In this paper we provide a formal analysis of the idea of normative co-ordination. We argue that this idea is based on the assumption that agents can achieve flexible co-ordination by conferring normative positions to other agents. These positions include duties, permissions, and powers. In particular, we explain the idea of declarative power, which consists in the capacity of the power-holder of creating normative positions, involving other agents, simply by proclaiming such positions. In addition, we account also for (...) the concepts of representation, namely the representatives capacity of acting in the name of his principal, and of mandate, which is the mandatees duty to act as the mandator has requested. Finally, we show how the framework can be applied to represent the contract-net protocol. Some brief remarks on future research and applications conclude this contribution. (shrink)
Gauthier and Hobbes reduce Prisoners Dilemmas to co-ordination problems (CPs). Many think rational, face-to-face agents can solve any CP by agreed fiat. But though an agent can rationally use a symmetry-breaking technique (ST) to decide between equal options, groups cannot unless their members' STs luckily converge. Failing this, the CP is escapable only by one agent's non-rational stubbornness, or by the group's "conquest" by an outside force. Implications: one's strategic rationality is group-relative; there are some optimums groups in principle (...) cannot rationally choose; thus justice cannot always be a rationally contracted optimum. Howard Sobel provides the point of departure. (shrink)
In "'Yes" and "No'" (2000), Ian Rumfitt proposed bilateralism--a use-based account of the logical words, according to which the sense of a sentence is determined by the conditions under which it is asserted and denied. One of Rumfitt's key claims is that bilateralism can provide a justification of classical logic. This paper raises a techical problem for Rumfitt's proposal, one that seems to undermine the bilateralist programme.
The importance of the notion of common knowledge in sustaining cooperative outcomes in strategic situations is well appreciated. However, the systematic analysis of the extent to which small departures from common knowledge affect equilibrium in games has only recently been attempted.We review the main themes in this literature, in particular, the notion of common p-belief. We outline both the analytical issues raised, and the potential applicability of such ideas to game theory, computer science and the philosophy of language.
As part of a series of Ethnomethodological Studies of Work, this paper focusses upon a short stretch of a final concert performance of the Saint-Saens Septet by a set of amateur musicians in which timing errors occur but in response to which various manoeuvres successfully restore synchrony. I set out to demonstrate that these afford a strategic access for ethnomethodologists to sets of musicians' practices whereby musical synchrony is ongoingly accomplished. The central curiosity of this study is the set of (...) distinctive practices whereby a musical text set out in a spatial, linear sequence of markings is realized in a collective performance that unfolds not only in precise time values but also in synchrony.This paper analyzes three errors in a short passage and the ways in which they are corrected either by the errant musician himself or by the other musician in response. In these cases, the restoration of synchrony and the routine performance of the piece thereafter are accomplished successfully in the sense that those listening to the tape of it generally fail to notice any problem! This contrasts to my detection of problems during both my participation in the performance and repeated listening of the resulting audio-tape, I argue that it is this systematic difference in possible hearings that musicians are oriented to when attempting to fake it. Thus, the essential interest is in members' methods for maintaining as well as restoring synchrony. (shrink)
Can victims of the oracle paradox, which is known primarily through its unexpected hanging and surprise examination versions, extricate themselves from their difficulties of reasoning? No. For they do not, contrary to recent opinion, commit errors of fallacious elimination. As I shall argue, the difficulties of reasoning faced by these victims do not originate in the domain of concepts, propositions and their entailment relations; nor do they result from misapprehensions about limitations on what can be known. The difficulties of reasoning (...) flow, instead, from conflicts that arise in the practical dimension of life. The oracle paradox is in this way more evocative of problems faced in the theory of computation than it is like the celebrated Russell’s paradox. (shrink)
Food security and food self-sufficiency are important regional goals for the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC). In the long run, success in these areas would reduce the incidence of drought-related mass starvation and the epidemic of malnutrition and undernutrition that exists among some tribal groups. For food production to improve, the governments must commit themselves to increasing the access of peasant farmers to critical agricultural inputs. If they do not take proper action in this area of development planning, domestic (...) food production is likely to stagnate or decline. This study is a broad examination of the relationship between government expenditures on imported inputs and the performance of the domestic food subsector. Because much data on government spending and agricultural production in Africa are unavailable, and those in published form are of suspect validity, the study is undertaken largely as a conceptual overview. The empirical analyses are conducted, therefore, largely to provide a staging ground for the conceptual arguments. (shrink)
A series of Six-Party Talks involving the United States, China, Japan, South and North Korea, and Russia resulted in the emergence of a narrative of a . Given the prevalence of nuclear weapons amidst Sino-American rivalry, the area is hardly . Instead, the phrase has evolved into a common signifier for the US and China, suggesting that, despite their rivalries, the North Korean nuclear issue can be detrimental for both nuclear-free’ seriously, recasting the phrase as borne of both mutual scepticism, (...) as well as convergent interests, over the Korean Peninsula. (shrink)
In this paper we investigate the effect of level of understanding revealed by feedback in the form of clarification requests from a route follower on a route giver’s spatial perspective choice in their response in route instruction dialogues. In an experiment varying the level of understanding displayed by route follower clarification requests (the independent variable), route giver perspective switching in response to this feedback is investigated. Three levels of understanding displayed by feedback are investigated: (1) low-level clarification requests indicating that (...) the instruction was not processed, (2) semantic-level clarification requests indicating that the spatial direction given in the instruction could not be resolved as the speaker of the clarification request could not interpret which perspective was intended, and (3) high-level feedback which indicates that the route giver’s instruction was understood but which note an obstacle to following the instruction. Results show that perspective choice, which is a conceptual feature of language use, is sensitive to perceived level of addressee understanding. We found that route givers consistently switch perspectives in responding to semantic-level clarification requests but not in response to low-level ones, and also that switching occurs more for high-level feedback than for low-level feedback. We address how dialogue systems can take advantage of these findings by modelling our results in an Information State model of dialogue, presenting update rules for response generation which account for our findings and also update rules which enable generation of the feedback themselves. (shrink)
A basic theme of Winograd and Flores (1986) is that the principal function of language is to co-ordinate social activity. It is, they claim, from this function that meaning itself arises. They criticise approaches that try to understand meaning through the mechanisms of reference, the Rationalist Tradition as they call it. To seek to ground meaning in social practice is not new, but the approach is presently attractive because of difficulties encountered with the notion of reference. Without taking a view (...) on whether these are insuperable, the present paper accepts Winograd and Flores'' challenge and attempts to lay aside reference and to base a conception of meaning directly in terms of co-ordination and consensus within a linguistic community. (shrink)
Four criteria are discussed as important conditions of successful applications in Computer Supported Co-operative Work (CSCW). They are equality, mutual influence, new competence, and double-level language. The criteria originate in the experience of the International Co-operative Movement. They are examined and illustrated withreference to eight contemporary CSCW applications: meeting scheduling and support; bargaining; co-authoring; co-ordination; planning; design support and collaborative design.
Applied ethicists say little about résumé embellishment. Presumably, this is so because résumé embellishment seems obviously wrong; an instance of ordinary lying, familiar moral prohibitions against which cover the case completely. Analysis of résumé embellishment merely as ordinary lying overlooks its collective action aspects. Taking account of those aspects and their implications, I argue on consequentialist grounds that, given some plausible background conditions, a limited form of résumé embellishment is morally permissible. This outcome is a particular instantiation of a more (...) general principle about how one ought to act when participating in a morally valuable co-ordinative practice. I conclude by identifying implications for how employers ought to use résumés in hiring decisions. (shrink)
Engagement with stakeholders and civil society is increasingly important for new scientific and technological developments. Preparation of such engagements sets the stage for engagement activities and thus contributes to their outcomes. Preparation is a demanding task, particularly if the facilitating agent aims for timely engagement related to emerging technologies. Requirements for such preparation include understanding of the emerging science & technology and its dynamics. Multi-level analysis and socio-technical scenarios are two complementary tools for constructing productive engagement. Examination of the emergence (...) of nanotechnologies in the food packaging sector demonstrates how these tools work. In light of recent policy demands for responsible innovation, but also more generally, the role of organizers of engagement activities is one that deserves reflection insofar as it can extend beyond that of preparation and facilitation. (shrink)
The commonly perceived tension between authentic moral and ethical action and action involving tolerance is held to be the illusory product of an unduly individualistic frame of thought. Moral and ethical actions are produced not by independent individuals but by participants in cultural traditions. And even the wholly routine continuation of a single homogeneous tradition must always and invariably involve mutual tolerance: participants must interact not as independent individuals but as tolerant members. Tolerance deserves recognition, accordingly, as a primary virtue, (...) not merely compatible with authentic moral and ethical action, but required by it. An explicit rhetoric enjoining tolerance needs to be understood as performative discourse employed to change, or else to sustain, the systems of tolerances in which all cultures, whether simple or differentiated, homogeneous or diverse, unified or fragmented, invariably consist. (shrink)
Edna Ullmann-Margalit provides an original account of the emergence of norms. Her main thesis is that certain types of norms are possible solutions to problems posed by certain types of social interaction situations. She presents illuminating discussions of Prisoners' Dilemma, co-ordination, and inequality situations.
According to contextualist theories in metaethics, when you use a moral term in a context, the context plays an ineliminable part in determining what natural property will be the semantic value of the term. Furthermore, on subjectivist and relativist versions of these views, it is either the speaker's own moral code or her moral community's moral code that constitutes the reference-fixing context. One standard objection to views of this type is that they fail to enable us to disagree in ordinary (...) conversations. In this chapter, I develop a new response to this objection on the basis of Kai von Fintel and Anthony Gillies' notion of proposition clouds. I argue that, because we live in a multicultural society, the conversational contexts we face will fail to disambiguate between all the things we could mean. This is why we can at best put into play proposition clouds when we make moral utterances. All the propositions in such clouds are then available for rejection and acceptance on the behalf of our audiences. The norms of conversation then guide us to make informative contributions to the conversation - accept and reject propositions in a way that leads to co-ordination of action and choice. (shrink)
In the current era, governments are playing smaller roles in regulating workers’ rights internationally, and transnational corporations (TNCs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs) involved in the struggle for workers’ rights, and labour/trade unions have started to fill this governance gap. This paper focuses on the least researched of the relationships among these three actors, the union–NGO relationship, by analysing the ways in which it affects definitions of TNC responsibility for workers’ rights at their suppliers’ factories. Based on a qualitative study of the (...) union–NGO relationship in the Swedish garment industry between 1996 and 2005, we propose that there are six main configurations of union–NGO relationships. By linking these configurations to their effects on TNC responsibility, we propose that co-ordination relationships between unions and NGOs, particularly high-commitment co-ordination relationships, are likely to result in a broadening of the definition of TNC responsibility, while conflictual relationships, both high and low commitment, result in a narrowing of the definition of TNC responsibility. The study indicates that co-operation is generally more beneficial for both unions and NGOs than is any form of conflictual relationship, in terms of broadening the definition of TNC responsibility. (shrink)
The symmetries of a physical theory are often associated with two things: conservation laws and representational redundancies. But how can a physical theory's symmetries give rise to interesting conservation laws, if symmetries are transformations that correspond to no genuine physical difference? In this article, I argue for a disambiguation in the notion of symmetry. The central distinction is between what I call "analytic" and "synthetic" symmetries, so called because of an analogy with analytic and synthetic propositions. "Analytic" symmetries are the (...) turning of idle wheels in a theory's formalism, and correspond to no physical change; "synthetic" symmetries cover all the rest. I argue that analytic symmetries are distinguished because they act as fixed points or constraints in any interpretation of a theory, and as such are akin to Poincaré's conventions or Reichenbach's 'axioms of co-ordination', or 'relativized constitutive a priori principles'. (shrink)