The discussion about the relationship between tone at the top and financial reporting practices has been primarily focused on the oversight role played by the board of directors and other structural elements of corporate governance. Another relevant determinant of tone at the top is the corporate narrative language, since it is a fundamental way in which the chief executive officer enacts leadership. In this study, we empirically explore the association between financial reporting aggressiveness and five thematic indicators capturing different traits (...) of ethical leadership from 535 annual letters to shareholders. We find that aggressive financial reporting is positively associated with CEO letters using a language which is resolute, complex, and not engaging. Our empirical findings highlight the importance of examining discretionary corporate narratives for the auditing process and the role of tone at the top in influencing accounting practices. (shrink)
In this study, we explore the sincerity of the rhetorical tone of 664 annual letters to shareholders (CEO letters). Prior studies adopt Impression Management theory to predict that firms obfuscate failures and emphasize successes to unfairly enhance their image and maintain organizational legitimacy. Yuthas et al. (J Bus Ethics 41:141–157, 2002) challenged such a view, showing that firms reporting earnings surprises engage in ethical discourse with shareholders. We adopt the methodology of Yuthas et al. (J Bus Ethics 41:141–157, 2002) to (...) explore the association between firm performance and the rhetorical features of CEO letters in a large sample of Fortune 500 firms in the wake of the global economic crisis. In contrast to most prior research, we find that optimistic tone is congruent with both past and future performance. We conclude that under tough macroeconomic conditions, incentives to distort public information strategically are low. Rather, firms tend to engage in communicative action aimed at dialoguing with shareholders through sincere disclosure. However, in our conclusions, we warn about the impact of accounting and rhetorical manipulation on the congruence between optimistic tone and financial performance. (shrink)
Although theoretical underpinnings of stakeholder dialog (SD) have been extensively discussed in the extant literature, there is a lack of empirical studies presenting evidence on the SD initiatives undertaken by firms. In this article, we provide information about 294 SD initiatives collected through a content analysis of the sustainability reports published by large firms in Germany, Italy, and the U. S. In addition to a country-based description of the different forms, stakeholder categories, and topics of the SD initiatives, we explore (...) the relationship between SD and characteristics of national business systems. Overall, we find firms undertake few SD initiatives, using low-involvement forms of dialog, and focusing on one category of stakeholders per initiative. Results suggest that the explicit approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR) favors the quantity of SD initiatives, but neglects the importance of the level of involvement and diversity of stakeholders participating at the dialog. Finally, we find public policies on CSR have a substantial influence on SD in national business systems with an implicit approach to CSR. Public policies based on a shared discussion involving multiple social actors encourage SD initiatives that use different forms of dialog and are characterized by high level of involvement. Our findings offer contributions to the ongoing debate about the effectiveness of SD and its relationship with CSR. (shrink)
Finance is an area that, in practice, is plagued by accusations of unethical activity; the study of finance had adopted a largely nonbehavioral approach to business ethics research. We address this gap in by assessing whether individual ethical orientations predict the acceptability of questionable decisions about financial issues. Results show that individual ethical orientations are associated with different levels of acceptability of questionable decisions about financial issues, though the pattern of these differences varies across individual ethical orientations assessed. These results (...) represent evidence that ethical individual differences are associated with the acceptability of questionable finance decisions and are discussed in terms of methodological limitations and future directions in finance ethics research. (shrink)
The technological advances of contemporary society have outpaced our moral understanding of the problems that they create. How will we deal with profound ecological changes, human cloning, hybrid people, and eroding cyberprivacy, just to name a few issues? In this book, Lorenzo Magnani argues that existing moral constructs often cannot be applied to new technology. He proposes an entirely different ethical approach, one that blends epistemology with cognitive science. The resulting moral strategy promises renewed dignity for overlooked populations, both (...) of today and of the future. (shrink)
Theoretical and manipulative abduction conjectures and manipulations : the extra-theoretical dimension of scientific discovery. -- Non-explanatory and instrumental abduction : plausibility, implausibility, ignorance preservation. -- Semiotic brains and artificial minds : how brains make up material cognitive systems. -- Neuromultimodal abduction : pre-wired brains, embidiment, neurospaces. -- Animal abduction : from mindless organisms to srtifactual mediators. -- Abduction, affordances, and cognitive niches : sharing representations and creating chances through cognitive niche construction. -- Abduction in human and logical agents : hasty (...) generalizers, hybrid abducers, fallacies. -- Morphodynamical abduction : causation of hypotheses by attractors dynamics. (shrink)
The naturalization of logic aims at a revision of mainstream logic. In this article, I contend it is an urgent task to be completed. This new project will permit a new collaboration between logic and cognitive science. This can be accomplished doing for logic what many decades ago Quine and other philosophers undertook in the case of epistemology. First of all, this article analyzes how the naturalization can be achieved thanks to some insights provided by the recent John Woods’ book (...) Errors of Reasoning: Naturalizing the Logic of Inference; important concepts that regard a naturalized logic are synthetically analyzed: errors, paradigm creep, third-way reasoning, consequence-having and consequence drawing, agent based reasoning. The article also takes advantage of my own studies, which are aimed both at exculpating the negative fallacious character of abduction and at illustrating the EC-model of it, I have recently proposed. Aiming at encouraging the project of naturalization of logic, the article specifically recommends the increase of logical research on abduction, and emphasizes how current philosophical and logical research on human inferences is indebted towards Charles Sanders Peirce, a philosopher whose importance and modernity are too often underestimated. The final part of the article will introduce an analysis of the importance of the so-called optimization of situatedness, a concept that is necessary to understand that maximization of “abducibility”, which characterizes modern science. (shrink)
Locked and unlocked strategies are at the center of this article, as ways of shedding new light on the cognitive aspects of deep learning machines. The character and the role of these cognitive strategies, which are occurring both in humans and in computational machines, is indeed strictly related to the generation of cognitive outputs, which range from weak to strong level of knowledge creativity. I maintain that these differences lead to important consequences when we analyze computational AI programs, such as (...) AlphaGo, which aim at performing various kinds of abductive hypothetical reasoning. In these cases, the programs are characterized by _locked_ abductive strategies: they deal with weak kinds of hypothetical creative reasoning, because they are limited in what I call eco-cognitive openness, which instead qualifies human cognizers who are performing higher kinds of abductive creative reasoning, where cognitive strategies are instead _unlocked_. (shrink)
A comparative study of a broad range of logical systems, showing that classical logic is just one among them and thate there are useful nonclassical logics which are conservative extensions of classical logic, by risorting to several negations and several implications. The book is oriented towards a defense of fuzzy logics.
This volume sets out to give a philosophical "applied" account of violence, engaged with both empirical and theoretical debates in other disciplines such as cognitive science, sociology, psychiatry, anthropology, political theory, ...
This essay seeks to give a contractarian foundation to the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), meant as an extended model of corporate governance of the firm. It focuses on justification according to the contractarian point of view (leaving compliance and implementation problems to a related article, [Sacconi 2004b, forthcoming in the Journal of Business Ethics]). It begins by providing a definition of CSR as an extended model of corporate governance, based on the fiduciary duties owed to all the firm’s (...) stakeholders. Then, by establishing the basic context of incompleteness of contracts and abuse of authority, it analyses how the extended view of corporate governance arises directly from criticism of the contemporary neo-institutional economic theory of the firm. Thereafter, an application of the theory of bargaining games is used to deduce the structure of a multi-stakeholder firm, on the basis of the idea of a constitutional contract, which satisfies basic requirements of impartial justification and accordance with intuitions of social justice. This is a sequential model of constitutional bargaining, whereby a constitution is first chosen, and then a post-constitutional coalition game is played. On the basis of the unique solution given to each step in the bargaining model, the quest for a prescriptive theory of governance and strategic management is accomplished, so that I am able to define an objective-function for the firm consistent with the idea of CSR. Finally, a contractarian potential explanation for the emergence of the multi-fiduciary firm is provided. (shrink)
In recent years, a new dispute has risen to prominence: the dispute between realists and anti-realists about causal powers. Albeit sometimes overlooked, the meta-ontological features of this “question of realism for powers” are quite peculiar. For friends and foes of causal powers have characterized their contrasting views in a variety of different ways; as existence claims, as semantic or truth-making claims, as fundamentality claims, as claims about the nature of certain properties. Not only does this multiplicity of interpretations make it (...) unclear what the genuine bone of contention is, if there is one; some of them appear to be mutually exclusive. Some light can be shed on this apparent yet widespread confusion by distinguishing three degrees of ontological involvement in dispositional truths; viz., three ways, of increasing robustness, to read ontological commitments from dispositional truths. Relatedly, by exploring the literature, and focusing on some selected examples of power realism and anti-realism, we can observe that power realists vastly disagree over the intrinsic nature ad make-up of dispositional properties. Such examples furthermore invite the thought that the question of realism for powers is best understood not as the debate around the existence of properties with a distinctive identity, but rather as a debate about metaphysical hierarchy. Finally, some anti-realists positions are indistinguishable from realist ones, using merely intensional resources: power realism is best appreciated by going hyperintensional. (shrink)
Irrespective of the presence of formal norms, behaviours such as plagiarism, data fabrication and falsification are commonly regarded as unethical and unfair. Almost unanimously, they are considered forms of academic misconduct. Is this the case also for newer behaviours that technology is making possible and are now entering the academic scenario?In the current paper we focus on cognitive enhancement, the use of drugs to enhance cognitive skills of an otherwise healthy individual. At present, there are no formal rules forbidding its (...) use in the academic setting. However, it is not clear whether there is a general public sentiment that CE should be considered as a modern form of academic misconduct.By means of the Contrastive Vignette Technique, we collected quantitative data from 284 online surveys to directly compare the attitude of the general public towards CE and plagiarism across different ethically relevant aspects. Our aim was to understand whether the use of prescription drugs to enhance a healthy person’s cognitive skills is perceived similarly to a more common form of cheating, specifically plagiarism.Results show that our participants do not endorse CE. At the same time, however, their opinion on the ethical issues related to its use is not negative: rather, their attitude is more positive towards CE compared to plagiarism. This seems to pose against the idea that, at present, the use of cognitive enhancers in academic environments is regarded as a form of cheating. (shrink)
In this paper we aim at discussing cognitive and epistemic features of online communities, by the use of cognitive niche constructions theories, presenting them as virtual cognitive niches. Virtual cognitive niches can be considered as digitally-encoded collaborative distributions of diverse types of information into an environment performed by agents to aid thinking and reasoning about some target domain. Discussing this definition, we will also consider how online communities, as networks displaying a social bias, can both foster civic awareness and promote (...) problematic group-led behaviors in the virtually aggregated crowds. To support this affirmation, we will take into account the use of online communication networks during crises and we will argue that it can lead to ethically dubious consequences. (shrink)
This essay seeks to give a contractarian foundation to the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), meant as an extended model of corporate governance of the firm. Whereas, justificatory issues have been discussed in a related paper (Sacconi, L.: 2006b, this journal), in this essay I focus on the implementation of and compliance with this normative model. The theory of reputation games, with reference to the basic game of trust, is introduced in order to make sense of self-regulation as a (...) way to implement the social contract on the multi-fiduciary model of corporate governance. This affords understanding of why self-regulation, meant as mere recourse to a long-run strategy in a repeated trust game, fails. Two basic problems for the functioning of the reputation mechanism are examined: the cognitive fragility problem, and the motivational problem. As regards the cognitive fragilities of reputation (which result from the impact of unforeseen contingencies and from bounded rationality), the paper develops the logic and the structure that self-regulatory norms must satisfy if they are to serve as gap-filling tools with which to remedy cognitive limitations in the reputation mechanism. The motivation problem then arises from the possibility of sophisticated abuse by the firm. Developed in this case is an entirely new application of the theory of conformism-and-reciprocity-based preferences, the result of which is that the stakeholders refuse to acquiesce to sophisticated abuse on the part of the firm. (shrink)
Lorenzo Valla (1407–1457) ranks among the greatest scholars and thinkers of the Renaissance. He secured lasting fame for his brilliant critical skills, most famously in his exposure of the “Donation of Constantine,” the forged document upon which the papacy based claims to political power. Lesser known in the English-speaking world is Valla's work in the philosophy of language—the basis of his reputation as the greatest philosopher of the humanist movement. Dialectical Disputations, translated here for the first time into any (...) modern language, is his principal contribution to the philosophy of language and logic. With this savage attack on the scholastic tradition of Aristotelian logic, Valla aimed to supersede it with a new logic based on the actual historical usage of classical Latin and on a commonsense approach to semantics and argument. Valla provides a logic that could be used by lawyers, preachers, statesmen, and others who needed to succeed in public debate—one that was stylistically correct and rhetorically elegant, and thus could dispense with the technical language of the scholastics, a “tribe of Peripatetics, perverters of natural meanings.” Valla's reformed dialectic became a milestone in the development of humanist logic and contains startling anticipations of modern theories of semantics and language. Volume 1 contains Book I, in which Valla refutes Aristotle's logical works on the categories, transcendentals, and predicables, with excursions into natural and moral philosophy and theology. (shrink)
Can an identity be the proper subject of an explanation? A popular stance, albeit not one often argued for, gives a negative answer to this question. Building from a contentious passage from Jaegwon Kim in this direction, we reconstruct an argument to the conclusion that identities, to the extent in which they are necessary, cannot be explained. The notion of contrastive explanation, characterized as difference-seeking, will be crucial for this argument; however, we will eventually find the argument to be unsatisfactory. (...) On the contrary, the discussion provides enough resource to sketch a very simple framework for a non-causal contrastive explanation of identities. Many instances will be provided, with different varieties of explanans, ultimately suggesting that certain entailment or biconditional principles involving identities (first and foremost, so-called two-level identity criteria) may indeed be taken to have an inherent explanatory value. (shrink)
____Technology, Time, and the Conversations of Modernity__ takes as its impetus the idea that technology is an embodiment of our uneasiness with finitude. Lorenzo Simpson argues that technology has succeeded in granting our wish to domesticate time. He shows how this attitude affects our understanding of the meaning of action and our ability to discern meaning in our lives.
Revenge arguments purport to show that any proposed solution to the semantic paradoxes generates new paradoxes that prove that solution to be inadequate. In this paper, I focus on revenge arguments that employ the model-theoretic semantics of a target theory and I argue, contra the current revenge-theoretic wisdom, that they can constitute genuine expressive limitations. I consider the anti-revenge strategy elaborated by Field and argue that it does not offer a way out of the revenge problem. More generally, I argue (...) that the difference between ‘standard’ and ‘revenge’ paradoxes is ill-conceived and should be abandoned. This will contribute to show that the theories that provide a uniform account of truth and other semantic notions are the ones best equipped to avoid the paradoxes altogether—‘standard’ and ‘revenge’ alike. (shrink)
Discussions about dispositional and categorical properties have become commonplace in metaphysics. Unfortunately, dispositionality and categoricity are disputed notions: usual characterizations are piecemeal and not widely applicable, thus threatening to make agreements and disagreements on the matter merely verbal—and also making it arduous to map a logical space of positions about dispositional and categorical properties in which all parties can comfortably fit. This paper offers a prescription for this important difficulty, or at least an inkling thereof. This will be achieved by (...) comparing pairs of positions and exploring their background metaphysics to discover where alleged agreements and disagreements concerning dispositionality and categoricity really lie; more specifically, the Pure Powers view and the Powerful Qualities view will be under scrutiny. Over this background, the prescription functions by isolating a successful identity-based characterization of categoricity, while abandoning the correspondent identity-based characterization of dispositionality. On the contrary, according to this prescription a property is dispositional if and only if it is solely in virtue of possessing that property that its bearer is assigned a certain dispositional profile. A crucial consequence of this prescription is that, while supporters of the Pure Powers view often characterize their position as an essentialist one, the dispositionality of properties needn’t always be a matter of essence. (shrink)
Lorenzo Valla has often been considered to be a sceptic. Equipped with an extremely polemical and critical mind, his whole oeuvre seemed to aim at undermining received philosophical and theological dogmas. More specifically he has been associated with the burgeoning interests in ancient scepticism in the fifteenth century. In this article the arguments in support of this interpretation will be critically examined and evaluated. Based on a discussion of two of his major works, De vero bono and the Dialectica, (...) it will be shown that Valla was not a sceptic. Even though the first work betrays the techniques of the Academy as employed by Cicero, the appropriation of these strategies served an agenda which can hardly be called 'sceptical'. The second work contains his reform of Aristotelian dialectic, which seems to testify to a sceptical interest in arguments which rely on verisimilitude and dubious validity such as sorites and paradox. But rather than reflecting an endorsement of Academic scepticism, this work, on closer reading, shows Valla to be highly critical on such arguments. This raises the question of how scepticism is related to rhetoric. Their similarities and differences will be discussed in the final section: Valla the Christian orator was no proponent of doubt, uncertainty and a suspension of judgement, even though at times he used strategies derived from Academic scepticism. (shrink)
A proper understanding of the moral and political significance of migration requires a focus on global inequalities. More specifically, it requires a focus on those global inequalities that affect people’s ability to participate in the production of economic goods and non-economic goods. We call cooperative infrastructures the complex material and immaterial technologies that allow human beings to cooperate in order to generate human goods. By enabling migrants to access high-quality cooperative infrastructures, migration contributes to the diffusion of technical and socio-political (...) innovations. In this way, it positively affects the ability of individuals from poorer countries to participate in the production of human goods, to benefit from such production, and to contribute to human development. Migration can also damage the material and immateri al components of the cooperative infrastructures accessible in both the host and sending countries; these potential downsides of migration should not be ignored, although arguably they can often be neutralized, alleviated, or compensated. (shrink)
Non-adjacent or long-distance dependencies are routinely considered to be a distinctive trait of language, which purportedly locates it higher than other sequentially organized signal systems in terms of structural complexity. This paper argues that particular languages display specific resources that help the brain system responsible for dealing with LDDs to develop the capacity of acquiring and processing expressions with such a human-typical degree of computational complexity. Independently obtained naturalistic data is discussed and put to the service of the idea that (...) the above-mentioned resources exert their developmental role from the outside, but in compliance with other internal resources, ultimately compounding an integrated developmental system. Parallels with other human and nonhuman developmental phenomena are explored, which point to the conclusion that the developmental system of concern can be assimilated to cases currently been conceptualized as ‘cue-response systems’ or ‘developmental hybrids’ within the ecological-developmental paradigm in theoretical biology. Such a conclusion is used to support the idea that both current externalist and internalist concepts fall short of a correct characterization of language. (shrink)
This essay seeks to give a contractarian foundation to the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility, meant as an extended model of corporate governance of the firm. It focuses on justification according to the contractarian point of view. It begins by providing a definition of CSR as an extended model of corporate governance, based on the fiduciary duties owed to all the firm's stakeholders. Then, by establishing the basic context of incompleteness of contracts and abuse of authority, it analyses how the (...) extended view of corporate governance arises directly from criticism of the contemporary neo-institutional economic theory of the firm. Thereafter, an application of the theory of bargaining games is used to deduce the structure of a multi-stakeholder firm, on the basis of the idea of a constitutional contract, which satisfies basic requirements of impartial justification and accordance with intuitions of social justice. This is a sequential model of constitutional bargaining, whereby a constitution is first chosen, and then a post-constitutional coalition game is played. On the basis of the unique solution given to each step in the bargaining model, the quest for a prescriptive theory of governance and strategic management is accomplished, so that I am able to define an objective-function for the firm consistent with the idea of CSR. Finally, a contractarian potential explanation for the emergence of the multi-fiduciary firm is provided. (shrink)
What I call theoretical abduction (sentential and model-based)certainly illustrates much of what is important in abductive reasoning, especially the objective of selecting and creating a set of hypotheses that are able to dispense good (preferred) explanations of data, but fails to account for many cases of explanation occurring in science or in everyday reasoning when the exploitation of the environment is crucial. The concept of manipulative abduction is devoted to capture the role of action in many interesting situations: action provides (...) otherwise unavailable information that enables the agent to solve problems by starting and performing a suitable abductive process of generation or selection of hypotheses. Many external things, usually inert from the epistemological point of view, can be transformed into what I call epistemic mediators, which are illustrated in the last part of the paper, together with an analysis of the related notions of ``perceptual and inceptual rehearsal'' and of ``external representation''. (shrink)
This book deals with one of the most important issues of philosophy of law and constitutional thought: how to understand clashes of fundamental rights, such as the conflict between free speech and privacy. The main argument of this book is that much can be learned about the nature of fundamental legal rights by examining them through the lens of conflicts among such rights, and criticizing the views of scholars and jurists who have discussed both fundamental legal rights and the nature (...) of conflicts among them. -/- Theories of rights are necessarily abstract, aiming at providing the best possible answers to pressing social problems. Yet such theories must also respond to the real and changing dilemmas of the day.Taking up the problem of conflicting rights, Zucca seeks a theory of rights that can guide us to a richer, more responsive approach to rights discourse. -/- The idea of constitutional rights is one of the most powerful tools to advance justice in the Western tradition. But as this book demonstrates, even the most ambitious theory of rights cannot satisfactorily address questions of conflicting rights. How, for instance, can we fully secure privacy when it clashes with free speech? To what extent can our societies assist people in dying without compromising the protection of life? Exploring the limitations of the rights discourse in these areas, Zucca questions the role of law in settling ethical dilemmas helping to clarify thinking about the limitations of rights discourse. (shrink)
Since Saul Kripke’s influential work in the 1970s, the revisionary approach to semantic paradox—the idea that semantic paradoxes must be solved by weakening classical logic—has been increasingly popular. In this paper, we present a new revenge argument to the effect that the main revisionary approaches breed new paradoxes that they are unable to block.
This essay seeks to give a contractarian foundation to the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility, meant as an extended model of corporate governance of the firm. Whereas, justificatory issues have been discussed in a related paper, in this essay I focus on the implementation of and compliance with this normative model. The theory of reputation games, with reference to the basic game of trust, is introduced in order to make sense of self-regulation as a way to implement the social contract (...) on the multi-fiduciary model of corporate governance. This affords understanding of why self-regulation, meant as mere recourse to a long-run strategy in a repeated trust game, fails. Two basic problems for the functioning of the reputation mechanism are examined: the cognitive fragility problem, and the motivational problem. As regards the cognitive fragilities of reputation, the paper develops the logic and the structure that self-regulatory norms must satisfy if they are to serve as gap-filling tools with which to remedy cognitive limitations in the reputation mechanism. The motivation problem then arises from the possibility of sophisticated abuse by the firm. Developed in this case is an entirely new application of the theory of conformism-and-reciprocity-based preferences, the result of which is that the stakeholders refuse to acquiesce to sophisticated abuse on the part of the firm. (shrink)
Kripke’s theory of truth, 690–716; 1975) has been very successful but shows well-known expressive difficulties; recently, Field has proposed to overcome them by adding a new conditional connective to it. In Field’s theories, desirable conditional and truth-theoretic principles are validated that Kripke’s theory does not yield. Some authors, however, are dissatisfied with certain aspects of Field’s theories, in particular the high complexity. I analyze Field’s models and pin down some reasons for discontent with them, focusing on the meaning of the (...) new conditional and on the status of the principles so successfully recovered. Subsequently, I develop a semantics that improves on Kripke’s theory following Field’s program of adding a conditional to it, using some inductive constructions that include Kripke’s one and feature a strong evaluation for conditionals. The new theory overcomes several problems of Kripke’s one and, although weaker than Field’s proposals, it avoids the difficulties that affect them; at the same time, the new theory turns out to be quite simple. Moreover, the new construction can be used to model various conceptions of what a conditional connective is, in ways that are precluded to both Kripke’s and Field’s theories. (shrink)
My book Abductive Cognition. The Epistemological and Eco-Cognitive Dimensions of Hypothetical Reasoning basically refers to all kinds of human hypothetical cognition, also of creative kind. During the research related to the preparation of that book I soon had the opportunity to examine the studies regarding the human process of continuous delegation and distribution of cognitive functions to the environment to lessen cognitive limitations, also and especially in the case of what has been called ‘manipulative abduction’. These design activities are closely (...) related to the process of cognitive niche construction, which I will specifically address in this article. Niche construction should be regarded as a second major participant, after natural selection, in evolution. Indeed, by altering their environment and partly controlling some of the energy and matter fluxes in their ecosystems, organisms are capable of changing some of the natural selective pressures in their local environments. The question I plan to answer is the following: we need to hypothesize a fundamental role of non-genetic information in the evolution, but what kind of evolution could we obtain in this case? I will illustrate that in building various mediating structures, humans transform the environment and create cognitive niches. Thus, humans and other non-human animals become ecological engineers and chance seekers, involved in the processing, the alteration, and even the creation of external structures to reduce or suppress their cognitive limitations. Hence, this article will address a detailed analysis of the role of extragenetic information in evolution and what this process of selection selects for purposeful organisms, so niche-constructing ones. (shrink)
As humanity becomes increasingly interconnected through globalization, the question of whether community is possible within culturally diverse societies has returned as a principal concern for contemporary thought. Lorenzo Simpson charges that the current discussion is stuck at an impasse-between postmodernism's fragmented notions of cultural difference and humanism's homogeneous versions of community. Simpson proposes an alternative-one that bridges cultural differences without erasing them. He argues that we must establish common aesthetic and ethical standards incorporating sensitivity to difference if we are (...) to achieve cross-cultural understanding. (shrink)
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