We introduce a novel paradigm for studying the cognitive processes used by listeners within interactive settings. This paradigm places the talker and the listener in the same physical space, creating opportunities for investigations of attention and comprehension processes taking place during interactive discourse situations. An experiment was conducted to compare results from previous research using videotaped stimuli to those obtained within the live face-to-face task paradigm. A headworn apparatus is used to briefly display LEDs on the talker's face in four (...) locations as the talker communicates with the participant. In addition to the primary task of comprehending speeches, participants make a secondary task light detection response. In the present experiment, the talker gave non-emotionally-expressive speeches that were used in past research with videotaped stimuli. Signal detection analysis was employed to determine which areas of the face received the greatest focus of attention. Results replicate previous findings using videotaped methods. (shrink)
Teachers White and Thompson allowed students to explore the primary-source readings from several philosophers in a 5th grade course called Apogee. The essay is written with a focus on Patience and other virtues.
This book is a major contribution to the interdisciplinary project of investigating the true nature of color vision. In recent times, research into color vision has been one of the main success stories of cognitive science. Each discipline in the field--neuroscience, psychology, linguistics, computer science and philosophy--has contributed significantly to our understanding of color. Evan Thompson provides an accessible review of current scientific and philosophical discussions of color vision. He steers a course between the subjective and objective positions on (...) color, arguing for a relational account. Thompson develops a novel "ecological" approach to color vision in cognitive science and the philosophy of perception. The book is vital reading for all cognitive scientists and philosophers whose interests touch upon this central area. (shrink)
Social contract theory has been criticized as a “theory in search of application.” We argue that incorporating the nano, or individual, level of analysis into social contract inquiry will yield more descriptive theory. We draw upon the psychological contract perspective to address two critiques of social contract theory: its rigid macro-orientation and inattention to the process of contract formation. We demonstrate how a psychological contract approach offers practical insight into the impact of social contracting on day-to-day human interaction. We then (...) articulate several potentially testable propositions that emerge from this nano-level perspective. (shrink)
Prior research shows that reasoners' confidence is poorly calibrated (Shynkaruk & Thompson, 2006). The goal of the current experiment was to increase calibration in syllogistic reasoning by training reasoners on (a) the concept of logical necessity and (b) the idea that more than one representation of the premises may be possible. Training improved accuracy and was also effective in remedying some systematic misunderstandings about the task: those in the training condition were better at estimating their overall performance than those (...) who were untrained. However, training was less successful in helping reasoners to discriminate which items are most likely to cause them difficulties. In addition we explored other variables that may affect confidence and accuracy, such as the number of models required to represent the problem and whether or not the presented conclusion was necessitated by the premises, possible given the premises, or impossible given the premises. These variables had systematically different relationships to confidence and accuracy. Thus, we propose that confidence in reasoning judgements is analogous to confidence in memory retrievals, in that they are inferentially derived from cues that are not diagnostic in terms of accuracy. (shrink)
Abstract What is the significance of the wicked problems framework for environmental philosophy? In response to wicked problems, environmental scientists are starting to welcome the participation of social scientists, humanists, and the creative arts. We argue that the need for interdisciplinary approaches to wicked problems opens up a number of tasks that environmental philosophers have every right to undertake. The first task is for philosophers to explore new and promising ways of initiating philosophical research through conducting collaborative learning processes on (...) environmental issues. The second task is for philosophers to recognize the value of philosophical skills in their engagements with members of other disciplines and walks of life in addressing wicked problems. The wicked problems framework should be seen as an important guide for facilitating philosophical research that is of relevance to problems like climate change and sustainable agriculture. Content Type Journal Article Category Articles Pages 1-14 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9344-0 Authors Paul B. Thompson, Department of Philosophy, Michigan State University, 503 S. Kedzie Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA Kyle Powys Whyte, Department of Philosophy, Michigan State University, 503 S. Kedzie Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863. (shrink)
We disagree about issues like abortion, euthanasia, the meaning of justice and the treatment of animals, and our debates often fail to reach a consensus. Discourse and Knowledge claimes that there is a correct solution to ethical controversies but that ethical decisions have to be made collectively. Janna Thompson argues that discourse is required for the very process of reaching correct conclusions about ethical matters.
Thompson considers the concept of international justice as it has developed in political theory from Hobbes to the present day, and develops a theory designed to take account of both individual freedom and differences among communities. This title available in eBook format. Click here for more information . Visit our eBookstore at: www.ebookstore.tandf.co.uk.
This paper presents students’ views about honest and dishonest actions within the pharmacy and medical learning environments. Students also offered their views on solutions to ameliorating dishonest action. Three research questions were posed in this paper: (1) what reasons would students articulate in reference to engaging in dishonest behaviours? (2) What reasons would students articulate in reference to maintaining high levels of integrity? (3) What strategies would students suggest to decrease engagement in dishonest behaviours and/or promote honest behaviours? The design (...) of the study incorporated an initial descriptive analysis to interpret students’ responses to an 18-item questionnaire about justifications for dishonest action. This was followed by a qualitative analysis of students’ commentaries in reference to why students would engage in either honest or dishonest action. Finally a qualitative analysis was conducted on students’ views regarding solutions to dishonest action. The quantitative results showed that students were more likely to use time management and seriousness justifications for dishonest actions. The qualitative findings found that students’ actions (honest or dishonest) were guided by family and friends, the need to do well, issues of morality and institutional guidelines. Students suggested that dishonest action could be ameliorated by external agencies and polarised views between punitive and rewards-based mechanisms were offered. These results suggest that these students engaged in dishonest action for various reasons and solutions addressing dishonest action need to consider diverse mechanisms that likely extend beyond the educational institution. (shrink)
Determining the semantic role of sentence constituents is a key task in determining sentence meanings lying behind a veneer of variant syntactic expression. We present a model of natural language generation from semantics using the FrameNet semantic role and frame ontology. We train the model using the FrameNet corpus and apply it to the task of automatic semantic role and frame identiﬁcation, producing results competitive with previous work (about 70% role labeling accuracy). Unlike previous models used for this task, our (...) model does not assume that the frame of a sentence is known, and is able to identify null- instantiated roles, which commonly occur in our corpus and whose identiﬁcation is crucial to natural language interpretation. (shrink)
Social justice has strong historical roots in public health. This does not mean that we always understand what it entails when conducting an ethical analysis of a particular public health program. This article shows that Powers and Faden’s theory of social justice can provide important insights and nuance to such an analysis. The Ontario human papilloma virus vaccination program that is underway in Canada provides an important and timely case where we can surface ethical issues pertaining to social justice that (...) may otherwise remain unarticulated in the context of this program. This analysis focuses on the normative issues raised by the prioritization of a school-based program for girls only. It also examines the relevant domains of well-being identified in Powers and Faden’s theory to see whether the program is likely to enhance the well-being of those for whom it is most important. Finally, the role of vaccines in general in promoting well-being is discussed. (shrink)
Buddhism originated and developed in an Indian cultural context that featured many first-person practices for producing and exploring states of consciousness through the systematic training of attention. In contrast, the dominant methods of investigating the mind in Western cognitive science have emphasized third-person observation of the brain and behavior. In this chapter, we explore how these two different projects might prove mutually beneficial. We lay the groundwork for a cross-cultural cognitive science by using one traditional Buddhist model of the mind (...) – that of the five aggregates – as a lens for examining contemporary cognitive science conceptions of consciousness. (shrink)
This paper provides an informal guide to young researchers in science and engineering as they progress for their first 10 or so years from the time that they first started thinking about doing a PhD. This advice is drawn, with examples and anecdotes, from my own research career which started at the Cambridge Engineering Department in 1958, and progressed through 48 years at University College London to a part-time chair that I now hold in Aberdeen. I hope it may encourage (...) and help tomorrow's scientists on whom the Earth's future very much depends. (shrink)
Three experiments investigated reasoners' beliefs about causal powers; that is, their beliefs about the capacity of a putative cause to produce a given effect. Covariation-based theories (e.g., Cheng, 1997; Kelley, 1973; Novick & Cheng, 2004) posit that beliefs in causal power are represented in terms of the degree of covariation between the cause and its effect; covariation is defined in terms of the degree to which the effect occurs in the presence of the cause, and fails tooccur in the absence (...) of the cause. To test the degree to which beliefs incausal power are reflected in beliefs about covariation information, participants in three experiments rated their beliefs that putative causes have the capacity to produce a given effect (i.e., possess the causal power to produce an effect) as well as their beliefs regarding the degree to which the putative cause and effectcovary. A strong positive correlation was discovered between participants' beliefs in causal power and their beliefs that the effect occurs in the presence of the cause. However, no direct relationship was found between participants' beliefs in causal power and their belief that the effect will fail tooccur in the absence of the cause. These findings were replicated using bothwithin- (Experiments 1 and 3) and between-subject designs (Experiment 2). In Experiment 3, we extended these analyses to measures of familiarity, imageability, and detailedness of the representation. We found that participants' beliefs in causal power were strongly associated with familiarity, and imageability, but not the perceived detailedness of the cause and effect relationship. These data provide support for a multidimensional account of causal knowledge whereby people's representations of causation include, but are not limited to, the covariation, familiarity, and imageability of cause and effect relationships. (shrink)
This paper reports a literature review on the topic of ethical issues in in-depth interviews. The review returned three types of article: general discussion, issues in particular studies, and studies of interview-based research ethics. Whilst many of the issues discussed in these articles are generic to research ethics, such as confidentiality, they often had particular manifestations in this type of research. For example, privacy was a significant problem as interviews sometimes probe unexpected areas. For similar reasons, it is difficult to (...) give full information of the nature of a particular interview at the outset, hence informed consent is problematic. Where a pair is interviewed (such as carer and cared-for) there are major difficulties in maintaining confidentiality and protecting privacy. The potential for interviews to harm participants emotionally is noted in some papers, although this is often set against potential therapeutic benefit. As well as these generic issues, there are some ethical issues fairly specific to in-depth interviews. The problem of dual role is noted in many papers. It can take many forms: an interviewer might be nurse and researcher, scientist and counsellor, or reporter and evangelist. There are other specific issues such as taking sides in an interview, and protecting vulnerable groups. Little specific study of the ethics of in-depth interviews has taken place. However, that which has shows some important findings. For example, one study shows participants are not averse to discussing painful issues provided they feel the study is worthwhile. Some papers make recommendations for researchers. One such is that they should consider using a model of continuous (or process) consent rather than viewing consent as occurring once, at signature, prior to the interview. However, there is a need for further study of this area, both philosophical and empirical. (shrink)
• An adequate conceptual framework is still needed to account for phenomena that (i) have a first-person, subjective-experiential or phenomenal character; (ii) are (usually) reportable and describable (in humans); and (iii) are neurobiologically realized.2 • The conscious subject plays an unavoidable epistemological role in characterizing the explanadum of consciousness through first-person descriptive reports. The experimentalist is then able to link first-person data and third-person data. Yet the generation of first-person data raises difficult epistemological issues about the relation of second-order awareness (...) or meta-awareness to first-order experience (e.g. (shrink)
This will be the best way of explaining ‘Paris is the lover of Helen’, that is, ‘Paris loves, and by that very fact [et eo ipso] Helen is loved’. Here, therefore, two propositions have been brought together and abbreviated as one. Or, ‘Paris is a lover, and by that very fact Helen is a loved one’.
This talk, delivered at De l''autopoièse à la neurophénoménologie: un hommage à Francisco Varela; from autopoiesis to neurophenomenology: a tribute to Francisco Varela, June 18–20, at the Sorbonne in Paris, explicates several links between Varela''s neurophenomenology and his biological concept of autopoiesis.
We argue, contra Joshua Knobe in a companion chapter, that most people have an understanding of free will and responsible agency that is compatible with a naturalistic vision of the human mind. Our argument is supported by results from a new experimental philosophy study showing that most people think free will is consistent with complete and perfect prediction of decisions and actions based on prior activity in the brain (a scenario adapted from Sam Harris who predicts most people will find (...) it inconsistent with free will). We explain why most people are "theory-lite" about the nature of mind and free will--they are not committed to substantive theories of the underlying causal structure of mind, such as Knobe's "transcendence vision". Rather, we suggest a "causal competition principle"--that an agent's actions will be deemed unfree when they are perceived to be fully caused by factors that do not include her reasons. This principle explains why people, including some scientists, perceive neuroscientific explanations as threatening free will when they are described in terms of neural processes fully causing actions to the exclusion of agents' reasons or reasoning processes. (shrink)
_sciousness called ‘neurophenomenology’ (Varela 1996) and illustrates it with a_ _recent pilot study (Lutz et al., 2002). At a theoretical level, neurophenomenology_ _pursues an embodied and large-scale dynamical approach to the_ _neurophysiology of consciousness (Varela 1995; Thompson and Varela 2001;_ _Varela and Thompson 2003). At a methodological level, the neurophenomeno-_ _logical strategy is to make rigorous and extensive use of first-person data about_ _subjective experience as a heuristic to describe and quantify the large-scale_ _neurodynamics of consciousness (Lutz 2002). (...) The paper foocuses on_ _neurophenomenology in relation to three challenging methodological issues_ _about incorporating first-person data into cognitive neuroscience: (i) first-person_ _reports can be biased or inaccurate; (ii) the process of generating first-person_ _reports about an experience can modify that experience; and (iii) there is an ‘ex-_ _planatory gap’ in our understanding of how to relate first-person, phenomeno-_ _logical data to third-person, biobehavioural data._. (shrink)
Physics Department, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 5XH, U.K October, 1990. We may suspect that quantum mechanics and consciousness are related, but the details are not at all clear. In this paper, I suggest how the mind and brain might fit together intimately while still maintaining distinct identities. The connection is based on the correspondence of similar functions in both the mind and the quantum-mechanical brain. Accompanying material for a talk at The Second Mind and Brain Symposium held at the (...) Institute of Psychiatry, Denmark Hill, London on 20th October, 1990. (shrink)
Abstract In this paper, I examine the plausibility of Embodied Accounts of Social Cognition by finding fault with the most detailed and convincing version of such an account, as articulated by Daniel Hutto ( 2008 ). I argue that this account fails to offer a plausible ontogeny for folk psychological abilities due to its inability to address recent evidence from implicit false belief tasks that suggest a radically different timeline for the development of these abilities. Content Type Journal Article Pages (...) 1-18 DOI 10.1007/s11097-011-9213-3 Authors J. Robert Thompson, Department of Philosophy and Religion, Mississippi State University, P.O. Box JS, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA Journal Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences Online ISSN 1572-8676 Print ISSN 1568-7759. (shrink)
b>. Computational models of colour vision assume that the biological function of colour vision is to detect surface reflectance. Some philosophers invoke these models as a basis for 'externalism' about perceptual content (content is distal) and 'objectivism' about colour (colour is surface reflectance). In an earlier article (Thompson et al. 1992), I criticized the 'computational objectivist' position on the basis of comparative colour vision: There are fundmental differences among the colour vision of animals and these differences do not converge (...) on the detection of any single type of environmental property. David R. Hilbert (1992) has recently defended computational objectivism against my 'comparative argument;' his arguments are based on the externalist approach to perceptual content originally developed by Mohan Matthen (1988) and on the computationally inspired theory of the evolutionary basis for trichromacy developed by Roger N. Shepard (1990). The present article provides a reply to Hilbert with extensive criticism of both Matthen's and Shepard's theories. I argue that the biological function of colour vision is not to detect surface reflectance, but to provide a set of perceptual categories that can apply to objects in a stable way in a variety of conditions. Comparative research indicates that both the perceptual categories and the distal stimuli will differ according to the animal and its visual ecology; therefore externalism and objectivism must be rejected. (shrink)
Environmental changes can bear upon the environmental virtues, having effects not only on the conditions of their application but also altering the concepts themselves. I argue that impending radical changes in global climate will likely precipitate significant changes in the dominate world culture of consumerism and then consider how these changes could alter the moral landscape, particularly culturally thick conceptions of the environmental virtues. According to Jonathan Lear, as the last principal chief of the Crow Nation, Plenty Coups exhibited the (...) virtue of “radical hope,” a novel form of courage appropriate to a culture in crisis. I explore what radical hope may look like today, arguing how it should broadly affect our environmental character and that a framework for future environmental virtues will involve a diminished place for valuing naturalness as autonomy from human interference. (shrink)
Many of us these days sense there is something real beyond the scope of naturalistic science. But what? Must mental and religious lives always remain a mystery and never become part of scientific knowledge? In this well-argued book, physicist Ian Thompson makes a case for a 'scientific theism'. He shows how a following of core postulates of theism leads to novel and useful predictions about the psychology of minds and the physics of materials which should appear in the universe. (...) These predictions constitute a kind of 'theistic science'. It meshes surprisingly well with the structure of reality already revealed by modern quantum field theory and by theories of developmental stages in human minds. The result is a serious look at a promising new rational structure encompassing theology, psychology and physics. (shrink)
The possible relationship between widespread unauthorized copying of microcomputer software (also known as software piracy) and level of moral judgment is examined through analysis of over 350 survey questionnaires that included the Defining Issues Test as a measure of moral development. It is hypothesized that the higher one''s level of moral judgment, the less likely that one will approve of or engage in unauthorized copying. Analysis of the data indicate a high level of tolerance toward unauthorized copying and limited support (...) for the hypothesis. The most plausible explanation for these findings is that software copying is perceived as an issue of low moral intensity. This study calls into question the software industry''s strategy of concentrating exclusively on institutional compliance with copyright rules, rather than working to raise the perceived moral intensity about software piracy at the individual level. As long as the issue remains low in moral intensity, the industry cannot expect significant shifts in copying behaviors. Individuals must become more aware of and concerned about the nature and magnitude of harm to society and to the rightful copyright owners from unauthorized copying before their attitudes and behaviors come to reflect higher levels of moral judgment. (shrink)
Recent research (e.g., Evans & Over, 2004) has provided support for the hypothesis that people evaluate the probability of conditional statements of the form if p then q as the conditional probability of q given p , P( q / p ). The present paper extends this approach to pragmatic conditionals in the form of inducements (i.e., promises and threats) and advice (i.e., tips and warnings). In so doing, we demonstrate a distinction between the truth status of these conditionals and (...) their effectiveness as speech acts. Specifically, while probability judgements of the truth of conditional inducements and advice are highly correlated with estimates of P( q / p ), their perceived effectiveness in changing behaviour instead varies as a function of the conditional probability of q given not-p , P( q / ∼p ). Finally, we show that the conditional probability approach can be extended to predicting inference rates on a conditional reasoning task. (shrink)
A noticeable push toward using agricultural crops for ethanol production and for undertaking research to expand the range of possible biofuels began to dominate discussions of agricultural science and policy in the United States around 2005. This paper proposes two complementary philosophical approaches to examining the philosophical questions that should be posed in connection with this turn of events. One stresses a critique of underlying epistemological commitments in the scientific models being developed to determine the feasibility of various biofuels proposals. (...) The second begins with a broader set of questions about the philosophical goals of agriculture, then queries the place that a turn to biofuels might have within the philosophy of agriculture. Both are portrayed as viable and important. The paper itself is a preliminary stage-setting reflection on the need for these two types of philosophical inquiry. (shrink)
It has been argued that, in political theory and political practice, a concern with the distribution of economic opportunities and resources has recently been displaced by a preoccupation with the acknowledgement of cultural identities and differences. In their jointly authored book, Redistribution or Recognition?, Nancy Fraser and Axel Honneth present their very different reactions to this development. While Fraser argues that redistribution and recognition are two mutually irreducible elements of an account of social justice, Honneth contends that a suitably differentiated (...) account of recognition can provide the basis of a theory of justice on its own. This article critically assesses the relative merits of these two positions by focusing on their accounts of the nature of capitalism, the sort of social theories that are needed in light of these accounts, and the moral philosophies associated with these social theories. This assessment leads to a number of conclusions about the proper relationship between recognition and redistribution in a theory of social justice. (shrink)
Up to David L. Thompson's Homepage Outline by Section: I INTRODUCTION II A COLOURED ILLUSTRATION III THE NATURE OF WORLDS #1. Generalization from colour to all perceived #2. Chess as a model world. #3. Worlds depend on supervenience #4. Supervenience #5. Supervenience applied to worlds #6. Five dependencies #6. Interrelationships between the five #7. The enactive approach to transformation #8. The transformation of worlds #9. A world is a condensed history #10. A shared world defined by individuals #11. Summary (...) VI ONTOLOGY #1. Are perceived objects duplicates of physical #2. Are objects in the world real or illusory? #3. Ontological status of worlds and objects #3. Ontological status of worlds and objects V. CONCLUSION ENDNOTES. (shrink)
This paper presents the results of a qualitative investigation into the ethical and aesthetic values held by late- and mid-career landscape architects in the UK. It identifies the dominant discourses within three value areas, the aesthetic, the social and the environmental. Within the web of value discourses, some are clearly conflicting, while others are compatible or mutually supporting. The most prevalent values are those associated with 'technocentric accommodation'. A 'trivalent' approach to design is advocated which combines values from the three (...) main areas. (shrink)
My aim is to give an overview of what minds are and how they came to be. Minds are a product of billions of years of evolution so it is a daunting task to summarize this history in 45 minutes. My attempt will involve vast oversimplifications, highly speculative and condensed “just so” stories, and a great amount of hand waving. In particular, I will presuppose the theory of evolution and will not attempt to either explain it or justify it.
In his best-selling The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light , William Irwin Thompson intrigued readers with his thoughts on mythology and sexuality. In his newest book, Coming Into Being: Artifacts and Texts in the Evolution of Consciousness , he takes the reader on a journey through the evolution of consciousness from the preverbal communications of early stone carvings, to the writings of Marcel Proust, around the monumental wrappings of Christo and up to the rebirth of interest in the (...) Taoist philosophy of Lao Tzu. Owing as much to the rhythmic constructions of jazz as to established methods of scholarship, Thompson plays a riff on biology and culture seeing the birth of the mind in Proust’s Madeleine, the displacement of humanity in Christo’s wrapping of the Reichstag and, in Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching , the path forward to a new planetary culture. In Coming Into Being , William Irwin Thompson presents a fascinating vision of our past, our present, and our future that no one will want to miss. (shrink)
Is the white horse paradox just a sleight of hand, or is it indicative of some truths about words, language, and logic? The paradox underscores some differences in the significance and implications of terms when considered in the context of mention rather than use. Moreover, the paradox shows that insights into how words and phrases operate in language can be gained by considering them in the context of mention. The paradox also causes us to think of the instrumental value of (...) words, as opposed to thinking of their roles just in referring and in judgments and inferences. (shrink)
A major challenge for Dual Process Theories of reasoning is to predict the circumstances under which intuitive answers reached on the basis of Type 1 processing are kept or discarded in favour of analytic, Type 2 processing (Thompson 2009 ). We propose that a key determinant of the probability that Type 2 processes intervene is the affective response that accompanies Type 1 processing. This affective response arises from the fluency with which the initial answer is produced, such that fluently (...) produced answers give rise to a strong feeling of rightness. This feeling of rightness, in turn, determines the extent and probability with which Type 2 processes will be engaged. Because many of the intuitions produced by Type 1 processes are fluent, it is common for them to be accompanied by a strong sense of rightness. However, because fluency is poorly calibrated to objective difficulty, confidently held intuitions may form the basis of poor quality decisions. (shrink)
The standard epistemic justification for inclusiveness in political decision making is the Condorcet Jury Theorem, which states that the probability of a correct decision using majority rule increases in group size (given certain assumptions). Informally, majority rule acts as a mechanism to pool the information contained in the judgements of individual agents. I aim to extend the explanation of how groups of political agents track the truth. Before agents can pool the information, they first need to find truth-conducive information. Increasing (...) group size is also important in the initial search for truth-conducive information. (shrink)
What is the task of educational theory or philosophy if it is not merely conceived as specification of philosophical doctrines in the realm of education? In my view it is the particular task of educational-philosophical theory to work critically on the historically developed cultural constructs that shape our (educational) experience. Thus, the activity that educational theorists are to perform is the critical reflection of the “limits of our world” by drawing on philosophical references and theories. In this text I describe (...) this activity drawing from my own research practice with a particular focus on its relation to what is called thinking. (shrink)
The term natural is effective in the marketing of a wide variety of foods. This ambiguous term carries important meaning in Western culture. To challenge an uncritical understanding of natural with respect to food and to explore the ambiguity of the term, the development of Western ideas of nature is first discussed. Personification and hypostasization of nature are given special emphasis. Leo Marx’s idea of the pastoral design in literature is then used to explore the meaning of natural as applied (...) to food, emphasizing Marx’s distinction between a sentimental and a complex pastoral. The latter is applied to natural as a means of collapsing a dichotomy of man and nature to the idea of second nature. From this perspective an understanding of the industrialization of the food system and the importance of local and organic food are considered. The extent to which processed foods might properly be considered natural is raised and discussed for several common foods. Although marketing of natural foods might make us think that we consume nature, I suggest that what is consumed is more appropriately second nature. I suggest that in order to maintain a critical perspective about one’s relationship to the natural world, everyone should make an attempt to experience the complex pastoral with respect to at least something that is consumed as food. When nature is understood as second nature in the context of a complex pastoral, the question of whether a food or ingredient is to be considered natural is replaced by deliberative thought based on our best knowledge and judgment, and the result will be less constrained by ideology. (shrink)
Although business ethicists have theorized frequently about the virtues and vices of employee loyalty, the concept of loyalty remainsloosely defined. In this article, we argue that viewing loyalty as a cognitive phenomenon—an attitude that resides in the mind of theindividual—helps to clarify definitional inconsistencies, provides a finer-grained analysis of the concept, and sheds additional light on theethical implications of loyalty in organizations. Specifically, we adopt the psychological contract perspective to analyze loyalty’s cognitivedimensions, and treat loyalty as an individual-level construction of (...) perceived reciprocal obligations. Based upon this perspective, we present a three-tiered framework of loyalty that provides a psychologically informed definition of the concept, specifies the variety of obligation types that loyalty can imply, and anticipates the potential for asymmetrical loyalty configurations between employers and employees. We use the framework to articulate moral issues associated with both symmetrical and asymmetrical loyalty configurations and discuss the implications of the framework for theory and practice. (shrink)
In two experiments, we investigated how people interpret and reason with realistic conditionals in the form of inducements (i.e., promises and threats) and advice (i.e., tips and warnings). We found that inducements and advice differed with respect to the degree to which the speaker was perceived to have (a) control over the consequent, (b) a stake in the outcome, and (c) an obligation to ensure that the outcome occurs. Inducements and advice also differed with respect to perceived sufficiency and necessity, (...) as well as the degree to which these statements were perceived to be effective in changing the behaviour described in the antecedent of the conditional. Multiple regression analyses indicated that perceived control over the consequent, necessity, and sufficiency emerged as the best predictors of (a) the degree to which statements were perceived to be effective in changing the behaviour of the addressee, and (b) inference patterns on a conditional arguments task. (shrink)
Dennis Thompson argues for a more robust conception of responsibility in public life than prevails in contemporary democracies. Thompson suggests that we stop thinking about public ethics in terms of individual vices (such as selfishness or sexual misconduct) and start thinking about it in terms of institutional vices (such as abuse of power and lack of accountability).
Debates over the future of agriculture in North Americaestablish a dialectical opposition between conventional,industrial agriculture and alternative, sustainable agriculture.This opposition has roots that extend back to the 18th century inthe United States, but the debate has taken a number ofsurprising turns in the 20th century. Originally articulated as aphilosophy of the left, industrial agriculture has utilitarianmoral foundations. In the US and Canada, the articulation of analternative to industrial agriculture has drawn upon threecentral themes: the belief that agriculture is, in some (...) way, tiedto democracy; the belief that complex bureaucratic organizationsare inherently opposed to human interests; and the belief thatthe family farms characteristic of 19th century North Americatend to produce people of superior moral character. It has proveddifficult to weave these themes into a coherent vision ofagriculture for the 21st century. Often, risk and health-basedconcerns are the basis for public criticism of conventionalagriculture, but these do not conflict with the utilitarianorientation of the industrial model, and are easily incorporatedinto it. If there is to be a philosophical debate over the futureof agriculture, we must find some way to rehabilitate thequasi-Aristotelean view of agriculture that emerges from thethree critical themes noted above. (shrink)