We demonstrate the existence of altruism via kin selection in artificial life and explore its nuances. We do so in the Avida system through a setup that is based on the behavior of colicinogenic bacteria: Organisms can kill unrelated organisms in a given radius but must kill themselves to do so. Initially, we confirm!results found in the bacterial world: Digital organisms do sacrifice themselves for their kin—an extreme example of altruism— and do so more often in structured environments, where kin (...) are always nearby, than in well-mixed environments, where the location of kin is stochastically determined. Having shown that helping one’s kin is advantageous, we turn our attention to investigating the efficacy and implications of the strategies of kincheaters, those who receive help from kin but do not return it. Contrary to the expectations of current theory, we find that kin-cheaters outcompete kin-altruists. Our results cause us to question the stability of strategies that involve altruism between kin. Knowing that kin-altruism persists in biological systems, however, we search for, and find, conditions that allow!kin-based altruism to persist in evolving!systems despite the!presence of kin-cheaters. (shrink)
Girotto and Legrenzi's 1993 facilitation effect for their SARS version of Wason s THOG problem a disjunctive reasoning task was examined. The effect was not replicated when the standard THOG problem instructions were used in Experiments 1 and 2. However, in Experiment 3 when Girotto and Legrenzi's precise instructions were used, facilitation was observed. Experiment 4 further investigated the role of the type of instructions in the observed facilitation. The results suggest that such facilitation may result from attentional factors rather (...) than the use of a combinatorial analysis in the problem. (shrink)
From all points of the political compass, from widely different groups, have come indignant outcries against the trade in human organs from live vendors. Opponents contend that such practices constitute a morally outrageous and gross exploitation of the poor, inherently coercive and obviously intolerable in any civilized society. This article examines the arguments typically offered in defense of these claims and finds serious problems with all of them. The prohibition of organ sales is derived not from the principles and argument (...) usually invoked in support of prohibition, but rather, from strong feelings of repugnance which exert an invisible but powerful influence on the debate, distorting the arguments [and working] to the detriment of the [very] people most in need of protection. (shrink)
From all points of the political compass, from widely different groups, have come indignant outcries against the trade in human organs from live vendors. Opponents contend that such practices constitute a morally outrageous and gross exploitation of the poor, inherently coercive and obviously intolerable in any civilized society. This article examines the arguments typically offered in defense of these claims, and finds serious problems with all of them. The prohibition of organ sales is derived not from the principles and argument (...) usually invoked in support of prohibition, but rather, from strong feelings of repugnance which exert an invisible but powerful influence on the debate, distorting the arguments [and working] to the detriment of the [very] people most in need of protection. (shrink)
Sherri Roush () and I (, ) have each argued independently that the most significant challenge to scientific realism arises from our inability to consider the full range of serious alternatives to a given hypothesis we seek to test, but we diverge significantly concerning the range of cases in which this problem becomes acute. Here I argue against Roush's further suggestion that the atomic hypothesis represents a case in which scientific ingenuity has enabled us to overcome the problem, showing (...) how her general strategy is undermined by evidence I have already offered in support of what I have called the 'problem of unconceived alternatives'. I then go on to show why her strategy will not generally (if ever) allow us to formulate and test exhaustive spaces of hypotheses in cases of fundamental scientific theorizing. (shrink)
External auditors owe a professional duty to the company''s stockholders and to society in general. However their remuneration is determined by management. The resulting conflicts of interest are particularly acute in distressed companies where the auditors are required to disclose uncertainties regarding future survival. We focus on the consequentialist self-fulfilling prophecy argument whereby auditors may fail to disclose such uncertainties due to the belief that the disclosure itself would precipitate the company''s bankruptcy. We find no empirical support for such beliefs (...) for a sample of distressed U.K. companies with audit reports published between 1986 and 1993. Companies whose auditors disclose going concern uncertainties are no more likely to fail than those without such disclosures; indeed three out of four reports containing going concern uncertaintiesare not followed by failure before publication of a subsequent set of accounts. Instead we find that it is the degree of financial distress that drives both bankruptcy and the auditor''s going concern disclosure rather than that the disclosure itself causes failure. Belief in the self-fulfilling prophecy effect nevertheless persists, and this despite the profession''s clear ethical guidelines that audit opinions should provide an objectively true and fair view, paying no regard to possible consequences. It may be that the continued attractiveness of the self-fulfilling prophecy belief is due to its providing a means of resolving intense auditor/management conflict in what is a particularly complex decision situation. We argue that, if the profession''s clear ethical guidelines are to play a greater role in this area, issues such as enforcement will need to be addressed. (shrink)
In the area of the foundations of quantum mechanics a true industry appears to have developed in the last decades, with the aim of proving as many results as possible concerning what there cannot be in the quantum realm. In principle, the significance of proving ‘no-go’ results should consist in clarifying the fundamental structure of the theory, by pointing out a class of basic constraints that the theory itself is supposed to satisfy. In the present paper I will discuss some (...) more recent no-go claims and I will argue against the deep significance of these results, with a two-fold strategy. First, I will consider three results concerning respectively local realism, quantum covariance and predictive power in quantum mechanics, and I will try to show how controversial the main conditions of the negative theorem turn out to be—something that strongly undermines the general relevance of these theorems. Second, I will try to discuss what I take to be a common feature of these theoretical enterprises, namely that of aiming at establishing negative results for quantum mechanics in absence of a deeper understanding of the overall ontological content and structure of the theory. I will argue that the only way toward such an understanding may be to cast in advance the problems in a clear and well-defined interpretational framework—which in my view means primarily to specify the ontology that quantum theory is supposed to be about—and after to wonder whether problems that seemed worth pursuing still are so in the framework. (shrink)
We present a syntactic proof of cut-elimination for weak Grzegorczyk logic Go. The logic has a syntactically similar axiomatisation to Gödel–Löb logic GL (provability logic) and Grzegorczyk’s logic Grz. Semantically, GL can be viewed as the irreflexive counterpart of Go, and Grz can be viewed as the reflexive counterpart of Go. Although proofs of syntactic cut-elimination for GL and Grz have appeared in the literature, this is the first proof of syntactic cut-elimination for Go. The proof is technically interesting, requiring (...) a deeper analysis of the derivation structures than the proofs for GL and Grz. New transformations generalising the transformations for GL and Grz are developed here. (shrink)
Previous research using neuroimaging methods proposed a link between mechanisms controlling motor response inhibition and suppression of unwanted memories. The present study investigated this hypothesis behaviorally by combining the think-no-think paradigm (TNT) with a go/no-go motor inhibition task. Participants first learned unpleasant cue-target pairs. Cue words were then presented as go or no-go items in the TNT. Participants’ task was to respond to the cues and think of the target word aloud or to inhibit their response to the cue and (...) the target word from coming to mind. Cued recall assessed immediately after the TNT revealed reduced recall performance for no-go targets compared to go targets or baseline cues, not presented in the TNT. The results demonstrate that doing the no-think and no-go task concurrently leads to memory suppression of unpleasant items during later recall. Results are discussed in line with recent empirical research and theoretical positions. (shrink)
We present a counterexample to Krasnikov's (2002) much discussed time machine no-go result. In addition, we prove a positive statement: a time machine existence theorem under a modest "no holes" assumption.
This paper presents a critical examination of claims advanced by several philosophers to the effect that 'time travel' represents a physical possibility and that the interpretation of certain actually observed phenomena in terms of 'time travel' is both legitimate and advantageous. It is argued that (a) no convincing motivation for the introduction of the time travel hypothesis has been presented; (b) no coherent and interesting sense of 'going backward in time' has been supplied which makes 'time travel' compatible with Special (...) Relativity; (c) even the conceptual possibility of 'time travel' is an unsettled and somewhat nebulous question. (shrink)
Reflection on personal choices and climate change can lead to the thought that nothing an individual does can possibly make a difference to the planet’s future. So why bother going green? This is a version of the problem of causal inefficacy, and it is a particular problem for those with consequentialist leanings. Voters and vegetarians are consulted for help, and a suggestive thought about consistency is pursued. Consequentialist arguments for governmental action are shored up with reflection on consistency, and, hopefully, (...) the result is a solution to the problem: a nearly-consequentialist argument for individual action on climate change. (shrink)
Can some films be genuine thought experiments that challenge our commonsense intuitions? Certain filmic narratives and their mise-en-scène details reveal rigorous reasoning and counterintuitive outcomes on philosophical issues, such as skepticism or personal identity. But this philosophical façade may hide a mundane concern for entertainment. Unfamiliar narratives drive spectator entertainment, and every novel cinematic situation could be easily explained as part of a process that lacks motives of philosophical elucidation. -/- The paper inverses the above objection, and proposes that when (...) the main cinematic character resists spectator engagement (a crucial source of cinematic entertainment), emotionally challenged spectators also question their commonsensical beliefs about his/her actions, and detect a conceptually novel situation as such. -/- A case study is Mike Leigh’s film Happy-Go-Lucky (2008), in which the main female character presents an unrelenting but eccentric version of 'feel good' happiness. Spectators gradually detect that the previously unexamined, commonsensical version of subjective happiness comes at the price of individual eccentricity, and that the choice of a subjective theory of happiness leads to consequences hitherto unacknowledged. (shrink)
A step towards constructing an ethics of international activism is proposed by formulating a series of constraints on what would constitute morally permissible agency in the context that involves delivering services abroad, directly or indirectly. Perhaps surprisingly, in this effort the author makes use of the concept of ‘force multiplier’. This idea and its official applications have explanatory importance in considering the correlation between the post-Cold War phenomenal growth in the number of international non-governmental organizations and the emergence of the (...) US as the sole, unchallenged superpower. Four moral constraints useful for morally assessing international activism are formulated and defended. The final outcome is an argument in favor of an overarching duty for any activist-minded Westerner to go local, while developing nations are urged to closely regulate, even criminalize, activities by international activists and ‘human rights organizations’ on their territory when not in solidarity or in support of local movements. The position defended, urging the normative primacy of local over international activism, also finds support in Immanuel Kant’s Third Definitive Article for A Perpetual Peace. (shrink)
The view that lying is morally worse than merely misleading is a very natural one, which has had many prominent defenders. Nonetheless, here I will argue that it is misguided: holding all else fixed, acts of mere misleading are not morally preferable to acts of lying, and successful lying is not morally worse than merely deliberately misleading. In fact, except in certain very special contexts, I will suggest that – when faced with a felt need to deceive – we might (...) as well just go ahead and lie. (shrink)
Wittgenstein is not primarily concerned with anything mysterious going on inside people's heads, but with us simply going on with each other; that is, with us being able to inter-relate our everyday, bodily activities in unproblematic ways in with those of others, in practice. Learning to communicate with clear and unequivocal meanings; to send messages; to fully understand each other; to be able to reach out, so to speak, from within language-game entwined forms of life, and to talk in theoretical (...) terms of the contacts one has made., as an individual, with what is out there; and so on — all these abilities are, or can be, later developments. Wittgenstein's investigations into our pre-individual, pre-theoretical, embodied, compulsive activities are utterly revolutionary. They open up a vast new realm for empirical study to do with the detailed and subtle nature of the bodily activities in the background to everything that we do. The relational character of such pre-theoretical, Ur-linguistic, spontaneous bodily activities—and the way in which they display us as seeing connections from within a synopsis of trivialities — is explored through the paradigm of currently fashionable 3–13 random dot autostereograms. (shrink)
Our conscious minds exist in the Universe, therefore they should be identified with physical states that are subject to physical laws. In classical theories of mind, the mental states are identified with brain states that satisfy the deterministic laws of classical mechanics. This approach, however, leads to insurmountable paradoxes such as epiphenomenal minds and illusionary free will. Alternatively, one may identify mental states with quantum states realized within the brain and try to resolve the above paradoxes using the standard Hilbert (...) space formalism of quantum mechanics. In this essay, we first show that identification of mind states with quantum states within the brain is biologically feasible, and then elaborating on the mathematical proofs of two quantum mechanical no-go theorems, we explain why quantum theory might have profound implications for the scientific understanding of one’s mental states, self identity, beliefs and free will. (shrink)
In this article, Thomas Kuhn’s theory of incommensurable paradigms learned through exemplars is discussed as a theory of acculturation akin to those of cultural anthropology. Yet his hermeneutic approach results in a classic problem, referred to here as the paradox of objective relativism. A solution, at least for observers of contemporary cultures, is drawn from Kuhn’s own writings: a fieldwork method of “going native.” It is argued that Kuhn’s views are as important a corrective for anthropologists studying native systems of (...) knowledge as they have been for philosophers and sociologists of science. The epistemological and disciplinary implications of such a methodology are discussed. (shrink)
Contemporary versions of Bell’s argument against local hidden variable (LHV) theories are based on the Clauser Horne Shimony and Holt (CHSH) inequality, and various attempts to generalize it. The amount of violation of these inequalities cannot exceed the bound set by the Grothendieck constants. However, if we go back to the original derivation by Bell, and use the perfect anticorrelation embodied in the singlet spin state, we can go beyond these bounds. In this paper we derive two-particle Bell inequalities for (...) traceless two-outcome observables, whose violation in the singlet spin state go beyond the Grothendieck constant both for the two and three dimensional cases. Moreover, creating a higher dimensional analog of perfect correlations, and applying a recent result of Alon and his associates (Invent. Math. 163 499 (2006)) we prove that there are two-particle Bell inequalities for traceless two-outcome observables whose violation increases to in…nity as the dimension and number of measurements grow. Technically these result are possible because perfect correlations (or anti-correlations) allow us to transport the indices of the inequality from the edges of a bipartite graph to those of the complete graph. Finally, it is shown how to apply these results to mixed Werner states, provided that the noise does not exceed 20%. (shrink)
Derek Parfit’s long-awaited work On What Matters is a very ambitious, very strange production seeking to defend both a nonreductive and nonnaturalistic but nonmetaphysical and nonontological form of cognitive intuitionism or rationalism and an ethical theory (the Triple Theory) reflecting the convergence of Kantian universalizability, Scanlonian contractualism, and rule utilitarianism. Critics have already countered that Parfit’s metaethics is unbelievable and his convergence thesis unconvincing, but On What Matters is a truly Sidgwickian work, the implications of which largely remain to be (...) worked out. Parfit does not go far enough in spelling out exactly what matters and why, what normative reasons we actually have, and where we should go from here, if we take him seriously. (shrink)
At first glance, this is an entirely unremarkable kind of sentence. It is easy to find naturally occuring exponents. Its meaning is also clear: taking the A train is a necessary condition for going to Harlem. Hence the term “anankastic conditional”, Ananke being the Greek protogonos of inevitability, compulsion and necessity.
A certain pupil with the vaguely Kafkaesque name B has mastered the series of natural numbers. B's new task is to learn how to write down other series of cardinal numbers and right now, we're working on the series "+2." After a bit, B seems to catch on, but we are unusually thorough teachers and keep him at it. Things are going just fine until he reaches 1000. Then, quite confounding us, he writes 1004, 1008, 1012."We say to him: 'Look (...) what you've done!'—He doesn't understand. We say: 'You were meant to add two: look how you began the series!'—He answers: 'Yes, isn't it right? I thought that was how I was meant to do it.'"1B may be an "abnormal learner," but he's not unique among learners in literature. Another .. (shrink)
We begin by considering two principles, each having the form causal completeness ergo screening-off. The first concerns a common cause of two or more effects; the second describes an intermediate link in a causal chain. They are logically independent of each other, each is independent of Reichenbach's principle of the common cause, and each is a consequence of the causal Markov condition. Simple examples show that causal incompleteness means that screening-off may fail to obtain. We derive a stronger result: in (...) a rather general setting, if the composite cause C1 & C2 & … & Cn screens-off one event from another, then each of the n component causes C1, C2, …, Cn must fail to screen-off. The idea that a cause may be ordinally invariant in its impact on different effects is defined; it plays an important role in establishing this no-go theorem. Along the way, we describe how composite and component causes can all screen-off when ordinal invariance fails. We argue that this theorem is relevant to assessing the plausibility of the two screening-off principles. The discovery of incomplete causes that screen-off is not evidence that causal completeness must engender screening-off. Formal and epistemic analogies between screening-off and determinism are discussed. 1 Introduction2 Influence and Non-degeneracy Conditions3 A No-Go Theorem for Two Dichotomous Causes and its Limitations4 A More General No-Go Theorem: Allowing Several Causes, Possibly Non-dichotomous5 Examples Illustrating Corollary 3 and Theorem 5a6 Determinism and Screening-Off: Disanalogy and AnalogyAppendix. (shrink)
Modeling and simulation clearly have an upside. My discussion here will deal with the inevitable downside of modeling — the sort of things that can go wrong. It will set out a taxonomy for the pathology of models — a catalogue of the various ways in which model contrivance can go awry. In the course of that discussion, I also call on some of my past experience with models and their vulnerabilities.
Going beyond the theory/practice and discourse/matter divides -- Learning and becoming in an onto-epistemology -- The tool of pedagogical documentation -- An intra-active pedagogy and its dual movements -- Transgressing binary practices in early childhood teacher education -- The hybrid-writing-process: going beyond the theory/practice divide in academic writing -- An ethics of immanence and potentialities for early childhood education.
Written as a conversational response to Rosa Luxemburg, this piece discusses the importance of going to the heart of the matter for education, seen here in terms of the actual flesh and blood subjects who are at the centre of a pedagogy of transformation.
Within the framework of general relativity, in some cases at least, it is a delicate and interesting question just what it means to say that an extended body is or is not "rotating". It is so for two reasons. First, one can easily think of different criteria of rotation. Though they agree if the background spacetime structure is sufficiently simple, they do not do so in general. Second, none of the criteria fully answers to our classical intuitions. Each one exhibits (...) some feature or other that violates those intuitions in a significant and interesting way. The principal goal of the paper is to make the second claim precise in the form of a modest no-go theorem. (shrink)
Abstract I consider Paul Thompson’s Agrarian Vision from the perspective of the philosophy of technology, especially as it relates to certain questions about public engagement and deliberative democracy around food issues. Is it able to promote an attitudinal shift or reorientation in values to overcome the view of “food as device” so that conscientious engagement in the food system by consumers can become more the norm? Next, I consider briefly, some questions to which it must face up in order to (...) move closer in dismantling the barriers that inhibit the capacity for virtuous caretaking of the food system at various levels. Lastly, and more deeply, how successful might agrarianism be in inculcating citizenship values (ones that go beyond food ethics as a private affair), for the democratization of agricultural technologies? Might the Jeffersonian foundation to which the agrarianism (a la) Thompson appeals need something like a contemporary theory of justice in order to facilitate the reconstitution of our politico-moral selves? How can it help guide appropriate ruminations on the intra and intergenerational question, “What do we want the shape of our current and future social and political institutions to look like in relation to food?” Content Type Journal Article Category Articles Pages 1-10 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9339-x Authors Raymond Anthony, Department of Philosophy, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK 99508, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863. (shrink)
Would you want to be operated on by a surgeon trained at a medical school that did not evaluate its students? Would you want to fly in a plane designed by people convinced that the laws of physics are socially constructed? Would you want to be tried by a legal system indifferent to the distinction between fact and fiction? These questions may seem absurd, but there are theories being seriously advanced by radical multiculturalists that force us to ask such questions. (...) These scholars assert that such concepts as truth and merit are inextricably racist and sexist, that reason and objectivity are merely sophisticated masks for ideological bias, and that reality itself is nothing more than socially constructed mechanism for preserving the power of the ruling elite. In Beyond All Reason, liberal legal scholars Daniel A. Farber and Suzanna Sherry mount the first systematic critique of radical multiculturalism as a form of legal scholarship. Beginning with an incisive overview of the origins and basic tenets of radical multiculturalism, the authors critically examine the work of Derrick Bell, Catherine MacKinnon, Patricia Williams, and Richard Delgado, and explore the alarming implications of their theories. Farber and Sherry push these theories to their logical conclusions and show that radical multiculturalism is destructive of the very goals it wishes to affirm. If, for example, the concept of advancement based on merit is fraudulent, as the multiculturalists claim, the disproportionate success of Jews and Asians in our culture becomes difficult to explain without opening the door to age-old anti-Semitic and racist stereotypes. If historical and scientific truths are entirely relative social constructs, then Holocaust denial becomes merely a matter of perspective, and Creationism has as much "validity" as evolution. The authors go on to show that rather than promoting more dialogue, the radical multiculturalist preferences for legal storytelling and identity politics over reasoned argument produces an insular set of positions that resist open debate. Indeed, radical multiculturalists cannot critically examine each others' ideas without incurring vehement accusations of racism and sexism, much less engage in fruitful discussion with a mainstream that does not share their assumptions. Here again, Farber and Sherry show that the end result of such thinking is not freedom but a kind of totalitarianism where dissent cannot be tolerated and only the naked will to power remains to settle differences. Sharply written and brilliantly argued, this book is itself a model of the kind of clarity, civility, and dispassionate critical thinking which the authors seek to preserve from the attacks of the radical multiculturalists. With far-reaching implications for such issues as government control of hate speech and pornography, affirmative action, legal reform, and the fate of all minorities, Beyond All Reason is a provocative contribution to one of the most important controversies of our time. (shrink)
Going Native: The Value in Reconceptualizing International Internet Service Providers as Domestic Media Outlets Content Type Journal Article Category Special Issue Pages 391-409 DOI 10.1007/s13347-011-0045-4 Authors Sarah Oates, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow, Adam Smith Building, G12 8RT Scotland, UK Journal Philosophy & Technology Online ISSN 2210-5441 Print ISSN 2210-5433 Journal Volume Volume 24 Journal Issue Volume 24, Number 4.
This paper examines the process through which micro-businesses ‘go green’. It builds upon previous studies that have identified the different drivers of this greening process. However, rather than a static focus on specific drivers, the study articulates the evolution of environmental practices over time. The paper uses comparative case studies of six micro-businesses to build a composite sequence analysis that plots the greening process from its roots through to large-scale and ambitious ecological projects. The study identifies three distinct stages that (...) businesses pass through during this greening process. This has important implications for policy-makers and advisors as it was found that the support needed by the businesses changed as they passed through these different stages. In particular, it was found that appropriate support is currently lacking at certain key points of the businesses' greening development. The paper therefore adds to current understanding of small business ecological responsibility by showing how activities and drivers change with the level of engagement. Pointers are provided as to how support can be improved. (shrink)
We adventure becomings-Merry Pranksters with Félix Guattari on Ken Kesey's magic bus to resonate the group's transversality that we already affect subjunctively, individually and plurally from which our subjectivities crystallise collectively and independently with intensive-extensions to go viscerallectric and fractalactic. Yet in-process, before our consciousnesses go motored, we swim with jet streams of both Guattari and transversal poetics to navigate subjective affects by which wilful parameterisations achieve desirable eventualisations.
The fact that sociology was born during the period of the Industrial Revolution does not authorize us to consider its discourse as lacking in philosophical elements that are rooted in a previous age. Neither can we consider as fully accomplished its role for modernity, nonetheless today, in an after-modern climate (in the sense of Donati 2009), sociology is trying to escape the prejudice of modern ethics to go beyond the clichés of postmodernity (Ardigò 1989). Filled with self-reflexivity and reductionist dichotomies, (...) the twenty-first-century sociologist feels the need to ?own factual reality again? and to rediscover ?a new metaphysics of the social world? (Donati 1993). If self-consciousness is in the world, sociology, perhaps, has to go beyond science and turn into ?globology? (Arnason 1990), or into a sociology on a global scale, which looks at how world unification has occurred. In order to accomplish this, it has to be careful about what it was able to do best in the past: ?to foresee and to enhance sustainable change,? to be aware of the ?relational connections,? which no mathematics will ever be able to show, to build new ?memes,? and to decide to accelerate or to go against the phenomena it encounters in its observation. Society in the twenty-first century will go beyond postmodern stagnation and turn into something new (After-modernity? Hyper-modernity? Trans-modernity?) if it is to be helped by the interpretations of sociology. Notwithstanding the endeavors to change, most Westernized countries are trapped in the lib-lab model, while China argues for a complete reconfiguration of the concepts of public and private, states and market, freedom and controls, copyright and copyleft. What is going to happen in the future? Are we going to fall into a technocratic and authoritarian form of neo-modernization? Are we going to rediscover the system of exchanging gifts? Are we going to create a fully ?relational? society, going beyond the Hegelian categories of right and left? It will be the role of a ?strong and relational? sociology to identify all the ?viable? scenarios and to prepare its advent in symbolic terms. (shrink)
In this paper, we analyze some of the ethical dimensions of going private transactions (GPTs), wherein publicly traded firms are taken private. Financial theory suggests that efficiencies may be realized in these transactions such that outside shareholders are made better off. Empirical evidence supports this theory. We therefore argue that GPTs are not inherently exploitive or unethical. The issues of the fiduciary duty of corporate managers to shareholders and their obligations to non-shareholders are also explored.
There appear to be few ways available to improve the prospects for international cooperation to address the threat of global warming within the very short timeframe for action. I argue that the most effective and plausible way to break the ongoing pattern of delay in the international climate regime is for economically powerful states to take the lead domestically and demonstrate that economic welfare is compatible with rapidly decreasing GHG emissions. However, the costs and risks of acting first can be (...) very large. This raises the question of whether it is fair to expect some states to go far ahead of others in an effort to improve the conditions for cooperation. I argue that a costly obligation to act unilaterally and to accept weak initial reciprocity can be justified and does not violate standards of fair burden sharing. Rather, the costs of creating the underlying conditions within which we can hope to achieve meaningful international cooperation are non-‐ideal burdens for which we can appropriately assign fair shares. (shrink)
Modal interpretations take quantum mechanics as a theory which assigns at all times definite values to magnitudes of quantum systems. In the case of single systems, modal interpretations manage to do so without falling prey to the Kochen and Specker no-go theorem, because they assign values only to a limited set of magnitudes. In this paper I present two further no-go theorems which prove that two modal interpretations become nevertheless problematic when applied to more than one system. The first theorem (...) proves that the modal interpretation proposed by Kochen and by Dieks cannot correlate the values simultaneously assigned to three systems. The second and new theorem proves that the atomic modal interpretation proposed by Bacciagaluppi and Dickson and by Dieks cannot correlate the values simultaneously and sequentially assigned to two systems if one assumes that these correlations are uniquely related to the dynamics of the state of the systems. (shrink)
On 11 March 2011, Japan experienced a major disaster brought about by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and a massive tsunami that followed. This disaster caused extensive damage to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant with the release of a large amount of radiation, leading to a crisis level 7 on the International Atomic Energy Agency scale. In this report, we discuss the obligations of physicians to provide care during the initial weeks after the disaster. We appeal to the obligation of general (...) beneficence and argue that physicians should go to disaster zones only if there is no significant risk, cost or burden associated with doing so. We conclude that physicians were not obligated to go to Fukushima given the high risk of radiation exposure and physical and psychological harm. However, we must acknowledge that there were serious epistemic difficulties in accurately assessing the risks or benefits of travelling to Fukushima at the time. The discussion that follows is highly pertinent to all countries that rely on nuclear energy. (shrink)
Current debates regarding justice in university admissions most often approach the question of access to university from a technical, policy-focussed perspective. Despite the attention that access to university receives in the press and policy literature, ethical discussion tends to focus on technical matters such as who should pay for university or which schemes of selection are allowable, not the question of who should go to university in the first place. We address the question of university admissions—the question of who should (...) go to university—from an ethical perspective. We find that most discussions draw on a generic conception of what the university is good for that is too thin to provide deliberative guidance and hold that a full account of the ethics of admissions needs to take into account the distinctive good that the university provides—knowledge and understanding. This view, we hold, does not imply that measures should not be taken to widen access to university; however, the basis for such measures should be grounded in that distinctive good in the first instance. (shrink)
IÂ’m only talking about commercial big time music in the United States. Of course music is gloriously seething in odd corners of the planet as it should. I can team up with some compatible friends and we can go find or make our own music in any of a number of accommodating environments- on the net, in the forest, or in some dank club late at night.
Bernhard and Young (Journal of Academic Ethics, 7, 175-191, 2009) allege that a myth of confidentiality plagues research in North America because of the absence of statute-based legal protections and the requirements of some REBs to limit confidentiality to the extent permitted by law. In this commentary we describe statute-based protections for research confidentiality available in the United States, clarify the legal situation regarding research confidentiality in Canada, and explain that REBs that require confidentiality to be limited by law are (...) imposing a doctrine that is not required by the TCPS and may violate researchers’ academic freedom. The paper laments how excessive REB risk aversion and inaction by the granting agency Presidents has created a situation where some REBs are encouraging researchers to download research risks to research participants and forcing researchers to choose between exposing themselves to the prospect of going to jail to protect confidentiality, watering down their research objectives, or conducting vanilla research rather than engaging in controversial and/or sensitive areas of study. The paper urges the granting agency Presidents to seek legislative change to protect research participants who provide information that could cause them harm if their identity were to be revealed. (shrink)
There is a growing trend in Australia to require lawyers to certify reasonable prospects of success for the cases they bring and defend. New South Wales has led the way with the Legal Profession Act 2004 (NSW) Pt 3.2 Division 10 requiring legal practitioners to certify reasonable prospects of success in all claims for damages. The requirement places a significant onus on lawyers to make a judgment about the merits of a case before it is begun, yet the common law (...) has long provided mechanisms to ensure that cases without prospects of success do not go to trial. This article considers Australian legislative provisions requiring lawyers to certify reasonable prospects of success of cases. It examines the application of the NSW legislation by the courts highlighting the difficulties of interpretation of what constitute 'reasonable prospects of success' and the application of the legislation in the context of the dynamic litigation process. It is argued that these legislated obligations on lawyers will have a detrimental effect on access to justice by denying parties, in particular plaintiffs, the opportunity to have their cases properly and fully determined in the courts. This article examines common law mechanisms for dissuading cases without prospects and argues that the general law is an effective system for ensuring that cases without prospects of success are not maintained. The Australian experience is instructive for consideration of optimal reform packages for the administration of justice and to evaluate the role of any litigation lawyer within the judicial and court process. (shrink)