This article explores how neutralisation can explain people's lack of commitment to buying Fair Trade (FT) products, even when they identify FT as an ethical concern. It examines the theoretical tenets of neutralisation theory and critically assesses its applicability to the purchase of FT products. Exploratory research provides illustrative examples of neutralisation techniques being used in the FT consumer context. A conceptual framework and research propositions delineate the role of neutralisation in explaining the attitude-behaviour discrepancies evident in relation to consumers' (...) FT purchase behaviour, providing direction for further research that will generate new knowledge of consumers' FT purchase behaviour and other aspects of ethical consumer behaviour. (shrink)
This article explores how neutralisation can explain people's lack of commitment to buying Fair Trade products, even when they identify FT as an ethical concern. It examines the theoretical tenets of neutralisation theory and critically assesses its applicability to the purchase of FT products. Exploratory research provides illustrative examples of neutralisation techniques being used in the FT consumer context. A conceptual framework and research propositions delineate the role of neutralisation in explaining the attitude-behaviour discrepancies evident in relation to consumers' FT (...) purchase behaviour, providing direction for further research that will generate new knowledge of consumers' FT purchase behaviour and other aspects of ethical consumer behaviour. (shrink)
Cross-situational learning is a mechanism for learning the meaning of words across multiple exposures, despite exposure-by-exposure uncertainty as to the word's true meaning. We present experimental evidence showing that humans learn words effectively using cross-situational learning, even at high levels of referential uncertainty. Both overall success rates and the time taken to learn words are affected by the degree of referential uncertainty, with greater referential uncertainty leading to less reliable, slower learning. Words are also learned less successfully and more slowly (...) if they are presented interleaved with occurrences of other words, although this effect is relatively weak. We present additional analyses of participants’ trial-by-trial behavior showing that participants make use of various cross-situational learning strategies, depending on the difficulty of the word-learning task. When referential uncertainty is low, participants generally apply a rigorous eliminative approach to cross-situational learning. When referential uncertainty is high, or exposures to different words are interleaved, participants apply a frequentist approximation to this eliminative approach. We further suggest that these two ways of exploiting cross-situational information reside on a continuum of learning strategies, underpinned by a single simple associative learning mechanism. (shrink)
Increased scrutiny of corporate legitimacy has sparked an interest in “historic corporate social responsibility”, or the mechanism through which firms take responsibility for past misdeeds. Extant theory on historic CSR implicitly treats corporate engagement with historical criticism as intentional and dichotomous, with firms choosing either a limited or a high engagement strategy. However, this conceptualization is puzzling because a firm’s engagement with historic claims involves organizational practices that managers don’t necessarily control; hence, it might materialize differently than anticipated. Furthermore, multiple (...) motivations could jointly affect managers’ approach to organizational history, especially when dealing with conflicting stakeholder demands, rendering it difficult to historicize consistently. Examining the relationship between the legitimacy of critical historic claims, corporate engagement with these claims and corporate legitimacy, the present paper performs a historical case study of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s long term use of history in stakeholder relations. The data suggest that under conflicting internal and external pressures, the HBC’s engagement with historical criticism became “sedimented” over time, involving both open and stakeholder-inclusive practices of “history-as-sensemaking” and instrumental “history-as-rhetoric”. Enriching understanding of corporate-stakeholder interaction about the past, this finding may stimulate its generation of social value and corporate legitimacy. (shrink)
The modern slavery literature engages with history in an extremely limited fashion. Our paper demonstrates to the utility of historical research to modern slavery researchers by explaining the rise and fall of the ethics-driven market category of “free-grown sugar” in nineteenth-century Britain. In the first decades of the century, the market category of “free-grown sugar” enabled consumers who were opposed to slavery to pay a premium for a more ethical product. After circa 1840, this market category disappeared, even though considerable (...) quantities of slave-grown sugar continued to arrive into the UK. We explain the disappearance of the market category. Our paper contributes to the on-going debates about slavery in management by historicizing and thus problematizing the concept of “slavery”. The paper challenges those modern slavery scholars who argue that lack of consumer knowledge about product provenance is the main barrier to the elimination of slavery from today’s international supply chains. The historical research presented in this paper suggests that consumer indifference, rather than simply ignorance, may be the more fundamental problem. The paper challenges the optimistic historical metanarrative that pervades much of the research on ethical consumption. It highlights the fragility of ethics-driven market categories, offering lessons for researchers and practitioners seeking to tackle modern slavery. (shrink)
Many proponents of deliberative democracy expect reasonable citizens to engage in rational argumentation. However, this expectation runs up against findings by behavioral economists and social psychologists revealing the extent to which normal cognitive functions are influenced by bounded rationality. Individuals regularly utilize an array of biases in the process of making decisions, which inhibits our argumentative capacities by adversely affecting our ability and willingness to be self-critical and to give due consideration to others’ interests. Although these biases cannot be overcome, (...) I draw on scientifically corroborated insights offered by Adam Smith to show that they can be kept in check if certain affective and cognitive capacities are cultivated. Smith provides a compelling account of how to foster sympathetic, impartial, and projective role-taking in the process of interacting with others, which can greatly enhance our capacity and willingness to critically assess our own interests and fairly consider those of others. (shrink)
Unconsciousness and quasiconsciousness in Plotinus -- The significance of practical ethics for Plotinus -- Action and contemplation in Plotinus -- Eternity and time -- Soul and time in Plotinus -- Reason and experience in Plotinus -- Plotinus on fate and free will -- Potentiality and the problem of plurality in the intelligible world -- Dunamis in Plotinus and Porphyry -- Plotinus and the myth of love -- The object of perception in Plotinus -- Plotinus on ideas between Plato and Aristotle (...) -- The Neoplatonic Socrates -- Porphyrian studies since 1913 -- Porphyry: scope for a reassessment -- A Porphyrian treatise against Aristotle? -- Did Porphyry reject the transmigration of human souls into animals -- Porphyry and pagan religious practice -- Religion, magic and theurgy in Porphyry -- Porphyry and the Platonic theology -- More Neoplatonic ethics -- Hypostasis and hyparxis in Porphyry -- Philosophical objections to Christianity on the eve of the Great Persecution -- Iamblichus' views on the relationship of philosophy to religion in De Mysteriis -- Further thoughts on Iamblichus as the first philosopher of religion. (shrink)
The processes associated with globalization have reinforced and even increased prevailing conditions of inequality among human beings with respect to their political, economic, cultural, and social opportunities. Yet-or perhaps precisely because of this trend-there has been, within political philosophy, an observable tendency to question whether equality in fact should be treated a as central value within a theory of justice. In response, I examine a number of nonegalitarian positions to try to show that the concept of equality cannot be dispensed (...) with in any adequate consideration of justice. (shrink)
In this essay, I offer a twofold defense of homelessness. First, I argue that specifiable socio-economic forms of organization that are common among the homeless and that operate at least partially independently of state and philanthropic institutions embody valuable and worthwhile ways to live and to make a living. Second, the norms underlying the current institutional response to homelessness facilitate psychological distress and social fragmentation not just among the homeless but among the housed as well. As a result, the ways (...) in which the homeless seek to live and to make a living may be conducive to the wellbeing of the housed as well. (shrink)
I here argue against the viability of Peter Ludlow’s modified version of Paul Boghossian’s argument for the incompatibility of semantic externalism and authoritative self-knowledge. Ludlow contends that slow switching is not merely actual but is, moreover, prevalent; it can occur whenever we shift between localized linguistic communities. It is therefore quite possible, he maintains, that we undergo unwitting shifts in our mental content on a regular basis. However, there is good reason to accept as plausible that despite their prevalence we (...) are in fact able to readily adapt to such switches, as well as to the shifts in mental content that accompany them. The prevalence of slow switching between linguistic communities does not then necessarily entail incompatibility after all. (shrink)
One of the most significant cultural achievements of Late Antiquity lies in the domains of philosophy and religion, more particularly in the establishment and development of Neoplatonism as one of the chief vehicles of thought and subsequent channel for the transmission of ancient philosophy to the medieval and renaissance worlds. Important, too, is the emergence of a distinctive Christian philosophy and theology based on a foundation of Greek pagan thought. This book provides an introduction to the main ideas of Neoplatonism (...) and some of the ways in which they influenced Christian thinkers. (shrink)
Andrew F. Smith argues that citizens of divided societies have three powerful incentives to engage in public deliberation_in free, open, and reasoned dialogue aimed at contributing to the establishment of well-developed laws. When contesting for political influence, or pursuing the enshrinement of one's convictions in law, deliberating publicly is a necessary condition for taking oneself to be a responsible moral, epistemic, and religious agent.
Research into child language reveals that it takes a long time for children to learn the correct mapping of colour words. Steels & Belpaeme's (S&B's) guessing game, however, models fast learning of words. We discuss computational studies based on cross-situational learning, which yield results that are more consistent with the empirical child language data than those obtained by S&B.
: My contribution intends to show that the traditional philosophical concept of work (Marx, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Marcuse, Arendt, Habermas, and the rest) leaves out a crucial dimension. Work is reduced, for example, to the interaction with nature, the problem of recognition, or economic self-preservation. But work also establishes an ethical relation having to do with the needs of others and to the common good—a view of work that should be of particular interest for feminist and gender philosophy. This dimension makes (...) visible, as socially necessary work, the so-called reproductive sphere pertaining to giving birth and raising children, but it also generalizes the aspect of care, which plays a significant role in traditional woman's work. The ethical relation to the other is a characteristic feature of human work and in this sense, the possibility of working is a part of a good life. (shrink)
This article responds to the suggestion that C.L.R. James’ discussion of cricket, and particularly his defence of the ‘spirit of the game’, represent an ideological blind-spot on his part. James’ autobiographical account of the cricketing field, it is argued, is comparable to Pierre Bourdieu’s account of the ‘fields’ of culture more generally. In particular, James recognized that what was at stake in the defence of cricketing ethics was a defence of the principle by which the sport was able to operate (...) with a relative autonomy from the forces of political and economic power. It was only in this respect that cricket was able to provide, within contexts such as those of the pre-independence Caribbean, a field on which an expressive critique of those very forces of power was possible. (shrink)
Karl Jaspers’s axial age thesis refers to a demythologizing revolution in worldviews that took place in the first millennium bce. Although his philosophy has been pejoratively described as ‘Werk ohne Wirkung’, this idea has attracted considerable scholarly attention in recent years. This article aims to critically engage with the very notion of the axial age by looking first at contextual issues, then at the key claims Jaspers makes, before examining the actuality of the thesis and the problem of its characterization (...) as an ‘age’. The conclusion is that Jaspers’s attempt to unify the complex processes of demythologization under the notion of the axial age has produced a myth, and that this continues to have consequences today. (shrink)