Humans have developed the capacity to approve or disapprove of the behavior of their children and of unrelated individuals. The ability to approve or disapprove transformed social learning into a system of cumulative cultural inheritance, because it increased the reliability of cultural transmission. Moreover, people can transmit their behavioral experiences (regarding what can and cannot be done) to their offspring, thereby avoiding the costs of a laborious, and sometimes dangerous, evaluation of different cultural alternatives. Our thesis is that, during (...) ontogeny, the evaluative communication (approval/disapproval) between parents and offspring is substituted by other evaluative communications among peers, like individuals of the same generation. Each person belongs to a reference social group with individuals that interact more intensively. Humans have developed psychological mechanisms that enable cultural transmission by being receptive to parental advice as well as their reference social group. The selective pressure that promoted these new evaluative interactions arose to facilitate the establishment of efficient cooperative relationships. In short, the socialcontrol of behavior is essential to understand human cultural transmission. (shrink)
Efforts to institutionalize ethics in corporations have been discussed without first addressing the desirability of norm conformity or the possibility that the means used to elicit conformity will be coercive. This article presents a theoretical context, grounded in models of socialcontrol, within which ethics initiatives may be evaluated. Ethics initiatives are discussed in relation to variables that already exert control in the workplace, such as environmental controls, organizational controls, and personal controls.
David Garland's The Culture of Control provides a powerful analysis of trends in crime and criminal justice policy over the last 30 years. This note re?examines two parts of the Garland thesis. First, it argues that punitive criminal justice policy is rooted in an authoritarian neoconservative politics that shares little with free?market ideology. Second, research on the collateral consequences of incarceration suggests that the penal system, at least in America, has become a significant influence on, rather than just a (...) product of, the social structure of late modernity. (shrink)
Free will can be understood as a novel form of action control that evolved to meet the escalating demands of human social life, including moral action and pursuit of enlightened self-interest in a cultural context. That understanding is conducive to scientific research, which is reviewed here in support of four hypotheses. First, laypersons tend to believe in free will. Second, that belief has behavioral consequences, including increases in socially and culturally desirable acts. Third, laypersons can reliably distinguish free (...) actions from less free ones. Fourth, actions judged as free emerge from a distinctive set of inner processes, all of which share a common psychological and physiological signature. These inner processes include self-control, rational choice, planning, and initiative. (shrink)
This commentary argues that theories of cognitive control risk being incomplete unless they incorporate social/emotional factors. Social factors very likely played a critical role in the evolution of human cognitive control abilities, and emotional states are the primary regulatory mechanisms of cognitive control.
While it is widely assumed that greater diversity in corporate governance will enhance a firms corporate social performance, this study considers an alternative thesis which relates managerial control to corporate philanthropy. The study empirically evaluates both board diversity and managerial control of the board as possible predictors of corporate philanthropy. The demonstration of a positive relationship between managerial control and corporate philanthropy contributes to our understanding that corporate social performance results from a complex set of (...) economic and social motives. Possible future research and managerial implications are discussed. (shrink)
Although the effectiveness of some tobacco programs and policies has been clearly demonstrated in reducing the overall population smoking prevalence, the health benefits are not equally distributed across all socio-economic classes; a situation that clearly runs against the equalitarian ethos of most modern states. In this article, we evaluate the benefits of using Sen’s Capability Approach as a theory of social justice to guide public health program and policy development in a way that would prevent the further increase of (...) inequalities in health outcomes. Starting from four consensual goals of tobacco control practice (i.e. that individuals live a smoke-free life, that smokers quit smoking, that non-smokers are protected from exposure to second-hand smoke and that smoking cessation support is accessible) we found that besides the standard interventions (e.g. education on the harms of smoking, policies to reduce exposure to SHS) an iniquity-proof tobacco control program needs also to address the lack of options of underprivileged people in affordable smoke-free settings and in leisure activities. We conclude that an ethical tobacco prevention program needs to address the broader social determinants of health such as the socio-economic policies that put a strain on people’s capacity to shun or quit smoking. (shrink)
There has been an intellectual debate at least since the 1960s in business ethics on the role of the media in relation to consumer choice driven by either habits or rationality. If consumers are totally rational, then the global media and global corporations provide just information and knowledge. If consumers are influenced by habit then large corporations and global media can greatly influence consumer choice and create problems of self-control (Ainslie, 1992, Pico Economics: The Strategic Interaction of Successive Motivational (...) States Within the Person, Cambridge University press, Cambridge). In this article, we provide a synthesis and integrated approach to this continuing debate. We provide a more institutional approach to consumer choice based on social conventions, rather than just on individual habits and lapses in self-control. (shrink)
The conceptual and investigative tools for the analysis of social behavior can be expanded by integrating biological theory, control systems theory, and Pavlovian conditioning. Biological theory has focused on the costs and benefits of social behavior from ecological and evolutionary perspectives. In contrast, control systems theory is concerned with how machines achieve a particular goal or purpose. The accurate operation of a system often requires feed-forward mechanisms that adjust system performance in anticipation of future inputs. Pavlovian (...) conditioning is ideally suited to subserve this function in behavioral systems. Pavlovian mechanisms have been demonstrated in various aspects of sexual behavior, maternal lactation, and infant suckling. Pavlovian conditioning of agonistic behavior has been also reported, and Pavlovian processes may likewise be involved in social play and social grooming. Several further lines of evidence indicate that Pavlovian conditioning can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of social interactions, thereby improving their cost/benefit ratio. We extend Pavlovian concepts beyond the traditional domain of discrete secretory and other physiological reflexes to complex real-world behavioral interactions and apply abstract laboratory analyses of the mechanisms of associative learning to the daily challenges animals face as they interact with one another in their natural environments. Key Words: aggression; biological theory; control theory; feed-forward mechanisms; learning theory; nursing and lactation; Pavlovian conditioning; sexual behavior; social behavior; social grooming; social play. (shrink)
Metaphors from strategic management can be applied effectively to business ethics programs. While effective strategies help implement ethical decisions that are formulated in good faith, ostensibly value-neutral control mechanisms can indirectly affect the substantive nature of policies and decisions themselves. This article examines the effectiveness of various corporate social responsibility implementation strategies. It also addresses the effects of implementation choices on the substantive formulation of ethical decisions and policies.Implementation and evaluation of corporate social responsibility programs through models (...) of responsiveness are integrated into the social policy cycle using four tools: strategic control and performance control approaches, and hierarchical control and contractual control structures. The choices made among these forms of control approaches and structures, which as implementation mechanisms are typically considered to be value-free devices, may affect the substance of corporate social responsibility content. Hierarchical control structures, which use outside directors, tend to be associated with performance control approaches, and are biased towards applying utilitarian approaches to ethical decision making. Contractual control structures are compatable with strategic control approaches, and generally favor the application of principle-based approaches to ethical decision-making. Both the content and the quality of ethical decisions will be affected by differences between hierarchical and contractual control. (shrink)
This paper contributes to the normative debate over capital punishment by looking at whether the role of executioner is one in which it is possible and proper to take pride. The answer to the latter question turns on the kind of justification the agent can give for what she does in carrying out the role. So our inquiry concerns whether the justifications available to an executioner could provide him with the kind of justification necessary for him to take pride in (...) what he does. If they cannot, I argue, this sheds some light on their adequacy as justifications. The main argument of the paper is that socialcontrol arguments for the death penalty fail to provide an adequate justification. I also give some consideration to retributive justifications. The argument is developed through close attention to the depiction of Albert Pierrepoint in the film, Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman. (shrink)
The author comments on the article “The Neurobiology of Addiction: Implications for Voluntary Control of Behavior,‘ by S. E. Hyman. Hyman’s article suggests that addicted individuals have impairments in cognitive control of behavior. The author agrees with Hyman’s view that addiction weakens the addict’s ability to align his actions with his judgments. The author states that neuroethics may focus on brains and highlight key aspects of behavior but we still risk missing explanatory elements. Accession Number: 24077912; Authors: Levy, (...) Neil 1,2; Email Address: email@example.com; Affiliations: 1: University of Melbourne, Parkville 3010, Australia; 2: University of Oxford; Subject: ADDICTIONS; Subject: ALCOHOLISM; Subject: COGNITION; Subject: BEHAVIOR; Subject: JUDGMENT; Subject: HYMAN, S. E.; Subject: NEUROBIOLOGY; Number of Pages: 2p. (shrink)
A survey of a wide range of social?scientific disciplines reveals a definite convergence of theoretical interest in human cognition and communication as situated, concerned, and embedded in social commitment. Recent contributions within situation semantics and cognitive science explicitly reject some of the constraints inherent in their shared philosophical heritage and prepare novel ground for dialogues between fields as far apart as formal semantics and ?dialogical? text theory. Issues such as purely cognitive versus motivational aspects of human situatedness, and (...) the relationship between models of individual information processing, on the one hand, and hermeneutic?dialectic assumptions about social and collective features of meaning and mind, on the other, are thus made topics of cross?disciplinary discussions. These are some of the many problems in need of further clarification if we want to explore the possibility of bridging and/or transcending the gulf between analytic?rationalist and hermeneutic?dialectic contributions to our insight into human cognition and communication. (shrink)
The primrose path and prisoner's dilemma paradigms may require cognitive (executive) control: The active maintenance of context representations in lateral prefrontal cortex to provide top-down support for specific behaviors in the face of short delays or stronger response tendencies. This perspective suggests further tests of whether altruism is a type of self-control, including brain imaging, induced affect, and dual-task studies.
Reactions to the target article included requests for extensions and elaborations of the schema we proposed and discussions of apparent shortcomings of our approach. In general, we welcome suggestions for extension of the schema to additional kinds of social behavior and to forms of learning other than Pavlovian conditioning. Many of the requested elaborations of the schema are consistent with our approach, but some may limit its generality. Many of the apparent shortcomings that commentators discussed do not seem problematic. (...) Our schema encourages a broad view of the behavioral consequences of Pavlovian conditioning – including learned modifications of responding to the unconditioned stimulus. Costs and benefits addressed by our schema are the long-range reproductive consequences of learning – not the immediate reinforcing consequences of particular conditioned responses. Our approach allows the evolution of learning to yield maladaptive behavior and can be extended to characterize dynamic social interactions. We clarify that ours is not a homeostatic model involving ideal set points, and we clarify and defend our application of Pavlovian concepts to the analysis of social play. (shrink)
Pavlovian feed-forward mechanisms represent an individual perspective that ignores how repeated interactions between the same individuals lead to social relationships. These can determine social cues, coordinated behaviors, asymmetries between partners, and physiological and emotional states associated with social interaction.
This book addresses two related topics: self-control and individual autonomy. In approaching these issues, Mele develops a conception of an ideally self-controlled person, and argues that even such a person can fall short of personal autonomy. He then examines what needs to be added to such a person to yield an autonomous agent and develops two overlapping answers: one for compatibilist believers in human autonomy and one for incompatibilists. While remaining neutral between those who hold that autonomy is compatible (...) with determinism and those who deny this, Mele shows that belief that there are autonomous agents is better grounded than belief that there are not. (shrink)
I argue against two of the most influential contemporary theories of moral responsibility: those of Harry Frankfurt and John Martin Fischer. Both propose conditions which are supposed to be sufficient for direct moral responsibility for actions. (By the term direct moral responsibility, I mean moral responsibility which is not traced from an earlier action.) Frankfurt proposes a condition of 'identification'; Fischer, writing with Mark Ravizza, proposes conditions for 'guidance control'. I argue, using counterexamples, that neither is sufficient for direct (...) moral responsibility. -/- My counterexample cases are based on recent research in psychology which reveals many surprising causes of our actions. Some of this research comes from the field of situationist social psychology; some from experiments which reveal the influence of automatic processes in our actions. Broadly, I call such causes 'subverting' when the agent would not identify with her action, if she knew all the causes of the action. When an action has subverting causes, the agent is not directly morally responsible for it, even though she may meet the conditions specified by Frankfurt and Fischer. -/- I also criticise the theories of Eddy Nahmias and John Doris, who have both engaged specifically with the threats posed to moral responsibility by situationist research. Against Doris and Nahmias, I argue that their conditions are neither necessary nor sufficient for direct moral responsibility. -/- My final objective is to argue that there are many everyday actions for which we mistakenly hold agents morally responsible. I review evidence that there are many everyday actions which have subverting causes. Many of those are actions for which we currently hold agents morally responsible. But I argue that, in many of those same actions, the agents are not in fact morally responsible – they bear neither direct nor traced moral responsibility. (shrink)
Introduction : the times they are a changin' -- Doing their best -- Values, evidence, conflict -- What counts as evidence? -- The miracle drug -- The battle for acceptance : defining the relationship between medicine and the world of madness and distress -- The ring -- Foregrounding contexts : what kinds of understanding are appropriate in the world of mental illness? -- Losing Peter -- Mind, language, and meaning -- Beetles -- Ethics before technology : is 'treatment' the best (...) way to think about mental health work? -- Narrative and the ethics of representation -- Meaning and recovery -- Citizenship and the politics of identity -- Are you local? : responding to the challenge of globalization in mental health -- The veil. (shrink)
Imitation, deliberation, and mindreading are characteristically human sociocognitive skills. Research on imitation and its role in social cognition is flourishing across various disciplines; it is here surveyed under headings of behavior, subpersonal mechanisms, and functions of imitation. A model is then advanced within which many of the developments surveyed can be located and explained. The shared circuits model explains how imitation, deliberation, and mindreading can be enabled by subpersonal mechanisms of control, mirroring and simulation. It is cast at (...) a middle, functional level of description, between the level of neural implementation and the level of conscious perceptions and intentional actions. The shared circuits model connects shared informational dynamics for perception and action with shared informational dynamics for self and other, while also showing how the action/perception, self/other and actual/possible distinctions can be overlaid on these shared informational dynamics. It avoids the common conception of perception and action as separate and peripheral to central cognition. Rather, it contributes to the situated cognition movement by showing how mechanisms for perceiving action can be built on those for active perception. (shrink)
In the past twenty years, the field of science and technology studies (S&TS) has made considerable progress toward illuminating the relationship between scientific knowledge and political power. These insights have not yet been synthesized or presented in a form that systematically highlights the connections between S&TS and other social sciences. This timely collection of essays by some of the leading scholars in the field attempts to fill that gap. The book develops the theme of "co-production", showing how scientific knowledge (...) both embeds and is embedded in social identities, institutions, representations and discourses. Accordingly, the authors argue, ways of knowing the world are inseparably linked to the ways in which people seek to organize and control it. Through studies of emerging knowledges, research practices and political institutions, the authors demonstrate that the idiom of co-production importantly extends the vocabulary of the traditional social sciences, offering fresh analytic perspectiveson the nexus of science, power and culture. (shrink)
Dubreuil (Biol Phil 25:53–73, 2010b , this journal) argues that modern-like cognitive abilities for inhibitory control and goal maintenance most likely evolved in Homo heidelbergensis , much before the evolution of oft-cited modern traits, such as symbolism and art. Dubreuil’s argument proceeds in two steps. First, he identifies two behavioral traits that are supposed to be indicative of the presence of a capacity for inhibition and goal maintenance: cooperative feeding and cooperative breeding. Next, he tries to show that these (...) behavioral traits most likely emerged in Homo heidelbergensis . In this paper, I show that neither of these steps are warranted in light of current scientific evidence, and thus, that the evolutionary background of human executive functions, such as inhibition and goal maintenance, remains obscure. Nonetheless, I suggest that cooperative breeding might mark a crucial step in the evolution of our species: its early emergence in Homo erectus might have favored a social intelligence that was required to get modernity really off the ground in Homo sapiens. (shrink)
This article presents a new interpretation of the concept of social relations of production in Marx. Against G.A. Cohen, it argues that social relations of production are relations of interaction between persons, not relations of de facto control between persons and means of production. It argues further that these relations are relations of 'de facto recognition', that is, relations constituted by actions in which individuals treat each other as if they recognised each other in certain ways, whether (...) or not the relevant recognitional attitudes are present. (shrink)
This introduction to the philosophy of social science provides an original conception of the task and nature of social inquiry. Peter Manicas discusses the role of causality seen in the physical sciences and offers a reassessment of the problem of explanation from a realist perspective. He argues that the fundamental goal of theory in both the natural and social sciences is not, contrary to widespread opinion, prediction and control, or the explanation of events (including behaviour). Instead, (...) theory aims to provide an understanding of the processes which, together, produce the contingent outcomes of experience. Offering a host of concrete illustrations and examples of critical ideas and issues, this accessible book will be of interest to students of the philosophy of social science, and social scientists from a range of disciplines. (shrink)
This essay seeks to move on from the critical debates that have followed the publication of The Culture of Control by taking up constructive suggestions, refining or extending the book?s claims, and sketching out new lines for future research. After a preliminary discussion of the proper role of theory in historical and sociological research it seeks to clarify and develop the following ideas: the concept of the field and its role in the study of crime control and criminal (...) justice; the field as a contested balance of forces; situated rationality and conflicted action; gender relations and the culture of control; national characteristics and responses to late modernity; American exceptionalism; analysis and critique in the study of socialcontrol. (shrink)
David Garland?s The Culture of Control tells us more about the political culture of a post?11 September world than even he must have anticipated. The core of Garland?s cultural argument is his elaboration of a Durkheimian concept of moral individualism, to which he attributes a trend?setting influence lasting into the new millennium. He argues that, among youth, this new cultural influence has an egoistic, hedonistic quality, linked to a non?stop consumption ethos of the new capitalism. He emphasises that it (...) is the disadvantaged rather than the more privileged participants in this hedonistic youth culture who have been singled out for legal exposure and criminal sanctioning in a highly politicised binge of late modern penality. Garland?s prescient account exposes the first and most visible layers of socialcontrol that still hide vast inequalities in crime and punishment. There are important untold stories of the unpunished, more privileged participants in the hedonistic ?party? subculture of late modernity. The youthful patrons of this subculture, like their officially deviant counterparts, are disaffiliated and distrustful of conventional institutions, including contemporary work, family and politics. Garland awakens an awareness of our need to learn more about both the sanctioned and unsanctioned youth who are prominent and consequential players in our changing culture and politics. (shrink)
This article explores Hannah Arendt's insights into the forms of socialcontrol operating especially in democracies, together with the possibility of resistance to such control. Since the way in which one defines freedom informs one's understanding of the techniques that suppress, regulate, and modify behaviour, the article begins by sketching Arendt's notion of freedom, and compares this to its liberal counterpart. That discussion leads to Arendt's conception of power, whose corollary is freedom, and whose suppression amounts to (...)control. The institutional and ideological infrastructure that accompanies the encroachment of ?the social? ? which Arendt links to the hegemony of liberalism ? is conceived as rendering the individual both powerless and apathetic. The article concludes with suggestions regarding resistance to modern forms of control, viewing Arendt's ontology as a source of tenable strategies for the deepening of democracy. (shrink)
Plato. Crito.--Mill, J. S. Utilitarianism.--Rawls, J. Two concepts of rules.--Kant, I. Fundamental principles of the metaphysic of morals.--Rawls, J. Justice as fairness.--Benn, S. I. and Peters, R. S. Society and types of social regulation.--Hobbes, T. Leviathan, abridged.--Hayek, F. A. The principles of a liberal social order.--Marx, K. Alienation and its overcoming in Communism.--Lukes, S. Alienation and anomie.--Garver, N. What violence is.--Zinn, H. The force of nonviolence.--Caudwell, C. Pacifism and violence; a study in bourgeois ethics.--Bennett, J. Whatever the consequences.--Foot, (...) P. Abortion and the doctrine of the double effect.--Benn, S. I. Punishment.--Mill, J. S. Selection from On liberty.--Mill, J. S. Selection from Considerations on representative government.--Marcuse, H. The new forms of control.--Mill, J. S. The subjection of women, abridged.--Dickinson, J. A working theory of sovereignty, abridged.--Rawls, J. The justification of civil disobedience. (shrink)
The possibility of genetic enhancement to increase the likelihood of success in sport and life’s prospects raises questions for accounts of sport and theories of justice. These questions obviously include the fairness of such enhancement and its relationship to the goals of sport and demands of justice. Of equal interest, however, is the effect on our understanding of individual effort, merit, and desert of either discovering genetic contributions to components of such effort or recognizing the influence of social factors (...) on the development and exercise of individual effort. This paper analyzes arguments about genetic enhancement with the goal of raising questions about how sport and justice regard unchosen, undeserved inequalities and what is assumed to be their opposite—namely, the exercise and results of individual effort. It is suggested that contemplating enhancement of natural assets previously outside human control may reinforce recognition of responsibility to intervene with regard to social advantages so as to support individual effort and improve individuals’ life prospects. (shrink)
In Epistemic injustice, Miranda Fricker makes a tremendous contribution to theorizing the intersection of social epistemology with theories of justice. Theories of justice often take as their object of assessment either interpersonal transactions (specific exchanges between persons) or particular institutions. They may also take a more comprehensive perspective in assessing systems of institutions. This systemic perspective may enable control of the cumulative effects of millions of individual transactions that cannot be controlled at the individual or institutional levels. This (...) is true not only with respect to the overall distribution of such goods as income and wealth, but also with respect to the goods of testimonial and hermeneutical justice. Cognitive biases that may be difficult for even epistemically virtuous individuals to correct on their own may be more susceptible to correction if we focus on the principles that should govern our systems of testimonial gathering and assessment. Hence, while Fricker?s focus on individual epistemic virtue is important, we also need to consider what epistemic justice as a virtue of social systems would require. My paper will indicate some directions forward on this front, focusing on the need for integration of diverse institutions and persons engaged in inquiry. (shrink)
This essay uses Garland?s framework from The Culture of Control to suggest an agenda for critical penology. This includes, as well as the analysis of choices actually made and the cultural repertoire actually available, describing and advocating other possible choices, and analysing the conditions of possibility for the adoption of other (better) policies and practices; and examining the implications for the future of choices which are currently being made. Carlen?s Women and Punishment: The Struggle for Justice and Garland?s edited (...) collection Mass Imprisonment in the USA are examples of these penologies. Another way in which penologists, social theorists and philosophers can attempt to influence policy choices is to contribute to enlargement of the available cultural repertoire. The development and promotion of restorative justice is given as one example of this; another is work by philosophers such as Duff, Matravers and Norrie which addresses questions such as the source, nature and limits of penal communities; the basis of political obligation, and the relational nature of responsibility for crime. (shrink)
Eating is the most intimate relationship people can have with their environment. As people have migrated, in very large numbers, from various parts of the globe, as well as from the countryside to the city, they have brought to their new homes not only their intimate familial relationships, but also their intimate environmental relationships. Intraand international trade in human foods and animal feeds amounting to billions of dollars annually support these transplanted eating habits. Infectious disease agents, toxins and environmental contaminants (...) of all sorts are globally distributed along with these foods. Furthermore, the internationalization of a substantial portion of the food industry, along with urbanization, has resulted in unrealistic consumer perceptions of food, and fostered ecologically and socially unsound food production and food safety practices, which themselves are creating new food safety problems. Effective food safety strategies, which by necessity must account for the contamination of the environment in which the food is grown, as well as the environments through which it passes on the way to the consumer, need to be global in both breadth (socially and geographically) and depth (ecologically). As well, the desire for democratic socialcontrol now evident throughout the world, along with this diversity of culinary tastes, suggest that a successful global food safety strategy would do well to reflect the kinds of diversity and complex interactions seen in natural ecosystems. (shrink)
In this paper I analyze interpersonal and institutional recognition and discuss the relation of different types of recognition to various principles of social justice (egalitarianism, meritarianism, legitimate favouritism, principles of need and free exchange). Further, I try to characterize contours of good autonomous life, and ask what kind of preconditions it has. I will distinguish between five kinds of preconditions: psychological, material, cultural, intersubjective and institutional. After examining what the role of recognition is among such preconditions, and how they (...) figure in the work of Axel Honneth, Nancy Fraser and Charles Taylor, I suggest a somewhat complex and hopefully rich picture of interpersonal and institutional recognition as a precondition of autonomous good life. (shrink)
Social identity poses one of the most important challenges to rational choice theory, but rational choice theorists do not hold a common position regarding identity. On one hand, externalist rational choice ignores the concept of identity or reduces it to revealed preferences. On the other hand, internalist rational choice considers identity as a key concept in explaining social action because it permits expressive motivations to be included in the models. However, internalist theorists tend to reduce identity to desire—the (...) desire of a person to express his or her social being. From an internalist point of view, that is, from a viewpoint in which not only desires but also beliefs play a key role in social explanations as mental entities, this article rejects externalist reductionism and proposes a redefinition of social identity as a net of beliefs about oneself, beliefs that are indexical, robust, and socially shaped. (shrink)
Why does it matter whether and how individuals consciously control their behavior? It matters for many reasons. Here I focus on concerns about social influences of which agents are typically unaware on aggressive behavior.
The human ability to represent, conceptualize, and reason about mind and behavior is one of the greatest achievements of human evolution and is made possible by a “folk theory of mind” — a sophisticated conceptual framework that relates different mental states to each other and connects them to behavior. This chapter examines the nature and elements of this framework and its central functions for social cognition. As a conceptual framework, the folk theory of mind operates prior to any particular (...) conscious or unconscious cognition and provides the “framing” or interpretation of that cognition. Central to this framing is the concept of intentionality, which distinguishes intentional action (caused by the agent’s intention and decision) from unintentional behavior (caused by internal or external events without the intervention of the agent’s decision). A second important distinction separates publicly observable from publicly unobservable (i.e., mental) events. Together, the two distinctions define the kinds of events in social interaction that people attend to, wonder about, and try to explain. A special focus of this chapter is the powerful tool of behavior explanation, which relies on the folk theory of mind but is also intimately tied to social demands and to the perceiver’s social goals. A full understanding of social cognition must consider the folk theory of mind as the conceptual underpinning of all (conscious and unconscious) perception and thinking about the social world. (shrink)
It is a common assumption among both philosophers and psychologists that having accurate beliefs about ourselves and the world around us is always the epistemic gold standard. However, there is gathering data from social psychology that suggest that illusions are quite prevalent in our everyday thinking and that some of these illusions may even be conducive to our overall well being. In this paper, we explore the relevance of these so-called 'positive illusions' to the free will debate. More specifically, (...) we use the literature on positive illusions as a springboard for examining Saul Smilansky's so-called 'free will illusionism'. At the end of the day, we will use data from both social and developmental psychology concerning perceived control to try to show that his view is on shaky empirical footing. (shrink)
This article examines two empirical research traditions—experimental economics and the social identity approach in social psychology—that may be seen as attempts to falsify and verify the theory of collective intentionality, respectively. The article argues that both approaches fail to settle the issue. However, this is not necessarily due to the alleged immaturity of the social sciences but, possibly, to the philosophical nature of intentionality and intentional action. The article shows how broadly Davidsonian action theory, including Hacking’s notion (...) of the looping effect of the human sciences, can be developed into an argument for the view that there is no theory-independent true nature of intentional action. If the Davidsonian line of thought is correct, the theory of collective intentionality is, in a sense, true if we accept the theory. Key Words: collective intentionality • experimental economics • social identity theory • Donald Davidson • Ian Hacking • constructivism • action • agency • philosophy of the social sciences. (shrink)
This paper proposes an empirical hypothesis that in some cases of social interaction we have an immediate perceptual access to others' minds in the perception of their embodied intentionality. Our point of departure is the phenomenological insight that there is an experiential difference in the perception of embodied intentionality and the perception of non-intentionality. The other's embodied intentionality is perceptually given in a way that is different from the givenness of non-intentionality. We claim that the phenomenological difference in the (...) perception of embodied intentionality and non-intentionality translates into an account of how, in some cases of social cognition, we perceive mental properties in the perception of embodied intentionality. The hypothesis derives support from a host of recent empirical studies in social neuroscience which demonstrate the importance of embodied engagements in understanding other minds. These studies reveal that embodied intersubjective interaction often builds on our ability to understand other minds in an immediate perceptual way not adequately investigated by theory-theory (TT) and simulation theories (ST) of mind-reading. We argue that there is a genuine, nontrivial difference in the informational content of the perception of embodied intentionality and the perception of non-intentionality which leads to a further difference in the way information is processed in the case of perception of embodied intentionality as opposed to the perception of non-intentionality. The full significance of such difference is appreciated only within an account of perception which views perception and action as tightly coupled. Thus, we propose an "action-oriented account of social perception" to develop a neurophilosophical account of the perceptual knowledge of other minds. (shrink)
What is self-control and how does the concept of self-control relate to the notion of will-power? A widespread philosophical opinion has been that the notion of will-power does not add anything beyond what can be said using other motivational notions, such as strength of desire and intention. One exception is Richard Holton who, inspired by recent research in social psychology, has argued that will-power is a separate faculty needed for persisting in one's resolutions, what he calls 'strength (...) of will'. However, he distinguishes strength of will from self-control. In this paper I argue that will-power is essential also to a certain form of self-control. I support this claim by arguments showing that the traditional philosophical accounts of self-control run into difficulties because they pay insufficient attention to will-power as an independent source of motivation. (shrink)
In this paper recognition is taken to be a question of social ontology, regarding the very constitution of the social space of interaction. I concentrate on the question of whether certain aspects of the theory of recognition can be translated into the terms of a socio-ontological paradigm: to do so, I make reference to some conceptual tools derived from John Searle's social ontology and Robert Brandom's normative pragmatics. My strategy consists in showing that recognitive phenomena cannot be (...) isolated at the level of human interaction, and are, rather, in part proper to animal interaction as well. Furthermore, it is argued that recognitive powers are constitutive powers more basic than deontic ones and play a role much broader than the one they in fact assume in Searle and in Brandom. (shrink)
This article explores how the diversity of board resources and the number of women on boards affect firms’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) ratings, and how, in turn, CSR influences corporate reputation. In addition, this article examines whether CSR ratings mediate the relationships among board resource diversity, gender composition, and corporate reputation. The OLS regression results using lagged data for independent and control variables were statistically significant for the gender composition hypotheses, but not for the resource diversity-based hypotheses. CSR (...) ratings had a positive impact on reputation and mediated the relationship between the number of women on the board and corporate reputation. (shrink)
This paper introduces a new family of cases where agents are jointly morally responsible for outcomes over which they have no individual control, a family that resists standard ways of understanding outcome responsibility. First, the agents in these cases do not individually facilitate the outcomes and would not seem individually responsible for them if the other agents were replaced by non-agential causes. This undermines attempts to understand joint responsibility as overlapping individual responsibility; the responsibility in question is essentially joint. (...) Second, the agents involved in these cases are not aware of each other's existence and do not form a social group. This undermines attempts to understand joint responsibility in terms of actual or possible joint action or joint intentions, or in terms of other social ties. Instead, it is argued that intuitions about joint responsibility are best understood given the Explanation Hypothesis, according to which a group of agents are seen as jointly responsible for outcomes that are suitably explained by their motivational structures: something bad happened because they didn’t care enough; something good happened because their dedication was extraordinary. One important consequence of the proposed account is that responsibility for outcomes of collective action is a deeply normative matter. (shrink)
Grice in pragmatics and Levelt in psycholinguistics have proposed models of human communication where the starting point of communicative action is an individual intention. This assumption, though, has to face serious objections with regard to the alleged existence of explicit representations of the communicative goals to be pursued. Here evidence is surveyed which shows that in fact speaking may ordinarily be a quite automatic activity prompted by contextual cues and driven by behavioural schemata abstracted away from social regularities. On (...) the one hand, this means that there could exist no intentions in the sense of explicit representations of communicative goals, following from deliberate reasoning and triggering the communicative action. On the other hand, however, there are reasons to allow for a weaker notion of intention than this, according to which communication is an intentional affair, after all. Communicative action is said to be intentional in this weaker sense to the extent that it is subject to a double mechanism of control, with respect both to present-directed and future-directed intentions. (shrink)
Advanced biological brains are by nature open-ended opportunistic controllers. Such controllers compute, pretty much on a moment-to-moment basis, what problem-solving resources are readily available and recruit them into temporary problem-solving wholes. Neural plasticity, exaggerated in our own species, makes it possible for such resources to become factored deep into both our cognitive and physical problem-solving routines. One way to think about this is to depict the biological brain as a master of what I shall dub ‘ecological control’. Ecological (...) class='Hi'>control is the kind of top-level control that does not micro-manage every detail, but rather encourages substantial devolvement of power and responsibility. This kind of control allows much of our skill at walking to reside in the linkages and elastic properties of muscles and tendons. And it allows (I claim) much of our prowess at thought and reason to depend upon the robust and reliable operation, often (but not always) in dense brain-involving loops, of a variety of non-biological problem-solving resources spread throughout our social and technological surround. Are the complex distributed systems that result in some sense ‘out of control’, beyond the reach of useful (you might even, though problematically, say, ‘personal’) governance? I shall argue that they are not, although understanding them requires us to re-think some key ideas about control and the nature of the self. To (try to) make this case, I shall first examine some strategies for efficient, external opportunity exploiting control in simple systems. I shall then argue that many of the same lessons apply to the case of higher-level human problem-solving. (shrink)
Social “construction,” “constructionism” and “constructivism” are terms in wide use in the humanities and social sciences, and are applied to a diverse range of objects including the emotions, gender, race, sex, homo- and hetero-sexuality, mental illness, technology, quarks, facts, reality, and truth. This sort of terminology plays a number of different roles in different discourses, only some of which are philosophically interesting, and fewer of which admit of a “naturalistic” approach—an approach that treats science as a central and (...) successful (if sometimes fallible) source of knowledge about the world. If there is any core idea of social constructionism, it is that some object or objects are caused or controlled by social or cultural factors rather than natural factors, and if there is any core motivation of such research, it is the aim of showing that such objects are or were under our control: they could be, or might have been, otherwise. (shrink)
This paper presents the history of the Frankfurt School’s inclusion of normative concerns in social science research programs during the period 1930-1955. After examining the relevant methodology, I present a model of how such a program could look today. I argue that such an approach is both valuable to contemporary social science programs and overlooked by current philosophers and social scientists.