When making an assessment of animal welfare, it is important to take environmental (housing) or animal-based parameters into account. An alternative approach is to focus on the behavior and appearance of the animal, without making actual measurements or quantifying this. None of these tell the whole story. In this paper, we suggest that it is possible to find common ground between these (seemingly) diametrically opposed positions and argue that this may be the way to deal with the complexity of animal (...) welfare. The model will have to be acceptable for the different parties that will be affected by it and real benefits for the animal should result from it. This will be the basis of a practical ethical approach. All this can be condensed into a model that essentially is made up out of three basic elements: the classical welfare analysis with an existing welfare assessment tool, an assessment of the stockholder, and an implementation of the Free Choice Profiling technique. This new framework does not pretend to be a different or better animal welfare matrix; it is intended to integrate existing knowledge and to provide a practical tool to improve animal welfare. It identifies whether there are welfare problems on a farm, if present whether these problems are caused by the housing system or the stockholder, and what can be done to improve the situation. (shrink)
Perhaps the commonest reasons for the keeping of pets are companionship and as a conduit for affection. Pets are, therefore, being “used” for human ends in much the same way as laboratory or farm animals. So shouldn’t the same arguments apply to the use of pets as to those used in other ways? In accepting the “rights” of farm animals to fully express their natural behavior, one must also accept the “right” of pets to express their intrinsic natural behavior. Dogs (...) kept in houses for most of the day are being kept in an unnatural environment. So are rabbits kept in hutches, and guinea-pigs or birds in cages. These conditions infringe the animals’ telos. Dogs are naturally pack animals, so is a dog in isolation being denied its telos? Other actions more deliberately infringe telos and autonomy. Enforced shampooing – or even exercise; hair-cutting of poodles; putting animals in clothes; and tail-docking. If de-beaking of chickens is considered wrong, then the same must be true for tail-docking of dogs. One should also question the ethics of specialist breeding – especially when that results in physiological disadvantages (boxers with breathing troubles). There would appear to be no advantage to the animals in having such health problems and when these are the direct result of the breeders’ desire for specific cosmetic traits, we should question the ethics of the practice at least as much as when animals are bred for specific agricultural traits. (shrink)
This early essay of Spencer's was originally published anonymously in The Leader for March 20 1852. It was the second contribution in a regular series entitled "The Haythorne Papers". Spencer's identity was revealed some while after. It is reproduced in Herbert Spencer, Essays Scientific, Political & Speculative, Williams and Norgate (3 vols 1891) pp.1 7]; and here in full. David Clifford, Ph.D., Cambridge University, prepared the html text in 1997; George P. Landow reformatted it in 2008.
Abstract In this paper, we explore how the application of technological tools has reshaped food production systems in ways that foster large-scale outbreaks of foodborne illness. Outbreaks of foodborne illness have received increasing attention in recent years, resulting in a growing awareness of the negative impacts associated with industrial food production. These trends indicate a need to examine systemic causes of outbreaks and how they are being addressed. In this paper, we analyze outbreaks linked to ground beef and salad greens. (...) These case studies are informed by personal interviews, site visits, and an extensive review of government documents and peer-reviewed literature. To explore these cases, we draw from actor-network theory and political economy to analyze the relationships between technological tools, the design of industrial production systems, and the emergence and spread of pathogenic bacteria. We also examine if current responses to outbreaks represent reflexive change. Lastly, we use the myth of Prometheus to discuss ethical issues regarding the use of technology in food production. Our findings indicate that current tools and systems were designed with a narrow focus on economic efficiency, while overlooking relationships with pathogenic bacteria and negative social impacts. In addition, we find that current responses to outbreaks do not represent reflexive change and a continued reliance on technological fixes to systemic problems may result in greater problems in the future. We argue that much can be learned from the myth of Prometheus. In particular, justice and reverence need to play a more significant role in guiding production decisions. Content Type Journal Article Category Articles Pages 1-26 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9357-8 Authors Diana Stuart, Kellogg Biological Station and Department of Sociology, Michigan State University, 3700 East Gull Lake Drive, Hickory Corners, MI 49060, USA Michelle R. Woroosz, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, Auburn University, 306A Comer Hall, Auburn, AL 36849, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863. (shrink)
Stuart, Jennie Review(s) of: Hands off not an option! The reminiscence museum mirror of a humanistic care philosophy, by Professor Dr Hans Marcel Becker assisted by Inez van den Dobbelsteen- Becker and Topsy Ros. Eburon Academic Publishers, Delft, 2011 272 pp.
Stuart, Stephen Review(s) of: On being certain: Believing you are right even when you're not, by Robert A. Burton, St Martin's Griffin, New York, 2008, (xiv + 256 pp., index, pbk, ISBN 978-0-312-54152-1).
Stuart, Stephen Review(s) of: Wicked company: Freethinkers and friendship in pre-revolutionary Paris, by Philipp Blom, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 2011, (xxii + 361 pp., index, ISBN 978-0-297-85818-8).
Some time ago, John Perry argued that the content of an indexical belief, that is, a belief expressible with a sentence containing an indexical or demonstrative, cannot be a proposition. I consider several of his arguments for this view, and show that they can be extended to show that belief expressible with other non-indexical expressions such as natural kind terms and proper names presents the very same problem for the traditional picture. I then suggest that if indexical belief has any (...) special status, this is not because it has a special kind of content, but rather because action is impossible if agents do not have indexical belief. (shrink)
In this paper we consider the concept of a self-aware agent. In cognitive science agents are seen as embodied and interactively situated in worlds. We analyse the meanings attached to these terms in cognitive science and robotics, proposing a set of conditions for situatedness and embodiment, and examine the claim that internal representational schemas are largely unnecessary for intelligent behaviour in animats. We maintain that current situated and embodied animats cannot be ascribed even minimal self-awareness, and offer a six point (...) definition of embeddedness, constituting minimal conditions for the evolution of a sense of self. This leads to further analysis of the nature of embodiment and situatedness, and a consideration of whether virtual animats in virtual worlds could count as situated and embodied. We propose that self-aware agents must possess complex structures of self-directed goals; multi-modal sensory systems and a rich repertoire of interactions with their worlds. Finally, we argue that embedded agents will possess or evolve local co-ordinate systems, or points of view, relative to their current positions in space and time, and have a capacity to develop an egocentric space. None of these capabilities are possible without powerful internal representational capacities. (shrink)
The Russellian approach to the semantics of attitude ascriptions faces a problem in explaining the robust speaker intuitions that it does not predict. A familiar response to the problem is to claim that utterances of attitude ascriptions may differ in their Gricean conversational implicatures. I argue that the appeal to Grice is ad hoc. First, we find that speakers do not typically judge an utterance false merely because it implicates something false. The apparent cancellability of the putative implicatures is irrelevant, (...) since cancellability does not indicate conversational implicature. Finally, the appeal assumes, implausibly, that ordinary speakers generally subscribe to a particular philosophical theory about belief. (shrink)
In this paper, I take issue with the familiar view that the problem of the essential indexical is a merely technical problem, which can be solved through a straightforward revision of the familiar model of belief content. (The familiar model just says that the content of belief is a proposition.) I do not object to these technical fixes, but I think they leave some questions unanswered. Specifically, they deny us an attractive account of what it is for different people to (...) completely agree on their conception of what the world is like, according to which complete agreement consists in having beliefs with the same propositional content, but they do not give us anything to replace it with. Here, I consider whether we can say anything general about the relation between my beliefs and your beliefs (including, of course, our indexical beliefs), when you and I completely agree about what the world is like. (shrink)
It is argued that, based on Kant's descriptive metaphysics, one can prescribe the necessary metaphysical underpinnings for the possibility of conscious experience in an artificial system. This project is developed by giving an account of the a priori concepts of the understanding in such a system. A specification and implementation of the nomological conditions for a conscious system allows one to know a priori that any system possessing this structure will be conscious; thus enabling us to avoid possible false-indicators of (...) consciousness like that offered in a behaviouristic analysis. This is an alternative approach to the bottom-up or top-down approaches adopted by, for example CYC (Lenat and Feigenbaum 1992) and COG (Brooks 1994; Brooks and Stein 1993), neither of which, alone, or in some hybrid form, have proved productive. (shrink)
Machine consciousness exists already in organic systems and it is only a matter of time -- and some agreement -- before it will be realised in reverse-engineered organic systems and forward- engineered inorganic systems. The agreement must be over the preconditions that must first be met if the enterprise is to be successful, and it is these preconditions, for instance, being a socially-embedded, structurally-coupled and dynamic, goal-directed entity that organises its perceptual input and enacts its world through the application of (...) both a cognitive and kinaesthetic imagination, that I shall concentrate on presenting in this paper. It will become clear that these preconditions will present engineers with a tall order, but not, I will argue, an impossible one. After all, we might agree with Freeman and Núñez's claim that the machine metaphor has restricted the expectations of the cognitive sciences (Freeman & Núñez, 1999); but it is a double-edged sword, since our limited expectations about machines also narrow the potential of our cognitive science. (shrink)
The crux of this book is expressed in one short sentence from the Preface: 'Unity is a fundamental part of our experience, something that is crucial to its phenomenology' [p.xii], and the crux of this sentence is that the unity of consciousness is not a matter of phenomenal relations existing between distinct experiences – the received view [p.17], but the existence of relations between the contents of experiences – the one experience view [p.25ff]. In its simplest form Tye's claim is (...) that: all our conscious states, whether visual, auditory, olfactory, tactual or gustatory, whether imagistic or emotional are experienced concurrently; they 'are phenomenologically unified ... [and] ... Phenomenological unity is a relation between qualities represented in experience, not between qualities of experiences. [p.36]. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to establish the logically necessary preconditions for the existence of self-awareness in an artificial or a natural agent. We examine the terms, agent, situated, embodied, embedded, and representation, as employed ubiquitously in cognitive science, attempting to clarify their meaning and the limits of their use. We discuss the minimal conditions for an agent’s environment constituting a ‘world’ and reject most, though not all, types of virtual world. We argue that to qualify as genuinely situated (...) an agent should function in real time within the dynamic world we inhabit, or some close simulacrum of it. We show that embodied agents will possess or evolve local co-ordinate systems, or points of view, locating, identifying and interacting with objects relative to their current position in space-time, and we discuss various types of embodiment, arguing that most current situated and embodied systems are too limited to be candidates for even the most minimal claim to self-identity. We argue that a truly autonomous agent has to be active in its participation with the world, able to synthesise and order its internal representations from its own point of view, and to do this effectively the agent will have to be embedded. To this end we propose a six point definition of embeddedness. Ultimately we argue for a philosophical-cum-cognitive science model of the self that satisfies essential elements of both sets of definitions of the term. (shrink)
Understanding a conversation sometimes requires us to keep track of what has been said about the objects under discussion. This fact presents a problem for a familiar account of content, the Russellian theory as advanced by Scott Soames and Nathan Salmon. Here I sketch an account of keeping track of objects in conversation, on which it involves presupposing unexpressed identity statements about the objects under discussion. The account is an application of a Stalnaker-style possible worlds account of assertion content, that (...) treats these unexpressed identities as part of an evolving set of presuppositions. Finally, I propose a two-dimensionalist extension of the basic Stalnakerian account to deal with the sort of case in which utterances are best understood as conveying the diagonal proposition of a two-dimensional propositional concept. These are discourses in which some of all parties to the conversation are confused about exactly which object is being discussed, even though they do keep track of what has been said about it. (shrink)
Recession of the galaxies indicates a repulsive force and suggests that Newton's formulation of gravitation is not complete. A possible modification is proposed, and this Neo-Newtonian equation allows a quantitative treatment of Mach's principle. It also limits the velocity of matter to c and gives a correct prediction for the perihelion of Mercury.
Since we explain behavior by ascribing intentional states to the agent, many philosophers have assumed that some guiding principle of folk psychology like [Intentional States and Actions] must be true. [Intentional States and Actions]: If A and B are different actions, then the agents performing them must differ in their intentional states at the time they are performed. Recent results in the physiology of vision present a prima facie problem for this principle. These results show that some visual information that (...) guides spatial manipulation and fine motor control is unavailable for verbal report. Plausibly, this information is not consciously available to the agent, and as such, not available to inform the content of intentional states. Thus, it is hard to see how every difference in action is subject to intentional explanation, as [Intentional States and Actions] requires. I articulate the prima facie problem and argue that the most plausible solution requires us to reject [Intentional States and Actions]. (shrink)
In the last 50 years, multiauthored publications have become more prevalent, given the increasing number of collaborative, interdisciplinary, multicenter research studies. The determination of authorship credit and order is a difficult process, especially for graduate students, whose disadvantaged power position in research settings increases their vulnerability to exploitation. The American Psychological Association has published ethical standards for determining authorship credit, but the power difference inherent in the student-faculty relationship may complicate this ethical dilemma. The authors reviewed a number of previously (...) recommended strategies and proposed that determining authorship credit is most effectively facilitated through professional development. (shrink)
In Propositional Attitudes, Mark Richard claims that some natural and formal language sentences of the form( x)( y)(x = y [y/x])are false. He suggests a substitution for that is sensitive to certain ancillary features of the variable letter as well as the assignment, and then argues that this substitution generates a false instance of the above-mentioned schema. I reject Richard's argument and argue further that the sentence is not an instance of that schema. I then argue that his putative natural (...) language example fails as well. Finally, I suggest that although Richard's mistake here does not present any technical problem for his semantics for attitude ascriptions, it undermines his claim that his semantic theory is better able to respect the surface form of attitude ascriptions in natural languages than competing theories. (shrink)
The management literature is replete with studies on business ethics. Unfortunately, most of these studies have dealt exclusively with ethics in large businesses. Although a handful of studies can be found on small business ethics, none has paid attention to the issue of ethics in small minority businesses. Similarly, several studies on ethics have utilized the Wood et al. (1988) 16-vignette ethics scale, although reliability and validity issues associated with the scale have never been fully addressed. In this study, a (...) purification (via content analysis) of the above mentioned scale was performed. Three reliable factors were extracted from the purified scale. They were used to investigate the ethics in small minority businesses. The study found an association between business ethics and demographic and company-related variables. In the case of age of respondents, findings ran counter the usual relationship of age being positively related to ethical attitudes. The implications of these findings are also discussed. (shrink)