The classical theory of rational choice is built on several important internal consistency conditions. In recent years, the reasonableness of those internal consistency conditions has been questioned and criticized, and several responses to accommodate such criticisms have been proposed in the literature. This paper develops a general framework to accommodate the issues raised by the criticisms of classical rational choice theory, and examines the broad impact of these criticisms from both normative and positive points of view.
This paper considers the question of virtues appropriate to a corporate actor's moral character. A model of corporate appetites is developed by analogy with animal appetities; and the pursuit of initially virtuous corporate tendencies to an extreme degree is shown to be morally perilous. The author thus refutes a previous argument which suggested that (1) corporate virtues, unlike human virtues, need not be located on an Aristotelian mean between opposite undesirable extremes because (2) corporations do not have appetites; and (3) (...) corporate virtues must serve the end of sustainable profit. If these disanalogies between corporate and human virtue no longer hold, then the stage is set for us to formulate a more adequate model of good corporate character that would encompass other-regarding virtues. (shrink)
Absent mistake or misrepresentation, most scholars assume that parties who agree to contract do so voluntarily. Scholars tend further to regard that choice as an important exercise in moral agency. Hanoch Dagan and Michael Heller are right to question the quality of our choices. Where the fundamental contours of the transaction are legally determined, parties have little opportunity to exercise autonomous choice over the terms on which they deal with others. To the extent that our choices in contract do not (...) reflect our individual moral constitutions — our values, virtues, vices, the set of reasons we reject and the set of reasons we endorse — we are not justified in regulating contracts reluctantly. Contracts are entitled to the privilege of liberal regulatory deference only to the extent that they are the work product of individual autonomy. The assumption that contract is voluntary does enormous work in most normative theories of contract. This Article takes still more seriously the obstacles to autonomous choice that contracting parties face. The most important constraints are not in contract law itself but in the material and moral imperatives that dictate parties’ contracting preferences. Many contracts are driven by circumstantial considerations or actual background obligations. While these contracts are not wholly lacking in the element of voluntariness, we should distinguish them from those choices — and those contracts — which more fully realize our potential to self-consciously author our relations with others. Autonomous choice in contract requires more than Dagan and Heller imply, and it is likely beyond the power of contract law standing alone to deliver it. (shrink)
This paper takes the position that interpretations of legal discourse are invariably taken in the context of socio-pragmatic realities to which a particular instance of discourse applies. What makes this process even more complicated is the fact that social realities themselves are often negotiated within the mould of one’s subjective conceptualisations of reality. Institutions and organisations, including people in power, often represent socio-political realities from an ideologically fuelled perspective, engendering many ‘illusory’ categories often a result of contested versions of reality. (...) To substantiate this view, we discuss interpretations of a number of interesting contemporary and controversial laws, including America’s Patriot Act and Hong Kong’s proposed Article 23 of the Basic Law. Both laws can be seen as illustrative of the definitional conflict that abstract concepts such as democracy and human rights are subjected to in their own specific socio-political contexts. While America crowns itself with democracy and Hong Kong struggles to achieve it in effective synthesis with its unique political arrangement, the laws produced by both contrasting political systems are unexpectedly similar, aiming for the moderation of basic rights. The actions of both governments set against their beliefs and discourses, and furthermore set against one another and other media voices, particularly those of non-governmental organisations, political activists, and other socio-political groups, demonstrate contestation of realities, giving rise to ‘discursive illusions’, which seem to be interpreted not so much on the basis of their linguistic construction but more on the basis of socio-pragmatic factors, such as trust, belief, transparency, control and power. (shrink)
The decimation of the Sundarbans has resulted from attempts to satisfy short-term demands by exhausting the chances of satisfying future demands. The forest cannot be preserved by a policy that under-valorizes the urgency of the short-term needs or by a policy that is imposed from above, but it may be by social forestry. Social forestry augments the supply of forest products from non-forest lands, and, most significantly, includes the users in developing appropriate forest policies.
This paper reviews the fate of the central ideas behind the complementary learning systems (CLS) framework as originally articulated in McClelland, McNaughton, and O’Reilly (1995). This framework explains why the brain requires two differentially specialized learning and memory systems, and it nicely specifies their central properties (i.e., the hippocampus as a sparse, pattern-separated system for rapidly learning episodic memories, and the neocortex as a distributed, overlapping system for gradually integrating across episodes to extract latent semantic structure). We review the application (...) of the CLS framework to a range of important topics, including the following: the basic neural processes of hippocampal memory encoding and recall, conjunctive encoding, human recognition memory, consolidation of initial hippocampal learning in cortex, dynamic modulation of encoding versus recall, and the synergistic interactions between hippocampus and neocortex. Overall, the CLS framework remains a vital theoretical force in the field, with the empirical data over the past 15 years generally confirming its key principles. (shrink)
Arguments for the expansion of formal schooling have long focused on individual outcomes from schooling, including increasing income, reducing poverty, delaying marriage, and improving health, particularly for girls and women. For nearly three decades now, global education agendas have supported girls’ education in an effort to achieve these outcomes. A large body of research analyzes girls’ individual empowerment from schooling, but less attention is given to how schooling is creating change in families and communities, particularly for lowered-caste girls in India. (...) This article places longitudinal data from a three-year qualitative interview study of schoolgirls in Rajasthan alongside qualitative life-history interviews of girls who completed secondary school in Uttarakhand to understand how schooling affects social changes for lower castes. The analysis, using an intersectional and relational approach, illustrates how girls’ schooling shifts kin and caste relations connected to marriage and work but in ways that do not transform the stickiness of caste and gender norms. We argue that educational policies and programs must attend to the ways in which caste is implicated in achieving outcomes of delayed marriage and formal employment for lowered-caste girls in Indian communities if schooling is to create positive social change. (shrink)
The premise of contract law is that the redistribution of entitlements that results from contract is justified by the process of agreement. But theories of contract differ importantly on how and when voluntary exchange justifies a resorting of entitlements. Pure theories regard the principles of contract as essentially derivative from some aspect of the principle of autonomy; contracting parties’ intent to assume legal obligation is in principle necessary and sufficient for its enforcement. Perfect theories do not view contract as self-justifying (...) but regard the process of agreement as reliable evidence that contracts are welfare-improving. This article demonstrates the limitations of pure and perfect views. It favours instead imperfect theories of contract, which would have judges self-consciously pursue the normative ends of contract law as they apply context-sensitive rules. (shrink)
This article suggests that criminality in leaders might best be understood by ethicists as a matter of degree. Leaders may take without legitimate claim a variety of tangible or intangible goods including ideas and personal health. The extent to which any such act should be disfavoured is subject to debate. Moreover, both theft and control may be understood as continuous phenomena. Kleptocratic regimes within workplace or family may foster in people a habit of accepting similar treatment from economic and political (...) leaders at all levels. Forms of governance may be arranged on a continuum from those that serve to those that exploit their subjects. Responses to kleptocratic regimes range from acceptance through unconscious and conscious resistance to violent revolt. (shrink)
Aesthetic hedonists agree that an aesthetic value is a property of an item that stands in some constitutive relation to pleasure. Surprisingly, however, aesthetic hedonists need not reduce aesthetic normativity to hedonic normativity. They might demarcate aesthetic value as a species of hedonic value, but deny that the reason we have to appreciate an item is simply that it pleases. Such is the approach taken by an important strand of South Asian rasa theory that is represented with great clarity and (...) ingenuity in the work of K. C. Bhattacharyya. Bhattacharyya is an aesthetic hedonist who grounds aesthetic normativity in freedom. (shrink)
This book is the first English translation of the classic philosophical treatise Kantadarsaner Tatparyya. It discusses tenets of Kant's philosophy and other Western ideas through Indian philosophical traditions. The introduction by J.N. Mohanty locates Bhattacharyya's writings in the context of developments in modern Indian philosophy.
This book is the first English translation of the classic philosophical treatise Kantadarsaner Tatparyya . Bhattacharyya combines the basic tenets of Kant to present it in terms of Indian philosophical traditions. The introduction discusses the need for the translation, the challenges involved, and the context of Bhattacharyya's interpretations and thought. The detailed notes and annotations to the translation guide the reader through a variety of concepts in Western and Indian philosophy, as well as comments on the Bengali text. (...) This book will be of considerable interest to scholars, teachers, and students of Western and Indian philosophy. (shrink)
The paper analyzes dewey's two different philosophical accounts of intelligence, one as a method of adjustment within given situations, and the other as creative of new ends and means for the realization of those ends. it also points out that these two accounts of intelligence are not mutually exclusive; and we have in their combination a parallel with scientific method, in which resolution of a specific problem requires imaginative theorizing. it is also shown that dewey's concept of 'intelligence' requires the (...) formation of certain intellectual and moral dispositions, and that reflection can become enlightened striving only when it is sustained and guided by those dispositions. (shrink)
The logical structure of Quantum Mechanics (QM) and its relation to other fundamental principles of Nature has been for decades a subject of intensive research. In particular, the question whether the dynamical axiom of QM can be derived from other principles has been often considered. In this contribution, we show that unitary evolutions arise as a consequences of demanding preservation of entropy in the evolution of a single pure quantum system, and preservation of entanglement in the evolution of composite quantum (...) systems. 6. (shrink)
Krishnachandra's re-articulation of Kant's transcendental system challenges Kant's conceptualization of 'apperceptive self' conceived as a logical function which is as well the precondition of all our knowledge claims. In Kant's framework, though this "unity of consciousness" is projected as a principle, which undertakes a foundational role as 'apperceptive I', it is capacitated with merely a logical function. Krishnachandra disagrees with Kant's reduction of function of the "self" to a logical process. This reduction would render knowledge of the "self" to be (...) an inferential knowledge, thus making this derivation analogous to the proofs of the transcendental conditions of understanding and sensibility through the logical process of deductions. Krishnachandra's question is: whether this equation established between logical function of 'apperception' and the "self" will suffice to establish the "certitude" of knowledge claims. This is the first task Krishnachandra addresses in his work, Studies in Kant which is elucidated in the following section of this paper. Further, we will see how Krishnachandra’s exploration into the dynamics of this problem leads him to alternatively foreground the "unity", which is much sought by Kantian scholars, between the theoretical and the practical domains of Reason. (shrink)