The role of uncertainty within an organization’s environment features prominently in the business ethics and management literature, but how corporate investment decisions should proceed in the face of uncertainties relating to the natural environment is less discussed. From the perspective of ecological economics, the salience of ecology-induced issues challenges management to address new types of uncertainties. These pertain to constraints within the natural environment as well as to institutional action aimed at conserving the natural environment. We derive six areas of (...) ecology-induced uncertainties and propose ecology-driven real options as a conceptual approach for systematically incorporating these uncertainties into strategic management. We combine our results in an integrative investment framework and illustrate its application with the case of carbon constraints. (shrink)
Abstract As Paul B. Thompson suggests in his recent seminal paper, “‘There’s an App for That’: Technical Standards and Commodification by Technological Means,” technical standards restructure property (and other social) relations. He concludes with the claim that the development of technical standards of commodification can serve purposes with bad effects such as “the rise of the factory system and the deskilling of work” or progressive effects such as how “technical standards for animal welfare… discipline the unwanted consequences of market forces.” (...) In this reply, we want to append several points to his argument and suggest that he rightly points out that standards can promote various goods; however, there are peculiar powers wielded by standardization processes that might profitably be unpacked more systematically than Thompson's article seems to suggest. First, the concealment of the technopolitics around standards is largely due to their peculiar ontological status as recipes for reality. Second, technical standards can and do commit violence against persons, but such violence is often suffered not in the formation of class consciousness, as Marx might have put it, but as a failure to conform to the laws of nature . Content Type Journal Article Category Commentary Pages 1-6 DOI 10.1007/s13347-011-0048-1 Authors Lawrence Busch, Department of Sociology, Michigan State University, 429A Berkey Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA Kyle Powys Whyte, Department of Philosophy, Michigan State University, 503 S. Kedzie Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA Journal Philosophy & Technology Online ISSN 2210-5441 Print ISSN 2210-5433. (shrink)
The underdetermination of theory by data argument (UD) is traditionally construed as an argument that tells us that we ought to favour an anti-realist position over a realist position. I argue that when UD is constructed as an argument saying that theory choice is to proceed between theories that are empirically equivalent and adequate to the phenomena up until now, the argument will not favour constructive empiricism over realism. A constructive empiricist cannot account for why scientists are reasonable in expecting (...) one theory to be empirically adequate rather than another, given the criteria he suggests for theory choice. (shrink)
Abstract: Laudan (1984) distinguishes between two senses of success for scientific theories: (i) that a particular theory is successful, and (ii) that the methods for picking out approximately true theories are successful. These two senses of success are reflected in two different ways that the no miracles argument for scientific realism (NMA) may be set out. First, I set out a (traditional) version of NMA that considers the success of particular theories. I then consider a more recent formulation of NMA (...) (Psillos, 1999). This version of NMA is aimed at making us believe that our methods for picking out approximately true theories are reliable. I shall argue that the success of the latter argument is dependent on the success of the first. Therefore, even though Psillos presents a new formulation of NMA, the evidential support for it is no stronger than the evidential support for the original version. (shrink)
Heisenberg's uncertainty principle is usually taken to express a limitation of operational possibilities imposed by quantum mechanics. Here we demonstrate that the full content of this principle also includes its positive role as a condition ensuring that mutually exclusive experimental options can be reconciled if an appropriate trade-off is accepted. The uncertainty principle is shown to appear in three manifestations, in the form of uncertainty relations: for the widths of the position and momentum distributions in any quantum state; for the (...) inaccuracies of any joint measurement of these quantities; and for the inaccuracy of a measurement of one of the quantities and the ensuing disturbance in the distribution of the other quantity. Whilst conceptually distinct, these three kinds of uncertainty relations are shown to be closely related formally. Finally, we survey models and experimental implementations of joint measurements of position and momentum and comment briefly on the status of experimental tests of the uncertainty principle. (shrink)
The aim of the present paper is to show that Hegel’s concept of personal respect is of great interest to contemporary Critical Theory. The author first analyzes this notion as it appears in the Philosophy of Right and then offers a new interpretation of the conceptual relation between personal respect and the institutions of (private) property and (capitalist) markets. In doing so, he shows why Hegel’s concept of personal respect allows us to understand markets as possible institutionalizations of this kind (...) of recognition, and why it is compatible with a critique of neoliberal capitalism. He argues that due to these features Hegel’s notion of personal respect is of great interest to theoreticians within the tradition of critical theory. (shrink)
An emphasis on explanatory contribution is central to a recent formulation of the indispensability argument (IA) for mathematical realism. Because scientific realism is argued for by means of inference to the best explanation (IBE), it has been further argued that being a scientific realist entails a commitment to IA and thus to mathematical realism. It has, however, gone largely unnoticed that the way that IBE is argued to be truth conducive involves citing successful applications of IBE and tracing this success (...) over time. This in turn involves identifying those constituents of scientific theories that are responsible for their predictive success and showing that these constituents are retained across theory change in science. I argue that even if mathematics can be shown to feature in best explanations, the role of mathematics in scientific theories does not satisfy the condition that mathematics is always retained across theory change. According to a scientific realist, this condition needs to be met for making ontological claims on the basis of explanatory contribution. Thus scientific realists are not committed to mathematical realism on the basis of this recent formulation of IA. (shrink)
James Ladyman has recently proposed a view according to which all that exists on the level of microphysics are structures "all the way down". By means of a comparative reading of structuralism in philosophy of mathematics as proposed by Stewart Shapiro, I shall present what I believe structures could not be. I shall argue that, if Ladyman is indeed proposing something as strong as suggested here, then he is committed to solving problems that proponents of structuralism in philosophy of mathematics (...) such as Shapiro are trying to solve. Attempting to do so, however, brings out a tacit tension in Ladyman's position. I shall argue that the upshot of this is that the ontological import that Ladyman attributes to structures is rather epistemological import properly understood. (shrink)
When the indispensability argument for mathematical entities (IA) is spelled out, it would appear confirmational holism is needed for the argument to work. It has been argued that confirmational holism is a dispensable premise in the argument if a construal of naturalism, according to which it is denied that we can take different epistemic attitudes towards different parts of our scientific theories, is adopted. I argue that the suggested variety of naturalism will only appeal to a limited number of philosophers. (...) I then suggest that if we allow for some degree of separation between different component parts of theories, IA can be formulated as an argument aimed at more than a limited number of philosophers, but in implementing this strategy the notion of indispensability needs spelling out. The best way of spelling out indispensability is in terms of theory contribution, but doing so requires adopting inference to the best explanation (IBE). IBE is however sufficient for establishing the conclusion that IA is supposed to establish. Thus, IA is a redundant argument. (shrink)
Confirmational holism is central to a traditional formulation of the indispensability argument for mathematical realism (IA). I argue that recent strategies for defending scientific realism are incompatible with confirmational holism. Thus a traditional formulation of IA is incompatible with recent strategies for defending scientific realism. As a consequence a traditional formulation of IA will only have limited appeal.
A coherent account of the connections and contrasts between the principles of complementarity and uncertainty is developed starting from a survey of the various formalizations of these principles. The conceptual analysis is illustrated by means of a set of experimental schemes based on Mach-Zehnder interferometry. In particular, path detection via entanglement with a probe system and (quantitative) quantum erasure are exhibited to constitute instances of joint unsharp measurements of complementary pairs of physical quantities, path and interference observables. The analysis uses (...) the representation of observables as positive-operator-valued measures (POVMs). The reconciliation of complementary experimental options in the sense of simultaneous unsharp preparations and measurements is expressed in terms of uncertainty relations of different kinds. The feature of complementarity, manifest in the present examples in the mutual exclusivity of path detection and interference observation, is recovered as a limit case from the appropriate uncertainty relation. It is noted that the complementarity and uncertainty principles are neither completely logically independent nor logical consequences of one another. Since entanglement is an instance of the uncertainty of quantum properties (of compound systems), it is moot to play out uncertainty and entanglement against each other as possible mechanisms enforcing complementarity. (shrink)
As debate continues1 we hope to shed some light on the development of Sartre's thought by returning to his philosophical beginnings, to his phenomenology, confident that it is here, in its origins, that we will find what has always been the very center of his thought.
Uncertainty relations and complementarity of canonically conjugate position and momentum observables in quantum theory are discussed with respect to some general coupling properties of a function and its Fourier transform. The question of joint localization of a particle on bounded position and momentum value sets and the relevance of this question to the interpretation of position-momentum uncertainty relations is surveyed. In particular, it is argued that the Heisenberg interpretation of the uncertainty relations can consistently be carried through in a natural (...) extension of the usual Hilbert space frame of the quantum theory. (shrink)
In the following I briefly set out Devitt's (1997) definition of entity realism and compare it to Hacking's (1983) definition. I then set out the pessimistic induction argument as suggested by Putnam (1978). I present an argument developed by Bertolet (1988) to the effect that Devitt's abductive defence of realism fails. In the light of its failure, Devitt offers the ability of his definition of scientific realism to solve the pessimistic induction argument as a tactical advantage for his definition. I (...) argue that Devitt's account is not adequately suited for defending realism when confronted with the pessimistic induction argument. I do this by setting out three problems for Devitt. In particular I argue that Devitt does not provide an adequate account of how to identify entities across theories across time. I argue that his proposed solution employing 'partial reference' of terms generates a new pessimistic induction, and that Devitt's position does not provide an adequate account of how to make sense of the progress of science. (shrink)
The positive operator (valued) measures (POMs) allow one to generalize the notion of observable beyond the traditional one based on projection valued measures (PVMs). Here, we argue that this generalized conception of observable enables a consistent notion of unsharp reality and with it an adequate concept of joint properties. A sharp or unsharp property manifests itself as an element of sharp or unsharp reality by its tendency to become actual or to actualize a specific measurement outcome. This actualization tendency—or potentiality—of (...) a property is quantified by the associated quantum probability. The resulting single-case interpretation of probability as a degree of reality will be explained in detail and its role in addressing the tensions between quantum and classical accounts of the physical world will be elucidated. It will be shown that potentiality can be viewed as a causal agency that evolves in a well-defined way. (shrink)
MacDougall has argued that Rawls’s liberal social theory suggests that parents who hold certain religious convictions can legitimately refuse blood transfusion on their children’s behalf. This paper argues that this is wrong for at least five reasons. First, MacDougall neglects the possibility that true freedom of conscience entails the right to choose one’s own religion rather than have it dictated by one’s parents. Second, he conveniently ignores the fact that children in such situations are much more likely to die than (...) to survive without blood. Third, he relies on an ambiguous understanding of what is "rational" and treats children as mere extensions of their parents. Fourth, he neglects the fact that those in the original position would seek to protect themselves from persecution and enslavement and thus would not allow groups of children to be killed because of their parents’ beliefs. Finally, Rawls makes it clear that we should choose for children as we would choose for ourselves in the original position, with no particular conception of the good (such as that held by Jehovah’s Witnesses). (shrink)
Indispensability arguments (IA) for mathematical realism are commonly traced back to Quine. We identify two different Quinean strands in the interpretation of IA, what we label the �logical point of view� and the �theory-contribution� point of view. Focusing on each of the latter, we offer two minimal versions of IA. These both dispense with a number of theoretical assumptions commonly thought to be relevant to IA (most notably confirmational holism and naturalism). We then show that the attribution of both minimal (...) arguments to Quine is controversial, and stress the extent to which this is so in both cases, in order to attain a better appreciation of the Quinean heritage of IA. (shrink)
The traditional formulation of the indispensability argument for the existence of mathematical entities (IA) has been criticised due to its reliance on confirmational holism. Recently a formulation of IA that works without appeal to confirmational holism has been defended. This recent formulation is meant to be superior to the traditional formulation in virtue of it not being subject to the kind of criticism that pertains to confirmational holism. I shall argue that a proponent of the version of IA that works (...) without appeal to confirmational holism will struggle to answer a challenge readily answered by proponents of a version of IA that does appeal to confirmational holism. This challenge is to explain why mathematics applied in falsified scientific theories is not considered to be falsified along with the rest of the theory. In cases where mathematics seemingly ought to be falsified it is saved from falsification, by a so called 'Euclidean rescue'. I consider a range of possible answers to this challenge and conclude that each answer fails. (shrink)
The standard model of the quantum theory of measurement is based on an interaction Hamiltonian in which the observable to be measured is multiplied by some observable of a probe system. This simple Ansatz has proved extremely fruitful in the development of the foundations of quantum mechanics. While the ensuing type of models has often been argued to be rather artificial, recent advances in quantum optics have demonstrated their principal and practical feasibility. A brief historical review of the standard model (...) together with an outline of its virtues and limitations are presented as an illustration of the mutual inspiration that has always taken place between foundational and experimental research in quantum physics. (shrink)
This conceptual article discusses strategies of corporations in the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector and their role in the conflict over access to knowledge in the digital environment. Its main hypothesis is that ICT corporations are very capable actors when it comes to bridging digital divides in both developed and developing countries—maybe even the most capable actors. Therefore, it is argued that ICT corporations could use their capabilities to help citizens gain sustainable access to knowledge in order to enable (...) them to lead self-sufficient lives. In a nutshell, capabilities are presented as both the input (capabilities of ICT corporations) as well as the output (capability building for empowering citizens) of corporate strategy-making focusing on fair ICT. Corporate citizenship is put forth as the theoretical concept bridging corporate strategies and access to knowledge: If ICT corporations act in accordance with their self-understanding of being ‘good corporate citizens’, they could be crucial partners in lessening digital divides and helping citizens gain access to knowledge. From the perspective of ‘integrative economic ethics’ (Ulrich 2008), it is argued that ICT corporations have good reason to actively empower citizens in both developed and developing countries by pursuing ‘inclusive’ strategies in many fields, such as open-source software development. That way, ICT corporations could enable, support and provide citizens with capabilities enabling them to help themselves. In order to make inclusive business models work, the rules and regulations companies find themselves in today must enable them to act responsibly without getting penalized by more ruthless competitors. This article explores several cases from the ICT field to illustrate the interplay between a responsible business model and the rules and regulations of the industry. From a capabilities perspective, the most desirable mix of corporate strategies and industry regulation is one that results in the highest level of generativity (Zittrain 2008). Thus, ICT should not be closed systems only driven by the company behind them. Instead, they need to be open for the highest possible level of third-party innovation. (shrink)
Recently Michael Devitt  has argued for how adopting a position he calls ‘worldmaking’ is dangerous to a realist position. He further suggests that response-dependence under the form ‘global response-dependence’ is aversion of ‘worldmaking’. The aim of this paper is to identify what this supposed danger may be if any and to suggest one possible direction argumentation may take to decide the supposed debate between realists and world makers.
The possibilities of a realistic interpretation of quantum mechanics are investigated by means of a statistical analysis of experiments performed on the simplest type of quantum systems carrying spin or helicity. To this end, fundamental experiments, some new, for measuring polarization are reviewed and (re)analyzed. Theunsharp reality of spin is essential in the interpretation of some of these experiments and represents a natural motivation for recent generalizations of quantum mechanics to a theory incorporating effect-valued measures as unsharp observables and generalized (...) systems of imprimitivity. (shrink)
The discussion of a particular kind of interpretation of the energy-time uncertainty relation, the “pragmatic time” version of the ETUR outlined in Part I of this work [measurement duration (pragmatic time) versus uncertainty of energy disturbance or measurement inaccuracy] is reviewed. Then the Aharonov-Bohm counter-example is reformulated within the modern quantum theory of unsharp measurements and thereby confirmed in a rigorous way.
In a period of over 50 years, Peter Mittelstaedt has made substantial and lasting contributions to several fields in theoretical physics as well as the foundations and philosophy of physics. Here we present an overview of his achievements in physics and its foundations which may serve as a guide to the bibliography (printed in this Festschrift) of his publications. An appraisal of Peter Mittelstaedt’s work in the philosophy of physics is given in a separate contribution by B. Falkenburg.
Two ultracold atoms moving in a trap interact weakly at a very short distance. This interaction can be modeled by a properly regularized contact potential. We solve the corresponding time-independent Schrödinger equation under the assumption of a parabolic, spherically symmetric trapping potential.
A recent Supreme Court decision, Kumho Tire Co., Ltd. v. Carmichael (March 23, 1999), may have substantial impact on psychological expert testimony. Previous criteria for admissibility of scientific expert testimony now apply broadly to expert testimony, not just testimony narrowly grounded in scientific evidence. Judges will determine the relevance and reliability of all expert testimony, including that based on clinical experience or training. Admissible testimony will either satisfy the criteria established in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (1993) or (...) meet similarly rigorous standards judged appropriate to the particular field involved. Because psychological testimony has varied in its evidentiary basis, sometimes relying on science and otherwise on clinical training or experience, court decisions will gradually determine the precedent for its admissibility. We also discuss long-term consequences for the credibility of psychological expert testimony and the relation between psychology and law. (shrink)