The objective in the present paper is to analyze the aspect of subjectivity having to do with construing motion and change where no motion and change exists outside the representation, that is, in cases where the conceptualizer does not intend to convey the idea that these properties exist in the state of affairs described. In the process of doing so, I will elaborate on a critique of the notion of fictivity as it is currently being used in cognitive linguistics.
Richard Brandt is one of the most eminent and influential of contemporary moral philosophers. His work has been concerned with how to justify what is good or right not by reliance on intuitions or theories about what moral words mean but by the explanation of moral psychology and the description of what it is to value something, or to think it immoral. His approach thus stands in marked contrast to the influential theories of John Rawls. The essays reprinted in (...) this collection span a period of almost 30 years and include many classic pieces in metaethical and normative ethical theory. The collection is aimed at both those moral philosophers familiar with Brandt's work and at those philosophers who may be largely unfamiliar with his work. The latter group will be struck by the lucid unpretentious style and the cumulative weight of Brandt's contributions to topics that remain at the forefront of moral philosophy. (shrink)
Richard Brandt is one of the most influential moral philosophers of the second half of the twentieth century. He is especially important in the field of ethics for his lucid and systematic exposition of utilitarianism. This new book represents in some ways a summation of his views and includes many useful applications of his theory. The focus of the book is how value judgments and moral belief can be justified. More generally, the book assesses different moral systems and theories (...) of justice, and considers specific problems such as the optimal level of charity and the moral tenability of the criminal law. This book will be essential reading for all professional philosophers concerned with ethics, and will prove helpful to students as well. (shrink)
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Some features of the concept of a want, and of the explaining relation in which a want may stand to an action, have not received sufficient attention. In what follows we shall offer some suggestions and descriptions which may be one step toward remedy of this situationi. We shall be at pains to point out the extent to which the features we describe fit in with a conception of the explanations of actions conforming to the inferential (deductive or inductive) and (...) nomological patterns of scientific explanation, and also to point out where perhaps the fit is not so snug. (shrink)
To see whether the mental and the neural have common attributes that could resolve some of the traditional dichotomies, we review neuroscientific data on the visual system. The results show that neuronal and perceptual function share a parallel and hierarchical architecture which is manifest not only in the anatomy and physiology of the visual system, but also in normal perception and in the deficits caused by lesions in different parts of the system. Based on the description of parallel hierarchical levels (...) of active information processing in the visual brain, we suggest a concept of dissociable levels of perception, advocating that the phenomenal perception and recognition is realized in the functional integrity of a network of reciprocal cortico-cortical connections. The properties shared by neuronal and perceptional functions provide a basis for a neuromental monism in which both functions are attributed a causal role. (shrink)
Derk Pereboom's Four-Case Argument is among the most famous and resilient manipulation arguments against compatibilism. I contend that its resilience is not a function of the argument's soundness but, rather, the ill-gotten gain from an ambiguity in the description of the causal relations found in the argument's foundational case. I expose this crucial ambiguity and suggest that a dilemma faces anyone hoping to resolve it. After a thorough search for an interpretation which avoids both horns of this dilemma, I conclude (...) that none is available. Rather, every metaphysically coherent interpretation invites either a hard- or soft-line reply to Pereboom's argument. I then consider a recharacterization of the dilemma which seems to clear the way for the defence of a revised Four-Case Argument. I address this rejoinder by identifying a still more fundamental problem shared by all viable interpretations of the manipulation cases, showing that each involves a type of manipulation which undermines the victim's agency. Because this diagnosis supports a soft-line reply to every viable interpretation of the argument and can be endorsed by any compatibilist, I consider it the final piece of the Soft-line Solution to the Four-Case Argument. Finally, I suggest a new taxonomy of manipulation arguments, arguing that none that employs the suppressive variety of manipulation found in Pereboom's argument offers a threat to compatibilism. (shrink)
The thin red line ( TRL ) is a theory about the semantics of future-contingents. The central idea is that there is such a thing as the ‘actual future’, even in the presence of indeterminism. It is inspired by a famous solution to the problem of divine foreknowledge associated with William of Ockham, in which the freedom of agents is argued to be compatible with God’s omniscience. In the modern branching time setting, the theory of the TRL is widely (...) regarded to suffer from several fundamental problems. In this paper we propose several new TRL semantics, each with differing degrees of success. This leads up to our final semantics, which is a cross between the TRL and supervaluationism. We discuss the notions of truth, validity and semantic consequence which result from our final semantics, and demonstrate some of its pleasing results. This account, we believe, answers the main objection in the literature, and thus places the TRL on the same level as any other competing semantics for future contingents. (shrink)
In this paper, I address Mitchell Herschbach’s arguments against the phenomenological critics of folk psychology. Central to Herschbach’s arguments is the introduction of Michael Wheeler’s distinction between ‘on-line’ and ‘off-line’ intelligence to the debate on social understanding. Herschbach uses this distinction to describe two arguments made by the phenomenological critics. The first is that folk psychology is exclusively off-line and mentalistic. The second is that social understanding is on-line and non-mentalistic. To counter the phenomenological critics, Herschbach (...) argues for the existence of on-line false belief understanding. This demonstrates that folk psychology is not restricted to off-line forms and that folk psychology is more widespread than the phenomenological critics acknowledge. In response, I argue the on-line/off-line distinction is a problematic way of demarcating the phenomenological critics from orthodox accounts of folk psychology. (shrink)
There seems to be a minimal core that every theory wishing to accommodate the intuition that the future is open must contain: a denial of physical determinism (i.e. the thesis that what future states the universe will be in is implied by what states it has been in), and a denial of strong fatalism (i.e. the thesis that, at every time, what will subsequently be the case is metaphysically necessary).1 Those two requirements are often associated with the idea of an (...) objective temporal flow and the non-reality of the future. However, at least certain ways to frame the “openness” intuition do not rely on any of these. Branching Time Theory (BTT) is one such: it is compatible with the denial that time flow is objective and it is couched in a language with a (prima facie) commitment to an eternalist ontology. BTT, though, urges us to resist certain intuitions about the determinacy of future claims, which arguably do not lead either to physical determinism or to fatalism. Against BTT, supporters of the Thin Red Line Theory (TRL) argue that their position avoids determinism and fatalism, while also representing the fact that there is a future which is “special” because it is the one that will be the case. But starting with Belnap and Green 1994, some have objected to the tenability of TRL, mainly on metaphysical grounds. In particular, those argue that “positing a thin red line amounts to giving up objective indeterminism,”2 and that “has unacceptable consequences, ranging from a mistreatment of actuality to an inability to talk coherently about what would have happened had what is going to happen not taken place.”3 In this paper, we wish to reframe the.. (shrink)
Derk Pereboom has advanced a four-case manipulation argument that, he claims, undermines both libertarian accounts of free action not committed to agent-causation and compatibilist accounts of such action. The first two cases are meant to be ones in which the key agent is not responsible for his actions owing to his being manipulated. We first consider a “hard-line” response to this argument that denies that the agent is not morally responsible in these cases. We argue that this response invites (...) a dialectically uncharitable reading of the argument. We then propose an alternative interpretation; it affirms that, at least prima facie, the manipulated agent in the first two cases is not responsible. Finally, we question Pereboom’s rationale for why the manipulation in these cases subverts responsibility. (shrink)
This paper attempts to debunk the slippery-slope argument against human germ-line gene therapy by showing that the downside of the slope – genetic enhancement – need not be as unethical or unjust as some people have supposed. It argues that if genetic enhancement is governed by proper regulations and is accompanied by adequate education, then it need not violate recognized principles of morality or social justice. Keywords: germ-line therapy, slippery slope argument, future generations, social justice CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us (...) What's this? (shrink)
Bringing continental sensibilities and skill to his project, David Janssens has abandoned the line of defense heretofore used by North American intellectuals to shield Leo Strauss from criticism: Janssens wastes no time trying to prove Strauss was a liberal democrat, frankly admits his atheism, and emphasizes the continuity and European origins of his thought. Nevertheless committed to defending Strauss even at his most vulnerable points, Janssens is compelled to anchor his new defensive position on a misreading of what he (...) calls "an inconspicuous footnote" in Philosophie und Gesetz (1935). (shrink)
Wayne Norman and Chris MacDonald launch a strong attack against Triple Bottom Line or 3BL accounting in their article “Gettingto the Bottom of ‘Triple Bottom Line’” (2004). This response suggests that, while limitations to 3BL accounting do exist, the critique of Norman and MacDonald is deeply flawed.
Cases involving certain kinds of manipulation seem to challenge compatibilism about responsibility-grounding free will. To deal with such cases many compatibilists give what has become known as a âsoft lineâ reply. In this paper I present a challenge to the soft line reply. I argue that any relevant case involving manipulationâand to which a compatibilist might wish to give a soft line replyâcan be transformed into one supporting a degree of moral responsibility through the addition of libertarian elements (...) (such as alternative possibilities of a kind unavailable under determinism and executive control of the sort commonly associated with agent-causation). From a compatibilistâs perspective the subtraction of libertarian elements should make no difference to any assessment of the agentâs responsibility. The compatibilist should therefore judge the agent morally responsible after the removal of the libertarian elements. Yet removal of the libertarian elements returns the case to its original form and thus what started out as a soft line has now collapsed into a hard line reply. Various ways of resisting my argument are considered, but each is shown to carry important burdens. (shrink)
Is inheritable genetic modification the new dividing line in gene therapy? The editors of this searching investigation, representing clinical medicine, public health and biomedical ethics, have established a distinguished team of scientists and scholars to address the issues from the perspectives of biological and social science, law and ethics, including an intriguing Foreword from Peter Singer. Their purpose is to consider how society might deal with the ethical concerns raised by inheritable genetic modification, and to re-examine prevailing views about (...) whether these procedures will ever be ethically and socially justifiable. The book also provides background to define the field, and discusses the biological and technological potential for inheritable genetic modification, its limitations, and its connection with gene therapy, cloning, and other reproductive interventions. For scientists, bioethicists, clinicians, counsellors and public commentators, this is an essential contribution to one of the critical debates in current genetics. (shrink)
: Genetic interventions raise a host of moral issues and, of its various species, germ-line genetic enhancement is the most morally contentious. This paper surveys various arguments against germ-line enhancement and attempts to demonstrate their inadequacies. A positive argument is advanced in favor of certain forms of germ-line enhancements, which holds that they are morally permissible if and only if they augment Rawlsian primary goods, either directly or by facilitating their acquisition.
I defend a hard-line reply to Derk Pereboom’s four-case manipulation argument. Pereboom accuses compatibilists who take a hard-line reply to his manipulation argument of adopting inappropriate initial attitudes towards the cases central to his argument. If Pereboom is correct he has shown that a hard-line response is inadequate. Fortunately for the compatibilist, Pereboom’s list of appropriate initial attitudes is incomplete and at least one of the initial attitudes he leaves out provides room for a revised hard-line (...) reply to be successfully mounted against the multiple-case argument. (shrink)
For those with an interest in the most fundamental components of reality, reflecting on the simplest of things can yield a rich harvest. Consider two buttons, of exactly the same shade of red, one round and made of plastic, the other square and made of wood. Each button is clearly a distinct object in its own right: each is composed of a different portion of matter, each has its own spatial location. But are the buttons completely distinct? It might seem (...) so, but a little reflection can suggest otherwise. Both buttons are the same colour, they are each red. The buttons do not possess merely similar colours, they possess literally identical colours: one and the same colour, a particular shade of red, is found in both objects. This same colour can be also be found in many other objects. Colour, it seems, is not tied down to any specific time or place, in the way ordinary objects are. The same (literally identical) colour can exist at many times and places. And what holds for colour also holds for other shareable characteristics, such as shapes and sizes, and sounds. We are thus led to the (now familiar) distinction between particulars (spatially located objects) and universals (repeatable, multiply-located properties). Plato was no stranger to this line of reasoning, but he found himself driven to take several further steps. He observed that in ordinary life we never encounter a truly perfect circle (or square, or triangle, or straight line), but that we nonetheless have the concept of such a circle. Relying on the (no means absurd) assumption that meaningful terms must have referents – in order to be meaningful at all – he was led to the conclusion that the perfect circle must exist in a non-physical plane of reality, a dimension where perfection is possible. He called this changeless, timeless, realm the world of ‘Forms’. He further reasoned that since ‘circle’ is a universal, all other universals (such as redness) must inhabit this realm also. Resemblances among the familiar objects in the physical world are to be explained in terms of Forms ‘participating’, more or less adequately, in these objects.. (shrink)
Despite widespread agreement that it would be ethical to use somatic cell gene therapy to correct serious diseases, there is still uneasiness on the part of the public about this procedure. The basis for this concern lies less with the procedure's clinical risks than with fear that genetic engineering could lead to changes in human nature. Legitimate concerns about the potential for misuse of gene transfer technology justify drawing a moral line that includes corrective germline therapy but excludes enhancement (...) interventions in both somatic and germline contexts. Keywords: somatic cell, germ line, genetic diseases, genetic engineering, humanness, enhancement, eugenics CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
This paper pursues Ernan McMullin‘s claim ("Virtues of a Good Theory" and related papers on theory-choice) that talk of theory virtues exposes a fault-line in philosophy of science separating "very different visions" of scientific theorizing. It argues that connections between theory virtues and virtue epistemology are substantive rather than ornamental, since both address underdetermination problems in science, helping us to understand the objectivity of theory choice and more specifically what I term the ampliative adequacy of scientific theories. The paper (...) argues therefore that virtue epistemologies can make substantial contributions to the epistemology and methodology of the sciences, helping to bridge the gulf between realists and anti-realists, and to re-enforce moderation over claims about the implications of underdetermination problems for scientific inquiry. It finally makes and develops the suggestion that virtue epistemologies, at least of the kind developed here, offer support to the position that philosophers of science know as normative naturalism. (shrink)
Although the ability to perform gene therapy in human germ-line cells is still hypothetical, the rate of progress in molecular and cell biology suggests that it will only be a matter of time before reliable clinical techniques will be within reach. Three sets of arguments are commonly advanced against developing those techniques, respectively pointing to the clinical risks, social dangers and better alternatives. In this paper we analyze those arguments from the perspective of the client-centered ethos that traditionally governs (...) practice in medical genetics. This perspective clarifies the merits of these arguments for geneticists, and suggests useful new directions for the professional discussion of germ-line gene therapy. It suggests, for example, that the much discussed prospect of germ-line therapy in human pre-embryos may always be more problematic for medical genetics than adult germ-line interventions, even though the latter faces greater technical difficulties. (shrink)
: The current difference in attitude toward germ-line enhancement in humans and nonhumans is unjustified. Society should be more cautious in modifying the genes of nonhumans and more bold in thinking about modifying our own genome. I identify four classes of arguments pertaining to germ-line enhancement: safety arguments, justice arguments, trust arguments, and naturalness arguments. The first three types are compelling, but do not distinguish between human and nonhuman cases. The final class of argument would justify a distinction (...) between human and nonhuman germ-line enhancement; however, this type of argument fails and, therefore, the discrepancy in attitude toward human and nonhuman germ-line enhancement is unjustified. (shrink)
Molinism is an attempt to do equal justice to divine foreknowledge and human freedom. For Molinists, human freedom ﬁts in this universe for the future is open or unsettled. However, God’s middle knowledge — God’s contingent knowledge of what agents would freely do in this or that circumstance — underwrites God’s omniscience in the midst of this openness. In this paper I rehearse Nuel Belnap and Mitchell Green’s argument in “Indeterminism and the Thin Red Line” against the reality (...) of a distinguished single future in the context of branching time , and show that it applies applies equally against Molinism + branching time. In the process, we show how contemporary work in the logic of temporal notions in the context of branching time (speciﬁcally, Prior–Thomason semantics) can illuminate discussions in the metaphysics of freedom and divine knowledge. (shrink)
It has been suggested that the difference between misremembering (Orwellian) and misrepresentation (Stalinesque) models of consciousness cannot be differentiated (Dennett, 1991). According to an Orwellian account a briefly presented stimulus is seen and then forgotten; whereas, by a Stalinesque account it is never seen. At the same time, Dennett suggested a method for assessing whether an individual is conscious of something. An experiment was conducted which used the suggested method for assessing consciousness to look at Stalinesque and Orwellian distinctions. A (...) visual illusion, illusory line motion, was presented and participants were requested to make judgments that reflected what they were aware of. The participants were able to make responses indicating that they were aware of the actual stimulus in some conditions, but only of the illusion in others. This finding supports a claim that the difference between the Orwellian and Stalinesque accounts may be empirically observable, and that both types of events may occur depending on task and stimulus parameters. (shrink)
: Plato’s instructions entail that the line of Republic VI is divided so that the middle two segments are of equal length. Yet I argue that Plato’s elaboration of the significance of this analogy shows he believes that these segments are of unequal length because the domains they represent are not of equally clear mental states, nor perhaps of objects of equal reality. I label this inconsistency between Plato’s instructions and his explanation the “overdetermination problem.” The overdetermination problem has (...) been a perennial concern, and a substantial amount of work has been produced which attempts to deal with it. I offer a classification of approaches to the overdetermination problem as a way of documenting the problem’s significance, and show why these approaches are all inadequate as solutions. My novel resolution of the overdetermination problem rests upon a demonstration that the contradiction is intentional. The later recapitulation of the ratio at 534a reveals that Plato was himself aware that the middle two segments are equal. I argue that this contradiction is a sophisticated device designed to lead the reader of the Republic through the four epistemic stages represented by the line itself. Most significantly, recognition of this mathematical contradiction acts as a goad, spurring independent philosophical reflection just in the way that Plato advocates in the Republic more generally. (shrink)
We will give a simple philosophical "proof" of the negation of Cantor's continuum hypothesis (CH). (A formal proof for or against CH from the axioms of ZFC is impossible; see Cohen .) We will assume the axioms of ZFC together with intuitively clear axioms which are based on some intuition of Stuart Davidson and an old theorem of Sierpinski and are justified by the symmetry in a thought experiment throwing darts at the real number line. We will in fact (...) show why there must be an infinity of cardinalities between the integers and the reals. We will also show why Martin's Axiom must be false, and we will prove the extension of Fubini's Theorem for Lebesgue measure where joint measurability is not assumed. Following the philosophy--if you reject CH you are only two steps away from rejecting the axiom of choice (AC)--we will point out along the way some extensions of our intuition which contradict AC. (shrink)
The rationale for pursuing the development and use of Germ-Line selection and modification techniques is examined in this essay. The argument is put forth that it is the moral obligation of the medical profession to make available to the public any technology that can cure or prevent pathology leading to death and disability, in both the present and future generations. Society should pursue the development of strategies for preventing or correcting, at the Germ-Line level, genetic features that will (...) lead to, or enhance, pathological conditions. Because prenatal screening and even early embryo screening and selection can prevent only a subset of known genetic disorders, direct genetic intervention is the only way in which certain couples can exercise their rights to reproductive health. Finally, the arguments most often raised against the pursuit of and use of methods for Germ-Line intervention shall be discussed. Keywords: Germ-Line therapy, pre-implantation embryo screening gamete modification, risk and uncertainty CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
This memoir provides the personal story of a tenured poet who initially walked the picket line during the 1990 University of Bridgeport faculty strike. During the strike's second week, he made the difficult decision to cross the picket line of a union he helped create seventeen years earlier. He continually relives his strike experience.
This essay examines the arguments for and against working towards the objective of human germ line engineering for medical purposes. Germ line changes which result as a secondary consequence of other well designed and ethically acceptable manipulations of somatic cells to cure an otherwise fatal disease can be seen as acceptable. More serious objections apply to intentional germ line interventions because of the unacceptability of using a person solely as a vehicle for creating uncertain genetic change in (...) his descendants. It is also morally unacceptable to use the promise of future benefit to experiment on fetuses or embryos when other more effective technologies exist to help parents have healthy children. Using new genetic technologies to select desirable genotypes among gametes is less problematic and affords a promising new technique for avoiding intergenerational harms. Keywords: embryo research, germ line manipulation, intergenerational ethics, secondary germ line effects CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
The debate over off-line simulation has largely focussed on the capacity to predict behavior, but the basic idea of off-line simulation can be cast in a much broader framework. The central claim of the off-line account of behavior prediction is that the practical reasoning mechanism is taken off-line and used for predicting behavior. However, there's no reason to suppose that the idea of off-line simulation can't be extended to mechanisms other than the practical reasoning system. (...) In principle, any cognitive component can be taken off-line and used to perform some other function. On this view of off-line simulation, such accounts differ radically from traditional information-based accounts of cognitive capacities. And cognitive penetrability provides a wedge for empirically determining whether a capacity requires an information-based account or an off-line simulation account. Stich and Nichols (1992) argued that the simulation theory of behavior prediction was inadequate because behavior prediction seemed to be cognitively penetrable. We present empirical evidence that supports the claim that the behavior prediction is cognitively penetrable. As a result, the simulation account of behavior prediction still seems unpromising. However, off-line simulation might provide accounts of other cognitive capacities. Indeed, off- line simulation accounts have recently been offered for a strikingly diverse set of capacities including counterfactual reasoning, empathy and mental imagery. Goldman, for instance, maintains that counterfactual reasoning and empathy clearly demand off-line simulation accounts. We argue that there are alternative information-based explanations of these phenomena. Nonetheless, the off-line accounts of these phenomena are interesting and clearly worthy of further exploration. (shrink)
Ninety-one right brain-damaged patients with left neglect and 43 right brain-damaged patients without neglect were asked to extend horizontal segments, either left- or rightward, starting from their right or left endpoints, respectively. Earlier experiments based on similar tasks had shown, in left neglect patients, a tendency to overextend segments toward the left side. This seemingly paradoxical phenomenon was held to undermine current explanations of unilateral neglect. The results of the present extensive research demonstrate that contralesional overextension is also evident in (...) most right brain-damaged patients without contralesional neglect. Furthermore, they show that in a minority of left neglect patients, the opposite behavior, i.e., right overextension can be found. The paper also reports the results of correlational analyses comprising the parameters of line-extension, line-bisection, and cancellation tasks, as well as the parameters relative to the Milner Landmark Task, by which a distinction is drawn between perceptual and response biases in unilateral neglect. A working hypothesis is then advanced about the brain dysfunction underlying neglect and an attempt is made at finding an explanation of neglect and the links between the mechanisms of space representation and consciousness through the study of the changes induced by unilateral brain lesions in the characteristics of space-coding neurons. Abbreviations: C, control group;GN+91,full group of neglect patients;GN+27,group of neglect patients with relative left overextension;GN+14,group of neglect patients with relative right overextension;GN-43,full group of non-neglect patients;GN-9,group of non-neglect patients with relative left overextension; H canc, H cancellation task; LE, left extension; LE/RE, ratio of left-right extension; N+, neglect patients; N-, non-neglect patients; PB Land-M, perceptual bias on Landmark motor task; PB Land-V, perceptual bias on Landmark verbal task; RB Land-M, response bias on Landmark motor task; RB Land-V, response bias on Landmark verbal task; RE, right extension. (shrink)
Des Jardins (1976) and Dreher (1990) have suggested that Plato's Line should be thought of as divided in the mean and extreme ('golden') ratio. I examine their arguments, as well as other reasons that could be brought up in support of the 'golden division' of the Line, and show that all of them are wanting.
Recombinant DNA technology will soon allow physicians an opportunity to carry out both somatic cell- and Germ-Line gene therapy. While somatic cell gene therapy raises no new ethical problems, gene therapy of gametes, fertilized eggs or early embryos does raise several novel concerns. The first issue discussed here relates to making a distinction between negative and positive eugenics; the second issue deals with the evolutionary consequences of lost genetic diversity. In distinguishing between positive and negative eugenics, the concept of (...) malady is applied as a definitional criterion for identifying genetic disorders that could qualify for Germ-Line therapy. Because gene replacement techniques are currently unavailable for humans, and because even if they were possible the number of people involved would be quite small, the loss of diversity concern seems moot. Finally, we dissuss the issue of iatrogenic disorders associated with gene therapy and discuss several ‘real world considerations.’ Keywords: Germ-Line therapy, malady, slippery slope CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
For stakeholders, such as investors and lenders, to appropriately assess a company's financial performance, the reported accounting earnings must closely reflect the economic reality of the organization's financial activity throughout the reporting period. The degree to which reported earnings capture economic reality is called earnings quality. Managers have an ethical obligation to report high quality earnings to interested stakeholders in a timely matter. Accounting research has identified conditions within an organization, such as management compensation contracts and pending litigation that can (...) impact earnings quality. We extend this line of research by exploring whether another characteristic of an organization, gender diversity in senior management, influences the quality of reported earnings. Companies with more women in senior management are found to be more profitable and have higher stock returns after initial public offerings than those with fewer women in the management ranks. Our findings suggest that the improved bottom line for companies with more women senior executives is not produced through the management of earnings or lower quality earnings. Instead, earnings quality is positively associated with gender diversity in senior management. (shrink)
Enhancements of the human germ-line introduce further inequalities in the competition for scarce goods, such as income and desirable social positions. Social inequalities, in turn, amplify the range of genetic inequalities that access to germ-line enhancements may produce. From an egalitarian point of view, inequalities can be arranged to the benefit of the worst-off group (for instance, through general taxation), but the possibility of an indefinite growth of social and genetic inequality raises legitimate concerns. It is argued that (...) inequalities produced by markets of germ-line enhancements are just if it they are embedded in a framework of social institutions that satisfies two conditions: (i) Rawls’ Difference Principle, which states that inequalities of income and wealth should benefit the worst-off group; (ii) the lexically prior 'principle of rough equality', which states that citizens’ initial life-chances should be similar enough, so that extreme inequalities in income, wealth and power are not produced or accumulated through institutions justified by the Difference Principle. The principle of rough equality replaces the Rawlsian principles of the Fair Value of the Political Liberties and Fair Equality of Opportunity in a post-genomic society and expresses a concern with background political equality, which is argued to be a condition of the freedom and equality of citizens that should not be traded off with material benefits. Extreme inequalities are defined in terms of political equality. (shrink)
I discuss two versions of the doomsday argument. According to ``Gott's Line'',the fact that the human race has existed for 200,000 years licences the predictionthat it will last between 5100 and 7.8 million more years. According to ``Leslie'sWedge'', the fact that I currently exist is evidence that increases the plausibilityof the hypothesis that the human race will come to an end sooner rather than later.Both arguments rest on substantive assumptions about the sampling process thatunderlies our observations. These sampling assumptions (...) have testable consequences,and so the sampling assumptions themselves must be regarded as empirical claims.The result of testing some of these consequences is that both doomsday argumentsare empirically disconfirmed. (shrink)
Ruchkin et al. ascribe a pivotal role to long-term memory representations and binding within working memory. Here we focus on the interaction of working memory and long-term memory in supporting on-line representations of experience available to guide on-going processing, and we distinguish the role of frontal-lobe systems from what the hippocampus contributes to relational long-term memory binding.
In the last few years, off-line simulation has become an increasingly important alternative to standard explanations in cognitive science. The contemporary debate began with Gordon (1986) and Goldman's (1989) off-line simulation account of our capacity to predict behavior. On their view, in predicting people's behavior we take our own decision making system `off line' and supply it with the `pretend' beliefs and desires of the person whose behavior we are trying to predict; we then let the decision (...) maker reach a decision on the basis of these pretend inputs. Figure 1 offers a `boxological' version of the off-line simulation theory of behavior prediction.(1). (shrink)
Since Sen's insightful analysis of Arrow's Impossibility Theorem (Sen, 1970/1979), Arrow's theorem is often interpreted as a consequence of the exclusion of interpersonal information from Arrow's framework. Interpersonal comparability of either welfare levels or welfare units is known to be sufficient for circumventing Arrow's impossibility result (e.g. Sen, 1970/1979, 1982; Roberts, 1980; d'Aspremont, 1985). But it is less well known whether one of these types of comparability is also necessary or whether Arrow's conditions can already be satisfied in much narrower (...) informational frameworks. This note explores such a framework: the assumption of (ONC+0), ordinal measurability of welfare with the additional measurability of a 'zero-line', is shown to point towards new, albeit limited, escape-routes from Arrow's theorem. Some existence and classification results are established, using the condition that social orderings be transitive as well as the condition that social orderings be quasi-transitive. (shrink)
In explaining the relationship between hypotheses and images in the Line of Plato’s Republic VI, I first focus on Plato’s elucidation of the nature of mathematics as the mathematician himself understands it. I go on to criticize traditional interpretations of the relationship above based on the doubtful assumption that mathematics concerns Platonic Forms. To formulate my view of that relationship I exploit the notion of “structure.” I show how “hypotheses” as principles of proof can determine the structures of “images” (...) by which the corresponding intelligible ones of mathematical objects become known.En expliquant la relation entre hypothèses et images dans l’analogie de la ligne du livre VI de la République de Platon, je m’attarde d’abord sur l’élucidation platonicienne de la nature des mathématiques teile que la conçoit le mathématicien lui-même. Je poursuis avec une critique des interprétations traditionnelles de cette relation, qui partent de l’assomption douteuse que les mathématiques s’occupent desFormes platoniciennes. Pour formuler mon point de vue sur cette relation, j’exploite la notion de «structure». Je montre comment les «hypothèses» comme principes de preuve peuvent déterminer les structures des «images» par lesquelles les structures intelligibles correspondantes des objets mathématiques en viennent à être connues. (shrink)
Triple Bottom Line (TBL) reports, outlining the economic, environmental and social impact of organisations, are increasingly viewed as a business requirement. Unfortunately, despite global frameworks, there is no one established standard against which to evaluate the social dimension. Thus, current social reporting is often disparagingly described as a public relations exercise with limited accountability, consistency or comparability. This article outlines the development of a generic TBL social impact framework and questionnaire designed to quantify an organisation's social impact. Based on (...) valid preexisting measures appropriate for organisations in the industrialised world, the proposed framework and questionnaire offers a comparable and objective social impact assessment tool for organisations. The aim is to prompt informed debate and discussion about current organisational social impact reporting, whilst providing organisations with a tool which enables the identification, quantification and comparability of social impact reporting. (shrink)
The line between Germ-Line genetic therapy and somatic cell is more and more difficult to discern. With new abilities to effect Germ-Line genetic therapy it is less clear why such therapy should not be undertaken. Nonetheless, questions persist as to who is the patient in such therapy and about the extent of discretion that should be allowed prospective parents and the physician/researcher. Keywords: embryo, Germ-Line, patient, somatic therapy CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
Abstract The purpose of this paper is to empirically analyse the developmental stages of non-financial reporting in corporations, by interpreting the views of interviewees from major ethical corporations on the six major dimensions of non-financial reporting (identified in the literature) within each stage of the five-stage model of non-financial reporting (developed in this paper). This study is part of a series of papers on Triple Bottom Line reporting (TBL), and its relevance to corporate reporting practices. The TBL is perhaps (...) the pioneer for getting corporations thinking about non-financial reporting. While literature has been done extensively on the TBL framework, empirical data linking TBL and how it has helped, or even hindered corporations progressing through different stages in their non-financial reporting processes is missing. In order to facilitate this analysis, 40 interviews were conducted over 1 year, with 40 corporations selected from various sustainability indexes, focusing on corporations that adopt best practices in this area, and also have a TBL approach to non-financial reporting. The results of the analysis show that TBL certainly got corporations started in the journey of non-financial reporting but has not pushed them far enough to develop a more integrated approach to reporting nor clearly aligning their non-financial reporting performance with their financial performance and business strategy. Content Type Journal Article Category Original Paper Pages 1-33 DOI 10.1007/s13520-011-0010-4 Authors Kaushik Sridhar, Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia Journal Asian Journal of Business Ethics Online ISSN 2210-6731 Print ISSN 2210-6723. (shrink)
November 17 was a grand day in the career of Bill Clinton, the day when he proved that he is a man of firm principle, and that his "vision" -- the term has become a journalistic reflex -- has real substance. "President Emerges As a Tough Fighter," the New York Times announced on the front page the next day. Washington correspondent R.W. Apple wrote that Clinton had now silenced his detractors, who had scorned him for his apparent willingness to (...) back down on everything he claimed to stand for: "Mr. Clinton retreated early on Bosnia, on Haiti, on homosexuals in the military, on important elements of his economic plan [namely, the minuscule stimulative package]; he seemed ready to compromise on all but the most basic elements of his health-care reforms. Critics asked whether he had a bottom line on anything. On NAFTA, he did, and that question won't be asked much for a while.". (shrink)
Accounts of the concepts of function and dysfunction have not adequately explained what factors determine the line between low‐normal function and dysfunction. I call the challenge of doing so the line‐drawing problem. Previous approaches emphasize facts involving the action of natural selection (Wakefield 1992a, 1999a, 1999b) or the statistical distribution of levels of functioning in the current population (Boorse 1977, 1997). I point out limitations of these two approaches and present a solution to the line‐drawing problem that (...) builds on the second one. (shrink)
Pylyshyn defends a distinction between early visual perception and cognitive processing. But exactly where should the line between vision and cognition be drawn? Our research on object identification suggests that the construction of an object's visual description is isolated from contextually derived expectations. Moreover, the matching of constructed descriptions to stored descriptions appears to be similarly isolated.
In this famous work by a pioneer in the movement to free art from the bonds of tradition—a work long considered essential to understanding the evolution of 20th-century art—Kandinsky explores the role of the line, point and other key elements of non-objective painting. 127 illustrations.
This paper discusses the issue of whether we have responsibilities to future generations with respect to genetic screening, including for purposes of selective abortion or discard. Future generations have been discussed at length among scholars. The concept of âGuardianfor Future Generationsâ is tackled and its main criticisms discussed. Whilst germ-line cures, it is argued, can only affect family trees, genetic screening and testing can have wider implications. If asking how this may affect future generations is a legitimate question and (...) since we indeed make retrospective moral judgements, it would be wise to consider that future generations will make the same retrospective judgements on us. Moreover such technologies affect present embryos to which we indeed can be considered to have an obligation. (shrink)
In John McDowell's recent Woodbridge Lectures at Columbia University, he characterizes Wilfrid Sellars's master thought, in Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, as drawing a line between two types of characterizations of states that occur in people's mental lives: Above the line are placings in the logical space of reasons, and below it are characterizations that do not do that (McDowell, 1998, p. 433). In this essay, I ask what would be required for ethics to be above the (...)line. More precisely, what would be necessary to characterize episodes as actions, and persons as agents, so as for them to be answerable to moral criticism in light of rationally relevant considerations. The requirements are twofold: that practical reason motivate in virtue of the content of its deliverances; and that there be a will which is sensitive to those deliverances, and which chooses freely. A widespread procedural account of practical reason is examined and found insufficient to place ethics above the line; and a suspicion is raised that McDowell himself, and Jonathan Dancy, do not have a robust enough conception of will to avoid the below the line ethics they accuse their opponents of defending. (shrink)
From the care Plato takes in describing the excellence of the doctor in book 3 to the characterization of various pathological elements in the regimes he describes in book 8, the Republic teems with references to medical terms and concepts. The following investigates the breadth of the influence of medicine on the Republic. I argue that a medical vocabulary proves indispensable to indicating the relationship between philosophy and politics that the Republic envisages. In order to do so, this paper examines (...) the confluence of medicine and metaphysics revealed by a comparison between the discussion of the divided line and ancient characterizations of diagnosis. I then conclude with a reading of the Glaucus image in book 10 that emphasizes its self-diagnostic character. (shrink)
Abstract There is increasing evidence suggesting that environmental and social criteria are impacting the market in complex ways. The corporate world has demonstrated a willingness to respond to public pressure for improved performance on non–economic issues by embracing Triple Bottom Line (TBL) principles. TBL reporting has been institutionalized as a way of thinking for corporate sustainability. However, institutions are constantly changing and improving, while TBL has been fairly conservative in its approach to change. The more balanced focus on the (...) economic, the environmental and the social has provided a framework for institutions and markets around the world who want to focus indicators towards a sustainable future. This paper presents a criticism of the TBL approach that adds to the limited information on the pervasiveness of this approach. Content Type Journal Article Category Original Paper Pages 1-21 DOI 10.1007/s13520-012-0019-3 Authors Kaushik Sridhar, Net Balance Management Group, 332, Kent Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia Grant Jones, Australian Catholic University, 8/20 Napier Street, NR House, North Sydney, NSW, Australia 2060 Journal Asian Journal of Business Ethics Online ISSN 2210-6731 Print ISSN 2210-6723. (shrink)
In this paper, we examine critically the notion of “Triple Bottom Line” accounting. We begin by asking just what it is that supporters of the Triple Bottom Line idea advocate, and attempt to distil specific, assessable claims from the vague, diverse, and sometimescontradictory uses of the Triple Bottom Line rhetoric. We then use these claims as a basis upon which to argue (a) that what issound about the idea of a Triple Bottom Line is not novel, (...) and (b) that what is novel about the idea is not sound. We argue on bothconceptual and practical grounds that the Triple Bottom Line is an unhelpful addition to current discussions of corporate social responsibility. Finally, we argue that the Triple Bottom Line paradigm cannot be rescued simply by attenuating its claims: the rhetoric isbadly misleading, and may in fact provide a smokescreen behind which firms can avoid truly effective social and environmental reporting and performance. (shrink)
This experiment investigated the effect of format (line vs. bar), viewers’ familiarity with variables, and viewers’ graphicacy (graphical literacy) skills on the comprehension of multivariate (three variable) data presented in graphs. Fifty-five undergraduates provided written descriptions of data for a set of 14 line or bar graphs, half of which depicted variables familiar to the population and half of which depicted variables unfamiliar to the population. Participants then took a test of graphicacy skills. As predicted, the format influenced (...) viewers’ interpretations of data. Specifically, viewers were more likely to describe x–y interactions when viewing line graphs than when viewing bar graphs, and they were more likely to describe main effects and “z–y” (the variable in the legend) interactions when viewing bar graphs than when viewing line graphs. Familiarity of data presented and individuals’ graphicacy skills interacted with the influence of graph format. Specifically, viewers were most likely to generate inferences only when they had high graphicacy skills, the data were familiar and thus the information inferred was expected, and the format supported those inferences. Implications for multivariate data display are discussed. (shrink)
We have surveyed various recent European opinions on Germ-Line engineering. The majority express more or less severe reservations about any interventions on the human Germ-Line, including therapeutic ones. However, they are divided over the pragmatic, or categorical-ethical nature of the relevant arguments. This split reflects two competing views of technology. The ‘pessimistic’ one is deeply concerned by the slippery slope leading from bona fide therapeutic applications of genetic engineering to eugenic practices. It insists that, if anything can defend (...) us against these evils, it must be a set of strong, ethically-based prohibitions. The other, ‘optimist’ view is more confident in the discriminating powers of societal regulation. We argue for the latter view and suggest that the pragmatic arguments brought to this debate are less problematic than the ethical ones. Keywords: embryo selection, eugenics, Germ-Line engineering, human gene therapy, slippery slope CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
This article presents the results of an inductive, interpretive case study. We have adopted a narrative approach to the analysis of organizational processes in order to explore how individuals in a financial institution dealt with relatively novel issues of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The narratives that we reconstruct, which we label 'idealism and altruism', 'economics and expedience' and 'ignorance and cynicism' illustrate how people in the specific organizational context of a bank ('Credit Line') sought to cope with an attempt (...) at narrative imposition. In particular, our work exemplifies how people in organizations draw on shared discursive resources in order to make sense of themselves and their organizations. We illustrate how many people within the bank found it hard to integrate the normative case for CSR with their version of a narrative identity which had, and continued to be, centred on economic imperatives for new initiatives. Our article demonstrates both the value of the analysis of shared narratives, and represents an attempt to deal adequately with the polyphony of organizational voices, in case studies of CSR. (shrink)
Determinations of the ethical acceptability of genetic therapy have relied on several distinctions in attempts to separate ethically acceptable genetic therapy from those possible therapies that could lead to genetic modifications of future human beings. One distinction that has been proposed is that genetic modifications of human somatic cells is ethically acceptable but that Germ-Line genetics modifications would be ethically objectionable. This paper examines several serious difficulties which call into question the ethical relevance of a somatic/Germ-Line distinction. Keywords: (...) double effect, future generations, Germ-Line modification CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
An ordered field is said to be Scott complete iff it is complete with respect to its uniform structure. Zakon has asked whether nonstandard real lines are Scott complete. We prove in ZFC that for any complete Boolean algebra B which is not (ω, 2)-distributive there is an ultrafilter U of B such that the Boolean ultrapower of the real line modulo U is not Scott complete. We also show how forcing in set theory gives rise to examples of (...) Boolean ultrapowers of the real line which are not Scott complete. (shrink)
It has generally been assumed that parallel visual search can only be based on the presence of simple features -- the spatial relations between features do not influence this process. We describe a series of visual search experiments that contradict this assumption. Search for line drawings of opaque polyhedra is greatly influenced by some line relations. In particular, search is rapid for line drawings (i) that have arrow- and Y-junctions corresponding to corners formed from orthogonal surfaces, and (...) (ii) that do.. (shrink)
Despite frequent calls by players, managers and fans, FIFA's resistance to the implementation of goal-line technology (GLT) has been well documented in national print and online media as well as FIFA's own website. In 2010, FIFA president Sepp Blatter outlined eight reasons why GLT should not be used in football. The reasons given by FIFA can be broadly separated into three categories; those dealing with the nature and value of the game of football, those related to issues of justice, (...) and those concerned with the practical implementation of GLT. This paper intends to evaluate these eight reasons in order to assess whether there are, indeed, any good arguments against GLT in football. (shrink)
This essay examines the role of the University of Bridgeport's Faculty Council in relation to the faculty union. The Faculty Council is a governing body composed of elected faculty representatives from different schools and departments within the university. Faculty Council leaders facilitated the certification of AAUP as the faculty's bargaining agent in 1973 and, under the author's leadership, the faculty petitioned the National Labor Relations Board to decertify the union in 1991. The author participated on the picket line during (...) the 1975, 1978 and 1987 faculty strikes, but crossed the picket line during the 1990 strike. (shrink)
Triple bottom line has been a popular slogan hinting at introducing a model to evaluate environmental and social impact. Just hinting, without delivering, can be seen as misleading, but the expressed ambition might deserve to be pursued rather than abandoned. Here, a sketchy model is developed about how to construct a net value that has an informative and relevant content. The problems and benefits of this model should be judged in comparison with the problems and benefits of the more (...) fragmented and inexplicit evaluation of an approach following the Global Reporting Initiative and other accounting guidelines. From the long list of desired actions by companies, there is a need to make priorities in a rational and explicit way. The triple bottom line is a candidate for becoming such a much-missed priority model. (shrink)
Several lines of evidence indicate that the on-line control of rapid target-aiming movements can be influenced by the visual context in which the movements are performed. Although this may result in movement error when an illusory context is introduced, there are many situations in which the control system must know about context in order to get the limb to the target rapidly and safely.
Psychotherapy and counselling services are now available on-line, and expanding rapidly. Yet there appears almost no ethical analysis of this on-line mode of delivery of such professional services. In this paper I present such an analysis by considering the limitations on-line contact imposes on the nature of the professional–client relationship. The analysis proceeds via the contrast between the face-to-face case and the on-line case. At the core of the problem must be the recognition that on-line (...) interaction imposes a physical barrier largely permitting only those disclosures of self we choose to make available, and greatly restricting the range of involuntary features and behaviours. I show why this is problematic, first, for the development of a close professional–client relationship, with particular emphasis on such failures as diagnosis and monitoring of the patient. Second I describe the importance of the development of professional character, and of how the on-line environment fails to provide a context for such character traits to emerge and develop. (shrink)
We respond to Moses Pava’s defense of the “Triple Bottom Line” (3BL) concept against our earlier criticisms. We argue that, pacePava, the multiplicity of measures (and units of measure) that go into evaluating ethical performance cannot reasonably be compared to the handful of standard methods for evaluating financial performance. We also question Pava’s claim that usage of the term “3BL” is somehow intended to be ironical or subversive.