In this field guide, I distinguish five separate senses with which the term ‘mechanism’ is used in contemporary philosophy of science. Many of these senses have overlapping areas of application but involve distinct philosophical claims and characterize the target mechanisms in relevantly different ways. This field guide will clarify the key features of each sense and introduce some main debates, distinguishing those that transpire within a given sense from those that are best understood as concerning distinct senses. The ‘new mechanisms’ (...) sense is at the center of most of these contemporary debates and will be treated at greater length; subsequent senses of mechanism will be primarily distinguished from this one. In part I of this paper, I distinguish two senses of the term ‘mechanism’, both of which are explicitly hierarchical and nested in character, such that any given mechanism is comprised of smaller sub-mechanisms, in turn comprised of yet smaller sub-sub-mechanisms and so on. While both of the senses discussed here are anti-reductive, they differ in their focus on scientific practice versus metaphysics, in the degree of regularity they attribute to mechanisms, and in terms of their relationships to the discussions of mechanisms in the history of philosophy and science. (shrink)
Even though the evidence‐based medicine movement (EBM) labels mechanisms a low quality form of evidence, consideration of the mechanisms on which medicine relies, and the distinct roles that mechanisms might play in clinical practice, offers a number of insights into EBM itself. In this paper, I examine the connections between EBM and mechanisms from several angles. I diagnose what went wrong in two examples where mechanistic reasoning failed to generate accurate predictions for how a dysfunctional mechanism would respond to intervention. (...) I then use these examples to explain why we should expect this kind of mechanistic reasoning to fail in systematic ways, by situating these failures in terms of evolved complexity of the causal system(s) in question. I argue that there is still a different role in which mechanisms continue to figure as evidence in EBM: namely, in guiding the application of population‐level recommendations to individual patients. Thus, even though the evidence‐based movement rejects one role in which mechanistic reasoning serves as evidence, there are other evidentiary roles for mechanistic reasoning. This renders plausible the claims of some critics of evidencebased medicine who point to the ineliminable role of clinical experience. Clearly specifying the ways in which mechanisms and mechanistic reasoning can be involved in clinical practice frames the discussion about EBM and clinical experience in more fruitful terms. (shrink)
A finer-grained delineation of a given explanandum reveals a nexus of closely related causal and non- causal explanations, complementing one another in ways that yield further explanatory traction on the phenomenon in question. By taking a narrower construal of what counts as a causal explanation, a new class of distinctively mathematical explanations pops into focus; Lange’s characterization of distinctively mathematical explanations can be extended to cover these. This new class of distinctively mathematical explanations is illustrated with the Lotka-Volterra equations. There (...) are at least two distinct ways those equations might hold of a system, one of which yields straightforwardly causal explanations, but the other of which yields explanations that are distinctively mathematical in terms of nomological strength. In the first, one first picks out a system or class of systems, finds that the equations hold in a causal -explanatory way; in the second, one starts with the equations and explanations that must apply to any system of which the equations hold, and only then turns to the world to see of what, if any, systems it does in fact hold. Using this new way in which a model might hold of a system, I highlight four specific avenues by which causal and non- causal explanations can complement one another. (shrink)
This paper brings together Thompson's naive action explanation with interventionist modeling of causal structure to show how they work together to produce causal models that go beyond current modeling capabilities, when applied to specifically selected systems. By deploying well-justified assumptions about rationalization, we can strengthen existing causal modeling techniques' inferential power in cases where we take ourselves to be modeling causal systems that also involve actions. The internal connection between means and end exhibited in naive action explanation has a modal (...) strength like that of distinctively mathematical explanation, rather than that of causal explanation. Because it is stronger than causation, it can be treated as if it were merely causal in a causal model without thereby overextending the justification it can provide for inferences. This chapter introduces and demonstrate the usage of the Rationalization condition in causal modeling, where it is apt for the system(s) being modeled, and to provide the basics for incorporating R variables into systems of variables and R arrows into DAGs. Use of the Rationalization condition supplements causal analysis with action analysis where it is apt. (shrink)
This paper articulates an account of causation as a collection of information-theoretic relationships between patterns instantiated in the causal nexus. I draw on Dennett’s account of real patterns to characterize potential causal relata as patterns with specific identification criteria and noise tolerance levels, and actual causal relata as those patterns instantiated at some spatiotemporal location in the rich causal nexus as originally developed by Salmon. I develop a representation framework using phase space to precisely characterize causal relata, including their degree (...) of counterfactual robustness, causal profiles, causal connectivity, and privileged grain size. By doing so, I show how the philosophical notion of causation can be rendered in a format that is amenable for direct application of mathematical techniques from information theory such that the resulting informational measures are causal informational measures. This account provides a metaphysics of causation that supports interventionist semantics and causal modeling and discovery techniques. (shrink)
How regular do mechanisms need to be, in order to count as mechanisms? This paper addresses two arguments for dropping the requirement of regularity from the definition of a mechanism, one motivated by examples from the sciences and the other motivated by metaphysical considerations regarding causation. I defend a broadened regularity requirement on mechanisms that takes the form of a taxonomy of kinds of regularity that mechanisms may exhibit. This taxonomy allows precise explication of the degree and location of regular (...) operation within a mechanism, and highlights the role that various kinds of regularity play in scientific explanation. I defend this regularity requirement in terms of regularity’s role in individuating mechanisms against a background of other causal processes, and by prioritizing mechanisms’ ability to serve as a model of scientific explanation, rather than as a metaphysical account of causation. It is because mechanisms are regular, in the expanded sense described here, that they are capable of supporting the kinds of generalizations that figure prominently in scientific explanations. (shrink)
A finer-grained delineation of a given explanandum reveals a nexus of closely related causal and non-causal explanations, complementing one another in ways that yield further explanatory traction on the phenomenon in question. By taking a narrower construal of what counts as a causal explanation, a new class of distinctively mathematical explanations pops into focus; Lange’s characterization of distinctively mathematical explanations can be extended to cover these. This new class of distinctively mathematical explanations is illustrated with the Lotka–Volterra equations. There are (...) at least two distinct ways those equations might hold of a system, one of which yields straightforwardly causal explanations, and another that yields explanations that are distinctively mathematical in terms of nomological strength. In the first case, one first picks out a system or class of systems, and finds that the equations hold in a causal–explanatory way. In the second case, one starts with the equations and explanations that must apply to any system of which the equations hold, and only then turns to the world to see of what, if any, systems it does in fact hold. Using this new way in which a model might hold of a system, I highlight four specific avenues by which causal and non-causal explanations can complement one another. _1_. Introduction _2._ Delineating the Boundaries of Causal Explanation _2.1._ Why construe causal explanation narrowly? The land of explanation versus grain-focusing _2.2._ Reasons to narrow the scope of causal explanation _3._ Broadening the Scope of Mathematical Explanation _4._ Lotka–Volterra: Same Model, Different Explanation Types _4.1._ General biocide in the Lotka–Volterra model _4.2._ Two ways a model can hold, yielding causal versus mathematical explanations _5._ Four Complementary Relationships between Mathematical and Causal Explanation _5.1._ Slight reformulations of explananda _5.2._ Causal distortion of idealized mathematical models _5.3._ Partial explanations requiring supplementation _5.4._ Explanatory dimensionality _6._ Conclusion. (shrink)
In this field guide, I distinguish five separate senses with which the term ‘mechanism’ is used in contemporary philosophy of science. Many of these senses have overlapping areas of application but involve distinct philosophical claims and characterize the target mechanisms in relevantly different ways. This field guide will clarify the key features of each sense and introduce some main debates, distinguishing those that transpire within a given sense from those that are best understood as concerning two distinct senses. The ‘new (...) mechanisms’ sense is the primary sense from which other senses will be distinguished. In part II of this field guide, I consider three further senses of the term that are ontologically ‘flat’ or at least not explicitly hierarchical in character: equations in structural equation models of causation, causal-physical processes, and information-theoretic constraints on states available to systems. After characterizing each sense, I clarify its ontological commitments, its methodological implications, how it figures in explanations, its implications for reduction, and the key manners in which it differs from other senses of mechanism. I conclude that there is no substantive core meaning shared by all senses, and that debates in contemporary philosophy of science can benefit from clarification regarding precisely which sense of mechanism is at stake. (shrink)
William James’ Principles of Psychology, in which he made famous the ‘specious present’ doctrine of temporal experience, and Edmund Husserl’s Zur Phänomenologie des inneren Zeitbewusstseins, were giant strides in the philosophical investigation of the temporality of experience. However, an important set of precursors to these works has not been adequately investigated. In this article, we undertake this investigation. Beginning with Reid’s essay ‘Memory’ in Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man, we trace out a line of development of ideas about (...) the temporality of experience that runs through Dugald Stewart, Thomas Brown, William Hamilton, and finally the work of Shadworth Hodgson and Robert Kelly, both of whom were immediate influences on James (though James pseudonymously cites the latter as ‘E.R. Clay’). Furthermore, we argue that Hodgson, especially his Metaphysic of Experience (1898), was a significant influence on Husserl. (shrink)
This chapter offers a overview of Shadworth Hodgson's account of experience as fundamentally temporal, an account that was deeply influential on thinkers such as William James and which prefigures the phenomenology of Husserl in many ways. I highlight eight key features that are characteristic of Hodgson's account, and how they hang together to provide a coherent overall picture of experience and knowledge. Hodgson's account is then compared to Husserl's, and I argue that Hodgson's account offers a better target for projects (...) such as neurophenomenology than does Husserl's. Hodgson's account is historically important as a culmination of a certain trajectory of British Empiricist thought. It offers a substantive alternative for how to think about temporality and experience in contemporary discussions, not just of the present moment but of the relationship between experience and knowledge more broadly. (shrink)
Leuridan (2010) argued that mechanisms cannot provide a genuine alternative to laws of nature as a model of explanation in the sciences, and advocates Mitchell’s (1997) pragmatic account of laws. I first demonstrate that Leuridan gets the order of priority wrong between mechanisms, regularity, and laws, and then make some clarifying remarks about how laws and mechanisms relate to regularities. Mechanisms are not an explanatory alternative to regularities; they are an alternative to laws. The existence of stable regularities in nature (...) is necessary for either model of explanation: regularities are what laws describe and what mechanisms explain. (shrink)
I present three reasons why philosophers of science should be more concerned about violations of causal faithfulness (CF). In complex evolved systems, mechanisms for maintaining various equilibrium states are highly likely to violate CF. Even when such systems do not precisely violate CF, they may nevertheless generate precisely the same problems for inferring causal structure from probabilistic relationships in data as do genuine CF-violations. Thus, potential CF-violations are particularly germane to experimental science when we rely on probabilistic information to uncover (...) the DAG, rather than already knowing the DAG from which we could predict the right experiments to ‘catch out’ the hidden causal relationships. (shrink)
This paper outlines some key issues that arise when agency and temporality are considered jointly, from the perspective of psychology, cognitive neuroscience, phenomenology, and action theory. I address the difference between time simpliciter and time as represented as it figures in phenomena like intentional binding, goal-oriented action plans, emulation systems, and ‘temporal agency’. An examination of Husserl’s account of time consciousness highlights difficulties in generalizing his account to include a substantive notion of agency, a weakness inherited by explanatory projects like (...) neurophenomenology. I conclude by sketching a project analogous to the projects in neurophenomenology, based on Thompson’s naïve action theory. (shrink)
This chapter examines the philosophical discussion concerning the relationship between time, memory, attention, and consciousness, from Locke through the Scottish Common Sense tradition, in terms of its influence on James' development of the specious present doctrine. The specious present doctrine is the view that the present moment in experience is non punctate, but instead comprises some nonzero amount of time; it contrasts with the mathematical view of the present, in which the divide between past and future is merely a point (...) or a line with no thickness. The anonymous source for the term 'specious present' is revealed as a retired businessman-turned-amateur philosopher. The more likely source for the idea itself is a little-known philosopher, Shadworth Hollway Hodgson, who was not merely a significant influence on James but also on Husserl's development of the tripartite account of internal time consciousness. I conclude by demonstrating how James' changing views on the relationship between concepts and experience meant that by the later period of his writings, including those in which he develops his own views on pragmatism, James would have not merely noted the contrast between a mathematical conception of the present and our actual experience of it, he would have taken a further step and condoned the thick experience of the present as demonstrating the inadequacy of the intellectualized mathematical characterization. (shrink)
The problem of mental causation in contemporary philosophy of mind concerns the possibility of holding two different views that are in apparent tension. The first is physicalism, the view that there is nothing more to the world than the physical. The second is that the mental has genuine causal efficacy in a way that does not reduce to pure physical particle-bumping. This article provides a historical background to this question, with focus on Davidson’s anomalous monism and Kim’s causal exclusion problem. (...) Responses to causal exclusion are categorized in terms of six different argumentative strategies. In conclusion, caution is advised regarding the inclination to reduce the mental to the physical and sketch a positive direction for substantively characterizing mental causation by recourse to well-confirmed accounts of causation coupled with empirical research. (shrink)
This chapter discusses several kinds of reduction that are often found in the biomedical sciences, in contrast to reduction in fields such as physics. This includes reduction as a methodological assumption for how to investigate phenomena like complex diseases, and reduction as a conceptual tool for relating distinct models of the same phenomenon. The case of Parkinson’s disease illustrates a wide variety of ways in which reductionism is an important tool in medicine.
This chapter examines the relationship between laws and mechanisms as approaches to characterising generalizations and explanations in science. I give an overview of recent historical discussions where laws failed to satisfy stringent logical criteria, opening the way for mechanisms to be investigated as a way to explain regularities in nature. This followed by a critical discussion of contemporary debates about the role of laws versus mechanisms in describing versus explaining regularities. I conclude by offering new arguments for two roles for (...) laws that mechanisms cannot subsume, one epistemically optimistic and one pessimistic, both broadly Humean. Do note that this piece is not primarily Hume exegesis; it is more of a riff in the key of Hume. (shrink)
Daniel Wegner argues that our feelings of conscious will are illusory: these feelings are not causally involved in the production of action, which is rather governed by unconscious neural processes. I argue that Wegner's interpretation of neuroscientific results rests on two fallacious causal assumptions, neither of which are supported by the evidence. Each assumption involves a Cartesian disembodiment of conscious will, and it is this disembodiment that results in the appearance of causal inefficacy, rather than any interesting features of conscious (...) will. Wegner's fallacies illustrate two take-away points to heed if making claims about the causal structure of agency. (shrink)
I criticize the tendency to address the causal role of awareness in agency in terms of the awareness of agency, and argue that this distorts the causal import of experimental results in significant ways. I illustrate, using the work of Shaun Gallagher, how the tendency to focus on the awareness of agency obscures the role of extrospective awareness by considering it only in terms of what it contributes to the awareness of agency. Focus on awareness of agency separates awareness from (...) agency itself, and then turns it inwards to introspect distinct agentive processes. If we then assume that the causal influence of awareness is directed at the same object as awareness itself, then the only avenue for conscious causal involvement in action is to somehow interfere with the separate, even neuronal, processes leading to action. I label this the Micromanagement Model of conscious agency, because it forces awareness to micromanage other, nonconscious, processes in order to be causally efficacious. Implicit adherence to the Micromanagement Model prejudices us towards the mistaken conclusion that awareness has limited to no causal role in action. (shrink)
In the recent literature on causal and non-causal scientific explanations, there is an intuitive assumption according to which an explanation is non-causal by virtue of being abstract. In this context, to be ‘abstract’ means that the explanans in question leaves out many or almost all causal microphysical details of the target system. After motivating this assumption, we argue that the abstractness assumption, in placing the abstract and the causal character of an explanation in tension, is misguided in ways that are (...) independent of which view of causation or causal explanation one takes to be most accurate. On major accounts of causation, as well as on major accounts of causal explanation, the abstractness of an explanation is not sufficient for it being non-causal. That is, explanations are not non-causal by dint of being abstract. (shrink)
This collects some of the remarks made at the 2016 Pacific APA Memorial session for Patrick Suppes and Jaakko Hintikka. The full list of speakers on behalf of these two philosophers: Dagfinn Follesdal; Dana Scott; Nancy Cartwright; Paul Humphreys; Juliet Floyd; Gabriel Sandu; John Symons.
Shadow Philosophy: Plato’s Cave and Cinema is an accessible and exciting new contribution to film-philosophy, which shows that to take film seriously is also to engage with the fundamental questions of philosophy. Nathan Andersen brings Stanley Kubrick’s film A Clockwork Orange into philosophical conversation with Plato’s Republic , comparing their contributions to themes such as the nature of experience and meaning, the character of justice, the contrast between appearance and reality, the importance of art, and the impact of images. (...) At the heart of the book is a novel account of the analogy between Plato’s allegory of the cave and cinema, developed in conjunction with a provocative interpretation of the most powerful image from A Clockwork Orange , in which the lead character is strapped to a chair and forced to watch violent films. Key features of the book include: a comprehensive bibliography of suggested readings on Plato, on film, on philosophy, and on the philosophy of film a list of suggested films that can be explored following the approach in this book, including brief descriptions of each film, and suggestions regarding its philosophical implications a summary of Plato’s Republic , book by book, highlighting both dramatic context and subject matter. Offering a close reading of the controversial classic film A Clockwork Orange , and an introductory account of the central themes of the philosophical classic The Republic , this book will be of interest to both scholars and students of philosophy and film, as well as to readers of Plato and fans of Stanley Kubrick. (shrink)
Van den Dries, L. and J. Holly, Quantifier elimination for modules with scalar variables, Annals of Pure and Applied Logic 57 161–179. We consider modules as two-sorted structures with scalar variables ranging over the ring. We show that each formula in which all scalar variables are free is equivalent to a formula of a very simple form, uniformly and effectively for all torsion-free modules over gcd domains . For the case of Presburger arithmetic with scalar variables the result takes (...) a still simpler form, and we derive in this way the polynomial-time decidability of the sets defined by such formulas. (shrink)
The Danish philosopher K. E. Løgstrup is best known in the Anglo-American world for his original work in ethics, primarily in _The Ethical Demand _. Løgstrup continued to write extensively on issues in ethics and phenomenology throughout his life, and extracts from some of his later writings are now also available in translation in _Beyond the Ethical Demand_. In _Concern for the Other: The Ethics of K. E. Løgstrup_, eleven scholars examine the structure, intention, and originality of Løgstrup's ethics as (...) a whole. This collection of essays is a companion to _Beyond the Ethical Demand_, as well as to _The Ethical Demand_. The essays examine Løgstrup’s crucial concept of the “sovereign expressions of life”; his view of moral principles as a substitute for, or inferior form of, ethics; his relationships to other philosophers, including the twentieth-century British moral philosophers; and the role of his Lutheran background in his ethics. Løgstrup also firmly advanced the controversial thesis, examined by several essays in this volume, that the demand for “other-concern” central to his ethics does not depend on religious faith. “The significance of Løgstrup’s work is well demonstrated by the substantive criticisms made of that work by the essays here collected. Hopefully this book will encourage others to engage this significant but unfortunately not well-known thinker.” —_Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics, Duke Divinity School_ “Svend Andersen and Kees van Kooten Niekerk have done a great service for everyone with the publication of this stellar book on the thought of Knud E. Løgstrup, the most prominent Danish theologian-philosopher of the last century. CONCERN FOR THE OTHER includes essays by renowned thinkers who critically engage Løgstrup’s work with both insight and depth. The book thereby provides an engagement with this important thinker’s ideas about morality, trust, and responsibility and yet also presents features of the current state of the debate within ethics. I enthusiastically commend this book to anyone interested in contemporary ethics and moral theory as well as the relation between theology and philosophy.” —_William Schweiker, Edward L. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor of Theological Ethics, The University of Chicago_. (shrink)
The rest of this essay will contribute to the subversion of that distinction in the history of art, with the awareness that this would no longer be a timely issue in any other historical discipline. I engage in this task because of my sense that critical attention to the formal or rhetorical resonances between objects and the histories of art that inscribe them might provide an answer for the kind of historiographic experimentation that Burke and White have obliquely urged upon (...) the historical profession in general.To be fair, the history of art is not exclusively what it once was: the conservator of elite objects and the preserver of a certain canon of values. A variety of critical challenges to this traditional role have animated the discipline during the last two decades, from the revisionism of feminist and Marxist readings to the interpretive paradigms of semiotics and psychoanalysis, and yet one certainly needs to acknowledge that, for the most part, these challenges have originated outside the confines of art history proper.The metahistorical task of discovering some theme or issue shared by this plurality of re-visions need not necessarily prove unilluminating. The concentration on the gaze as an interpretive principle cuts across a wide sampling of recent theoretical perspectives. Paintings are, after all, meant to be looked at, so it should come as no surprise that the investigation of who or what is presumed to be doing the looking is now viewed as a critically unsettling issue in post-structuralist writings on art. Michael Ann Holly is associate professor and chair of the department of art and art history at the University of Rochester. She is the author of Panofsky and the Foundations of Art History and co-editor, with Norman Bryson and Keith Moxey, of Visual Theory. (shrink)
Throughout religious, scientific, and humanist literature on ideas one finds categorical subdivisions that are four in number: the four corners of the Earth, the four cardinal directions, the four proteins constituting DNA, Maxwell's four equations, Toynbee's four societies, Pythagoras’ four elements of arithmetic, Pythagoras’ four elements, Hayden White's four aspects of imagination. The list is endless. From where does the “four” come? Why not five, or six, eight, or nine? Andersen tracks back to the beginnings of arithmetic utilized in (...) the architecture of conceptual thinking. He finds the answer not only in the quadration of the human body as having four sides and giving a stabilizing structure to the brain but equally in the architecture of memory. Using the slot-theory of short-term memory processing, he demonstrates how easily the four-count comes to mind and how the brain resists moving on to five. (shrink)
This essay forms part of an “elegiac symposium” on “what gets lost during paradigm shifts,” and it replies to an earlier contribution to that symposium, “Regarding Change at Ise-Jingu” by Jeffrey M. Perl (14, no. 2 : 208-20; DOI 10.1215/0961754X-2007-069]) . Andersen argues against or supplements Perl's contention that Japanese attitudes toward change differ radically from those that are standard in the West. Andersen expands on arguments made by Roland Barthes—an explicator and partisan of Japanese thought—to show that (...) at least one Greek myth (that of the unchanging ship Argo) deals with change, originality, updating, fakes, and replication in a way similar to those standard in Japanese culture. Andersen then pursues his argument, as well, with respect to works by Rodin, Sade, and Leonardo da Vinci. (shrink)
Thomas Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions became the most widely read book about science in the twentieth century. His terms 'paradigm' and 'scientific revolution' entered everyday speech, but they remain controversial. In the second half of the twentieth century, the new field of cognitive science combined empirical psychology, computer science, and neuroscience. In this book, the theories of concepts developed by cognitive scientists are used to evaluate and extend Kuhn's most influential ideas. Based on case studies of the Copernican revolution, (...) the discovery of nuclear fission, and an elaboration of Kuhn's famous 'ducks and geese' example of concept learning, this volume, first published in 2006, offers accounts of the nature of normal and revolutionary science, the function of anomalies, and the nature of incommensurability. (shrink)
The book deals with the notion of Downward Causation from a wide array of perspectives, including physics, biology, psychology, social science, communication studies, text theory, and philosophy. The book includes proponents as well as opponents discussing the validity of the notion.
In interdisciplinary research scientists have to share and integrate knowledge between people and across disciplinary boundaries. An important issue for philosophy of science is to understand how scientists who work in these kinds of environments exchange knowledge and develop new concepts and theories across diverging fields. There is a substantial literature within social epistemology that discusses the social aspects of scientific knowledge, but so far few attempts have been made to apply these resources to the analysis of interdisciplinary science. Further, (...) much of the existing work either ignores the issue of differences in background knowledge, or it focuses explicitly on conflicting background knowledge. In this paper we provide an analysis of the interplay between epistemic dependence between individual experts with different areas of expertise. We analyze the cooperative activity they engage in when participating in interdisciplinary research in a group, and we compare our findings with those of other studies in interdisciplinary research. (shrink)
Over the last decades, science has grown increasingly collaborative and interdisciplinary and has come to depart in important ways from the classical analyses of the development of science that were developed by historically inclined philosophers of science half a century ago. In this paper, I shall provide a new account of the structure and development of contemporary science based on analyses of, first, cognitive resources and their relations to domains, and second of the distribution of cognitive resources among collaborators and (...) the epistemic dependence that this distribution implies. On this background I shall describe different ideal types of research activities and analyze how they differ. Finally, analyzing values that drive science towards different kinds of research activities, I shall sketch the main mechanisms underlying the perceived tension between disciplines and interdisciplinarity and argue for a redefinition of accountability and quality control for interdisciplinary and collaborative science. (shrink)
Individual differences in ethical ideology are believed to play a key role in ethical decision making. Forsyths (1980) Ethics Position Questionnaire (EPQ) is designed to measure ethical ideology along two dimensions, relativism and idealism. This study extends the work of Forsyth by examining the construct validity of the EPQ. Confirmatory factor analyses conducted with independent samples indicated three factors – idealism, relativism, and veracity – account for the relationships among EPQ items. In order to provide further evidence of the instruments (...) nomological and convergent validity, correlations among the EPQ subscales, dogmatism, empathy, and individual differences in the use of moral rationales were examined. The relationship between EPQ measures of idealism and moral judgments demonstrated modest predictive validity, but the appreciably weaker influence of relativism and the emergence of a veracity factor raise questions about the utility of the EPQ typology. (shrink)
We have synthesized a 582,970-base pair Mycoplasma genitalium genome. This synthetic genome, named M. genitalium JCVI-1.0, contains all the genes of wild-type M. genitalium G37 except MG408, which was disrupted by an antibiotic marker to block pathogenicity and to allow for selection. To identify the genome as synthetic, we inserted "watermarks" at intergenic sites known to tolerate transposon insertions. Overlapping "cassettes" of 5 to 7 kilobases (kb), assembled from chemically synthesized oligonucleotides, were joined by in vitro recombination to produce intermediate (...) assemblies of approximately 24 kb, 72 kb ("1/8 genome"), and 144 kb ("1/4 genome"), which were all cloned as bacterial artificial chromosomes in Escherichia coli. Most of these intermediate clones were sequenced, and clones of all four 1/4 genomes with the correct sequence were identified. The complete synthetic genome was assembled by transformation-associated recombination cloning in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, then isolated and sequenced. A clone with the correct sequence was identified. The methods described here will be generally useful for constructing large DNA molecules from chemically synthesized pieces and also from combinations of natural and synthetic DNA segments. 10.1126/science.1151721. (shrink)
Corporate social responsibility is a complex discipline that not only demands responsible behavior in production processes but also includes the concepts of communicative transparency and dialogue. Stakeholder dialogue is therefore expected to be an integrated part of the CSR strategy :323–338, 2006). However, only few studies have addressed the practice of CSR stakeholder dialogue and the challenges related hereto. This article adopts a postmodern perspective on CSR stakeholder dialogue. Based on a comprehensive single case study on stakeholder dialogue in a (...) global dairy company, we focus on the complexity of CSR dialogue with multiple stakeholders. Drawing on a critical reflexive methodology :1265–1281, 2007), we develop the research question: How is CSR multi-stakeholder dialogue practiced, experienced, and articulated in an empirical context? The purpose is to understand the underlying assumptions, expectations, and principles guiding CSR multi-stakeholder dialogue in an empirical setting, as we focus on how key stakeholders articulate and anticipate the values of stakeholder dialogue and how the actual stakeholder dialogues are enacted. The findings of the study differ significantly from the ideals of transparent and agenda-free stakeholder dialogue. Rather, the study shows an overall tension between ideal and practice, supporting the progressive importance of the dialogue process in itself as an essential part of the end goal. The implication of this is a growing pressure on creating transparency about the positioning and negotiation of roles throughout the dialogue process. (shrink)
The book examines the emerging approach of using qualitative methods, such as interviews and field observations, in the philosophy of science. Qualitative methods are gaining popularity among philosophers of science as more and more scholars are resorting to empirical work in their study of scientific practices. At the same time, the results produced through empirical work are quite different from those gained through the kind of introspective conceptual analysis more typical of philosophy. This volume explores the benefits and challenges of (...) an empirical philosophy of science and addresses questions such as: What do philosophers gain from empirical work? How can empirical research help to develop philosophical concepts? How do we integrate philosophical frameworks and empirical research? What constraints do we accept when choosing an empirical approach? What constraints does a pronounced theoretical focus impose on empirical work? Nine experts discuss their thoughts and empirical results in the chapters of this book with the aim of providing readers with an answer to these questions. (shrink)
Mathematicians often intentionally leave gaps in their proofs. Based on interviews with mathematicians about their refereeing practices, this paper examines the character of intentional gaps in published proofs. We observe that mathematicians’ refereeing practices limit the number of certain intentional gaps in published proofs. The results provide some new perspectives on the traditional philosophical questions of the nature of proof and of what grounds mathematical knowledge.
1. Overview and organizing themes 2. Historical Review: Aristotle to Mill 3. Logic of method and critical responses 3.1 Logical constructionism and Operationalism 3.2. H-D as a logic of confirmation 3.3. Popper and falsificationism 3.4 Meta-methodology and the end of method 4. Statistical methods for hypothesis testing 5. Method in Practice 5.1 Creative and exploratory practices 5.2 Computer methods and the ‘third way’ of doing science 6. Discourse on scientific method 6.1 “The scientific method” in science education and as seen (...) by scientists 6.2 Privileged methods and ‘gold standards’ 6.3 Scientific method in the court room 6.4 Deviating practices 7. Conclusion Bibliography Academic Tools Other Internet Resources Related Entries . (shrink)
In this article, we explore the relationship between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and earnings management (EM). Our CSR index, using KLD data, incorporates information from the following issue areas: the community, corporate governance, diversity, the product, employee relations, the environment, and human rights. Results show that more socially responsible firms have higher quality accruals and less activity-based EM, both of which impact financial reporting quality.
In his analysis of “the essential tension between tradition and innovation” Thomas S. Kuhn focused on the apparent paradox that, on the one hand, normal research is a highly convergent activity based upon a settled consensus, but, on the other hand, the ultimate effect of this tradition-bound work has invariably been to change the tradition. Kuhn argued that, on the one hand, without the possibility of divergent thought, fundamental innovation would be precluded. On the other hand, without a strong emphasis (...) on convergent thought, science would become a mess created by continuous theory changes and scientific progress would again be precluded. On Kuhn’s view, both convergent and divergent thought are therefore equally necessary for the progress of science. In this paper, I shall argue that a similar fundamental tension exists between the demands we see for novel insights of an interdisciplinary nature and the need for established intellectual doctrines founded in the classical disciplines. First, I shall revisit Kuhn’s analysis of the essential tension between tradition and innovation. Next, I shall argue that the tension inherent in interdisciplinary research between, on the one hand, intellectual independence and critical scrutiny and, on the other hand, epistemic dependence and trust is a complement to Kuhn’s essential tension within mono-disciplinary science between convergent and divergent thought. (shrink)
In this paper, we investigate the use of event models for automated planning. Event models are the action defining structures used to define a semantics for dynamic epistemic logic. Using event models, two issues in planning can be addressed: Partial observability of the environment and knowledge. In planning, partial observability gives rise to an uncertainty about the world. For single-agent domains, this uncertainty can come from incomplete knowledge of the starting situation and from the nondeterminism of actions. In multi-agent domains, (...) an additional uncertainty arises from the fact that other agents can act in the world, causing changes that are not instigated by the agent itself. For an agent to successfully construct and execute plans in an uncertain environment, the most widely used formalism in the literature on automated planning is “belief states”: sets of different alternatives for the current state of the world. Epistemic logic is a significantly more expressive and theoretically better founded method for representing knowledge and ignorance about the world. Further, epistemic logic allows for planning according to the knowledge of other agents, allowing the specification of a more complex class of planning domains, than those simply concerned with simple facts about the world. We show how to model multi-agent planning problems using Kripke-models for representing world states, and event models for representing actions. Our mechanism makes use of slight modifications to these concepts, in order to model the internal view of agents, rather than that of an external observer. We define a type of planning domain called epistemic planning domains, a generalisation of classical planning domains, and show how epistemic planning can successfully deal with partial observability, nondeterminism, knowledge and multiple agents. Finally, we show epistemic planning to be decidable in the single-agent case, but only semi-decidable in the multi-agent case. (shrink)