Market-based social governance schemes that establish standards of conduct for producers and traders in international supply chains aim to reduce the negative socioenvironmental effects of globalization. While studies have examined how characteristics of social governance schemes promote socially responsible producer behavior, it has not yet been examined how these same characteristics affect consumer behavior. This is a crucial omission, because without consumer demand for socially produced products, the reach of the social benefits is likely to be limited. We develop a (...) comprehensive model that links twocharacteristics of market-based social governance schemes— stringency and enforcement of requirements, and promotion—to two conditions required for governance schemes to generate significant social benefits: socially responsible behavior of participating firms; and consumer demand for socially produced products which, in turn, expands products produced according to social governance schemes, and thus, the quantity of social benefits. We discuss market-based social governance schemes in the context of fair trade coffee. (shrink)
Absolutely no one still believes that every physical interactionconsists of material bodies bumping into each other. Those who have tried to work out a completely mechanistic physics have been unable to explain common phenomena like liquidity, gravitation and magnetism. In fact, there is great reason to doubt that such a physics could ever account for attractive forces in general.
A new model of ritual based on Durkheim's ( 1995) theory is developed. It is argued that ritual practices generate belief and belonging in participants by activating multiple social-psychological mechanisms that interactively create the characteristic outcomes of ritual. Specifically, the distinctive elements of ritual practice are shown to induce altered subjective states and effortful and/or anomalous behaviors, which are subsequently misattributed in such a way that belief and belonging are created or maintained around the focus of ritual attention. These processes (...) are traced in detail, and the resulting model is shown to be empirically credible, comprehensive, and theoretically fertile. (shrink)
ABSTRACT In this wide-ranging interview Professor Douglas V. Porpora discusses a number of issues. First, how he became a Critical Realist through his early work on the concept of structure. Second, drawing on his Reconstructing Sociology, his take on the current state of American sociology. This leads to discussion of the broader range of his work as part of Margaret Archer’s various Centre for Social Ontology projects, and on moral-macro reasoning and the concept of truth in political discourse.
In this paper, we analyze some of the ethical dimensions of going private transactions (GPTs), wherein publicly traded firms are taken private. Financial theory suggests that efficiencies may be realized in these transactions such that outside shareholders are made better off. Empirical evidence supports this theory. We therefore argue that GPTs are not inherently exploitive or unethical. The issues of the fiduciary duty of corporate managers to shareholders and their obligations to non-shareholders are also explored.
Income and wealth inequalities in the United States have risen sharply over the past four decades and have reached levels that are unprecedented in the postwar period. Christian theology and ethics have much to offer public debates about inequality and can prompt public action to reduce those forms of inequality that limit human well-being and capability. This article reviews trends of economic inequality and develops a framework to address these disparities.
Though the relation of spirituality to self has long been recognized in established spiritual and religious systems, serious scientific interest in spirituality and its relation to identity has only started to grow in the past 20 years. This paper overviews the literature on spirituality and identity. Particular attention is given to describing and critiquing conventional and transpersonal perspectives with emphasis given to empirically testable theories. Using MacDonald’s five dimensional model of spirituality, a structural model of spirituality is proposed as is (...) a model of spiritual identity formation. (shrink)
I know about you only from your valuable books and from the little that was communicated to me by telephone in Moscow in September. Nevertheless, we share a warm interest in Greek culture generally and philosophy in particular.
Although fallacies have been common since Aristotle, until recently little attention has been devoted to identifying and defining them. Furthermore, the concept of fallacy itself has lacked a sufficiently clear meaning to make it a useful tool for evaluating arguments. Douglas Walton takes a new analytical look at the concept of fallacy and presents an up-to-date analysis of its usefulness for argumentation studies. Walton uses case studies illustrating familiar arguments and tricky deceptions in everyday conversation where the charge of (...) fallaciousness is at issue. The numerous case studies show in concrete terms many practical aspects of how to use textual evidence to identify and analyze fallacies and to evaluate arguments as fallacious. Walton looks at how an argument is used in the context of conversation. He defines a fallacy as a conversational move, or sequence of moves, that is supposed to be an argument that contributes to the purpose of the conversation but in reality interferes with it. The view is a pragmatic one, based on the assumption that when people argue, they do so in a context of dialogue, a conventionalized normative framework that is goal-directed. Such a contextual framework is shown to be crucial in determining whether an argument has been used correctly. Walton also shows how examples of fallacies given in the logic textbooks characteristically turn out to be variants of reasonable, even if defeasible or questionable arguments, based on presumptive reasoning. This is the essence of the evaluation problem. A key thesis of the book, which must not be taken for granted as previous textbooks have so often done, is that you can spot a fallacy from how it was used in a context of dialogue. This is an innovative and even, as Walton notes, "a radical and controversial" theory of fallacy. (shrink)
This essay critically examines economist and philosopher Amartya Sen's writings as a potential resource in religious ethicists' efforts to analyze discrimination against girls and women and to address their well-being and agency. Delineating how Sen's discussions of "missing women" and "gender and cooperative conflict" fit within his "capability approach" to economic and human development, the article explores how Sen's methodology employs empirical analysis toward normative ends. Those ends expand the capability of girls and women to function in all aspects of (...) their society. It concludes with a discussion of ways to engage Sen's work within religious ethics. (shrink)
The object of this paper is to question the established view that the orator M. Calidius was an Atticist. I propose to argue that the term ‘Atticist’ should be reserved for the coterie centring on Calvus, which attacked Cicero, and was attacked by him in Brutus and Orator, and that our evidence for the oratory of Calidius does not warrant the inference that he was in any way associated with, or a forerunner of, that coterie.
IN THIS ESSAY I ENGAGE THE DEBATE AMONG THEOLOGIANS, PHILOSOphers, and economists on the proper role of self-interest in the pursuit of economic well-being. Often, neither economists' use of self-interest nor critics' rejection of it is carefully specified. I consider conditions under which acting in one's self-interest is theologically and morally proper. Specifically, I argue that for socioeconomically disadvantaged persons, increased exercise of self-interest should not be regarded as sinful but as a fitting expansion of agency and well-being. Contextual factors (...) of distribution and the quality of social relations must inform any analysis of self-interest. I introduce a theological perspective on self-interest within an egalitarian Christian framework and suggest ways in which this approach enables further theological and ethical reflection on the proper role of self-interest. (shrink)
Fears about economic globalization overlook the fact that the growing international division of labor can be beneficial to all participants?as may be seen in the spectacular strides that have been made recently by once?impoverished developing countries. Free trade does threaten some, but the negative effects of international trade even on developed countries such as the United States have been vastly overstated. Western workers are rich because of their high productivity, not because of their insulation from competition. Ignorance of these facts, (...) however, fuels support not only for specific trade barriers, but for Seattle?style activism that threatens to harm the very people it is intended to benefit. (shrink)
This is an introductory guide to the basic principles of constructing good arguments and criticizing bad ones. It is nontechnical in its approach, and is based on 150 key examples, each discussed and evaluated in clear, illustrative detail. The author explains how errors, fallacies, and other key failures of argument occur. He shows how correct uses of argument are based on sound argument strategies for reasoned persuasion and critical questions for responding. Among the many subjects covered are: techniques of posing, (...) replying to, and criticizing questions, forms of valid argument, relevance, appeals to emotion, personal attack, uses and abuses of expert opinion, problems in deploying statistics, loaded terms, equivocation, and arguments from analogy. (shrink)
Old philosophical problems never die, but they can be reinterpreted. In this paper, I offer a reinterpretation of the problem of reconciling divine omniscience and human free will. Classical discussions of this problem concentrate on the nature of God and the concept of free will. The present discussion will focus attention on the concept of knowledge, drawing on developments in epistemology that resulted from the posing of a certain problem by Edmund Gettier in 1963.
Second edition of the introductory guidebook to the basic principles of constructing sound arguments and criticising bad ones. Non-technical in approach, it is based on 186 examples, which Douglas Walton, a leading authority in the field of informal logic, discusses and evaluates in clear, illustrative detail. Walton explains how errors, fallacies, and other key failures of argument occur. He shows how correct uses of argument are based on sound strategies for reasoned persuasion and critical responses. This edition takes into (...) account many developments in the field of argumentation study that have occurred since 1989, many created by the author. Drawing on these developments, Walton includes and analyzes 36 new topical examples and also brings in work on argumentation schemes. Ideally suited for use in courses in informal logic and introduction to philosophy, this book will also be valuable to students of pragmatics, rhetoric, and speech communication. (shrink)
Discussions of Karl Popper's falsificationist philosophy of science appear regularly in the recent literature on economic methodology. In this literature, there seem to be two fundamental points of agreement about Popper. First, most economists take Popper's falsificationist method of bold conjecture and severe test to be the correct characterization of scientific conduct in the physical sciences. Second, most economists admit that economic theory fails miserably when judged by these same falsificationist standards. As Latsis states, “the development of economic analysis would (...) look a dismal affair through falsificationist spectacles.”. (shrink)
Much existing literature in anthropology suggests that teaching is rare in non-Western societies, and that cultural transmission is mostly vertical (parent-to-offspring). However, applications of evolutionary theory to humans predict both teaching and non-vertical transmission of culturally learned skills, behaviors, and knowledge should be common cross-culturally. Here, we review this body of theory to derive predictions about when teaching and non-vertical transmission should be adaptive, and thus more likely to be observed empirically. Using three interviews conducted with rural Fijian populations, we (...) find that parents are more likely to teach than are other kin types, high-skill and highly valued domains are more likely to be taught, and oblique transmission is associated with high-skill domains, which are learned later in life. Finally, we conclude that the apparent conflict between theory and empirical evidence is due to a mismatch of theoretical hypotheses and empirical claims across disciplines, and we reconcile theory with the existing literature in light of our results. (shrink)
The human species is more reliant on cultural adaptation than any other species, but it is unclear how observational learning can give rise to the faithful transmission of cultural adaptations. One possibility is that teaching facilitates accurate social transmission by narrowing the range of inferences that learners make. However, there is wide disagreement about how to define teaching, and how to interpret the empirical evidence for teaching across cultures and species. In this article I argue that disputes about the nature (...) and prevalence of teaching across human societies and nonhuman animals are based on a number of deep-rooted theoretical differences between fields, as well as on important differences in how teaching is defined. To reconcile these disparate bodies of research, I review the three major approaches to the study of teaching – mentalistic, culture-based, and functionalist – and outline the research questions about teaching that each addresses. I then argue for a new, integrated framework that differentiates between teaching types according to the specific adaptive problems that each type solves, and apply this framework to restructure current empirical evidence on teaching in humans and nonhuman animals. This integrative framework generates novel insights, with broad implications for the study of the evolution of teaching, including the roles of cognitive constraints and cooperative dilemmas in how and when teaching evolves. Finally, I propose an explanation for why some types of teaching are uniquely human, and discuss new directions for research motivated by this framework. (shrink)
If “perfectionism” in ethics refers to those normative theories that treat the fulfillment or realization of human nature as central to an account of both goodness and moral obligation, in what sense is “human flourishing” a perfectionist notion? How much of what we take “human flourishing” to signify is the result of our understanding of human nature? Is the content of this concept simply read off an examination of our nature? Is there no place for diversity and individuality? Is the (...) belief that the content of such a normative concept can be determined by an appeal to human nature merely the result of epistemological naiveté? What is the exact character of the connection between human flourishing and human nature? These questions are the ultimate concern of this essay, but to appreciate the answers that will be offered it is necessary to understand what is meant by “human flourishing.” “Human flourishing” is a relatively recent term in ethics. It seems to have developed in the last two decades because the traditional translation of the Greek term eudaimonia as “happiness” failed to communicate clearly that eudaimonia was an objective good, not merely a subjective good. (shrink)
Much human adaptation depends on the gradual accumulation of culturally transmitted knowledge and technology. Recent models of this process predict that large, well-connected populations will have more diverse and complex tool kits than small, isolated populations. While several examples of the loss of technology in small populations are consistent with this prediction, it found no support in two systematic quantitative tests. Both studies were based on data from continental populations in which contact rates were not available, and therefore these studies (...) do not provide a test of the models. Here, we show that in Oceania, around the time of early European contact, islands with small populations had less complicated marine foraging technology. This ﬁnding suggests that explanations of existing cultural variation based on optimality models alone are incomplete because demography plays an important role in generating cumulative cultural adaptation. It also indicates that hominin populations with similar cognitive abilities may leave very different archaeological records, a conclusion that has important implications for our understanding of the origin of anatomically modern humans and their evolved psychology. (shrink)