Although risk and uncertainty are inevitable aspects of the sustainability problem, they are often neglected in the sustainability discourse, especially in the economic analysis of sustainable development. We argue that this deprives the sustainability discourse of interesting connections to risk management. We show that defining sustainability as the obligation to limit the risk of harming future individuals provides a framework in which tools from risk management, like mean-variance analysis, can be employed to analyze planning decisions and to calculate a risk-minimizing (...) policy mix. Furthermore, we discuss whether such a notion of sustainability can be an ethically tenable sustainability concept and how a positive probability of harming future individuals might be defended. (shrink)
Does the practice of psychology make a significant and positive contribution to human welfare and the struggle for a good society? This book presents a reinvigorating look at psychology and its societal purpose, offering a bold new philosophical foundation from which professionals in the field can deeply examine their work.
The rise of appeals to intuitive theories in many areas of cognitive science must cope with a powerful fact. People understand the workings of the world around them in far less detail than they think. This illusion of knowledge depth has been uncovered in a series of recent studies and is caused by several distinctive properties of explanatory understanding not found in other forms of knowledge. Other experimental work has shown that people do have skeletal frameworks of expectations that constrain (...) richer ad hoc theory construction on the fly. These frameworks are supplemented by an ability to evaluate and rely on the division of cognitive labour in one's culture, an ability shown to be present even in young children. (shrink)
At the most general level I am interested in how we come to make sense of the world around us. Much of this research involves asking how intuitive explanations and understandings emerge in development and how they are related to notions of cause, mechanism and agency. These relations are linked to broader questions of what concepts are, how they change with development and increasing expertise and how they are structured in adults.
Research on corporate social responsibility has traditionally focused on managerial discretion and stakeholders’ influence. This study extends current research by addressing the effect of family firms and institutional owners on CSR performance, namely, CSR strengths and concerns. Based on stewardship theory and the socioemotional wealth perspective, we propose that family firms are more likely to value CSR performance. Next, drawing from multiple agency theory, we predict that institutional owners, unlike family owners, will influence a firm’s CSR performance differently. We tested (...) our hypotheses using a sample of 153 firms from 1994 to 2006 and found general support for our hypotheses. A higher percentage of family owned equity and the presence of a family CEO are found to increase CSR strengths, whereas transient institutional owners have an opposite effect. The presence of a family CEO and founding family are found to reduce CSR concerns. Contrary to our predictions, dedicated institutional owners are positively associated with CSR concerns. (shrink)
Virtue and Psychology: Pursuing Excellence in Ordinary Practices by Fowers represents the most extensive effort to date to mine the resources of virtue ethics for theory and practice in psychology. Building on this work, I explore some of the implications of the virtue ethics perspective for the fields of psychology and psychotherapy, including helping to overcome individualism and instrumentalism, elaborating a conception of “internal” as opposed to merely “external” goods, clarifying the nature of “character strengths,” developing further the idea of (...) “strong relationality” in the sphere of human action, and aiding psychology in general in the effort to characterize a good or successful life. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
Psychology may have to get seriously political as human aims in living and selfhood itself are increasingly influenced in a deleterious manner by the vicissitudes of living in a neoliberal political economy and one-sided “enterprise culture” (Martin & McLellan, 2013; Sugarman, 2015). This article reviews recent writings of several social critics, including Jackson Lears (2015), Sebastion Junger (2015), Philip Blond (2010), and Christopher Lasch (1995), who richly flesh out the picture of this detrimental state of affairs. We note that many (...) of these critics have little to say about credible alternatives to neoliberalism. The article then seeks to identify resources within theoretical and philosophical psychology, including hermeneutic philosophy and interpretive social science, for helping to overcome neoliberalism. They might help clarify and nurture a renewed democratic populism or engaged democratic politics and contribute to gaining what Lasch termed a much-needed “wisdom of limits” in today’s society. (shrink)
"Amongst the human mind's proudest accomplishments is the invention of a science dedicated to understanding itself: cognitive science. ... This volume is an authoritative guide to this exhilarating new body of knowledge, written by the experts, edited with skill and good judment. If we were to leave a time capsule for the next millennium with records of the great achievements of civilization, this volume would have to be in it."--Steven Pinker.
Objective The President's Council on Bioethics in 2008 reaffirmed the necessity of the dead donor rule and the legitimacy of the current criteria for diagnosing both neurological and cardiac death. In spite of this report, many have continued to express concerns about the ethics of donation after circulatory death, the validity of determining death using neurological criteria and the necessity for maintaining the dead donor rule for organ donation. I analysed the dead donor rule for its effect on the virtuous (...) practice of medicine by physicians caring for potential organ donors.Results The dead donor rule consistently impedes physicians in fulfilling their primary duty to act for the good of their prospective donor patients. This compromises the virtue of fidelity. It also weakens many other virtues necessary for physicians to provide excellent end-of-life care.Conclusions The dead donor rule, while ethically powerful in theory, loses its force during translation to the bedside. This is so because the rule mandates simultaneous life and death within the same body for organ donation, a biological status that is inherently contradictory. The rule should be rejected as an ethical norm governing vital organ transplantation at the end of life. Its elimination will strengthen the doctor–patient relationship and foster trustworthiness in organ procurement. (shrink)
If folk science means individuals having well worked out mechanistic theories of the workings of the world, then it is not feasible. Laypeople’s explanatory understandings are remarkably coarse, full of gaps, and often full of inconsistencies. Even worse, most people overestimate their own understandings. Yet recent views suggest that formal scientists may not be so different. In spite of these limitations, science somehow works and its success offers hope for the feasibility of folk science as well. The success of science (...) arises from the ways in which scientists learn to leverage understandings in other minds and to outsource explanatory work through sophisticated methods of deference and simplification of complex systems. Three studies ask whether analogous processes might be present not only in laypeople but also in young children and thereby form a foundation for supplementing explanatory understandings almost from the start of our first attempts to make sense of the world. (shrink)
Stakeholder theory is widely recognized as a management theory, yet very little research has considered its implications for individual managerial decision-making. In the two studies reported here, we used stakeholder theory to examine managerial decisions about balancing stakeholder interests. Results of Study 1 suggest that indivisible resources and unequal levels of stakeholder saliency constrain managers’ efforts to balance stakeholder interests. Resource divisibility also influenced whether managers used a within-decision or an across-decision approach to balance stakeholder interests. In Study 2 we (...) examined instrumental and normative implications of these two approaches. We conclude by considering the contributions of this research. (shrink)
What would it be like to have never learned English, but instead only to know Hopi, Mandarin Chinese, or American Sign Language? Would that change the way you think? Imagine entirely losing your language, as the result of stroke or trauma. You are aphasic, unable to speak or listen, read or write. What would your thoughts now be like? As the most extreme case, imagine having been raised without any language at all, as a wild child. What—if anything—would it be (...) like to be such a person? Could you be smart; could you reminisce about the past, plan the future? (shrink)
Philip E. Tetlock's finding that "hedgehog" experts are worse predictors than "foxes" offers fertile ground for future research. Are experts as likely to exhibit hedgehog- or fox-like tendencies in areas that call for explanatory, diagnostic, and skill-based expertise-as they did when Tetlock called on experts to make predictions? Do particular domains of expertise curtail or encourage different styles of expertise? Can we trace these different styles to childhood? Finally, can we nudge hedgehogs to be more like foxes? Current research can (...) only grope at the answers to these questions, but they are essential to gauging the health of expert political judgment. (shrink)
The present studies investigated children’s and adults’ intuitive beliefs about the physical nature of essences. Adults and children (ranging in age from 6 to 10 years old) were asked to reason about two different ways of determining an unknown object’s category: taking a tiny internal sample from any part of the object (distributed view of essence), or taking a sample from one specific region (localized view of essence). Results from three studies indicated that adults strongly endorsed the distributed view, and (...) children showed a developmental shift from a localized to distributed view with increasing age. These results suggest that even children go beyond mere placeholder notions of essence, committing to conceptual frameworks of how essences might be physically instantiated. (shrink)
Several studies demonstrate that an intuitive link between agents and order emerges within the first year of life. This appreciation seems importantly related to similar forms of inference, such as the Argument from Design. We suggest, however, that infants and young children may be more accurate in their tendencies to infer agents from order than older children and adults, who often infer intentional agents when there are none. Thus, the earliest inferences about intentional agents based on order may be quite (...) accurate and resistant to non-intentional foils, but with further cognitive development and overgeneralization, links between order and agents may emerge that, with the right socio-cultural prompts, can lead to the Argument from Design. (shrink)
It is not a particularly hard thing to want or seek explanations. In fact, explanations seem to be a large and natural part of our cognitive lives. Children ask why and how questions very early in development and seem genuinely to want some sort of answer, despite our often being poorly equipped to provide them at the appropriate level of sophistication and detail. We seek and receive explanations in every sphere of our adult lives, whether it be to understand why (...) a friendship has foundered, why a car will not start, or why ice expands when it freezes. Moreover, correctly or incorrectly, most of the time we think we know when we have or have not received a good explanation. There is a sense both that a given, successful explanation satisfies a cognitive need, and that a questionable or dubious explanation does not. There are also compelling intuitions about what make good explanations in terms of their form, that is, a sense of when they are structured correctly. (shrink)
Yanchar, Slife, and their colleagues have described how mainstream psychology's notion of critical thinking has largely been conceived of as “scientific analytic reasoning” or “method-centered critical thinking.” We extend here their analysis and critique, arguing that some version of the one-sided instrumentalism and confusion about tacit values that characterize scientistic approaches to inquiry also color phenomenological, critical theoretical, and social constructionist viewpoints. We suggest that hermeneutic/dialogical conceptions of inquiry, including the idea of social theory as itself a form of ethically (...) motivated human practice, give a fuller account of critical thinking in the social disciplines. (shrink)
Suggests that acknowledging that social inquiry may be indelibly linked to ethical reflection raises difficult questions . There seem to be a few fundamental metatheoretical options available, each presuming some ontology of human existence and colored by at least a few basic moral or spiritual commitments. The options are briefly sketched, and their virtues and blind spots highlighted. The options include mainstream social science, "descriptivisms," liberal individualism, existential freedom, and contemporary hermeneutics. It is suggested that a hermeneutic view of social (...) theory as practice offers an alternative to both explanatory and constructionist accounts. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
The more carefully we look, the more impressive the repertoire of infant concepts seems to be. Across a wide range of tasks, infants seem to be using concepts corresponding to surprisingly high-level and abstract categories and relations. It is tempting to try to explain these abilities in terms of a core capacity in spatial cognition that emerges very early in development and then gets extended beyond reasoning about direct spatial arrays and events. Although such a spatial cognitive capacity may indeed (...) form one valuable basis for later cognitive growth, it seems unlikely that it can be the sole or even primary explanation for either the impressive conceptual capacities of infants or the ways in which concepts develop. (shrink)
Slife and Reber issue a welcome challenge to "implicit biases" against the serious investigation of religious experience and phenomena in psychology. I agree with the main thrust of their article but express a few friendly reservations about their analysis and some concerns about how a productive dialogue between psychology and religion might best be pursued from this point forward. 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
Suggests that the Popperian view of social science proposed by W. Matthews is too narrow a scientism to do justice to the full range of human experience. The present author, while applauding Matthews' effective criticisms of postmodern thought, offers a hermeneutic realism as an alternative. 2012 APA, all rights reserved).