In this paper an attempt is made to provide an analysis of the meaning of the term function and related terms as they are used by R. K. Merton in the first chapter of his book Social Theory and Social Structure. Several problems are suggested which must be solved if statements about functions are to be considered scientifically adequate. Secondly the term functionalism is defined and several of Merton's functionalist explanations of social phenomena are stated and criticized.
This article explores Charles Taylor's Hegelian and Aristotelian ethic of reconciliation. It comments on the critical work provided by Joel Anderson, Jürgen Habermas, Chandras Kukathas, Morag Patrick, Philip Pettit and Mark Redhead. It is argued that these critical perspectives on Taylor's work have not fully developed the spirit of liberalism which runs like a red thread through his ethic of reconciliation. For Taylor, reconciliation embraces others who are different from us and aims to create a virtuous culture. Taylor's critics overlook (...) the liberal implications of his ethic and also do not recognize his commitment to the plural diversity in modern societies. Taylor's communitarianism (post-liberalism in his mind) aims to create trust, openness and democratic accountability. The article concludes that democratic practice must also engage with others who are different from us, fostering a fusion of horizons that creates reconciliation and understanding. Key Words: communitarianism ecology interpretation liberalism post-liberalism public sphere reconciliation. (shrink)
Western attempts to obtain Chinese compliance with intellectual property rights have a long history of failure. Most discussions of the problem focus on either legal comparisons or explanations arising from levels of economic development (based primarily on the example of U.S. disregard for such rights during the 18th and 19th centuries). After decades of heated negotiation, intellectual property rights is still one of the major issues of misunderstanding between the West and the various Chinese political entities. This paper examines the (...) sources of this problem from the standpoint of traditional Chinese social and political philosophy (specifically Neo-Confucianism). It points out that the basic assumptions about the nature of intellectual property, which arose during the 17th and 18th centuries in Europe, are fundamentally at odds with the traditional Chinese view of the role of intellectuals in society. It suggests that policies which do not take these differences into account, but which attempt to transfer Western legal concepts without the underlying social constructs are responsible for much of the lack of success in the area of intellectual property rights. (shrink)
If the principle of equal pay for work of equal value is valid, then the practice of paying workers in third-world countries at a lower rate than workers doing the same jobs in industrialized nations is unjust. Recently Henry Shue argued that the principle is not valid. In this paper I criticize Shue's arguments and offer additional arguments in support of his conclusion.
This paper examines how good management can repair fractured relationships within organisations, addressing problems that if left unattended will threaten the future existence of many of these companies. It analyses why there is a mood for change in management thinking, and what direction that change can take. Part of the challenge is how managers can best satisfy the objectives of corporate social responsibility initiatives, and repair organisational and fractured community relationships. A possible role for management is to examine alternative ways (...) of thinking about the potential benefits for the organisation that can be achieved by enhancing employee relationships. In this regard, this paper offers strategies to examine management’s adverse affects on workers’ life-plans. The art of interpretation is used to expose how bureaucratic logic ignores workers’ rights and potentially damages the corporation’s longevity. Interpretation, as opposed to procedure, suggests that organisations are not simply profit mechanisms, but active and dynamic civil societies. By better understanding the facilitating processes of administrative and management thinking, it is possible that we can develop alternative strategies that empower individuals to circumvent the negative consequences of instrumental rationality and enable them to act more responsibly in the public interest. (shrink)
Quand Colbert fonda l’Académie des sciences dans le but de dynamiser l’industrie, aucun chimiste de l’Académie n’était encore susceptible de rationaliser l’art très empirique de la teinture. Au XVIIe siècle, la teinture n’était pas un sujet traité lors des séances de l’Académie, en revanche l’intérêt des académiciens pour cet art chimique a pris de l’ampleur dans les années 1750 sous l’impulsion de Pierre-Joseph Macquer et du Bureau du Commerce. Dans cet article, la présentation de l’art de la teinture à l’Académie (...) des sciences au XVIIIe siècle est centrée principalement sur les premiers travaux académiques sur la teinture, sur les mémoires de Macquer, ainsi que sur les prix et les publications sur la teinture proposés par l’Académie.Au cours du XVIIIe siècle, la teinture abandonnera le monde des artisans teinturiers pour intéresser le monde savant et les académiciens. La teinture acquerra ses lettres de noblesse, sortant des ateliers pour entrer à l’Académie avant de s’enseigner comme la chimie. (shrink)
The Dutch Book argument, like Route 66, is about to turn 80. It is arguably the most celebrated argument for subjective Bayesianism. Start by rejecting the Cartesian idea that doxastic attitudes are ‘all-or-nothing’; rather, they are far more nuanced degrees of belief, for short credences, susceptible to fine-grained numerical measurement. Add a coherentist assumption that the rationality of a doxastic state consists in its internal consistency. The remaining problem is to determine what consistency of credences amounts to. The Dutch Book (...) argument, in a nutshell, says that if your credences do not obey the probability calculus, you are ‘incoherent’—susceptible to sure losses at the hands of a ‘Dutch Bookie’—and thus irrational. Conclusion: rationality requires your credences to obey the probability calculus. And like Route 66, the fortunes of the Dutch Book argument have been mixed. Opinions on the argument are sharply divided. The list of its proponents is quite a ‘who’s who’ of philosophers of probability; they include de Finetti (1937, 1980), Carnap (1950, 1962, and more fully, 1955), Kemeny (1955), Lehman (1955), Shimony (1955), Adams (1962), Mellor (1971), Rosenkrantz (1981), van Fraassen (1989), Jeffrey (1983, 1992). (shrink)
Schools of business are being blamed for much of the unethical behavior in business today (Harcourt, 1990: p. 17); Ethics can and should be integrated into coursework throughout students' college careers (Spencer and Lehman, 1990: p. 7); ... business schools have been charged with inadequate attention to ethics (Bishop, 1992: p. 291); The American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) encourages schools of business to incorporate business ethics throughout the curricula (Davidet al., 1990: p. 26). These quotations indicate (...) the concern for providing ethics education in today's business curriculums. In 1976, the AACSB urged business educators to include ethics in their course curricula, however, over 15 years later there is still concern as to whether the coverage of this topic in the business curriculum is adequate.A review of the literature indicates that professors are beginning to integrate this topic into its curriculum. But what are the techniques that work? And is the topic of ethics truly being integrated into the entire business curricula? (shrink)
Despite a relatively healthy financial sector, the Japanese economy contracted 6.3% in 2009 during the global financial crisis (GFC) after the Lehman shock, the starkest drop among the OECD countries. Since then, the Japanese economy has been slow to recover, although the Japanese government has implemented multiple economic stimulus packages with a high aggregate value.
Today dominative power operates apart from, and exterior to, those state governmentalities that the "body politics" of Stanley Hauerwas disavows as "constantinian" entanglements such as military service, governmental office, and conspicuous expressions of civil religion. This is especially true with respect to those biopolitical modalities David Theo Goldberg names as "racelessness," by which material inequalities are racially correlated, thereby allowing whiteness to mediate life and ration death. If, as Hauerwas contends, radical ecclesiology is indeed a theopolitical alternative to the nation–state's (...) politics of violence, then it must prove itself resistant to such racialized violence. However, inasmuch as the (largely) uncontested fact of ecclesial segregation recapitulates these broader stratifications and exclusions, the church functions as a passive civil religion and itself participates in the politics of "nonviolent violence." Thus, Hauerwas must do something that he has been reluctant to do. He must talk about race and racism more directly, specifying how his ecclesiological theopolitics resists such forms of violence; more importantly, he must demonstrate how actual ecclesial congregations instantiate such resistance. In short, to be truly nonviolent, Hauerwas's body politics must become a politics of bodies. (shrink)