As the number of consumer transgressions continues to increase, so do their financial repercussions for companies. Though academic and managerial interest in addressing this issue is growing, research on how to dissuade consumers from committing transgressions remains scarce. Drawing on the mental imagery literature and normative moral theory, the present research examines a novel way of reducing consumers’ appraisals of their own transgressions. Whereas an actor-imagery perspective fosters a teleological, egoistic view of morality and, in turn, induces moral leniency, having (...) consumers adopt an observer-imagery perspective fosters a deontological view of morality and, in turn, induces moral stringency. The effects are robust across various types of consumer transgressions, including the purchase of counterfeit products and return fraud in the form of wardrobing. Study 2 also rules out vividness as an alternative explanation for these effects. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed. (shrink)
It is certainly the case that morality governs the interactions that take place between individuals. But what if morality exists because of these interactions? This book, first published in 2007, argues for the claim that much of the behaviour we view as 'moral' exists because acting in that way benefits each of us to the greatest extent possible, given the socially structured nature of society. Drawing upon aspects of evolutionary game theory, the theory of bounded rationality, and computational models of (...) social networks, it shows both how moral behaviour can emerge in socially structured environments, and how it can persist even when it is not typically viewed as 'rational' from a traditional economic perspective. This book also provides a theory of how moral principles and the moral sentiments play an indispensable role in effective choice, acting as 'fast and frugal heuristics' in social decision contexts. (shrink)
Multiarm bandit problems have been used to model the selection of competing scientific theories by boundedly rational agents. In this paper, I define a variable-arm bandit problem, which allows the set of scientific theories to vary over time. I show that Roth-Erev reinforcement learning, which solves multiarm bandit problems in the limit, cannot solve this problem in a reasonable time. However, social learning via preferential attachment combined with individual reinforcement learning which discounts the past, does.
Recent years have seen increased interest in the question of whether it is possible to provide an evolutionary game-theoretic explanation for certain kinds of social norms. I sketch a proof of a general representation theorem for a large class of evolutionary game-theoretic models played on a social network, in hope that this will contribute to a greater understanding of the long-term evolutionary dynamics of such models, and hence the evolution of social norms.
Largely neglected today, the work of Karl Philipp Moritz was a highly influential source for Early German Romanticism. Moritz considered the form of myth as essential to the absolute nature of the divine subject. This defence was based upon his aesthetic theory, which held that beautiful art was “disinterested”, or complete in itself. For Moritz, Myth, like art, constitutes a totality providing an idiom free from restriction in the imitation of the divine. This examination offers a consideration of Moritz’s aesthetics (...) and mythography, before turning briefly to consider his influence on the authors of Early German Romanticism. An understanding of the role of Moritz’s thought supports a number of recent claims that challenge the conventional reading of Romanticism. At the same time it allows us to see Romanticism’s unconventional realist theological programme, permitting us to overcome the problematic secularising readings of the movement. I would like to thank Kurt Mueller-Vollmer, as well as Fredrick Beiser and Lars Fischer for their help with this project. (shrink)
Despite promising early work into the role of immune cells such as eosinophils in adipose tissue (AT) homeostasis, recent findings revealed that elevating the number of eosinophils in AT alone is insufficient for improving metabolic impairments in obese mice. Eosinophils are primarily recognized for their role in allergic immunity and defence against parasitic worms. They have also been detected in AT and appear to contribute to adipose homeostasis and drive energy expenditure, but the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. It has long (...) been recognized that immune cells such as macrophages respond to external signals to regulate adipose homeostasis and energy balance, however, less is known about the relevance of eosinophil activity in AT. As the authors propose in this review, given recent debate over the relative importance of their tissue‐specific abundance, the stage is now set for exploring the functionality and activation states of AT eosinophils. (shrink)
This thesis concerns the relation between the fundamental properties and the powers they confer. The views considered are introduced in terms of their acceptance or rejection of the quiddistic thesis. Essentially the quiddistic thesis claims that properties confer the powers they do neither necessarily nor sufficiently. Quidditism is the view that accepts the quiddistic thesis. The other two views to be considered, the pure powers view and the grounded view reject the quiddistic thesis. The pure powers view supports its denial (...) of the quiddistic thesis with the claim that properties consist in conferring the powers they do; the possession of a property just is the possession of a power. The grounded view, the positive view of this thesis, rejects the idea that properties are constituted by conferring the causal powers they do. Rather on the grounded view, it is the natures of the fundamental properties that metaphysically explain why they confer the powers they do. (shrink)
Sender–receiver games, first introduced by David Lewis (), have received increased attention in recent years as a formal model for the emergence of communication. Skyrms () showed that simple models of reinforcement learning often succeed in forming efficient, albeit not necessarily minimal, signalling systems for a large family of games. Later, Alexander et al. () showed that reinforcement learning, combined with forgetting, frequently produced both efficient and minimal signalling systems. In this article, I define a ‘dynamic’ sender–receiver game in (...) which the state–action pairs are not held constant over time and show that neither of these two models of learning learn to signal in this environment. However, a model of reinforcement learning with discounting of the past does learn to signal; it also gives rise to the phenomenon of linguistic drift. 1 Introduction2 Dynamic Signalling Games with Reinforcement Learning2.1 Introducing new states2.2 Swapping state–action pairs3 Discounting the Past3.1 Learning to signal in a dynamic world3.2 An unexpected outcome: linguistic drift4 ConclusionAppendix: A Markov Chain Analysis. (shrink)
Whereas The Stag Hunt and the Evolution of Social Structure supplements Evolution of the Social Contract by examining some of the earlier work’s strategic problems in a local interaction setting, no equivalent supplement exists for The Dynamics of Rational Deliberation . In this article, I develop a general framework for modeling the dynamics of rational deliberation in a local interaction setting. In doing so, I show that when local interactions are permitted, three interesting phenomena occur: (a) the attracting deliberative equilibria (...) may fail to agree with any of the Nash equilibria of the underlying game, (b) deliberative dynamics which converged to the same deliberative outcome in The Dynamics of Rational Deliberation may lead to different deliberative outcomes here, and (c) Bayesian deliberation seems to be more likely to avoid nonstandard deliberative outcomes, contrary to the result reported in The Dynamics of Rational Deliberation , which argued in favour of the Brown–von Neumann–Nash dynamics. (shrink)
Evolutionary game theoretic accounts of justice attempt to explain our willingness to follow certain principles of justice by appealing to robustness properties possessed by those principles. Skyrms (1996) offers one sketch of how such an account might go for divide-the-dollar, the simplest version of the Nash bargaining game, using the replicator dynamics of Taylor and Jonker (1978). In a recent article, D'Arms et al. (1998) criticize his account and describe a model which, they allege, undermines his theory. I sketch a (...) theory of evolutionary explanations of justice which avoids their methodological criticisms, and develop a spatial model of divide-the-dollar with more robust convergence properties than the models of Skyrms (1996) and D'Arms et al. (1998). (shrink)
Decision theory faces a number of problematic gambles which challenge it to say what value an ideal rational agent should assign to the gamble, and why. Yet little attention has been devoted to the question of what an ideal rational agent is, and in what sense decision theory may be said to apply to one. I show that, given one arguably natural set of constraints on the preferences of an idealized rational agent, such an agent is forced to be indifferent (...) among entire families of goods, and hence cannot choose among them. This result illustrates the dangers of speaking of the choices of an ?ideal rational agent? when one does not make precise the exact nature of the idealizing assumptions. The result may also be viewed as providing an upper bound on the kinds of idealizing assumptions which can be made for rational agents, beyond which the very concept of choice becomes attenuated. (shrink)
The Pasadena game is an example of a decision problem which lacks an expected value, as traditionally conceived. Easwaran (2008) has shown that, if we distinguish between two different kinds of expectations, which he calls ‘strong’ and ‘weak’, the Pasadena game lacks a strong expectation but has a weak expectation. Furthermore, he argues that we should use the weak expectation as providing a measure of the value of an individual play of the Pasadena game. By considering a modified version of (...) the Pasadena game, I argue that weak expectations may provide a very poor measure of the value of an individual play of the game, and hence should not be used to value individual plays unless further information is taken into consideration. (shrink)
In the course of history, many individuals have the dubious honor of being remembered primarily for an eponym of which they would disapprove. How many are aware that Joseph-Ignace Guillotin actually opposed the death penalty? Another notable case is that of Maria Agnesi, an Italian woman of privileged, but not noble, birth who excelled at mathematics and philosophy during the eighteenth century. In her treatise of 1748, Instituzioni Analitiche, she provided a comprehensive summary of the current state of knowledge concerning (...) both integral calculus and differential equations. Later in life she was elected to the Bologna Academy of Sciences and, in 1762, was consulted by the University of Turin for an opinion on the work of an up-and-coming mathematician named Joseph-Louis Lagrange. (shrink)
The combination problem is still one of the hardest problems for a panexperientialist ontology. Prominently, among others, Philip Goff wrote two papers in 2009 arguing that panexperientialists cannot get around the combination problem. We will argue that Goff 's attack is only relevant if parsimony is the only methodological principle for evaluating and comparing ontologies. Our second approach will sketch a version of panexperientialism for which the combination problem does not arise at all. Panexperiential holism is the theory that the (...) universe as a whole is one big experiential matter of fact. What we normally believe to be independent centres of conscious subjectivity are merely long-lived structural features of this big experience. The notion of 'personal identity' entailed by panexperiential holism is essentially vague and may lead us into something like Derek Parfit's relation R . Therefore, persons are not merely series of experiences, but exemplify the common denominator of these experiences. In this sense, a person is what has experiences, or the subject of experiences. We will argue that this concept fits nicely into some frameworks of personal identity put forth by Peter Simons and Godehard Brüntrup. (shrink)
This paper attempts to situate Thomas Aquinas with respect to philosophical discussions of the nature of metaphorical language. I consider Aquinas’s comments in the Summa Theologiae on Scriptural metaphor and allegory in the light of two theses in current discussions of metaphor: the substitution thesis and the dual-meaning thesis. I compare Aquinas’s view to those of Aristotle and Donald Davidson. The substitution thesis asserts that figurative expressions can be replaced by semantically equivalent literal expressions. The dual-meaning thesis asserts that, in (...) addition to a literal meaning (or sense), metaphorical language possesses another meaning, viz. a figurative one. I claim that Aquinas’s view is complex. He affirms the dual-meaning thesis with regard to Scriptural allegory. Yet he rejects the dual-meaning thesis and affirms the substitution thesis with regard to predicates ascribed metaphorically to God. (shrink)
Consider the problem of allocating a scarce resource to people. A fair decision procedure is one where each person has an equal chance of receiving the resource. An unfair decision procedure is one where the chances are not equal. Normally we think that, in an unfair decision procedure, that the correct way to redress the injustice is by rerunning the allocation using a fair decision procedure. In this paper, I show that this actually creates an overall bias favouring one person, (...) and solutions to this problem are counterintuitive, in that they typically involve introducing additional unfair elements into the situation. (shrink)
This essay subjects to criticism the historical and philosophical attitudes to political thought found in the writings of John Dunn and Michael Oakeshott. The essay does not limit itself to criticism but attempts to elaborate what is indicated by criticism for the sake of the modern understanding of political thought. The argument is that history and philosophy as they have recently been practised suffer from limitations that can only be addressed by a recognition of something which is here called theology. (...) The significance of such a recognition is considered with regard to the history of political thought, political philosophy and finally to theology itself. The emphasis on theology makes it necessary to say that the essay is written for the benefit of historians and philosophers, not theologians. Although it is an argument for theology it is in no sense an argument from theology. Whether this is a contradictory position may require consideration elsewhere; but since the essay is a first step rather than a final step in an argument, it may gain more than it loses by such a contradiction, if there is one. (shrink)
: Strong reciprocators possess two behavioural dispositions: they are willing to bestow bene ts on those who have bestowed bene ts, and they are willing to punish those who fail to bestow bene ts according to some social norm. There is no doubt that peoples' behaviour, in many cases, agrees with what we would expect if people are strong reciprocators, and Fehr and Henrich argue that many people are, in fact, strong reciprocators. They also suggest that strongly reciprocal behaviour may (...) be brought about by specialised cognitive architecture produced by evolution. I argue that specialised cognitive architecture can play a role in the production of strongly reciprocal behaviour only in a very attenuated sense, and that the evolutionary foundations of strong reciprocity are more likely cultural than biological. (shrink)
We describe an error type that we call the naturalizing error: an appeal to nature as a self-justified description dictating or limiting our choices in moral, economic, political, and other social contexts. Normative cultural perspectives may be subtly and subconsciously inscribed into purportedly objective descriptions of nature, often with the apparent warrant and authority of science, yet not be fully warranted by a systematic or complete consideration of the evidence. Cognitive processes may contribute further to a failure to notice the (...) lapses in scientific reasoning and justificatory warrant. By articulating this error type at a general level, we hope to raise awareness of this pervasive error type and to facilitate critiques of claims that appeal to what is “natural” as inevitable or unchangeable. (shrink)
This book elucidates T. F. Torrance’s reconstruction of natural theology as it appears within its intellectual context and broader Christological method. Irving argues that Torrance’s work on natural theology is an important affirmation of the priority of grace in theological method and knowledge alongside the integrity of human agency.
Appeals to human nature are ubiquitous, yet historically many have proven ill-founded. Why? How might frequent errors be remedied towards building a more robust and reliable scientific study of human nature? Our aim is neither to advance specific scientific or philosophical claims about human nature, nor to proscribe or eliminate such claims. Rather, we articulate through examples the types of errors that frequently arise in this field, towards improving the rigor of the scientific and social studies. We seek to analyze (...) such claims rhetorically, cognitively, and epistemically. Namely, how do we think about human nature? Claims about human nature, we show, are susceptible to widely exhibited deficits in cognitive tendencies such as framing, confirmation bias, satisficing, and teleological perspectives, as well as motivated reasoning. Such missteps foster methodological, empirical, and psychological mistakes and biases. Specifically, they promote the naturalizing error, whereby cultural ideology and values are projected onto an apparently objective description of nature. Concrete remedies are offered to aid scientists in conducting and reporting their research goals and findings more responsibly and effectively. Recommendations include acknowledging that human nature claims are often context-dependent, seeking multiple critical perspectives, and explicitly labeling uncertainties. (shrink)