Working from a realist Thomistic epistemology, Ashley asserts that we must begin our search for wisdom in the natural sciences; only then, he believes, can we ensure that our claims about immaterial and invisible things are rooted in reliable experience of the material. Any attempt to share wisdom, he insists, must derive from a context that is both interdisciplinary and intercultural. Ashley offers an ambitious analysis and synthesis of major historical contributions to the unification of knowledge, including non-Western (...) traditions. Beginning with the question "Metaphysics: Nonsense or Wisdom?" Ashley moves from a critical examination of the foundations of modern science to quantum physics and the Big Bang; from Aristotle's theory of being and change, through Aquinas's five ways, to a critical analysis of modern and postmodern thought. Ashley is able to interweave the approaches of the great philosophers by demonstrating their contributions to philosophical thought in a concrete, specific manner. In the process, he accounts for a contemporary culture overwhelmed by the fragmentation of data and thirsting for an utterly transcendent yet personal God. "This is an impressive, well-researched book, of great value. It offers the wider philosophical community a point of entrance, by a proponent of a certain type of Thomism, into a domain that all philosophers think they already understand. The result is the creation of a 'big picture' of human knowledge." -- _Mark Johnson, Marquette University_. (shrink)
“This is an impressive, well-researched book, of great value. It offers the wider philosophical community a point of entrance, by a proponent of a certain type of Thomism, into a domain that all philosophers think they already understand. The result is the creation of a ‘big picture’ of human knowledge.” —Mark Johnson, Marquette University Working from a realist Thomistic epistemology, noted scholar Benedict Ashley, O.P., asserts that we must begin our search for wisdom in the natural sciences; only then, (...)Ashley believes, can we ensure that our claims about immaterial and invisible things are rooted in reliable experience of the material. Any attempt to share wisdom, he insists, must derive from a context that is both interdisciplinary and intercultural. This capstone of a remarkable career will be welcomed by students in philosophy and theology. (shrink)
Work on a computer program called SMILE + IBP (SMart Index Learner Plus Issue-Based Prediction) bridges case-based reasoning and extracting information from texts. The program addresses a technologically challenging task that is also very relevant from a legal viewpoint: to extract information from textual descriptions of the facts of decided cases and apply that information to predict the outcomes of new cases. The program attempts to automatically classify textual descriptions of the facts of legal problems in terms of Factors, a (...) set of classification concepts that capture stereotypical fact patterns that effect the strength of a legal claim, here trade secret misappropriation. Using these classifications, the program can evaluate and explain predictions about a problem’s outcome given a database of previously classified cases. This paper provides an extended example illustrating both functions, prediction by IBP and text classification by SMILE, and reports empirical evaluations of each. While IBP’s results are quite strong, and SMILE’s much weaker, SMILE + IBP still has some success predicting and explaining the outcomes of case scenarios input as texts. It marks the first time to our knowledge that a program can reason automatically about legal case texts. (shrink)
We provide a retrospective of 25 years of the International Conference on AI and Law, which was first held in 1987. Fifty papers have been selected from the thirteen conferences and each of them is described in a short subsection individually written by one of the 24 authors. These subsections attempt to place the paper discussed in the context of the development of AI and Law, while often offering some personal reactions and reflections. As a whole, the subsections build into (...) a history of the last quarter century of the field, and provide some insights into where it has come from, where it is now, and where it might go. (shrink)
This article provides a systematic analysis of the cognitive processes required for acquiring skill in practical ethical reasoning in a professional domain. We undertook this NSF-supported research project in part to study relationships between case-based instruction in professional ethics and cognitive analyses of ethical reasoning strategies. Using a web-based experimental design, we report striking differences in the students' and ethicists' use of knowledge and reasoning. Virtually all of the ethicists and some students' protocols made significant use of specialized professional knowledge (...) and also used role-specific content in the ethical principles applied in their responses. In contrast, other student protocols made significantly more use of common knowledge and applied more general ethical principles or appealed to consequences in the justification of their responses. Our analyses show how certain strategies were superior to others in regard to identifying alternative moral issues, assessing the moral implications of actions, and providing alternative practical resolutions to conflicts. The findings point to the importance of professional knowledge and role-specific professional obligations in resolving professional ethical conflicts: the same knowledge and "middle-level" principles necessary to comprehend and apply professional codes of ethics. (shrink)
The relationship between entrepreneurship and ethics has largely been characterized as antithetical. In this article we develop a conceptual model integrating pragmatism, a philosophical approach that emphasizes experimentation and action characteristic of entrepreneurial leadership, with ethics to suggest that the two are not incompatible and that sustaining entrepreneurial leadership for value creation necessitates ethical action to build legitimacy. Case studies from the United States and India highlight the necessity of infusing pragmatism with ethics for sustainable entrepreneurial leadership.
In this short note, we discuss several aspectsof dimensions and the related constructof factors. We concentrate on those aspectsthat are relevant to articles in this specialissue, especially those dealing with the analysisof the wild animal cases discussed inBerman and Hafner's 1993 ICAIL article. We reviewthe basic ideas about dimensions,as used in HYPO, and point out differences withfactors, as used in subsequent systemslike CATO. Our goal is to correct certainmisconceptions that have arisen over the years.
Assessment in ethics education faces a challenge. From the perspectives of teachers, students, and third-party evaluators like the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology and the National Institutes of Health, assessment of student performance is essential. Because of the complexity of ethical case analysis, however, it is difficult to formulate assessment criteria, and to recognize when students fulfill them. Improvement in students’ moral reasoning skills can serve as the focus of assessment. In previous work, Rosa Lynn Pinkus and Claire Gloeckner (...) developed a novel instrument for assessing moral reasoning skills in bioengineering ethics. In this paper, we compare that approach to existing assessment techniques, and evaluate its validity and reliability. We find that it is sensitive to knowledge gain and that independent coders agree on how to apply it. (shrink)
Although informed consent models for prescribing hormone replacement therapy are becoming increasingly prevalent, many physicians continue to require an assessment and referral letter from a mental health professional prior to prescription. Drawing on personal and communal experience, the author argues that assessment and referral requirements are dehumanising and unethical, foregrounding the ways in which these requirements evidence a mistrust of trans people, suppress the diversity of their experiences and sustain an unjustified double standard in contrast to other forms of clinical (...) care. Physicians should abandon this unethical requirement in favour of an informed consent approach to transgender care. (shrink)
Reasoners compare problems to prior cases to draw conclusions about a problem and guide decision making. All Case-Based Reasoning (CBR) employs some methods for generalizing from cases to support indexing and relevance assessment and evidences two basic inference methods: constraining search by tracing a solution from a past case or evaluating a case by comparing it to past cases. Across domains and tasks, however, humans reason with cases in subtly different ways evidencing different mixes of and mechanisms for these components.In (...) recent CBR research in Artificial Intelligence (AI), five paradigmatic approaches have emerged: statistically-oriented, model-based, planning/design-oriented, exemplar-based, and adversarial or precedent-based. The paradigms differ in the assumptions they make about domain models, the extent to which they support symbolic case comparison, and the kinds of inferences for which they employ cases. (shrink)
This article provides an overview of, and thematic justification for, the special issue of the journal of Artificial Intelligence and Law entitled “E-Discovery”. In attempting to define a characteristic “AI & Law” approach to e-discovery, and since a central theme of AI & Law involves computationally modeling legal knowledge, reasoning and decision making, we focus on the theme of representing and reasoning with litigators’ theories or hypotheses about document relevance through a variety of techniques including machine learning. We also identify (...) two emerging techniques for enabling users’ document queries to better express the theories of relevance and connect them to documents: social network analysis and a hypothesis ontology. (shrink)
Governing boards utilize executive compensation contracts in an attempt to align executive actions with corporate goals. The objective is to ensure that executive performance provides value to the organization in terms of successful outcomes. A key performance criteria typically specified in CEO compensation contracts is earnings targets. However, using earnings as a performance evaluation may be problematic because some firms exhibit robust and sustained earnings over time (high earnings persistence), and other firms, such as high growth oriented firms, exhibit weak (...) or sometimes negative earnings over time (low earnings persistence). Our study reveals that the effect of high earnings persistence results in firms that focus more heavily on cash compensation (salary and bonus) rather than on equity compensation (stock options, etc.) to compensate executive performance. Additionally, for firms characterized by low earnings persistence, our study indicates that cash flows from operations act as a supplementary performance measure to accounting earnings, and become increasingly important as a means to justify executive cash compensation. (shrink)
This article describes recent jurisprudential accountsof analogical legal reasoning andcompares them in detail to the computational modelof case-based legal argument inCATO. The jurisprudential models provide a theoryof relevance based on low-levellegal principles generated in a process ofcase-comparing reflective adjustment. Thejurisprudential critique focuses on the problemsof assigning weights to competingprinciples and dealing with erroneously decidedprecedents. CATO, a computerizedinstructional environment, employs ArtificialIntelligence techniques to teach lawstudents how to make basic legal argumentswith cases. The computational modelhelps students test legal hypotheses againsta database of (...) legal cases, draws analogiesto problem scenarios from the database, andcomposes arguments by analogy with a setof argument moves. The CATO model accountsfor a number of the important featuresof the jurisprudential accounts, includingimplementing a kind of reflective adjustment.It also avoids some of the problems identifiedin the critique; for instance, it deals withweights in a non-numeric, context-sensitivemanner. The article concludes by describingthe contributions AI research can make tojurisprudential investigations of complexcognitive phenomena of legal reasoning. Forinstance, unlike the jurisprudential models,CATO provides a detailed account of how togenerate multiple interpretations of a citedcase, downplaying or emphasizing the legalsignificance of distinctions in terms of thepurposes of the law as the argument contextdemands. (shrink)
In our paper we attempt an examination of Hume's positive contributions to the problem of personal identity. In contrast to Penelhum, smith and others, we argue that Hume can and does make sense of the identity of persons through time, but that this identity is not perfect in nature. We argue that Hume presents a logical construction theory of the self. We explain how such a view accounts for our identity and individuality and why it conforms to the empiricist approach.
In a previous article, I argued that assessment requirements for transgender hormone replacement therapy are unethical and dehumanising. A recent response published by the Journal of Medical Ethics criticises this proposal. In this reply, I advance that their response misunderstood core parts of my argument and fails to provide independent support for assessment requirements. Though transition-related care may have similarities with cosmetic surgeries, this does not suffice to establish a need for assessments, and nor do the high rates of depression (...) and anxiety justify assessments, especially given the protective role HRT plays towards mental well-being. (shrink)