Ethical thought experiments such as the trolley dilemma have been investigated extensively in the past, showing that humans act in utilitarian ways, trying to cause as little overall damage as possible. These trolley dilemmas have gained renewed attention over the past few years, especially due to the necessity of implementing moral decisions in autonomous driving vehicles. We conducted a set of experiments in which participants experienced modified trolley dilemmas as drivers in virtual reality environments. Participants had to make decisions between (...) driving in one of two lanes where different obstacles came into view. Eventually, the participants had to decide which of the objects they would crash into. Obstacles included a variety of human-like avatars of different ages and group sizes. Furthermore, the influence of sidewalks as potential safe harbors and a condition implicating self-sacrifice were tested. Results showed that participants, in general, decided in a utilitarian manner, sparing the highest number of avatars possible with a limited influence by the other variables. Derived from these findings, which are in line with the utilitarian approach in moral decision making, it will be argued for an obligatory ethics setting implemented in ADVs. (shrink)
The view that agents are not obliged to do more than their initial fair shares when their fellow duty bearers fail to comply has prominent defenders, including Liam Murphy and David Miller. While Murphy thinks that asking agents to take up other agents’ slack would be unfair, Miller claims that slack-taking cannot be required because primary responsibility does not migrate from noncompliers to compliers. This paper argues, by contrast, that there are a number of circumstances in which there is a (...) duty to take up the slack even though it is unfair and even though responsibility stays where it is. The central claim is that what agents owe to third parties is a separate issue from how they relate to fellow duty bearers. This proposal also runs counter to familiar defenses of slack-taking that weigh its unfairness against the moral importance of the interests at stake for third parties. (shrink)
It is surprisingly difficult to determine what modal strength Leibniz wants to ascribe to his principle of the identity of indiscernibles (PII). I consider this question by examining (i) some direct textual evidence, (ii) Leibniz's main arguments for PII, (iii) Leibniz's presumable response to a prominent contemporary defense of the necessity of PII against Max Black style counterexamples, and (iv) Leibniz's views about the possibility of primitive haecceities. I conclude that Leibniz probably takes PII to be necessary.
In light of new biomedical technologies, such as artificial reproduction, stem cell research, genetic selection and design, the question of what we owe to future persons-and unborn life more generally-is as contested as ever. In A Theory of Unborn Life: From Abortion to Genetic Manipulation, author Anja J. Karnein provides a novel theory that shows how our commitments to persons can help us make sense of our obligations to unborn life. We should treat embryos that will develop into persons (...) in anticipation of these persons. But how viable is this theory? Moreover, what does it mean to treat embryos in anticipation of the future persons they will develop into? Exploring the attractiveness of this approach for Germany and the U.S. - two countries with very different legal approaches to valuing unborn life-Karnein comes to startling conclusions to some of today's greatest ethical and legal debates. (shrink)
A popular story about Kant's relation to Leibniz presents Kant as a Leibniz-Wolffian by education who, inspired by his encounter with the teachings of Newton and Hume, took on the project of reconciling Leibniz-Wolffian metaphysics with Newtonian science and of responding to epistemological skepticism, a project that led him further and further away from his Leibniz-Wolffian roots and culminated in the total rejection of the Leibniz-Wolffian philosophy in the Critique of Pure Reason. In this essay, four shortcomings of the popular (...) story are identified and several suggestions are made about how to amend and expand the story in order to overcome these shortcomings. Furthermore, some of the most important Leibnizian doctrines that influenced Kant are collected and their role in Kant's philosophy is discussed. (shrink)
The Manifesto develops further the Critical Theory of Religion intrinsic to the Critical Theory of Society of the Frankfurt School into a new paradigm of the Psychology, Sociology, Philosophy and Theology of Religion.
Innovative forms of green urban architecture aim to combine food, production, and design to produce food on a larger scale in and on buildings in urban areas. It includes rooftop gardens, rooftop greenhouses, indoor farms, and other building-related forms. This study uses the framework of sustainability to understand the role of ZFarming in future urban food production and to review the major benefits and limitations. The results are based on an analysis of 96 documents published in accessible international resources. The (...) analysis shows that ZFarming has multiple functions and produces a range of non-food and non-market goods that may have positive impacts on the urban setting. It promises environmental benefits resulting from the saving and recycling of resources and reduced food miles. Social advantages include improving community food security, the provision of educational facilities, linking consumers to food production, and serving as a design inspiration. In economic terms it provides potential public benefits and commodity outputs. However, managing ZFarming faces several challenges. For some applications, the required technologies are known but have not been used or combined in that way before; others will need entirely new materials or cultivation techniques. Further critical aspects are the problem of high investment costs, exclusionary effects, and a lack of acceptance. In conclusion, ZFarming is seen as an outside-the-box solution which has some potential in generating win–win scenarios in cities. Nevertheless, ZFarming practices are not in and of themselves sustainable and need to be managed properly. (shrink)
Although theory refers to organizational culture as an important variable in corrupt organizations, only little empirical research has addressed the characteristics of a corrupt organizational culture. Besides some characteristics that go hand in hand with unethical behavior and other features of corrupt organizations, we are still not able to describe a corrupt organizational culture in terms of its underlying assumptions, values, and norms. With a qualitative approach, we studied similarities of organizational culture across different corrupt organizations. In this study, we (...) performed content analysis on interviews of 14 independent experts about their experience with corrupt organizations. With this approach, we gained insights about different corrupt organizations spanning different branches (e.g., government, foreign trade, pharmacy, sports, building industry). We found that corrupt organizations perceive themselves to fight in a war, which leads to their taken-for-granted assumption that “the end justifies the means”. This assumption inspires many values and norms of the organizational culture. An important value in a corrupt organization is “security”, and an important norm is punishment of deviant (i.e., non-corrupt) behavior. Furthermore, managers and employees differ in their perception of organizational culture. While the management endorses values, such as success, results, and performance, and implements these values in their norms of goal setting, employees make use of rationalization strategies and endorse values of security and team spirit. (shrink)
Weak Quantum Theory (WQT) and the Model of Pragmatic Information (MPI) are two psychophysical concepts developed on the basis of quantum physics. The present study contributes to their empirical examination. The issue of the study is whether WQT and MPI can not only explain ‘psi’-phenomena theoretically but also prove to be consistent with the empirical phenomenology of extrasensory perception (ESP). From the main statements of both models, 33 deductions for psychic readings are derived. Psychic readings are defined as settings, in (...) which psychics support or counsel clients by using information not mediated through the five senses. A qualitative approach is chosen to explore how the psychics experience extrasensory perceptions. Eight psychics are interviewed with a half-structured method. The reports are examined regarding deductive and inductive aspects, using a multi-level structured content analysis. The vast majority of deductions is clearly confirmed by the reports. Even though the study has to be seen as an explorative attempt with many aspects to be specified, WQT and MPI prove to be coherent and helpful concepts to explain ESP in psychic readings. (shrink)
Contrary to popular belief, I argue that Leibniz is not hopelessly confused about motion: Leibniz is indeed both a relativist and an absolutist about motion, as suggested by the textual evidence, but, appearances to the contrary, this is not a problem; Leibniz’s infamous doctrine of the equivalence of hypotheses is well-supported and well-integrated within Leibniz’s physical theory; Leibniz’s assertion that the simplest hypothesis of several equivalent hypotheses can be held to be true can be explicated in such a way that (...) it makes good sense; the mere Galilean invariance of Leibniz’s conservation law does not compromise Leibniz’s relativism about motion; and Leibniz has a straightforward response to Newton’s challenge that the observable effects of the inertial forces of rotational motions empirically distinguish absolute from relative motions. (shrink)
This paper investigates how a performative understanding of a woman’s right to care can become part of a feminist politics which is able to transcend the well-worn dichotomies we find both within and without feminist literature, such as difference versus equality, difference versus repronormativity, and rights as freedom versus rights as domination. Drawing on my own research, I argue that claiming the right to care does not simply push women more deeply into motherhood resulting in even more control and regulation (...) of their lives, but that claiming care rights enables women to speak for themselves. Following the work of Linda Zerilli this paper argues that claiming women’s rights should, above all, be viewed as performative activities which contribute to democratic practices. (shrink)
The focus of this article is on elderly patients’ and nursing staff perceptions of privacy in the care of elderly patients/residents in five European countries. Privacy includes physical, social and informational elements. The results show that perceptions of privacy were strongest in the UK (Scotland) and weakest in Greece. Country comparisons revealed statistically significant differences between the perceptions of elderly patients and also between those of nurses working in the same ward or long-term care facility. Perceptions of privacy by patients (...) and their nursing staff were quite similar in Finland, Germany and the UK. In contrast, in Greece and Spain these perceptions were different: nurses believed that they took account of their patients’ privacy needs more often than the patients themselves felt this was the case. Among Spanish and UK patients, an association was found between lower levels of independence and comparatively less positive perceptions of privacy. No associations were established between nurses’ perceptions and their demographic factors. This is the third of a set of five articles published together in this issue of Nursing Ethics in which the results of this comparative research project are presented. (shrink)
This essay examines some of the ways in which the assumption of the essential finitude of the human mind, in contrast to the infinitude of God’s mind, bears on Leibniz’s and Kant’s accounts of our representational capacities. This examination reveals several underappreciated similarities between their views, but also some notable differences that help us pinpoint where and in what ways Kant departs from his celebrated predecessor. The fruits of this examination are a better understanding of Kant’s conception of the discursivity (...) of our understanding, his account of the difference between concepts and intuitions, and the particular flavor of his idealism. -/- . (shrink)
In this paper we report a study of the approach of six U.K. water and electricity companies towards managing the relationship with their ''green'' stakeholders. Stakeholders are accorded increasing importance in political discourse and stakeholder theory is emerging as a promising framework for the analysis of corporate social performance.We studied the companies'' general approach towards green stakeholders, their dealings with specific stakeholder groups and whether they emphasised the consultation or the information aspect of stakeholder management. We found that none of (...) the six companies had a systematic stakeholder approach that extended to all potential green stakeholders. Rather, the importance of specific stakeholder groups seemed to be determined by managers'' intuition and by the stance that the stakeholders themselves displayed towards the company. (shrink)
In his recent book, The Empirical Stance, Bas van Fraassen forcefully raises the question of what a philosophical position can or should be. He mainly discusses this question with regard to empiricism but his discussion makes it clear that he takes his proposed answer to be generalizable: not only empiricism but philosophical positions in general should be understood as stances rather than dogmata. The first part of this essay is devoted to an examination of van Fraassen’s critique of ‘naïve’ or (...) dogmatic empiricism, which represents an integral part of his argument for ‘stance’ empiricism. It will be argued that, contrary to van Fraassen’s view, not all versions of naïve empiricism run into the problems identified by him. In the second part of the paper the case will be made that, contrary to van Fraassen’s thesis, the stance empiricist is in at least as bad a position as the naïve empiricist with regard to the task of providing a radical critique of metaphysics, which van Fraassen takes to be an essential task that any empiricist should be able to accomplish. The third part of this essay concerns van Fraassen’s general proposal, and examines the question whether a philosophical position can possibly consist in a stance. It will be suggested that this is not the case. With regard to empiricism this has the implication that if one wants to be a philosopher and an empiricist at the same time one needs to subscribe to a form of naïve empiricism. Furthermore, it will be proposed that as a philosopher-empiricist one should want, or, at least, allow some form of metaphysical theorizing to be part of the philosophical enterprise after all. (shrink)
Artificial Intelligence in the form of different machine learning models is applied to Big Data as a way to turn data into valuable knowledge. The rhetoric is that ensuing predictions work well—with a high degree of autonomy and automation. We argue that we need to analyze the process of applying machine learning in depth and highlight at what point human knowledge production takes place in seemingly autonomous work. This article reintroduces classification theory as an important framework for understanding such seemingly (...) invisible knowledge production in the machine learning development and design processes. We suggest a framework for studying such classification closely tied to different steps in the work process and exemplify the framework on two experiments with machine learning applied to Facebook data from one of our labs. By doing so we demonstrate ways in which classification and potential discrimination take place in even seemingly unsupervised and autonomous models. Moving away from concepts of non-supervision and autonomy enable us to understand the underlying classificatory dispositifs in the work process and that this form of analysis constitutes a first step towards governance of artificial intelligence. (shrink)
We investigate whether female executives influence perceived employer attractiveness for female job seekers. Drawing on signaling theory, we argue that female members in top management may signal organizational justice and organizational support and may therefore enhance perceived employer attractiveness. Findings from a scenario experiment with 357 participants indicate that female job seekers are more attracted to an organization with a female executive holding a non-stereotypical office [such as Chief Financial Officer ] as compared to an organization with an all-male top (...) management. Results of a structural equation model show that perceived organizational justice mediates the positive effect of a female holding a non-stereotypical office on perceived employer attractiveness, but perceived organizational support does not. Our results challenge the widely held view that women in top management will generally help attract female job seekers; rather, they suggest that a single female executive holding a stereotypical female office even reduces perceived employer attractiveness. (shrink)
Introspective as well as empirical evidence indicates that emotions shape our thinking in numerous ways. Yet, this modificatory aspect of emotions has received relatively little interest in the philosophy of emotion. I give a detailed account of this aspect. Drawing both on the work of William James and adverbialist conceptions of perception, I sketch a theory of emotions that takes these aspects into consideration and suggest that we should understand emotions as manners of thinking.
The focus of this article is on elderly patients’ and nursing staff perceptions of informed consent in the care of elderly patients/residents in five European countries. The results suggest that patients and nurses differ in their views on how informed consent is implemented. Among elderly patients the highest frequency for securing informed consent was reported in Finland; the lowest was in Germany. In contrast, among nurses, the highest frequency was reported in the UK (Scotland) and the lowest in Finland. In (...) a comparison of patients’ and nurses’ perceptions, nurses had more positive views than patients in all countries except Finland. Patients with less need for nursing interventions in Greece and Spain gave their consent less often. The German and Greek patients were older, and the results also point to an association between this and their lower frequency of giving consent. In Spain, patients who were married or who had a family member or friend to look after their personal affairs were more likely to be included in the group whose consent was sought less often. This is the fourth of a set of five articles published together in this issue of Nursing Ethics in which the results of this comparative research project are presented. (shrink)
Rooftop gardens, rooftop greenhouses and indoor farms have been established or planned by activists and private companies in Berlin. These projects promise to produce a range of goods that could have positive impacts on the urban setting but also carry a number of risks and uncertainties. In this early innovation phase, the relevant stakeholders’ perceptions and social acceptance of ZFarming represent important preconditions for success or failure of the further diffusion of this practice. We used the framework of acceptance to (...) investigate the stakeholders’ attitudes and to identify the key factors that might hinder or promote the introduction of ZFarming. The results are based on an analysis of 38 qualitative interviews conducted with key stakeholders in Berlin. As the results show, major perceived benefits of ZFarming include improved consumer awareness, education, and the creation of experimental spaces. Stakeholders further perceive opportunities for resource savings, new business models, repurposing of abandoned buildings and improved aesthetics. Major perceived risks are associated with growing techniques that are considered “unnatural”, health risks, conflicts with images of traditional agriculture, the rejection of animal production in urban areas, the risk of projects being too expensive and too complex or being implemented too early, i.e. before the mechanisms are fully understood. The analysis further reveals which contextual factors—political, legal, market-related, spatial or societal—might negatively or positively influence ZFarming acceptance. (shrink)
It is becoming less and less controversial that we ought to aggressively combat climate change. One main reason for doing so is concern for future generations, as it is they who will be the most seriously affected by it. Surprisingly, none of the more prominent deontological theories of intergenerational justice can explain why it is wrong for the present generation to do very little to stop worsening the problem. This paper discusses three such theories, namely indirect reciprocity, common ownership of (...) the earth and human rights. It shows that while indirect reciprocity and common ownership are both too undemanding, the human rights approach misunderstands the nature of our intergenerational relationships, thereby capturing either too much or too little about what is problematic about climate change. The paper finally proposes a way to think about intergenerational justice that avoids the pitfalls of the traditional theories and can explain what is wrong with perpetuating climate change. (shrink)
Prepositions name spatial relationships. But they are also used to convey abstract, non-spatial relationships —raising the question of how the abstract uses relate to the concrete spatial uses. Despite considerable success in delineating these relationships, no general account exists for the two most frequently extended prepositions: in and on. We test the proposal that what is preserved in abstract uses of these prepositions is the relative degree of control between the located object and the reference object. Across four experiments, we (...) find a continuum of greater figure control for on and greater ground control for in. These findings bear on accounts of semantic structure and language change, as well as on second language instruction. (shrink)
The aim of this Web-based survey of 15 German companies with an international profile was to identify which higher-level values serve as a basis for a company culture that promotes integrity and can thereby also be used to promote crime prevention. Results on about 2000 managers in German parent companies and almost 600 managers in Central and North European branch offices show that a major preventive role can be assigned to a company culture that promotes integrity. This requires a ‘tone (...) from the top’, ‘ethical leadership’ from the direct superior, and a general set of values that can be encouraged through training courses. Moreover, employees have to perceive these values as promoting their careers. The survey reveals that the companies in this study have basically succeeded in establishing their system of values in their Central and North European as well as their Asian branch offices. Moreover, it shows that the main values preventing crime on the management level are trustworthiness and consistency. Open communication is an important value on all levels of a company, and this is supplemented by transparency, compliance with the rules, and a rejection of behaving in one’s own interest. It is concluded that in spite of regional differences, major international companies can possibly make an important contribution to bringing about cultural change in regions with an affinity for corruption by implementing a culture that promotes integrity in both their company and their daily business. (shrink)
Die biomedizinische Forschung hat ein Kommunikationsproblem. Um die Ergebnisse ihrer Arbeit darzustellen, greifen einzelne Forschergruppen auf unterschiedliche und oft inkompatible Terminologien zurück. Für den Fortschritt der modernen Biomedizin ist die Integration dieser Ergebnisse jedoch unabdingbar.
We conducted an online study of projected behavioral and emotional responses to escalating terrorist threat. The study employed scenarios in which terrorists targeted commercial airliners with missiles at an international airport. An important feature of attacks on commercial flights is that unlike many other terrorist threats, exposure to the risk can be controlled simply be refusing to fly. Nine scenarios were constructed by crossing two between-subjects factors, each with three levels: planned government protective actions and social norm, expressed as variation (...) in airline ticket sales. Scenarios also incorporated descriptions of three increasingly severe attacks; this was a within-subjects factor. After each description, we asked respondents to imagine they had planned a vacation to a destination 2,500 km away, and we examined their projected fear and behavior. Fear increased and more trips were canceled as the attacks escalated. Government protective actions and social norm had little impact on either fear or planned flying. (shrink)
How much should the present generations sacrifice to reduce emissions today, in order to reduce the future harms of climate change? Within climate economics, debate on this question has been focused on so-called “ethical parameters” of social time preference and inequality aversion. We show that optimal climate policy similarly importantly depends on the future of the developing world. In particular, although global poverty is falling and the economic lives of the poor are improving worldwide, leading models of climate economics may (...) be too optimistic about two central predictions: future population growth in poor countries, and future convergence in total factor productivity (TFP). We report results of small modifications to a standard model: under plausible scenarios for high future population growth (especially in sub-Saharan Africa) and for low future TFP convergence, we find that optimal near-term carbon taxes could be substantially larger. (shrink)
Most commentators agree that Leibniz advocates some version of a doctrine of the ideality or reducibility of relations, but there is considerable disagreement about what exactly this doctrine means. I argue that Leibniz’s views on relations are more complex than has been previously appreciated, and that, despite some ‘reductionist’ strands in Leibniz’s position, it is seriously misleading to describe him as a reductionist about relations without adding some important qualifications. The complexity of Leibniz’s views on relations tends to be obscured (...) by the common assumption that they can be captured in one unified thesis, or a small number of closely related theses, and by the widespread neglect to take Leibniz’s division of reality into several ontological levels into consideration. I disentangle ten Leibnizian theses about relations, extrinsic denominations, and their relation to intrinsic denominations. Some of these theses express a kind of dependence of extrinsic denominations on intrinsic ones, and some of them can even be counted as articulations of a form of reductionism. But, overall, the general tenor of Leibniz’s position on extrinsic denominations remains non-reductionist. (shrink)
Wilke et al. make significant headway in gaining a better understanding of the influence affect cues may have on action perception and judgement. In our view their account also brings up a row of important questions demanding further research. This concerns the role of conceptual and non-conceptual content and the different effects emotions of the same valence may play in the perception and judgement of action.
This paper analyzes the possibilities and challenges of Fair Trade certification as a movement seeking to improve the well-being of small-scale coffee growers and coffee laborers in the global South. Six months of fieldwork was conducted in 2005–2006 to study the roles of a wide range of farmers, laborers, cooperative administrators, and export companies in Fair Trade coffee production and trade in Nicaragua. The results of our evaluation of the ability of Fair Trade to meet its objectives indicate that Fair (...) Trade’s opportunities to provide a significant price premium for participating farmers largely depend on world coffee prices in mainstream markets. While Fair Trade has promoted premiums for social development for participating producers and strengthened the institutional capacities of the cooperatives involved, its ability to enhance significantly the working conditions of hired coffee laborers remains limited. (shrink)
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