We argue that human rights are best conceived as norms arising from a fiduciary relationship that exists between states and the citizens and noncitizens subject to their power. These norms draw on a Kantian conception of moral personhood, protecting agents from instrumentalization and domination. They do not, however, exist in the abstract as timeless natural rights. Instead, they are correlates of the state's fiduciary duty to provide equal security under the rule of law, a duty that flows from the state's (...) institutional assumption of irresistible sovereign powers. (shrink)
This article is based on a roundtable held at the Association of Internet Researchers annual conference in 2017, in Tartu, Estonia. The roundtable was organized by the Oxford Internet Institute’s Digital Ethics Lab. It was entitled “Artificial Intelligence and the Good Society”. It brought together four scholars—Michael Zimmer, Stine Lomborg, Ben Zevenbergen, and Corinne Cath—to discuss the promises and perils of artificial intelligence, in particular what ethical frameworks are needed to guide AI’s rapid development and increased use in societies. (...) The paper covers three case studies. They give a distinct overview of the ethical issues raised by the use of AI at different levels of analysis: top-down application of AI, bottom-up use of AI, and how academics and governments have reacted to these new challenges. From the case studies, four areas emerged. They represent some of the most topical ethical questions related to AI: its uses, its users, its designers, and the data that fuel it. Each of them provided a specific subset of ethical concerns that need further investigation. In conclusion, three recommendations are formulated for researchers and regulators to ensure the AI has a net-positive impact on society. (shrink)
A growing body of work suggests that the presence of women and of independent directors on boards of directors is associated with higher corporate environmental performance. However, the mechanisms linking board composition to corporate environmental performance are not well understood. This study proposes and empirically tests the mediating role of sustainability-themed alliances in the relationship between board composition and corporate environmental performance. Using the population of public oil and gas firms in the United States as the sample, the study relies (...) on renewable energy alliances to measure sustainability-themed alliances and longitudinally analyzes lagged data for independent and control variables. The study found that the higher the representation of women on a firm’s board, the more likely the firm is to form sustainability-themed alliances, and the higher the representation of independent directors on a firm’s board, the more likely the firm is to form sustainability-themed alliances. Such alliances, in turn, positively contribute to corporate environmental performance. This paper discusses the study’s contributions to the board composition-social performance literature. (shrink)
The context of economic globalization has contributed to the emergence of a new form of social action which has spread into the economic sphere in the form of the new social economic movements. The emblematic figure of this new generation of social movements is fair trade, which influences the economy towards political or social ends. Having emerged from multiple alternative trade practices, fair trade has gradually become institutionalized since the professionalization of World Shops, the arrival of fair trade products in (...) the food industry, and the establishment of an official "fair trade" label. With the strength that this institutionalization has generated, fair trade can now be considered a real trade system that questions, as much as it renews, the traditional economic system. In parallel, this transformation has exacerbated the tensions within the movement, which can be characterized as a clash between a "radical, militant" pole and a "softer, more commercial" one. However, it is not the actual institutionalization of fair trade which is being debated among fair trade actors on either side of the fence, but rather the challenges inherent in finding an economic institutionalization acceptable to social economic movements. Therefore the institutionalization process of fair trade should not be seen as mere degradation of social action, but rather as typical of the institutionalization process of new social economic movements. If we need to worry about the highjacking and alteration of the fair trade movement by the dominant economic system, the opposite is no less likely, as new social economic movements contribute to an ethical restructuring of markets. (shrink)
Many linguists and philosophers of language explain linguistic meaning in terms of truth conditions. This book focuses on the meanings of expressions that escape such truth-conditional treatment, in particular the concessives: but , even if , and although . Corinne Iten proposes semantic analyses of these expressions based on the cognitive framework of relevance theory. A thoroughly cognitive approach to linguistic meaning is presented in which linguistic forms are seen as mapping onto mental entities, rather than individuals and properties (...) in the real world. Researchers and advanced students in pragmatics will find this account lucid, clear and accessible. (shrink)
This paper discusses possible correspondences between neuroscientific findings and phenomenologically informed methodologies in the investigation of kinesthetic empathy in watching dance. Interest in phenomenology has recently increased in cognitive science (Gallagher and Zahavi 2008 ) and dance scholars have recently contributed important new insights into the use of phenomenology in dance studies (e.g. Legrand and Ravn (Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8(3):389–408, 2009 ); Parviainen (Dance Research Journal 34(1):11–26, 2002 ); Rothfield (Topoi 24:43–53, 2005 )). In vision research, coherent neural (...) mechanisms for perceptual phenomena were uncovered, thus supporting correlation of phenomenology and neurophysiology Spillmann (Vision Research 49(12):1507–1521, 2009 ). Correspondingly, correlating subjects’ neurophysiological data with qualitative responses has been proposed as a means to research the human brain in the study of consciousness (Gallagher and Zahavi 2008 ), with similar issues in clinical psychology Mishara (Current Opinion in Psychiatry 20(6):559–569, 2007 ) and biology Kosslyn et al. (American Psychologist 57:341–351, 2002 ). Yet the relationship between neuroscience and qualitative research informed by phenomenology remains problematic. How qualitative research normally handles subjective experiences is difficult to reconcile with standard statistical analysis of objective data. Recent technological developments in cognitive neuroscience have inspired a number of researchers to use more naturalistic stimuli, outside the laboratory environment, such as dance, thereby perhaps helping to open up the cognitive sciences to more phenomenologically informed approaches. A question central to our research, addressed here, is how the phenomenal experiences of a dance audience member, as accessed by qualitative research methods, can be related to underlying neurophysiological events. We outline below some methodological challenges encountered in relating audiences’ first-person accounts of watching live dance performance to neurophysiological evidence of their experiences. (shrink)
Rural families must constantly negotiate their livelihoods by obtaining access to natural resources, labor, capital, knowledge, and markets. Successful negotiation leads to enhanced family well-being and sustainable use of natural resources. Unsuccessful negotiation threatens family survival, threatens sustainable use of natural resources, and reduces bio-diversity. These negotiation processes are mediated by gender relations. The ideas of negotiation and of survival strategies outlined here provide a framework within which the articles of this issue can be situated. The articles are the result (...) of research on gender and natural resource management conducted in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and North America. Each experience illustrates the consequences for natural resources and family well being when they have voice and when they do not have voice in household decisions. (shrink)
This paper explores the potential for psychic conflict within Seneca's moral psychology. Some scholars have taken Seneca's explicit claim in De Ira that the soul is unitary to preclude any kind of simultaneous psychic conflict, while other interpreters have suggested that Seneca views all cases of anger as instances of akrasia. I argue that Seneca's account of anger provides the resources for accommodating some types of simultaneous psychic conflict; however, he denies the possibility of psychic conflict between two action-generating impulses, (...) thus rejecting the phenomena of genuine akrasia and enkrateia. Although superficially counterintuitive, Seneca's cognitivist account of anger, according to which anger is complex and requires assent to the propositions that ‘I have been wronged’ and ‘I ought to seek revenge’, renders his denial of akrasia and enkrateia more plausible. (shrink)
Context: Although ethics consultation is commonplace in United States (U.S.) hospitals, descriptive data about this health service are lacking. Objective: To describe the prevalence, practitioners, and processes of ethics consultation in U.S. hospitals. Design: A 56-item phone or questionnaire survey of the "best informant" within each hospital. Participants: Random sample of 600 U.S. general hospitals, stratified by bed size. Results: The response rate was 87.4%. Ethics consultation services (ECSs) were found in 81% of all general hospitals in the U.S., and (...) in 100% of hospitals with more than 400 beds. The median number of consults performed by ECSs in the year prior to survey was 3. Most individuals performing ethics consultation were physicians (34%), nurses (31%), social workers (11%), or chaplains (10%). Only 41% had formal supervised training in ethics consultation. Consultation practices varied widely both within and between ECSs. For example, 65% of ECSs always made recommendations, whereas 6% never did. These findings highlight a need to clarify standards for ethics consultation practices. (shrink)
Everything we can refer to – physical, biological, psychological, or a human-created entity, institution, activity, or expression of some kind, and whether constituted of brute physical stuff or less tangible complexes of social arrangements, ideas, images, movements, and so on – can be considered in terms of its form of organization or structure. This applies even if what we want to say about these things is that they represent a disorganized or unstructured example of their kind or else that they (...) simply lack any discernible form of internal organization or structure in the sense that their internal structure is undifferentiated or homogenous as opposed to being ‘all over the place’. We therefore live in a world in which everything can be characterized, either positively or negatively, in terms of its form of organization or structure. (shrink)
The debate on whether and how the Internet can protect and foster human rights has become a defining issue of our time. This debate often focuses on Internet governance from a regulatory perspective, underestimating the influence and power of the governance of the Internet’s architecture. The technical decisions made by Internet Standard Developing Organisations that build and maintain the technical infrastructure of the Internet influences how information flows. They rearrange the shape of the technically mediated public sphere, including which rights (...) it protects and which practices it enables. In this article, we contribute to the debate on SDOs’ ethical responsibility to bring their work in line with human rights. We defend three theses. First, SDOs’ work is inherently political. Second, the Internet Engineering Task Force, one of the most influential SDOs, has a moral obligation to ensure its work is coherent with, and fosters, human rights. Third, the IETF should enable the actualisation of human rights through the protocols and standards it designs by implementing a responsibility-by-design approach to engineering. We conclude by presenting some initial recommendations on how to ensure that work carried out by the IETF may enable human rights. (shrink)
Originally delivered to mark the fiftieth anniversary of both Frantz Fanon’s death and the publication of his seminal discourse on decolonization, The Wretched of the Earth, these remarks seek to offer a preliminary outline of Fanon’s continuing relevance to the present. Conceptually spanning such touchstone elements of Fanon’s thought as sociogeny, race, violence, the human, and the relation between decolonial ethics and decolonial politics, the authors turn our attention to diagnosing the neoliberal face of contemporary coloniality/modernity and contributing to (...) movements from the Arab Spring to the Occupy movement, from Philadelphia’s “flash mobs” to the new Latin American Left. (shrink)
In this essay I argue that the Stranger’s interest in keeping the philosopher and the sophist distinct is connected, primarily, to his assessment of the charges ofsophistry advanced against Socrates, which compels him to defend Socrates from these unduly advanced accusations. On this basis, I establish that the Stranger’s task in the Sophist, namely to keep philosophy distinct from sophistry, is intimately tied to the project of securing justice and is therefore not merely of theoretical importance but is also—and essentially—of (...) political and ethical significance. (shrink)
North Sumatra and West Java in Indonesia, the Andes of Bolivia and Peru, Western Province, the Coast and Machakos in Kenya, were Small Ruminant Collaborative Research Support Program (SR-CRSP) sites in which the role of small ruminants was studied and where technological interventions were designed. In all cases the target groups were poor rural households that could maintain sheep, goats, or South American camelids. The objective was to increase the welfare of families through the use of small ruminant technologies. Access (...) to and control of resources, and intrahousehold dynamics were analyzed to understand if, how, and when, technological interventions help achieve this objective. The way in which the studied villages integrate into the market, the specific role that livestock and other productive enterprises play in the household economy, the risks faced by families in rural areas condition the role of livestock and other resource management technologies. As an asset, small and large stock are gendered, but this is qualified by the alternatives that household members have. Small ruminants under the domain of women, either through production or marketing, are shown to contribute to in-kind consumption or, as liquid assets, to household welfare purchases, in the case of Andean agropastoral households and households in Kenya. Women are also managers of the grazing areas, which are often fallow fields. The research experiences show the relationship between gender, resource management, and the ability to build livestock assets and security, in different houehold production systems. (shrink)
Almost all philosophers agree that a necessary condition on lying is that one says what one believes to be false. But, philosophers haven’t considered the possibility that the true requirement on lying concerns, rather, one’s degree-of-belief. Liars impose a risk on their audience. The greater the liar’s confidence that what she asserts is false, the greater the risk she’ll think she’s imposing on the dupe, and, therefore, the greater her blameworthiness. From this, I arrive at a dilemma: either the belief (...) requirement is wrong, or lying isn’t interesting. I suggest an alternative necessary condition for lying on a degree-of-belief framework. (shrink)
Frantz Fanon: Conflicts and Feminisms represents a bold examination of previous feminist criticisms of Fanon and argues that Fanon's writings on women and resistance provide the formative kernels of a liberating praxis for women existing under colonial and neocolonial oppression. Sharpley-Whiting skillfully brings together approaches from a broad range of academic fields, including critical race theory, literary and cultural criticism, and psychoanalysis as she assesses the relevance of Fanon's theories of oppression to a feminist politics of resistance.
Politics seem most alien to the demand for truth, for they engage the future which is, on principle, undeterminable, whereas truth conversely requires that the object be determined according to strict rules. Yet, political philosophy has never renounced the quest for a true understanding of human living_together, an understanding that makes becoming predictable, thus denying its contingency. However lofty, the ambition nonetheless elicited the most devastating political experience in history: totalitarianism. Such a disaster would seem to call for cautious relativism, (...) but letting oneself be ruled by the arbitrariness of opinions is just as irresponsible as obeying the necessity of a postulated "destiny."Such is the quandary whose challenge was taken up by Hannah Arendt. In so doing, Arendt does not dismiss the true from the sphere of action. She seeks to comprehend which uses of truth cancel political lucidity and which uses of truth conversely warrant political lucidity. What shapes Arendt's position is a battle waged on several fronts, pointing to three distinct goals which this article proposes to address successively: first, the ambition to rescue politics from any "true law of history" which would aim at governing them; secondly, the ambition to rescue politics from the political lies in charge of their rewriting; thirdly, the ambition to rescue politics from a value relativism which would be irresponsible or cynical. Rational truth, factual truth, and opinion are all successively implicated, even though one cannot simply dissociate them from one another. (shrink)
This paper will be concerned with the conjunctive interpretation of a family of disjunctive constructions. The relevant conjunctive interpretation, sometimes referred to as a “free choice effect,” (FC) is attested when a disjunctive sentence is embedded under an existential modal operator. I will provide evidence that the relevant generalization extends (with some caveats) to all constructions in which a disjunctive sentence appears under the scope of an existential quantifier, as well as to seemingly unrelated constructions in which conjunction appears under (...) the scope of negation and a universal quantifier. (shrink)
We present an argument for revising the theory of alternatives for Scalar Implicatures and for Association with Focus. We argue that in both cases the alternatives are determined in the same way, as a contextual restriction of the focus value of the sentence, which, in turn, is defined in structure-sensitive terms. We provide evidence that contextual restriction is subject to a constraint that prevents it from discriminating between alternatives when they stand in a particular logical relationship with the assertion or (...) the prejacent, a relationship that we refer to as symmetry. Due to this constraint on contextual restriction, discriminating between alternatives in cases of symmetry becomes the task of focus values. This conclusion is incompatible with standard type-theoretic definitions of focus values, motivating our structure-sensitive definition instead. (shrink)
To reduce exploration risk and optimize production in structurally complex areas, the geologic interpretation must be based on sound geomechanical principles. Despite advances in 3D seismic acquisition and processing techniques as well as in the availability of computationally robust interpretation software, the challenge associated with interpreting complex structures from seismic reflection data is that highly deformed areas surrounding faults, folds, and salt surfaces are often poorly imaged and therefore their interpretation is highly uncertain. We have developed a methodology that should (...) help geophysicists quickly check the strengths and weaknesses of their interpretation and to automatically reduce the uncertainty in a faulted horizon geometry. Our workflow consisted of restoring interpreted seismic horizons and relating the concentrations of computed deformation attributes to areas of interpretation uncertainty. We used the technique based on an iterative finite-element formulation that allowed unfolding and unfaulting of 3D horizons using physical elastic behavior. A fast algorithm has been developed to automatically correct the interpreted structures in zones that exhibited anomalous deformation concentrations after restoration. This approach is able to mechanically check and reduce uncertainty in a faulted seismic horizon interpretation. Its application to synthetic and reservoir data has a high degree of reliability in the characterization of structurally complex reservoirs. This technique is also applicable to 2D models and 3D models. (shrink)
The coming of bioethics -- The coming of bioethicists -- "Choices on our conscience": the inauguration of the Kennedy Institute of Education -- "Hello, Dolly": bioethics in the media -- Celebrating bioethics and bioethicists -- Thinking socially and culturally in bioethics -- Reminiscences of observing participants -- Bioethics circles the globe -- Bioethics in France -- The development of bioethics in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan -- The coming of the culture wars to American bioethics.
This allegory is among the most well-traversed passages in Plato's dialogues and deservedly so. Its emotional impact is undeniable, yet it confronts the reader with several problems of interpretation. There is a strong sense that it is of central importance to the crucial questions of the Platonic philosopher's education and his role in society, and it possibly holds one key to an understanding of the Republic as a whole.
The notion of measurement plays a central role in human cognition. We measure people’s height, the weight of physical objects, the length of stretches of time, or the size of various collections of individuals. Measurements of height, weight, and the like are commonly thought of as mappings between objects and dense scales, while measurements of collections of individuals, as implemented for instance in counting, are assumed to involve discrete scales. It is also commonly assumed that natural language makes use of (...) both types of scales and subsequently distinguishes between two types of measurements. This paper argues against the latter assumption. It argues that natural language semantics treats all measurements uniformly as mappings from objects (individuals or collections of individuals) to dense scales, hence the Universal Density of Measurement (UDM). If the arguments are successful, there are a variety of consequences for semantics and pragmatics, and more generally for the place of the linguistic system within an overall architecture of cognition. (shrink)
In a recent paper, Martin Hackl and I identified a variety of circumstances where scalar implicatures, questions, definite descriptions, and sentences with the focus particle only are absent or unacceptable (Fox and Hackl 2006, henceforth F&H). We argued that the relevant effect is one of maximization failure (MF): an application of a maximization operator to a set that cannot have the required maximal member. We derived MF from our hypothesis that the set of degrees relevant for the semantics of degree (...) constructions is always dense (the Universal Density of Measurement, UDM). The goal of this paper is to present an apparent shortcoming of F&H and to argue that it is overcome once certain consequences of the proposal are shown to follow from more general properties of MF. Specifically, the apparent problem comes from evidence that the core generalizations argued for in F&H extend to areas for which an account in terms of density is unavailable. Nevertheless, I will argue that the account could still be right. Certain dense sets contain "too many alternatives" for there to be a maximal member, thus leading to MF. But, there are other sets that lead to the same predicament. My goal will be to characterize a general signature of MF in the hope that it could be used to determine the identity of alternatives in areas where their identity is not clear on independent grounds. (shrink)
Rory Fox challenges the traditional understanding that Thomas Aquinas believed that God exists totally outside of time. His study investigates the work of several mid-thirteenth-century writers, and thus provides access to a wealth of material on medieval concepts of time and eternity.
One of the major roadblocks in conducting Environmental Corporate Social Responsibility (ECSR) research is operationalization of the construct. Existing ECSR measurement tools either require primary data gathering or special subscriptions to proprietary databases that have limited replicability. We address this deficiency by developing a transparent ECSR measure, with an explicit coding scheme, that strictly relies on publicly available data. Our ECSR measure tests favorably for internal consistency and inter-rater reliability, as well as convergent and discriminant validity.
In 1986, philosopher-bioethicist Samuel Gorovitz published an essay entitled “Baiting Bioethics,” in which he reported on various criticisms of bioethics that were “in print, or voiced in and around … the field” at that time, and set forth his assessment of their legitimacy. He gave detailed attention to what he judged to be the particularly fierce and “irresponsible attacks” on “the moral integrity” and soundness of bioethics contained in two papers: “Getting Ethics” by philosopher William Bennett and “Medical Morality Is (...) Not Bioethics,” coauthored by us. Gorovitz attributed some of the criticisms that bioethics was eliciting to the fact that this new, rapidly rising, and increasingly visible field had brought “scholars and practitioners together who otherwise would have little exposure to one another's disciplines. Their interactions are mutually enriching at times,” he declared, “but mutually baffling and even infuriating at other times.” In this latter regard, he suggested that “perhaps” Fox and Swazey's characterization of bioethics in the article he dissected “reflects a general revulsion at endeavors they see as inadequately like the social sciences or insufficiently respectful of them.” He went on to say that despite his objections to our “complaints” about bioethics—especially to our claim that “autonomy [had] been an unduly emphasized value” in the field—he had “a lingering sense” that there might be “a grain of truth” in them. Gorovitz ended his essay with an affirmation about the “benefit” that bioethics can derive from “responsible” and even from “irresponsible” criticism. “The unexamined discipline invites the philosopher's critical scrutiny no less than the unexamined life,” he aphoristically concluded. a. (shrink)
With A Theory of General Ethics Warwick Fox both defines the field of General Ethics and offers the first example of a truly general ethics. Specifically, he develops a single, integrated approach to ethics that encompasses the realms of interhuman ethics, the ethics of the natural environment, and the ethics of the built environment. Thus Fox offers what is in effect the first example of an ethical "Theory of Everything."Fox refers to his own approach to General Ethics as the "theory (...) of responsive cohesion." He argues that the best examples in any domain of interest--from psychology to politics, from conversations to theories--exemplify the quality of responsive cohesion, that is, they hold together by virtue of the mutual responsiveness of the elements that constitute them. Fox argues that the relational quality of responsive cohesion represents the most fundamental value there is. He then develops the theory of responsive cohesion, central features of which include the elaboration of a "theory of contexts" as well as a differentiated model of our obligations in respect of all beings. In doing this, he draws on cutting-edge work in cognitive science in order to develop a powerful distinction between beings who use language and beings that do not.Fox tests his theory against eighteen central problems in General Ethics--including challenges raised by abortion, euthanasia, personal obligations, politics, animal welfare, invasive species, ecological management, architecture, and planning--and shows that it offers sensible and defensible answers to the widest possible range of ethical problems. (shrink)
(Series copy) The new Oxford Readings in Feminism series maps the dramatic influence of feminist theory on every branch of academic knowledge. Offering feminist perspectives on disciplines from history to science, each book assembles the most important articles written on its field in the last ten to fifteen years. Old stereotypes are challenged and traditional attitudes upset in these lively-- and sometimes controversial--volumes, all of which are edited by feminists prominent in their particular field. Comprehensive, accessible, and intellectually daring, the (...) Oxford Readings in Feminism series is vital reading for anyone interested in the effects of feminist ideas within the academy. Can science be gender-neutral? In recent years, feminist critics have raised troubling questions about the practice and goals of traditional science, demonstrating the existence of a pervasive bias in the ways in which scientists conduct and discuss their work. This exciting volume gathers seventeen essays--by sociologists, scientists, historians, and philosophers--of seminal significance in the emerging field of feminist science studies. Analyzing topics from the stereotype of the "Man of Reason" to the "romantic" language of reproductive biology, these fascinating essays challenge readers to take a fresh look at the limitations--and possibilities--of scientific knowledge. (shrink)