It is much debated whether Aristotle’s conception of happiness includes all valuable goods or only intellectual activity of a certain kind . Our analysis of movement and activity yields a number of distinguishing features to which the eulogy for contemplation in EN X, 6-8 is referring. Moreover, good practice has the same ontological features as producing, certainly not a candidate for happiness. Man has many powers that can be actualised in their limit of perfection, but only one is an activity (...) and that is contemplation. So an analysis of the ontological basis of Aristotelian ethics leads to the conclusion that happiness must be understood along the lines of exclusivism. (shrink)
As Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) enters the mainstream of professional and institutional investment practice, some perplexities arise. Some SRI market participants are well schooled in finance but are hesitative as to how to apply non-financial criteria in the management of portfolios. Governments too are giving SRI more attention and, in some countries, are discussion whether and how to regulate the SRI market. Advocacy groups are targeting SRI projects through media campaigns using political discourse. Many of the pertinent questions that come (...) with these perplexities are of the philosophical or ethical type and concern legitimisation, demarcation of responsibilities, interpretation of norms and policy formulation. The inclusion of non-financial criteria into investment decision-making leads to a 'puzzle in SRI' for which this article offers a solution. The puzzle arises when the day-to-day implementation of an SRIpolicy coincides with the process of administering justice. Three questions make up that puzzle: (1) what should an investor do when allegations arise about a corporation, (2) what should an investor do when a corporation is brought before a court, (3) what should an investor do when a corporation is found guilty by a court. This article argues, by distinguishing between the rationality of the investor and that of the judge, that allegations, court cases or court verdicts should not be reasons to disinvest from a corporation. This article offers examples from investor practice and points out in which way allegations, court cases and court verdicts make sense for investor behaviour. (shrink)
This paper, an epilogue to the special issue on socially responsible investment, is a first attempt to philosophically tackle information asymmetries that pertain to the consequences or the effectiveness of SRI-policies. The paper discerns four types or techniques of SRI: 1) shareholder engagement; 2) the selection of best-in-class entities; 3) the maintenance of categorical exclusions; 4) the financing of alternative economies. For each technique, the paper first briefly sketches the mechanism that is put to work by the SRI-investor. Then, I (...) try to assess whether the investor is able to know whether or not his SRI-effort is being or has been effective in the real world. (shrink)
‘Stakeholder’ and related notions have been coined to enhance managerial practice in mainstream corporations. Currently, these notions are abundantly present in all kinds of discourses, especially those on ‘socially responsible investing’. But what kind of stakeholder management are these socially responsible investors promoting and what might be reasonable expectations about outcomes? We find that they promote an approach that has shareholder value as motivation and legitimisation and that they nowhere promote sharing of governance with stakeholders other than shareholders. We explain (...) why this might reasonably be expected. Besides mainstream investors and corporations, investing through co-operatively structured corporations differs regarding stakeholder positions with respect to the position of at least one stakeholder group, whether this be consumers, employees or producers. What are the implications thereof and are these investments then superior from a socially responsible perspective on investment? We find that co-operative investors meet their own set of difficulties in implementing stakeholder management. Our questions and findings enable us to formulate some critical remarks on the stakeholder-notion in both discourses and in general. We suggest that its use, if not halted altogether, should at least be restricted and substituted by the use of more specific notions. (shrink)
This introduction to the special issue on information asymmetries in socially responsible investment introduces the concept of information asymmetries and offers an overview of how such information asymmetries pertain to SRI. We first point out that all Abanking@, in its different metiers, always is concerned with information asymmetries. That introductory concept is succeeded by an overview of the different metiers in banking. We try to diminish a general information asymmetry regarding the financial professions in general and their scope for SRI (...) more specifically. We then distinguish several types of information asymmetry that may be at play in SRI-projects and introduce the contributions in this issue. (shrink)
What can one say about the state of the art in the Federal Republic? A number of aspects are discernible, not only in the practices and various traditions of intellectual history there, but also in its politics: the stark dichotomy between Marxists and anti-Marxists; the ever-present metahistorical question of which discipline, field, or method would set the political agenda; and the position of Jewish émigrés. These issues raise still more basic ones: how to understand the Nazi experience, which remained living (...) memory for most West Germans; how to confront the gradually congealing image of the Holocaust in private and public life; and the related matters of German intellectual traditions and the new order's foundations. Had the Nazi experience discredited those traditions and had the personal and institutional continuities from the Nazi to Federal Republican polities delegitimated the latter? These were questions with which intellectuals wrestled while they wrangled about historical method. In this introduction, I give a brief overview of these and other innovations in the field, before highlighting some of its characteristics today. (shrink)
Volume 1 of this biography of L. E. J. Brouwer was published in 1999.1 The volume under review here covers the period from the early nineteen twenties until Brouwer's death in 1966. It also includes a short epilogue that discusses the disposition of Brouwer's estate after his death, his influence on others, the paths of some of his students and colleagues, and other matters. Van Dalen notes in the Preface that in preparing this volume he consulted some historical studies that (...) appeared after the first volume was published. He also used new material from various archives. The biography contains interesting quotations from unpublished materials in the Brouwer Archive and from correspondence. The bibliographical references to Brouwer's publications, it should be noted, are somewhat different in this volume. This volume, like the first, contains some nice photographs and reproductions. I noted that there were many typographical errors in the earlier book but Volume 2 is relatively free of them.As is the case in Volume 1, the discussion of Brouwer's mathematical and philosophical work is woven into the narrative of Brouwer's life and times. The story in this volume starts with Brouwer's first contacts with Paul Alexandrov and Paul Urysohn in 1923. The interaction began when Urysohn announced that he had found a mistake in Brouwer's definition of dimension in Brouwer's 1913 paper on natural dimension. Was it just a slip of the pen, as Brouwer always maintained, or something more substantial? Urysohn and Alexandrov ultimately came to agree with Brouwer on the matter, and Urysohn was prepared to grant Brouwer priority for the definition of dimension. There were, however, ups and downs along the way. Karl Menger, through his own work in topology and dimension theory, soon got into the picture, and Brouwer and Menger were to …. (shrink)
Roughly speaking, classical statistical physics is the branch of theoretical physics that aims to account for the thermal behaviour of macroscopic bodies in terms of a classical mechanical model of their microscopic constituents, with the help of probabilistic assumptions. In the last century and a half, a fair number of approaches have been developed to meet this aim. This study of their foundations assesses their coherence and analyzes the motivations for their basic assumptions, and the interpretations of their central concepts. (...) The most outstanding foundational problems are the explanation of time-asymmetry in thermal behaviour, the relative autonomy of thermal phenomena from their microscopic underpinning, and the meaning of probability. A more or less historic survey is given of the work of Maxwell, Boltzmann and Gibbs in statistical physics, and the problems and objections to which their work gave rise. Next, we review some modern approaches to (i) equilibrium statistical mechanics, such as ergodic theory and the theory of the thermodynamic limit; and to (ii) non-equilibrium statistical mechanics as provided by Lanford's work on the Boltzmann equation, the so-called Bogolyubov-Born-Green-Kirkwood-Yvon approach, and stochastic approaches such as `coarse-graining' and the `open systems' approach. In all cases, we focus on the subtle interplay between probabilistic assumptions, dynamical assumptions, initial conditions and other ingredients used in these approaches. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to analyse the relation between the second law of thermodynamics and the so-called arrow of time. For this purpose, a number of different aspects in this arrow of time are distinguished, in particular those of time-reversal (non-)invariance and of (ir)reversibility. Next I review versions of the second law in the work of Carnot, Clausius, Kelvin, Planck, Gibbs, Caratheodory and Lieb and Yngvason, and investigate their connection with these aspects of the arrow of time. It (...) is shown that this connection varies a great deal along with these formulations of the second law. According to the famous formulation by Planck, the second law expresses the irreversibility of natural processes. But in many other formulations irreversibility or even time-reversal non-invariance plays no role. I therefore argue for the view that the second law has nothing to do with the arrow of time. (shrink)
It has been a longstanding problem to show how the irreversible behaviour of macroscopic systems can be reconciled with the time-reversal invariance of these same systems when considered from a microscopic point of view. A result by Lanford shows that, under certain conditions, the famous Boltzmann equation, describing the irreversible behaviour of a dilute gas, can be obtained from the time-reversal invariant Hamiltonian equations of motion for the hard spheres model. Here, we examine how and in what sense Lanford’s theorem (...) succeeds in deriving this remarkable result. Many authors have expressed different views on the question which of the ingredients in Lanford’s theorem is responsible for the emergence of irreversibility. We claim that these interpretations miss the target. In fact, we argue that there is no time-asymmetric ingredient at all. (shrink)
The principle of maximum entropy is a general method to assign values to probability distributions on the basis of partial information. This principle, introduced by Jaynes in 1957, forms an extension of the classical principle of insufficient reason. It has been further generalized, both in mathematical formulation and in intended scope, into the principle of maximum relative entropy or of minimum information. It has been claimed that these principles are singled out as unique methods of statistical inference that agree with (...) certain compelling consistency requirements. This paper reviews these consistency arguments and the surrounding controversy. It is shown that the uniqueness proofs are flawed, or rest on unreasonably strong assumptions. A more general class of inference rules, maximizing the so-called Re[acute ]nyi entropies, is exhibited which also fulfill the reasonable part of the consistency assumptions. (shrink)
I consider the problem of extending Reichenbach's principle of the common cause to more than two events, vis-a-vis an example posed by Bernstein. It is argued that the only reasonable extension of Reichenbach's principle stands in conflict with a recent proposal due to Horwich. I also discuss prospects of the principle of the common cause in the light of these and other difficulties known in the literature and argue that a more viable version of the principle is the one provided (...) by Penrose and Percival (1962). (shrink)
William Connolly is in error when he remarks that I begin my article with a discussion of scientific accounts that reduce the emotions to a few genetically wired categories and that I suggest that the cultural theorists who are interested in affect are driven in the same reductive direction.
The principle of maximum entropy is a method for assigning values to probability distributions on the basis of partial information. In usual formulations of this and related methods of inference one assumes that this partial information takes the form of a constraint on allowed probability distributions. In practical applications, however, the information consists of empirical data. A constraint rule is then employed to construct constraints on probability distributions out of these data. Usually one adopts the rule that equates the expectation (...) values of certain functions with their empirical averages. There are, however, various other ways in which one can construct constraints from empirical data, which makes the maximum entropy principle lead to very different probability assignments. This paper shows that an argument by Jaynes to justify the usual constraint rule is unsatisfactory and investigates several alternative choices. The choice of a constraint rule is also shown to be of crucial importance to the debate on the question whether there is a conflict between the methods of inference based on maximum entropy and Bayesian conditionalization. (shrink)
Jonathan Wolff is Professor of Philosophy at University College London. He is the author of Robert Nozick (1991), An Introduction to Political Philosophy (1996) and Why Read Marx Today (2002). He is currently working on a number of topics at the intersection of political philosophy and public policy.
The purpose of my article, “The Turn to Affect: A Critique,” was to show that the theorists whose work I analyzed are all committed to the mistaken idea that affective processes are responses of the organism that occur independently of cognition or intention.1 My aim was not to emphasize the differences among the authors under consideration—differences that, as I noted in my article, of course do exist—but rather to demonstrate that those theorists share certain erroneous assumptions about the separation presumed (...) to obtain between the affect system on the one hand and intention, cognition, and meaning on the other and to lay out the unfortunate consequences of their doing so.If Adam Frank and Elizabeth A. Wilson wish for another kind of essay than the one I have written—an essay that would stress the divergences between the ideas of Silvan S. Tomkins and those of the other affect theorists I consider, especially those of Paul Ekman, in order to show what was distinctive about Tomkins's contributions—let them write it. But in such an essay they will have to acknowledge certain facts about the relationship between Tomkins and Ekman that, in their haste to separate Tomkins's theories from Ekman's, they are in danger of neglecting or misrepresenting. (shrink)
To discuss moral behavior in organizations, a growing number of authors turn to a ‘virtue ethics’ approach. Central to this approach is the so-called moral character of individuals in organizations: a well-developed moral character enables organizational members to deal with the specific moral issues they encounter during their work. If a virtue ethics perspective is seen as relevant, one may ask how organizations can facilitate that their members can exercise and develop their moral character. In this paper, we argue that (...) the way tasks are defined and interlinked has a profound influence on “exercising and developing moral character”—it can enhance and frustrate it. In order to show how structures may support organizational members to exercise and develop their moral virtues, the paper first describes what it means to exercise and develop virtues in an organizational setting and what is required for it. Next, the paper sets out to explain how specific values on different structural parameters at different structural levels relate to exercising virtues in organizations. (shrink)
Decision Theory and Rationality offers a challenging new interpretation of a key theoretical tool in the human and social sciences. This accessible book argues, contrary to orthodoxy in politics, economics, and management science, that decision theory cannot provide a theory of rationality.
This article aims to review the standard objections to dualism and to argue that will either fail to convince someone committed to dualism or are flawed on independent grounds. I begin by presenting the taxonomy of metaphysical positions on concrete particulars as they relate to the dispute between materialists and dualists, and in particular substance dualism is defined. In the first section, several kinds of substance dualism are distinguished and the relevant varieties of this kind of dualism are selected. The (...) remaining sections are analyses of the standard objections to substance dualism : It is uninformative, has troubles accounting for soul individuation, causal pairing and interaction, violates laws of physics, is made implausible by the development of neuroscience and it postulates entities beyond necessity. I conclude that none of these objections is successful. (shrink)
There has recently been a wave of attempts to make sense of the role of de se thoughts in linguistic communication. A majority of the attempts assume a Perryan or a Lewisian view of de se thought. Views with these assumptions, I suggest, come in four varieties: uncentering (Egan 2007, Kölbel 2013, Moss 2012), recentering (Heim 2004, Weber 2012), multicentering (Kindermann 2014, Ninan 2010, Torre 2009), and no centering (Kaplan 1989, Perry 1979). I argue first that all four varieties of (...) centering are committed to what I call a shifting operation on the hearer's part. I argue second that, against common assumption, there is no real choice to make between the views. By showing that attempts to establish an advantage for some view over the others fail across the board, I make the case for neutralism regarding the varieties of centering – the claim that coverage of the empirical data is exactly the same for each view, and that the views are broadly equal in simplicity and elegance. (shrink)
The legalization of euthanasia, both in the Netherlands and in other countries is usually justified in reference to the right to autonomy of patients. Utilizing recent Dutch jurisprudence, this article intends to show that the judicial proceedings on euthanasia in the Netherlands have not so much enhanced the autonomy of patients, as the autonomy of the medical profession. Keywords: allowing to die, criminal law, euthanasia, law enforcement, legal aspects, legislation, medical ethics, medical profession, self determination, the Netherlands, voluntary euthanasia, withholding (...) treatment CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Gao presents a critical reconsideration of a paper I wrote on the subject of protective measurement. Here, I take the occasion to reply to his objections. In particular, I retract my previous claim to have proven that in a protective measurement, the observable being measured on a system must commute with the system's Hamiltonian. However, I do maintain the viability of the interpretation I offered for protective measurements, as well as my analysis of a thought experiment proposed by Aharonov, Anandan (...) and Vaidman against Gao's objections. (shrink)
This essay argues the Stoics are rightly regarded as pantheists. Their view differs from many forms of pantheism by accepting the notion of a personal god who exercises divine providence. Moreover, Stoic pantheism is utterly inimical to a deep ecology ethic. I argue that these features are nonetheless consistent with the claim that they are pantheists. The essay also considers the arguments offered by the Stoics. They thought that their pantheistic conclusion was an extension of the best science of their (...) day. Some of their most interesting arguments are thusa posteriori. (shrink)