Fiduciary duty is not restricted merely to the property of shareholders but includes ethical obligations to a wider constituency stakeholders in terms of power. Several approaches to corporate social responsibility (CSR) are considered in terms of their respective orientations to the external world. Robert Greenleaf's notion of "service to others" or "servant-leadership" is considered as a case of the fifth level approach to CSR. An historical perspective offers a precedent for reclaiming corporate charter grants as a means for reinstating the (...) corporation's responsibilities to the wider community. Two propositions are offered to help us revision corporations in ways that would enable their total service obligations to all constituencies. (shrink)
Technologies of democracy are instruments based on material apparatus, social practices and expert knowledge that organize the participation of various publics in the definition and treatment of public problems. Using three examples related to the engagement of publics in nanotechnology in France (a citizen conference, a series of public meetings, and an industrial design process), the paper argues that Science and Technology Studies provide useful tools and methods for the analysis of technologies of democracy. Operations of experiments and public demonstrations (...) can be described, as well as controversies about technologies of democracy giving rise to counter-experiments and counter-demonstrations. The political value of the analysis of public engagement lies in the description of processes of stabilization of democratic orders and in the display of potential alternative political arrangements. (shrink)
This paper discusses the problem of sensible qualities, an important, but underestimated topic in Leibniz's epistemology. In the first section, the confused character of sensible ideas is considered. Produced by the sensation alone, ideas of sensible qualities cannot be part of distinct descriptions of bodies. This is why Leibniz proposes to resolve sensible qualities by means of primary or mechanical qualities, a thesis which is analysed in the second section. Here, I discuss his conception of nominal definitions as distinct empirical (...) representations. The provisional and modifiable status of nominal definitions is then explained in the third section. Since nominal descriptions always contain sensible determinations, Leibniz claims that empirical knowledge is indefinitely changeable according to progress in sciences. In the final section, I address the criterion of coherence that enables us to approve of hypotheses that are based on both sensible and empirical properties. (shrink)
Leibniz’s universal characteristic is a fundamental aspect of his theory of cognition. Without symbols or characters it would be difficult for the human mind to define several concepts and to achieve many demonstrations. In most disciplines, and particularly in mathematics, the mind must then focus on symbols and their combinatorial rules rather than on mental contents. For Leibniz, mental perception is most of the time too confused for attaining distinct notions and valid deductions. In this paper, I argue that the (...) functions of symbolization differ depending upon the kind of concepts that are replaced with characters. In my view, most commentators did not sufficiently underline the distinction between two main functions of formal substitution in Leibniz’s characteristic: either increasing our knowledge or simply structuring it. In the first case, we complete our knowledge because formal substitution makes sensible and imaginary concepts more distinct. In the second case, symbolization helps to organize contents that are already conceived of by reason. Thus the process of substitution is not always identically applicable, for symbols replace different types of concepts. (shrink)
L’homme est un animal extraordinaire selon Platon, mais il est bien un animal. Il faut donc maîtriser et domestiquer l’animalité de l’homme. Le cas de l’alimentation montre l’importance des pulsions animales en l’homme. L’animal n’est pas l’autre de l’homme, mais l’une de ses possibilités.
: This paper examines the way in which climate change's complexity calls forth dialogue on various cross-cultural dimensions which resonate with its multi-dimensional reality. While the IPCC science and the Kyoto Protocol approach this inclusiveness, they ultimately limit the range of voices heard due to the continuation of cultural assumptions that are intertwined with many environmental issues. Following the Earth Charter as an alternative model of cross-cultural dialogue that can inform a methodological approach of climate change, this analysis suggests that (...) a more inclusive sharing can offer a way of attending to limiting assumptions as a means to creating viable regional and global responses. This climatic research etiquette is clarified through focusing upon the continued dominance of economic scarcity and its religious precursor, original sin, in contemporary environmental thought. (shrink)
The medical model of childbearing assumes that a pregnancy always has the potential to turn into a risky procedure. In order to advocate humanized birth in high risk pregnancy, an important step involves the enlightenment of the professional’s preconceptions on humanized birth in such a situation. The goal of this paper is to identify the professionals’ perception of the potential obstacles and facilitating factors for the implementation of humanized care in high risk pregnancies. Twenty-one midwives, obstetricians, and health administrator professionals (...) from the clinical and academic fields were interviewed in nine different sites in Japan from June through August 2008. The interviews were audio taped, and transcribed with the participants’ consent. Data was subsequently analyzed using content analysis qualitative methods. Professionals concurred with the concept that humanized birth is a changing and promising process, and can often bring normality to the midst of a high obstetric risk situation. No practice guidelines can be theoretically defined for humanized birth in a high risk pregnancy, as there is no conflict between humanized birth and medical intervention in such a situation. Barriers encountered in providing humanized birth in a high risk pregnancy include factors such as: the pressure of being responsible for the safety of the mother and the fetus, lack of the women’s active involvement in the decision making process and the heavy burden of responsibility on the physician’s shoulders, potential legal issues, and finally, the lack of midwifery authority in providing care at high risk pregnancy. The factors that facilitate humanized birth in a high risk include: the sharing of decision making and other various responsibilities between the physicians and the women; being caring; stress management, and the fact that the evolution of a better relationship and communication between the health professional and the patient will lead to a stress-free environment for both. Humanized birth in a high risk pregnancy is something that goes beyond just curing women of their illnesses. It can be considered as a token of caring, and continued support, which positively consolidates the doctor-patient relationship. As yet, it has not been described as a practiced guideline, due to its ever-changing complexities. (shrink)
The present study is an attempt to relate the multicomponent response of the cytoskeleton (CSK), evaluated in twisted living adherent cells, to the heterogeneity of the cytoskeletal structure - evaluated both experimentally by means of 3D reconstructions, and theoretically considering the predictions given by two tensegrity models composed of (four and six) compressive elements and (respectively 12 and 24) tensile elements. Using magnetic twisting cytometry in which beads are attached to integrin receptors linked to the actin CSK of living adherent (...) epithelial cells, we specifically measured the elastic CSK response at quasi equilibrium state and partitioned this response in terms of cortical and cytosolic contributions with a two-component model (i.e., a series of two Voigt bodies). These two CSK components were found to be prestressed and exhibited a stress-hardening response which both characterize tensegrity behaviour with however significant differences: compared to the cytosolic component, the cortical cytoskeleton appears to be a faster responding component, being a less prestressed and easily deformable structure. The discrepancies in elastic behaviour between the cortical and cytosolic CSK components may be understood on the basis of prestress tensegrity model predictions, given that the length and number of constitutive actin elements are taken into account. (shrink)