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)
There exist several phenomena breaking the classical probability laws. The systems related to such phenomena are context-dependent, so that they are adaptive to other systems. In this paper, we present a new mathematical formalism to compute the joint probability distribution for two event-systems by using concepts of the adaptive dynamics and quantum information theory, e.g., quantum channels and liftings. In physics the basic example of the context-dependent phenomena is the famous double-slit experiment. Recently similar examples have been found in biological (...) and psychological sciences. Our approach is an extension of traditional quantum probability theory, and it is general enough to describe aforementioned contextual phenomena outside of quantum physics. (shrink)
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.
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)
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.
Biology is seen not merely as a privileged oppressor of women but as a co-victim of masculinist social assumptions. We see feminist critique as one of the normative controls that any scientist must perform whenever analyzing data, and we seek to demonstrate what has happened when this control has not been utilized. Narratives of fertilization and sex determination traditionally have been modeled on the cultural patterns of male/female interaction, leading to gender associations being placed on cells and their components. We (...) also find that when gender biases are controlled, new perceptions of these intracellular and extracellular relationships emerge. (shrink)
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)
Some bioethicists argue that conscientious objectors in health care should have to justify themselves, just as objectors in the military do. They should have to provide reasons that explain why they should be exempt from offering the services that they find offensive. There are two versions of this view in the literature, each giving different standards of justification. We show these views are each either too permissive (i.e. would result in problematic exemptions based on conscience) or too restrictive (i.e. would (...) produce problematic denials of exemption). We then develop a middle ground position that we believe better combines respect for the conscience of healthcare professionals with concern for the duties that they owe to patients. Our claim, in short, is that insofar as objectors should have to justify themselves, they should have to do it according to the standard that we defend rather than according to the standards that others have developed. (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)
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)
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)
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.
: This essay considers whether liberal political theory has tools with which to count gender, and so gender relations, as political. Can liberal political theory count subordination among the harms of sex inequality that the state ought to correct? Watson defends a version of deliberative democracy—liberalism—as able to place issues of social inequality in the form of hierarchical social identities at the center of its normative commitments, and so at the center of securing justice.
Recent years have featured a spate of regulatory action pertaining to the development and/or disclosure of corporate governance structures in response to financial scandals resulting in part from governance failures. During the same period, corporate governance activists and institutional investors increasingly have called for increased voluntary governance disclosure. Despite this attention, there have been relatively few comprehensive studies of governance disclosure practices and response to the regulation. In this study, we examine a sample of 50 U.S. firms and their public (...) disclosure packages from 2004. We find a high degree of variability in the presentation and reporting format choices for many elements of the governance structure. This variability includes several items for which disclosure is mandated by regulators or legislative action. In particular, smaller firms offer fewer disclosures pertaining to independence, board selection procedures, and oversight of management (including whistleblowing procedures). There are also trends associated with board characteristics: boards that are less independent offer fewer disclosures of independence and management oversight matters. Moreover, large firms provide more disclosures of independence standards, board selection procedures, audit committee matters, management control systems, other committee matters, and whistleblowing procedures but do not appear to have a strictly superior information environment when compared to smaller firms. The findings raise questions about compliance with regulatory requirements and the degree to which conflicts of interest between managers and directors are being controlled. While there have been notable improvements in the information environment of governance disclosures, there remain structural issues that may possess negative ramifications for stakeholders. (shrink)