In Atheism: A Philosophical Justification, Michael Martin argues that to posit a God that is both omnipotent and omniscient is philosophically incoherent. I challenge this argument by proposing that a God who is necessarily omniscient is more powerful than a God who is contingently omniscient. I then argue that being omnipotent entails being omniscient by showing that for an all-powerful being to be all-powerful in any meaningful way, it must possess complete knowledge about all states of affairs and thus must (...) be understood to be omniscient. (shrink)
Focusing on Truth explores the question of what truth is, balancing historical with issue-orientated discussion. The book offers a comprehensive survey of all the major theories of truth. Lawrence Johnson investigates a number of closely related matters of truth in his inquiry, such as: What sorts of things are true or false? What is attributed to them when they are said to be true or false? What do facts have to do with truth? What can we learn from previous (...) theories? The book opens with an analysis of the coherence theory of truth and then the correspondence theory of truth, as developed by Moore, Russell and Wittgenstein. Through a study of the semantic conceptions of truth, the author reveals that an adequate theory of truth must take account of the pragmatics of person, purpose, and circumstance. A full understanding of facts and truth bearers is considered central to Johnson's criticism of the opposing truth theories of J. L. Austin and P. F. Strawson. Drawing on the merits of these theories and others, while identifying their deficiencies, Johnson presents a new account of truth, based on the correlation of referential foci and the use of linguistic conventions. This account is defended as being adequate to meet the legitimate demands made on a theory of truth. Johnson argues that the account leaves scope for statements of many different sorts to be true in their own widely varying ways, without the existence of a need to posit fundamentally different kinds of truth. (shrink)
Adults and infants display a robust ability to perceive the unity of a center-occluded object when the visible ends of the object undergo common motion (e.g. Kellman, P.J., Spelke, E.S., 1983. Perception of partly occluded objects in infancy. Cognitive Psychology 15, 483±524). Ecologically oriented accounts of this ability focus on the primacy of motion in the perception of segregated objects, but Gestalt theory suggests a broader possibility: observers may perceive object unity by detecting patterns of synchronous change, of which common (...) motion is a special case. We investigated this possibility with observations of adults and 4-month-old infants. Participants viewed a center-occluded object whose visible surfaces were either misaligned or aligned, stationary or moving, and unchanging or synchronously changing in color or bright- ness in various temporal patterns (e.g. ¯ashing). Both alignment and common motion con- tributed to adults' perception of object unity, but synchronous color changes did not. For infants, motion was an important determinant of object unity, but other synchronous changes and edge alignment were not. When a stationary object with aligned edges underwent syn- chronous changes in color or brightness, infants showed high levels of attention to the object, but their perception of its unity appeared to be indeterminate. An inherent preference for fast over slow ¯ash rates, and a novelty preference elicited by a change in rate, both indicated that infants detected the synchronous changes, although they failed to use them as information for object unity. These ®ndings favor ecologically oriented accounts of object perception in which surface motion plays a privileged role. Ó 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. (shrink)
Review of extant research on the corporate environmental performance (CEP) and corporate financial performance (CFP) link generally demonstrates a positive relationship. However, some arguments and empirical results have demonstrated otherwise. As a result, researchers have called for a contingency approach to this research stream, which moves beyond the basic question “does it pay to be green?” and instead asks “when does it pay to be green?” In answering this call, we provide a meta-analytic review of CEP–CFP literature in which we (...) identify potential moderators to the CEP–CFP relationship including environmental performance type (e.g., reactive vs. proactive performance), firm characteristics (e.g., large vs. small firms), and methodological issues (e.g., self-report measures). By analyzing these contingencies, this study attempts to provide a basis on which to draw conclusions regarding some inconsistencies and debates in the CEP–CFP research. Some of the results of the moderator analysis suggest that small firms benefit from environmental performance as much or more than large firms, US firms seem to benefit more than international counterparts, and environmental performance seems to have the strongest influence on market-measures of financial performance. (shrink)
The deformation characteristics of a sheared granular layer during stick?slip are studied from a meso-mechanical viewpoint, both in the absence and in the presence of externally applied vibration. The ultimate goal is to characterize the physics of dynamic earthquake triggering, where one earthquake, i.e., slip on one fault, is triggered via the seismic waves radiated by another spatially and temporally distant seismic event. Toward this goal, we performed Discrete Element Method simulations of a two-dimensional packing of disks, mimicking a mature (...) geologic fault. These simulations were used to investigate the affine and non-affine deformations inside the granular layer and their spatial?temporal evolution across the stick?slip cycle. The simulation results show that slip in general is accompanied by the appearance of localized regions with high values of both affine and non-affine deformations. These regions are temporally correlated and are mainly concentrated in a shear zone at the interface between the granular layer and the driving block. Dynamic triggering is found to initiate slip when vibration is applied late in the stick?slip cycle, when the system is close to a critical state. It is also found that vibration itself introduces a large amount of affine and non-affine strains, which leads to the initiation of slip at lower shear stress than an equivalent slip event without vibration. (shrink)
Cases have been employed across multiple disciplines, including ethics education, as effective pedagogical tools. However, the benefit of case-based learning in the ethics domain varies across cases, suggesting that not all cases are equal in terms of pedagogical value. Indeed, case content appears to influence the extent to which cases promote learning and transfer. Consistent with this argument, the current study explored the influences of contextual and personal factors embedded in case content on ethical decision-making. Cases were manipulated to include (...) a clear description of the social context and the goals of the characters involved. Results indicated that social context, specifically the description of an autonomy-supportive environment, facilitated execution of sensemaking processes and resulted in greater decision ethicality. Implications for designing optimal cases and case-based training programs are discussed. (shrink)
I develop the thesis that species and ecosystems are living entities with morally significant interests in their own right and defend it against leading objections. Contrary to certain claims, it is possible to individuate such entities sufficiently well. Indeed, there is a sense in which such entities define their own nature. I also consider and reject the argument that species and ecosystems cannot have interests or even traits in their own right because evolution does not proceed on that level. Although (...) evolution proceeds on the level of the genotype, those selected are able to cooperate in entities of various higher orders—including species and ecosystems. Having their own nature and interests, species and ecosystems can meaningfully be said to have moral standing. (shrink)
The human race is an ongoing entity, not just a collection of individuals. It has interests which are not just the aggregated interests of individual humans. These interests are morally significant and have important implications for environmental ethics.
We consider the use ofevolving algebra methods of specifying grammars for natural languages. We are especially interested in distributed evolving algebras. We provide the motivation for doing this, and we give a reconstruction of some classic grammar formalisms in directly dynamic terms. Finally, we consider some technical questions arising from the use of direct dynamism in grammar formalisms.
Religion and spirituality are important aspects of the lives of most psychotherapy clients. Unfortunately, many psychotherapists lack the training to effectively and ethically address these issues with their clients. At times, religious or spiritual concerns may be relevant to the reasons clients seek treatment, either as areas of conflict or distress for clients or as sources of strength and support that the psychotherapist may access to enhance the benefit of psychotherapy. This article reviews persistent ethical issues and dilemmas relevant to (...) providing psychotherapy to clients for whom issues of religion and spirituality are clinically relevant. Ethical considerations include assessment, advertising and public statements, informed consent, competence, boundary issues and multiple relationships, cooperation with other professionals, and how to effectively integrate religious and spiritual interventions into ongoing psychotherapy. A decision-making process is presented to guide psychotherapists in their clinical work with clients for whom religious and spiritual issues are salient or clearly linked to their presenting problems. (shrink)
Case-based instruction is a stable feature of ethics education, however, little is known about the attributes of the cases that make them effective. Emotions are an inherent part of ethical decision-making and one source of information actively stored in case-based knowledge, making them an attribute of cases that likely facilitates case-based learning. Emotions also make cases more realistic, an essential component for effective case-based instruction. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of emotional case content, and complementary (...) socio-relational case content, on case-based knowledge acquisition and transfer on future ethical decision-making tasks. Study findings suggest that emotional case content stimulates retention of cases and facilitates transfer of ethical decision-making principles demonstrated in cases. (shrink)
Organizational leaders face environmental challenges and pressures that put them under ethical risk. Navigating this ethical risk is demanding given the dynamics of contemporary organizations. Traditional models of ethical decision-making (EDM) are an inadequate framework for understanding how leaders respond to ethical dilemmas under conditions of uncertainty and equivocality. Sensemaking models more accurately illustrate leader EDM and account for individual, social, and environmental constraints. Using the sensemaking approach as a foundation, previous EDM models are revised and extended to comprise a (...) conceptual model of leader EDM. Moreover, the underlying factors in the model are highlighted—constraints and strategies. Four trainable, compensatory strategies (emotion regulation, self-reflection, forecasting, and information integration) are proposed and described that aid leaders in navigating ethical dilemmas in organizations. Empirical examinations demonstrate that tactical application of the strategies may aid leaders in making sense of complex and ambiguous ethical dilemmas and promote ethical behavior. Compensatory tactics such as these should be central to organizational ethics initiatives at the leader level. (shrink)
Human experts are the source of knowledge required to develop computer systems that perform at an expert level. Human beings are not, however, able to reliably express what they know. As a result, experts often develop non-authentic accounts of their own expertise. These accounts, here termed reconstructed methods of reasoning, lead to computer systems that perform at a high level of proficiency but have the disadvantage that they often do not reflect the heuristics and processing constraints of a system user. (...) Reconstructed methods of reasoning are compared with authentic methods derived from the study of expert human behavior. Tests are proposed to establish the authenticity of reasoning methods and examples from medical diagnosis are used to illustrate how authentic methods of reasoning can be incorporated into an expert computer system. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
We present a rendering of some common grammatical formalisms in terms of evolving algebras. Though our main concern in this paper is on constraint-based formalisms, we also discuss the more basic case of context-free grammars. Our aim throughout is to highlight the use of evolving algebras as a specification tool to obtain grammar formalisms.
A multidisciplinary faculty committee designed a curriculum to shape biomedical graduate students into researchers with a high commitment to professionalism and social responsibility and to provide students with tools to navigate complex, rapidly evolving academic and societal environments with a strong ethical commitment. The curriculum used problem-based learning (PBL), because it is active and learner-centred and focuses on skill and process development. Two courses were developed: Scientific Professionalism: Scientific Integrity addressed discipline-specific and broad professional norms and obligations for the ethical (...) practice of science and responsible conduct of research (RCR). Scientific Professionalism: Bioethics and Social Responsibility focused on current ethical and bioethical issues within the scientific profession, and implications of research for society. Each small-group session examined case scenarios that included: (1) learning objectives for professional norms and obligations; (2) key ethical issues and philosophies within each topic area; (3) one or more of the RCR instructional areas; and (4) at least one type of moral reflection. Cases emphasised professional standards, obligations and underlying philosophies for the ethical practice of science, competing interests of stakeholders and oversight of science (internal and external). To our knowledge, this is the first use of a longitudinal, multi-semester PBL course to teach scientific integrity and professionalism. Both faculty and students endorsed the active learning approach for these topics, in contrast to a compliance-based approach that emphasises learning rules and regulations. (shrink)
Community-based participatory research (CBPR) focuses on specific community needs, and produces results that directly address those needs. Although conducting ethical CBPR is critical to its success, few academic programs include this training in their curricula. This article describes the development and evaluation of an online training course designed to increase the use of CBPR in mental health disciplines. Developed using a participatory approach involving a community of experts, this course challenges traditional research by introducing a collaborative process meant to encourage (...) increased participation by special populations and narrow the parity gap in effective mental health treatment and services delivery. (shrink)