Music, according to Sufi teaching, is really a small expression of the overwhelming and perfect harmony of the whole universe--and that is the secret of its amazing power to move us. The Indian Sufi master Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882-1927), the first teacher to bring the Islamic mystical tradition to the West, was an accomplished musician himself. His lucid exposition of music's divine nature has become a modern classic, beloved only by those interested in Sufism but by musicians of all (...) kinds. (shrink)
This paper raises the question of how ethical issues arising out of social inequities involving international business in developing countries can be represented, and articulates a conceptual framework that identifies and maps four different approaches to representing or making sense of such issues. A fieldwork-based case study on the child labor issue in Pakistan’s soccer ball industry illustrates the argument that representational practices do matter, and that when representational approaches go awry, they end up savaging the well-being of the poor (...) in the developing world. (shrink)
Gödel’s incompleteness applies to any system with recursively enumerable axioms and rules of inference. Chaitin’s approach to Gödel’s incompleteness relates the incompleteness to the amount of information contained in the axioms. Zurek’s quantum Darwinism attempts the physical description of the universe using information as one of its major components. The capacity of quantum Darwinism to describe quantum measurement in great detail without requiring ad-hoc non-unitary evolution makes it a good candidate for describing the transition from quantum to classical. A baby-universe (...) diffusion model of cosmic inflation is analyzed using quantum Darwinism. In this model cosmic inflation can be approximated as Brownian motion of a quantum field, and quantum Darwinism implies that molecular interaction during Brownian motion will make the quantum field decohere. The quantum Darwinism approach to decoherence in the baby-universe cosmic-inflation model yields the decoherence times of the baby-universes. The result is the equation relating the baby-universe’s decoherence time with the Hubble parameter, and that the decoherence time is considerably shorter than the cosmic inflation period. (shrink)
This article deals with the complex personality and legacy of a mysterious saint known both as a Sufī (Ḥājji Ratan) and a Nāth Yogī (Ratannāth) and links his multiple identity as well as the religious movement originated from him, to the specific cultural context of the former North-West Indian provinces. The first part is devoted to Ratan in the Nāth Yogī tradition, the second to his many facets in the Muslim tradition, in connection with his dargāh in the Panjabi town (...) of Bhatinda. The third and main part explores a particular movement, the Har Śri Nāth tradition. Presently centered around a “ dargāh mandir ” in Delhi, this movement, with its two branches issued from Ratan and from his “son” Kāyānāth, was rooted in what is now Pakistan. The influence of location and history has led to many peculiarities which lead us to stress the blurred boundaries between Islam and Hinduism and the essential part played by charismatic figures in the construction of religious identities. (shrink)
Knowledge translation has been widely taken up as an innovative process to facilitate the uptake of research-derived knowledge into health care services. Drawing on a recent research project, we engage in a philosophic examination of how knowledge translation might serve as vehicle for the transfer of critically oriented knowledge regarding social justice, health inequities, and cultural safety into clinical practice. Through an explication of what might be considered disparate traditions (those of critical inquiry and knowledge translation), we identify compatibilities (...) and discrepancies both within the critical tradition, and between critical inquiry and knowledge translation. The ontological and epistemological origins of the knowledge to be translated carry implications for the synthesis and translation phases of knowledge translation. In our case, the studies we synthesized were informed by various critical perspectives and hence we needed to reconcile differences that exist within the critical tradition. A review of the history of critical inquiry served to articulate the nature of these differences while identifying common purposes around which to strategically coalesce. Other challenges arise when knowledge translation and critical inquiry are brought together. Critique is one of the hallmark methods of critical inquiry and, yet, the engagement required for knowledge translation between researchers and health care administrators, practitioners, and other stakeholders makes an antagonistic stance of critique problematic. While knowledge translation offers expanded views of evidence and the complex processes of knowledge exchange, we have been alerted to the continual pull toward epistemologies and methods reminiscent of the positivist paradigm by their instrumental views of knowledge and assumptions of objectivity and political neutrality. These types of tensions have been productive for us as a research team in prompting a critical reconceptualization of knowledge translation. (shrink)
Introduction : a divided discipline -- A genealogy of agency -- Reforming a paradigm : constructivism to rational constructivism -- A rational constructivist theory of identity and strategy -- Jerusalem : the unsubstitutable core value -- Jihad for Jerusalem : Israel the tiger 1967-1997 -- Jihad for Jerusalem : Iran the cub 1967-1997 -- Jihad for Jerusalem : Saudi Arabia the paper tiger 1967-1997 -- Jihad for Jerusalem : Jordan the mouse 1967-1997 -- Conclusion : the future of Jerusalem.
South Asia is one of the most densely populated regions of the world, where despite a slow growth, agriculture remains the backbone of rural economy as it employs one half to over 90 percent of the labor force. Both extensive and intensive policy measures for agriculture development to feed the massive population of the region have resulted in land degradation and desertification, water scarcity, pollution from agrochemicals, and loss of agricultural biodiversity. The social and ethical aspects portray even a grimmer (...) picture of the region with growing poverty mainly, amongst small farmers, food scarcity, and overall poor quality of life. This article reviews the historical perspective of agriculture development in the region and gives a panoramic view of the policy initiatives and their environmental as well as social and ethical spin-offs. The aim is to explore the environmental and ethical dimensions of the agricultural development in South Asia and recommend a holistic approach in formulating plans and programs to combat environmental degradation, hunger, and poverty resulting from unsustainable agricultural practices. (shrink)
Changes in the understanding of the relationship between business and society have led to increased interest in and discussion of the notion of corporate social responsibility.This paper offers an empirical analysis of the perceptions of top executives in the West Midlands, U.K., and in Delhi, District Ghaziabad, India, of the notion of corporate social responsibility. Organisational changes and involvement in social action programmes, and problems of implementing and monitoring Social Responsibility in two cultures, India and Britain, were explored.
This article focuses on how an often-overlooked portion of PPACA, “Community Transformation Grants,” might close the evidence gap in the relationship between obesity and the built environment and provide a pathway to effectively address this medically and economically costly epidemic.
During the refereeing procedure of Anthropomorphic Quantum Darwinism by Thomas Durt, it became apparent in the dialogue between him and me that the definition of information in Physics is something about which not all authors agreed. This text aims at describing the concepts associated to information that are accepted as the standard in the Physics world community.
The phenomenological goal of grounding the content of conceptual thought in the background understanding of everyday, skillful coping was approached using evolutionary autonomous agent (EAA) methodology. The behavior of an EAA evolved to perform a specified motor task was identified with skillful coping. Changes in the dynamics of the EAA controller occurred when the EAA encountered an unexpected obstacle with loss of longer time scale components in its hierarchical temporal organization. These temporal (...) changes are consistent with the phenomenological changes which we experience with breakdown during equipment use with our adoption of a more immediate, determinate stance. Since this latter experience is the basis of conceptual thought, the EAA paradigm goes some way in providing a naturalized explanation for the grounding of the content of conceptual thought in everyday, skillful coping in a manner that is physiologically plausible and phenomenologically accurate. (shrink)
A Utopia in a conceptually complete form consists in four aspects, which are the aesthetic, psychological, sociological and moral aspects. In this sense the concept of Utopia has remained in the West as something not practically feasible. In Eastern thought, though, this concept did not develop in an institutional form, yet an instance in the East can be traced which fulfils, at least partially, the above mentioned aspects of this Buddhism may be considered as satisfying the psychological of a utopia. (...) From this perspective a synthetic view of Eastern concept. For example, and the moral aspects and Western ideas of utopia is proposed in this paper. (shrink)
On taking the common distinction between the legal and the ethical as a point of departure, and in an effort to understand Marshall's approach to self-interest, and thereby to his conception of an ethics of commerce, I read three of his essays in the light of some non-technical writings of Frank Hahn and three other Cambridge intellectuals. My larger project connects self-interest and self-deception to a possible ethics of theorizing in economics, and thereby to the ethics of the relationship between (...) the theorist and the theorized, the analyst and the analyzed. (shrink)
The University of Michigan conference “Where Religion, Policy, and Bioethics Meet: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Islamic Bioethics and End-of-Life Care” in April 2011 addressed the issue of brain death as the prototype for a discourse that would reflect the emergence of Islamic bioethics as a formal field of study. In considering the issue of brain death, various Muslim legal experts have raised concerns over the lack of certainty in the scientific criteria as applied to the definition and diagnosis of brain (...) death by the medical community. In contrast, the medical community at large has not required absolute certainty in its process, but has sought to eliminate doubt through cumulative diagnostic modalities and supportive scientific evidence. This has recently become a principal model, with increased interest in data analysis and evidence-based medicine with the intent to analyze and ultimately improve outcomes. Islamic law has also long employed a systematic methodology with the goal of eliminating doubt from rulings regarding the question of certainty. While ample criticism of the scientific criteria of brain death (Harvard criteria) by traditional legal sources now exists, an analysis of the legal process in assessing brain death, geared toward informing the clinician’s perspective on the issue, is lacking. In this article, we explore the role of certainty in the diagnostic modalities used to establish diagnoses of brain death in current medical practice. We further examine the Islamic jurisprudential approach vis-à-vis the concept of certainty (yaqīn). Finally, we contrast the two at times divergent philosophies and consider what each perspective may contribute to the global discourse on brain death, understanding that the interdependence that exists between the theological, juridical, ethical, and medical/scientific fields necessitates an open discussion and active collaboration between all parties. We hope that this article serves to continue the discourse that was successfully begun by this initial interdisciplinary endeavor at the University of Michigan. (shrink)
There is evidence of continued food insecurity and malnutrition in Pakistan despite significant progress made in terms of food production in recent years. According to “Vision 2030” of the Planning Commission of Pakistan, about half of the population in the country suffers from absolute to moderate malnutrition, with the most vulnerable being children, women, and elderly among the lowest income group. The Government of Pakistan has been taking a series of policy initiatives and strategic measures to combat food insecurity issues. (...) These range from increasing production to food imports, implementation of poverty reduction strategies, nutritional improvement programs, as well as provision of social safety nets. The article aims to instill some fresh thinking into the debate regarding the challenges of food security. It underscores the limitations of hitherto policy response, and suggests crucial measures to improve the present grim scenario. Policy makers, planners, practitioners, and academicians in countries with comparable socio-political and economic setup can view this discussion as a case study and may apply the findings in their domain accordingly. (shrink)
Reward attribute, i.e. long-term versus short-term reward, is the most commonly analyzed choice attribute in Iowa Gambling Task (IGT). The present study (nÂ =Â 45) employs measures of individual differences to explore preferences in IGT choices, based on punishment attribute (frequent versus infrequent punishment) along with the reward attribute. Three questionnaires (rational-experiential information processing style, risk attitude, and maximization regret behavior) were employed to analyze whether preferences were based on reward or on punishment attribute of the IGT choices. The T (...) test indicated a selective preference for punishment, but not for reward attribute. Pearsonâs correlation revealed that rational information processing is associated with more choices from infrequentâlarge punishment decks. Regression analysis indicated that rational information processing, tendency to maximize-experience regret, and risk attitude accounted for selective preferences based on the punishment attribute. Measures employed were unrelated to reward attribute of the IGT choices. Results are explained in terms of choice preference for frequent but smaller magnitude versus infrequent but larger magnitude punishment in IGT. (shrink)
The theory of rough sets starts with the notion of an approximation space , which is a pair ( U , R ), U being the domain of discourse, and R an equivalence relation on U . R is taken to represent the knowledge base of an agent, and the induced partition reflects a granularity of U that is the result of a lack of complete information about the objects in U . The focus then is on approximations of concepts (...) on the domain, in the context of the granularity. The present article studies the theory in the situation where information is obtained from different sources. The notion of approximation space is extended to define a multiple-source approximation system with distributed knowledge base , which is a tuple , where N is a set of sources and P ranges over all finite subsets of N . Each R P is an equivalence relation on U satisfying some additional conditions, representing the knowledge base of the group P of sources. Thus each finite group of sources and hence individual source perceives the same domain differently (depending on what information the group/individual source has about the domain), and the same concept may then have approximations that differ with the groups. In order to express the notions and properties related with rough set theory in this multiple-source situation, a quantified modal logic LMSAS D is proposed. In LMSAS D , quantification ranges over modalities, making it different from modal predicate logic and modal logic with propositional quantifiers. Some fragments of LMSAS D are discussed and it is shown that the modal system KTB is embedded in LMSAS D . The epistemic logic is also embedded in LMSAS D , and cannot replace the latter to serve our purpose. The relationship of LMSAS D with first and second-order logics is presented. Issues of expressibility, axiomatization and decidability are addressed. (shrink)
This article explores the role of surface ambiguities in referring expressions, and how the risk of such ambiguities should be taken into account by an algorithm that generates referring expressions, if these expressions are to be optimally effective for a hearer. We focus on the ambiguities that arise when adjectives occur in coordinated structures. The central idea is to use statistical information about lexical co-occurrence to estimate which interpretation of a phrase is most likely for human readers, and to avoid (...) generating phrases where misunderstandings are likely. Various aspects of the problem were explored in three experiments in which responses by human participants provided evidence about which reading was most likely for certain phrases, which phrases were deemed most suitable for particular referents, and the speed at which various phrases were read. We found a preference for ‘‘clear’’ expressions to ‘‘unclear’’ ones, but if several of the expressions are ‘‘clear,’’ then brief expressions are preferred over non-brief ones even though the brief ones are syntactically ambiguous and the non-brief ones are not; the notion of clarity was made precise using Kilgarriff's Word Sketches. We outline an implemented algorithm that generates noun phrases conforming to our hypotheses. (shrink)
In this article I argue that Jürgen Habermas’ notion of morality (moral norms) has more in common with Hegel’s notion of ‘ethical life’ as a ‘ sittlich ’ relation – understood as a socially integrative force – rather than Kant’s supreme principle of personal morality. I show that Habermas and Hegel, each in his own way, make a distinction between morality and ethics. However, I make the case that Habermas’ conception of ‘morality’ incorporates aspects of Hegel’s notion of ‘ethical life’, (...) while Habermas’ conception of ‘ethical’ – referring to individual and group conceptions of the good life – is a remedy to the shortcomings in Hegel’s overly unified ethical life. I offer an alternative reading of Habermas’ principle of morality, which I suggest should be read as his attempt to provide a binding process to set up the norms that ought to condition a modern political community understood as a civil association. (shrink)
A Martin-Löf random sequence is an infinite binary sequence with the property that every initial segment $\sigma$ has prefix-free Kolmogorov complexity $K(\sigma)$ at least $|\sigma| - c$, for some constant $c \in \omega$. Informally, initial segments of Martin-Löf randoms are highly complex in the sense that they are not compressible by more than a constant number of bits. However, all Martin-Löf randoms necessarily have contiguous substrings of arbitrarily low complexity. If we demand that all substrings of a sequence be uniformly (...) complex, then we arrive at the notion of shift-complex sequences. In this paper, we collect some of the existing results on these sequences and contribute two new ones. Rumyantsev showed that the measure of oracles that compute shift-complex sequences is zero. We strengthen this result by proving that the Martin-Löf random sequences that do not compute shift-complex sequences are exactly the incomplete ones, in other words, the ones that do not compute the halting problem. In order to do so, we make use of the characterization by Franklin and Ng of the class of incomplete Martin-Löf randoms via a notion of randomness called difference randomness. Turning to the power of shift-complex sequences as oracles, we show that there are shift-complex sequences that do not compute Martin-Löf random (or even Kurtz random) sequences. (shrink)
This paper examines a political theory implict in Kierkegaard's critique of the novel Two Ages. To achieve that aim, it views Kierkegaard as a political radical relative to modern liberalism and aristocratic conservatism of the 1840's in Denmark, by juxtaposing him to Locke. Basic to the theory is a notion of individuality which relies on three interlocking concepts: will, equality, and autonomy. That notion in turn supports ideas of authority and leadership that throw further light on Kierkegaard's understanding of the (...) relation between religion and politics and suggests what is central to the political logic operative in the critique in his publication Literary Review. (shrink)
Justin D'Arms says that moral disapproval is more closely tied to anger than to the “empathic chill” effect I emphasized in Moral Sentimentalism, but I argue that anger is in several ways inappropriate or unsatisfactory as a basis for understanding disapproval. I go on to explain briefly why I think we need not share D'Arms's worries about the possibility of nonveridical empathy but then focus on what he says about the reference-fixing theory of moral terminology defended in Moral Sentimentalism. I (...) explain why I think his interpretations of my view—both at the Spindel Conference and subsequently—misunderstand the (Kripkean) character of that view. My reply to Lori Watson questions whether her criticisms of Moral Sentimentalism's account of morality are sufficiently sensitive to the self−other asymmetry that typifies so much of ordinary moral thinking. (shrink)
This article offers a synthesis of certain essential contributions from three revolutionary thinkers of our age, C. West Churchman, Pir Vilayat Khan, and Ilya Prigogine, each of whom recently departed this life. In the course of this article, common threads in the work of these pioneers related to problem solving and creativity will be explored.
I have been teaching an undergraduate course called “Ethics and Animals” for almost a decade now. It counts as a core course for the ethics certificate at my university, and is housed in my home department, Women’s Studies, so there is some presumption of feminist or progressive content. I have the syllabi from all these years laid out in front of me on my desk. What strikes me immediately is that the turnover of the reading list is at least 75 (...) percent, and sometimes even 100 percent, from year to year. Early on, I see Singer (1975) and Regan (1983), Adams (1990), DeGrazi (2002), Francione (1996), Singer and Regan again, Linzey (1987), Haraway (1989), Francione again, Wolfe (2003), Derrida (2008), Waldau (2006) .. (shrink)
In this fresh and comprehensive introduction to animal ethics, Lori Gruen weaves together poignant and provocative case studies with discussions of ethical theory, urging readers to engage critically and empathetically reflect on our treatment of other animals. In clear and accessible language, Gruen provides a survey of the issues central to human-animal relations and a reasoned new perspective on current key debates in the field. She analyses and explains a range of theoretical positions and poses challenging questions that directly (...) encourage readers to hone their ethical reasoning skills and to develop a defensible position about their own practices. Her book will be an invaluable resource for students in a wide range of disciplines including ethics, environmental studies, veterinary science, women's studies, and the emerging field of animal studies and is an engaging account of the subject for general readers with no prior background in philosophy. (shrink)
This article provides an overview of the key philosophical themes and debates in discussions of pornography. In particular, I consider the major positions on how pornography ought to be defined, when (and if ) it should be regulated, whether it is best understood as speech (or action), whether there is evidence that is it harmful. I argue in favor of what is known as the civil rights approach to pornography, as reflected in the work of Catharine MacKinnon.
Can and should political liberals recognize and otherwise support legal marriage as a matter of basic justice? In this article, we offer a general account of how political liberals should evaluate the issue of whether the legal recognition of marriage is a matter of basic justice. And, we develop and examine some public reason arguments that, given the fundamental interests of citizens, could justify various forms of legal marriage in some contexts. In particular, in certain conditions, the recognition of some (...) form of legal marriage may be the best way to protect the fundamental interests of women as citizens in freely chosen associations. Or, it may be that, in certain conditions, to secure the social conditions necessary for gays, lesbians and bisexuals to be free and equal citizens, some form of legal marriage can or should be recognized. (shrink)
The idea of public reason is central to political liberalism's aim to provide an account of the possibility of a just and stable democratic society comprised of free and equal citizens who nonetheless are deeply divided over fundamental values. This commitment to the idea of public reason reflects the normative core of political liberalism which is rooted in the principle of democratic legitimacy and the idea of reciprocity among citizens. Yet both critics and defenders of political liberalism disagree over whether (...) or not the idea of public reason permits citizens to appeal to their comprehensive conceptions of the good in public deliberation over matters of basic justice. Our aim in this paper is to provide a defense of an exclusive idea of public reason, and at the same time we aim to dispel the underlying concerns of two prominent criticisms of the idea of public reason—the concern of alienation from the political process, as expressed by religiously oriented critics, and the concern over women's equality, as expressed by feminist critics. We argue that inclusive accounts of the idea of public reason are not consistent with political liberalism's core commitments. Further, we claim, inclusive accounts of the idea of public reason deepen feminist concerns. We think that, properly understood, an exclusive account of the idea of public reason can address feminist concerns about political liberalism and avoid alienating (reasonable) religious persons in an unacceptable way. Thus, we conclude that an exclusive account of the idea of public reason is our best hope for reconciliation. (shrink)
Establishing that nature has intrinsic value has been the primary goal of environmental philosophers. This goal has generated tremendous confusion. Part of the confusion stems from a conflation of two quite distinct concerns. The first concern is with establishing the moral considerability of the natural world which is captured by what I call "intrinsic value p ." The second concern attempts to address a perceived problem with the way nature has traditionally been valued, or as many environmentalists would suggest, undervalued, (...) what I call "intrinsic value v ." In this paper I argue against further development of both types of theories of the intrinsic value of nature. There are, I believe, intermediate valuations that have been almost entirely overlooked in discussions of value. Much of the confusion currently plaguing environmental ethics can be avoided by abandoning intrinsic value and refocusing environmental ethics. (shrink)
The existence of predatory animals is a problem in animal ethics that is often not taken as seriously as it should be. We show that it reveals a weakness in Tom Regan's theory of animal rights that also becomes apparent in his treatment of innocent human threats. We show that there are cases in which Regan's justice-prevails-approach to morality implies a duty not to assist the jeopardized, contrary to his own moral beliefs. While a modified account of animal rights that (...) recognizes the moral patient as a kind of entity that can violate moral rights avoids this counterintuitive conclusion, it makes non-human predation a rights issue that morally ought to be subjected to human regulation. Jennifer Everett, Lori Gruen and other animal advocates base their treatment of predation in part on Regan's theory and run into similar problems, demonstrating the need to radically rethink the foundations of the animal rights movement. We suggest to those who, like us, find it less plausible to introduce morality to the wild than to reject the concept of rights that makes this move necessary to read our criticism either as a modus tollens argument and reject non-human animal rights altogether or as motivating a libertarian-ish theory of animal rights. (shrink)
The Ismailis, among whom are the followers of the Aga Khan, rose to prominence during the 4th Islamic/10th Christian century. They developed a remarkably successful intellectual programme to sustain and support their political activities, promoting demands of Islamic doctrine together with the then newly imported sciences from abroad. The high watermark of this intellectual movement is best illustrated in the writings of the Ismaili theoretician Abu Ya´qub al-Sijistani. Using both published and manuscript writings of al-Sijistani that have hitherto been (...) largely hidden, forgotten or ignored, Dr Paul Walker reveals the scholar's major contribution to the development of philosophical Shiism. He analyses his role in the Ismaili mission (da'wa) of that time and critically assesses the major themes in his combination of philosophy and religious doctrine. (shrink)
Although in modern times and clinical settings, we rarely see the old characteristics of tribal shamanism such as deep trances, out-of-body experiences, and soul retrieval, the archetypal dreams, waking visions and active imagination of modern depth psychology represents a liminal zone where ancient and modern shamanism overlaps with analytical psychology. These essays explore the contributors' excursions as healers and therapists into this zone. The contributors describe the many facets shamanism and depth psychology have in common: animal symbolism; recognition of the (...) reality of the collective unconscious; and healing rituals that put therapist and patient in touch with transpersonal powers. By reintroducing the core of shamanism in contemporary form, these essays shape a powerful means of healing that combines the direct contact with the inner psyche one finds in shamanism with the self-reflection and critical awareness of modern consciousness. The essays draw from the contributors' experiences both inside and outside the consulting room, and with cultures that include the Lakota Sioux, and those of the Peruvian Andes and the Hawaiian Islands. The focus is on those aspects of shamanism most useful and relevant to the modern practice of depth psychology. As a result, these explorations bring the young practice of analytical psychology into perspective as part of a much more ancient heritage of shamanistic healing. Contributors: Margaret Laurel Allen, Norma Churchill, Arthur Colman, Lori Cromer, Patricia Damery, C. Jess Groesbeck, Pansy Hawk Wing, June Kounin, Carol McRae, Pilar Montero, Jeffrey A. Raff, Janet S. Robinson, Meredith Sabini, Dyane N. Sherwood, Sara Spaulding-Phillips, Bradley A. Te Paske and Louis M. Vuksinick. (shrink)
As was mentioned by Nicolas Lori in his (Found Sci, 2010 ) commentary, the definition of Information in Physics is something about which not all authors agreed. According to physicists like me Information decreases when Entropy increases (so entropy would be a negative measure of information), while many physicists, seemingly the majority of them, are convinced of the contrary (even in the camp of Quantum Information Theoreticians). In this reply I reproduce, and make more precise, some of my arguments, (...) that appeared here and there in my ( 2010 ) paper, in order to clarify the presentation of my personal point of view on the subject. (shrink)
In this paper, I critically develop the Jain concept of nonharm as a feminist philosophical concept that calls for a change in our relation to living beings, specifically to animals. I build on the work of Josephine Donovan, Carol J. Adams, Jacques Derrida, Kelly Oliver, and Lori Gruen to argue for a change from an ethic of care and dialogue to an ethic of carefulness and nonpossession. I expand these discussions by considering the Jain philosophy of nonharm (ahimsa) in (...) relation to feminist and other theories that advocate noneating of animals, “humane killing,” and “less harm.” Finally, I propose that a feminist appropriation of the Jain concept of nonharm helps us develop a feminist ethic of nonharm to all living beings. (shrink)
In the late 1960s Van Rensselaer Potter, a biochemist and cancer researcher, thought that our survival was threatened by the domination of military policy makers and producers of material goods ignorant of biology. He called for a new field of Bioethics—“a science of survival.” Bioethics did develop, but with a narrower focus on medical ethics. Recently there have been attempts to broaden that focus to bring biomedical ethics together with environmental ethics. Though the two have many differences—in habits of thought, (...) scope of concern, and value commitments—in this paper we argue that they often share common cause and we identify common ground through an examination of two case studies, one addressing drug development, the other food production. (shrink)
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a dramatically expanding area of activity for managers and academics. Consumer demand for responsibly produced and fair trade goods is swelling, resulting in increased demands for CSR activity and information. Assets under professional management and invested with a social responsibility focus have also grown dramatically over the last 10 years. Investors choosing social responsibility investment strategies require access to information not provided through traditional financial statements and analyses. At the same time, a group of mainstream (...) institutional investors has encouraged a movement to incorporate environmental, social, and governance information into equity analysis, and multi-stakeholder groups have supported enhanced business reporting on these issues. The majority of research in this area has been performed on European and Australian firms. We expand on this literature by exploring the CSR disclosure practices of a size-and industry-stratified sample of 50 publicly traded U. S. firms, performing a content analysis on the complete identifiable public information portfolio provided by these firms during 2004. CSR activity was disclosed by most firms in the sample, and was included in nearly half of public disclosures made during that year by the sample firms. Areas of particular emphasis are community matters, health and safety, diversity and human resources (HR) matters, and environmental programs. The primary venues of disclosure are mass media releases such as corporate websites and press releases, followed closely by disclosures contained in mandatory filings. Consistent with prior research, we identify industry effects in terms of content, emphasis, and reporting format choices. Unlike prior research, we can offer only mixed evidence on the existence of a size effect. The disclosure frequency and emphasis is significantly different for the largest one-fifth of the firms, but no identifiable trends are present within the rest of the sample. There are, however, identifiable size effects with respect to reporting format choice. Use of websites is positively related to firm size, while the use of mandatory filings is negatively related to firm size. Finally, and also consistent with prior literature, we document a generally self-laudatory tone in the content of CSR disclosures for the sample firms. (shrink)
I present two challenges to the theory of moral sentimentalism that Michael Slote defends in his book. The first challenge aims to show that there are cases in which we empathize with an agent and yet judge her actions to be morally wrong. If such cases are plausible, then we have good reason to doubt Slote's claim that moral judgments are an affective attitude of warmth or chill and, thus, are purely sentiments. The second challenge is more of a suggestion. (...) At the end of my paper, I suggest that perhaps one important role that empathy plays in our moral phenomenology is to mitigate the scope of our moral judgments. If this is right, it tells not only against Slote's account but against moral sentimentalist approaches more broadly. (shrink)
: Because an influenza pandemic would create the most serious hardships for those who already face most serious hardships, countries should take special measures to mitigate the effect of a pandemic on existing social inequalities. Unfortunately, there is little evidence that anybody is thinking about that.