As computer-based information systems start to have a great impact on people, organizations, and society as a whole, there is much debate about information technology in relation to social control and privacy, security and reliability, and ethics and professional responsibilities. However, more often than not, these debates reveal some fundamental disagreements, sometimes about first principles. In this article the authors suggest that a fruitful and interesting way to conceptualize some of these moral and ethical issues associated with the use of (...) information technology is to apply the principles of Aristotle's ethics to this topic. They argue that framing the moral and ethical choices associated with information technology in Aristotelian terms draws attention to the fact that there are fundamental dilemmas to be addressed. These dilemmas are discussed in relation to the four areas suggested by Dejoie, Fowler, and Paradice (1991): (a) privacy, (b) information accuracy, (c) access to information, and (d) intellectual property rights. The dilemmas associated with all four areas are illustrated with references to recent legal developments in Australia and New Zealand. (shrink)
We use the Newell Test as a basis for evaluating ACT-R as an effective architecture for cognitive engineering. Of the 12 functional criteria discussed by Anderson & Lebiere (A&L), we discuss the strengths and weaknesses of ACT-R on the six that we postulate are the most relevant to cognitive engineering.
Allthough small business accounts for over 90% of businesses in U.K. and indeed elsewhere, they remain the largely uncharted area of ethics. There has not been any research based on the perspective of small business owners, to define what echical delemmas they face and how, if at all, they resolve them. This paper explores ethics from the perspective of small business owner, using focus groups and reports on four clearly identifiable themes of ethical delemmas; entrepreneurial activity itself, conflicts of personal (...) values with business needs, social responsibility and the impact of owners' personality on business ethics. The mechanisms for resolving ethical dilemmas is not at all clear, as there appears to be a web of filters which are used in an inter-connected way. However a common starting point for resolving an ethical delemma which involves others is based on identifying who it is (e.g., a friend or institution) and the quality of the relationship with that person. The research yielded a rich source of material on business ethics and it is clear that future researchers must focus on this sector if business ethics is to make significant advances. (shrink)
This essay defends the view of G. C. Pande that, contrary to received opinion, "ānanda" (bliss, felicity) is accepted by Śaṅkara (ca. 788-820) as a feature of Brahman consistent with and parallel to sat (being) and cit (consciousness). It also includes a counterargument by B. N. K. Sharma, and in conclusion offers a reasoned judgment of the arguments of Śaṅkara and these two contemporary philosophers.
We advance a model of human probability judgment and apply it to the design of an extrapolation algorithm. Such an algorithm examines a person's judgment about the likelihood of various statements and is then able to predict the same person's judgments about new statements. The algorithm is tested against judgments produced by thirty undergraduates asked to assign probabilities to statements about mammals.
(1)Four varieties of primitive affect are distinguishable, characterised by (a) strain, and (b) relaxation in response to a favourable situation, and by (c) strain, and (d) relaxation in response to one unfavourable. Exhilaration, gladness and interest arise from (a); ease, bliss and contentment from (b); uneasiness, distress and repugnance from (c), depression, sadness and apathy from (d). (2)These affects are due to (i) the organic harmony or discord induced by the environment; wherewith are evoked (ii) innately purposive patterns of out-going (...) locomotor and organic activity, partly self-controlled and producing organic sensations; the latter again induce (iii) organic harmony or discord. Self-activity is “affected” by (i), (ii) and (iii). An innate basis is afforded by (i) and (ii) for the affect, which is completely developed by (iii) derived from actual expression. (3)Instincts are integrated from different higher and lower reflexes, emotions from different instincts, sentiments from different emotions organized within progressively higher systems and subjected to control and inhibition, which are important determinants of the accompanying feeling. In the lowest reflexes the self is “affected” only by (iii). The higher reflexes are accompanied by the affects evoked as described above in (2). Instincts, emotions and sentiments are accom panied by their special feelings depending on the integration of dispositions to lower feelings and on (ii) and (iii). (shrink)
An increasing number of natural scientists are doubling as natural theologians. I critically examine two recent defences of the design argument by biologists: "Darwin's Black Box" by Michael Behe and "Nature's Destiny" by Michael Denton. Each claims that recent findings in biology provide new evidence for belief in a supernatural designer. For the sake of argument, I grant both the validity and soundness of their arguments. What I then try to show is that even if we grant that (...) the new biology supports a supernatural designer, J. S. Mill's objections, based on ordinary observation, still make it reasonable to doubt that the designer is the God of traditional theism -- a being infinite in power, knowledge, and goodness. (shrink)
In summary, the question of how to construe the procedure called reversibility cannot be given an absolute answer. No one moral interpretation of the principle is universally applicable, that is, applicable to all moral issues. The decision concerning which to apply cannot be made a priori, but only in context - that is, only when we are faced with a particular moral problem. Moreover, there appears to be no rule which would enable us to choose which version is correct in (...) a particular case. It is a matter of judgment.That the various versions represent a moral progression from lower to higher constructions is debatable. We have seen that the altruism of reversibility3 - the ethic of care - may recommend itself in some personal relations to the point of making either version of reversibility4 irrelevant. Similarly, it is not clear that reversibility3 is always higher than reversibility2. For example, parents in trying to decide what is morally best for a young child should often - in the spirit of the second construction - substitute the judgment of their mature selves for the judgment of the immature self of the child. Moreover, this substitution may not be justifiable in terms of either utility or autonomy.If I seem to have ignored reversibility1 in this discussion that is because I consider it outside morality: it is, if anything, a principle of self-interested calculation. If Baier is correct in holding that we teach children to think morally when we get them to take the standpoint of others, that requires, I believe, getting them beyond the stage of crude reciprocity. If Piaget and Kohlberg are correct in their developmental claims, we cannot immediately teach children reversibility4 but must help them progress through the other two versions. There is some basis for thinking that children can transcend egoism and sympathize with others much earlier than Kohlberg allows - an important consideration in the development of a system of moral education. That point has been pursued by Michael Pritchard in his critique of Kohlberg. Pritchard, p 44. My point is a different one: even granting Kohlberg's theory of development (which asserts, for example, that a particular cognitive ability is required to think like a Kantian), it does not follow that the moral thinking which accompanies the highest cognitive stage is morally superior to the moral thinking which accompanies the lesser cognitive stages. That it is cognitively easier to master reversibility3 than reversibility4 does not settle the question of which is morally superior. Rather than arguing about which moral version of reversibility is morally best- a pointless debate if the desirability of a version is understood as contingent upon appropriateness with respect to context - we should instead celebrate the richness of the concept of reversibility. In teaching students the moral point of view by getting them to put themselves in another's place, we would not be asking them to master a rigid formula, but rather to be sensitive to the decisional context and to make a thoughtful judgment about which version of reversibility is most appropriate to that context. We would not be teaching them either moral relativism or moral absolutism, but the complexity of trying to make a moral decision by applying an ancient and philosophically rich ethical principle. (shrink)
There is an alarming trend in the field of medicine, whose portents are ominous but do not seem to shake the complacency and merry making doing the rounds. The wants of the medical man have multiplied beyond imagination. The cost of organizing conferences is no longer possible on delegate fees. The bottom-line is: Crores for a Conference, Millions for a Mid-Term. However, the problem is that sponsors keep a discreet but careful tab on docs. All in all, costs of medicines escalate, (...) and quality medical care becomes a luxury. The whole brunt of this movement is borne by the patient. Companies like GlaxoSmithKline, Bayer, Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca, Schering-Plough, Abbott Labs, TAP Pharmaceuticals, Wyeth and Merck have paid millions of dollars each as compensation in the last few years. The financial condition of many pharmaceutical majors is not buoyant either. Price deflation, increased Rand D spending, and litigation costs are the main reasons. In the future, the messy lawsuits situation would no longer be restricted to industry. It would involve academia and practising doctors as well. Indian pharma industry captains, who were busy raking in the profits at present, would also come under the scanner. If nothing else, it means industry and docs will have to sit down and do some soul searching. Both short and long-term measures will have to be put into place. Short-term measures involve reduction in i) pharma spending over junkets and trinkets; ii) hype over 'me too' drugs; iii) manipulation of drug trials; iv) getting pliant researchers into drug trials; iv) manipulation of Journal Editors to publish positive findings about their drug trials and launches; v) and for Indian Pharma, to conduct their own unbiased clinical trial of the latest drug projected as a blockbuster in the West, before pumping in their millions. The long-term measures are related to the way biomedical advance is to be charted. We have to decide whether medicine is to become a corporate enterprise or remain a patient welfare centered profession. A third approach involves an eclectic resolution of the two. Such amount of patient welfare as also ensures profit, and such amount of profit as also ensures patient welfare is to be forwarded. For, profit, without patient welfare, is blind. And patient welfare, without profit, is lame. According to this approach, medicine becomes a patient welfare centered professional enterprise. The various ramifications of each of these approaches are discussed in this monograph. (shrink)
During much of the past century, it was widely believed that phonemes--the human speech sounds that constitute words--have no inherent semantic meaning, and that the relationship between a combination of phonemes (a word) and its referent is simply arbitrary. Although recent work has challenged this picture by revealing psychological associations between certain phonemes and particular semantic contents, the precise mechanisms underlying these associations have not been fully elucidated. Here we provide novel evidence that certain phonemes have an inherent, nonarbitrary emotional (...) quality. Moreover, we show that the perceived emotional valence of certain phoneme combinations depends on a specific acoustic feature--namely, the dynamic shift within the phonemes’ first two frequency components. These data suggest a phoneme-relevant acoustic property influencing the communication of emotion in humans, and provide further evidence against previously held assumptions regarding the structure of human language. This finding has potential applications for a variety of social, educational, clinical, and marketing contexts. (shrink)
Louis Agassiz.--Address at the Emerson Centenary in Concord.--Robert Gould Shaw.--Francis Boott.--Thomas Davidson: a knight-errant of the intellectual life.--Herbert Spencer's autobiography.--Frederick Myers' services to psychology.--Final impressions of a psychical researcher.--On some mental effects of the earthquake.--The energies of men.--The moral equivalent of war.--Remarks at the peace banquet.--The social value of the college-bred.--The university and the individual: The Ph.D. octopus. The true Harvard. Stanford's ideal destiny.--A pluralistic mystic.
the importance of this story in relation to the evidence for the ostensibly supernormal physical phenomena of Spiritualism. From 1869 onwards Sidgwick began to be associated with Myers in a common interest in psychical research. In the very ...