This paper is an essay in counterfactual epistemology. What if experience have high-level contents, to the effect that something is a lemon or that someone is sad? I survey the consequences for epistemology of such a scenario, and conclude that many of the striking consequences could be reached even if our experiences don't have high-level contents.
The interventionist account of causal explanation, in the version presented by Jim Woodward (2003), has been recently claimed capable of buttressing the widely felt—though poorly understood—hunch that high-level, relatively abstract explanations, of the sort provided by sciences like biology, psychology and economics, are in some cases explanatorily optimal. It is the aim of this paper to show that this is mistaken. Due to a lack of effective constraints on the causal variables at the heart of the interventionist causal-explanatory scheme, (...) as presently formulated it is either unable to prefer high-level explanations to low, or systematically overshoots, recommending explanations at so high of a level as to be virtually vacuous. (shrink)
In recent literature on plurals the claim has often been made that the move from singular to plural expressions can be iterated, generating what are occasionally called higher-level plurals or superplurals, often correlated with superplural predicates. I argue that the idea that the singular-to-plural move can be iterated is questionable. I then show that the examples and arguments intended to establish that some expressions of natural language are in some sense higher-level plurals fail. Next, I argue that these (...) and some other expressions should instead be classified as plurals whose reference is articulated, an idea explained and elaborated in the paper. I also show that the related categories of plural and superplural predicates collapse to that of ordinary predicates. In the process we also see that the law of substitutivity salva veritate should be elaborated for cases involving expressions more complex than singular ones. (shrink)
Can findings from psychology and cognitive neuroscience about the neural mechanisms involved in decision-making can tell us anything useful about the commonly-understood mental phenomenon of making voluntary choices? Two philosophical objections are considered. First, that the neural data is subpersonal, and so cannot enter into illuminating explanations of personal level phenomena like voluntary action. Secondly, that mental properties are multiply realized in the brain in such a way as to make them insusceptible to neuroscientific study. The paper argues that (...) both objections would be weakened by the discovery of empirical generalisations connecting subpersonal properties with the personal level. It gives three case studies that furnish evidence to that effect. It argues that the existence of such interrelations are consistent with a plausible construal of the personal-subpersonal distinction. Furthermore, there is no reason to suppose that the notion subpersonal representation relied on in cognitive neuroscience illicitly imports personal-level phenomena like consciousness or normativity, or is otherwise explanatorily problematic. (shrink)
We provide a formulation of physicalism, and show that this is to be favoured over alternative formulations. Much of the literature on physicalism assumes without argument that there is a fundamental level to reality, and we show that a consideration of the levels problem and its implications for physicalism tells in favour of the form of physicalism proposed here. Its hey elements are, fast, that the empirical and substantive part of physicalism amounts to a prediction that physics will not (...) posit new entities solely for the purpose of accounting for mental phenomena, nor new entities with essentially mental characteristics such as propositioned attitudes or intentions; secondly, that physicalism can safely make do with no more than a weak global formulation of supervenience. (shrink)
In their recent book Every Thing Must Go Ladyman and Ross (Ladyman et al. 2007) claim: (1) Physics is analytically complete since it is the only science that cannot be left incomplete (cf. Ladyman et al. 2007, 283). (2) There might not be an ontologically fundamental level (cf. Ladyman et al. 2007, 178). (3) We should not admit anything into our ontology unless it has explanatory and predictive utility (cf. Ladyman et al. 2007, 179). In this discussion note I (...) aim to show that the ontological commitment in (3) implies that the completeness of no science can be achieved where no fundamental level exists. Therefore, if claim (1) requires a science to actually be complete in order to be considered as physics, (1), and if Ladyman and Ross’s “tentative metaphysical hypothesis […] that there is no fundamental level” (178) is true, (2), then there simply is no physics. Ladyman and Ross can, however, avoid this unwanted result if they merely require physics to ever strive for completeness rather than to already be complete. (shrink)
High-level perception--”the process of making sense of complex data at an abstract, conceptual level--”is fundamental to human cognition. Through high-level perception, chaotic environmen- tal stimuli are organized into the mental representations that are used throughout cognitive pro- cessing. Much work in traditional artificial intelligence has ignored the process of high-level perception, by starting with hand-coded representations. In this paper, we argue that this dis- missal of perceptual processes leads to distorted models of human cognition. We examine (...) some existing artificial-intelligence models--”notably BACON, a model of scientific discovery, and the Structure-Mapping Engine, a model of analogical thought--”and argue that these are flawed pre- cisely because they downplay the role of high-level perception. Further, we argue that perceptu- al processes cannot be separated from other cognitive processes even in principle, and therefore that traditional artificial-intelligence models cannot be defended by supposing the existence of a --œrepresentation module--� that supplies representations ready-made. Finally, we describe a model of high-level perception and analogical thought in which perceptual processing is integrated with analogical mapping, leading to the flexible build-up of representations appropriate to a given context. (shrink)
High-level theory is the view that high-level properties?the property of being a dog, being a tiger, being an apple, being a pair of lips, etc.?can be represented in perceptual experience. Low-level theory denies this and claims that high-level properties are only represented at the level of perceptual judgment and are products of cognitive interpretation of low-level sensory information (color, shape, illumination). This paper discusses previous attempts to establish high-level theory, their weaknesses, and an (...) argument for high-level theory that does not have these weaknesses. (shrink)
Abstract: An experiment is reported on the effects of a moral education programme in schools. Children were pretested on Kohlberg's index of level of moral thinking. The experimental group was then given twelve hours of discussion of moral problems other than those used in Kolhberg's test spread over twelve weeks. Subsequent testing showed that the experimental group had had tended to move towards a higher level of thinking when compared with controls.
A wide range of gene knockout experiments shows that functional stability is an important feature of biological systems. On this backdrop, we present an argument for higher‐level causation based on counterfactual dependence. Furthermore, we sketch a metaphysical picture providing resources to explain the metaphysical nature of functional stability, higher‐level causation, and the relevant notion of levels. Our account aims to clarify the role empirical results and philosophical assumptions should play in debates about reductionism and higher‐level causation. It (...) thereby contributes to the development of a philosophical foundation for systems biology. †To contact the authors, please write to: CSMN/IFIKK, University of Oslo, Box 1020 Blindern, N‐0315, Oslo, Norway; e‐mail: email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
Abstract: A cognitive?developmental approach to the phenomenon of empathy attempts to describe the age related (but not age specific) development of empathic understanding as a function of the development of basic social?cognitive processes and concepts. Recent research indicates that there are developmental levels in the process by which the child comes to know how his own view of self and other relates to the view of other (social perspective?taking) and related levels in conceptions of persons. Drawing upon our own research (...) as well as the theory of J. M. Baldwin, G. H. Mead, and L. Kohlberg, we describe these developing processes and concepts and hypothesize as to the relation of social perspective?taking to each level of developing forms of empathic understanding. (shrink)
Popper repeatedly emphasised the significance of a critical attitude, and a related critical method, for scientists. Kuhn, however, thought that unquestioning adherence to the theories of the day is proper; at least for ‘normal scientists’. In short, the former thought that dominant theories should be attacked, whereas the latter thought that they should be developed and defended (for the vast majority of the time). -/- Both seem to have missed a trick, however, due to their apparent insistence that each individual (...) scientist should fulfil similar functions (at any given point in time). The trick is to consider science at the group level; and doing so shows how puzzle solving and ‘offensive’ critical activity can simultaneously have a legitimate place in science. This analysis shifts the focus of the debate. The crucial question becomes ‘How should the balance between functions be struck?’. (shrink)
Act-utilitarianism and other theories in normative ethics confront the implementability problem: normal human agents, with normal human epistemic abilities, lack the information needed to use those theories directly for the selection of actions. Two Level Theories have been offered in reply. The theoretical level component states alleged necessary and sufficient conditions for moral rightness. That component is supposed to be true, but is not intended for practical use. It gives an account of objective obligation. The practical level (...) component is offered as an implementable system for the choice of actions by agents lacking some relevant information. It gives an account of subjective obligation. Several different ways of developing Two Levelism are explained and criticized. Five conditions that must be satisfied if the practical level principle is to be a good match for a given theoretical level principle are stated. A better form of Two Levelism is presented. (shrink)
Although well-documented, delusions have proved extremely hard to explain, and many important questions remain open, including the basic one of what kind of mental state a delusion is. The standard position is that delusions are beliefs (the doxastic conception); but there are difficulties for this view, and alternative characterizations have been offered. In this chapter I shall propose a new framework for conceptualizing delusions, building on recent work in philosophy of psychology and cognitive science. There are good reasons for thinking (...) that the term ‘belief’ is commonly used to refer to two different types of mental state, located at different levels. This view harmonizes with work in the psychology of reasoning, where many researchers now endorse some form of dual system theory. I shall outline what is, I believe, the most attractive version of this two-level view and show how it offers an account of delusions that explains our competing intuitions about their status. The chapter is in four sections. The first introduces the doxastic conception and its problems. The second distinguishes the two levels of belief, and argues that delusions, if they are beliefs at all, belong to the second. The third section offers an account of second-level belief, according to which it is a species of a broader mental type, acceptance, which is dependent on attitudes at the first level. The fourth section proposes that delusions are acceptances, some of which fall within, and some without, the narrower class of secondlevel beliefs, and the chapter concludes with some reflections on the implications of this view. Throughout, I shall focus on monothematic delusions, rather than the elaborate polythematic kind, and use simple, schematic examples. This is not because I think it is unimportant to pay attention to the diversity of delusions and the detail of clinical observation (far from it). Rather, it reflects the modest aim of the chapter, which is to propose a hypothesis for subsequent elaboration and evaluation.. (shrink)
The current orthodoxy on mental representation can be characterized in terms of three central ideas. The -rst is ontological, the second semantic, and the third methodological. The ontological tenet is that mental representation is a two-place relation holding between a representing state and a represented entity (object, event, state of a.airs). The semantic tenet is that the relation in question is probably information-theoretic at heart, perhaps augmented teleologically, functionally, or teleo-functionally to cope with di/cult cases. The methodological tenet is that (...) mental representations are posited solely on third-person explanatory grounds. In this paper, I argue that this picture of mental representation is satisfactory only as an account of mental representation at the sub-personal level. It is unsatisfactory, in a principled way, as an account of mental representation at the personal level. (shrink)
One important issue in the philosophy of perception is the question of which features of objects are perceivable.1 Perhaps the only fairly uncontroversial claim in this debate is that we can perceive the traditional examples of what have been called ‘secondary qualities’ — such as colours, smells, or tastes.2 But even among those who accept that we are also able to perceive certain basic ‘primary qualities’ — notably shapes, distances, sizes, weights, and so on — there is disagreement about (...) whether our access to more higher-level properties can likewise be perceptual. Thus, it is debated, for instance, whether we can see the sadness or intelligence of a friend, the kindness of an action, the elegance of a gait, the climbability of a wall, the fragility of a glass, the quality of a proof or of a move in chess, the content of a painting, or even simpler properties like being a bottle or being a cat. Some of our recognitions of such higher-level features have three things in common. First, they are immediate in the sense of being phenomenologically (or psychologically) immediate. We need not engage in a conscious inference or another form of reasoning in order to notice that someone is sad or that a certain chess move is bad. Second, our awareness of the higher-level features involves or is grounded in the — typically perceptual — recognition of relevant lower-level features which contribute to the realisation3 of the higher-level features in question. We notice that a friend is sad partly on the basis of perceiving the tone of his voice or the shape of his gestures. And we notice that a chess move is bad partly in response to perceiving the specific situation on the board. Third, we have an intelligible and reasonable practice of backing up our ascriptions of the higher-level features by highlighting the respective lower-level properties. When someone challenges our judgement that our friend is sad, or the move bad, we support our assessments by referring to the lower-level features just mentioned.. (shrink)
Does humanity have a moral obligation toward the estimated millions of individuals who will be displaced from their homes over the course of this century primarily due to sea-level rise as the Earth’s climate warms? If there are indeed sound reasons for the world to act on their behalf, what form should these actions take? -/- This paper argues that migration and permanent resettlement would be the only possible “adaptation” strategy available to millions. While existing international law provides no (...) solution for these individuals, the only just remedy is in the form of special rights of free global movement and resettlement in regions and countries on higher ground in advance of disaster. (shrink)
This paper is about mechanisms and models, and how they interact. In part, it is a response to recent discussion in philosophy of biology regarding whether natural selection is a mechanism. We suggest that this debate is indicative of a more general problem that occurs when scientists produce mechanistic models of populations and their behaviour. We can make sense of claims that there are mechanisms that drive population-level phenomena such as macroeconomics, natural selection, ecology, and epidemiology. But talk of (...) mechanisms and mechanistic explanation evokes objects with well-defined and localisable parts which interact in discrete ways, while models of populations include parts and interactions that are neither local nor discrete in any actual populations. This apparent tension can be resolved by carefully distinguishing between the properties of a model and those of the system it represents. To this end, we provide an analysis that recognises the flexible relationship between a mechanistic model and its target system. In turn, this reveals a surprising feature of mechanistic representation and explanation: it can occur even when there is a mismatch between the mechanism of the model and that of its target. Our analysis reframes the debate, providing an alternative way to interpret scientists’ mechanism-talk , which initially motivated the issue. We suggest that the relevant question is not whether any population-level phenomenon such as natural selection is a mechanism, but whether it can be usefully modelled as though it were a particular type of mechanism. (shrink)
I claim that consciousness, just as thought or action, is only to be found at the personal level of explanation. Dennett's account is often taken to be at odds with this view, as it is seen as explicating consciousness in terms of sub-personal processes. Against this reading, and especially as it is developed by John McDowell, I argue that Dennett's work is best understood as maintaining a sharp personal/sub-personal distinction. To see this, however, we need to understand better what (...) content ascription at the sub-personal level actually means. When we do we can see how Dennett presents both a philosophical account of consciousness and informed empirical speculation on the nature of its sub-personal underpinnings. Consciousness is a product of certain capacities that are intelligible only at the personal level, capacities that are neither present at the sub-personal level of brain mechanism nor present in 'sub-persons', e.g. some, if not all, non-human animals. (shrink)
Internalists tend to impose on justification higher-level requirements, according to which a belief is justified only if the subject has a higher-level belief (i.e., a belief about the epistemic credentials of a belief). I offer an error theory that explains the appeal of this requirement: analytically, a belief is not justified if we have a defeater for it, but contingently, it is often the case that to avoid having defeaters, our beliefs must satisfy a higher-level requirement. I (...) respond to the objection that externalists who endorse this error theory will be forced to accept a radical form of scepticism. (shrink)
Does inferential justification require the subject to be aware that her premises support her conclusion? Externalists tend to answer “no” and internalists tend to answer “yes”. In fact, internalists often hold the strong higher-level requirement that an argument justifies its conclusion only if the subject justifiably believes that her premises support her conclusion. I argue for a middle ground. Against most externalists, I argue that inferential justification requires that one be aware that her premises support her conclusion. Against many (...) internalists, I argue that this higher-level awareness needn’t be doxastic or justified. I also argue that the required higher-level awareness needn’t be caused in some appropriate way, e.g. by a reliable or properly functioning faculty. I suspect that this weaker higher-level requirement is overlooked because, at first glance, it seems absurd to allow nondoxastic, unjustified, and unreliably-caused higher-level awareness to contribute to inferential justification. One of the central goals of this paper is to explain how such weak awareness can make an essential contribution to inferential justification. (shrink)
This essay considers methodological aspects ofcomputer ethics and argues for a multi-levelinterdisciplinary approach with a central role forwhat is called disclosive computer ethics. Disclosivecomputer ethics is concerned with the moraldeciphering of embedded values and norms in computersystems, applications and practices. In themethodology for computer ethics research proposed inthe essay, research takes place at three levels: thedisclosure level, in which ideally philosophers,computer scientists and social scientists collaborateto disclose embedded normativity in computer systemsand practices, the theoretical level, in whichphilosophers develop (...) and modify moral theory, and theapplication level, that draws from research performedat the other two levels, and at which normativeevaluations of computer systems and practices takesplace. (shrink)
Age-old battle lines over the puzzling nature of mental experience are shaping a modern resurgence in the study of consciousness. On one side are the long-dominant "physicalists" who view consciousness as an emergent property of the brain's neural networks. On the alternative, rebellious side are those who see a necessary added ingredient: proto-conscious experience intrinsic to reality, perhaps understandable through modern physics (panpsychists, pan-experientialists, "funda-mentalists"). It is argued here that the physicalist premise alone is unable to solve completely the difficult (...) issues of consciousness and that to do so will require supplemental panpsychist/pan-experiential philosophy expressed in modern physics. In one scheme proto-conscious experience is a basic property of physical reality accessible to a quantum process associated with brain activity. The proposed process is Roger Penrose's "objective reduction" (OR), a self-organizing "collapse" of the quantum wave function related to instability at the most basic level of space-time geometry. In the Penrose- Hameroff model of "orchestrated objective reduction" (Orch OR), OR quantum computation occurs in cytoskeletal microtubules within the brain's neurons. The basic thesis is that consciousness involves brain activities coupled to a self-organizing ripples in fundamental reality. (shrink)
In recent years Jaegwon Kim has offered an argument – the ‘supervenience argument’ – to show that supervenient mental properties, construed as second- order properties distinct from their first-order realizers, do not have causal powers of their own. In response, several philosophers have argued that if Kim’s argument is sound, it generalizes in such a way as to condemn to causal impotency all properties above the level of basic physics. This paper discusses Kim’s supervenience argument in the context of (...) his reply to this so-called ‘generalization argument’. In particular, the paper focuses on the level/order distinction, to which Kim appeals in his reply to the generalization argument, and on the relation between this distinction and two varieties of functionalism, ‘realizer’ vs. ‘role’ functionalism. The author argues that a proper analysis of the notions of levels and orders undermines Kim’s response to the generalization argument, and suggests that Kim’s reductionist strategy for vindicating the causal powers of mental properties is better served if mental properties are construed as first-order properties, as realizer-functionalism recommends. (shrink)
The target article concludes that it is essential to introduce the personal level in cognitive science. We propose to take this conclusion one step further. The personal level should consist of first-person accounts of specific, contextualized experiences, not abstract or imagined cases. Exploring first-person accounts at their own level of detail calls for the refinements of method that can link up with neural accounts.
Bridging between psychological and neurobiological systems requires that the system components are closely specified at both the psychological and brain levels of analysis. We argue that in developing his dynamic systems theory framework, Lewis has sidestepped the notion of a psychological level systems model altogether, and has taken a partisan approach to his exposition of a brain-level systems model.
In models of multi-level selection, the property of Darwinian fitness is attributed to entities at more than one level of the biological hierarchy, e.g. individuals and groups. However, the relation between individual and group fitness is a controversial matter. Theorists disagree about whether group fitness should always, or ever, be defined as total (or average) individual fitness. This paper tries to shed light on the issue by drawing on work in social choice theory, and pursuing an analogy between (...) fitness and utility. Social choice theorists have long been interested in the relation between individual and social utility, and have identified conditions under which social utility equals total (or average) individual utility. These ideas are used to shed light on the biological problem. (shrink)
The philosophical world is indebted to Alvin Goldman for a number of reasons, and among them, his defense of the relevance of cognitive science for philosophy of mind. In Simulating minds , Goldman discusses with great care and subtlety a wide variety of experimental results related to mindreading from cognitive neuroscience, cognitive psychology, social psychology and developmental psychology. No philosopher has done more to display the resourcefulness of mental simulation. I am sympathetic with much of the general direction of Goldman’s (...) theory. I agree with him that mindreading is not a single system based on a single mechanism. And I admire his attempt to bring together the cognitive neuroscientific discovery of mirror system phenomena and the philosophical account of pretense within a unique theoretical framework of mental simulation. To do so, Goldman distinguishes two types of mindreading, respectively, based on low-level and high-level simulation. Yet, I wonder in what sense they are really two distinct processes. Here, I will confine myself largely to spelling out a series of points that take issue with the distinction between low-level and high-level mindreading. (shrink)
This monograph provides a new account of justified inference as a cognitive process. In contrast to the prevailing tradition in epistemology, the focus is on low-level inferences, i.e., those inferences that we are usually not consciously aware of and that we share with the cat nearby which infers that the bird which she sees picking grains from the dirt, is able to fly. Presumably, such inferences are not generated by explicit logical reasoning, but logical methods can be used to (...) describe and analyze such inferences. Part 1 gives a purely system-theoretic explication of belief and inference. Part 2 adds a reliabilist theory of justification for inference, with a qualitative notion of reliability being employed. Part 3 recalls and extends various systems of deductive and nonmonotonic logic and thereby explains the semantics of absolute and high reliability. In Part 4 it is proven that qualitative neural networks are able to draw justified deductive and nonmonotonic inferences on the basis of distributed representations. This is derived from a soundness/completeness theorem with regard to cognitive semantics of nonmonotonic reasoning. The appendix extends the theory both logically and ontologically, and relates it to A. Goldman's reliability account of justified belief. This text will be of interest to epistemologists and logicians, to all computer scientists who work on nonmonotonic reasoning and neural networks, and to cognitive scientists. (shrink)
Recent discussions in the philosophy of biology have brought into question some fundamental assumptions regarding evolutionary processes, natural selection in particular. Some authors argue that natural selection is nothing but a population-level, statistical consequence of lower-level events (Matthen and Ariew ; Walsh et al. ). On this view, natural selection itself does not involve forces. Other authors reject this purely statistical, population-level account for an individual-level, causal account of natural selection (Bouchard and Rosenberg ). I argue (...) that each of these positions is right in one way, but wrong in another; natural selection indeed takes place at the level of populations, but it is a causal process nonetheless. (shrink)
Multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes are one of the fastest growing types of business. However, little has been written about the ethics of MLMs. This oversight is somewhat surprising, especially because some prominent MLMs have been accused of being pyramid schemes. Pyramid schemes were the number one type of internet fraud in 1996, and the fourth most common form of internet fraud in 1997 (National Consumers League, 1997). This paper examines the nature of MLMs and their similarities with and differences (...) from pyramid and endless chain schemes. The paper argues that MLMs pose some unique ethical issues, issues that are not easy to address or resolve. (shrink)
We discuss ethical aspects of risk-taking with special focus on principlism and mid-level moral principles. A new distinction between the strength of an obligation and the degree to which it is valid is proposed. We then use this distinction for arguing that, in cases where mid-level moral principles come into conflict, the moral status of the act under consideration may be indeterminate, in a sense rendered precise in the paper. We apply this thought to issues related to pandemic (...) influenza vaccines. The main conclusion of the paper is that on a principlist approach some acts may be neither right nor wrong (or neither permissible nor impermissible), and we claim that this has important implications for how we ought to make decisions under risk. (shrink)
Axel Honneth makes initial and promising steps towards what could be called a two-level account of recognition, according to which the normatively substantial forms of recognition represent various manners in which the primordial acquaintedness with others is expressed. It will be argued that Honneth's promising approach must be revised in regard to the issue of intentionality, which may be achieved by reference to earlier critical theorists such as Adorno and Arendt. With such a foundation, critical theory can enter into (...) new fruitful interdisciplinary dialogue. (shrink)
There has been a long-standing debate between symbolicists and connectionists concerning the nature of representation used by human cognizers. In general, symbolicist commitments have allowed them to provide superior models of high-level cognitive function. In contrast, connectionist distributed representations are preferred for providing a description of low-level cognition. The development of Holographic Reduced Representations (HRRs) has opened the possibility of one representational medium unifying both low-level and high-level descriptions of cognition. This paper describes the relative strengths (...) and weaknesses of symbolic and distributed representations. HRRs are shown to capture the important strengths of both types of representation. These properties of HRRs allow a rebuttal of Fodor and McLaughlin's (1990) criticism that distributed representations are not adequately structure sensitive to provide a full account of human cognition. (shrink)
In this paper, I answer a fundamental question facing any view according to which natural selection is a population‐level causal process—namely, how is the causal process of natural selection related to, yet not preempted by, causal processes that occur at the level of individual organisms? Without an answer to this grounding question, the population‐level causal view appears unstable—collapsing into either an individual‐level causal interpretation or the claim that selection is a purely formal, statistical phenomenon. I argue (...) that a causal account of realization provides an answer to the grounding question. By applying this account of realization to the natural selection of melanism in rock pocket mice, I show how an alternative, formal account of realization, favored by proponents of the statistical interpretation, misses biologically important features. More generally, this paper shows how metaphysical issues about realization normally discussed in the philosophy of mind apply to debates in philosophy of biology. Thus, it is a first step toward fleshing out the oft‐noted similarities between debates in these areas. (shrink)
Abstract Different concepts define species at the pattern-level grouping of organisms into discrete clusters, the level of the processes operating within and between populations leading to the formation and maintenance of these clusters, or the level of the inner-organismic genetic and molecular mechanisms that contribute to species cohesion or promote speciation. I argue that, unlike single-level approaches, a multi-level framework takes into account the complex sequences of cause-effect reinforcements leading to the formation and maintenance of (...) various patterns, and allows for revisions and refinements of pattern-based characterizations in light of the gradual elucidation of the causes and mechanisms contributing to pattern formation and maintenance. Content Type Journal Article Category Regular Article Pages 1-17 DOI 10.1007/s10441-011-9143-z Authors Tudor M. Baetu, Department of Philosophy, University of Maryland, 1125D Skinner Building, College Park, MD 20742, USA Journal Acta Biotheoretica Online ISSN 1572-8358 Print ISSN 0001-5342. (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)
Kant stresses the regulative status of teleological attributions, but sometimes he seems to treat teleology as a constitutive condition for biology. To clarify this issue, the concept of natural purpose and its role for biology are examined. I suggest that the concept serves an identificatory function: it singles out objects as natural purposes, whereby the special science of biology is constituted. This relative constitutivity of teleology is explicated by means of a distinction of levels: on the object level of (...) biological science, teleology is taken as constitutive, though it is merely regulative on the philosophical meta level. This distinction also concerns the place of Aristotelian teleology in Kant: on the object level, the Aristotelian view is accepted, whereas on the meta level, as agnostic stance is taken concerning teleology. (edited). (shrink)
We conducted an on-line survey to investigate the professor’s idea of “morality” and then to compare their moral thinking at the abstract level with their moral thinking in the real life situations by sampling 257 professors from the University of Novi Sad. We constructed questionnaire based on related theoretical ethical concepts. Our results show (after we performed exploratory factor analysis) that the professor’s idea of “morality” consists of the three moral thinking patterns which are simultaneously activated during the process (...) of their abstract moral thinking. We have identified these patterns in the following manner: deontological, formal and subjective pattern. In addition, our results show that of the three, the subjective pattern is more activated than the other two during their process of the moral thinking at the abstract level. We also discovered that there is a statistically significant difference between professor’s moral thinking patterns activation level at the abstract level and their moral thinking patterns activation level in the real life situation. (shrink)
There has been much discussion about how to obtain legitimacy at macro-level priority setting in health care by use of fair procedures, but how should we consider priority setting by individual clinicians or health workers at the micro-level? Despite the fact that just health care totally hinges upon their decisions, surprisingly little attention seems being paid to the legitimacy of these decisions. This paper addresses the following question: what are the conditions that have to be met in order (...) to ensure that individual claims on health care are well aligned with an overall concept of just health care? Drawing upon a distinction between individual and aggregated needs, I argue that even though we assume the legitimacy of macro-level guidelines, this legitimacy is not directly transferable to decisions at micro-level simply by adherence to the guidelines’ recommendation. Further, I argue that individual claims are subject to the formal principle of equality and the demands of vertical and horizontal equity in a way that gives context- and patient-related equity concerns precedence over equity concerns captured at the macro-level. I conclude that if we aim to achieve just health care, we need to develop a complementary framework for legitimising individual judgment of patients’ claims on health care resources. Moreover, I suggest the basic structure of such a framework. (shrink)
A study of 513 executives researched decisions involving ethics, relationships and results. Analyzing personal values, organization role and level, career stage, gender and sex role with decisions in ten scenarios produced conclusions about both the role of gender, subjective values, and the other study variables and about situational relativity, gender stereotypes, career stages, and future research opportunities.
In “Virtue Ethics and Deontic Constraints,” Mark LeBar claims to have discovered a two-level eudaimonist position that coheres with the claim that moral obligations are “real” and have “nonderivative normative authority.” In this article, I raise worries about how “real” second-personal reasons are on LeBar’s account, and then argue that second-personal reasons ramify up from the first to the second level in a way that LeBar denies. My argument is meant to encourage philosophers in the Aristotelian tradition to (...) question the existence of second-personal reasons of the sort Darwall elucidates. (shrink)
According to Marr, a computational-level theory consists of two elements, the what and the why . This article highlights the distinct role of the Why element in the computational analysis of vision. Three theses are advanced: ( a ) that the Why element plays an explanatory role in computational-level theories, ( b ) that its goal is to explain why the computed function (specified by the What element) is appropriate for a given visual task, and ( c ) (...) that the explanation consists in showing that the functional relations between the representing cells are similar to the “external” mathematical relations between the entities that these cells represent. *Received September 2009; revised January 2010. †To contact the author, please write to: Departments of Philosophy and Cognitive Science, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem 91905, Israel; e-mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
Of all the current philosophical attempts to rescue the concept of “self” by working out a weaker version, one that does not imply an ontological substance or an individual in the metaphysical sense, Marcello Ghin’s is clearly my favorite. His reconstruction of the original theory is absolutely accurate and without any major misunderstandings. Enriching the concept of a “SMT-system” with the notions of “autocatalysis” and “self- sustainment,” and adding the intriguing idea that we are systems reflecting these processes on a (...) new level of complexity, namely with the help of an integrated PSM on the level of conscious experience, seems the way to go if one wants to keep the concept of “self.” I have great difficulties in writing a reply to Ghin’s commentary, simply because I agree with so much in it. Let us see where his approach leads us. (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)
This study is carried out to assess the state of business ethics in New Zealand organisations from the point view of middle and lower level managers. The survey results clearly indicate that companies in New Zealand give low priorities to ethics with other values in the corporate culture. A significant number of respondents also believe that pressures from the top to achieve results and the organisational climate and ruthless competition help create an unethical environment. A greater emphasis on ethical (...) content in the business curricula has been overwhelmingly supported by the respondents. Moreover, the majority of respondents also think that the ethical standard in New Zealand businesses has declined in the past decade.Finally, a number of suggestions have been put forward by the respondents to develop and maintain a high standard of ethical environment. These include mandatory moral/ethical education both in the educational institutions and in commerce and industry, commitment of top management and written and published code of ethics. (shrink)
Modern democratic polities regularly operate at several political levels. In the case of the EU at the level of the member-states and the EU itself, and in addition at federal, regional, and municipal levels. Is there any democratic rule to determine which level is more legitimate than the others? The article argues that from a majoritarian perspective there is none. Individual citizens may have quite different preferences with regard to the level that is of particular political importance (...) for them. The article critically analyses different concepts, from sovereignty to demos, subsidiarity, and the judicial review of competences, and tries to show that none of them can provide a solution to the dilemma. Instead, democratic theory has to assume that in the co-evolutionary process of institutions and societies at different political levels, the question of the final say has to be left open. (shrink)
Carruthers’ argument depends on viewing logical form as a linguistic level. But logical form is typically viewed as underpinning general purpose inference, and hence as having no particular connection to language processing. If logical form is tied directly to language, two problems arise: a logical problem concerning language acquisition and the empirical problem that aphasics appear capable of cross-modular reasoning.
This paper uses a formal analysis of the relation of ‘parity’ to make sense of a well-known solution to Parfit’s ‘mere addition paradox’. This solution is sometimes dismissed as a recourse to ‘incomparability’. In this analysis, however, the solution is consistent with comparability, as well as transitivity of ‘better than’. The analysis is related to Blackorby, Bossert and Donaldson’s ‘incomplete critical-level generalised utilitarianism’ (ICLGU). ICLGU is inspired by Parfit’s work and can be related to the analysis of parity, though (...) the distinctive ‘mark’ of parity suggests that the boundaries of a set of critical levels is not exact. One has to allow for vagueness to make an account based on parity plausible. These accounts are then contrasted with Broome’s view which also involves vagueness. (shrink)
Recent years have seen a renewed debate over the importance of groupselection, especially as it relates to the evolution of altruism. Onefeature of this debate has been disagreement over which kinds ofprocesses should be described in terms of selection at multiple levels,within and between groups. Adapting some earlier discussions, we presenta mathematical framework that can be used to explore the exactrelationships between evolutionary models that do, and those that donot, explicitly recognize biological groups as fitness-bearing entities.We show a fundamental set (...) of mathematical equivalences between these twokinds of models, one of which applies a form of multi-level selectiontheory and the other being a form of ``individualism.'' However, we alsoargue that each type of model can have heuristic advantages over theother. Indeed, it can be positively useful to engage in a kind ofback-and-forth switching between two different perspectives on theevolutionary role of groups. So the position we defend is a``gestalt-switching pluralism.''. (shrink)
Over the past decade, the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) has increased solvability of violent crimes by linking evidence DNA profiles to known offenders. At present, an in-depth analysis of the United States National DNA Data Bank effort has not assessed the success of this national public safety endeavor. Critics of this effort often focus on laboratory and police investigators unable to provide timely investigative support as a root cause(s) of CODIS' failure to increase public safety. By studying a group (...) of nearly 200 DNA cold hits obtained in SFPD criminal investigations from 2001–2006, three key performance metrics (Significance of Cold Hits, Case Progression & Judicial Resolution, and Potential Reduction of Future Criminal Activity) provide a proper context in which to define the impact of CODIS at the City and County level. Further, the analysis of a recidivist group of cold hit offenders and their past interaction with law enforcement established five noteworthy criminal case resolution trends; these trends signify challenges to CODIS in achieving meaningful case resolutions. CODIS' effectiveness and critical activities to support case resolutions are the responsibility of all criminal justice partners in order to achieve long-lasting public safety within the United States. (shrink)
Self-organizing dynamic systems (DS) modeling is appropriate to conceptualizing the relationship between emotion and cognition-appraisal. Indeed, DS modeling can be applied to encompass and integrate additional phenomena at levels lower than emotional interpretations (genes), at the same level (motives), and at higher levels (social, cognitive, and moral emotions). Also, communication is a phenomenon involved in dynamic system interactions at all levels.
I present an analogy between analytic philosophy and a particular sort of computer game, and analyze some aspects of John Martin Fischer's My Way in the light of this analogy. I set out the different levels of the free will question, and explore how well Fischer does on them. On the compatibility level, he succeeds, in my view, in confronting the "metaphysical challenge" and the "manipulation challenge", but does less well with the "moral arbitrariness challenge". The compatibilist perspective (...) captures only part of the moral and personal truth on the compatibility issue, and is shown to be inherently shallow. On the next levels we see that Fischer confronts particular dangers: the very virtues that make his minimalist position so resilient on the second (compatibility) level, render it too impoverished when it comes to the third, which asks about the very importance of taking moral responsibility seriously. Connecting to other positions (such as P.F. Strawson's version of naturalism) may be an imperative, but would also be risky. Likewise, on the fourth level, where we confront the difficulty of deciding how to deal with the previous conclusions, it is doubtful how well Fischer can do, given his previous philosophical commitments. (shrink)
We present an account of processing capacity in the ACT-R theory. At the symbolic level, the number of chunks in the current goal provides a measure of relational complexity. At the subsymbolic level, limits on spreading activation, measured by the attentional parameter W, provide a theory of processing capacity, which has been applied to performance, learning, and individual differences data.
So far, we have focused on discourse reference to atomic individuals and specific times, events, and states. The basic point of the argument was that all types of discourse reference involve attention-guided anaphora (in the sense of Bittner 2012: Ch. 2). We now turn to discourses involving anaphora to and by quantificational expressions. Today, we focus on quantification over individuals but the analysis we develop will directly generalize to other semantic types. The basic idea is that quantification is one more (...) species of top-level anaphora--to wit, anaphora to top-ranked sets. (shrink)
Investigations into inter-level relations in computer science, biology and psychology call for an *empirical* turn in the philosophy of mind. Rather than concentrate on *a priori* discussions of inter-level relations between 'completed' sciences, a case is made for the actual study of the way inter-level relations grow out of the developing sciences. Thus, philosophical inquiries will be made more relevant to the sciences, and, more importantly, philosophical accounts of inter-level relations will be testable by confronting them (...) with what really happens in science. Hence, close observation of the ever-changing reduction relations in the developing sciences, and revision of philosophical positions based on these empirical observations, may, in the long run, be more conducive to an adequate understanding of inter-level relations than a traditional *a priori* approach. (shrink)
This study investigates the possible effects of self-concept, self-monitoring, and moral development level on dimensions of consumers' ethical attitudes. "Actively benefiting from illegal activities," "actively benefiting from deceptive practices," and "no harm/no foul 1—2" are defined by factor analysis as four dimensions of Turkish consumers' ethical attitudes. Logistic regression analysis is applied to data collected from 516 Turkish households. Results indicate that self-monitoring and moral development level predicted consumer ethics in relation to "actively benefiting from questionable practices" and (...) "no harm/no foul" dimensions. Actual selfconcept is also a predictor variable in relation to "no harm/no foul" dimension. Age and gender make significant differences in consumers' ethical attribute dimensions. (shrink)
In this article, I present some new group level interpretations of probability, and champion one in particular: a consensus-based variant where group degrees of belief are construed as agreed upon betting quotients rather than shared personal degrees of belief. One notable feature of the account is that it allows us to treat consensus between experts on some matter as being on the union of their relevant background information. In the course of the discussion, I also introduce a novel distinction (...) between intersubjective and interobjective interpretations of probability. (shrink)
This study examined the impact of sex, age, and level of education on the perception of various business practices by managers of a large non-profit organization. Female managers perceived the acceptance of gifts and favors in exchange for preferential treatment significantly more unethical than male managers. Older managers (40 plus) perceived five practices significantly more unethical than younger managers (giving gifts/favors in exchange for preferential treatment, divulging confidential information, concealing ones error, falsifying reports, and calling in sick to take (...) a day off). The practice of padding expense account by over 10% was reported to be significantly more unethical by managers with a graduate degree. (shrink)
Predictions about the health risks of low level radiation combine two sorts of measures. One estimates the amount and kinds of radiation released into the environment, and the other estimates the adverse health effects. A new field called health physics integrates and applies nuclear physics to cytology to supply both these estimates. It does so by first determining the kinds of effects different types of radiation produce in biological organisms, and second, by monitoring the extent of these effects produced (...) by given levels of exposure. This essay examines the interplay between evidential constraints and external, contextual interests and values in studying the biological hazards of radiation. By analyzing the debate over linear vs. quadratic dose response models, the essay focuses on problems of developing quantitative, rather than qualitative, estimates of the risks of increased cancer incidence in an exposed population. (shrink)
Kim (1998) has argued that a genuine robust physicalism does not leave any room for real, causally efficacious mental properties. Despite all of his concerns about the reality and causal efficacy of mental phenomena Kim does not eliminate all higher-level macro causation. Kim’s problem with the mental is that most current cognitive theories imply that the mind is not higher-level but higher-order. In this paper I argue that connectionism makes meaning higher-level and therefore by Kim’s own standards (...) puts meaning on the same footing as other real causally efficacious higher-level properties. The upshot is that we can side-step the current debate about mental causation by moving the mind to the shared uncontroversially real and physical common-ground. (shrink)
We have two main objections to Kerr and Godfrey-Smith's (2002) meticulous analysis. First, they misunderstand the position we took in Unto Others – we do not claim that individual-level statements about the evolution of altruism are always unexplanatory and always fail to capture causal relationships. Second, Kerr and Godfrey-Smith characterize the individual and the multi-level perspectives in terms of different sets of parameters. In particular, they do not allow the multi-level perspective to use the individual fitness parameters (...) i and i. We don't see why the multi-level perspective prevents one from thinking in these terms. Kerr and Godfrey-Smith's argument that Uyenoyama and Feldman's (1980, 1992) definition of altruism belongs more to the individualist perspective than it does to the multi-level perspective is an artifact of their choice of parameters; the same point applies to their argument about the individualism inherent in the idea of Class I and Class II fitness structures. (shrink)
Both direct, and evolved, behavior-based approaches to mobile robots have yielded a number of interesting demonstrations of robots that navigate, map, plan and operate in the real world. The work can best be described as attempts to emulate insect level locomotion and navigation, with very little work on behavior-based non-trivial manipulation of the world. There have been some behavior-based attempts at exploring social interactions, but these too have been modeled after the sorts of social interactions we see in insects. (...) But thinking how to scale from all this insect level work to full human level intelligence and social interactions leads to a synthesis that is very different from that imagined in traditional Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science. We report on work towards that goal. (shrink)
Effective infectious disease control may require states to restrict the liberty of individuals. Since preventing harm to others is almost universally accepted as a legitimate (prima facie) reason for restricting the liberty of individuals, it seems plausible to employ a mid-level harm principle in infectious disease control. Moral practices like infectious disease control support – or even require – a certain level of theory-modesty. However, employing a mid-level harm principle in infectious disease control faces at least three (...) problems. First, it is unclear what we gain by attaining convergence on a specific formulation of the harm principle. Likely candidates for convergence, a harm principle aimed at preventing harmful conduct, supplemented by considerations of effectiveness and always choosing the least intrusive means still leave ample room for normative disagreement. Second, while mid-level principles are sometimes put forward in response to the problem of normative theories attaching different weight to moral principles, employing a mid-level harm principle completely leaves open how to determine what weight to attach to it in application. Third, there appears to be a trade-off between attaining convergence and finding a formulation of the harm principle that can justify liberty-restrictions in all situations of contagion, including interventions that are commonly allowed. These are not reasons to abandon mid-level theorizing altogether. But there is no reason to be too theory-modest in applied ethics. Morally justifying e.g. if a liberty-restriction in infectious disease control is proportional to the aim of harm-prevention, promptly requires moving beyond the mid-level harm principle. (shrink)
The community has legislatively conferred on external auditors a special but lucrative responsibility to provide fair and independent opinions about management''s preparation of company financial statements. In return, auditors are obliged by professional standards to act with integrity, independently and in the public interest. This study examined 174 auditors'' predisposition to provide just and fair judgements, using Kohlberg''s theory of developmental moral reasoning, one of the most widely accepted theories in justice psychology. Respondents came from five international audit firms in (...) Copenhagen. Results indicated that auditors with pre-conventional or low level of just reasoning or comprised 64 respondents, the largest group in the sample. The pre-conventional level suggests that people will act in their own self-interest and do the right only to avoid punishment. Pre-conventional auditors have the ability to "do deals", advantageous for business. When faced with an ethical crisis, however, auditors as this level will tend to focus on their own needs at the expense of others. The post-conventional or mid level of just reasoning comprised 59 auditors, second largest group in the sample. This level indicates that these auditors have the predisposition to act fairly on principal, particularly when faced with an ethical crisis. The conventional level or mid-just reasoning consisted of 51 auditors. People with a conventional level of just reasoning believe in law and order, the maintenance of the status quo, however they tend not to be critical of laws, nor authority even if those laws and authority are unjust or evil. (shrink)
The reductionistic vision of evolutionary theory, "the gene's eye view of evolution" is the dominant view among evolutionary biologists today. On this view, the gene is the only unit with sufficient stability to act as a unit of selection, with individuals and groups being more ephemeral units of function, but not of selection. This view is argued to be incorrect, on several grounds. The empirical and theoretical bases for the existence of higher-level units of selection are explored, and alternative (...) analyses discussed critically. The success of a multi-level selection theory demands the recognition and development of a multi-level genetics. The way to accomplish this is suggested. The genotype/phenotype distinction also requires further analysis to see how it applies at higher levels of organization. This analysis provides a way of defining genotype and phenotype for cultural evolution, and a treatment of the innate-acquired distinction which are both generalizeable to analyze problems of the nature and focus of scientific change. (shrink)
By a macro-level feature, I understand any feature that supervenes on, and is thus realized in, lower-level features. Recent discussions by Kim have suggested that such features cannot be causally relevant insofar as they are not classically reducible to lower-level features. This seems to render macro-level features causally irrelevant. I defend the causal relevance of some such features. Such features have been thought causally relevant in many examples that have underpinned philosophical work on causality. Additionally, in (...) certain typical biological cases, we conceive of causally relevant features at various compatible levels of analysis. When elaborated, these points make a strong prima facie case for macro-level causal relevance. However, we might abandon both the philosophical guideposts and the corresponding explanatory practice in the special sciences were we convinced that no reflective philosophical account could provide for the causal relevance there supposed. I show that such drastic measures are not necessary, for we can make sense of macro-level causal relevance by drawing on Paul Humphreys' recent work in ways suggested by the concrete examples considered here. (shrink)
Ryle (1949, Chapter V) discusses a range of predicates which in different ways exemplify a property I shall call quasi-duality - they appear to report two actions or events in one predicate. Quasi-duality is the key property of predicates Ryle classed as achievements. Ryle's criteria for classification were not temporal or aspectual, and Vendler's subsequent adoption of the term achievement for the aktionsart of momentary events changes the term - Rylean achievements and Vendlerian achievements are in principle different classes. Nevertheless, (...) I shall argue in this paper that certain kinds of quasi-duality do have aspectual significance. This paper examines a number of quasi-dual predicates which are not generally discussed in the aktionsart literature, including break a promise, miscount, and cure the patient. Two types of quasi-dual predicates are identified and dubbed criterion predicates and causative upshot predicates. It is shown that both types of quasi-dual predicate lack process progressives, despite being durative, and it is argued that the lack of process progressives identifies these predicates as (aspectual) achievements. They are termed durative achievements to distinguish them from canonical, momentary achievements. It is argued that these predicates lack process progressives, and hence are achievements, because they express individual-level predicates on the event argument. A process progressive is stage-level for the event, and hence is incompatible with a predicate which is lexically individual-level for the event. (shrink)
The world economy, already launched toward the globalization of markets, is strenuously searching for nonrenewable natural resources, to exploit in the productive processes to satisfy the demands of a world population in continuous growth. In such a context ecological taxation can contribute to the resolution of environmental problems, stimulating the entrepreneurs to appraise opportunities, not only environmental but also economical, that spring from the introduction of innovations of sustainable processes. With this in mind this article has proceeded with an evolutionary (...) adaptation of the environmental curve of Kuznets, through a three-dimensional re-elaboration inserting as a third variable the sustainable technological component and showing how this can represent a valid tool of environmental politics for the attainment of an acceptable level of pollution for society in developed countries. Therefore, the objective of public governance is to favor research in the field of sustainable technology and to induce, even through the introduction of environmental taxation and facilitations, enterprises to use productive eco-compatible processes with the purpose of improving the general level of the quality of life in harmony with the concept of sustainable development. (shrink)
This article studies the effects of social institutions on organizational corruption at the societal level by focusing on the possible interactions between the institutional pillars that have been identified in past research. Based on these three institutional aspects or pillars, this article tests the interactive effects of social institutions among societies throughout the world. The results suggest that the three institutional pillars have significant interactive effects on organizational corruption at the societal level. A discussion of the implications of (...) the research findings for researchers and practitioners is given. (shrink)
Two alternative statistical approaches to modelling multi-level selection in nature, both found in the contemporary biological literature, are contrasted. The simple covariance approach partitions the total selection differential on a phenotypic character into within-group and between-group components, and identifies the change due to group selection with the latter. The contextual approach partitions the total selection differential into different components, using multivariate regression analysis. The two approaches have different implications for the question of what constitutes group selection and what does (...) not. I argue that the contextual approach is theoretically preferable. This has important implications for a number of issues in the philosophical debate about the levels of selection. Introduction Group selection and the covariance formulation of selection The contextual approach A modification of the simple covariance approach Consequences: frameshifting and additivity 5.1 Frameshifting 5.2 Additivity Conclusion. (shrink)
According to Wimsatt, a proper treatment of reduction must distinguish between two types of reductionist activities scientists engage in. One of the benefits of better understanding the nature of reduction, he believes, is that it shows that eliminativism, that is, the elimination of concepts and theories from science, is a rather circumscribed and limited affair, especially in the case of inter-level reductionist activities. While I agree with Wimsatt that it is important to distinguish the two types of reductionisms, I (...) show that elimination in inter-level reductionist activities can be a powerful heuristic in science, driving both inter-level and successional reduction. (shrink)
The philosophical world is indebted to Alvin Goldman for a number of reasons, and among them, his defense of the relevance of cognitive science for philosophy of mind. In "Simulating minds", Goldman discusses with great care and subtlety a wide variety of experimental results related to mindreading from cognitive neuroscience, cognitive psychology, social psychology and developmental psychology. No philosopher has done more to display the resourcefulness of mental simulation. I am sympathetic with much of the general direction of Goldman's theory. (...) I agree with him that mindreading is not a single system based on a single mechanism. And I admire his attempt to being together the cognitive neuroscientific discovery of mirror system phenomena and the philosophical account of pretense within a unique theoretical framework of mental simulation. To do so, Goldman distinguishes two types of mindreading, respectively, based on low-level and high-level simulation. Yet, I wonder in what sense they are really two distinct processes. Here, I will confine myself largely to spelling out a series of points that take issue with the distinction between low-level and high-level mindreading. (shrink)
This article examines whether the likelihood and amount of firm charitable giving in response to catastrophic events are related to firm advertising intensity, and whether industry competition level moderates this relationship. Using data on Chinese firms’ philanthropic response to the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, we find that firm advertising intensity is positively associated with both the probability and the amount of corporate giving. The results also indicate that this positive advertising intensity-philanthropic giving relationship is stronger in competitive industries, and firms (...) in competitive industries are more likely to donate. This study thus provides evidence suggesting that even in the wake of catastrophic events, corporate philanthropic giving is strategic. (shrink)
This article details day-to-day ethics issues facing MBAs who occupy entry-level and mid-level management positions and offers defined examples of the stressors these managers face. The study includes lower-level managers, essentially excluded from extant literature, and focuses on workplace behaviors both undertaken and observed. Results indicate that pressures from internal organization sources, and ambiguity in letter versus spirit of rules, account for over a third of the most frequent unethical situations encountered, and that most managers did not (...) expect to face those issues. Various contextual factors accounted for 32% of the organizational factors that affected decisions. We discuss implications for the workplace, especially the unique ethics challenges for newer managers. (shrink)
The concept of compactness is a necessary condition of any system that is going to call itself a finitary method of proof. However, it can also apply to predicates of sets of formulas in general and in that manner it can be used in relation to level functions, a flavor of measure functions. In what follows we will tie these concepts of measure and compactness together and expand some concepts which appear in d'Entremont's master's thesis, "Inference and Level." (...) We will also provide some applications of the concept of level to the "preservationist" program of paraconsistent logic. We apply the finite level compactness theorem in this paper to get a Lindenbaum flavor extension lemma and a maximal "forcibility" theorem. Each of these is based on an abstract deductive system X which satisfies minimal conditions of inference and has generalizations of 'and' and 'not' as logical words. (shrink)
In a previous study, using experimental metapopulations of the flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, we investigated phase III of Wright's shifting balance process (Wade and Griesemer 1998). We experimentally modeled migration of varying amounts from demes of high mean fitness into demes of lower mean fitness (as in Wright's characterization of phase III) as well as the reciprocal (the opposite of phase III). We estimated the meta-populational heritability for this level of selection by regression of offspring deme means on the (...) weighted parental deme means.Here we develop a Punnett Square representation of the inheritance of the group mean to place our empirical findings in a conceptual context similar to Mendelian inheritance of individual traits. The comparison of Punnett Squares for individual and group inheritance shows how the latter concept can be rigorously defined and extended despite the lack of explicitly formulated, simple Mendelian laws of inheritance at the group level. Whereas Wright's phase III combines both interdemic selection and meta-populational inheritance, our formulation separates the issue of meta-populational heritability from that of interdemic selection. We use this conceptual context to discuss the controversies over the levels of selection and the units of inheritance. (shrink)
This paper examines public accountants' perceptions of the relative importance of business ethics as a selection criterion for entry-level public accounting positions. Also, it seeks to determine whether gender differences do exist with respect to these perceptions. The data were collected through a survey of 335 professional accountants in four southeastern states. The results show that, among the eight selection factors that were studied, technical competence in accounting, communication skills, and interpersonal skills were the most influential, while professionalism and (...) leadership abilities were the least important. Ethics was ranked fourth by the females and sixth by the males. A multivariate analysis of variance revealed significant differences between the genders with respect to five of the eight factors. The females' scores were higher for ethics and interpersonal skills and lower for conceptual aptitude, strategic thinking, and leadership abilities. Implications for accounting educators and practitioners are discussed. (shrink)
Forgiveness and reconciliation have been shown to be beneficial alternatives to revenge as responses to an interpersonal offense in the workplace. Prior research on these topics, however, is often narrow in scope, focusing on only the victim. Moreover, existing research is often unclear about the relationship between forgiveness and reconciliation. In response, this article proposes a conceptual framework of forgiveness, reconciliation, and their respective antecedents which is both multi-level and interdisciplinary. This framework is used to review the nascent management-related (...) research on forgiveness and reconciliation, and to augment this research from other fields, especially social psychology. Future research directions and managerial implications are proposed based on the multi-level model and research from other fields. (shrink)
We investigated the definition, prevalence, perceived prevalence and severity of, as well as justifications for and expected responses to, academic dishonesty at the graduate level in a sample of 246 graduate students, 49 faculty, and 20 administrators. Between 2.5% and 55.1% of students self-reported engaging in academically dishonest behaviors, depending on the nature of the behavior. Students and faculty rated 40 examples of academically dishonest behaviors similarly in terms of severity, but faculty tended to underestimate the prevalence of academic (...) dishonesty. Students and faculty also reported how they would idealistically and realistically expect themselves to respond to cheating situations. Students rated 21 behaviors in terms of their likeliness to increase or decrease academically dishonest behavior. Suggestions are given for developing a climate or culture of academic integrity to address academic dishonesty. (shrink)
GY, an extensively studied human hemianope, is aware of salient visual events in his cortically blind field but does not call this ''vision.'' To learn whether he has low-level conscious visual sensations or whether instead he has gained conscious knowledge about, or access to, visual information that does not produce a conscious phenomenal sensation, we attempted to image process a stimulus s presented to the impaired field so that when the transformed stimulus T(s) was presented to the normal hemifield (...) it would cause a sensation similar to that caused by s in the impaired field. While degradation of contrast, spatio-temporal filtering, contrast reversal, and addition of smear and random blobs all failed to match the response to a flashed bar sf, moving textures of low contrast were accepted to match the response to a moving contrast-defined bar, sm. Orientation and motion direction discrimination of the perceptually matched stimuli [sm and T(sm)] was closely similar. We suggest that the existence of a satisfactory match indicates that GY has phenomenal vision. (shrink)
This paper responds to criticisms levelled by Fodor, Pylyshyn, and McLaughlin against connectionism. Specifically, I will rebut the charge that connectionists cannot account for representational systematicity without implementing a classical architecture. This will be accomplished by drawing on Paul Smolensky's Tensor Product model of representation and on his insights about split-level architectures.
Members of organizations are continually making decisions that have important consequences for themselves and the firms for which they work. In some cases these decisions affect human well being and social welfare and thus have important ethical impacts for those affected by the decisions.This study examines if certain strategic situations (enhancement of firm profits versus personal economic well being) cause decision makers to act more or less ethically. A questionnaire consisting of two vignettes which depicted actual business situations was used (...) to collect data from 171 managers of a large Southeastern financial and communication conglomerate. Results from multivariate repeated measures tests suggest that managers will vary their level of ethical response when faced with a situation where their own economic well being is at stake. (shrink)
A geometric approach to quantum mechanics with unitary evolution and non-unitary collapse processes is developed. In this approach the Schroedinger evolution of a quantum system is a geodesic motion on the space of states of the system furnished with an appropriate Riemannian metric. The measuring device is modeled by a perturbation of the metric. The process of measurement is identified with a geodesic motion of state of the system in the perturbed metric. Under the assumption of random fluctuations of the (...) perturbed metric, the Born rule for probabilities of collapse is derived. The approach is applied to a two-level quantum system to obtain a simple geometric interpretation of quantum commutators, the uncertainty principle and Planck's constant. In light of this, a lucid analysis of the double-slit experiment with collapse and an experiment on a pair of entangled particles is presented. (shrink)
Quantum mechanics, and the micro level indeterminacy it implies, is generally accepted by philosophers. So too naturalism on which macro states are held to supervene on micro states is now orthodox in the philosophy of mind and science. Still, in both fields it is frequently assumed that macro systems evolve deterministically. This assumption is commonly implicit and undefended, though at times it is made explicit and given minimal defense. In neither case is the incompatability of quantum indeterminacy, macro-micro dependence, (...) and macro level determinism fully acknowledged. Even when incompatability is recognized, it is held that there is hope that quantum indeterminacy might be confined to micro levels. We argue that this is a vain hope. For certain standard quantum mechanical systems, micro indeterminism entails macro indeterminism unless macro states are effectively independent from micro states. This result obtains whether the relationship between supervenient and subvenient states is deterministic or indeterministic. (shrink)
Drug development regularly has to deal with complex circumstances on two levels: the local level of pharmacological intervention on specific target proteins, and the systems level of the effects of pharmacological intervention on the organism. Different development strategies in the recent history of early drug development can be understood as competing attempts at coming to grips with these multi-level complexities. Both rational drug design and high-throughput screening concentrate on the local level, while traditional empirical search strategies (...) as well as recent systems biology approaches focus on the systems level. The analysis of these strategies reveals serious obstacles to integrating the study of interventive and systems complexity in a systematic, methodical way. Due to some fairly general properties of biological networks and the available options for pharmaceutical intervention, drug development is captured in an obstinate methodological dilemma. It is argued that at least in typical cases, drug development therefore remains dependent on coincidence, serendipity or plain luck to bridge the gap between (empirical and/or rational) development methodology and actual therapeutic success. (shrink)
A decade ago, Isham and Butterfield proposed a topos theoretic approach to quantum mechanics, which meanwhile has been extended by Doering and Isham so as to provide a new mathematical foundation for all of physics. Last year, three of the present authors redeveloped and refined these ideas by combining the C*-algebraic approach to quantum theory with the so-called internal language of topos theory (see arXiv:0709.4364). The goal of the present paper is to illustrate our abstract setup through the concrete example (...) of the C*-algebra M_n(C) of complex n x n matrices. This leads to an explicit expression for the pointfree quantum phase space and the associated logical structure and Gelfand transform of an n-level system. We also determine the pertinent non-probabilisitic state-proposition pairing (or valuation) and give a very natural topos-theoretic reformulation of the Kochen-Specker Theorem. In our approach, the nondistributive lattice P(M_n(C)) of projections in M_n(C)(which forms the basis of the traditional quantum logic of Birkhoff and von Neumann)is replaced by a specific distributive lattice of functions from the poset of all unital commutative C*-subalgebras of M_n(C) to P(M_n(C)). The latter lattice is essentially the (pointfree) topology of the quantum phase space mentioned above, and as such defines a Heyting algebra. Each element of the lattice corresponds to a ``Bohrified'' proposition, in the sense that to each classical context it associates a yes-no question pertinent to this context, rather than being a single projection as in standard quantum logic. Distributivity is recovered at the expense of the law of the excluded middle (Tertium Non Datur), whose demise is in our opinion to be welcomed, not just in intuitionistic logic in the spirit of Brouwer, but also in quantum logic in the spirit of von Neumann. (shrink)
Conceptual space is proposed as an intermediate representation level between the psychological and the neurobiological levels of descriptions of appraisal and emotions. The main advantage of the proposed intermediate representation is that the appraisal and emotions dynamics are described by using the terms of geometry.
Adaptation phenomena provide striking examples of perceptual plasticity and offer valuable insight into the mechanisms of visual coding. The technique of psychophysical adaptation has aptly been termed the psychologist's microelectrode because of its usefulness in investigating the coding of sensory information in the human brain. Its broader relevance though is illustrated by the increasing use of adaptation to study more cognitive aspects of vision such as the mechanisms of face perception and the neural substrates of visual awareness. -/- This book (...) brings together a collection of studies from international researchers, which demonstrate the brain's remarkable capacity to adapt its representation of the visual world in response to changes in its environment. A major theme throughout is that adaptation at all stages of visual processing serves a functional role in the efficient representation of the prevailing visual environment. Information about the visual world is coded in the rate at which neurons fire. However, neurons can only respond over a certain range of firing rates. Adaptation of the way in which neurons code visual information tends to make optimal use of this limited response range. Though these principles are well established at the level of light adaptation in the retina, it is only relatively recently that researchers have started to look for analogous behaviour at the higher levels of the visual system. This book is the first to bring together evidence that adaptation in high-level vision, as at the lower levels, serves to fit the mind to the world. (shrink)
This review focuses on the theory of emotion outlined in Chapter 3 of Rolls's The brain and emotion. It is proposed that Rolls's emphasis on a relatively simple neurobiologically derived emotion scheme does not allow him to present a comprehensive account of emotion. Consequently, high-level cognitive processes, such as appraisal, end up being retained in the theory despite Rolls's skepticism about their utility. An argument is put forward that the concept of appraisal in the emotion literature is more than (...) semantic convention and actually allows us to talk about multiple functional-level routes to the generation of emotion – a characteristic of the latest generation of theories in the cognition-emotion literature. (shrink)
Sober (1984) presents an account of selection motivated by the view that one property can causally explain the occurrence of another only if the first plays a unique role in the causal production of the second. Sober holds that a causal property will play such a unique role if it is a population level cause of its effect, and on this basis argues that there is selection for a trait T only if T is a population level cause (...) of survival and reproductive success. Sterelny and Kitcher (1988) claim against Sober that some traits directly subject to selection will not satisfy the probabilistic condition on population level causation. In this paper I show that Sober has the resources to resist the Sterelny-Kitcher complaint, but I argue that not all traits that satisfy the probabilistic condition play the required unique role in the production of their effects. (shrink)
Recent years have seen a renewed debate over the importance of group selection, especially as it relates to the evolution of altruism. One feature of this debate has been disagreement over which kinds of processes should be described in terms of selection at multiple levels, within and between groups. Adapting some earlier discussions, we present a mathematical framework that can be used to explore the exact relationships between evolutionary models that do, and those that do not, explicitly recognize biological groups (...) as ﬁtness-bearing entities. We show a fundamental set of mathematical equivalences between these two kinds of models, one of which applies a form of multi-level selection theory and the other being a form of “individualism.” However, we also argue that each type of model can have heuristic advantages over the other. Indeed, it can be positively useful to engage in a kind of back-and-forth switching between two different perspectives on the evolutionary role of groups. So the position we defend is a “gestalt-switching pluralism.”. (shrink)
The role of the ?enforcer? in elite-level sports contests is a familiar one. Simply, the role involves establishing or restoring a ?moral balance? to the sporting encounter when it is absent ? usually when match officials are thought to be failing to apply the laws/rules of the game. How the enforcer secures this outcome is more morally contentious as it may involve deliberate violations of the laws/rules of the sport. In this paper we consider the role of the enforcer (...) in rugby union. First we interrogate some of the extant sports ethics literature and explore the notion of ?fairness? in the well-played game, including the role of the enforcer. Second, we illustrate conceptually how the ethos of elite sport as a moral discourse creates a theoretical platform from which to assess the intervention of an enforcer. Third, we address the role of match officials as members of the practice community from an institutional sense (what the international governing body for rugby union makes explicit) and from an empirical sense (what actually occurs or might occur) in the circumstances that precipitate the intervention of ?enforcers?. We conclude that the conceptual tension between the laws and the spirit (ethos) of the game is reflected in the choices facing players when playing the game. (shrink)
Chow pays lip service (but not much more!) to Type I errors and thus opts for a hard (all-or-none) .05 level of significance (Superego of Neyman/Pearson theory; Gigerenzer 1993). Most working scientists disregard Type I errors and thus utilize a soft .05 level (Ego of Fisher; Gigerenzer 1993), which lets them report gradations of significance (e.g., p.
Theories of human vision have generally assumed that the features underlying visual search and texture segmentation correspond to simple measurements made at the first stages of visual processing. In this paper, we describe a series of visual search experiments that refute this assumption. Using several variants of the Mueller-Lyer figure, we show that an illusion of length exists in preattentive vision -- search is easy when items contain line segments of equal length, but becomes difficult when these segments are adjusted (...) to have the same apparent length. This illusion cannot be reduced by selective inhibition of features, such as that used to facilitate the rapid detection of feature conjunctions. For example, subjects are unable to ignore the wings when making judgements of the test line, even when it is advantageous to do so. This rules out explanations based on interactions among the features themselves. We also show that spatial filtering cannot account for this illusion, since these effects are indifferent to the sign of contrast of the line segments and can occur for textured lines having the same first-order statistics. The illusion, however, can be explained by a model in which line length is determined via grouping operations acting at a level prior to the formation of preattentive features. (shrink)
Can a supercompact cardinal κ be Laver indestructible when there is a level-by-level agreement between strong compactness and supercompactness? In this article, we show that if there is a sufficiently large cardinal above κ, then no, it cannot. Conversely, if one weakens the requirement either by demanding less indestructibility, such as requiring only indestructibility by stratified posets, or less level-by-level agreement, such as requiring it only on measure one sets, then yes, it can.
This is part two of our discussion of discourses involving anaphora to and by quantificational expressions of various types. In part one (March 8), we focused on quantification over individuals ("Nominal quantification as top-level anaphora"). In part two (March 22-29), we show that the proposed analysis of quantification, as anaphoric discourse reference to top-ranked sets, automatically generalizes to temporal quantifiers (over times, events, or states).