At lunch one day a colleague and I had a friendly argument over occupational licensing. I attacked it for being anticompetitive, arguing that licensing boards raise occupational incomes by restricting entry, advertising, and commercialization. My colleague, while acknowledging anticompetitive aspects, affirmed the need for licensing on the grounds of protecting the consumer from frauds and quacks. In many areas of infrequent and specialized dealing, consumers are not able, ex ante or even ex post, to evaluate competence. I countered by suggesting (...) voluntary means by which reputational problems might be handled and by returning to the offensive. I said that in fact the impetus for licensing usually comes from the practitioners, not their customers, and that licensing boards seldom devote their time to ferreting out incompetence but rather simply to prosecuting unlicensed practitioners. I mentioned cross-sectional findings, such as those on state licensure, prices, and occupational incomes. Overall, I characterized the professional establishment as a group of dastardly operators, who set the standards, write the codes, and enforce behavior to enhance their own material wellbeing - in brief, as venal rent-seekers. (shrink)
Abstract Academic social scientists overwhelmingly vote Democratic, and the Democratic hegemony has increased significantly since 1970. Moreover, the policy preferences of a large sample of the members of the scholarly associations in anthropology, economics, history, legal and political philosophy, political science, and sociology generally bear out conjectures about the correspondence of partisan identification with left/right ideal types; although across the board, both Democratic and Republican academics favor government action more than the ideal types might suggest. Variations in policy views among (...) Democrats is smaller than among Republicans. Ideological diversity (as judged not only by voting behavior, but by policy views) is by far the greatest within economics. Social scientists who deviate from left?wing views are as likely to be libertarian as conservative. (shrink)
Ex-Jew, eternal Jew: early representations of the Jewish Spinoza -- Refining Spinoza: Moses Mendelssohn's response to the Amsterdam heretic -- The first modern Jew: Berthold Auerbach's Spinoza and the beginnings of an image -- A rebel against the past, a revealer of secrets: Salomon Rubin and the east European Maskilic Spinoza -- From the heights of Mount Scopus: Yosef Klausner and the Zionist rehabilitation of Spinoza -- Farewell, Spinoza: I. B. Singer and the tragicomedy of the Jewish Spinozist.
Dealing with major issues in Jewish biomedical law, this book focuses upon the influence of morality, the rise of patient autonomy, and the role played by scientific progress in this area of Jewish Law. The book examines Jewish Law in comparison with canon, common, and modern Israeli law.
ABSTRACTAdam Smith infused the expression ‘impartial spectator’ with a plexus of related meanings, one of which is a super-being, which bears parallels to monotheistic ideas of God. As for any genuine, identified, human spectator, he can be deemed impartial only presumptively. Such presumptive impartiality as regards the incident does not of itself carry extensive implications about his intelligence, nor about his being aligned with benevolence towards any larger whole. We may posit, however, a being who is impartial and who holds (...) higher levels of intelligence and of benevolence, and then converse over what her sentiments would be about the matter under discussion. It is natural to conceive of a being who is unsurpassable in such qualities, who is morally supreme, and who naturally takes the definite article the without having been definitized by the writer. Signal passages, new to edition 6, suggest that Smith formulates the man within the breast as a representative of the always present and everywhere morally supreme impartial spectator. When Smith speaks of the man within the breast as ‘the supposed impartial spectator’, we interpret ‘supposed’ as sup-pos-ed, not sup-pos’d. (shrink)
Virtue ethics seems to be a promising moral theory for understanding and interpreting the development and behavior of artificial moral agents. Virtuous artificial agents would blur traditional distinctions between different sorts of moral machines and could make a claim to membership in the moral community. Accordingly, we investigate the “machine question” by studying whether virtue or vice can be attributed to artificial intelligence; that is, are people willing to judge machines as possessing moral character? An experiment describes situations where either (...) human or AI agents engage in virtuous or vicious behavior and experiment participants then judge their level of virtue or vice. The scenarios represent different virtue ethics domains of truth, justice, fear, wealth, and honor. Quantitative and qualitative analyses show that moral attributions are weakened for AIs compared to humans, and the reasoning and explanations for the attributions are varied and more complex. On “relational” views of membership in the moral community, virtuous machines would indeed be included, even if they are indeed weakened. Hence, while our moral relationships with artificial agents may be of the same types, they may yet remain substantively different than our relationships to human beings. (shrink)
In this article we examine four objections to the genetic modification of human beings: the freedom argument, the giftedness argument, the authenticity argument, and the uniqueness argument. We then demonstrate that each of these arguments against genetic modification assumes a strong version of genetic determinism. Since these strong deterministic assumptions are false, the arguments against genetic modification, which assume and depend upon these assumptions, are therefore unsound. Serious discussion of the morality of genetic modification, and the development of sound science (...) policy, should be driven by arguments that address the actual consequences of genetic modification for individuals and society, not by ones propped up by false or misleading biological assumptions. (shrink)
Abstract The party registration of tenure?track faculty at 11 California universities, ranging from small, private, religiously affiliated institutions to large, public, elite schools, shows that the ?one?party campus? conjecture does not extend to all institutions or all departments. At one end of the scale, U.C. Berkeley has an adjusted Democrat:Republican ratio of almost 9:1, while Pepperdine University has a ratio of nearly 1:1. Academic field also makes a tremendous difference, with the humanities averaging a 10:1 D:R ratio and business schools (...) averaging 1.3:1, and with departments ranging from sociology (44:1) to management (1.5:1). Across all departments and institutions, the D:R ratio is 5:1, while in the ?soft? liberal?arts fields, the ratio is higher than 8:1. These findings are generally in line with comparable previous studies. (shrink)
This study focuses upon two competing visions of wealth and work among Baptists in America and how these different visions have shaped Baptist business ethics. Russell H. Conwell reflected the Reformed tradition's inclination toward what came to be called the Protestant work ethic and its defense of capitalism. He contended that American capitalism presented an open door for any diligent worker to achieve deserved riches. Walter Rauschenbusch reflected the Anabaptist heritage in the stream of Baptist history. He challenged the dominant (...) ethos of the industrial revolution in America and its preference for the interests of management; he called instead for the protection of the worker from the monopolistic power of the capitalists. These two contrasting postures influenced the response of Baptists to the labor-management struggle. (shrink)
Koriat & Goldsmith's distinction between the correspondence and storehouse metaphors is valuable for both memory theory and methodology. It is questionable, however, whether this distinction underlies the heated debate about so called “everyday memory” research. The distinction between experimental and naturalistic methodologies better characterizes this debate. I compare these distinctions and discuss how the methodological distinction, between experimental and naturalistic designs, could give rise to different theoretical approaches.
We examined two potential correlates of hypnotic suggestibility: dissociation and cognitive inhibition. Dissociation is the foundation of two of the major theories of hypnosis and other theories commonly postulate that hypnotic responding is a result of attentional abilities . Participants were administered the Waterloo-Stanford Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form C. Under the guise of an unrelated study, 180 of these participants also completed: a version of the Dissociative Experiences Scale that is normally distributed in non-clinical populations; a latent inhibition (...) task, a spatial negative priming task, and a memory task designed to measure negative priming. The data ruled out even moderate correlations between hypnotic suggestibility and all the measures of dissociation and cognitive inhibition overall, though they also indicated gender differences. The results are a challenge for existing theories of hypnosis. (shrink)
Status anxiety, the constant concern about individuals’ position on the social ladder, negatively affects social cohesion, health, and wellbeing. Given previous findings showing that status anxiety is associated with economic inequality, we aimed in this research to test this association experimentally. A cross-sectional study was run in order to discard confounding effects of the relationship between perceived economic inequality and status anxiety, and to explore the mediating role of a competitive climate. Then we predicted that people assigned to a condition (...) of high inequality would perceive more status anxiety in their social context, and they would themselves report higher status anxiety. Thus, in an experimental study PEI was manipulated. In Study 1, PEI uniquely predicted status anxiety, and perceived competitiveness mediated the relationship. In Study 2 PEI increased perceived contextual status anxiety, a specific form of perceived competitiveness based on socioeconomic status. Moreover, preliminary evidence of an indirect effect was found from PEI to personal status anxiety, through perceived contextual status anxiety. These preliminary findings provide experimental evidence for the effects of economic inequality on status anxiety and the mechanism involved. Economic inequality makes people feel that they live in a society where they are constantly concerned and competing with each other for their SES. These results could have important implications as health and wellbeing could be promoted by reducing economic inequalities and the competitive and materialistic environments of our societies. (shrink)