Nanotechnology is an important platform technology which will add new features like improved biocompatibility, smaller size, and more sophisticated electronics to neuro-implants improving their therapeutic potential. Especially in view of possible advantages for patients, research and development of nanotechnologically improved neuro implants is a moral obligation. However, the development of brain implants by itself touches many ethical, social and legal issues, which also apply in a specific way to devices enabled or improved by nanotechnology. For researchers developing nanotechnology such issues (...) are rather distant from their daily work in the lab, but as soon as they use their materials or devices in medical applications such as therapy of brain diseases they have to be aware of and deal with them. This paper is intended to raise sensitivity for the ethical, legal and social aspects (ELSA) involved in applying nanotechnology in brain implants or other devices by highlighting the short term problems of testing and clinical trials within the existing regulatory frameworks (A), the short and medium-term questions of risks in the application of the devices (B) and the long-term perspectives related to problems of enhancement (C). To identify and address such issues properly nanotechnologists should involve ethical, legal and social experts and regulatory bodies in their research as early as possible. This will help to remove pressure from regulatory bodies, to settle public concern and to prevent non-acceptable developments for the benefit of the patients. (shrink)
Chapter 1 Introduction The man was coughing again. Shocked he was as he discovered that his saliva had a reddish taint. Would he have a lung disease after all? Cancer perhaps? Long ago, relatives of his had died from LC, lung cancer.
What follows is the elaboration of a series of discussions held by the two authors at a seminar during which we tried to “read” Wim Wenders's Lisbon Story starting from Gregory Bateson's double bind theory. These discussions then developed into writings that were intertwined, hybridized, corrected, extended, and cut. We experimented directly with the game of relationships, the “mess that works” of the difficult distinction between map and territory, between epistemology and cinematography. Emerging from general considerations on cinema is the (...) double bind of the “crisis” of images, a prelude to a renewed faith in the creative and constructive possibilities of art: image not as a replica but as the experience of a relationship. (shrink)
The question Wings of Desire (Wim Wenders, 1987) forces us to answer is whether we too would be willing to renounce immortality? Or, to put it conversely, would we be wise to exchange our current mortal existence for immortality? If a state of senseless, inefficacious existence is undesirable, the question of the value of immortality becomes one of the conceivably of an alternative to the angels' form of existence. By contemplating the existence of the angels in Wings of Desire, we (...) can see that they do not simply exemplify one possible eternal existence, but that the negative aspects of their being are perhaps essential features of the immortal. I begin by exploring another argument for the undesirableness of immortality that has taken center stage in the debate, then turn my attention to the film and present a novel argument against the value of immortality. (shrink)
Developing research questions -- Developing the framework for an ethical assessment -- Possible legitimation of whistleblowing policies -- Screening whistleblowing policies -- Towards what legitimation of whistleblowing?
This paper explores the possible impact of the recent legal developments on organizational whistleblowing on the autonomy and responsibility of whistleblowers. In the past thirty years numerous pieces of legislation have been passed to offer protection to whistleblowers from retaliation for disclosing organisational wrongdoing. An area that remains uncertain in relation to whistleblowing and its related policies in organisations, is whether these policies actually increase the individualisation of work, allowing employees to behave in accordance with their conscience and in line (...) with societal expectations or whether they are another management tool to control employees and protect organisations from them. The assumptions of whistleblower protection with regard to moral autonomy are examined in order to clarify the purpose of whistleblower protection at work. The two extreme positions in the discourse of whistleblowing are that whistleblowing legislation and policies either aim to enable individual responsibility and moral autonomy at work, or they aim to protect organisations by allowing them to control employees and make them liable for ethics at work. (shrink)
Is human behavior exclusively motivated by self-interest? Common sense indicates that we should flatly deny this, or so it seems to me. Yet the doctrine of universal self-interest, psychological egoism for short, has gained the support of many researchers in science. Common sense also seems to allow the rejection of ethical egoism, the doctrine that human behavior should be motivated exclusively by self-interest. It appears to be at variance with widely endorsed moralities. Yet it is a perennial subject of research (...) in ethics. What stance should we take in the face of these discrepancies? Two views suggest themselves. Commonsensical views of egoism and altruism are flawed or research on the subject in science and ethics is misguided. Considering ethics I argue in this article that research is misguided to the extent that it is conducted at inappropriately high levels of generality. I argue that both ethical egoism and psychological egoism are mistaken. (shrink)
Although public interest in sustainability increases and consumer attitudes are mainly positive, behavioral patterns are not univocally consistent with attitudes. This study investigates the presumed gap between favorable attitude towards sustainable behavior and behavioral intention to purchase sustainable food products. The impact of involvement, perceived availability, certainty, perceived consumer effectiveness (PCE), values, and social norms on consumers’ attitudes and intentions towards sustainable food products is analyzed. The empirical research builds on a survey with a sample of 456 young consumers, using (...) a questionnaire and an experimental design with manipulation of key constructs through showing advertisements for sustainable dairy. Involvement with sustainability, certainty, and PCE have a significant positive impact on attitude towards buying sustainable dairy products, which in turn correlates strongly with intention to buy. Low perceived availability of sustainable products explains why intentions to buy remain low, although attitudes might be positive. On the reverse side, experiencing social pressure from peers (social norm) explains intentions to buy, despite rather negative personal attitudes. This study shows that more sustainable and ethical food consumption can be stimulated through raising involvement, PCE, certainty, social norms, and perceived availability. (shrink)
In discussions on mental causation and externalism, it is often assumed that extrinsic, or relational, properties cannot have causal efficacy. In this paper I argue that this assumption is based on a category mistake, in that causal efficacy (dependence among events or states of affairs) is confused with causal influence (persistence of and interaction among objects). I then argue that relational properties are indeed causally efficacious, which I explain with the help of Dretske's notion of a 'structuring cause'.
In this paper I distinguish two types of mental causation, called 'higher-level causation' and 'exploitation'. These notions superficially resemble the traditional problematic notions of supervenient causation and downward causation, but they are different in crucial respects. My new distinction is supported by a radically externalist competitor of the so-called Standard View of mental states, i.e. the view that mental states are brain states. I argue that on the Alternative View, the notions of 'higher-level causation' and 'exploitation' can in combination dissolve (...) the problem of mental causation as standardly discussed. (shrink)
Should we conceive of corporations as entities to which moral responsibility can be attributed? This contribution presents what we will call a political account of corporate moral responsibility. We argue that in modern, liberal democratic societies, there is an underlying political need to attribute greater levels of moral responsibility to corporations. Corporate moral responsibility is essential to the maintenance of social coordination that both advances social welfare and protects citizens’ moral entitlements. This political account posits a special capacity of self-governance (...) that corporations can intelligibly be said to possess. Corporations can be said to be administrators of duty in that they can voluntarily incorporate moral principles into their decision-making processes about how to conduct business. This account supplements and partly transforms earlier pragmatic accounts of corporate moral responsibility by disentangling responsibility from its conventional linkages with accountability, blame and punishment. It thereby represents a distinctive way to defend corporate moral responsibility and shows how Kantian thinking can be helpful in disentangling the problems surrounding the concept. (shrink)
Today's complex and decentralized organization gives rise to organizational needs for both loyalty and institutionalized whistle blowing. However, ethicists see a contradiction between both needs. This paper argues there is no such contradiction. It shows why earlier attempts to go beyond the dilemma are not satisfying. The solution proposed in this paper starts from an organizational perspective instead of an individual one. It does so by reframing the concept of loyalty into rational loyalty. This means that the object of loyalty (...) is not the physicality of an organization, but its corpus of explicit mission statement, goals, value statement and code of conduct. An implication is that organizations are – as their side of the duty of loyalty – obliged to institutionalize whistle blowing. (shrink)
This article argues that whilst the idea of whistleblowing as a positive duty to do good or to prevent harm may be defendable, legislating that duty is not feasible. We develop our argument by identifying rights and duties involved in whistleblowing as two clusters: one of justice and one of benevolence. Legislative arguments have evolved to cover the justice issues and the tendency exists of extending rights and duties into the realm of benevolence. This article considers the problematic assumptions and (...) implications of whistleblowing as a positive duty, by examining the extent to which the Good Samaritan argument holds with regard to whistleblowing. We argue that three criteria necessary for whistleblowing as a legally enforceable positive duty are not met, namely that we need to be able to (1) specify who should know what, (2) minimize the risk to the whistleblower and (3) adequately deal with mistaken concerns being raised. (shrink)
This paper examines the dominant theoretical approaches in the field of women in management (WIM) that have been applied to explain women's limited ability to assume organizational positions of significant power. The propositions of traditional (gender-centered and organization structure perspectives) and a newer theoretical perspective (gender-organization-system approach) are discussed. It is proposed that the theories embraced by WIM researchers bias the factors they examine, the methodologies they employ, the statistical techniques they apply, the results they obtain and the conclusions they (...) reach. This is shown to be a particular problem with the gender-centered and organization structure perspectives and not the gender-organization-system approach. (shrink)
‘Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is conceptualized in many ways. We argue that one cannot be indifferent about the issue of its conceptualization. In terms of methodology, our position is that any conceptual discussion must embed CSR in political theory. With regard to substance, we link up with the discussion on whether CSR must be defined on the basis of a tripartite or a quadripartite division of business responsibilities. We share A.B. Carroll’s intuition that a quadripartite division is called for as (...) a basis to define CSR. However, defending the quadripartite division of business responsibilities requires that the distinctions between economic, legal, ethical and discretionary business responsibilities be made intelligible. Carroll’s account is defective in this respect. We argue that contemporary Neo-Kantian political ethics is able to make sense of these distinctions, because of its specific interpretation of liberalism. Interestingly, from a conventional liberal perspective this interpretation of liberalism is atypical, as it extends public morality beyond the domain of the law. (shrink)
There is an increasing recognition of the need to provide ways for people to raise concerns about suspected wrongdoing by promoting internal policies and procedures which offer proper safeguards to actual and potential whistleblowers. Many organisations in both the public and private sectors now have such measures and these display a wide variety of operating modalities: in-house or outsourced, anonymous/confidential/identified, multi or single tiered, specified or open subject matter, etc. As a result of this development, a number of guidelines and (...) policy documents have been produced by authoritative bodies. This article reviews the following five documents from a management perspective, the first two deal with the principles upon which legislation might be based and the others describing good management practice: the Council of Europe Resolution 1729 (COER); Transparency International ‘Recommended Principles for Whistleblowing Legislation’ (TI); European Union Article 29 Data Protection Working Party Opinion (EUWP); International Chamber of Commerce ‘Guidelines on Whistleblowing’ (ICC); and the British Standards Institute ‘Whistleblowing arrangements Code of Practice 2008 (BSI). (shrink)
This article explains Zhuangzi's philosophy by analyzing the metaphor of the potter's wheel. I argue that this is one of the central images in the core chapters of the _Zhuangzi_. Together with two cognate images, it not only appears in some crucial passages, but also allows us to integrate a variety of seemingly independent topics. The article consists of four sections. I start by placing the potter's wheel against a background of other artisan tools. A second section focuses on three (...) major themes revolving around the image of the potter's wheel in the _Zhuangzi_: stillness of mind, flexibility in response, and harmonizing and living out one's years. A third section discusses the negative portrayal of measurement tools in the _Zhuangzi_. In an afterword, I summarize the findings and revisit some methodological issues. The study shows that concrete images such as artisan tools may provide important clues for interpreting philosophical texts. (shrink)
The Cambridge Companion to Spinoza. Don Garrett (ed.). Cambridge University Press, 1996, pp. xiii, 465. ISBN 0-521-39235-7 (hb); ISBN 0-521-39865-7 (pb). 40.00 (hb) 12.95 (pb). Spinoza: The Enduring Questions. Graeme Hunter (ed.). University of Toronto Press, 1994, pp. xviii, 182. ISBN 0-8020-2876-4. 45.00. The Spinozistic Heresy: The Debate on the 'Tractatus Theologico-Politicus'. 1670-77. Paolo Cristofolini (ed.). APA-Holland University Press: Amsterdam and Maarssen, 1995, pp. viii, 260. ISBN 90-302-1502-X. Disguised and Overt Spinozism around 1700. Wiep van Bunge and Wim Klever (eds.). (...) Brill, Leiden, 1996, pp. ix, 378. ISBN 90-04-10307-4. Part of Nature: Self-Knowledge in Spinoza's 'Ethics', by Genevieve Lloyd. Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London, 1994, pp. 182. ISBN 0-8014-2999-4. 24.95. Spinoza and the 'Ethics', by Genevieve Lloyd. Routledge Philosophy Guidebooks, London, 1996, pp. x, 163. ISBN 0-415-10782-2 (pb). 6.99. Spinoza: The Way to Wisdom, by Herman de Dijn. Purdue University Press, West Lafayette, Indiana, 1996, pp. xii, 291. ISBN 1-55753-081-5. (shrink)
Evolutionary epistemology takes various forms. As a philosophical discipline, it may use analogies by borrowing concepts from evolutionary biology to establish new foundations. This is not a very successful enterprise because the analogies involved are so weak that they hardly have explanatory force. It may also veil itself with the garbs of biology. Proponents of this strategy have only produced irrelevant theories by transforming epistemology's concepts beyond recognition. Sensible theories about knowledge and biology should presuppose that various long-standing problems concerning (...) relations between the mental and the physical are solved. Such problems are wrongly disregarded by evolutionary epistemologists. (shrink)
Rose's Lifelines justifiably attacks the rigid genetic determinism that pervades the popular press and even some scientific writing. Genes do not equate with destiny. However, Rose's argument should not be taken too far: genes do influence behavior, in animals as well as in man.
Does effective moral judgment in business ethics rely upon the identification of a suitable set of moral principles? We address this question by examining a number of criticisms of the role that principles can play in moral judgment. Critics claim that reliance on principles requires moral agents to abstract themselves from actual circumstances, relationships and personal commitments in answering moral questions. This is said to enforce an artificial uniformity in moral judgment. We challenge these critics by developing an account of (...) principle-based moral judgment that has been widely discussed by contemporary Kantian scholars. In so doing we respond to some basic problems raised by so-called “moral particularists” who voice theoretical objections to the role of principles as well as to contemporary business ethicists who have criticized principle-based moral judgment along similar lines. We conclude with some future areas of research. (shrink)
Evolutionary epistemologists aim to explain the evolution of cognitive capacities underlying human knowledge and also the processes that generate knowledge, for example in science. There can be no doubt that our cognitive capacities are due in part to our evolutionary heritage. But this is an uninformative thesis. All features of organism have indeed been shaped by evolution. A substantive evolutionary explanation of cognition would have to provide details about the evolutionary processes involved. Evolutionary epistemology has not provided any details. Considering (...) progress of theorizing in science, evolutionary epistemologists have proposed many different analogies between natural selection and selection in science. As yet, the analogies have not been fruitful. The entire program of evolutionary epistemology is programmatic. Evolutionary epistemologists have also moved beyond explanation to justification, the primary issue in traditional epistemology. It turns out that their program presupposes that we can justify knowledge claims in traditional ways. Evolutionary biology is not a proper tool for the justification of beliefs. (shrink)
The notion of home is well known from our everyday experience, and plays a crucial role in all kinds of narratives about human life, but is hardly ever systematically dealt with in the philosophy of medicine and health care. This paper is based upon the intuitively positive connotation of the term “home.” By metaphorically describing the goal of palliative care as “the patient’s coming home,” it wants to contribute to a medical humanities approach of medicine. It is argued that this (...) metaphor can enrich our understanding of the goals of palliative care and its proper objectives. Four interpretations of “home” and “coming home” are explored: (1) one’s own house or homelike environment, (2) one’s own body, (3) the psychosocial environment, and (4) the spiritual dimension, in particular, the origin of human existence. Thinking in terms of coming home implies a normative point of view. It represents central human values and refers not only to the medical-technical and care aspects of health care, but also to the moral context. (shrink)
The European Corporate Sustainability Framework (ECSF) is, among other concepts, based on a phase-wise development approach as described by Clare Graves'' Levels of Existence Theory. As much as corporate sustainability has a sequence of adequate interpretations, aligned with each development level, also the notion of business excellence can be defined at multiple levels, as this paper demonstrates. Furthermore, the authors analyze the current EFQM Excellence Model for particular biases towards various development levels and suggest a new and innovative two-step approach (...) to assessing organizational performance with respect to organizational excellence (OE) and corporate sustainability. According to the organization''s ambition, the assessment is either limited to a shareholder approach, mainly focusing at optimal usage of resources, or it also includes an additional assessment format based on the stakeholder approach, with specific reference to the organization''s performance on the financial, social and ecological bottom line. This paper demonstrates the need and feasibility of an EFQM-Based assessment tool with a combined focus on corporate sustainability and OE. (shrink)
Evolutionary ethics has recently become popular again. Some of its representatives elaborate new attempts to derive ethics from evolutionary biology. The attempts, like previous ones, fail because they commit the naturalistic fallacy. Premises from evolutionary biology together with normative premises also do not justify ethical principles. Other representatives argue that evolutionary considerations imply that ethics cannot be justified at all. Their arguments presuppose an unacceptable form of foundationalism. In principle, evolutionary biology might explain some aspects of morality, but in practice (...) explanations are hard to come by. All this does not imply that evolutionary theory is irrelevant in normative settings. To the contrary, it may help us devise guidelines in environmental policy and health care policy. It is to be hoped that evolutionary ethicists will divert their research efforts to the elaboration of such guidelines. (shrink)
Livestock production today faces thedifficult task of effectively meeting emergingconsumer concerns while remaining competitive on majortarget markets. Meeting consumer concerns aboutproduct safety and animal welfare are identified askey attention points for future livestock production.The relevance of these issues pertains to productionefficiency and economic benefits and tore-establishing meat sector image and consumer trust.The current paper analyses consumer concerns about theethical issues of meat safety and animal welfare fromcurrent livestock production. The research methodologyis based on literature review, secondary data sources,and primary research (...) through focus group discussionsand a survey of 320 meat consumers in Belgium.Objectives were to assess importance attached byconsumers to product safety and animal welfare asethical issues in commercial livestock production, andto evaluate consumer perception of these issues forbeef, pork, and poultry. Significant differences inissue importance and perception are identified amongconsumer groups based on socio-demographic andbehavioral characteristics. From the analysis, meatsafety emerges as an absolute but minimum requirementfor future success of livestock and meat production.Additionally, animal welfare can be expected to becomea critical theme especially for pork and poultryacceptance. (shrink)
This paper offers a speculative elaboration on downward workplace mobbing – the intentional and repeated inflictions of physical or psychological harm by superiors on subordinates within an organization. The authors cite research showing that workplace mobbing is not a marginal fact in today''s organizations and that downward workplace mobbing is the most prevalent form. The authors also show that causes of and facilitating circumstances for downward workplace mobbing, mentioned by previous research, match current organizational shifts taking place within a context (...) of globalisation. This paper argues that it is not the organizational shifts themselves which are to "blame", but an inadequate transformation of leadership and power in reaction to those shifts. Using Foucault''s power-knowledge-rules of right triad, the authors offer an explanation for downward workplace mobbing beyond the organizational changes themselves. More precisely, as the organizational changes can be characterized by a new power/knowledge bond calling forth new rules of right, downward workplace mobbing could be seen as manifestations of power outside of the delineations drawn by these new rules of right. In other words, downward workplace mobbing is pathology of current organizational shifts, resulting from not acting out the full ethical potential of the discourse of excellence, adventure, creativity and responsibility, which characterizes these shifts. (shrink)
Recent years have witnessed an enormous increase in behavioral and neuroimaging studies of numerical cognition. Particular interest has been devoted toward unraveling properties of the representational medium (mental number line) on which numbers are thought to be represented. We have argued that a correct inference concerning these properties requires distinguishing between different input modalities (symbolic vs. nonsymbolic stimuli; e.g., Verguts & Fias, 2004) and different decision/output structures (task requirements; e.g., parity judgment task versus magnitude comparison task; Verguts, Fias, (...) & Stevens, 2005). To back up this claim, we have trained computational (neural network) models with either symbolic or nonsymbolic input and with different task requirements, and showed that this allowed for an integration of the existing data in a consistent manner. In later studies, predictions from the models were derived and tested with behavioral and neuroimaging methods. Here we present an integrative review of this work. (shrink)
Mealey argued that sociopathy is an evolutionary stable strategy subject to frequency-dependent selection – high levels of sociopathy being advantageous to the individual if population-wide frequencies of it are low, and vice versa. I argue that at least one alternative hypothesis exists that explains her data equally well. Alternative hypotheses must be formulated and tested before any theory can be validated.
During the last decade a technical approach has become increasingly influential in health care priority setting. The various country reports illustrate, however, that non-technical considerations cannot be avoided. As they often remain implicit in health care package decisions, this paper aims to make these normative judgements an explicit part of the procedure. More specifically, it aims to integrate different models of distributive justice as well as the principle of solidarity in four different phases of a decision-making procedure, and to identify (...) important moral choices which present themselves. First four important justice models are discussed, then a justification is given for their inclusion in a four-step decision making procedure. This is followed by a discussion of different justice and solidarity problemsâwith their inherent conceptual difficulties in each of these stages. The paper concludes with a summary of the major moral choices that are to be made in health care package decisions. (shrink)
Over the past 20 years business ethics in Europe witnessed a remarkable growth. Today business ethics is faced with two challenges. The first comes from the social sciences and consultants who have both reclaimed the topics of business ethics, regretfully often at the loss of the proper ethical perspective. The second comes from the remarkable rise of corporate social responsibility which has pushed aside the mainstream business ethics methodology with its emphasis on moral deliberation by the individual. These challenges can (...) be tackled by an institutional transformation in business ethics that links up to the long-standing European tradition of institutional analysis of the market. The second remedy is an enlargement of the research agenda in business ethics by coming closer to other parts of applied ethics where the business ethics view is at this moment grossly neglected. (shrink)
: The gene patenting debate, which proved to be a focal point for divergent moral concerns about recent developments in genome research and biotechnology, has revealed that the moral status of DNA is not clear. One of the arguments used to stop undesirable developments was that DNA possesses a unique status, which renders it unfit for patenting. This paper investigates the allegedly unique (moral) status of genetic material and the information it holds from different perspectives. Several properties of DNA prove (...) to be unique. We examine the relevance of these for patentability of genes and conclude that only the unique symbolic meaning of DNA is a relevant factor, which should be taken into account but weighed against other interests involved. (shrink)
Industrial melanism, according to the traditional explanation, amounts to niche construction since it involves changes in predation pressure. Indeed, it would be difficult to imagine selection without niche construction. This cannot be what Laland, Odling-Smee & Feldman mean. They offer convincing examples, but they should provide a better definition of “niche construction” to indicate how their view supplements traditional evolutionary biology.
In this article some of the presuppositions that underly the current ideas about decision making capacity, autonomy and independence are critically examined. The focus is on chronic disorders, especially on chronic physical disorders. First, it is argued that the concepts of decision making competence and autonomy, as they are usually applied to the problem of legal (in)competence in the mentally ill, need to be modified and adapted to the situation of the chronically (physically) ill. Second, it is argued that autonomy (...) and dependence must not be considered as two mutually exclusive categories. It is suggested that decision making may take on the form of a more or less conscious decision not to be involved in making all kinds of explicit and deliberate decisions. Elaborating on Agich's distinction between ideal and actual autonomy, the concept of Socratic autonomy is introduced. (shrink)
In his concept of an anthropological physiology, F.J.J. Buytendijk has tried to lay down the theoretical and scientific foundations for an anthropologically-oriented medicine. The aim of anthropological physiology is to demonstrate, empirically, what being specifically human is in the most elementary physiological functions. This article contains a sketch of Buytendijk''s life and work, an overview of his philosophical-anthropological presuppositions, an outline of his idea of an anthropological physiology and medicine, and a discussion of some episternological and methodological problems. It is (...) demonstrated that Buytendijk''s design of an anthropological physiology is fragmentary and programmatic and that his methodology offers few points of contact for specific anthropological experimental research.Notwithstanding, it is argued that Buytendijk''s description of the subjective, animated body forms a pre-eminent point of reference for all research in physiology and psychology in which the specific human aspect is not ignored beforehand. (shrink)
Transparency is a crucial condition to implement a CSR policy based on the reputation mechanism. The central question of this contribution is how a transparency policy ought to be organised in order to enhance the CSR behaviour of companies. Governments endorsing CSR as a new means of governance have different strategies to foster CSR transparency. In this paper we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of two conventional policy strategies: the facilitation policy and the command and control strategy. Using three criteria (...) (efficiency, freedom and virtue) we conclude that both strategies are defective. Most attention is paid to the facilitation strategy since governments nowadays mainly use this. In evaluating this strategy we analyse the Dutch case. As an alternative we introduce a third government policy: the development of a self-regulating sub-system. By construing an analogy with the historical development of corporate financial disclosure, we point out that the vital step in the creation of a self-regulating subsys- tem is the creation of strong informational intermediate organisations. (shrink)
Dual process theories conceive human thinking as an interplay between heuristic processes that operate automatically and analytic processes that demand cognitive effort. The interaction between these two types of processes is poorly understood. De Neys and Glumicic (2008) recently found that most of the time heuristic processes are successfully monitored. This monitoring, however, would not demand as many cognitive resources as the analytic thinking that is needed to solve reasoning problems. In the present study we tested the crucial assumption about (...) the effortless nature of the monitoring process directly. Participants solved base-rate neglect problems in which heuristic and analytic processes cued a conflicting response or not. Half of the participants reasoned under a secondary task load. A surprise recall task was used as an implicit measure of whether the participants detected the conflict in the problems. Results showed that, even under load, base-rate recall performance was better for conflict problems than for no-conflict problems. Although participants made more reasoning errors under load, recall of the conflict problems was not affected by the working memory load. These findings support the claim about the successful and undemanding nature of the conflict detection process during thinking. (shrink)
In latter-day discussions on corporate morality, duties of commission are fiercely debated. Moral institutionalists argue that duties of commission—such as a duty of assistance—overstep the boundaries of moral duty owed by economic agents. “Moral institutionalism” is a newly coined term for a familiar position on market morality. It maintains that market morality ought to be restricted, excluding all duties of commission. Neo-Classical thinkers such as Baumol and Homann defend it most eloquently. They underpin their position with concerns that go to (...) the core of liberalism—the dominant western political theory that sustains the ideals of both the free market and the free, rational person. Those authors claim that liberalism calls for a fully differentiated market because it resents the politicization of the market. Fully differentiated markets exclude duties of commission. They also claim that full differentiation of the market closes the troublesome gap between moral motivation and moral virtue. Full differentiation redeems the promise of “easy virtue”. In this paper moral institutionalism will be rejected from a Kantian point of view, mostly inspired by Herman’s thesis on the invisibility of morality. Liberalism may perhaps ban the politicization of the market; it does not forbid its moralization. The idea of a fully differentiated market must also be rejected because it is either morally over-demanding (to the morally autonomous person) or morally hazardous (to the person with failing moral motivation). Contrary to what the moral institutionalists claim, right action, morally, is actually quite difficult in fully differentiated markets. (shrink)
This document discusses the status of research on detection and prevention of financial fraud undertaken as part of the IST European Commission funded FF POIROT (Financial Fraud Prevention Oriented Information Resources Using Ontology Technology) project. A first task has been the specification of the user requirements that define the functionality of the financial fraud ontology to be designed by the FF POIROT partners. It is claimed here that modeling fraudulent activity involves a mixture of law and facts as well as (...) inferences about facts present, facts presumed or facts missing. The purpose of this paper is to explain this abstract model and to specify the set of user requirements. (shrink)
Philosophical theories about reduction and integration in science are at variance with what is happenign in science. A realistic approach to science show that possibilities for reduction and integration are limited. The classical ideal of a unified science has since long been rejected in philosophy. But the current emphasis on interdisciplinary integration in philosophy and in science shows that it survives in a different guise. It is necessary to redress the balance, specifically in biology. Methodological analysis shows that many of (...) the grand interdisciplinary theories involving biology actually represent pseudo-integration covered up by inappropriate, overgeneral concepts. Integrationism is not bad, but it must be kept within reasonable bounds. If the present analysis is appropriate, there will have to be fundamental changes in research strategy both in science and in the philosophy of science. (shrink)
The problem of opportunity discovery is at the heart of entrepreneurial activity. Cognitive limitations determine the search for and the analysis of information and, as a consequence, constrain the identification of opportunities. Moreover, typical personal characteristics – locus of control, need for independence and need for achievement – suggest that entrepreneurs will tend to take a central position in their stakeholder environments and thus fail to adapt to the complexity of stakeholder relationships in their entrepreneurial activity. We approach this problem (...) by adopting a network perspective on stakeholder management. We propose a heuristic approach of stakeholder analysis, which requires two mappings of the entrepreneurial constituents. The first mapping focuses on current interactions between the entrepreneur and their stakeholders, while the second focuses on a specific issue and the stakeholders that constitute it. In effect, such a stakeholder analysis requires entrepreneurs to use the complexity of stakeholder relationships in order to go beyond their cognitive limitations and thus facilitate the discovery of new opportunities. As we will argue, this has clear implications for the ethics and activities of entrepreneurs. (shrink)
Overmedication is nowadays a serious problem in health care due to influences from the pharmaceutical industry and agencies responsible for regulation. The situation has indeed become appalling in psychiatry, where both theories and treatments have deteriorated under the impact of the industry. The overmedication problem is associated with biased biology in medicine. Adequate biological approaches would indicate that drug therapies must yield to diet therapies, particularly treatments involving omega-3 fatty acids, in many cases. To the extent that philosophy of science (...) adapts to mainstream medicine in analyses of the current situation, it may reinforce the existing bias. To redress imbalances in health care, we ultimately have to rely on common sense. (shrink)
: This article presents and interprets a number of neglected paradoxes in early Chinese philosophical texts (ca. 500-100 B.C.). Looking beyond well-known paradoxes put forward by masters such as Hui Shi and Gongsun Long, it intends to complement our picture of Warring States and early Western Han paradoxical statements. The first section contrasts the neglected paradoxes with the well-known ones. It is contended here that our understanding of these latter paradoxes is hampered by a lack of context and that the (...) neglected paradoxes possess an interpretative advantage by virtue of their being context-embedded. The second section presents an overview of three groups of neglected paradoxes, showing that the paradoxical effect of these paradoxes results from a challenge to the semantics of their central terms. The third section discusses the distribution of the paradoxes throughout the early literature and concludes that they typically appear in "Daoist" writings. The final section proposes a semantic-rhetorical interpretation. Placing the paradoxes against the background of the features and use of important terms, it is argued that they constitute unorthodox redefinitions and are formulated to influence the behavior and values of their intended audience. (shrink)
Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and gastrointestinal disorders such as stomach ulcers are often treated with drugs. NSAIDs, a common treatment in rheumatoid arthritis, may cause stomach ulcers which call for additional medications, notably antacids in the sense of drugs that suppress acid secretion by the stomach. Infection with Helicobacter pylori also plays a role in the ulcers. The infection is typically treated with antibiotics added to antacids. Considering NSAIDs and antacids, we suspect that overmedication is common to the (...) extent that particular diets are a better option. Current research and current treatments with these drugs are also problematic since circadian rhythms are mostly disregarded. All the processes involved in the disorders treated show marked variations in the course of the day. Hence experiments conforming to the guidelines of evidence-based medicine, and treatments in line with them, have outcomes strongly depending on the time factor. This calls for reforms in medicine with fresh inputs from biology. (shrink)
The condition of explicit theoretically discursive cognitive performance, as it culminates in scientific activity, is, I claim, the life world. I contrast life world and scientific world and argue that the latter arises from the first and that contrary to the prevailing views the scientific world (actually, worlds, since the classical world is substantially different from the quantum world) finds its completion in the life world and not the other way around. In other words: the closure we used to search (...) in a complete and comprehensive scientific description of all aspects of experience by referring it back to underlying atoms, genes and other scientific objects and the covering laws ruling them, should be sought in a reintegrating and occasionally dissolving of the abstract scientific model in the self-organizational fluidity and superposition-like indeterminateness and non-locality of the life world: “We have to acknowledge the indeterminate as a positive phenomenon” (Merleau-Ponty in his The Phenomenology of Perception). (shrink)
In this article I explore the hypothesis of normative authority by epistemic authority. This is the idea that scientifically warranted claims in psychology, in being claims about human needs, interests, and concerns, can acquire authority on which values do or do not merit endorsement. The hypothesis is applied to attachment research: it seems that on the basis of what is now known about attachment, specific normative conclusions seem warranted. I argue that although attachment research and theory are value-laden, they are (...) empirically quite solid, hence entitled to epistemic authority. Having established this, I explain how such epistemic authority carries over into normative authority. (shrink)
In this paper I develop a theory of the physical realization of higher-level properties. I argue that physical realization is in an important sense indirect, and that at each level causal relations are crucial to realizing next-level phenomena. My account makes it intelligible how higher-level properties can be realized by wide stretches of physical reality without the inter-level dependence becoming weak, or global; it also explains how both physicalism and non-reductivism can be true.
This paper provides an empirical case study of the relationship between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the new competition regulation in the Netherlands. The leading question in this case study is whether the new institutional arrangement has allowed for the possibility that reasonable exceptions can be made to the principle that inter-firm cooperation is prohibited. That is to say: does the new institutional arrangement allow for the possibility of 'well organized but not 'perfect' markets'? The investigation focuses on the Netherlands, (...) which constitutes an exemplary case as the Dutch are committed to both strengthen the competitiveness of the market and allow for exceptions on behalf of non-economic values such as CSR. The authors expect that the Dutch context will prevent a doctrinal and categorical rejecting of any good argument to make an exception to the rule that inter-firm cooperation must be prohibited. (shrink)
The main measure of quality of life is well-being. The aim of this article is to compare insights about well-being from contemporary philosophy with the practice-related opinions of palliative care professionals. In the first part of the paper two philosophical theories on well-being are introduced: Sumner’s theory of authentic happiness and Griffin’s theory of prudential perfectionism. The second part presents opinions derived from interviews with 19 professional palliative caregivers. Both the well-being of patients and the well-being of the carers themselves (...) are considered in this empirical exploration. In the third part the attention shifts from the description of “well-being” to prescriptions for the promotion of well-being. Our interview data are analysed in light of the theories of Sumner and Griffin for clues to the promotion of “well-being.” The analysis (1) underscores the subject-relativity of well-being, (2) points out that values that are considered important in every life still seem to be relevant (at least in palliative care practice), and (3) shows the importance of living a certain sort of life when aiming to enhance dying patients’ well-being. (shrink)
The impact of philosophy of science on biology is slight. Evolutionary biology, however, is nowadays an exception. The status of the neo-Darwinian (synthetic) theory of evolution is seriously challenged from a methodological perspective. However, the methodology used in the relevant discussions is plainly defective. A correct application of methodology to evolutionary theory leads to the following conclusions. (a) The theory of natural selection (the core of neo-Darwinism) is unfalsifiable in a strict sense of the term. This, however, does not militate (...) against the theory, because no scientific theory whatever is testable in this way. Under a more liberal testability criterion, the theory is surely testable. None the less, certain (not all) research programs may tend to make the theory untestable in practice. (b) It has often been argued that the tautologous character of the principle of natural selection, allegedly the focus of evolutionary theory, makes the theory untestable through circular reasoning. Actually, the principle is only a tautology if fitness is wrongly defined in terms of actual survival. But even then circular reasoning need not ensue. (c) Evolutionary principles do not permit, without additional information, the derivation of statements about evolutionary events concerning particular species or populations. If this were a reason to criticize the theory (as has been argued in the literature), any other scientific theory would be inadequate by the same token. (shrink)
Medicine does not usually consider the human body from an aesthetic point of view. This article explores the notion of the lived body as aesthetic object in anthropological medicine, concentrating on the views of Buytendijk and Straus on human uprightness and gracefulness. It is argued that their insights constitute a counter-balance to the way the human body is predominantly approached in medicine and medical ethics. In particular, (1) the relationship between anthropological, aesthetic and ethical norms, (2) the possible danger of (...) a naturalistic fallacy, (3) the implications for the care of disabled people and (4) the intrinsic aesthetic quality of the human body are dealt with. (shrink)
As part of the creation-discovery interpretation of quantum mechanics Diederik Aerts presented a setting with macroscopical coincidence experiments designed to exhibit significant conceptual analogies between portions of stuff and quantum compound entities in a singlet state in Einstein—Podolsky—Rosen/Bell-experiments (EPR-experiments). One important claim of the creation-discovery view is that the singlet state describes an entity that does not have a definite position in space and thus does not exist in space. Free Process Theory is a recent proposal by Johanna Seibt of (...) an integrated ontology, i.e., of an ontology suitable for the interpretation of theories of the macrophysical and microphysical domain (quantum field theory). The framework of free process theory allows us to show systematically the relevant analogies and disanalogies between Aerts' experiment and EPR-experiments. From free process ontology it also follows quite naturally that the quantum compound entity described by the singlet state does not exist in space. (shrink)
Rachlin provides an impressive integrative view of altruism and selfishness that helps us correct older views. He presents a highly general theory, even though he is aware of context-dependence of key notions, including altruism. The context-dependence should extend much farther than Rachlin allows it to go. We had better replace theoretical notions of altruism and selfishness by common sense.
Over the last few decades there has been a revival of interest in virtue ethics, with the emphasis on the virtuous caregiver. This paper deals with the ‘virtuous patient’, specifically the patient with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). We believe that a virtue approach provides insights not available to current methods of studying coping styles and coping strategies. Data are derived from seven semi-structured in-depth interviews. The transcripts of the interviews were subjected to an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). The focus (...) of the analysis was on ‘living well with chronic illness’. It appears that the moral challenges faced by patients with an ESRD are manifold. When they are invited to tell the story of their illness, they do not explicitly speak of virtues, but they often refer to moral qualities, and to attitudes that can be regarded as virtuous. We identify several such concepts in the narratives of patients with ESRD. We conclude that the Aristotelian model of virtue ethics is particularly descriptively (and possibly also normatively) relevant to the explanation of the life narratives and the moral challenges of patients with an ESRD. (shrink)
In this article a case is made for the importance of a previously overlooked phenomenon, physical empathy orcompathy,defined as the physical manifestation of caregiver distress that occurs in the presence of a patient in physical pain or distress. According to the similarity of a caregiver's response to the original symptoms, there can be four types of compathetic response: identical, initiated, transferred, and converted. Controlling for the compathetic response may involve narrowing one's focus and/or changing caregiver attitudes. Finally, we argue that (...) while the compathetic response may be beneficial to the caregiving relationship, enabling the provision of appropriate and adequate humane treatment and care, the caregiver must at times shield against the compathetic response in order to provide care. (shrink)
Methodological analysis shows that the concepts of fitness and adaptation are more complex than the literature suggests. Various arguments against adaptationism are inadequate since they are couched in terms of unduly simplistic notions.
Biology incorporated into other disciplines is often distorted, alarmingly so in some areas of medicine. Together with other forms of bias, this may have detrimental effects for patients depending on medical research for their health. A case study concerning omeprazole (Losec), one of the acid-suppressive drugs against gastric ulcers, and NSAIDs, non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs, confirms that distorted biology together with biased health care policies foster disasters in current biomedicine and medical practice. In our country, The Netherlands, omeprazole is presumably the (...) most commonly used medication. NSAIDs are also used in large quantities, increasingly since they have become available as analgesic over-the-counter drugs. Unofficial and official sources tend to inform the general public that the drugs promote human health. We argue that their being used on a massive scale is actually a medical disaster. The health of many patients would be served better if the drugs they take were replaced by proper forms of diet, but the pharmaceutical industry, the most potent force affecting medication policies, appears to prevent a shift in the balance from over-medicalization towards healthy life styles. The shift should come from government agencies responsible for regulation in the medication market. Policies of these agencies are now a dismal failure. (shrink)
On a common view of evolution, natural selection is the major force that produces evolutionary change. Selection is thought to operate on different types (genotypes or phenotypes) in populations so as to generate differential reproductive survival of these types. This should engender changes in population composition. The conception of selection as a "force" should be considered as a convenient shorthand that easily misleads us. Selection is not a factor over and above items such as temperature regimes, predators, and so forth. (...) These items do causal work in evolutionary processes. The term "selection" is merely an abstract placeholder for them. Differential reproductive survival thus appears to depend on particular environmental items that influence different types in different ways. Such items are properly regarded as the selective agents. On the face of it, selection processes must always be due to the operation of such agents. I argue that this is a mistaken assumption. Processes of selection may well occur in the absence of selective agents. That is because environmental factors may contribute to differential reproductive survival even if they do not affect different genotypes or phenotypes in different ways. Considering the role of the environment in selection, we should distinguish between selective agents and contributive agents. (shrink)
We establish constructive refinements of several well-known theorems in elementary model theory. The additive group of the real numbers may be embedded elementarily into the additive group of pairs of real numbers, constructively as well as classically.
The present study is part of recent attempts to specify the characteristics of the counterexample retrieval process during causal conditional reasoning. The study tried to pinpoint whether the retrieval of stored counterexamples (alternative causes and disabling conditions) for a causal conditional is completely automatic in nature or whether the search process also demands executive working memory (WM) resources. In Experiment 1, participants were presented with a counterexample generation task and a measure of WM capacity. We found a positive relation between (...) search efficiency, as measured by the number of generated counterexamples in limited time, and WM capacity. Experiment 2 examined the effects of a secondary WM load on the retrieval performance. As predicted, burdening WM with an attention-demanding secondary task decreased the retrieval efficiency. Both low and high spans were affected by the WM load but load effects were less pronounced for the most strongly associated counterexamples. Findings established that in addition to an automatic search component, the counterexample retrieval draws on WM resources. (shrink)
This paper investigates which of the variouslegal notions proposed for human DNA is themost appropriate from an ontological viewpoint – unique legal status, private property, commonproperty, person, or information. The focus is onthe difficulties that private property, commonproperty and person present. By usingHarré''s notion of ``file-self'''' we arguethat, ontologically, the most appropriate legalnotion to be applied is information. This hasconsequences for storage, control and use ofgenetic information as well as identifiablehuman body material.