According to Russo and Williamson :157–170, 2007, Hist Philos Life Sci 33:389–396, 2011a, Philos Sci 1:47–69, 2011b), in order to establish a causal claim of the form, ‘C is a cause of E’, one typically needs evidence that there is an underlying mechanism between C and E as well as evidence that C makes a difference to E. This thesis has been used to argue that hierarchies of evidence, as championed by evidence-based movements, tend to give primacy to evidence (...) of difference making over evidence of mechanisms and are flawed because the two sorts of evidence are required and they should be treated on a par. An alternative approach gives primacy to evidence of mechanism over evidence of difference making. In this paper, we argue that this alternative approach is equally flawed, again because both sorts of evidence need to be treated on a par. As an illustration of this parity, we explain how scientists working in the ‘EnviroGenomarkers’ project constantly make use of the two evidential components in a dynamic and intertwined way. We argue that such an interplay is needed not only for causal assessment but also for policy purposes. (shrink)
Current research in molecular epidemiology uses biomarkers to model the different disease phases from environmental exposure, to early clinical changes, to development of disease. The hope is to get a better understanding of the causal impact of a number of pollutants and chemicals on several diseases, including cancer and allergies. In a recent paper Russo and Williamson address the question of what evidential elements enter the conceptualisation and modelling stages of this type of biomarkers research. Recent research in causality (...) has examined Ned Hall’s distinction between two concepts of causality: production and dependence. In another recent paper, Illari examined the relatively under-explored production approach to causality, arguing that at least one job of an account of causal production is to illuminate our inferential practices concerning causal linking. Illari argued that an informational account solves existing problems with traditional accounts. This paper follows up this previous work by investigating the nature of the causal links established in biomarkers research. We argue that traditional accounts of productive causality are unable to provide a sensible account of the nature of the causal link in biomarkers research, while an informational account is very promising. (shrink)
The main purpose in this article is to give an overwiev and to clarify the thought of Stelio Zeppi, one of the most outstanding scholars at the Trieste State University. Zeppi published extensively on ancient greek political thought, on french modern literature and italian contemporary philosophy and political thought. He started (1960) his career in discussing the main topics of Guido Calogero's Philosophy of Praxis and than his main fields of interests were on the ancient greek philosophy. He became more (...) and more interested in ethics, philosophy and Political Theory For the first time, in this article, Antonio Russo shows that Stelio Zeppi, in just the last decade of his life developed a new point of view, i. d. admitting that the Christian is the best and most complete or perfect ethical point of view and brings the ancient ethics to its highest point. (shrink)
Philosophy of medicine: between clinical trials and mechanisms Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9630-5 Authors Federica Russo, Philosophy-SECL, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NF UK Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
In _The Future without a Past,_ John Paul Russo goes beyond currently given reasons for the decline of the humanities and searches out its root causes in the technologization of everyday life. His main premise is that we are undergoing a transformation at the hands of technological imperatives such as rationalization, universalism, monism, and autonomy. The relation between ourselves and nature has altered to such a degree that we no longer live in a natural environment but in a technological (...) one. According to Russo, technological values have actually eroded human values instead of being “humanized” by them. What are the implications of this shift for the humanities, traditionally seen as safeguards of the human? Russo addresses this question by situating the decline of the humanities within the larger social and historical panorama. He explores how technological values have infiltrated the humanities to the point of weakening their instruction and undermining their force; at the same time, he shows how the humanities have confronted these trends and can continue to do so. Russo believes that if we understand how technology “works” and the nature of its powers, we will then know in which realms it must be accepted and where it should be resisted. Russo outlines the components of the technological system and examines their impact on the educational system. He also discusses the loss of historical memory, including the so-called loss of the self and the transformation of the library. He studies the parallels between technological and literary values in criticism and theory, concluding with an analysis of the fiction of Don DeLillo, one of the most prominent contemporary novelists. DeLillo’s exploration of technology in American life, matched by a powerful critique of it from a broadly humanistic and religious perspective, serves to summarize the themes of the book as a whole. _The Future without a Past_ will appeal to scholars and students of literary studies, intellectual and cultural history, philosophy, ethics, media studies, and American studies, as well as to general readers who are seeking deeper insights into today’s cultural debates. (shrink)
Tobacco, divine, rare superexcellent tobacco, which goes far beyond all panaceas, potable gold and philosopher's stones, a sovereign remedy to all diseases.Although most of the toxicity, including cancerogenicity, of tobacco is related to a mix of components other than nicotine present in cigarettes (U.S. Surgeon General 2010), it is indeed nicotine that causes addiction to smoking (Benowitz 2010; Russo et al. 2011).In 1988, the U.S. Surgeon General's Report concluded that cigarettes and other forms of tobacco are addictive as a (...) result of their nicotine content, and that the processes determining tobacco addiction "are similar to those that determine addiction to drugs such as heroin and cocaine." Previously, in .. (shrink)
I. A. Richards ushered the spirit of Cambridge realism into semantics and literary criticism. When he arrived as an undergraduate in 1911, Cambridge was in the midst of its finest philosophical flowering since the Puritanism and Platonism of the seventeenth century. The revolution of G. E. Moore and Bertrand Russell against Hegelian idealism had already occurred; the Age of Principia was under way. There was a reassertion of native empiricism and a new interest in philosophical psychology, and the whole discussion (...) was marked increasingly by a preoccupation with language. Richards, too, would break with the past, with the history of criticism in the previous two generations, gather psychological ideas to establish an empirical semantics and aesthetics, and center his attention on language. Although Romantic and late-Victorian values inform his theories, Richards set down an original criticism on first principles, not on tradition. Many of his books' titles show this rationalist strains: The Foundations of Aesthetics , The Meaning of Meaning , Principles of Literary Criticism , Basic Rules of Reason , and The Philosophy of Rhetoric . The originality and influence of Richards' criticism can be shown by the number of terms he put into circulation, terms which became the currency of debate for almost half a century: close reading, tone, pseudostatement, stock response, tension, equilibrium, tenor and vehicle of metaphor, emotive and referential language.John Paul Russo is a professor and chairman of the English department at the University of Miami. He is the editor of I. A. Richards' Complementarities: Uncollected Essays and the author of Alexander Pope: Tradition and Identity and an annotated bibliography of Richards' works. He is currently completing a critical biography of Richards. "A Study in Influence: The Moore-Richards Paradigm," his previous contribution to Critical Inquiry, appeared in the Summer 1979 issue. (shrink)
"Hard task to analyze a soul. . . ." We would do well to let Wordsworth's comment guide our questioning. Have we avoided "a mystical and idle sense" of an influence? Have we lost our way tracking the "most obvious and particular thought?" Have our conclusions been "in the words of reason deeply weighed?" We might well wonder with such a supreme influence on a life that is firmly stamped by independence and originality, a source of an immense influence in (...) itself. [G. E.] Moore's philosophy provided the young [I. A.] Richards with terms and concepts for his psychological aesthetics and criticism, though Richards was not long in reacting to and passing beyond this influence. More enduring was the influence on the nature of meaning, on modes of comprehending through language analysis—more enduring and pervasive, though less traceable. Then, there is Moore's example of employing multiple hypotheses to which, in his application, Richards would give the name of complementarity. Lastly, Moore's personal influence reached deeply into the student's character, and if the influence did not initiate, it fortified and still fortifies a quest for sincerity, a Socratic quest for which we can scarcely find a "beginning." John Paul Russo is associate professor of English at Camden College, Rutgers University, the editor of I. A. Richards' Complementarities: Uncollected Essays, and the author of Alexander Pope: Tradition and Identity. (shrink)
K. Broda, Dov M. Gabbay, Alessandra Russo (all computing or computer science, Imperial College, London) and LuÍs C. Lamb (Informatics, UFRGS, Brazil) argue that though the many families of logic may seem to differ in their logical nature, it is possible to provide them with a unifying logical framework whenever their semantics is axiomatizable in first-order logic. They provide such a framework based on the labeled deductive system methodology, and demonstrate how it works in such families as normal modal (...) logics, conditional logics of normality, the modal logic of elsewhere, the multiplicative fragment of substructural linear logic, and Lukasiewicz fuzzy logic. (shrink)
Il testo affronta, alla luce delle più recenti pubblicazioni, il tema del rapporto storia e natura in Hegel; e offre una sintesi del corso di Filosofia della storia tenuto da Russo A. nel corrente anno accademico.
Evidence-based medicine (EBM) makes use of explicit procedures for grading evidence for causal claims. Normally, these procedures categorise evidence of correlation produced by statistical trials as better evidence for a causal claim than evidence of mechanisms produced by other methods. We argue, in contrast, that evidence of mechanisms needs to be viewed as complementary to, rather than inferior to, evidence of correlation. In this paper we first set out the case for treating evidence of mechanisms alongside evidence of correlation in (...) explicit protocols for evaluating evidence. Next we provide case studies which exemplify the ways in which evidence of mechanisms complements evidence of correlation in practice. Finally, we put forward some general considerations as to how the two sorts of evidence can be more closely integrated by EBM. (shrink)
We argue that the health sciences make causal claims on the basis of evidence both of physical mechanisms, and of probabilistic dependencies. Consequently, an analysis of causality solely in terms of physical mechanisms or solely in terms of probabilistic relationships, does not do justice to the causal claims of these sciences. Yet there seems to be a single relation of cause in these sciences - pluralism about causality will not do either. Instead, we maintain, the health sciences require a theory (...) of causality that unifies its mechanistic and probabilistic aspects. We argue that the epistemic theory of causality provides the required unification. (shrink)
According to current hierarchies of evidence for EBM, evidence of correlation is always more important than evidence of mechanisms when evaluating and establishing causal claims. We argue that evidence of mechanisms needs to be treated alongside evidence of correlation. This is for three reasons. First, correlation is always a fallible indicator of causation, subject in particular to the problem of confounding; evidence of mechanisms can in some cases be more important than evidence of correlation when assessing a causal claim. Second, (...) evidence of mechanisms is often required in order to obtain evidence of correlation. Third, evidence of mechanisms is often required in order to generalise and apply causal claims. While the EBM movement has been enormously successful in making explicit and critically examining one aspect of our evidential practice, i.e., evidence of correlation, we wish to extend this line of work to make explicit and critically examine a second aspect of our evidential practices: evidence of mechanisms. (shrink)
Causal claims in biomedical contexts are ubiquitous albeit they are not always made explicit. This paper addresses the question of what causal claims mean in the context of disease. It is argued that in medical contexts causality ought to be interpreted according to the epistemic theory. The epistemic theory offers an alternative to traditional accounts that cash out causation either in terms of “difference-making” relations or in terms of mechanisms. According to the epistemic approach, causal claims tell us about which (...) inferences (e.g., diagnoses and prognoses) are appropriate, rather than about the presence of some physical causal relation analogous to distance or gravitational attraction. It is shown that the epistemic theory has important consequences for medical practice, in particular with regard to evidence-based causal assessment. (shrink)
The anti-causal prophecies of last century have been disproved. Causality is neither a ‘relic of a bygone’ nor ‘another fetish of modern science’; it still occupies a large part of the current debate in philosophy and the sciences. This investigation into causal modelling presents the rationale of causality, i.e. the notion that guides causal reasoning in causal modelling. It is argued that causal models are regimented by a rationale of variation, nor of regularity neither invariance, thus breaking down the dominant (...) Human paradigm. The notion of variation is shown to be embedded in the scheme of reasoning behind various causal models: e.g. Rubin’s model, contingency tables, and multilevel analysis. It is also shown to be latent – yet fundamental – in many philosophical accounts. Moreover, it has significant consequences for methodological issues: the warranty of the causal interpretation of causal models, the levels of causation, the characterisation of mechanisms, and the interpretation of probability. This book offers a novel philosophical and methodological approach to causal reasoning in causal modelling and provides the reader with the tools to be up to date about various issues causality rises in social science. "Dr. Federica... more on http://springer.com/978-1-4020-8816-2.. (shrink)
Although the characteristics and advantages of interorganizational governance models based on extensive collaboration are well established in the literature, inquiry has only recently extended to sustainable supply chain management, highlighting the potential benefits of combining the integration of social and environmental issues concerning the supply chain with governance models based on joint decision making and extensive cooperation. Yet, firms still differ in both the pervasiveness of such collaborative approaches along the value chain and the extent to which sustainability issues are (...) addressed to the advantage of all parties involved. In an attempt to predict variety in the governance models related to sustainability along the value chain, we propose a theoretical model that identifies and frames four sustainable supply chain governance (SSCG) models, resulting from combinations of supply chain network density and centrality of the focal organizations. We show how, as centrality increases, firms are able to exert influence over their network, coordinating integrated approaches along the value chain. Moreover, as high centrality combines with increasing interconnectedness of the actors within a supply chain network, instrumental approaches are progressively replaced by more relational attitudes aimed at joint value creation among partners. Conditions for SSCG models' success and the main benefits gained by firms in different structural contexts are also discussed. (shrink)
Contrary to intuitions that human beings are free to think and act with “buck-stopping” freedom, philosophers since Holbach and Hume have argued that universal causation makes free will nonsensical. Contemporary neuroscience has strengthened their case and begun to reveal subtle and counterintuitive mechanisms in the processes of conscious agency. Although some fear that determinism undermines moral responsibility, the opposite is true: free will, if it existed, would undermine coherent systems of justice. Moreover, deterministic views of human choice clarify the conditions (...) in which we ought to protect people from themselves, for example when they cannot give informed consent to medical procedures. Some of the most unresolved questions in this domain are just now emerging; they include robot ethics and the responsibilities of groups. We propose a philosophical and scientific research program to apply complex systems science to these problems. (shrink)
The purpose of this qualitative study was to analyse nurses’ professional dignity in their everyday working lives. We explored the factors that affect nursing professional dignity in practice that emerge in relationships with health professionals, among clinical nurses working in hospitals and in community settings in central Italy. The main themes identified were: (i) nursing professional dignity perceived as an achievement; (ii) recognition of dignity beyond professional roles. These two concepts are interconnected. This study provides insights into professional dignity in (...) nursing being perceived as an achievement linked to the intrinsic dignity of every human being. The ‘nursing professional dignity perceived as an achievement’ was perceived as having declined in different social factors. Some factors of nursing professional dignity perceived as an achievement were attained more easily in community settings. ‘Recognition of dignity beyond professional roles’ underpins the intrinsic dignity as an expression of humanity, embedded in persons regardless of any profession, and values, such as: respect, moral integrity, humility, working conscientiously and kindness. (shrink)
The purpose of this qualitative study was to analyse nurses’ professional dignity in their everyday working lives. We explored the factors that affect nursing professional dignity in practice that emerge in relationships with health professionals, among clinical nurses working in hospitals and in community settings in central Italy. The main themes identified were: nursing professional dignity perceived as an achievement; recognition of dignity beyond professional roles. These two concepts are interconnected. This study provides insights into professional dignity in nursing being (...) perceived as an achievement linked to the intrinsic dignity of every human being. The ‘nursing professional dignity perceived as an achievement’ was perceived as having declined in different social factors. Some factors of nursing professional dignity perceived as an achievement were attained more easily in community settings. ‘Recognition of dignity beyond professional roles’ underpins the intrinsic dignity as an expression of humanity, embedded in persons regardless of any profession, and values, such as: respect, moral integrity, humility, working conscientiously and kindness. (shrink)
For four decades, research on the role and responsibilities of business in society has centered on the business case for corporate social responsibility (CSR) and an increasing number of studies on the corporate social performance (CSP)—corporate financial performance (CFP) link emerged leading to controversial results. Heeding the call for a deeper understanding of the mechanisms linking certain CSR efforts to certain performance outcomes, this study provides a stakeholder-based organizing framework rooted in an extensive review of existing literature on the link (...) between CSP and CFP. In so doing, we aim at guiding research and practice toward less simplistic understandings of the CSP–CFP connection, thus advancing the debate over the consequences of voluntary integrating CSR into business operations and into relationships with stakeholders. By disentangling specific drivers and outcomes of the CSP–CFP link, we underline the importance of setting clear boundaries and specifying levels of analysis to generate comparable results. (shrink)
A shared problem across the sciences is to make sense of correlational data coming from observations and/or from experiments. Arguably, this means establishing when correlations are causal and when they are not. This is an old problem in philosophy. This paper, narrowing down the scope to quantitative causal analysis in social science, reformulates the problem in terms of the validity of statistical models. Two strategies to make sense of correlational data are presented: first, a 'structural strategy', the goal of which (...) is to model and test causal structures that explain correlational data; second, a 'manipulationist or interventionist strategy', that hinges upon the notion of invariance under intervention. It is argued that while the former can offer a solution the latter cannot. (shrink)
Research in the field of management has increasingly focused on strategies and tools related to corporate sustainability. Of the tools examined, codes of ethics have been found to play a primary role. Many studies have investigated the content of such codes, as well as their capacity to condition the behaviour of people within organizations. However, few studies have considered the intrinsic quality of codes of ethics. This study aims to investigate the impact that specific factors—firm size, degree of internationalization and (...) industry effect—can have on the quality of codes of ethics. Based on a sample of 248 listed Italian companies, the results of the empirical analysis show that the quality standard is particularly high in larger companies and in those firms operating in industries in which relationships established with critical stakeholders—and disclosure to those stakeholders—play a crucial role. These results have interesting implications for both researchers and practitioners. (shrink)
This paper deals with causal analysis in the social sciences. We first present a conceptual framework according to which causal analysis is based on a rationale of variation and invariance, and not only on regularity. We then develop a formal framework for causal analysis by means of structural modelling. Within this framework we approach causality in terms of exogeneity in a structural conditional model based which is based on (i) congruence with background knowledge, (ii) invariance under a large variety of (...) environmental changes, and (iii) model fit. We also tackle the issue of confounding and show how latent confounders can play havoc with exogeneity. This framework avoids making untestable metaphysical claims about causal relations and yet remains useful for cognitive and action-oriented goals. (shrink)
Causal analysis in the social sciences takes advantage of a variety of methods and of a multi-fold source of information and evidence. This pluralistic methodology and source of information raises the question of whether we should accordingly have a pluralistic metaphysics and epistemology. This paper focuses on epistemology and argues that a pluralistic methodology and evidence dont entail a pluralistic epistemology. It will be shown that causal models employ a single rationale of testing, based on the notion of variation. Further, (...) I shall argue that this monistic epistemology is also involved in alternative philosophical theories of causation. (shrink)
In this paper we study interpretations and equivalences of propositional deductive systems by using a quantale-theoretic approach introduced by Galatos and Tsinakis. Our aim is to provide a general order-theoretic framework which is able to describe and characterize both strong and weak forms of interpretations among propositional deductive systems also in the cases where the systems have different underlying languages.
In this article, we propose a belief revision approach for families of (non-classical) logics whose semantics are first-order axiomatisable. Given any such (non-classical) logic , the approach enables the definition of belief revision operators for , in terms of a belief revision operation satisfying the postulates for revision theory proposed by Alchourrrdenfors and Makinson (AGM revision, Alchourrukasiewicz's many-valued logic. In addition, we present a general methodology to translate algebraic logics into classical logic. For the examples provided, we analyse in what (...) circumstances the properties of the AGM revision are preserved and discuss the advantages of the approach from both theoretical and practical viewpoints. (shrink)
The paper examines definitions of ‘cause’ in the epidemiological literature. Those definitions all describe causes as factors that make a difference to the distribution of disease or to individual health status. In the philosophical jargon, causes in epidemiology are difference-makers. Two claims are defended. First, it is argued that those definitions underpin an epistemology and a methodology that hinge upon the notion of variation, contra the dominant Humean paradigm according to which we infer causality from regularity. Second, despite the fact (...) that causes be defined in terms of ‘difference-making’, this cannot fixes the causal metaphysics. Causality in epidemiology ought to be interpreted according to the epistemic theory. In this approach relations are deemed causal depending on the evidence and on the available methods. Indeed, evidence to establish causal claims requires difference-making considerations; furthermore, those definitions of cause reflect the ‘variational’ epistemology and methodology of epidemiology. (shrink)
The notion of ‘causal web’ emerged in the epidemiological literature in the early Sixties and had to wait until the Nineties for a thorough critical appraisal. Famously, Nancy Krieger argued that such a notion isn’t helpful unless we specify what kind of spiders create the webs. This means, according to Krieger, (i) that the role of the spiders is to provide an explanation of the yarns of the web and (ii) that the sought spiders have to be biological and social. (...) This paper contributes to the development of the notion of causal web, elaborating on the two following points: (i) to catch the spiders we need multi-fold evidence—specifically, mechanistic and difference-making—and (ii) for the eco-social to be explanatory, the web has to be mechanistic in a sense to be specified. (shrink)
How should probabilities be interpreted in causal models in the social and health sciences? In this paper we take a step towards answering this question by investigating the case of cancer in epidemiology and arguing that the objective Bayesian interpretation is most appropriate in this domain.
Corporate social responsibility is gaining momentum in the business world, but several issues continue to challenge managers in charge of sustainability. Supply chain management is one area in which CSR-related activities could potentially drive the process of sustainability within firms. This case presents the way that illycaffè, an Italian coffee producer, has approached CSR. Since 1991, the company has focused on developing a new relationship with Brazilian coffee producers based on networking translated into knowledge transfer—Brazilian producers became responsible for their (...) operations all along the supply line—and innovation translated into quality—one supplier talks about how illycaffè persuaded him he was capable of producing a Ferrari among coffees instead of a Fiat. These two factors not only drive the supplier relationship, but also serve as the drivers of illycaffè’s sustainability strategy. Lessons for managers relate to benefits for the business, for society and for stakeholders, and questions arise about how to replicate illycaffè’s success and create value through values. (shrink)
The Agency and the Manipulability theory of causation, in spite of significant differences, share at least three claims. First, that manipulation – roughly, that by manipulating causes we bring about effects – is a central notion for causation; second, that such a notion of manipulation allows a reductive – i.e. general and comprehensive – account of causation; third, that this view has its forefathers in the works of Collingwood, Gasking and von Wright. This paper mainly challenges the third claim and (...) argues that the misreading of those authors leads to a more dangerous consequence: a confusion between epistemological, metaphysical and methodological issues about causation. (shrink)
In social science, one objection to causal analysis is that the assumption of the closure of the system makes the analysis too narrow in scope, that is, it considers only 'closed' and 'hermetic' systems thus neglecting many other external influences. On the contrary, system analysis deals with complex structures where every element is interrelated with everything else in the system. The question arises as to whether the two approaches can be compatible and whether causal analysis can be integrated into the (...) broader framework of system analysis. This article attempts a negative answer on the grounds of fundamental differences in their assumptions and suggests using system analysis as a post-hoc comparative tool. (shrink)
This short paper is a "quick and dirty" introduction for non-philosophers (with some background in propositional logic) to Jaegwon Kim's famous supervenience argument against non-reductive physicalism (also known as the exclusion problem). It motivates the problem of mental causation, introduces Kim's formulation of the issue centered around mind-body supervenience, presents the argument in deductive form, and makes explicit why Kim concludes that vindicating mental causation demands a reduction of mind.
The paper addresses the question of how different types of evidence ought to inform public health policy. By analysing case studies on obesity, the paper draws lessons about the different roles that different types of evidence play in setting up public health policies. More specifically, it is argued that evidence of difference-making supports considerations about ‘what works for whom in what circumstances’, and that evidence of mechanisms provides information about the ‘causal pathways’ to intervene upon.
A careful analysis of Salmon’s Theoretical Realism and van Fraassen’s Constructive Empiricism shows that both share a common origin: the requirement of literal construal of theories inherited by the Standard View. However, despite this common starting point, Salmon and van Fraassen strongly disagree on the existence of unobservable entities. I argue that their different ontological commitment towards the existence of unobservables traces back to their different views on the interpretation of probability via different conceptions of induction. In fact, inferences to (...) statements claiming the existence of unobservable entities are inferences to probabilistic statements, whence the crucial importance of the interpretation of probability. (shrink)
Recent research on corporate social responsibility (CSR) is suggesting the need for filling the knowledge gap in the relationship between small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs) and CSR. SMEs rarely use the language of CSR to describe what they are doing, but informal CSR strategies deeply characterize their businesses. The goal of this paper is to investigate whether a distinction exists between formal and informal CSR strategies, whereas formal CSR strategies should be a prerogative by large firms and informal CSR strategies (...) should be a condition of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. A sample of 3,626 Italian firms is used to investigate the research questions. Based on a multi-stakeholder framework, the analysis provides evidence that small businesses reveal their aptitude towards CSR through strategies with an important impact on the bottom line as an attempt to strengthen their license to operate in the communities; large firms are far away from integrating their CSR strategies with explicit management systems. (shrink)