This paper proposes a basic revision of the understanding of teleology in biological sciences. Since Kant, it has become customary to view purposiveness in organisms as a bias added by the observer; the recent notion of teleonomy expresses well this as-if character of natural purposes. In recent developments in science, however, notions such as self-organization (or complex systems) and the autopoiesis viewpoint, have displaced emergence and circular self-production as central features of life. Contrary to an often superficial reading, Kant gives (...) a multi-faceted account of the living, and anticipates this modern reading of the organism, even introducing the term self-organization for the first time. Our re-reading of Kant in this light is strengthened by a group of philosophers of biology, with Hans Jonas as the central figure, who put back on center stage an organism-centered view of the living, an autonomous center of concern capable of providing an interior perspective. Thus, what is present in nuce in Kant, finds a convergent development from this current of philosophy of biology and the scientific ideas around autopoeisis, two independent but parallel developments culminating in the 1970s. Instead of viewing meaning or value as artifacts or illusions, both agree on a new understanding of a form of immanent teleology as truly biological features, inevitably intertwined with the self-establishment of an identity which is the living process. (shrink)
Philosophy of Experimental Biology explores some central philosophical issues concerning scientific research in experimental biology, including genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, developmental biology, neurobiology, and microbiology. It seeks to make sense of the explanatory strategies, concepts, ways of reasoning, approaches to discovery and problem solving, tools, models and experimental systems deployed by scientific life science researchers and also integrates developments in historical scholarship, in particular the New Experimentalism. It concludes that historical explanations of scientific change that are based on local laboratory (...) practice need to be supplemented with an account of the epistemic norms and standards that are operative in science. This book should be of interest to philosophers and historians of science as well as to scientists. (shrink)
At first blush, the town square in Fairfield, Iowa, seems no different from hundreds like it that grace small communities from New England to California. It has a pretty gazebo where bands play, a stretch of grass ideal for sunbathing, and a monument to historic local events, and all of it is surrounded by businesses that offer clothes, medicine, food, and, perhaps, a drink or two. Such town centers are so classically American that Disney and Hollywood have turned them into (...) clichés, timeworn settings for amusement parks, Fourth of July celebrations, political speeches, and romance.1But a closer look at the heart of Fairfield shows how far this place is from ordinary. Hard by a couple of real estate sales offices .. (shrink)
Ich rekonstruiere und kritisiere Hans Drieschs Argumentation für die Behauptung, daß biologischen Prozessen nur eine substanzdualistische Ontologie der belebten Materie (Vitalismus) gerecht werden kann. Meine Diagnose lautet, daß Drieschs Argumentation zwar logisch schlüssig ist bzw. durch leichte Modifikationen in eine logisch gültige Form gebracht werden kann, aber von empirisch unbegründeten, metaphysischen Prämissen über die Möglichkeiten eines energieumwandelnden Mechanismus ausgeht.
De se attitudes seem to play a special role in action and cognition. This raises a challenge to the traditional way in which mental attitudes have been understood. In this chapter, we review the case for thinking that de se attitudes require special theoretical treatment and discuss various ways in which the traditional theory can be modified to accommodate de se attitudes.
According to an attractive account of belief, our beliefs have centered content. According to an attractive account of communication, we utter sentences to express our beliefs and share them with each other. However, the two accounts are in conflict. In this paper I explore the consequences of holding on to the claim that beliefs have centered content. If we do in fact express the centered content of our beliefs, the content of the belief the hearer acquires cannot in general be (...) identical to the content the speaker expresses. I sketch an alternative account of communication, the Recentering model, that accepts this consequence and explains how expressed and acquired content are related. (shrink)
What is the relationship between Frege’s puzzle and the puzzle of the de se? An increasingly influential view claims that the de se puzzle is merely an instance of Frege’s puzzle and that the idea that de se attitudes pose a distinctive theoretical challenge rests on a myth. Here we argue that this view is misguided. There are important differences between the two puzzles. First, unlike Frege puzzle cases, de se puzzle cases involve unshareable Fregean senses. Second, unlike Frege puzzle (...) cases, de se puzzle cases cannot be resolved by objective information alone. Further, there seem to be pure cases of each puzzle: instances of the de se puzzle which do not have a Fregean structure, and instances of Frege’s puzzle, which do not involve de se attitudes. We conclude that the two puzzles are fundamentally different and that the traditional theory of attitudes needs to be amended. (shrink)
This paper begins an axiomatic development of naive set theoryin a paraconsistent logic. Results divide into two sorts. There is classical recapture, where the main theorems of ordinal and Peano arithmetic are proved, showing that naive set theory can provide a foundation for standard mathematics. Then there are major extensions, including proofs of the famous paradoxes and the axiom of choice (in the form of the well-ordering principle). At the end I indicate how later developments of cardinal numbers will lead (...) to Cantor’s theorem, the existence of large cardinals, and a counterexample to the continuum hypothesis. (shrink)
This paper identifies a new source that explains environmental behaviour: the presence of future tense marking in language. We predict that languages that grammatically mark the future affect speakers' intertemporal preferences and thereby reduce their willingness to address environmental problems. We first show that speakers of languages with future tense marking are less likely to adopt environmentally responsible behaviours and to support policies to prevent environmental damage. We then document that this effect holds across countries: future tense marking is an (...) important determinant of climate change policies and global environmental cooperation. The results suggest that there may be deep and surprising obstacles for attempts to address climate change. (shrink)
This article examines the role of experimental generalizations and physical laws in neuroscientific explanations, using Hodgkin and Huxley’s electrophysiological model from 1952 as a test case. I show that the fact that the model was partly fitted to experimental data did not affect its explanatory status, nor did the false mechanistic assumptions made by Hodgkin and Huxley. The model satisfies two important criteria of explanatory status: it contains invariant generalizations and it is modular (both in James Woodward’s sense). Further, I (...) argue that there is a sense in which the explanatory heteronomy thesis holds true for this case. †To contact the author, please write to: SNF‐Professorship for Philosophy of Science, University of Basel, Missionsstrasse 21, 4003 Basel, Switzerland; e‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
This paper takes a critical look at the empirical studies assessing the effectiveness of teaching courses in business and society and business ethics. It is generally found that students' ethical awareness or reasoning skills improve after taking the courses, yet this improvement appears to be short-lived. The generalizability of these findings is limited due to the lack of extensive empirical research and the inconsistencies in research design, empirical measures, and statistical analysis across studies. Thus, recommendations are presented and discussed for (...) improving the generalizability and sophistication of future research efforts in this area. (shrink)
This paper develops a (nontrivial) theory of cardinal numbers from a naive set comprehension principle, in a suitable paraconsistent logic. To underwrite cardinal arithmetic, the axiom of choice is proved. A new proof of Cantor’s theorem is provided, as well as a method for demonstrating the existence of large cardinals by way of a reflection theorem.
Focusing on millennials, individuals born between 1980 and 2000 and representing the largest generational population in our history, this research seeks to understand their ethical decision-making processes by exploring the distinctive, yet interconnected, theories of personal values and cognitive moral reasoning. Utilizing a decision-making framework introduced in the 1990s, we discover that there is a statistically supported relationship between a millennial’s personal value orientation and stage of cognitive moral reasoning. Moreover, we discover a strong relationship between three of the four (...) value orientations and a corresponding stage of cognitive moral reasoning. The theoretical and practical research implications of our discovery about millennials’ decision making are discussed. (shrink)
A growing number of researchers in the business ethics field have used scenarios as a data gathering technique in their empirical investigations of ethical issues. This paper offers a review and critique of 26 studies that have utilized scenarios to elicit inferences of ethical reasoning, decision making, and/or intended behavior from managerial or student populations. The use of a theoretical foundation, the development of hypotheses, various characteristics germane to the use of scenarios, population and sampIing issues, and the use of (...) statistical measures are explored and assessed. In the interest of improving scenario-based research, ten recommendations are presented to guide future scenario research. (shrink)
This paper provides a systematic literature review, analysis and discussion of methods that are proposed to practise ethics in research and innovation. Ethical considerations concerning the impacts of R&I are increasingly important, due to the quickening pace of technological innovation and the ubiquitous use of the outcomes of R&I processes in society. For this reason, several methods for practising ethics have been developed in different fields of R&I. The paper first of all presents a systematic search of academic sources that (...) present and discuss such methods. Secondly, it provides a categorisation of these methods according to three main kinds: ex ante methods, dealing with emerging technologies, intra methods, dealing with technology design, and ex post methods, dealing with ethical analysis of existing technologies. Thirdly, it discusses the methods by considering problems in the way they deal with the uncertainty of technological change, ethical technology design, the identification, analysis and resolving of ethical impacts of technologies and stakeholder participation. The results and discussion of our literature review are valuable for gaining an overview of the state of the art and serve as an outline of a future research agenda of methods for practising ethics in R&I. (shrink)
Linguistic structures have recently started to attract attention from economists as determinants of economic phenomena. This paper provides the first comprehensive review of this nascent literature and its achievements so far. First, we explore the complex connections between language, culture, thought and behaviour. Then, we summarize the empirical evidence on the relationship between linguistic structures and economic and social outcomes. We follow up with a discussion of data, empirical design and identification. The paper concludes by discussing implications for future research (...) and policy. (shrink)
Is the societal-level of analysis sufficient today to understand the values of those in the global workforce? Or are individual-level analyses more appropriate for assessing the influence of values on ethical behaviors across country workforces? Using multi-level analyses for a 48-society sample, we test the utility of both the societal-level and individual-level dimensions of collectivism and individualism values for predicting ethical behaviors of business professionals. Our values-based behavioral analysis indicates that values at the individual-level make a more significant contribution to (...) explaining variance in ethical behaviors than do values at the societal-level. Implicitly, our findings question the soundness of using societal-level values measures. Implications for international business research are discussed. (shrink)
Causal selection is the task of picking out, from a field of known causally relevant factors, some factors as elements of an explanation. The Causal Parity Thesis in the philosophy of biology challenges the usual ways of making such selections among different causes operating in a developing organism. The main target of this thesis is usually gene centrism, the doctrine that genes play some special role in ontogeny, which is often described in terms of information-bearing or programming. This paper is (...) concerned with the attempt of confronting the challenge coming from the Causal Parity Thesis by offering principles of causal selection that are spelled out in terms of an explicit philosophical account of causation, namely an interventionist account. I show that two such accounts that have been developed, although they contain important insights about causation in biology, nonetheless fail to provide an adequate reply to the Causal Parity challenge: Ken Waters's account of actual-difference making and Jim Woodward's account of causal specificity. A combination of the two also doesn't do the trick, nor does Laura Franklin-Hall's account of explanation (in this volume). We need additional conceptual resources. I argue that the resources we need consist in a special class of counterfactual conditionals, namely counterfactuals the antecedents of which describe biologically normal interventions. (shrink)
This research reports on the current state of ethics and compliance programs among business organizations in the United States. Members of the Ethics and Compliance Officers Association (ECOA), the premier professional association for managers working in this field, were asked to provide in-depth responses to a series of questions covering various elements of their corporate ethics and compliance programs. The findings from this analysis indicate that ethics and compliance programs have multiple components that are implemented developmentally, are influenced by regulatory (...) and legal efforts and have evolved into more sophisticated approaches that include risk assessment and employee performance appraisal. However, these programs remain vulnerable to sufficient resource allocation by the organization to be fully effective. (shrink)
A dialetheia is a sentence, A, such that both it and its negation, ¬A, are true (we shall talk of sentences throughout this entry; but one could run the definition in terms of propositions, statements, or whatever one takes as her favourite truth-bearer: this would make little difference in the context). Assuming the fairly uncontroversial view that falsity just is the truth of negation, it can equally be claimed that a dialetheia is a sentence which is both true and false.
I examine to what extent accounts of mechanisms based on formal interventionist theories of causality can adequately represent biological mechanisms with complex dynamics. Using a differential equation model for a circadian clock mechanism as an example, I first show that there exists an iterative solution that can be interpreted as a structural causal model. Thus, in principle it is possible to integrate causal difference-making information with dynamical information. However, the differential equation model itself lacks the right modularity properties for a (...) full integration. A formal mechanistic model will therefore either have to leave out non-causal or causal explanatory relations. (shrink)
Vague predicates, on a paraconsistent account, admit overdetermined borderline cases. I take up a new line on the paraconsistent approach, to show that there is a close structural relationship between the breakdown of soritical progressions, and contradiction. Accordingly, a formal picture drawn from an appropriate logic shows that any cut-off point of a vague predicate is unidentifiable, in a precise sense. A paraconsistent approach predicts and explains many of the most counterintuitive aspects of vagueness, in terms of a more fundamental (...) inconsistency. (shrink)
This paper considers a generalisation of the sorites paradox, in which only topological notions are employed. We argue that by increasing the level of abstraction in this way, we see the sorites paradox in a new, more revealing light—a light that forces attention on cut-off points of vague predicates. The generalised sorites paradox presented here also gives rise to a new, more tractable definition of vagueness.
The naive set theory problem is to begin with a full comprehension axiom, and to find a logic strong enough to prove theorems, but weak enough not to prove everything. This paper considers the sub-problem of expressing extensional identity and the subset relation in paraconsistent, relevant solutions, in light of a recent proposal from Beall, Brady, Hazen, Priest and Restall . The main result is that the proposal, in the context of an independently motivated formalization of naive set theory, leads (...) to triviality. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that Martha Nussbaum's Aristotelian analysis of compassion and pity is faulty, largely because she fails to distinguish between an emotion's basic constitutive conditions and the associated constitutive or "intrinsic" norms, "extrinsic" normative conditions, for instance, instrumental and moral considerations, and the causal conditions under which emotion is most likely to be experienced. I also argue that her defense of compassion and pity as morally valuable emotions is inadequate because she treats a wide variety of objections (...) as all stemming from a common commitment to a Stoic conception of the good. I argue that these objections can be construed as neutral between conceptions of the good. I conclude by arguing that construed in this way there are nonetheless plausible replies to these objections. (shrink)
I present a reconstruction of F.H.C. Crick's two 1957 hypotheses "Sequence Hypothesis" and "Central Dogma" in terms of a contemporary philosophical theory of causation. Analyzing in particular the experimental evidence that Crick cited, I argue that these hypotheses can be understood as claims about the actual difference-making cause in protein synthesis. As these hypotheses are only true if restricted to certain nucleic acids in certain organisms, I then examine the concept of causal specificity and its potential to counter claims about (...) causal parity of DNA and other cellular components. I first show that causal specificity is a special kind of invariance under interventions, namely invariance of generalizations that range over finite sets of discrete variables. Then, I show that this notion allows the articulation of a middle ground in the debate over causal parity. (shrink)
This paper explores research in educational psychology and learning theory in a search for insights to enhance business ethics training Useful educational principles uncovered are then applied to the development of an ethics training initiative for sales professionals. The paper concludes with suggestions for future research to help enrich business ethics training.
It is a widely held view in philosophy that propositions perform a plethora of different theoretical roles. Amongst other things, they are believed to be the semantic values of sentences in contexts, the objects of attitudes, the contents of illocutionary acts, and the referents of that-clauses. This assumption is often combined with the claim that propositions have their truth-values eternally. In this paper I aim to show that these two assumptions are incompatible: propositions cannot both fulfill the mentioned roles and (...) be eternally true or false. Following Kaplan and Lewis’s Operator Argument, I argue that compositional semantic values of sentences in contexts do not correspond to eternal propositions. Thus, either we regard the non-eternal entities that in fact realize the semantic role of propositions as also fulfilling the remaining propositional roles, or we abandon the assumption that there is a unique realizer of all the roles. The Operator Argument has recently come under attack, mainly for its tense-logical assumptions. However, rejecting these assumptions is not a sufficient defense of the compatibility of the two claims, since the extensional alternative to the tense-logical framework does not allow us to universally retain eternal propositions as compositional semantic values of sentences either. (shrink)
Explanatory pluralism has been defended by several philosophers of history and social science, recently, for example, by Tor Egil Førland in this journal. In this article, we provide a better argument for explanatory pluralism, based on the pragmatist idea of epistemic interests. Second, we show that there are three quite different senses in which one can be an explanatory pluralist: one can be a pluralist about questions, a pluralist about answers to questions, and a pluralist about both. We defend the (...) last position. Finally, our third aim is to argue that pluralism should not be equated with “anything goes”: we will argue for non-relativistic explanatory pluralism. This pluralism will be illustrated by examples from history and social science in which different forms of explanation (for example, structural, functional, and intentional explanations) are discussed, and the fruitfulness of our framework for understanding explanatory pluralism is shown. (shrink)
Experimental modeling in biology involves the use of living organisms (not necessarily so-called "model organisms") in order to model or simulate biological processes. I argue here that experimental modeling is a bona fide form of scientific modeling that plays an epistemic role that is distinct from that of ordinary biological experiments. What distinguishes them from ordinary experiments is that they use what I call "in vivo representations" where one kind of causal process is used to stand in for a physically (...) different kind of process. I discuss the advantages of this approach in the context of evolutionary biology. (shrink)