For a number of years it has been recognized that the social dynamics of group interaction is an import factor in the origin of accidents and in the way how accidents or accident-prone situations are handled in aviation (cf. Helmreich 1997a, 1997b). Factors related to interpersonal communication have been implicated in up to 80% of all aviation accidents over the past 20 years. As a reaction to this, Crew Resource Management (CRM) has been developed with the goal of rating and (...) improving crew performance in aviation and in other fields in which professional groups interact in situations of high taskload and potential risk (cf. Helmreich ea. 1999). As far as this can be estimated at all, installing CRM techniques in the major American and European airlines has resulted in a definite improvement in the safety of commercial aviation. In spite of this success of CRM, practitioners in the field feel that, beyond the general social dynamics of group interaction, there might be potential problems relating to language and communication in such settings. (shrink)
This paper proposes a response to the duplication objection to the descriptive theory of singular mental reference. This objection involves hypothetical cases in each of which there are a pair of qualitatively indistinguishable objects and a thought that apparently refers to only one of the pair, despite the descriptive indistinguishability of the two objects. I identify a concept of reference-likeness or closeness to reference, which is related to the concept of genuine singular reference as the concept of truthlikeness or closeness (...) to truth is related to the concept of truth. My response to the duplication objection is to say that the hypothetical cases it involves establish only that a thought can come close enough to singular reference to a thing despite not genuinely referring to that thing, a consequence that is compatible with the descriptive theory of singular mental reference. (shrink)
This work-in-progress paper consists of four points which relate to the foundations and physical realization of quantum computing. The first point is that the qubit cannot be taken as the basic unit for quantum computing, because not every superposition of bit-strings of length n can be factored into a string of n-qubits. The second point is that the “No-cloning” theorem does not apply to the copying of one quantum register into another register, because the mathematical representation of this copying is (...) the identity operator, which is manifestly linear. The third point is that quantum parallelism is not destroyed only by environmental decoherence. There are two other forms of decoherence, which we call measurement decoherence and internal decoherence, that can also destroy quantum parallelism. The fourth point is that processing the contents of a quantum register “one qubit at a time” destroys entanglement. (shrink)
The present paper suggests how, from a scientific perspective, the senses establish a link between mind and matter. Ongoing research in sensory science and data analysis is related to the ongoing debate about a non-reductive theory of consciousness based on psychophysical principles. Sensory science is interdisciplinary and deals with the human perception of objects by the senses of sight, smell, taste, touch, hearing etc. Perception as information pro- cessing is here understood in terms of interactions between external physical stimuli and (...) internal mental states resulting in behavioral responses. To deal with the complex and dynamic transformation between external physical energies and internal psychological experiences multivariate methods of data analysis are shown to be useful Examples will be given from food science where cognition and emotion, activated by sense perception are vital for the survival health and well-being of humans. These approaches may contribute to bridging the explanatory gap between the subjectively experienced and the objectively observed world. Future challenges towards deeper interdisciplinary discourses addressing mind-matter research in real-world situations are at stake. (shrink)
This is a critical exposition and limited defence of a theory of first-person belief transiently held by Roderick Chisholm after giving up the early haecceity theory of Person and Object (1976) and before adopting the late self-attribution theory of The First Person (1981). I reconstruct that 'middle' theory as involving what I call a 'hard-core' approach to de re belief and I rebut objections concerning epistemic supervenience and abnormal consciousness. In my rebuttals, I sketch a variant of (...) the middle theory according to which first-person belief essentially involves the believer's introspective acquaintance with herself. (shrink)
Thinking about organisms as if they were rational agents which could choose their own phenotypic traits according to their fitness values is a common heuristic in the field of evolutionary theory. In a 1998 paper, however, Elliott Sober has emphasized several alleged shortcomings of this kind of analogical reasoning when applied to the analysis of social behaviors. According to him, the main flaw of this heuristic is that it proves to be a misleading tool when it is used for predicting (...) the evolution of cooperation. Here, I show that these charges raised against the heuristic use of this analogy are misguided. I argue, contra Sober, that such a heuristic turns out to be a perfect predictive tool in all relevant contexts where cooperation can at least evolve. Moreover, I argue that it constitutes a powerful and sufficient methodological framework for the analysis of social evolution. (shrink)
Ivan Boh affirms and Robert Pasnau denies that William Heytesbury holds merely true belief to be sufficient for knowledge in the broad sense. I argue that Boh is correct and Pasnau is mistaken, and that there is a long-running orthodox medieval tradition agreeing with Heytesbury about the conditions for knowledge. I offer a hypothesis about the origins, continuance and demise of that medieval tradition, and some remarks about the tradition's significance.
Epistemic minimalism affirms that mere true belief is sufficient for propositional knowledge. I construct a taxonomy of some specific forms of minimalism and locate within that taxonomy the distinct positions of various advocates of minimalism, including Alvin Goldman, Jaakko Hintikka, Crispin Sartwell, Wolfgang Lenzen, Franz von Kutschera, and others. I weigh generic minimalism against William Lycan’s objection that minimalism is incompatible with plausible principles about relations between knowledge, belief, and confidence. I argue that Lycan’s objection fails for equivocation but that (...) some specific forms of minimalism are better able than others to articulate that defense. (shrink)
The FASB in its Conceptual Framework has set high principles in the ethics of standard-setting in accounting. This paper concentrates on what the FASB calls the cost/benefit constraint, i.e., the commitment to setting an accounting standard only when the benefits of the standard exceeds the costs of that standard toall stakeholders. This constraint is supposed to take precedence over other concerns, such as neutrality (freedom from bias) of account information.The major conclusion of this paper is that a conflict exists between (...) the FASB's commitment and its practice. There is no evidence that the FASB has always made a costs and benefits judgement with respect to proposed standards. In the cases when such a judgement is made, the FASB discounts social costs; therefore, it is not considering costs to all stakeholders. At the same time the FASB discounts social costs, it seems to have an undue concern for standards that do not increase the volatility of net income. The Conceptual Framework explicitly defines costs as the costs to society as a whole. (shrink)
The present paper summarizes the development of the national electronic Identity Management System (eIDMS) in Estonia according to a conceptual framework developed in an European comparative research project outlined in the first chapter of this special issue. Its main function is to amend the picture of the European eIDMS landscape by presenting a case with high involvement of the private sector and thereby checking the generalizations from the comparisons of Austria, Belgium, Germany and Spain, presented by Kubicek and Noack in (...) the previous chapter of this special issue. Starting with a short introduction into the historical background of identity documents in Estonia the national population register, the passport as well as the bank ID are described as the main pillars of the Estonian eIDMS, on which the national ID card builds on, which has been introduced in 2002. The technical features of the eID and the ID card are described in Section two as well as the areas of application and the processes for production and distribution. Section three presents the actors constellation, Section four the time line of the development process, starting from 1997. Section five deals with the diffusion and promotion of the ID card and the eID authentication function. After a very low and slow take up during the first 5 years due to a cooperation agreement between major banks, telecom operators and the government usage has increased. But still the authentication by Internet banks, which provides authentication services to third parties, including government, is the biggest competitor for the eID function on the national eID card. Only recently the major banks have announced to slowly fade out the password cards and PIN calculators as alternative modes of bank authentication. (shrink)
Astroturf organizations are fake grassroots organizations usually sponsored by large corporations to support any arguments or claims in their favor, or to challenge and deny those against them. They constitute the corporate version of grassroots social movements. Serious ethical and societal concerns underline this astroturfing practice, especially if corporations are successful in influencing public opinion by undertaking a social movement approach. This study is motivated by this particular issue and examines the effectiveness of astroturf organizations in the global warming context, (...) wherein large corporate polluters have an incentive to set up astroturf organizations to undermine the importance of human activities in climate change. We conduct an experiment to determine whether astroturf organizations have an impact on the level of user certainty about the causes of global warming. Results show that people who used astroturf websites became more uncertain about the causes of global warming and humans’ role in the phenomenon than people who used grassroots websites. Astroturf organizations are hence successful in promoting business interests over environmental protection. In addition to the multiple business ethics issues it raises, astroturfing poses a significant threat to the legitimacy of the grassroots movement. (shrink)
The validity of the conclusion to the nonlocality of quantum mechanics, accepted widely today as the only reasonable solution to the EPR and Bell issues, is questioned and criticized. Arguments are presented which remove the compelling character of this conclusion and make clear that it is not the most obvious solution. Alternative solutions are developed which are free of the contradictions related with the nonlocality conclusion. Firstly, the dependence on the adopted interpretation is shown, with the conclusion that the alleged (...) nonlocality property of the quantum formalism may have been reached on the basis of an interpretation that is unnecessarily restrictive. Secondly, by extending the conventional quantum formalism along the lines of Ludwig and Davies it is shown that the Bell problem may be related to complementarity rather than to nonlocality. Finally, the dependence on counterfactual reasoning is critically examined. It appears that locality on the quantum level may still be retained provided one accepts a newly proposed principle of nonreproducibility at the individual quantum level as an alternative of quantum nonlocality. It is concluded that the locality principle can retain its general validity, in full conformity with all experimental data. (shrink)
A partial ordering in the class of observables (∼ positive operator-valued measures, introduced by Davies and by Ludwig) is explored. The ordering is interpreted as a form of nonideality, and it allows one to compare ideal and nonideal versions of the same observable. Optimality is defined as maximality in the sense of the ordering. The framework gives a generalization of the usual (implicit) definition of self-adjoint operators as optimal observables (von Neumann), but it can, in contrast to this latter definition, (...) be justified operationally. The nonideality notion is compared to other quantum estimation theoretic methods. Measures for the amount of nonideality are derived from information theory. (shrink)
This article argues that the (epi)genetic, cultural, symbolic, and environmental transmission channels are insufficient to explain the structure of modern human societies. Economic exchange of knowledge embodied in goods and services constitutes an additional transmission channel that makes more efficient use of limited human cognitive capacity. Economic exchange results in a gradual shift in societies from task-based division of labor to cognitive specialization. This shifts scarce cognitive resources away from production and into learning. It accelerates learning and reinforces the drive (...) towards specialization. Cognitive specialization may constitute another “major transition” towards a higher level of aggregation in human societies, with properties that differ from symbolic transmission. Collective control of individual market-based exchange is ensured by means of economic institutions that put a constraint on individual behavior. (shrink)
The way students perceive a learning climate (e.g. controlling or stimulating) is significantly influenced by feedback and assessment. However, at present much is unclear about the relation between feedback and motivational state. More specifically, the interplay with student characteristics is unclear. Since there is a strong increase of group work, the central research question is what are the effects of positive, neutral or negative feedback presented to collaborating teams of students, on students? intrinsic motivation, performance and on group processes? One (...) hundred thirty?eight higher education students participated in this study. There were no significant differences in performance across conditions. Multi?level analysis enabled a detailed comparison between groups and individual members of groups. Amongst others, it was found that feelings of competence facilitate the effect of positive feedback at the group level, which suggests that positive feedback boosts interest especially in groups of highly competent students. (shrink)
I argue that the sufficiency of true belief for knowledge was accepted by some principal figures in the early history of analytic philosophy, including Russell, Schlick, McTaggart, and Moore, among others.