Role-functionalism for mental events attempts to avoid epiphenomenalism without psychophysical identities. The paper addresses the question of whether it can succeed. It is argued that there is considerable reason to believe it cannot avoid epiphenomenalism, and that if it cannot, then it is untenable. It is pointed out, however, that even if role- functionalism is indeed an untenable theory of mental events, a role-functionalism account of mental dispositions has some intuitive plausibility.
The paper examines how Brandom can respond to two objections raised against another sort of inferentialism, conceptual role semantics. After a brief explanation of the difference between the motivations and the nature of the two accounts (I), I argue that externalism can be accommodated within Brandomian inferentialism (II). Then I offer a reconstruction of how Brandom tries to explain mutual understanding (III-IV). Finally I point out a problem in Brandom’s account, which is this. Brandom’s inferential roles are social and (...) normative, but he also seeks to explain cases of understanding which involve novelty and individual ingenuity which cannot be reduced to social norms (V). (shrink)
In this paper I will do three things. One, to explain why conceptual role semantics seems an attractive theory of meaning (I). Two, to sketch a version of it which has a good chance of withstanding some of the standard objections (II-III). Three, to see what follows from this version with respect to the naturalization of meaning (IV).
This paper outlines a new approach to the task of giving an account of the meaning of moral statements: a sort of "conceptual role semantics", according to which the meaning of moral terms is given by their role in practical reasoning. This role is sufficient both to distinguish the meaning of any moral term from that of other terms, and to determine the property or relation (if any) that the term stands for. The paper ends by suggesting (...) reasons for regarding this "conceptual role semantics" approach as preferable to noncognitivism, the causal theory of reference, and noncircular conceptual analysis. (shrink)
While according to the inferentialists, meaning is always a kind of inferential role, proponents of other approaches to semantics often doubt that actual meanings, as they see them, can be generally reduced to inferential roles. In this paper we propose a formal framework for considering the hypothesis of the.
Igal Kvart RATIONAL ASSERTIBILITY, THE STEERING ROLE OF KNOWLEDGE, AND PRAGMATIC ENCROACHMENT Abstract In the past couple of decades, there were a few major attempts to establish the thesis of pragmatic encroachment – that there is a significant pragmatic ingredient in the truth-conditions for knowledge-ascriptions. Epistemic contextualism has flaunted the notion of a conversational standard, and Stanley's subject-sensitive invariantism (SSI) promoted stakes, each of which, according to their proponents, play a major role as pragmatic components in the truth (...) conditions of knowledge ascriptions. These conceptions were propelled first and foremost by examples of knowledge ascriptions with obvious pragmatic aspects that seemed to require a pragmatic component in the truth-conditions of knowledge ascriptions in order to be accounted for. However, if such examples can be adequately explained not by pragmatic encroachment purely pragmatically, the central role that such examples play in supporting these accounts will be undermined. I lay out here a new pragmatic account, offering a different, purely pragmatic picture that explains such examples, and much more. If such an account and its associated explanations are adequate, then much of a need or a motivation for pragmatic encroachment is undermined. Specifically, I will develop the notion of rational assertibility, appealing to rational norms (which are not Gricean) as interfacing with semantic and epistemic (and other) norms to yield assertibility simpliciter. More importantly, I will argue for a well-entrenched pragmatic profile of knowledge, the so-called steering role of knowledge. Knowledge ascriptions, or simple assertions (that don't invoke the notion of knowledge), it will be argued, play a pragmatic role of steering audiences in joint deliberational setups to the speaker's preferred action by invoking an impending practical inference leading to that preferred action, and of ignoring incompatible alternatives. The recognition of rational forces as affecting, sometimes strongly and predominantly, intuitions associated with knowledge ascriptions, has important implications to philosophical methodology regarding what count as evidence for semantic features. One such lesson calls for securing examples with no significant rational forces at play in order to establish semantic features. Another calls attention to the ill-suitability of employing assertibility by figures in examples featuring deliberational setups for such a purpose in view of the role that such assertibility plays in reflecting rational aspects of such figures, in addition to their epistemic and semantic characteristics. Still another lesson points to a specific role that audiences play in such deliberational setups. (shrink)
How is the Confucian moral agent motivated to do what he or she judges to be right or good? In western philosophy, the answer to a question such as this depends on whether one is an internalist or externalist concerning moral motivation. In this article, I will first interpret Confucian ethics as role-based ethics and then argue that we can attribute to Confucianism a position on moral motivation that is neither internalist nor externalist but somewhere in between. I will (...) then illustrate my claim with my reading of Mencius 6A4, showing that it is superior to readings found in the literature, which typically assume that Mencius is an internalist. (shrink)
Two-Factor conceptual role theories of mental content are often intended to allow mental representations to satisfy two competing requirements. One is the Fregean requirement that two representations, like public language expressions, can have different meanings even though they have the same reference (as in the case of âmorning starâ and âevening starâ). The other is Putnam's Twin-earth requirement that two representations or expressions can have the same conceptual role but differ in meaning due to differing references. But I (...) argue that the hidden agenda behind these theories is to make misrepresentation possible. A simple, one-factor conceptual role theory (like the "crude causal theory" Fodor describes) falls prey to the disjunction problem. If every use or application of a concept is meaning-determining, then there can be no misuse of that concept. Each use will partially determine its meaning, and, use which is covered in the meaning cannot be a misuse, error, or misrepresentation. I argue that the referential factor in two-factor conceptual role theories is what is supposed to make misrepresentation possible. But it fails to do so, because when the two factors do not determine the same meaning, there is no non-question-begging way to have one of them take precedence and force meaning to align with one factor and deviate from the other. (shrink)
Role morality can be defined as “claim(ing) a moral permission to harm others in ways that, if not for the role, would be wrong” (A. Applbaum: 1999, Ethics for Adversaries: The Morality of Roles in Public and Professional Life (Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ) p. 3). Adversarial situations resulting in role morality occur most frequently in the fields of law, business, and government. Within the realm of accounting, professional obligations may place the accountant in a situation where (...) he/she is susceptible to the pressures of role morality. If the accountant engages in acts consistent with role morality, significant harm to others may result. The current study represents an initial investigation into role morality in accounting and includes survey data from three samples of professionals: accountants, physicians, and attorneys. Results suggest that accountants generally do not agree that role morality is acceptable. Additionally, when compared to the groups of physicians and attorneys, physicians agree the least with role morality, while attorneys agree the most. Implications for practicing accountants and suggestions for future research into the theory of role morality are offered. (shrink)
I propose a version of inferential role theory which says that having a concept is having the disposition to draw most of the inferences based on the stereotypical features associated with this concept. I defend this view against Fodor and Lepore.
Businesses are eager to present themselves as honest and reliable corporate citizens who care about the overall well-being of society. This article researches whether different role conceptions of businesses regarding social issues are related to their success in dealing with social demands. Do socially active companies have a better social reputation than inactive companies? This relationship is determined by first extracting the social role conceptions of the companies from their Corporate Social Responsibility reports and then comparing this data (...) to their social reputations. The analysis shows that there is indeed a relationship between these two variables. Companies with a broad social role conception score significantly better on their social reputations than companies with a narrow role conception. Social role conceptions therefore matter when dealing with social demands. (shrink)
Role conflict occurs when a job possesses inconsistent expectations incongruent with individual beliefs, a situation that precipitates considerable frustration and other negative work outcomes. Increasing interest in processes that reduce role conflict is, therefore, witnessed. With the help of information collected from a large sample of individuals employed at an education-based healthcare institution, this study identified several factors that might decrease role conflict, namely mindfulness and organizational ethics. In particular, the results indicated that mindfulness was associated with (...) decreased role conflict, and that perceived ethical values and a shared ethics code were associated with decreased role conflict and increased mindfulness. Despite the study's limitations, these findings imply that companies might better manage role conflict through the development of mindfulness and organizational ethics. (shrink)
This paper studies the relationship between organizational ethical climate and the forms of organizational citizenship behavior (OCB), including in-role and extra-role behaviors, and examines the mediating effect of employee loyalty. A sample of employees from a traditional Hong Kong-based company was used as a study group. The purpose of this study was to examine the causes and implications of how various ethical work climates affect employee performance. Based on a model proposed by Victor and Cullen, ethical climate is (...) arranged from lower levels to higher levels. The results suggest that lower levels of ethical climate (instrumentality and independence), characterizing a weak relational contract between employee and employer, are associated with negative extra-role behavior. In contrast, higher levels of ethical climate (caring and law-and-code), symbolic of a strong relational contract at work, are associated with positive extra-role behavior. Moreover, normative commitment mediated a positive relationship between caring and identification with the company, whereas attitudinal loyalty mediated the negative relationship between independence and altruism. Implications for future research and practice are discussed. (shrink)
For a long time, female endorsers in advertising have been doing product information promotion in the market. However, with more and more highly educated women participating in the labor force, the conception of feminist depictions in advertising have become a perplexing issue. The traditional female role portrayals or stereotypes of the past are not able to totally reflect the expectations, behavior, attitudes, and beliefs of contemporary women. The author collected print (...) ads as data from three types of the highest circulation magazines: foreign women’s magazines (Chinese edition), domestic women’s magazines, and domestic management magazines subscribed to in Taiwan to investigate what were the favorite feminine patterns and feminist depictions in a traditionally masculine society. The results showed classical beauty and girl-next-door images were “acceptable” gender-role behavior exposed highly in domestic magazines, which might contribute to conservative Confucian beliefs. On the other hand, being trendy was a significantly high preference for contemporary feminist depictions in foreign women's magazines; it might be considered as being due to the increased educational level of women and female labor participation rate in the work place as well as upgrading of social status. (shrink)
Role models can be highly influential in conveying ethical standards. This study investigates the influence various categories of role models have had on a population of over 1,600 undergraduate students in Texas, Oregon and Michigan. Those identifying clergy, boy scout leaders, friends and college advisors as role models exhibited less willingness to adopt questionable ethical behavior in negotation situations. Journalist and spouse role models tended to cause students to be more accepting of questionable behavior. Individuals with (...) strong end-result and social contract ethical philosophies, as well as males and those who served in the military exhibited strong tendencies toward less than ethical behavior. Individuals with strong rule ethical philosophy, high levels of religiousity, and those with a cooperative attitude in negotiations tended to adopt higher ethical standards in negotiations. (shrink)
The debate and implementation of Clinical Ethics Consultation (CEC) is still in its beginnings in Europe and the issue of the patient's perspective has been neglected so far, especially at the theoretical and methodological level. At the practical level, recommendations about the involvement of the patient or his/her relatives are missing, reflecting the general lack of quality and practice standards in CEC. Balance of perspectives is a challenge in any interpersonal consultation, which has led to great efforts to develop “technical”approaches, (...) e.g., in psychological counseling or psychotherapeutic treatment. In ethics, unbalance or partiality is a matter of justice and has provoked significant theoretical work, also relevant for practical medical ethics. A lack of balance seems to be particularly serious in those situations, where ethical conflict is triggering a consultation and where the “parties” involved may try to persuade the consultant that their particular opinion is the most convincing; but to our knowledge the connection between patient/relatives involvement and balance has not yet been discussed in the context of CEC. Central questions of access and involvement of the patient and his/her relatives will be analysed and discussed regarding the challenge of balance and the adequate role or attitude of a Clinical Ethics Consultant. It is argued that the Clinical Ethics Consultant should have a methodological awareness regarding the concepts of “neutrality” versus “advocacy” in his/her role and try to achieve a balanced procedure that allows for an optimum of change of perspectives. The argumentation is developed along the narrative of a real case study. Recommendations concerning the involvement of (the perspectives of) the patient or the relatives are formulated for the practice of CEC. (shrink)
Consultancy firms inform, advise, implement and mediate in their own interests and in the interests of their clients. We can only guess if their work is also in the interest of the public. There is no critical and systematical assessment of the behavior of consultancy firms. What roles do consultancy firms chose? And what arguments do they use? In the nineties the international consultancy firm Hill & Knowlton took on two assignments that showed a remarkable difference in the required (...) class='Hi'>role the firm had to play. In the first role the firm acted as an impartial advocate, in the second role the firm acted as a political agent. An analysis of the argumentation for both roles shows us the familair short-sighted choice for the annual turnover at the cost of internal and external trustworthiness. In this decade consultancy firms will need to develop ethical assessments that meet more professional standards. (shrink)
In Western societies scientists are increasingly expected to seek media exposure and cooperate with industry. Little attention has been given to the way such expectations affect the role of scientific experts in society. To investigate scientists’ own perspectives on these issues eight exploratory, in-depth interviews were conducted in Denmark with reputable nutrition scientists. Additionally, eight interviews were held with ‘key informants’ from the field of nutrition policy. It was found that nutrition scientists experience two dilemmas: first, between their aspiration (...) to make a collective impact on public health and the powerful incentives of each to appear frequently in the media with new messages; second, between their need to cooperate with the food industry for financial reasons and their fear that this may compromise their independence and scientific integrity. It is argued that the dilemmas identified in this study should be dealt with openly by the relevant groups of scientists. (shrink)
We describe the development, testing, and formative evaluation of nine role-play scenarios for teaching central topics in the responsible conduct of research to graduate students in science and engineering. In response to formative evaluation surveys, students reported that the role-plays were more engaging and promoted deeper understanding than a lecture or case study covering the same topic. In the future, summative evaluations will test whether students display this deeper understanding and retain the lessons of the role-play experience.
In this paper, we discuss the use of role plays in ethics education for engineering students. After presenting a rough taxonomy of different objectives, we illustrate how role plays can be used to broaden students’ perspectives. We do this on the basis of our experiences with a newly developed role play about a Dutch political controversy concerning pig transport. The role play is special in that the discussion is about setting up an institutional framework for responsible (...) action that goes beyond individual action. In that sense, the role play serves a double purpose. It not only aims at teaching students to become aware of the different dimensions in decision making, it also encourages students to think about what such an institutional framework for responsible action might possibly look like. (shrink)
In stakeholder theory, most research on cooperation has been focused on inter-organizational collaboration field centered at the dyadic level, excluding the relational or network data. Relational or network data are important as the firms do not simply respond to each stakeholder individually but to an interaction of influences from the entire stakeholder set. The purpose of this article is to analyze the cooperation process among the firm and its stakeholders by considering the relational data and to describe the role (...) of the firm in such cooperation processes. The empirical evidence is provided by an inductive in-depth case study on the company 'Gas-Nat' and its stakeholders cooperating on the 'natural gas pipeline program' in Argentina. To do so, I combined both quantitative sociometric data and qualitative data from grounded theory and ethnographic observations. This research suggests a stakeholder cooperation model based on structural (stakeholder's position) and relational factors (framing process). The results indicate that stakeholder cooperation is not just determined by stakeholder position, but they can vary depending on the political opportunity structure in the network and on the framing process. It was found that network structure may create a context for selective cooperation but doesn't explicitly determine it which is different from the previous research in stakeholder network literature. The role of the firm in the cooperation process was found as a tertius iungens role which implies to join, unite, or connect, and it is different from the existing prominent network literature of tertius gaudens. (shrink)
Drawing on the Agency-Stewardship approach, which suggests that manager profile may range from the agent model to the steward model, this article aims to examine how important CEOs are to corporate social responsibility (CSR). Specifically, this exploratory study proposes the existence of a relationship between manager profile and CSR practices and that this relation is mediated by the perceived role of ethics and social responsibility. After applying a mediated regression analysis using survey information collected from 149 CEOs in Spain, (...) results show that those closer to the steward model are more inclined to attach great importance to ethics and social responsibility, and to implement CSR practices in their companies. Results also provide support for the suggested mediating effect. Thus, this article extends research in understanding top managers as drivers for CSR and suggests new ways to deal with this issue empirically. (shrink)
Role plays are extremely valuable tools to address different aspects of teaching social responsibility, because they allow students to “live through” complex ethical decision making dilemmas. While role plays are getting high marks from students because their entertainment value is high, their educational value depends on their closeness to students’ work experience and the skills of the teacher in helping students comprehend the lessons they are meant to convey.
The use of role-playing (“active learning”) as a teaching tool has been reported in areas as diverse as social psychology, history and analytical chemistry. Its use as a tool in the teaching of engineering ethics and professionalism is also not new, but the approach develops new perspectives when used in a college class of exceptionally wide cultural diversity. York University is a large urban university (40,000 undergraduates) that draws its enrolment primarily from the Greater Toronto Area, arguably one of (...) the most culturally diverse cities in the world, embracing the largest percentage of Canada’s immigration. Among the area’s five million inhabitants, 50% identify themselves as a visible minority born outside Canada, while over 100 languages and dialects are spoken daily. Although students admitted from this international pool have usually been exposed to western attitudes during secondary education and are rapidly assimilated into Canadian culture, responses to specific ethical issues are strongly influenced by their prior culture. Two and three-part scripts for case studies based on NSF or original scenarios were written to illustrate issues such as gifts, attitudes towards women and ethnic minorities, conflict of interest, whistle-blowing, sexual harassment, individual rights, privacy, environment, intellectual property, and others. Following the presentation, the actors lead group discussion based on previously specified questions. Once the initial shyness and reluctance of some cultures has been overcome through the building of rapport, students have written original scripts based on hypothetical or prior personal situations. The method is now being adopted in a short course format to assist the professional integration of foreign trained engineers. (shrink)
In today’s globalized world, nations cannot be totally isolated from or indifferent to their neighbors, especially in regards to medicine and health. While globalization has brought prosperity to millions, disparities among nations and nationals are growing raising once again the question of justice. Similarly, while medicine has developed dramatically over the past few decades, health disparities at the global level are staggering. Seemingly, what our humanity could achieve in matters of scientific development is not justly distributed to benefit everyone. In (...) this paper, it will be argued that a global theoretical agreement on principles of justice may prove unattainable; however, a grass-roots change is warranted to change the current situation. The UNESCO Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights will be considered as a starting point to achieve this change through extracting the main values embedded in its principles. These values, namely, respecting human dignity and tending to human vulnerability with a hospitable attitude, should then be revived in medical practice. Medical education will be one possible venue to achieve that, especially through role models. Future physicians will then become the fervent advocates for a global and just distribution of health care. (shrink)
In addition to a person's character and training, the organization's ethical work climate (EWC) can assess how the organization influences an individual's ethical decision-making process by examining the individuals' perception of "what is the right thing to do" in a particular organizational environment. Relatively little research has explored which EWCs dominate military units and the impact of organizational role and environmental uncertainty on individuals in the military and their ethical decision making. In this study, we examined the predominant EWCs (...) among military units and found that certain organizational influences are associated with the specific EWCs. Based on these discoveries, we discuss the implications of EWC studies and the influence of organizational role and environmental uncertainty for researchers, as well as military leaders. (shrink)
Abstract: Introspection reveals that one is frequently conscious of some form of inner speech, which may appear either in a condensed or expanded form. It has been claimed that this speech reflects the way in which language is involved in conscious thought, fulfilling a number of cognitive functions. We criticize three theories that address this issue: Bermúdez’s view of language as a generator of second-order thoughts, Prinz’s development of Jackendoff’s intermediate-level theory of consciousness, and Carruthers’s theory of inner speech as (...) a rehearsal of action-schemata. We contend they have problems to account for those cases in which inner speech is fragmentary, and for the difference with those instances in which it appears as more sentence-like. In addition, we present verbal overshadowing as a phenomenon that neither of them can easily explain. Finally, we propose an account in which inner speech is fundamentally silent outer speech and argue that it is more explanatory than the alternatives. (shrink)
In this article, I turn my attention to the figure of the ignorant master, Joseph Jacotot, that is depicted in The Ignorant Schoolmaster. Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation (1991). I will show that the voice of Jacotot can actually be read as a reaction against the progressive figure of the teacher which, following Rancière's view, can be seen as effecting a stultification. In some respects, however, Rancière's analysis of the pedagogical order no longer seems to be valid in today's partly (...) reconfigured, pedagogical order that depicts the teacher in terms of facilitation. Yet, the figure of the facilitator can be seen as effecting a stultification as well. Therefore, I will stress that Jacotot's voice is highly relevant today. The most important difference between the figure of the (old and current) figure of the stultifyer and that of the ignorant master is identified in their starting point. The stultifying master starts from the assumption of inequality. S/he transforms taught material (words, text, images, etc.) into objects of knowledge or resources for competence development that open the door to another world. The ignorant master (Jacotot) assumes equal intelligence and draws attention to a thing in common. According to Rancière, the ignorant master keeps the door closed and puts his/her students in the presence of a thing in common. (shrink)