Corporate environmental performance (CEP) has been of fundamental interest in scholarly research during the last few decades. However, there is a great deal of disagreement pertaining to the definition, conceptualization, and adequate measurement of CEP. Our study addresses these issues and provides a methodologically rigorous and comprehensive examination of content validity and construct validity. By integrating the available literature on CEP, we derive a parsimonious definition and theoretically sound framework of the focal construct. Drawing on non-aggregated and publicly available data (...) for a sample of 706 firm-years, we test the construct validity of this framework by means of factor analysis. Our results provide evidence for the multidimensional nature of the focal construct. By contrasting our findings with existing measurement approaches in empirical research, we emphasize several deficiencies with regard to the inferences and conclusions yielded in prior research. Future empirical and practically oriented studies can build on our findings and thus provide more stringent results. (shrink)
First, I offer a short overview on the classical occidental philosophy as propounded by the ancient Greeks and the natural philosophies of the last 2000 years until the dawn of the empiricist logic of science in the twentieth century, which wanted to delimitate classical metaphysics from empirical sciences. In contrast to metaphysical concepts which didn’t reflect on the language with which they tried to explain the whole realm of entities empiricist logic of science initiated the end of metaphysical theories by (...) reflecting on the preconditions for foundation and justification of sentences about objects of investigation, i.e. a coherent definition of language in general, which was not the aim of classical metaphysics. Unexpectedly empiricist logic of science in the linguistic turn failed in the physical and mathematical reductionism of language and its use in communication, as will be discussed below in further detail. Nevertheless, such reflection on language and communication also introduced this vocabulary into biology. Manfred Eigen and bioinformatics, later on biolinguistics, used ‘language’ applied linguistic turn thinking to biology coherent to the logic of science and its formalisable aims. This changed significantly with the birth of biosemiotics and biohermeneutics. At the end of this introduction it will be outlined why and how all these approaches reproduced the deficiencies of the logic of science and why the biocommunicative approach avoids their abstractive fallacies. (shrink)
All the conserved detailed results of evolution stored in DNA must be read, transcribed, and translated via an RNAmediated process. This is required for the development and growth of each individual cell. Thus, all known living organisms fundamentally depend on these RNA-mediated processes. In most cases, they are interconnected with other RNAs and their associated protein complexes and function in a strictly coordinated hierarchy of temporal and spatial steps (i.e., an RNA network). Clearly, all cellular life as we know it (...) could not function without these key agents of DNA replication, namely rRNA, tRNA, and mRNA. Thus, any definition of life that lacks RNA functions and their networks misses an essential requirement for RNA agents that inherently regulate and coordinate (communicate to) cells, tissues, organs, and organisms. The precellular evolution of RNAs occurred at the core of the emergence of cellular life and the question remained of how both precellular and cellular levels are interconnected historically and functionally. RNA-networks andRNA-communication can interconnect these levels.With the reemergence of virology in evolution, it became clear that communicating viruses and subviral infectious genetic parasites are bridging these two levels by invading, integrating, coadapting, exapting, and recombining constituent parts in host genomes for cellular requirements in gene regulation and coordination aims. Therefore, a 21st century understanding of life is of an inherently social process based on communicating RNA networks, in which viruses and cells continuously interact. (shrink)
Investigation into the sequence structure of the genetic code by means of an informatic approach is a real success story. The features of human language are also the object of investigation within the realm of formal language theories. They focus on the common rules of a universal grammar that lies behind all languages and determine generation of syntactic structures. This universal grammar is a depiction of material reality, i.e., the hidden logical order of things and its relations determined by natural (...) laws. Therefore mathematics is viewed not only as an appropriate tool to investigate human language and genetic code structures through computer sciencebased formal language theory but is itself a depiction of material reality. This confusion between language as a scientific tool to describe observations/experiences within cognitive constructed models and formal language as a direct depiction of material reality occurs not only in current approaches but was the central focus of the philosophy of science debate in the twentieth century, with rather unexpected results. This article recalls these results and their implications for more recent mathematical approaches that also attempt to explain the evolution of human language. (shrink)
Current research on the origin of DNA and RNA, viruses, and mobile genetic elements prompts a re-evaluation of the origin and nature of genetic material as the driving force behind evolutionary novelty. While scholars used to think that novel features resulted from random genetic mutations of an individual’s specific genome, today we recognize the important role that acquired viruses and mobile genetic elements have played in introducing evolutionary novelty within the genomes of species. Viral infections and subviral RNAs can enter (...) the host genome and persist as genetic regulatory networks. Persistent viral infections are also important to understand the split between great apes and humans. Nearly all mammals and nonhuman primates rely on olfaction, i.e., chemoreception as the basis of the sense of smell for social recognition, group membership, and the coordination of organized social life. Humans, however, evolved other means to establish social bonding, because several infection waves by endogenous retroviruses caused a loss of odor receptors in human ancestors. The human independence from olfaction for social recognition was in turn one driver of the rather abrupt human transition to dependence on visual information, gesture production, and facial recognition that are at the roots of language-based communication. (shrink)
The community college movement has been eager to embrace the accelerating changes brought about by global capital and facilitated by information technology. Leadership for the community college role in globalization has been cultivated by the American Association of Community Colleges and the League for Innovation in the Community College. As the administrators of publicly funded community colleges view themselves as managers and CEOs in a competitive market for education, the colleges look to private industry for funding. Meanwhile, the voice of (...) the community college is nearly silent with regard to environmental destruction and human rights abuses e xacerbated by globalization. This article will focuse on the role of community colleges in facilitating and cheerleading the corporate global economy while attenuating dissenting world views that would promote a more just and sustainable future. (shrink)
In searching for life in extraterrestrial space, it is essential to act based on an unequivocal definition of life. In the twentieth century, life was defined as cells that self-replicate, metabolize, and are open for mutations, without which genetic information would remain unchangeable, and evolution would be impossible. Current definitions of life derive from statistical mechanics, physics, and chemistry of the twentieth century in which life is considered to function machine like, ignoring a central role of communication. Recent observations show (...) that context-dependent meaningful communication and network formation (and control) are central to all life forms. Evolutionary relevant new nucleotide sequences now appear to have originated from social agents such as viruses, their parasitic relatives, and related RNA networks, not from errors. By applying the known features of natural languages and communication, a new twenty-first century definition of life can be reached in which communicative interactions are central to all processes of life. A new definition of life must integrate the current empirical knowledge about interactions between cells, viruses, and RNA networks to provide a better explanatory power than the twentieth century narrative. (shrink)
Prolonged solitary confinement has become a widespread and standard practice in U.S. prisons—even though it consistently drives healthy prisoners insane, makes the mentally ill sicker, and, according to the testimony of prisoners, threatens to reduce life to a living death. In this profoundly important and original book, Lisa Guenther examines the death-in-life experience of solitary confinement in America from the early nineteenth century to today’s supermax prisons. Documenting how solitary confinement undermines prisoners’ sense of identity and their ability to (...) understand the world, Guenther demonstrates the real effects of forcibly isolating a person for weeks, months, or years. -/- Drawing on the testimony of prisoners and the work of philosophers and social activists from Edmund Husserl and Maurice Merleau-Ponty to Frantz Fanon and Angela Davis, the author defines solitary confinement as a kind of social death. It argues that isolation exposes the relational structure of being by showing what happens when that structure is abused—when prisoners are deprived of the concrete relations with others on which our existence as sense-making creatures depends. Solitary confinement is beyond a form of racial or political violence; it is an assault on being. (shrink)
G.E. Moore, more than either Bertrand Russell or Ludwig Wittgenstein, was chiefly responsible for the rise of the analytic method in twentieth-century philosophy. This selection of his writings shows Moore at his very best. The classic essays are crucial to major philosophical debates that still resonate today. Amongst those included are: * A Defense of Common Sense * Certainty * Sense-Data * External and Internal Relations * Hume's Theory Explained * Is Existence a Predicate? * Proof of an External World (...) In addition, this collection also contains the key early papers in which Moore signals his break with idealism, and three important previously unpublished papers from his later work which illustrate his relationship with Wittgenstein. (shrink)
Darwinian evolutionary theory has two key terms, variations and biological selection, which finally lead to survival of the fittest variant. With the rise of molecular genetics, variations were explained as results of error replications out of the genetic master templates. For more than half a century, it has been accepted that new genetic information is mostly derived from random error-based events. But the error replication narrative has problems explaining the sudden emergence of new species, new phenotypic traits, and genome innovations (...) as a sudden single event. Meanwhile, it is recognized that errors cannot explain the evolution of genetic information, genetic novelty, and complexity. Now, empirical evidence establishes the crucial role of non-random genetic content editors, such as viruses, diversity generating retroelements, and other RNA networks, to produce new genetic information, complex regulatory control, inheritance vectors, genetic identity, immunity, new sequence space, evolution of complex organisms, and evolutionary transitions. (shrink)
This is the first coherent description of all levels of communication of ciliates. Ciliates are highly sensitive organisms that actively compete for environmental resources. They assess their surroundings, estimate how much energy they need for particular goals, and then realise the optimum variant. They take measures to control certain environmental resources. They perceive themselves and can distinguish between ‘self’ and ‘non-self’. They process and evaluate information and then modify their behaviour accordingly. These highly diverse competences show us that this is (...) possible owing to sign-mediated communication processes within ciliates, between the same, related and different ciliate species, and between ciliates and non-ciliate organisms. This is crucial in coordinating growth and development, shape and dynamics. This book further serves as a learning tool for research aspects in biocommunication in ciliates. It will guide scientists in further investigations on ciliate behavior, how they mediate signaling processes between themselves and the environment. (shrink)
This title is part of UC Press's Voices Revived program, which commemorates University of California Press’s mission to seek out and cultivate the brightest minds and give them voice, reach, and impact. Drawing on a backlist dating to 1893, Voices Revived makes high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship accessible once again using print-on-demand technology. This title was originally published in 1979.
Recent investigations surprisingly indicate that single RNA "stem-loops" operate solely by chemical laws that act without selective forces, and in contrast, self-ligated consortia of RNA stem-loops operate by biological selection. To understand consortial RNA selection, the concept of single quasi-species and its mutant spectra as drivers of RNA variation and evolution is rethought here. Instead, we evaluate the current RNA world scenario in which consortia of cooperating RNA stem-loops are the basic players. We thus redefine quasispecies as RNA quasispecies consortia (...) and argue that it has essential behavioral motifs that are relevant to the inherent variation, evolution and diversity in biology. We propose that qs-c is an especially innovative force. We apply qs-c thinking to RNA stem-loops and evaluate how it yields altered bulges and loops in the stem-loop regions, not as errors, but as a natural capability to generate diversity. This basic competence-not error-opens a variety of combinatorial possibilities which may alter and create new biological interactions, identities and newly emerged self identity functions. Thus RNA stem-loops typically operate as cooperative modules, like members of social groups. From such qs-c of stem-loop groups we can trace a variety of RNA secondary structures such as ribozymes, viroids, viruses, mobile genetic elements as abundant infection derived agents that provide the stem-loop societies of small and long non-coding RNAs. (shrink)
Manfred Eigen employs the terms language and communication to explain key recombination processes of DNA as well as to explain the self-organization of human language and communication: Life processes as well as language and communication processes are governed by the logic of a molecular syntax, which is the exact depiction of a principally formalizable reality. The author of the present contribution demonstrates that this view of Manfred Eigen’s cannot be sufficiently substantiated and that it must be supplemented by an approach (...) based on linguistic pragmatics. (shrink)
The Gift of the Other brings together a philosophical analysis of time, embodiment, and ethical responsibility with a feminist critique of the way women’s reproductive capacity has been theorized and represented in Western culture. Author Lisa Guenther develops the ethical and temporal implications of understanding birth as the gift of the Other, a gift which makes existence possible, and already orients this existence toward a radical responsibility for Others. Through an engagement with the work of Levinas, Beauvoir, Arendt, Irigaray, (...) and Kristeva, the author outlines an ethics of maternity based on the givenness of existence and a feminist politics of motherhood which critiques the exploitation of maternal generosity. (shrink)
Is God's foreknowledge compatible with human freedom? One of the most attractive attempts to reconcile the two is the Ockhamistic view, which subscribes not only to human freedom and divine omniscience, but retains our most fundamental intuitions concerning God and time: that the past is immutable, that God exists and acts in time, and that there is no backward causation. In order to achieve all that, Ockhamists distinguish ‘hard facts’ about the past which cannot possibly be altered from ‘soft facts’ (...) about the past which are alterable, and argue that God's prior beliefs about human actions are soft facts about the past. (shrink)
An important contribution to the foundations of probability theory, statistics and statistical physics has been made by E. T. Jaynes. The recent publication of his collected works provides an appropriate opportunity to attempt an assessment of this contribution.
Whereas telomeres protect terminal ends of linear chromosomes, telomerases identify natural chromosome ends, which differ from broken DNA and replicate telomeres. Although telomeres play a crucial role in the linear chromosome organization of eukaryotic cells, their molecular syntax most probably descended from an ancient retroviral competence. This indicates an early retroviral colonization of large double-stranded DNA viruses, which are putative ancestors of the eukaryotic nucleus. This contribution demonstrates an advantage of the biosemiotic approach towards our evolutionary understanding of telomeres, telomerases, (...) other reverse transcriptases and mobile elements. Their role in genetic/genomic content organization and maintenance is no longer viewed as an object of randomly derived alterations (mutations) but as a highly sophisticated hierarchy of regulatory networks organized and coordinated by natural genome-editing competences of viruses. (shrink)
Most molecular biological concepts derive from physical chemical assumptions about the genetic code that are basically more than 40 years old. Additionally, systems biology, another quantitative approach, investigates the sum of interrelations to obtain a more holistic picture of nucleotide sequence order. Recent empirical data on genetic code compositions and rearrangements by mobile genetic elements and non-coding RNAs, together with results of virus research and their role in evolution, does not really fit into these concepts and compel a re-examination. In (...) this review we try to find an alternate hypothesis. It seems plausible now that if we look at the abundance of regulatory RNAs and persistent viruses in host genomes, we will find more and more evidence that the key players that edit the genetic codes of host genomes are consortia of RNA agents and viruses that drive evolutionary novelty and regulation of cellular processes in all steps of development. This agent-based approach may lead to a qualitative RNA sociology that investigates and identifies relevant behavioural motifs of cooperative RNA consortia. In addition to molecular biological perspectives this may lead to a better understanding of genetic code evolution and dynamics. (shrink)
Boards of directors affect corporate strategy and decision-making through monitoring of management and resource provision. Recently, an increasing number of studies have examined the relationships between board characteristics and corporate social responsibility. These studies have yielded inconsistent findings. This article therefore reports the results of a study applying meta-analytical techniques to a sample of 82 empirical studies to help clarify the relationships between board characteristics and CSR. Although prior research has tended to apply relatively simplistic models investigating the impact of (...) individual board characteristics independently and only directly, we adopt a more complex perspective to shed new light on the board characteristics–CSR nexus. Specifically, we use a meta-analytic path model that accounts for the potential interplay between board characteristics in determining CSR and tests whether the presence of a CSR committee plays a meditating role. Our findings suggest that board size, board independence, and female board representation are partially interrelated with each other and jointly influence CSR directly as well as indirectly via the presence of a CSR committee. In addition, we find that country-level institutional factors act as moderators and that the relationships differ with regard to the specific dimension of CSR. (shrink)
Organisms actively compete for environmental resources. They assess their surroundings, estimate how much energy they need for particular goals, and then realize the optimum variant. They take measures to control certain environmental resources. They perceive themselves and can distinguish between “self” and “non-self.” Current empirical data on all domains of life indicate that unicellular organisms such as bacteria, archaea, giant viruses, and protozoa as well as multicellular organisms such as animals, fungi, and plants coordinate and organize their essential life functions (...) through signaling processes. Signaling allows for real life coordination and organization and is a communicative action in which speciesspecific behavioral patterns and sign repertoires are used. Cells, tissues, organs, and organisms that communicate share several key levels that are essential to all life forms and which serve as a uniform tool for investigating biocommunication. (shrink)
: Drawing on Adriana Cavarero's account of natality, Guenther argues that Martin Heidegger overlooks the distinct ontological and ethical significance of birth as a limit that orients one toward an other who resists appropriation, even while handing down a heritage of possibilities that one can—and must—make one's own. Guenther calls this structure of natality Being-from-others, modifying Heidegger's language of inheritance to suggest an ethical understanding of existence as the gift of the other.
Archaea represent a third domain of life with unique properties not found in the other domains. Archaea actively compete for environmental resources. They perceive themselves and can distinguish between 'self' and 'non-self'. They process and evaluate available information and then modify their behaviour accordingly. They assess their surroundings, estimate how much energy they need for particular goals, and then realize the optimum variant. These highly diverse competences show us that this is possible owing to sign- mediated communication processes within archaeal (...) cells, between the same, related and different archaeal species, and between archaea and non-archaeal organisms. This is crucial in coordinating growth and development, shape and dynamics. Such communication must function both on the local level and between widely separated colony parts. This allows archaea to coordinate appropriate response behaviors in a differentiated manner to their current developmental status and physiological influences. This book will orientate further investigations on how archaeal ecosphere inhabitants communicate with each other to coordinate their behavioral patterns and whats the role of viruses in this highly dynamic interactional networks. (shrink)
Shame is notoriously ambivalent. On one hand, it operates as a mechanism of normalization and social exclusion, installing or reinforcing patterns of silence and invisibility; on the other hand, the capacity for shame may be indispensible for ethical life insofar as it attests to the subject’s constitutive relationality and its openness to the provocation of others. Sartre, Levinas and Beauvoir each offer phenomenological analyses of shame in which its basic structure emerges as a feeling of being exposed to others and (...) bound to one’s own identity. For Sartre, shame is an ontological provocation, constitutive of subjectivity as a being-for-Others. For Levinas, ontological shame takes the form of an inability to escape one’s own relation to being; this predicament is altered by the ethical provocation of an Other who puts my freedom in question and commands me to justify myself. For Beauvoir, shame is an effect of oppression, both for the woman whose embodied existence is marked as shameful, and for the beneficiary of colonial domination who feels ashamed of her privilege. For each thinker, shame articulates the temporality of social life in both its promise and its danger. (shrink)
Fungi are sessile, highly sensitive organisms that actively compete for environmental resources both above and below the ground. They assess their surroundings, estimate how much energy they need for particular goals, and then realise the optimum variant. They take measures to control certain environmental resources. They perceive themselves and can distinguish between ‘self’ and ‘non-self’. They process and evaluate information and then modify their behaviour accordingly. These highly diverse competences show us that this is possible owing to sign-mediated communication processes (...) within fungal cells, between the same, related and different fungal species, and between fungi and non-fungal organisms. Intraorganismic communication involves sign-mediated interactions within cells and between cells. This is crucial in coordinating growth and development, shape and dynamics. Such communication must function both on the local level and between widely separated mycelium parts. This allows fungi to coordinate appropriate response behaviors in a differentiated manner to their current developmental status and physiological influences. (shrink)
What is a natural kind ? As we shall see, the concept of a natural kind has a long history. Many of the interesting doctrines can be detected in Aristotle, were revived by Locke and Leibniz, and have again become fashionable in recent years. Equally there has been agreement about certain paradigm examples: the kinds oak, stickleback and gold are natural kinds, and the kinds table, nation and banknote are not. Sadly agreement does not extend much further. It is impossible (...) to discover a single consistent doctrine in the literature, and different discussions focus on different doctrines without writers or readers being aware of the fact. In this paper I shall attempt to find a defensible distinction between natural and non-natural kinds. (shrink)
How could the self be a substance? There are various ways in which it could be, some familiar from the history of philosophy. I shall be rejecting these more familiar substantivalist approaches, but also the non-substantival theories traditionally opposed to them. I believe that the self is indeed a substance—in fact, that it is a simple or noncomposite substance—and, perhaps more remarkably still, that selves are, in a sense, self-creating substances. Of course, if one thinks of the notion of substance (...) as an outmoded relic of prescientific metaphysics—as the notion of some kind of basic and perhaps ineffable stuff —then the suggestion that the self is a substance may appear derisory. Even what we ordinarily call ‘stuffs’—gold and water and butter and the like—are, it seems, more properly conceived of as aggregates of molecules or atoms, while the latter are not appropriately to be thought of as being ‘made’ of any kind of ‘stuff’ at all. But this only goes to show that we need to think in terms of a more sophisticated notion of substance—one which may ultimately be traced back to Aristotle's conception of a ‘primary substance’ in the Categories , and whose heir in modern times is W. E. Johnson's notion of the ‘continuant’. It is the notion, that is, of a concrete individual capable of persisting identically through qualitative change, a subject of alterable predicates that is not itself predicable of any further subject. (shrink)
The strong weak truth table (sw) reducibility was suggested by Downey, Hirschfeldt, and LaForte as a measure of relative randomness, alternative to the Solovay reducibility. It also occurs naturally in proofs in classical computability theory as well as in the recent work of Soare, Nabutovsky, and Weinberger on applications of computability to differential geometry. We study the sw-degrees of c.e. reals and construct a c.e. real which has no random c.e. real (i.e., Ω number) sw-above it.
Psychiatrist Stuart Grassian has proposed the term “SHU syndrome” to name the cluster of cognitive, perceptual and affective symptoms that commonly arise for inmates held in the Special Housing Units (SHU) of supermax prisons. In this paper, I analyze the harm of solitary confinement from a phenomenological perspective by drawing on Husserl’s account of the essential relation between consciousness, the experience of an alter ego and the sense of a real, Objective world. While Husserl’s prioritization of transcendental subjectivity over transcendental (...) intersubjectivity underestimates the degree to which first-person consciousness is constitutively intertwined with the embodied consciousness of others, Husserl’s phenomenology nevertheless provides a fruitful starting-point for a philosophical engagement with the psychiatric research on solitary confinement. (shrink)
In Remnants of Auschwitz , Giorgio Agamben argues that the hidden structure of subjectivity is shame. In shame, I am consigned to something that cannot be assumed, such that the very thing that makes me a subject also forces me to witness my own desubjectification. Agamben’s ontological account of shame is problematic insofar as it forecloses collective responsibility and collapses the distinction between shame and humiliation. By recontextualizing three of Agamben’s sources – Primo Levi, Robert Antelme and Maurice Blanchot – (...) I develop an alternative account of shame as the structure of intersubjectivity , and of a collective responsibility that is more fundamental than the subject itself. On this basis, I sketch the preliminary outline of a biopolitics of resistance rooted in the ethics of alterity. The intuition driving this approach is that life is never bare ; even in situations of extreme affliction there remains a relation to alterity which provides a starting point for resistance. (shrink)
In Otherwise than Being, Levinas writes that the alterity of the Other escapes “le flair animal,” or the animal’s sense of smell. This paper puts pressure on the strong human-animal distinction that Levinas makes by considering the possibility that, while non-human animals may not respond to the alterity of the Other in the way that Levinas describes as responsibility, animal sensibility plays a key role in a relation to Others that Levinas does not discuss at length: friendship. This approach to (...) friendship addresses a gap in Levinas’ work between the absolute Other for whom I am responsible and the “brother” who is my political equal. (shrink)