'i lun, the theory of 'the essence of the Buddha's teaching', was one of the topics on which Chinese Yogācāra scholars have shown a keen interest and served as the inspiration for extensive intellectual dialogues in their (...) texts. It is in Hsüan-tsang's massive and organized translation works, begun in 648, that various previous translations of the term buddhavacana from Indian Abhidharma texts were given the unified translation of fo-chiao. (Fo-chiao literally means "the Buddha's teachings," and is the term used in the modern period for "Buddhism.") By combining fo-chiao with the term t'i, meaning 'essence' or 'substance' throughout his translations, Hsüan-tsang attempted to define 'the essence of the Buddha's teaching'. In Indian Abhidharma texts, the nature of the Buddha's word was either 'sound' (abdha), the oral component of speech, or 'name' (nāma), the component of language that conveys meaning, or some combination of the two. From the time of Hsüan-tsang's translation, however, discourse on the nature of sacred language was no longer relegated to the category of language or of epistemological investigation, but became grounded in the Chinese discussion investigating the 'essence' or 'substance' of the Buddha's teaching, and even of 'Buddhism' itself. As such, it sought to transcend the distinction between language and meaning. This gradual but explicit process of inquiry into the nature of 'the Buddha's word' was a necessary antecedent to the transition to a 'Chinese' Buddhism. (shrink)
Two fundamental business ethics issues that repeatedly surface in the academic literature relate to business's role in the development of public policy [Suarez, S. L.: 2000, Does Business Learn? (The University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, MI); Roberts, R. W. and D. D. Bobek: 2004, Accounting, Organizations and Society 29(5-6), 565-590] and its role in responsibly managing the natural environment [Newton, L.: 2005, Business Ethics and the Natural Environment (Blackwell Publishing, Oxford)]. When studied together, researchers often examine if, and how, (...) corporations influence environmental policy decisions. Drawing from literatures on corporate political activity, corporate social and environmental performance, and corporate environmental disclosure, we develop and empirically examine two research questions concerning the relations between corporate political expenditures, environmental performance, and environmental disclosure. The questions are: (1) Do corporations that are poorer environmental performers spend more on political activities than their better-performing counterparts? (2) Is there an association between corporations' spending on political activities and the extent of their financial report environmental disclosures? We investigated these questions through analyses of data we gathered on a sample consisting of 119 U.S. environmentally sensitive firms for the 2001-2002 election cycle. After controlling for firm size and specific industry effects, our tests reveal a significant, inverse relationship between firm environmental performance and political spending. This is consistent with the notion that U.S. firms with relatively poorer environmental performance records engage more intensely in corporate political activities as part of their overall strategic management of their relationship with the state. In addition, a significant and positive association between the amount of political spending and the extent of environmental disclosure suggests that environmental disclosure and political spending are both proactive, complementary tactics to strategically manage public policy pressure. If corporations' strategies are intentionally designed to unreasonably limit their environmental responsibilities or to misrepresent firm environmental performance, then we argue that these activities reflect a significant lapse in ethical conduct. (shrink)
Unlike many commentators who tend to see Schweitzer's mission one-sidedly, I show the coexistence of liberal and conservative elements in his mission. While his mission intent was mostly motivated by the former, his mission practices largely show the latter. In this essay, I analyze them in detail in three parts. I first explain how such opposite elements can coexist by applying Dipesh Chakrabarty's notion of provincializing Europe. Like most nineteenth-century Western liberals, Schweitzer advocated Enlightenment rights for Europeans, but denied them (...) to the colonized. I then argue that Schweitzer's mission was motivated by the liberal elements of his theology. When his critical theology led him to deny the divinity of Jesus, he found a new basis for Christianity in Jesus? ethical activism, which led him to become a medical missionary to Africa. I then examine Schweitzer's conservative practices in Africa: by applying the developmental model of Hegelian-Marxist historicism to African society, Schweitzer opposed both decolonization and advanced learning to Africans. Schweitzer's missionary practices in Africa, I therefore conclude, were more conservative than those of the typical European missionary. (shrink)
Purpose Moral orientation can affect ethical decision-making. Very few studies have focused on whether medical education can change the moral orientation of the students. The purpose of the present study was to document the types of moral orientation exhibited by medical students, and to study if their moral orientation was changed after preclinical education. Methods From 2007 to 2009, the Mojac scale was used to measure the moral orientation of Taiwan medical students. The students included 271 first-year and 109 third-year (...) students. They were rated as a communitarian, dual, or libertarian group and followed for 2 years to monitor the changes in their Mojac scores. Results In both first and third-year students, the dual group after 2 years of preclinical medical education did not show any significant change. In the libertarian group, first and third-year students showed a statistically significant increase from a score of 99.4 and 101.3 to 103.0 and 105.7, respectively. In the communitarian group, first and third-year students showed a significant decline from 122.8 and 126.1 to 116.0 and 121.5, respectively. Conclusion During the preclinical medical education years, students with communitarian orientation and libertarian orientation had changed in their moral orientation to become closer to dual orientation. These findings provide valuable hints to medical educators regarding bioethics education and the selection criteria of medical students for admission. (shrink)
Background Participants' understanding of clinical trials is important in informed consent. However, little is known about what information participants really want to know. Aims To demonstrate the existence of a discrepancy between participants' understanding and their desire to know. Methods The participants in clinical trials at Seoul National University Hospital were surveyed. The survey consisted of 11 statements based on the essential elements of informed consent. The participants gave two responses to each statement on a five-point Likert scale to rate (...) their subjective understanding and desire to know, respectively. Information discrepancy was defined as the difference between these two ratings: if understanding exceeded desire to know for a particular item, it was defined as ‘over-informed’; if desire to know exceeded understanding for a particular item, it was defined as ‘under-informed’. Results Participants reported good understanding of ‘voluntariness’, ‘duration’, ‘study involves research’ and poor understanding of ‘confidentiality’, ‘compensation’, ‘benefits’, ‘procedures’ and ‘risks or discomforts’. For ‘risks or discomforts’, ‘who to contact’, ‘voluntariness’, ‘duration’ and ‘procedures’, participants reported high desire to know compared with ‘confidentiality’, ‘purpose’, ‘study involves research’ and ‘benefits’. The elements ‘study involves research’, ‘voluntariness’, ‘duration’, ‘purpose’ and ‘who to contact’ were over-informed, while ‘compensation’, ‘risks or discomforts’, ‘procedures’, ‘confidentiality’ and ‘benefits’ were under-informed. Participants over 50 years of age, those without a college education and those whose participation was less voluntary were relatively less informed about the clinical trials. Conclusions An information discrepancy was observed between the participants' understanding and their desire to know. By putting more emphasis on under-informed elements, the quality of informed consent could be improved. (shrink)
Institutional ethics consultation services for biomedical scientists have begun to proliferate, especially for clinical researchers. We discuss several models of ethics consultation and describe a team-based approach used at Stanford University in the context of these models. As research ethics consultation services expand, there are many unresolved questions that need to be addressed, including what the scope, composition, and purpose of such services should be, whether core competencies for consultants can and should be defined, and how conflicts of interest should (...) be mitigated. We make preliminary recommendations for the structure and process of research ethics consultation, based on our initial experiences in a pilot program. (shrink)
: Contemporary Buddhist studies has been strongly affected by its origins in the Victorian era, when Western religious scholars sought to rationalize and historicize the study of religion. Modern Asian scholars, trained within the Western scholarly paradigm, share this prejudice in avor of the rational. The result is a skewed understanding of Buddhism, emphasizing its philosophical and theoretical aspects at the expense of seemingly "irrational" religious elements based on the direct experience of meditation practice.
The readiness of Buddhists to dialogue with and embrace modern science has caused some to worry that this encounter will deform Buddhist traditions for the sake of acceptance by the West. But their strong tradition of epistemological skepticism and intellectual pluralism makes it unlikely that Buddhists will embrace scientific positivism. Given the tensions between religion and science in contemporary western society, it is perhaps this feature of Buddhism that can make the most fruitful contribution in its dialogue with science.
The emergence of environmental governance practices raises a fundamental question as to whether they are substantive or symbolic. Toward that end, we analyze the relationship between a firm’s environmental governance and its environmental management as reflected in its ultimate outcome, environmental performance. We posit that substantive practices would bring changes in organizations, most notably in terms of improved environmental performance, whereas symbolic practices would portray organizations as environmentally committed without making meaningful changes to their operations. Focusing on a sample of (...) environmentally sensitive firms, results are consistent with environmental governance mechanisms being predominantly part of a symbolic approach to manage stakeholder perceptions on environmental management, having little substantial impact on organizations. Statistical analyses show mostly that there is no relation between environmental governance mechanisms and environmental performance, measured in terms of regulatory compliance, pollution prevention, and environmental capital expenditures. However, there is some indication that environmental incentives are associated with pollution prevention. Interviews with corporate directors shed further light on these results by underlining that environmental governance mechanisms are employed at the board level to protect the organization from reputational and/or regulatory harm, but are not necessarily intended to proactively improve environmental performance. (shrink)
Human participants and recurrent (“connectionist”) neural networks were both trained on a categorization system abstractly similar to natural language systems involving irregular (“strong”) classes and a default class. Both the humans and the networks exhibited staged learning and a generalization pattern reminiscent of the Elsewhere Condition (Kiparsky, 1973). Previous connectionist accounts of related phenomena have often been vague about the nature of the networks’ encoding systems. We analyzed our network using dynamical systems theory, revealing topological and geometric properties that can (...) be directly compared with the mechanisms of non-connectionist, rule-based accounts. The results reveal that the networks “contain” structures related to mechanisms posited by rule-based models, partly vindicating the insights of these models. On the other hand, they support the one mechanism (OM), as opposed to the more than one mechanism (MOM), view of symbolic abstraction by showing how the appearance of MOM behavior can arise emergently from one underlying set of principles. The key new contribution of this study is to show that dynamical systems theory can allow us to explicitly characterize the relationship between the two perspectives in implemented models. (shrink)
We examine two connectionist networks—a fractal learning neural network (FLNN) and a Simple Recurrent Network (SRN)—that are trained to process center-embedded symbol sequences. Previous work provides evidence that connectionist networks trained on infinite-state languages tend to form fractal encodings. Most such work focuses on simple counting recursion cases (e.g., anbn), which are not comparable to the complex recursive patterns seen in natural language syntax. Here, we consider exponential state growth cases (including mirror recursion), describe a new training scheme that seems (...) to facilitate learning, and note that the connectionist learning of these cases has a continuous metamorphosis property that looks very different from what is achievable with symbolic encodings. We identify a property—ragged progressive generalization—which helps make this difference clearer. We suggest two conclusions. First, the fractal analysis of these more complex learning cases reveals the possibility of comparing connectionist networks and symbolic models of grammatical structure in a principled way—this helps remove the black box character of connectionist networks and indicates how the theory they support is different from symbolic approaches. Second, the findings indicate the value of future, linked mathematical and empirical work on these models—something that is more possible now than it was 10 years ago. (shrink)
Astroturf organizations are fake grassroots organizations usually sponsored by large corporations to support any arguments or claims in their favor, or to challenge and deny those against them. They constitute the corporate version of grassroots social movements. Serious ethical and societal concerns underline this astroturfing practice, especially if corporations are successful in influencing public opinion by undertaking a social movement approach. This study is motivated by this particular issue and examines the effectiveness of astroturf organizations in the global warming context, (...) wherein large corporate polluters have an incentive to set up astroturf organizations to undermine the importance of human activities in climate change. We conduct an experiment to determine whether astroturf organizations have an impact on the level of user certainty about the causes of global warming. Results show that people who used astroturf websites became more uncertain about the causes of global warming and humans’ role in the phenomenon than people who used grassroots websites. Astroturf organizations are hence successful in promoting business interests over environmental protection. In addition to the multiple business ethics issues it raises, astroturfing poses a significant threat to the legitimacy of the grassroots movement. (shrink)
Determinism and freedom has been a much debated philosophical issue in the Western philosophical tradition. St. Augustine's Confessions, for example, established a long-held Christian theological view on the possession of free will, which concerns the fate of human beings within a universe ruled by God. Given the specific context in which the question arose - why sin and human error occur in a world created by God - many have held that Asian philosophies, and especially Buddhism, do not have much (...) relevance to the topic as their doctrines are based on a non-theistic worldview. It may not even be right to ask the question in the context of the Buddhist tradition, which denies the existence of a God or a mighty power .. (shrink)
Dr. McGee presents a cogent argument for the patentability of the diagnosis of gene forms that are found to be associated with disease or other phenotypic manifestations. We're convinced he's wrong. An analogy will help explain why.
This paper investigates potential motivations for late adopting U.S. companies to begin disclosing environmental liability amounts in their financial statements. Based on a review of 10-K reports filed from 1998 through 2012, inclusive, we identified 55 firms initiating environmental liability disclosure over the period, with all but three doing so by 2006. Focusing on the disclosers up through 2006, we argue that the companies may have used the disclosure as a tool of impression management to avoid potential stakeholder mis-estimation of (...) previously undisclosed liability exposures. We first compute tests to identify firms that may have begun the disclosure due to (1) materiality and (2) concerns of having proprietary costs imposed upon them due to changes in their environmental media coverage and environmental performance, and we find very few cases where these explanations might hold. For the remaining companies, we compared their newly disclosed liability amount, on average, with the mean level of environmental liability being disclosed by other firms in the year prior to the sample companies’ initiation, and find that it is significantly smaller, thus supporting our impression management argument. Finally, we find that overall level of environmental liability amounts was consistently decreasing over the time frame examined, suggesting that earlier adoption would have made more sense. However, it may also explain why almost no new firms began disclosing after the mid-2000s. (shrink)