The accelerated trend toward media cobranding, joint ventures, strategic alliances and mergers, and acquisitions with nonjournalistic companies raises new ethical concerns about the entanglements created in the name of synergy. As traditional media companies buy stakes in Internet companies in equity swaps, the cross-ownership of media creates vast potential for real or perceived conflicts of interest. Ethics scholarship routinely defines conflict of interest as an individual act, ignoring the rise of the media conglomerate. This article introduces the concept of institutional (...) conflict of interest. The problem with the traditional definition of conflict of interest, then, is that it assumes the interests of the institution are always good, and that only the journalist, acting individually can violate the norm. The article outlines how media consolidation creates new conflicts of interest by outlining the term's definitions in various professions and proposing a revised definition that encompasses institutional conflict of interest. (shrink)
Gilead et al.'s approach to human cognition places abstraction and prediction at the heart of “mental travel” under a “representational diversity” perspective that embraces foundational concepts in cognitive science. But, it gives insufficient credit to the possibility that the process of abstraction produces a gradient, and underestimates the importance of a highly influential domain in predictive cognition: language, and related, the emergence of experientially based structure through time.
Proofs for belief in God polarize between the extremes that no demonstration is required and arguments based upon a complex, inductive calculus. Since traditional questions are no longer fruitful, Hallett proposes a lateral shift in our thinking by undertaking an exploration of what “rationality and good evidence look like in areas where standard criteria do not apply”. The goal is to promote fresh vision through a shift in perspective.
Two impulses dominated northern and central Italy in the late thirteenth century. One was the striving of cities for self-sufficiency and increased power. The other was the papal thrust toward political as well as religious overlordship. Often policies of the papacy and certain cities were linked by memories and fears of imperial interference. Ptolemy of Lucca's histories reflected his keen awareness of this situation. His more theoretical political works, the Determinatio compendiosa and the continuation of Aquinas's De regimine principum, did (...) more: they furnished remarkably supple and sophisticated ideological justifications of the views of municipal patriots and ecclesiastical zealots, and included as well stinging attacks on imperial claims in Italy. On the civic level Ptolemy was a republican, both on grounds of Italian pride and an early acquaintance with Aristotle's Politics. As N. Rubinstein remarks, “Ptolemy of Lucca's re-appraisal of the Politics constitutes the most vigorous formulation Italian communal theory had yet received by the beginning of the fourteenth century.” Ptolemy, in fact, was the first Italian republican who could justify his position in a theoretically competent way. But on the wider ecclesiastical level he was a vigorous monarchist. His Determinatio was an early and influential exposition of high papalist views, and although written about 1278, it has been called “the key to the whole vast ecclesio-political polemic of the fourteenth century.” Even by the middle of that century its arguments still seemed so contemporary that a new and extended version of it was prepared in 1342. (shrink)