Arguments to the effect that Church's thesis is intrinsically unprovable because proof cannot relate an informal, intuitive concept to a mathematically defined one are unconvincing, since other 'theses' of this kind have indeed been proved, and Church's thesis has been proved in one direction. However, though evidence for the truth of the thesis in the other direction is overwhelming, it does not yet amount to proof.
Any adequate theory of chance must accommodate some version of David Lewis's ‘Principal Principle’, and Lewis has argued forcibly that believers in primitive propensities have a problem in explaining what makes the Principle true. But Lewis can only derive (a revised version of) the Principle from his own Humean theory by putting constraints on inductive rationality which cannot be given a Humean rationale.
This paper shows how John R. Commons’ analysis of a firm’s goodwill value gives analytical support to Professor Amartya Sen’s contention (BEQ, 1993) that business ethics makes economic sense. A firm’s market value consists of the value of both tangible and intangible capital, including the goodwill value of ongoing customer relations. If a firm is to defend its goodwill value, it needs to have the protection of the courts and to pursue ethical practices. The courts defend fair competition by giving (...) protection from unethical competitors while the firm defends its reputation with honest dealings.By implication, firms which depend on ongoing customer relations will tend to engage in more ethical business practices than firms which do not. Even a firm which makes a mistake that compromises its product’s safety may reduce the loss of goodwill value over time by admitting the mistake early rather than hiding it.Also by implication, the transition from a command socialist economy to a market economy cannot be made instantaneously since trust, reputation, and these ongoing customer relations-key institutions of market economics-cannot be generated instantaneously. (shrink)
How much of our ordinary moral thought can we make sense of using a model of practical reason in which value is seen as subjective? There are already problems with showing strength of will not to be irrational. If social obligations are conceived of instrumentally as in a tradition running from Hobbes through Hume to Mackie, and if we employ our strength of will to sacrifice our individual projects in favor of them, the problems become insuperable.
Viewing moral scepticism as the rejection of objective desirabilities, inductive scepticism may be seen as the rejection of objective believabilities. Moral scepticism leads naturally to amoralism rather than subjectivism, and inductive scepticism undermines not our practices of induction but only a view about justification. The two scepticisms together amount to the adoption of a defensibly narrow, formal view of reason.