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)
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.
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)
The division of cognitive labor is fundamental to all cultures. Adults have a strong sense of how knowledge is clustered in the world around them and use that sense to access additional information, defer to relevant experts, and ground their own incomplete understandings. One prominent way of clustering knowledge is by disciplines similar to those that comprise the natural and social sciences. Seven studies explored an emerging sense of these discipline‐based ways of clustering of knowledge. Even 5‐year‐olds could cluster knowledge (...) in a manner roughly corresponding to the departments of natural and social sciences in a university, doing so without any explicit awareness of those academic disciplines. But this awareness is fragile early on and competes with other ways of clustering knowledge. Over the next few years, children come to see discipline‐based clusters as having a privileged status, one that may be linked to increasingly sophisticated assumptions about essences for natural kinds. Possible mechanisms for this developmental shift are examined. (shrink)
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)
This chapter contains sections titled: The Nature of Schopenhauer's Platonic Ideas and Their Relation to Individuals The Exclusion of Mathematical Ideas The Exclusion of Value Ideas Schopenhauer's Justification of His Restriction of Ideas to Ideas in Nature Schopenhauer's Theory of Art Considered in Itself Irresoluble Conflicts between Plato and Schopenhauer Notes References Further Reading.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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).
We investigate how people use causal knowledge to design interventions to affect the outcomes of causal systems. We propose that in addition to using content or mechanism knowledge to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, people are also influenced by the abstract structural properties of a causal system. In particular, we investigated two factors that influence whether people tend to intervene proximally (on the immediate cause of an outcome of interest) or distally (on the root cause of a chain leading to (...) the outcome). We presented people with causal chains describing a variety of real-world and artificial causal systems and asked them where they would intervene to affect the outcome. In Experiment 1, participants who were asked to choose the best long-term intervention intervened more distally than participants asked to choose the best short-term intervention. In Experiment 2, participants presented with a branching structure in which there were two distinct causal pathways from the root cause to the outcome were more likely to intervene on the root cause than participants presented with only one of the pathways. Our findings demonstrate two ways in which people integrate content knowledge and knowledge of a system’s causal structure to design effective interventions. (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)
domains as rareiied as a cardiologistRi7;s knowledge of arrhythmia to those as commonplace as everyday folk psychology. Domains can vary from the highly concrete causally rich relations in a naive mechanics of physical objects to the highly abstract noncausal relations of mathematics or natural language syntax. Lumping together all of these different sorts of domains so as to have similar effects on cognitive development is likely to be misleading and un· informative. In this chapter, I consider some distinctions and their (...) implications.. (shrink)
Bloom makes a strong case that word meaning acquisition does not require a dedicated word learning system. This conclusion, however, does not argue against a dedicated language acquisition system for syntax, morphology, and aspects of semantics. Critical questions are raised as to why word meaning should be so different from other aspects of language in the course of acquisition.
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)