Berkeley in his Introduction to the Principles of Human knowledge uses geometrical examples to illustrate a way of generating which allegedly account for the existence of general terms. In doing proofs we might, for example, selectively attend to the triangular shape of a diagram. Presumably what we prove using just that property applies to all triangles.
I argue that Berkeley's distinctive idealism/immaterialism can't support his view that objects of sense, immediately or mediately perceived, are causally inert. (The Passivity of Ideas thesis or PI) Neither appeal to ordinary perception, nor traditional arguments, for example, that causal connections are necessary, and we can't perceive such connections, are helpful. More likely it is theological concerns,e.g., how to have second causes if God upholds by continuously creating the world, that's in the background. This puts Berkeley closer to Malebranche than (...) to Hume. -/- As far the what I call the "first strategy;" defending the passivity of ideas by ordinary introspection, I refer to the work of the French psychologist Albert Michotte,(1940) and those now extending his experiments, to show that (1) there is an immediate and quite robust visual impression of causality, (admitted in fact by Berkeley, Malebranche and Hume) and (2) of more importance, the impression isn't due to projecting into nature expectations gained from experienced regularities. (shrink)
I argue in this article that, contrary to some recent views, Berkeley’s bundle theory of physical objects is incompatible with the thinking that we immediately perceive such objects. Those who argue the contrary view rightly stress that immediate perception of ideas or objects must be non-conceptual for Berkeley, that is, the concept of the object cannot be made use of in the perception, otherwise it would be mediate perception. After a brief look at the texts, I contrast how a direct (...) realist view of immediate perception differs significantly from a bundle theorist’s view. The difference is so great that one rationale for the alternative view, the claim that Berkeley allies himself with common sense by claiming we immediately perceive physical objects, loses plausibility.Je soutiens dans cet article que, contrairement à certaines interprétations récentes, la théorie de Berkeley sur la collection d’idées relatives aux objets matériels (bundle theory) est incompatible avec la pensée que nous percevons ces objets defaçon immédiate. Ceux qui ont soutenu le contraire remarquent à juste titre que la perception immédiate des idées ou des objets doit être non conceptuelle pourBerkeley : le concept de l’objet ne peut servir lors de la perception, car il s’agirait alors d’une perception médiate. Suite à un rapide tour d’horizon des textes pertinents, je fais ressortir à quel point une théorie réaliste sur la perception immédiate differe d’une théorie sur la collection d’idées (bundle theory). Ces positions diffèrent tant et si bien que le principe d’exégèse suivant lequel Berkeley se réclamerait du sens commun en défendant que nous percevons les objets materiels de manière immédiate doit être remis en question. (shrink)
This important book brings together in one volume a collection of illuminating encounters with some of the most important philosophers of our age-by one of its most incisive and innovative critics.For more than twenty years, Richard Kearney has been in conversation with leading philosophers, literary theorists, anthropologists, and religious scholars. His gift is eliciting memorably clear statements about their work from thinkers whose writings can often be challenging in their complexity. Here, he brings together twenty-one originally published extraordinary conversations-his (...) 1984 collection Dialogues: The Phenomenological Heritage, his 1992 Visions of Europe: Conversations on the Legacy and Future of Europe, and his 1995 States of Mind: Dialogues with Contemporary Thinkers. Featured interviewees include Stanislas Breton, Umberto Eco, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Herbert Marcus, George Steiner, Julia Kristeva, Emmanuel Levinas, and Jean-Fran�ois Lyotard. To this classic core, he adds recent interviews, previously unpublished, with Paul Ricoeur, Jean-Luc Marion, Jacques Derrida, and George Dum�zil, as well as six colloquies about his own work.Wide-ranging and accessible, these interviews provide a fascinating guide to the ideas, concerns, and personalities of thinkers who have shaped modern intellec-tual life. This book will be an essential point of entry for students, teachers, scholars, and anyone seeking to understand contemporary culture.ContentsPrefacePart One: Recent DebatesJacques Derrida: Terror, Religion, and the New PoliticsJean-Luc Marion: The Hermeneutics of RevelationPaul Ric�ur: (a) On Life Stories (b) On The Crisis of Authority (c) The Power of the Possible (d) Imagination, Testimony, and TrustGeorges Dum�zil: Myth, Ideology, SovereigntyPart Two: From Dialogues: The Phenomenological Heritage, 1984Emmanuel Levinas: Ethics of the InfiniteHerbert Marcuse: The Philosophy of Art and PoliticsPaul Ric�ur: (a) The Creativity of Language (b) Myth as the Bearer of Possible WorldsStanislas Breton: Being, God, and the Poetics of RelationJacques Derrida: Deconstruction and the OtherPart Three: From States of Mind, 1995Julia Kristeva: Strangers to Ourselves: The Hope of the SingularHans Georg Gadamer: Text MattersJean-Fran�ois Lyotard: What Is Just?George Steiner: Culture-The Price You PayPaul Ric�ur: Universality and the Power of DifferenceUmberto Eco: Chaosmos: The Return to the Middle AgesPart Four: Colloquies with Richard KearneyVillanova Colloquy: Against OmnipotenceAthens Colloquy: Between Selves and OthersHalifax Colloquy: Between Being and God Stony Brook Colloquy: Confronting ImaginationBoston Colloquy: Theorizing the GiftDublin Colloquy: Thinking Is DangerousAppendix: Philosophy as Dialogue. (shrink)
J. H. Lambert proved important results of what we now think of as non-Euclidean geometries, and gave examples of surfaces satisfying their theorems. I use his philosophical views to explain why he did not think the certainty of Euclidean geometry was threatened by the development of what we regard as alternatives to it. Lambert holds that theories other than Euclid’s fall prey to skeptical doubt. So despite their satisfiability, for him these theories are not equal to Euclid’s in justification. Contrary (...) to recent interpretations, then, Lambert does not conceive of mathematical justification as semantic. According to Lambert, Euclid overcomes doubt by means of postulates. Euclid’s theory thus owes its justification not to the existence of the surfaces that satisfy it, but to the postulates according to which these “models” are constructed. To understand Lambert’s view of postulates and the doubt they answer, I examine his criticism of Christian Wolff’s views. I argue that Lambert’s view reflects insight into traditional mathematical practice and has value as a foil for contemporary, model-theoretic, views of justification. (shrink)
A defence of the possibility of amoralism is important to discussions about the foundations of ethics and the justification of morality. I argue against Michael Smith's attempt to show, through a defence of internalism, that amoralism is incoherent. I argue first, that a de dicto reading of the externalist's explanation of changes in motivation which are pursuant upon changes in judgement is not objectionable or implausible as Smith contends; and second, that internalism cannot account for the effort of the will (...) required to make such changes in motivation. I also argue that the internalism/externalism debate can be diffused by considering the epistemic difficulties associated with identifying motivating states and by rejecting the notion that motivation can be understood in terms of psychlogical states. (shrink)
I offer ten arguments to demonstrate why student plagiarism is unethical. In sum, plagiarism may be theft; involve deception that treats professors as a mere means; violate the trust upon which the professor-student relationship depends; be unfair to other students in more than one way; diminish the student’s education; indulge vices such as indolence and cowardice; foreclose access to the internal goods of the discipline; diminish the value of a university degree; undercut creative self-expression and acceptance of epistemic limitations; and (...) undermine the vital interpersonal component of higher education. Plagiarism warrants severe penalties that effectively combat the student’s presumptive competitive strategy for individual success. (shrink)
Addressing controversy over same-sex marriage, I defend the privatization response: disestablish civil marriage, leaving the question of same-sex marriage to private organizations; detach civil rights from erotic affiliation; and grant legal equality through the mechanism of civil unions. However, the privatization response does not fully address one key conservative argument to the effect that (heterosexual) marriage constitutes a public good of such importance that civil society has a sustaining interest in it. I acknowledge the legitimate, even profound, values or goods (...) that marriage promotes, but contend that they are compatible withhomosexuality. Further, I argue that marriage is neither necessary nor sufficient for sustaining the goods that inhere in modern marriage. Thus, it is not clear that marriage is the best way for the state to promote these goods. Finally, I suggest that the core goods of marital commitment are moral and are not the proper subject of state regulation. (shrink)
From the frozen landscapes of the Antarctic to the haunted houses of childhood, the memory of places we experience is fundamental to a sense of self. Drawing on influences as diverse as Merleau-Ponty, Freud, and J. G. Ballard, The Memory of Place charts the memorial landscape that is written into the body and its experience of the world. -/- Dylan Trigg’s The Memory of Place offers a lively and original intervention into contemporary debates within “place studies,” an interdisciplinary field at (...) the intersection of philosophy, geography, architecture, urban design, and environmental studies. Through a series of provocative investigations, Trigg analyzes monuments in the representation of public memory; “transitional” contexts, such as airports and highway rest stops; and the “ruins” of both memory and place in sites such as Auschwitz. While developing these original analyses, Trigg engages in thoughtful and innovative ways with the philosophical and literary tradition, from Gaston Bachelard to Pierre Nora, H. P. Lovecraft to Martin Heidegger. Breathing a strange new life into phenomenology, The Memory of Place argues that the eerie disquiet of the uncanny is at the core of the remembering body, and thus of ourselves. The result is a compelling and novel rethinking of memory and place that should spark new conversations across the field of place studies. -/- Edward S. Casey, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Stony Brook University and widely recognized as the leading scholar on phenomenology of place, calls The Memory of Place “genuinely unique and a signal addition to phenomenological literature. It fills a significant gap, and it does so with eloquence and force.” He predicts that Trigg’s book will be “immediately recognized as a major original work in phenomenology.”. (shrink)
lthough it was in the early eighties when I began to feel a growing disaffection with the radicalized academic left, a decisive nausea—inducing body blow was administered by the PMLA of january 1989. In that infamous issue appeared a letter signed by twenty-four feminist academics attacking the eminent Shakespeare scholar Richard Levin, for "Feminist Thematics and Shakespearean Tragedy," which had appeared in PMLA the year before. Levin’s essay, the work of a well-tempered, open-minded, and liberal supporter of many radical (...) reforms in the academy, was a penetrating critique of the feminist identity politics that were trying to wrest Shakespeare into the persona of a feminist scourge of sexism and patriarchy. Levin’s temerity in taking on the distortions of identity politics was threatening enough, but his Enlightenment style and Swiftian wit, which he brilliantly deployed to dismantle the tendentious and self—serving hermeneutics of the "dictatorship of virtue" (a phrase I borrow here from Richard Bernstein) that constitutes avant-garde millenarianism in the U.S. academy, served further to inflame the hypersensitive skins of his holier-than-thou critics, who brook no criticism.. (shrink)
lthough it was in the early eighties when I began to feel a growing disaff'ection with the radicalized academic left, a decisive nausea-inducing body blow was administered by the PMLA of January 1989. In that infamous issue appeared a letter signed by twenty-four feminist academics attacking the eminent Shakespeare scholar Richard Levin, for "Feminist Thematics and Shakespearean Tragedy," which had appeared in PMLA the year before. Levin's essay, the work of a well-tempered, open-minded, and liberal supporter of many radical (...) reforms in the academy, was a penetrating critique of the feminist identity politics that were trying to wrest Shakespeare into the persona of a feminist scourge of sexism and patriarchy. Levin's temerity in taking on the distortions of identity politics was threatening enough, but his Enlightenment style and Swiftian wit, which he brilliantly deployed to dismantle the tendentious and self-serving hermeneutics of the "dictatorship of virtue" (a phrase I borrow here from Richard Bernstein) that constitutes avant-garde millenarianism in the U.S. academy, served further to inflame the hypersensitive skins of his holier-than-thou critics, who brook no criticism.. (shrink)
Erotikon brings together leading contemporary intellectuals from a variety of fields for an expansive debate on the full meaning of eros . Renowned scholars of philosophy, literature, classics, psychoanalysis, theology, and art history join poets and a novelist to offer fresh insights into a topic that is at once ancient and forever young. Restricted neither by historical period nor by genre, these contributions explore manifestations of eros throughout Western culture, in subjects ranging from ancient philosophy and baroque architecture to modern (...) literature and Hollywood cinema. An idea charged with paradox, eros has always defied categorization, and yet it cannot--it will not--be ignored. Erotikon aims to raise the difficult question of what, if anything, unifies the erotic manifold. How is eros in a sculpture like eros in a poem? Does the ancient story of Cupid and Psyche still speak meaningfully to modern readers, and if so, why? Is Plato's eros the same as Freud's? Or Proust's? And what is the erotic dimension in Nietzsche's thought? While each essay takes on a specific issue, together they constitute a wide-ranging conversation in which these broader questions are at play. A compilation of the latest, best efforts to reckon with eros , Erotikon will appeal not just to scholars and educators, but also to artists and critics, to the curious and the disillusioned, to the prurient and the prudent. Contributors: Shadi Bartsch Peter Brooks J. M. Coetzee Catharine Edwards Anthony Grafton Tom Gunning David M. Halperin Valentina Izmirlieva Jonathan Lear Eric Marty Susan Mitchell Glenn W. Most Martha C. Nussbaum Robert B. Pippin James I. Porter Philippe Roger Ingrid D. Rowland Eric L. Santner Mark Strand David Tracy Richard Wollheim Slavoj Zizek. (shrink)
Prologue: Stormclouds : London, April 1900 -- Quantum of action: The most strenuous work of my life : Berlin, December 1900 ; Annus Mirabilis : Bern, March 1905 ; A little bit of reality : Manchester, April 1913 ; la Comédie Française : Paris, September 1923 ; A strangely beautiful interior : Helgoland, June 1925 ; The self-rotating electron : Leiden, November 1925 ; A late erotic outburst : Swiss Alps, Christmas 1925 -- Quantum interpretation: Ghost field : Oxford, August (...) 1926 ; All this damned quantum jumping : Copenhagen, October 1926 ; The uncertainty principle : Copenhagen, February 1927 ; The 'Kopenhagener geist' : Copenhagen, June 1927 ; There is no quantum world : Lake Como, September 1927 -- Quantum debate: The debate commences : Brussels, October 1927 ; An absolute wonder : Cambridge, Christmas 1927 ; The photon box : Brussels, October 1930 ; A bolt from the blue : Princeton, May 1935 ; The paradox of Schrödinger's cat : Oxford, August 1935 -- Interlude: The first war of physics : Christmas 1938-August 1945 -- Quantum fields: Shelter Island : Long Island, June 1947 ; Pictorial semi-vision thing : New York, January 1949 ; A beautiful idea : Princeton, February 1954 ; Some strangeness in the proportion : Rochester, August 1960 ; Three quarks for Muster Mark! : New York, March 1963 ; The 'God particle' : Cambridge, Massachusetts, Autumn 1967 -- Quantum particles: Deep inelastic scattering : Stanford, August 1968 ; Of charm and weak neutral currents : Harvard, February 1970 ; The magic of colour : Princeton/Harvard, April 1973 ; The November revolution : Long Island/Stanford, November 1974 ; Intermediate vector bosons : Geneva, January/June 1983 ; The standard model : Geneva, September 2003 -- Quantum reality: Hidden variable : Princeton, Spring 1951 ; Bertlmann's socks : Boston, September 1964 ; The Aspect experiments : Paris, September 1982 ; The quantum eraser : Baltimore, January 1999 ; Lab cats : Stony Brook/Delft, July 2000 ; The persistent illusion : Vienna, December 2006 -- Quantum cosmology: The wavefunction of the universe : Princeton, July 1966 ; Hawking radiation : Oxford, February 1974 ; The first superstring revolution : Aspen, August 1984 ; Quanta of space and time : Santa Barbara, February 1986 ; Crisis? What crisis? : Durham, Summer 1994 -- A quantum of solace? : Geneva, March 2010. (shrink)
In his day, theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) was immensely influential - a public intellectual and author of many books who even appeared on the cover of Time magazine (in 1948). He was a realist in political philosophy, and his book The Irony of American History continues to speak directly to the question of American imperialism. The current international situation requires serious reflection of the kind at which Niebuhr excelled, and Niebuhr's thought has experienced something of a revival. Pundits and politicians (...) from James Fallows, Jean Bethke Elshtain, and David Brooks to Bill Moyers, and Senators John Danforth and Barack Obama all cite Niebuhr's work with approval. If Niebuhr is attractive as a tough-minded political realist, he is insufficiently orthodox for some Christian theologians and ethicists. In this book, Richard Crouter offers an accessible introduction to Niebuhr's religious and political thought, while attempting to discover how Niebuhr can appeal to persons belonging to opposing political and religious camps, and whether his uncanny ability to speak to atheists as well as believers is a strength or weakness. (shrink)
Management practitioners and scholars have worked diligently to identify methods for ethical decision making in international contexts. Theoretical frameworks such as Integrative Social Contracts Theory (Donaldson and Dunfee, 1994, Academy of Management Review 19, 252–284) and more recently the Global Business Citizenship Approach [Wood et al., 2006, Global Business Citizenship: A Transformative Framework for Ethics and Sustainable Capitalism. (M. E. Sharpe, Armonk, NY)] have produced innovations in practice. Despite these advances, many managers have difficulty implementing these theoretical concepts in daily (...) practice. Using the example of recent decisions by internet service providers Google, Yahoo, and MSN regarding censorship requirements in China, we offer six heuristic questions to help managers to resolve cross-cultural ethical conflicts in which the firm’s way of doing business differs from the practice in the host country. Recognizing that companies can take different approaches to law and ethics (Paine, 1994, Harvard Business Review 72(2), 107–117), our aim is to provide a management decision process to deal with demands or opportunities for engaging in questionable business practices in a host country. (shrink)
Cross cultural ethical conflicts are a major challenge for managers of multinational corporations (MNEs) when an MNE''s business practices and a host country''s practices differ. We develop a set of decision principles to help MNE managers deal with these conflicts and illustrate with examples of ethical conflicts faced by MNEs doing business in contemporary Russia (DeGeorge, 1994). We discuss the generalizability of the principles by comparing them to the Donaldson (1989) and Buller and Kohls (1997) decision models. Finally we discuss (...) changes in the cross cultural ethical problems facing MNE managers and offer suggestions for future corporate and academic work on these problems. (shrink)
This study adds to the empirical evidence supporting a significant connection between ethics and profitability by examining the connection between published reports of unethical behaviour by publicly traded U.S. and multinational firms and the performance of their stock. Using reports of unethical behaviour published in the Wall Street Journal from 1989 to 1993, the analysis shows that the actual stock performance for those companies was lower than the expected market adjusted returns. Unethical conduct by firms which is discovered and publicized (...) does impact on the shareholders by lowering the value of their stock for an appreciable period of time. Whatever their views on whether ethical behaviour is profitable, managers should be able to see a definite connection between unethical behaviour and the worth of their firm's stock. Stockholders, the press and regulators should find this information important in pressing for greater corporate and managerial accountability. (shrink)
The news reminds us almost daily that the truth is apparently not highly valued by many in business. This paper develops two prescriptive standards — the Expectation and Reputation guidelines — that may help businesspeople avoid violating clearly accepted truth standards. The guidelines also assist in determining whether truth is required in circumstances where honesty seems in conflict with the practical demands of business. A discussion of why, when and how these guidelines may be applied to facilitate truth-telling by business (...) organizations follows, along with illustrative examples. (shrink)
Salespeople have a moral obligation to prospect/customer, company and self. As such, they continually encounter truth-telling dilemmas. "lgnorance" and "conflict" often block the path to morally correct sales behaviors. Academics and practitioners agree that adoption of ethical codes is the most effective measure for encouraging ethical sales behaviors. Yet no ethical code has been offered which can be conveniently used to overcome the unique circumstances that contribute to the moral dilemmas often encountered in personal selling. An ethical code is developed (...) that charts ethical paths across a variety of sales settings (addressing "ignorance") while illustrating why the cost associated with acting morally is generally reasonable (addressing "conflict"). The code applies the universal transactional notions of customer expectations and salesperson reputation to illustrate why and when salespeople are morally required to tell the truth. In doing so, the code tackles head-on the vexing question of how best to juggle mixed motives - involving self-interests, corporate-concerns, cus-tomer-needs and other influences such as the nature of the transaction. The issue of how mixed motives can be dealt with through moral means is one that ethicists have previously sidestepped (Stark, 1993). (shrink)
In the early 1990s, managers at Exxon decided to seek lower cost disposal in Louisiana for oil-field wastes declared hazardous in Alabama. This decision resulted in injuries to the residents of Grand Bois, Louisiana; the disposal company; Exxon; and the oil industry in the state. Given the need for business and society to manage business operations for mutual benefit, it is essential to understand why businesses injure the public so that similar incidents do not happen again. The authors use three (...) analytical perspectives to suggest how corporations may make unethical decisions without purposefully setting out to do so: their managers may fail to understand changing social expectations for corporate behavior; they may adopt organizational structures, policies, and procedures that block ethical action in the name of efficiency; and they may follow unwritten rules of behavior for career success that exclude ethics. These perspectives suggest that individual Exxon managers may not have been making greed-based decisions, weighing corporate gains against harms to others. The situation more likely involved a failure, for the reasons discussed, to raise ethics questions in making business decisions. This explanation does not make much difference to those injured nor does it absolve those who made the decisions. It does make a difference to society and to companies seeking to understand factors that have to be overcome in any large corporation that wishes to prevent such events from occurring. (shrink)
Rather than being inherently evil, business lobbying is a socially responsible activity which needs to be restrained by ethical standards. To be effective in a business environment, traditional ethical standards need to be translated into language which business persons can speak comfortably. Economical explanations must also be available to explain why ethical standards are appropriate in business. Eight such standards and their validating arguments are proposed with examples showing their use. Internal dialogues regarding the ethics of lobbying objectives and tactics (...) will plausibly occur only in businesses which recognize social responsibility mandates. Public interest stakeholders could hasten this recognition by making use of information made available by the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 to institute external dialogues regarding lobbying by specific businesses and industry groups. Given practical ethical standards and the information on business lobbying provided by the law, the press, corporate activists, consumers, pension fund managers and the public can apply pressure for ethical lobbying practices. (shrink)
Management practitioners and scholars have worked diligently to identify methods for ethical decision making in international contexts. In this paper we offer sixheuristic questions to help corporate managers resolve cross-cultural ethical conflicts involving questionable business practices in a host country. Our aim is to provide practical guidance for discussion within a firm on whether or not to do business the firm’s way, the host’s way or refrain from doing business there (the highway).
This paper reviews the experience of 174 of Canada's largest 1500 public and private sector corporations which have begun to incorporate sustainable development management and reporting as part of their operations. Answers are provided to three main questions: Why have they implemented this initiative? What progress has been made in terms of sustainability audit practice – frequency, focus, organization of the audit team –, internal communication, and external reporting? And where has, and will the leadership for the sustainability audit movement (...) come from as why? Sustainable development auditing and reporting in Canada is voluntary. Practice varies from an elementary level to a sophisticated integrated assessment of social, environmental, labour, sourcing and trading, and governance issues. The depth of practice and experience in this area depends on several factors, including: corporate commitment, the degree of public perception of sector-wide environmental issues, exposure to legal liability, and the extent of dialogue and transparency associated with the auditing process. Differences of opinion about accounting and auditing standards as well as whether all, or parts of, audits should be independent are explored. The sources of data used for this paper include the EthicScan Corporate 1500 DataBase, The Corporate Ethics Monitor, various reports prepared by EthicScan Canada, and the consultancies of both authors. (shrink)
This article examines the pressures and players that have shaped business ethics in Canadian corporations, and reports on the status of Canadian corporate social performance in 1995. Business in Canada has not been subject, up to 1996, to a powerful national institutional framework such as the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Consequently, business ethics in Canada have developed primarily in response to broader socio-political and socio-economic factors than in the US, and will probably continue (...) to do so. Interestingly, the issues, policies and practices developed in Canada may provide insights for US corporations as they respond to broadened pressures. Business ethics in Canada, on the other hand, will benefit increasingly from the US experience as pressures grow for national regulation and statutes governing corruption. (shrink)
Executives, professionals, educators and labour leaders are requesting an update on corporate ethical trends. This article presents an examination of why the interest in corporate ethics is growing both in society and in corporations. An analysis follows of how corporations are responding to this interest, and of how that response might be enhanced through improved second-generation codes of ethical performance.
The uniqueness of human cognition and language has long been linked to systematic changes in developmental timing. Selection for postnatal skeletal ossification resulted in progressive prolongation of universal patterns of primate growth, lengthening infancy, childhood, and adolescence. Language emerged as communication increased in complexity within and between communities rather than from selection for some unique features of childhood or adolescence, or both.
Proponents of two axioms of biological evolutionary theory have attempted to find justification by reference to nonequilibrium thermodynamics. One states that biological systems and their evolutionary diversification are physically improbable states and transitions, resulting from a selective process; the other asserts that there is an historically constrained inherent directionality in evolutionary dynamics, independent of natural selection, which exerts a self-organizing influence. The first, the Axiom of Improbability, is shown to be nonhistorical and thus, for a theory of change through time, (...) acausal. Its perception of the improbability of living states is at least partially an artifact of closed system thinking. The second, the Axiom of Historically Determined Inherent Directionality, is supported evidentially and has an explicit historical component. Historically constrained dynamic populations are inherently nonequilibrium systems. It is argued that living, evolving systems, when considered to be historically constrained nonequilibrium systems, do not appear improbable at all. Thus, the two axioms are not compatible. Instead, the Axiom of Improbability is considered to result from an unjustified attempt to extend the contingent proximal actions of natural selection into the area of historical, causal explanations. It is thus denied axiomatic status, and the effects of natural selection are subsumed as an additional level of constraint in an evolutionary theory derived from the Axiom of Historically Determined Inherent Directionality. (shrink)
The majority of North American corporations awakened to the need for their own ethical guidelines during the late 1970s and early 1980s, even though modern corporations are subject to a surprising multiplicity of external codes of ethics or conduct. This paper provides an understanding of both internal and external codes through a discussion of the factors behind the development of the codes, an analysis of internal codes and an identification of problems with them.
This article explores the kind of detachment needed to conduct comparative law scholarship and teaching, as well as implement its application to practical problems. The full and fair comparison of the law requires a cosmopolitan view which embodies some degree of detachment from adherence to the laws of one's ``home". The Enlightenment efforts to build a science of comparative law to achieve this detachment failed. Modern inheritors of the Enlightenment approach have similarly failed. In a series of articles, I argue (...) that we must return to the ancient effort to achieve a new ``objectivity" through Hellenic deliberation, Hellenistic detachment, Roman rhetoric, Christian dialectic and the canonics of the empire's codification process. This article focuses upon the Hellenistic contributions to achievement of cosmopolitan detachment. The Cynic, Skeptic Stoic and Epicurean doctrines and ethical education offer an alternative route to the detachment necessary for a comparative law. (shrink)
Current trends toward increased pace, more complex substance and lower tolerance of error have caused the financial marketplace to rely more heavily on the integrity of financial data and, therefore, of those who prepare the financial statements. At the same time, these trends place higher challenges before professional accountants and it is essential that they have excellent ethical guidance to live up to modern expectations. However, in view of the current codes of conduct, an accountant may not have a clear (...) understanding of what priority of interests to satisfy, who can be consulted for advice, to whom to report misdeeds, what protection is offered a right-doer and what sanction will be forthcoming for doing wrong. Possible solutions are offered to these problems in ways that ought to strengthen the accounting profession and prevent unscrupulous companies from taking advantage of both members of the profession and the unsuspecting public. To provide the appropriate quality of service to society in the future, the Canadian accounting profession should offer its members the improved guidance and enhanced mechanisms for confidential consultation, assistance and protection outlined herein. (shrink)
It is widely accepted by the scientific community and beyond that human beings are primarily responsible for climate change and that climate change has brought with it a number of real problems. These problems include, but are not limited to, greater threats to coastal communities, greater risk of famine, and greater risk that tropical diseases may spread to new territory. In keeping with J. S. Mill's 'Harm Principle', green political theorists often respond that if we are contributing a harm to (...) others in contributing to climate change and its negative effects, we then have a negative duty to assist those we have harmed and to reduce our carbon emissions. In this paper, I will take seriously negative duties stemming from a contribution to climate change and demonstrate that our negative duties do not demand that we necessarily end our contribution to climate change if we were able to compensate those who may be affected by climate change. Thus, the conclusion of many green political theorists - that we must reduce our carbon emissions - does not necessarily follow from the view that humans are primarily responsible for climate change and its attended ill effects. (shrink)
The purpose of this essay is to critically appraise J. Angelo Corlett's recent interpretation of Kant's theory of punishment as well as his rejection of Hegel's penology. In taking Kant to be a retributivist at a primary level and a proponent of deterrence at a secondary level, I believe Corlett has inappropriately wed together Kant's distinction between moral and positive law. Moreover, his support of Kant on these grounds is misguided as it is instead Hegel who holds such a distinction. (...) Finally, I attempt to refute the almost timeless retributivist rejection of deterrence-based theories of punishment on the grounds that the latter somehow would condone in some cases the punishment of innocent persons. These individuals almost always demand that no innocent person be punished as a rule of the highest order. (shrink)
It is argued that, based on Kant's descriptive metaphysics, one can prescribe the necessary metaphysical underpinnings for the possibility of conscious experience in an artificial system. This project is developed by giving an account of the a priori concepts of the understanding in such a system. A specification and implementation of the nomological conditions for a conscious system allows one to know a priori that any system possessing this structure will be conscious; thus enabling us to avoid possible false-indicators of (...) consciousness like that offered in a behaviouristic analysis. This is an alternative approach to the bottom-up or top-down approaches adopted by, for example CYC (Lenat and Feigenbaum 1992) and COG (Brooks 1994; Brooks and Stein 1993), neither of which, alone, or in some hybrid form, have proved productive. (shrink)
Until a few years ago, Cognitive Science was firmly wedded to the notion that cognition must be explained in terms of the computational manipulation of internal representations or symbols. Although many people still believe this, the consensus is no longer solid. Whether it is truly threatened by connectionism is, perhaps, controversial, but there are yet more radical approaches that explicitly reject it. Advocates of "embodied" or "situated" approaches to cognition (e.g., Smith, 1991; Varela _et al_ , 1991, Clancey, 1997) argue (...) that thought cannot be understood as entirely internal. Furthermore, it is argued that autonomous robots can be designed to behave more intelligently if representationalist programming techniques are avoided (Brooks, 1991), and that the way our brains control our behavior is better understood in terms of chaos and dynamical systems theory rather than as any sort computation (e.g., Freeman & Skarda, 1990; Van Gelder & Port, 1995; Van Gelder, 1995; Garson, 1996). (shrink)
Ongoing advances in paleoclimatology and paleoecology are producing an ever more detailed picture of the environments in which our species evolved. This picture is important to understanding the processes by which our large brain evolved. Our large brain and its productions—toolmaking, complex social institutions, language, art, religion—are our most striking differences from our closest living relatives. Indeed, humans are unique in the animal world for our brain size relative to body mass and in the elaboration of our cultures. We are (...) also the world’s dominant organism (Vitousek et al. 1997). We achieved our present anatomy and behavioral repertoire very recently. Fossil material attributable to our species goes back perhaps 200,000 years and artifacts that strike us as representing fully modern behavioral capacities are only about 50,000 years old (Klein 1999; McBrearty and Brooks 2000), about which time anatomically modern humans spread from Africa to Eurasia (Lahr and Foley 1994). Our ecological dominance began with the evolution of agriculture starting about 10,000 years ago. Explaining the late coming of human brains is a major evolutionary puzzle. Most important animal adaptations are old. Eyes, internal skeletons, adaptations for terrestrial life and for flight all date back hundreds of millions of years. Given that big brains and culture were such an overwhelming success for us why didn’t they evolve long ago? (shrink)