At the outset of The Possibility of Altruism Thomas Nagel charts two paths out of the fundamental dilemma confronting metaethics. The first path rejects the claim that a persuasive account of the motivational backing of ethical judgments must involve an agent’s desires. But it is the second path, a path that Nagel charts but does not himself take, that is the focus of this essay. This path retains the standard account, upon which all motivation involves desire, but denies that desires (...) are given prior to reason. Instead, these attitudes that motivate are themselves open to rational assessment. One reason for this focus is that many philosophers, including Quinn, Raz, and Scanlon, have come to reject the claim Nagel takes to block this path – that desires are somehow given prior to reason, hence are not in the relevant way proper objects of rational assessment. A second reason is that unlike the first path, this second does not require the rejection of the belief-desire theory, only the rejection of one assumption about the nature of conative attitudes. Unlike Nagel’s chosen path, then, the second holds out the prospect of reconciling ethical objectivity, internalism, and the belief-desire theory within a unified account. I argue that the account of desire found in Quinn, Raz, and Scanlon, augmented by aspects of Davidson’s account of propositional attitudes, yields a coherent account of the involvement of reason even in basic desires, an account that is well suited to Nagel’s intriguing path not taken. (shrink)
The frequency of earnings restatements has been increasing over the last decade. Restating previous earnings erodes perceived trustworthiness and competence of management, giving firms strong incentives to take actions to enhance perceived credibility of future financial reports [Farber, D. B.: 2005, The Accounting Review 80(2), 539–561.]. Using an experimental case, we examine the ability of post-restatement actions taken by a firm to positively influence non-professional investors’ perceptions of management’s financial reporting credibility. Our examination considers credibility judgments following two types (...) of restatements – those resulting from fraud in which the character, ethics, and values of an organization may be called into question [cf. Copeland, Jr., J. E.: 2005, Accounting Horizons 19(1), 35–43.], and those resulting from non-fraud (i.e., aggressive accounting). Based on the information in the experimental case, non-professional investors take the role of potential equity investors and make a judgment about management’s financial reporting credibility after reviewing a set of post-restatement actions taken by a firm. The possible actions include changes in four corporate governance mechanisms (i.e., internal audit function, external audit firm, board of directors, CFO) and a buyback of company stock. Our results provide an important contribution to the literature by demonstrating that among non-professional investors, perceptions of management’s financial reporting credibility are affected both by the post-restatement action taken and the nature of the restatement. These results offer insight into the formation of a key credibility judgment made by non-professional investors following a trust-destroying event, an earnings restatement. (shrink)
This paper is a comparative study of Alfred Schutz and Jose Ortega y Gasset, with special attention to their respective characterization of social reality. For this purpose, the author draws on the explicit references Schutz and Ortega directed towards one another and develops a critical comparison of their theoretical systems. In addition to the reciprocal references which appear in their published works, valuable documentary evidence is provided by Schutz's letters and, first and foremost, by his marginal notes preserved in his (...) own copy of Ortega y Gasset's Man and People. As far as the critical comparison of Schutz's and Ortega's theories is concerned, the weight of the discussion falls on Ortega's Man and People. A careful reading of this essay allows us to successively invoke the key components of Schutz's phenomenological characterization of the structures of the life-world. According to this strategy, and after some preliminary sections devoted to contextual, biographical, and sociocultural matters, the following topics are comparatively discussed: (1) the philosophical foundations of sociology, with particular attention to Ortega's doctrine of the Other as potential danger; (2) the taken-for-granted dimensions of the social world; (3) the multiple spheres of reality, and their structuration around the fundamental core of the radical reality of the I (for Ortega) or the paramount reality of everyday life, as the intersubjective world of culture (for Schutz); (4) the influence of pragmatism on their theoretical systems; (5) their strikingly similar characterization of the perspectivist stratification of the social world; (6) the inexhaustible complexity of the problem of intersubjectivity. Obviously, the common influence of Husserl, Weber, Scheler, and Bergson casts light upon the comparative consideration of any of these issues. (shrink)
...Witherspoon's Course in Political Theory, as Taken by James Madison Dennis F. Thompson Princeton University [523...Witherspoon's Course in Political Theory, as Taken by James Madison. James Madison was an unusually wen-prepared student when, at eighteen...
RESUMEN: Giving Reasons pretende ofrecer una aproximación no solo precisa, sino comprensiva, a una teoría sistemática de la argumentación. A la luz de una distinción de Vaz Ferreira entre «pensar por sistemas» y «pensar por ideas a tener en cuenta», me gustaría hacer unas observaciones para complementar y, digamos, “abrir” la incipiente clausura teórica del sistema lingüístico-pragmático de Giving Reasons. Voy a considerar dos casos en particular: el tratamiento del concepto mismo de argumentación y la conversión del principio de cooperación (...) y las máximas de Grice en una especie de marco sistemático donde cabe encajar y acomodar el estudio de las falacias.ABSTRACT: Giving Reasons aims to provide an approach not only accurate, but comprehensive, to a systematic theory of argumentation. In the light of a distinction made by Vaz Ferreira between «thinking through systems» and «thinking through ideas to be taken into account», I would like to make some comments in order to provide a certain balance and somehow “open” the inchoative theoretical closure of the linguistic-pragmatic system offered in Giving Reasons. I am going to consider two cases in particular: the treatment of the very concept of argumentation and the transformation of Grice’s Cooperative principle and Maxims into a sort of systematic framework to be applied to the study of fallacies. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Critics of Converse?s agenda?setting 1964 essay underexplored the seemingly technical issue of measurement error. Down this road not taken lie serious questions about the evidence for both of Converse?s main theses. First, a thorough reexamination of the exact questions posed to a mass sample of the electorate and to an elite sample of congressional candidates suggests that the mass/elite difference in ideological constraint reported by Converse could be, in significant part, a measurement?error artifact caused by differences in question (...) form. Furthermore, the vagueness and ambiguity of the questions not only calls into question the plausibility of Converse?s main thesis?lack of ideological constraint among the public?but of his subsidiary thesis: that, measured over time, members of the public had such unstable political opinions that they might best be considered ?nonattitudes.? (shrink)
The Article presents a study of opportunities and problems related to the procedural actions taken by bailiffs electronically. In the opinion of the authors, the digitalisation of the enforcement procedure seeks to ensure the maximum use of electronic documents: enforcement and procedural documents should function only in the electronic format and thereby should create an effective, transparent and easily accessible information system of electronic enforcement files, which will not only increase the effectiveness of performance of bailiffs and save costs, (...) but will also ensure the protection of the rights of claimants and debtors in enforcement proceedings through reliable and prompt service of procedural documents by electronic means, access to information about the course of the enforcement proceedings by using information technologies, and transfer of certain procedural actions taken by bailiffs into the electronic environment. Section one of the Article discusses the EU regulation in the area of unification and digitalisation of the enforcement procedure. Section two deals with the possibilities of issuing electronic enforcement orders, issuance of an enforcement order, technical measures to enable bailiffs access the information systems of the institutions issuing enforcement orders by safe electronic channels and thereby electronic enforcement orders would be transferred from the issuing institution to bailiffs electronically, without using any hard copy enforcement orders. In the opinion of the authors, considering that the majority of enforcement orders are issued by courts, it would be expedient, first of all, to take advantage of the existing information system LITEKO, making it possible to keep not only court judgments but also enforcement orders there as well as providing bailiffs with technical possibilities of access to the LITEKO system and acceptance of the electronic enforcement orders from the system. A similar principle should be followed for designing integrated information systems of bailiffs and other institutions that issue enforcement orders. Section three focuses on the main procedural documents – arrangements given by bailiffs and property attachment deeds – and on their electronic service on the participants involved in the enforcement procedure. The last section of the Article offers a study of the measures to secure the rights of participants of the enforcement procedure, namely access of the participants of the enforcement procedure to the enforcement file, possibilities for courts to obtain electronic enforcement files promptly, etc. (shrink)
Trust between a patient and a medical doctor is normally both justified and taken for granted, but sometimes it may need to be negotiated. In this paper I will present how trust can be interpreted as both an explicit and implicit phenomenon, drawing on literature from the social sciences and philosophy. The distinction between explicit and implicit interpretations of trust will be used to address problems that may arise in clinical consultations. Negotiating trust in any way very easily brings (...) distrust into a situation, but sometimes this can be helpful for building a more functional patient-doctor relationship. (shrink)
The thesis that a temporal asymmetry of counterfactual dependence characterizes our world plays a central role in Lewis’s philosophy, as. among other things, it underpins one of Lewis most renowned theses—that causation can be analyzed in terms of counterfactual dependence. To maintain that a temporal asymmetry of counterfactual dependence characterizes our world, Lewis committed himself to two other theses. The first is that the closest possible worlds at which the antecedent of a counterfactual conditional is true is one in which (...) a small miracle occurs—i.e. one whose laws differ from the actual laws in a small spatiotemporal region. The second is that our world is characterized by a temporal asymmetry of miracles. In this paper, I will argue, first, that the latter thesis is either false or incompatible with the picture of the relations among temporal asymmetries endorsed by Lewis and, second, that former thesis conflicts with some of the intuitions which seem to guide us when engaging in counterfactual reasoning. If there is any fact of the matter as to which possible worlds in which the antecedent of a counterfactual conditional is true are closest to the actual world, these are not worlds at which a small miracle occurs. (shrink)
The differences Block attempts to capture with his putative distinction between P-consciousness and A-consciousness are more directly and perspicuously handled in terms of differences in richness of content and degree of influence. Block's critiques, based on his misbegotten distinction, evaporate on closer inspection.
A teacher announced to his pupils that on exactly one of the days of the following school week (Monday through Friday) he would give them a test. But it would be a surprise test; on the evening before the test they would not know that the test would take place the next day. One of the brighter students in the class then argued that the teacher could never give them the test. "It can't be Friday," she said, "since in that (...) case we'll expect it on Thurday evening. But then it can't be Thursday, since having already eliminated Friday we'll know Wednesday evening that it has to be Thursday. And by similar reasoning we can also eliminate Wednesday, Tuesday, and Monday. So there can't be a test!" The students were somewhat baffled by the situation. The teacher was well-known to be truthful, so if he said there would be a test, then it was safe to assume that there would be one. On the other hand, he also said that the test would be a surprise. But it seemed that whenever he gave the test, it wouldn't be a surprise. Well, the teacher gave the test on Tuesday, and, sure enough, the students were surprised. (shrink)
Since the mid?1960s in advanced and rapidly advancing economies, there has been a rising tide of clinical depression and dysphoria, a decline in mutual trust, and a loosening of social bonds. Most studies show that above a minimal level, income is irrelevant to one's sense of well?being, but companionship and social support increase well?being. Since shopping and consumption are increasingly solitary activities, and watching television is not genuinely sociable, the increased time devoted to these activities may be responsible for rising (...) levels of depression. Advanced societies are likely to increase ?utility? if they maximize friendship rather than the getting and spending of wealth. (shrink)
Quartz & Sejnowski's (Q&S's) model for constructive learning agrees with the basic assumptions of mainstream cognitive developmental theories. However, it does not detail the neural equivalents of (1) the process of cognitive change per se, (2) the construction and functioning of thought modules, and (3) the involvement of “mindreading” and “mindsteering” in constructive learning. Specifying these equivalents is necessary if cognitive developmental neuroscience and mainstream cognitive development are to be directly connected.
In the first section of this paper I follow an important trajectory in the development of Davidson's notion of radical interpretation: From being interpretationally concerned only with language, like Quine's radical translation that precedes it, through involving the ascription of belief in increasingly complex ways, to finally incorporating desire and preference. In the second section of the paper I show that Davidson falls short of incorporating non-linguistic action in radical interpretation, I assess his motivations for doing so, and I criticize (...) these motivations. In the third and final section I propose a unified interpretation scheme for language, action and mind. (shrink)
One of the mantras of progressive education is that genuine learning ought to be exciting and pleasurable, rather than joyless and painful. To a significant extent, Jean-Jacques Rousseau is associated with this mantra. In a theme of Emile that is often neglected in the educational literature, however, Rousseau stated that “to suffer is the first thing [Emile] ought to learn and the thing he will most need to know.” Through a discussion of Rousseau's argument for the importance of an education (...) in suffering, Avi Mintz contends that the reception of Rousseau by progressives suggests a detrimental misstep in the history of educational thought, a misstep that we should recognize and correct today. We ought to revive the progressive tradition of distinguishing the valuable educational pains from the harmful ones, even if we disagree with the particular types of pain that Rousseau identified as educationally valuable. (shrink)
This review focuses on the theory of emotion outlined in Chapter 3 of Rolls's The brain and emotion. It is proposed that Rolls's emphasis on a relatively simple neurobiologically derived emotion scheme does not allow him to present a comprehensive account of emotion. Consequently, high-level cognitive processes, such as appraisal, end up being retained in the theory despite Rolls's skepticism about their utility. An argument is put forward that the concept of appraisal in the emotion literature is more than semantic (...) convention and actually allows us to talk about multiple functional-level routes to the generation of emotion – a characteristic of the latest generation of theories in the cognition-emotion literature. (shrink)
This commentary addresses: (a) the problems of definition which have been prominent in the use of the term context in schizophrenia research; (b) potentially useful distinctions and links with other theories of schizophrenic cognition; and (c) possible pathways to schizophrenic symptoms. It is suggested that at least two major aspects of the operation of context may be distinguished and that both may be impaired in schizophrenia.