When the Taliban destroyed the famous statues of the Buddha in the Bamiyan Valley in Afghanistan more than a decade ago, the outrage of the global community, including that of prominent Muslim religious leaders, was matched perhaps only by the pious euphoria of Afghanistan’s hardliners. They had finally succeeded in removing visible signs of idolatry from their landscape, and fulfilled, at least in their own eyes, a long overdue religious mission. In the words of the Taliban leader Mullah Omar, “Muslims (...) should be proud to destroy idols. Our destroying them was an act of praise for God.”1Yet such extreme acts of puritanical iconoclasm at the hands of Muslim fundamentalists, at least within modern history, have more.. (shrink)
The doctrine of sunyata, or emptiness, is the cornerstone of Buddhist metaphysics. This article explores the doctrine as elaborated by Nagarjuna, as it developed in Mahayana Buddhism and extended into Chinese Hua-Yen teachings. It is the key to understanding the relationship between the discontinuous and continuous aspects of reality, the inter-penetration and identity of “emptiness” and phenomena, the cosmic permeation of Buddhahood, and the role of the Bodhisattva.
The article examines the nature of tawba, usually translated as ‘repentance’, in the thought of Abū Țālib al-Makkī . Makkī’s most comprehensive discussion of this topic appears in the thirty-second chapter of his Qūt al-qulūb , one of the most widely reads works of the early Sufi tradition. It is the longest single sustained treatment of tawba, written from the perspective of Sufi spiritual psychology, currently available to us from the first four centuries of Islam. By drawing on Revelation as (...) well as the earlier Sufi tradition he is heir to, Makkī delineates certain conditions which have to be met in order for tawba to be sound. The article explores Makkī’s treatment of these conditions as well as their relation to notions of tawba in the broader Islamic tradition. (shrink)
I attempt a reconstruction of Adam Smith's view of human nature as explicated in The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Smith's view of human conduct is neither functionalist nor reductionist, but interactionist. The moral autonomy of the individual, conscience, is neither made a function of public approval nor reduced to self-contained impulses of altruism and egoism. Smith does not see human conduct as a blend of independently defined impulses. Rather, conduct is unified, by the underpinning sentiment of sympathy.
Although the Titanic disaster happened just over one hundred years ago, it still appeals researchers to understand why some passengers survived while others did not. With the use of a machine learning tool (JustNN) and the provided dataset we study which factors or classifications of passengers have a strong relationship with survival for passengers that took that trip on 15th of April, 1912. The analysis seeks to identify characteristics of passengers - cabin class, age, and point of departure – and (...) that relationship to the chance of survival for the disaster. Furthermore, we developed a model for classifying passengers. The model was trained and tested and we found the accuracy to be more than 99.28%. (shrink)
Buildings energy consumption is growing gradually and put away around 40% of total energy use. Predicting heating and cooling loads of a building in the initial phase of the design to find out optimal solutions amongst different designs is very important, as ell as in the operating phase after the building has been finished for efficient energy. In this study, an artificial neural network model was designed and developed for predicting heating and cooling loads of a building based on a (...) dataset for building energy performance. The main factors for input variables are: relative compactness, roof area, overall height, surface area, glazing are a, wall area, glazing area distribution of a building, orientation, and the output variables: heating and cooling loads of the building. The dataset used for training are the data published in the literature for various 768 residential buildings. The model was trained and validated, most important factors affecting heating load and cooling load are identified, and the accuracy for the validation was 99.60%. (shrink)
Medical research must involve the participation of human subjects. Knowledge of patients' perspectives and concerns with their involvement in research would enhance recruitment efforts, improve the informed consent process, and enhance the overall trust between patients and investigators. Several studies have examined the views of patients from Western countries. There is limited empirical research involving the perspectives of individuals from developing countries. The purpose of this study is to examine the attitudes of Egyptian individuals toward medical research. Such information would (...) help clarify the type and extent of concerns regarding research participation of individuals from cultural, economic, and political backgrounds that differ from those in developed countries. (shrink)
Background Paediatric clinical research faces unique challenges that compromise optimal recruitment of children into clinical trials. A main barrier to enrolment of children is parental misconceptions about the research process. In developing countries, there is a knowledge gap regarding parental perceptions of and attitudes towards their children's participation in clinical trials. Objective To explore such perceptions and attitudes in Lebanese parents. Study design 33 in-depth interviews were conducted with parents with and without previous research experience. Interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed in (...) colloquial Arabic, and later subjected to thematic analysis. Results Benefit/risk ratio assessment was a major determinant of parental consent. Fear of adverse events or painful procedures in research was a recurring theme in most interviews. Whereas perception of direct benefit to the child, trust in the physician or institution, financial gains or having a positive previous experience in research facilitated consent, a complex informed consent form and misunderstanding of the term ‘randomisation’ hindered parental approval of participation. Conclusion Lebanese parents have perceptions of and attitudes towards children's participation in clinical trials that are similar to those reported from the industrialised world. Improving communication with parents and building trust between researchers and parents is important for successful recruitment. Investigators planning to conduct paediatric trials in developing countries need to simplify consent forms and devise new ways to explain randomisation. (shrink)
Alfred I. Tauber (ed.), Organism and the Origins of Self. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1991. xix + 384 pp., US$ 110.00 (US$ 25.00 paperback). This is a fascinating book based on a 1990 symposium at Boston University. It promises to change the way one conceives of the organism. The authors start from different specializations but provide a most tantalizing feast of ideas. Richard Lewontin commences the book with a strange foreword. Lewontin submits that the concern with the "self and (...) private identity in modern biology is ... only one manifestation of the ideology of individualism that is a shibboleth of our particular [bourgeois] form of social organization" (p. xix). If this is the case, the reader should stop reading the book and ask for her money back. But I advise patience. Tauber's introduction is a mixture of the history of the medical notion of disease and the advocacy of a dialectical concept of the self as the interpenetration of part and whole. Tauber highlights Elie Metchnikoff's appealing idea of phagocytosis as just one form of the active organism striving to attain harmony among competing cells. (shrink)
Social robots are expected to take over a significant number of jobs in the coming decades. The present research provides the first systematic evaluation of occupation suitability of existing social robots based on user perception derived classification of them. The study was conducted in the Middle East since the views of this region are rarely considered in human–robot interaction research, although the region is poised to increasingly adopt the use of robots. Laboratory-based experimental data revealed that a robot’s appearance plays (...) an important role in the perception of its capabilities and preference for it to perform a particular job. Participants showed a preference for machine-like robots to perform dull and dirty occupations and humanoids, but not androids, to perform jobs requiring extensive social interaction with humans. However, other aspects of appearance than morphology determine whether a robot is preferred for a job irrespective of its perceived capability to do it. (shrink)
BackgroundStudies have shown that research participants fail to appreciate the difference between research and medical care, labeling such phenomenon as a "therapeutic misconception" (TM). Since research activity involving human participants is increasing in the Middle East, qualitative research investigating aspects of TM is warranted. Our objective was to assess for the existence of therapeutic misconception amongst Egyptians.MethodsStudy Tool: We developed a semi-structured interview guide to elicit the knowledge, attitudes, and perspectives of Egyptians regarding medical research.Setting: We recruited individuals from the (...) outpatient settings (public and private) at Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt.Analysis: Interviews were taped, transcribed, and translated. We analyzed the content of the transcribed text to identify the presence of a TM, defined in one of two ways: TM1 = inaccurate beliefs about how individualized care can be compromised by the procedures in the research and TM2 = inaccurate appraisal of benefit obtained from the research study.ResultsOur findings showed that a majority of participants (11/15) expressed inaccurate beliefs regarding the degree with which individualized care will be maintained in the research setting (TM1) and a smaller number of participants (5/15) manifested an unreasonable belief in the likelihood of benefits to be obtained from a research study (TM2). A total of 12 of the 15 participants were judged to have expressed a TM on either one of these bases.ConclusionThe presence of TM is not uncommon amongst Egyptian individuals. We recommend further qualitative studies investigating aspects of TM involving a larger sample size distinguished by different types of illnesses and socio-economic variables, as well as those who have and have not participated in clinical research. (shrink)
Hume and Smith advance different answers to the question of whether sympathy can ever be the foundation of the moral order. They hold contradictory views of sympathy, called here ‘the Fellow-Feeling Paradox’. For Hume, fellow-feeling tends to reverberate in society, leading to the socialization of the individual and even mob (collective) psychology. Hence, sympathy cannot be the foundation of the moral order. In contrast, for Smith, fellow-feeling develops into critical judgment of the emotions/actions, leading to individual moral autonomy even self-command. (...) Hence, sympathy can be the foundation of the moral order. This paper provides a resolution of the two answers. (shrink)
Neo-Darwinism is based on the same principles as the Walrasian analysis of equilibrium. This may be surprising for evolutionary economists who resort to neo-Darwinism as a result of their dissatisfaction with Walrasian economics. As it is well-known, the principle of rationality does not play a role in neo-Darwinism. In fact, the whole (neo-)Darwinian agenda became popular exactly because it expunged the idea of rationality from nature, and hence, from equilibrium. It is less known, however, that the rationality principle is also (...) not central in Walrasian equilibrium analysis. Therefore, if we find that the rationality principle must be central to the analysis of decision making of human and nonhuman organisms, we must advance organomics . Organomics is bioeconomics understood as the use of rational choice to the study of the behavior of human and nonhuman organisms. Organomics offers a different starting point than the one offered by neo-Darwinism. (shrink)
We show that the U.S. anti-discriminatory laws prohibiting discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation and gender identity identities) spur innovation, which ultimately leads to higher firm performance. We use the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index of 398 U.S. firms between 2011 and 2014, and find a significantly positive relationship between CEI and firm innovation. We also find that an interacting effect of CEI and firm innovation leads to higher firm performance. We use our understanding of Rawls’ Theory (...) of Justice and stakeholder theory to show that firms with workplace diversity policies are likely to be more innovative and perform better than those without such policies. Our results are robust to endogeneity, reverse causality and simultaneity issues. Our results will trigger debate in similar markets around the globe on the economic benefits of LGBT workplace diversity policies for firms. (shrink)
Civil society consists of members obligated to respect each other’s rights and, hence, trade with each other as equals. What determines the boundary, rather than the nature, of civil society? For Adam Smith, the boundary consists of humanity itself because it is determined by identification: humans identify with other humans because of common humanness. While Smith’s theory can explain the emotions associated with justice (jubilance) and injustice (resentment), it provides a mushy ground for the boundary question: Why not extend the (...) common identity to nonhuman animals? Or why not restrict the boundary to one’s own dialect, ethnicity or race? For David Hume, the boundary need not consist of humanity itself because it is determined by self-interest: a European need not respect the property of outsiders such as Native Americans, if the European benefits more by exploiting them than including them in the European society. While Hume’s theory can provide a solid ground for the boundary question, it cannot explain the emotions associated with justice. This paper suggests a framework that combines the strengths, and avoids the shortcomings, of Smith’s and Hume’s theories. (shrink)
Abstract There are two kinds of beliefs. If the ultimate objective is wellbeing (util- ity), the generated beliefs are “practical.” If the ultimate objective is truth, the generated beliefs are “scientific.” This article defends the practical/scientific belief distinction. The proposed distinction has been ignored by standard rational choice theory—as well as by its two major critics, viz., the Tversky/Kahneman program and the Simon/ Gigerenzer program. One ramification of the proposed distinction is clear: agents who make errors with regard to scientific (...) beliefs (e.g., the conjunction fallacy) should not be taken as committing irrationality—because they are most probably engaging the other kind of maximization, the pursuit of wellbeing. (shrink)
Oaksford & Chater (O&C) would need to define rationality if they want to argue that stomachs are not rational. The question of rationality, anyhow, is orthogonal to the debate concerning whether humans use classical deductive logic or probabilistic reasoning.
Are there empirical anomalies upon which Dewey's theory of action sheds better light than existing neoclassical and heterodox approaches? This introduction answers in the affirmative. They are the set of anomalies highlighted by behavioral economics. These anomalies stress the centrality of context. Neoclassical theorists react to the 'context problematic' by claiming that context, after all, is part of either the constraint set or the preference set. Dewey and his collaborator, Bentley, called such standard rationality theories 'interactional.' On the other hand, (...) heterodox economists and mainstream sociologists and anthropologists appropriate the 'context problematic' to buttress their normative views on how constraints such as culture, norms, and budgets mold preferences after their image. Dewey and Bentley called such normative theories 'self-actional.' Both neoclassical theorists and their critics fail to see that context cannot be reduced to the constraint set, preference set, or set of norms. In contrast, Dewey and Bentley offer a fresh way to solve the 'context problematic,' what they call the 'transactional view.'. (shrink)
The rational-decision approach is superior to the associative-learning approach of Cook et al. at explaining why mirror neurons (MNs) fire or do not fire – even when the stimulus is the same. The rational-decision approach is superior because it starts with the analysis of the intention of the organism, i.e., with the identification of the specific objective or goal that the organism is trying to maximize.
The paper distinguishes between two kinds of products, `symbolic' and `substantive'. While substantive products confer welfare utility in the sense of pecuniary benefits, symbolic products accord self-regarding utility. Symbolic products enter the utility function in a way which differs from substantive ones. The paper distinguishes among three kinds of symbolic products and proposes that each has a distorted form. If symbolic products result from forward-looking evaluation, they act as `prestige goods' which please admiration or, when distorted, as `vanity goods' which (...) satiate pretentiousness. When symbolic products originate from forward-looking action, they act as `pride goods' which satisfy respect or, when distorted, as `deference goods' which indulge pomposity. When symbolic products arise from backward-looking evaluation, they act as `identity goods' which enhance dignity or, when distorted, as `reification goods' which gratify reverence. (shrink)
Although the quantum probability (QP) can be useful to model the context effect, it is not relevant to the order effect, conjunction fallacy, and other related biases. Although the issue of potentiality, which is the intuition behind QP, is involved in the context effect, it is not involved in the other biases.
There are problems with the thesis of von Hippel & Trivers (VH&T): (1) It entails that self-deception arises from interpersonal deception which is not necessarily so; and (3) it entails that interpersonal deception is optimum – which may not be true.
Neoclassical and Marxian theorists have generally failed to explain entrepreneurship, and for an obvious reason. To apply the calculus of optimization, neoclassical theorists have to treat the set of resources as an object that exists 'initself,' i.e., independent of the acting subject. On the other hand, Marxian theorists, in advocating the labor theory of value, have to treat labor activity as an expression of an abstract ability which can be easily measured across the diverse concrete activities. John Dewey, throughout his (...) writing stretching over half a century, has undermined the objectivist view of means and of labor activity. Dewey, in fact, objected to the means-end dichotomy. This opens a window for a theory of entrepreneurship. (shrink)
There has been no systematic study in the literature of how self-deception differs from other kinds of self-distortion. For example, the term ‘cognitive dissonance’ has been used in some cases as a rag-bag term for all kinds of self-distortion. To address this, a narrow definition is given: self-deception involves injecting a given set of facts with an erroneous fact to make anex antesuboptimal decision seem as if it wereex anteoptimal. Given this narrow definition, this paper delineates self-deception from deception as (...) well as from other kinds of self-distortions such as delusion, moral licensing, cognitive dissonance, manipulation, and introspective illusion. (shrink)
The paper examines the ramifications of naturalism with regard to the question of individuality in economics and biology. Economic theory has to deal with whether households, firms, and states are individuals or are mere entities such as clubs, networks, and coalitions. Biological theory has to deal with the same question with regard to cells, organisms, family packs, and colonies. To wit, the question of individuality in both disciplines involves three separate problems: the metaphysical, phenomenist, and ontological. The metaphysical problem is (...) concerned with purposeful action: Is the firm or organism exclusively the product of efficient causality (optimization) or is it motivated by final causality (purposefulness)? The phenomenist problem is interested in the substantiality of essences: Is the firm''s or organism''s scheme of institutions/traits deep or is it extraneous to identity? The ontological problem is related to the issue of reductionism: Is the behavior of lower-level organization governed by a pre-constituted entities or is it context-sensitive? The paper finds that theoretical differences run along the naturalist/anti-naturalist divide rather than along disciplinary specialization. Also, the paper finds that it is not inconsistent for the same theorist to be naturalist with regard to one problem and anti-naturalist with respect to the other two problems. (shrink)
Expert systems are knowledge-based information systems which are expected to have human attributes in order to replicate human capacity in ethical decision making. An expert system functions by virtue of its information, its inferential rules, and its decision criteria, each of which may be problematic. This paper addresses three basic reasons for ethical concern when using the currently available expert systems in a decisions-making capacity. These reasons are (1) expert systems' lack of human intelligence, (2) expert systems' lack of emotions (...) and values, and (3) expert systems' possible incorporation of intentional or accidental bias. For these reasons artificial ethics seems to be science fiction. Consequently, expert systems should be used only in an advising capacity and managers should not absolve themselves from legal and ethical responsibility when using expert systems in decision making. (shrink)
Rachlin basically marshals three reasons behind his unconventional claim that altruism is a subcategory of self-control and that, hence, the prisoner's dilemma is the appropriate metaphor of altruism. I do not find any of the three reasons convincing. Therefore, the prisoner's dilemma metaphor is unsuitable for explaining altruism.
Rosen accuses conventional biology of abandoning its main challenge: the understanding of the nature of life. Biologists generally act subservient to physicists, handicapped by the Cartesian metaphor of the organism as machine. This allows biologists to eschew the issue of intentionality and finalism. The machine metaphor assures biologists that they do not need to appeal to laws other than the ones used by physicists. Rosen argues that the machine metaphor affords the reduction of the organism to its constituent parts.
Textual exegesis is used to show that Marx's concept of social labor is transhistorical, referring to a collective activity of humans as a species. The collective nature of labor is suspended in capitalist production because of the anarchic character of market relations. But the suspension is skin deep: The sociality of labor asserts itself in a mediated manner through the alienated empowerment of goods with value. This is commodity fetishism, which vanishes when relations of production become actually collective?matching the transhistorical (...) essence of labor. Marx's concept of social labor is adjudged inadequate. It amounts to asserting that the actions of agents could be ex ante calculated according to a global rationality. In this respect, Marx's concept of social labor is reminiscent of the equally deficient notion of perfect competition in mainstream neoclassical economics. (shrink)
Preston & de Waal conflate familiarity with similarity in their attempt to account for empathy. If distinguished, we may have at hand two different kinds of empathy: egocentric empathy and empathy proper.
Based on case studies of religious Muslim and Christian family firms operating in a religiously diverse country, we explain the multiplicity of family, business, religion, and community logics in the family firm. In particular, we give attention to the religion logic and how it interacts with other logics when family firms are considering ethical issues. We show that religion has a rule-based approach in Muslim family firms and a principle-based approach in Christian family firms. We also draw attention to the (...) fluidity characteristic of the religion logic, through which family firms interpret the role of religion among other logics in influencing ethical decisions. Our study advances institutional logics literature in highlighting the plurality between and within logics in family firms, and contributes to the growing recognition of the influence of religious beliefs on the ethical behaviors of family firms. (shrink)
The Gallinas Mountains, located at the junction of Lincoln and Torrance Counties, New Mexico, USA, are a series of alkaline volcanic rocks intruded into Permian sedimentary rocks. The Gallinas Mountains area hosts fluorite and copper as veins containing bastnäsite, whereas deposits of iron skarns and iron replacement are in the area as well. These deposits produce iron. In this study, the multispectral band-ratio method is used for surface mineral recognition, whereas 2D subsurface structure inversion modeling was applied to explore the (...) depth extent of the magnetic ore distribution from aeromagnetic data. Bastnäsite has higher magnetic susceptibility than the host rocks and surrounding sedimentary rock. The bastnäsite and iron oxides can contribute to a positive aeromagnetic anomaly. Results indicate that the positive magnetic anomaly observed at Gallinas Mountains area can be accounted for by a mixture of bastnäsite and iron oxides at a depth of approximately 400 m and a thickness of approximately 13–15 m. The surface of this area is dominated by the hydrothermal alteration associated with iron oxides over the trachyte intrusions as detected by Landsat 8 band-ratio imaging. (shrink)
The value relevance of corporate social responsibility performance disclosures for financial markets participants remains uncertain despite advances in the literature and the recent proliferation of CSR disclosures around the world. Using an experimental approach involving MBA students at universities in the United States and Lebanon, we study the value relevance of CSR disclosures by testing whether they affect participants’ personal portfolio management investment decisions. We also examine whether the degree to which the CSR disclosures affect these decisions is influenced by (...) corporate governance quality. To examine these issues, we examine the effect of environmental performance on investment decisions in Experiment 1, and the effect of labor performance on investment decisions in Experiment 2. Results from both experiments show that investment decisions are affected by CSR performance. Analysis shows that governance strength exerts a marginal effect on the investment decision only when CSR performance is strong. Lebanese participants appear to be more sensitive to weak performance than U.S. participants. Overall, our findings extend the CSR disclosures literature by documenting the value relevance of CSR performance for financial markets participants’ decision making. These findings also extend the governance literature by documenting that consistent with attribution theory, the effects of governance quality are contingent upon the information and decision context, and that efforts to decontextualize governance may be counterproductive. (shrink)
ABSTRACTWhat is the source of the adulation of the rich-and-powerful? It cannot be benevolence. But then what is the criterion that delineates adulation from benevolence? This paper argues that the criterion resides in the set of inputs of the utility function: Does the set includes only interests, i.e. bundles of goods and resources? If so, the product is benevolence. But if the set includes aspiration, i.e. the desire to attain some imagined higher station, the product is adulation. Relying on Smith's (...) theory, aspiration first amounts to the immersion of the self with the desired higher station. Second, aspiration becomes supplanted with adulation, the basking under the achievements of the more successful rich-and-powerful as second best, i.e. when the decision maker fails to attain the aspired station. The proposed interests-aspiration distinction, as the ground of the benevolence-adulation distinction, has one important payoff. The origin of the adulation of higher rank, and the consequent stability of the political order, should be traced to aspiration-derived inputs, not exclusively to interests. (shrink)