Classically, the question of recognizing another subject is posed unilaterally, in terms of the observed behaviour of the other entity. Here, we propose an alternative, based on the emergent patterns of activity resulting from the interaction of both partners. We employ a minimalist device which forces the subjects to externalize their perceptual activity as trajectories which can be observed and recorded; the results show that subjects do identify the situation of perceptual crossing with their partner. The interpretation of the results (...) is guided by comparable evolutionary robotics simulations. There are two components to subjects' recognition capacities: distinguishing mobile and fixed entities; and behaving so as to interact with their partner rather than with a mobile lure. The “Other“ is characterized by the feature that there is sufficient regularity in the interactions to encourage the formation of anticipations; but sufficient indetermination that the actual behaviour is consistently surprising. Keywords: Recognition of other; perceptual crossing; evolutionary robotics. (shrink)
Islam and End-of-Life Practices in Organ Donation for Transplantation: New Questions and Serious Sociocultural Consequences Content Type Journal Article Pages 175-205 DOI 10.1007/s10730-009-9095-8 Authors Mohamed Y. Rady, Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix 5777 East Mayo Boulevard Phoenix Arizona USA 85054 Joseph L. Verheijde, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine 5777 East Mayo Boulevard Phoenix Arizona USA 85054 Muna S. Ali, Arizona State University Phoenix Arizona USA Journal HEC Forum Online ISSN 1572-8498 Print ISSN 0956-2737 Journal Volume Volume 21 Journal Issue Volume (...) 21, Number 2. (shrink)
November 9, 2009 will mark 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the monumental event that signaled the beginning of the end of Communism in the former Soviet Union. Yet, why was this collapse of Communism considered final, but the many failures of capitalism are considered temporary and episodic? In _The Idea of Communism_, Tariq Ali addresses this very question. The idea of Communism, argues Ali, was simple and noble. _The Communist Manifesto_, which advocated the creation of a (...) society based on the principle of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” rather than a system based on greed and profit, appealed to millions all over the globe. However, Ali argues that the vision of society adumbrated by the founders of Communism was a far cry from what became known as actually existing socialism in the Soviet Union and China. The Communist system that developed ignored Engels’s belief that a workers’ movement and its victory were inconceivable without freedom of the press and assembly. This freedom, Engels insisted, “is the air it needs to breathe. Here, in a thought-provoking re-evaluation, Ali argues that a new form of socialism and global planning is vital to save the planet from capitalist and environmental degradation. (shrink)
Baruch Spinoza is considered one of the great rationalist thinkers of the seventeenth century. His magnum opus, _Ethics_, in which he criticized the dualism of Descartes, solidified his reputation and greatly influenced the Enlightenment thinkers who would build from his work. Born in Amsterdam into a family of Sephardic Jews who had to take refuge there after they were expelled from Portugal, the precocious young scholar imbibed skepticism at an early age. By the time he was twenty-four, he had challenged (...) what he called the “fairy tales” of the Old Testament and was excommunicated by the Synagogue. In this biographical play, Tariq Ali contextualizes Spinoza’s philosophy by linking it to the turbulent politics of the period, in which Spinoza was deeply involved. Ali originally wrote _The Trials of Spinoza_ as part of a series on philosophy for British Channel Four television, and this publication also includes a DVD of that original television production. This work will be welcomed as a testament to the continuing interest in and relevance of Spinoza’s work and as an example of Ali’s eloquent and always politically engaged writing. (shrink)
The inconsistent findings of past board diversity research demand a test of competing linear and curvilinear diversity–performance predictions. This research focuses on board age and gender diversity, and presents a positive linear prediction based on resource dependence theory, a negative linear prediction based on social identity theory, and an inverted U-shaped curvilinear prediction based on the integration of resource dependence theory with social identity theory. The predictions were tested using archival data on 288 large organizations listed on the Australian Securities (...) Exchange, with a 1-year time lag between diversity (age and gender) and performance (employee productivity and return on assets). The results indicate a positive linear relationship between gender diversity and employee productivity, a negative linear relationship between age diversity and return on assets, and an inverted U-shaped curvilinear relationship between age diversity and return on assets. The findings provide additional evidence on the business case for board gender diversity and refine the business case for board age diversity. (shrink)
The threat simulation theory of dreaming states that dream consciousness is essentially an ancient biological defence mechanism, evolutionarily selected for its capacity to repeatedly simulate threatening events. Threat simulation during dreaming rehearses the cognitive mechanisms required for efficient threat perception and threat avoidance, leading to increased probability of reproductive success during human evolution. One hypothesis drawn from TST is that real threatening events encountered by the individual during wakefulness should lead to an increased activation of the system, a threat simulation (...) response, and therefore, to an increased frequency and severity of threatening events in dreams. Consequently, children who live in an environment in which their physical and psychological well-being is constantly threatened should have a highly activated dream production and threat simulation system, whereas children living in a safe environment that is relatively free of such threat cues should have a weakly activated system. We tested this hypothesis by analysing the content of dream reports from severely traumatized and less traumatized Kurdish children and ordinary, non-traumatized Finnish children. Our results give support for most of the predictions drawn from TST. The severely traumatized children reported a significantly greater number of dreams and their dreams included a higher number of threatening dream events. The dream threats of traumatized children were also more severe in nature than the threats of less traumatized or non-traumatized children. (shrink)
I introduce the reader to the character and complexity of lying, in terms of how the lie should be defined as a particular type of intentionally deceptive utterance, whether or not the deceiver succeeded in that aim, and examine how we might usefully avoid prejudging the justifiability of the lying utterance when compared to alternative forms of intentional deception and the overall outcome sought.
Ethical considerations, especially those religiously driven, play a significant role in shaping business conduct and priorities. Profit levels and earnings constitute an integral part of business considerations and are relevant and closely linked to prevailing ethics. In this paper, Islamic prescriptions on profit maximization are introduced. Islamic business ethics are outlined as well. It is suggested that while Islamic teaching treats profits as reward for engaging in vital activities necessary for serving societal interests, profit maximization is not sanctioned and therefore (...) should not be the goal of ethically guided business ventures. (shrink)
Religious thinking, including among Muslims, connects food and sex, as well as women and animals; both food practices and gender norms are significant for communal identity and boundary construction. Female bodies and animal bodies serve as potent signifiers of Muslim identity, as patriarchal thought sustains the hierarchical cosmologies that affirm male dominance in family and society and allow humans to view animals as legitimately subject to human violence. I argue that Muslims in the industrialized West—especially those concerned with gender justice—ought (...) to be vegetarians and that feminist ethics provides underutilized resources for Muslim thinking about ethics generally and food ethics in particular. Much contemporary Muslim thought about meat is at least as concerned with demonstrating the primacy of “Islamic” identity as with general questions about the formation of virtuous subjects and the development of good societies. This defensive concern with religious authenticity poses a stumbling block to richer thinking. Engagement with non-Islamic ethics provides a model for productive dialogue and engagement among parties who disagree about basic presumptions but agree on desirable outcomes, including the development of individuals' ethical sensibilities and the construction of societies conducive to human flourishing. (shrink)
Managerial value systems along with individualism-collectivism concepts were examined among 768 managers in Iran. The sample was randomly selected from state, private, and mixed organizations. The participants ranked conformist and sociocentric values high. In addition, the participants displayed a high tendency toward collectivism and a weak commitment to individualism. Furthermore, existential value was highly correlated with individualism-collectivism measures.
Power and authority in terms of the Ten Commandments (TCs) are discussed. The paper reviews the TCs in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. The treatment and basis for power and authority in each religion are clarified. Implications of power and authority using the perspective of the TCs are provided. The paper suggests that in today's business environment people tend to be selective in identifying only with certain elements of the TCs that fit their interest and that the TCs should be viewed (...) as general moral guidelines. (shrink)
Individualism leading to more consumerism seems to be a bit of truism nowadays in the media. The USA is particularly indicted for being too individualistic and consumerist. Past research has mostly indicated a positive relationship between the two. However, past research has not suggested a negative association between individualism and consumerism. This paper offers support for such a negative relationship by showing that an individual’s ethical values can temper the consumerist nature of individualists. Data were collected in the USA and (...) Taiwan. Structural equation models demonstrate that our hypothesized model fits our data well. A key result over the global sample is the stability of the linear path from individualism to work ethic to consumer ethic to consumerism. The two-nation comparison also supports differences in how Taiwanese and Americans differ in their belief that consumption benefits society. (shrink)
Approximately one-fourth of all the inhabitants on earth are Muslims. Due to unprecedented migration, physicians are often confronted with cultures other than their own that adhere to different paradigms.
Work values and the loyalty (commitment to hard work, profession, and principles) of 762 managers in Kuwait were investigated. The results indicated that managers scored high on work values and loyalty. Furthermore, there was a high positive correlation between the two measures. Demographic and organizational variables had significant influence on managerial orientations. Specifically, expatriates and female managers showed a high commitment to work values and loyalty.
The increase in the volume of research conducted in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC), has brought a renewed international focus on processes for ethical conduct of research. Several programs have been initiated to strengthen the capacity for research ethics in LMIC. However, most such programs focus on individual training or development of ethics review committees. The objective of this paper is to present an approach to institutional capacity assessment in research ethics and application of this approach in the form (...) of a case study from an institution in Africa. (shrink)
Luck (2009) argues that gamers face a dilemma when it comes to performing certain virtual acts. Most gamers regularly commit acts of virtual murder, and take these acts to be morally permissible. They are permissible because unlike real murder, no one is harmed in performing them; their only victims are computer-controlled characters, and such characters are not moral patients. What Luck points out is that this justification equally applies to virtual pedophelia, but gamers intuitively think that such acts are not (...) morally permissible. The result is a dilemma: either gamers must reject the intuition that virtual pedophelic acts are impermissible and so accept partaking in such acts, or they must reject the intuition that virtual murder acts are permissible, and so abstain from many (if not most) extant games. While the prevailing solution to this dilemma has been to try and find a morally relevant feature to distinguish the two cases, I argue that a different route should be pursued. It is neither the case that all acts of virtual murder are morally permissible, nor are all acts of virtual pedophelia impermissible. Our intuitions falter and produce this dilemma because they are not sensitive to the different contexts in which games present virtual acts. (shrink)
The current debate on “free agency” seems to highlight the romantic aspects of free agent and considers it a genuine response to changing economic conditions (e.g., high-unemployment rate, importance of knowledge in the labor market, the eclipse of organizational loyalty, and self pride). Little attention, if any, has been given to the religious root of the free agency concept and its persistent existence across history. In this paper, the current discourse on free agency and the conditions that have led to (...) its emergence are briefly discussed. The paper focuses on the theological perspectives of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam on the concept. Implications for management and business organizations are provided. (shrink)
This paper explores the transformation of martyrdom, a legitimate Islamic concept, into suicide terrorism. The authors argue that the original application, meaning, and glory of martyrs in Islam is violated by extremists' use of suicide terrorism that is being justified with the misappropriation of Islamic principles, narratives, and themes. That extremists are able to redefine martrydom and jihad--two terms that are hotly debated and a source of controversy in the Muslim world--creates not only tension among the West and Muslims, but (...) seeks to strip Islam of its true authenticity. The question of how to restore the fundamental values of classical Islam as well as the need to revive Islam in an effort to marginalize, if not eradicate, extremists is beginning to occur on a global scale. However, reversing the extremist ideology and strengthening moderate Islam will require a sustained effort and coordination among various Islamic groups, communities and countries to have a lasting effect in defeating suicide terrorists. (shrink)
Breaking from prevailing conceptions of ethics and morality as matters of moral rule or principle, this volume calls attention to ethical life in South Asia—the moral dispositions at work in lived experience, and the embodied practices of ethical engagement through which such dispositions may be cultivated and shared. Taking up themes such as the transmission of tradition, ethical engagements with modernity, ethical practices of the self, and moral relations between self and others, this volume puts South Asian traditions of ethical (...) life into conversation with the Aristotelian, Christian, and liberal traditions that have been so consequential for ethical life in the West. (shrink)
Introduction The goal of this project was to develop and validate a new tool to evaluate learners' knowledge and skills related to research ethics. Methods A core set of 50 questions from existing computer-based online teaching modules were identified, refined and supplemented to create a set of 74 multiple-choice, true/false and short answer questions. The questions were pilot-tested and item discrimination was calculated for each question. Poorly performing items were eliminated or refined. Two comparable assessment tools were created. These assessment (...) tools were administered as a pre-test and post-test to a cohort of 58 Indian junior health research investigators before and after exposure to a new course on research ethics. Half of the investigators were exposed to the course online, the other half in person. Item discrimination was calculated for each question and Cronbach's α for each assessment tool. A final version of the assessment tool that incorporated the best questions from the pre-/post-test phase was used to assess retention of research ethics knowledge and skills 3 months after course delivery. Results The final version of the REKASA includes 41 items and had a Cronbach's α of 0.837. Conclusion The results illustrate, in one sample of learners, the successful, systematic development and use of a knowledge and skills assessment tool in research ethics capable of not only measuring basic knowledge in research ethics and oversight but also assessing learners' ability to apply ethics knowledge to the analytical task of reasoning through research ethics cases, without reliance on essay or discussion-based examination. These promising preliminary findings should be confirmed with additional groups of learners. (shrink)
This essay introduces a special issue on the history of kāmaśāstra in medieval India. It briefly reviews the secondary scholarship on the subject from the publication of the first translations of the genre at the end of the nineteenth century. It highlights the relatively unexplored history of later kāmaśāstra, and stresses the need for contexualized and detailed studies of the many kāmaśāstra treatises produced in the second millennium CE. The introduction, and the essays that follow, also argue for an expanded (...) interpretive framework for the genre, moving beyond ‘sex’ and ‘sexuality,’ to a more widely defined notion of a ‘kāma world’, in which sensual pleasure is understood as being deeply enmeshed with aesthetic, ethical and cosmopolitan cultures. (shrink)
: The "major Islamic philosophers," writes Deborah Black, "produced no works dedicated to aesthetics, although their writings do address issues that contemporary philosophers might study under that heading." The emergent theme in this essay is that classical Islamic philosophy may be studied within a framework of aesthetics. To achieve this goal, the metaphysics of Abu Hamid al-Ghazālī (1058–1111) and the aesthetics of Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860) will be brought together.
Religion holds unique importance in peoplereligious factor effectiveness in rural areas. They thought that religious leaders could contribute positively to community education, and suggested ways in which they could educate the community in reproductive health issues. They also suggested various channels through which religious leaders could be approached to convince them to cooperate in reproductive health programmes. The study concludes that involving religious leaders in rural settings could enable reproductive health programmes and services to reach more conservative groups in society, (...) and thus contribute effectively to bringing about positive change in the attitudes of Pakistani society towards reproductive health. (shrink)
Giorgio Agamben’s concepts of ‘the sovereign’, ‘state of exception’ and ‘bare life’ have been used by political theorists, particularly since the declaration of the Global War on Terror and during the more recent age of wars of humanitarian intervention, to conceptualize the sovereignty exercised by security states. These state processes have been mirrored by absolutization within some branches of political theory, conflating Foucauldian concepts of biopolitical sovereignty and circulatory governmentality with notions of absolutist rule, and narrowing optics for interpreting popular (...) mobilizations around gendered ‘human security’ projects, emergency regimes and moralizing repression. Suggesting more productive directions for theory, this article generates a close reading of female activists working in an unexpected industry in Egypt who have struggled to invert and subvert absolutist and moralizing framings and have generated their own theory through practice. The ‘Natashas of Cairo’ – well organized and transnationally linked belly dancers – successfully promoted gendered popular sovereignty in remarkable campaigns between 2002 and 2006, utilizing personal-rights litigation to create frameworks to render the absolutist state more accountable; establish labor solidarities that crossed international boundaries as well as class boundaries; and articulate an alternative moral regime for dance work that rejected both ‘pornification’ and the ‘respectability politics’ of professionalization. (shrink)
New concepts may prove necessary to profit from the avalanche of sequence data on the genome, transcriptome, proteome and interactome and to relate this information to cell physiology. Here, we focus on the concept of large activity-based structures, or hyperstructures, in which a variety of types of molecules are brought together to perform a function. We review the evidence for the existence of hyperstructures responsible for the initiation of DNA replication, the sequestration of newly replicated origins of replication, cell division (...) and for metabolism. The processes responsible for hyperstructure formation include changes in enzyme affinities due to metabolite-induction, lipid-protein affinities, elevated local concentrations of proteins and their binding sites on DNA and RNA, and transertion. Experimental techniques exist that can be used to study hyperstructures and we review some of the ones less familiar to biologists. Finally, we speculate on how a variety of in silico approaches involving cellular automata and multi-agent systems could be combined to develop new concepts in the form of an Integrated cell (I-cell) which would undergo selection for growth and survival in a world of artificial microbiology. (shrink)
Hallucination: Philosophy and Psychology is an edited MIT press collection that contributes to the philosophy of perception. This collection is a significant addition to the literature both for its excellent choice of texts, and its emphasis on the case of hallucinations. Dedicating a volume to hallucinatory phenomena may seem somewhat peculiar for those not entrenched in the analytic philosophy of perception, but it is easy enough to grasp their significance. Theories of perception aim to give a fundamental characterization of perceptual (...) experience, which are experiences with a sensory phenomenal character. Such perceptual experiences include cases of successfully perceiving something, but also some cases of merely seeming to perceive. This is because prima facie, some cases of seeming to perceive are more than merely thinking that one does ; they are cases of misperceiving. Hallucinations are .. (shrink)
In this paper we review some properties of fuzzy observables, mainly as realized by commutative positive operator valued measures. In this context we discuss two representation theorems for commutative positive operator valued measures in terms of projection valued measures and describe, in some detail, the general notion of fuzzification. We also make some related observations on joint measurements.
In contemporary Western and Arab cultural critique, secularism as a worldview is believed to have experienced inherent transformations from solid rationalmaterialism (the emphasis on reason, science, progress, emancipation, industrialization, and nation building) to liquid non-rational materialism (the celebrationof the body, sex, global markets and consumption). This paper explores the arguments of both Zygmunt Bauman and Abdelwahab Elmessiri who advocate this thesis in the light of the major manifestations of these transformations.
I begin by contending that an absolute prohibition to avoid resorting to shoot-to-kill, under any circumstances, does not adequately address the considerable negative consequences that could follow. In opening up the question for debate, I seek to alert us to the risks of moral corruption in both thought and practice, but I do not take these to be unassailable. Next, I pose a set of questions in order to interrogate unsafe assumptions and to disambiguate critical language in the shoot-to-kill scenario. (...) (1) How might shoot-to-kill be analogous to self-defence? (2) Should we not distinguish between reasons which could explain from those which do not justify why a suicide bomber acted as they did? (3) Must we avoid entertaining any charges of complicity on the suicide bombers’ behalf? (4) How, if at all, does racial profiling adulterate the grounds for police suspicion? (5) Does “reasonability” differ from “absolute necessity” as a precondition for enacting shoot-to-kill? And, (6), prompted by the injustice of the Jean Charles de Menezes case, can we assess the moral consequences of relocating the moment of decision from the firearms officer to their operational commander? After taking stock of the results of these enquiries, I conclude that resort to 'Kratos' rules of engagement unjustifiably raises the risk of shooting dead an innocent person, compared to the risk from harm that the general population may be reasonably expected to shoulder. (shrink)