Promoting the ethical formation of engineering students through the cultivation of their discipline-specific knowledge, sensitivity, imagination, and reasoning skills has become a goal for many engineering education programs throughout the United States. However, there is neither a consensus throughout the engineering education community regarding which strategies are most effective towards which ends, nor which ends are most important. This study provides an overview of engineering ethics interventions within the U.S. through the systematic analysis of articles that featured ethical interventions in (...) engineering, published in select peer-reviewed journals, and published between 2000 and 2015. As a core criterion, each journal article reviewed must have provided an overview of the course as well as how the authors evaluated course-learning goals. In sum, 26 articles were analyzed with a coding scheme that included 56 binary items. The results indicate that the most common methods for integrating ethics into engineering involved exposing students to codes/standards, utilizing case studies, and discussion activities. Nearly half of the articles had students engage with ethical heuristics or philosophical ethics. Following the presentation of the results, this study describes in detail four articles to highlight less common but intriguing pedagogical methods and evaluation techniques. The findings indicate that there is limited empirical work on ethics education within engineering across the United States. Furthermore, due to the large variation in goals, approaches, and evaluation methods described across interventions, this study does not detail “best” practices for integrating ethics into engineering. The science and engineering education community should continue exploring the relative merits of different approaches to ethics education in engineering. (shrink)
Ethical becoming represents a novel framework for teaching engineering ethics. This framework insists on the complementarity of pragmatism, care, and virtue. The dispositional nature of the self is a central concern, as are relational considerations. However, unlike previous conceptual work, this paper introduces additional lenses for exploring ethical relationality by focusing on indebtedness, harmony, potency, and reflective thought. This paper first reviews relevant contributions in the engineering ethics literature. Then, the relational process ontology of Alfred North Whitehead is described and (...) identified as the foundation of the ethical becoming concept. Following this, ethical becoming is imagined as comprising five components: relationality and indebtedness, harmony and potency, care, freedom and reflective thought, and ethical inquiry. Each component will be unpacked and knit together to argue that becoming in all its forms is relational and, therefore, whatever becomes is indebted to all to which it relates; one’s ethical engagement must be directed toward the creation of harmony and potency; care practices are necessary to ensure that multiplicity is valued and safeguarded in the meeting of needs; the capacity for reflective thought is necessary to fashion one’s self and others in the direction of harmony, potency, and care; and ethical thought and action must operate through a cycle of ethical inquiry. This paper will close with a brief exploration of how ethical becoming could be utilized in engineering education contexts. (shrink)
The publication of Political Liberalismhas allowed John Rawls to bring to the fore issues that remained in the background of A Theory of Justice. His explicit attention to the concept of ‘the reasonable’ is a welcome development. In a more recent publication, he affirms the importance of this concept, ‘while [granting] that the idea of the reasonable needs a more thorough examination than Political Liberalism offers.’ In this paper, I will present a critical exposition of the senses of the (...) reasonable on which justice as fairness relies. Rawls employs the term in four main contexts. I will outline these various senses and argue that in each case, a controversy in the secondary literature can be resolved by close attention to the concept of the reasonable. In three of these contexts, Rawls relies on what I will call a ‘strong’ sense of the reasonable, while in one he sometimes seems to rely on a ‘weak’ sense. I argue that justice as fairness is best served by relying on a strong sense throughout. (shrink)
Trust, as a philosophical concept in education, seems largely taken for granted, either because it is embedded in other discourses, or is self-evidently assumed to be one on which there is general agreement and understanding. Its associated notions, such as confidence and belief, have counters in such concepts as disappointment and betrayal. These various notions come to the fore in interpersonal relations that require openness and self-critique. Critically reflective practice in professional teaching contexts is one such example, where openness (...) means that people involved may experience vulnerability. I will argue that the development of critically reflective practice is impossible in the absence of trust, and will take the position that trust requires the trustor to be vulnerable to betrayal. I draw on some findings of an ongoing research study in a selection of New Zealand schools, during which I have found that many participants attempt to connect reflective practice to appraisal, a move which, in light of what I present in relation to trust, I argue should be resisted. (shrink)
Representing organizational reality in conceptual models is an important part of IS practice. In this paper we expose and challenge the taken-for-granted ontological and epistemological assumptions that underpin common accounts of conceptual modeling, using process modeling as an example. We argue that, due to an implicit commitment to a dualist ontology and representationalist epistemology, much literature regards the elicitation and representation of reality in the course of modeling as largely unproblematic. We draw on Martin Heidegger's holistic philosophy to give an (...) alternative analysis that brings to the fore challenges in 1) eliciting knowledge of routine activities, 2) capturing knowledge from domain experts and 3) representing organizational reality in authentic ways. As a result we come to see modeling as a practice that performs particular realities rather than simply representing a given reality. We hope to initiate a critical discussion on the implications of the current philosophical grounding of conceptual modeling. (shrink)
As today's battles rage between those who march under the banner of liberty and those who unfurl the flag of equality, even an engaged partisan might be forgiven for occasionally wondering whether the game is, after all, worth the candle. For one thing, neither party simply rejects the other's principle – properly understood. Egalitarians routinely emphasize that their concern for equality is, also, a concern for true liberty; thus Michael Walzer, writing “In Defense of Equality,” finds it “worth stressing that (...) equality as I have described it does not stand alone, but is closely related to the idea of liberty.” 1 Libertarians tend to be less enthusiastic in their embrace of equality, but almost all endorse some form of equality or other – for example, equality of political rights or equality before the law. It would seem, then, that the differences between egalitarians and libertarians are really over the meaning and scope of equality and liberty, and that putting the issue as one of equality vs. liberty may be misleading. More important, one can wonder whether either the egalitarian or the libertarian combination of the principles of liberty and equality is worthy of support. What society has exalted personal liberty, has taken rights more seriously, than ours? Yet who can easily dismiss Solzhenitsyn's charge that our worship of freedom has resulted in “destructive and irresponsible freedom” being granted “boundless scope,” leaving us defenseless against “the corrosion of evil”? 2 The cause of liberty against tyranny surely continues to command our support; but what conclusion ought we to draw from the facts that liberty in absentia seems so markedly more attractive than liberty in practice, and that the qualities manifested in the struggle for liberty seem so superior to those that come to the fore once liberty is secured? (shrink)
The philosophy presented in this book is the philosophy of the age of the collapse of the Wall: of the Stone Wall of recent political history and of the many Walls of prejudice in the intellectual history from our century. Bernstein is considered, with Rorty and MacIntyre, one of the three emblematic figures of post-analytical philosophy. He shared with Rorty both the 'rediscovery' of European philosophy and the revival of pragmatism. Unlike From Rorty and the neophytes of deconstructionism, however, Bernstein (...) has made a different choice of partners in European philosophy and of mentors in the pragmatic tradition, and a different assessment of the legacy left by analytic philosophy. Among European philosophers, he is close to Gadamer and his dialogical ideal, to Habermas and his defence of the ethical-political ideals of modernity; in authors like Derrida and Foucault he discovers ethical-political instances complementary to those of Habermas; in recent developments of analytic philosophy he finds the same intuitions he recognizes in hermeneutics; and he wants to rescue the legacy left by Peirce, that is, the most rationalist among pragmatists. His previous books granted him a reputation of great "translator and interpreter" between currents of thought: critical theory, phenomenology, postempiricism, hermeneutics and neo-Aristotelianism. This book deals with 'postmodern' authors in the same ecumenical spirit: Lyotard, Derrida, Foucault, Heidegger, Rorty. To the postmodernists, he acknowledges the merit of having brought the ethical-political issues back to the fore by detecting the source of the malaise of our "modern/postmodern" moment, discomforts which have been given a name by such movements as feminism, resistance to apartheid, left-wing opposition in Eastern societies. Against Habermas, he proposes not to oppose the postmodern, but to overturn their self-destructive results from within. Essays: Philosophy, History, and Critique • The Rage Against Reason • Incommensurability and Otherness Revisited • Heidegger's Silence? Ethos and Technology • Foucault: Critique as a Philosophic Ethos • Serious Play: The Ethical-Political Horizon of Derrida • An Allegory of Modernity/Postmodernity: Habermas and Derrida • One Step Forward, Two Steps Backward: Rorty on Liberal Democracy • Rorty's Liberal Utopia, Reconciliation/Rupture . (shrink)
The world's aging populations face novel health challenges never experienced before in human history. The moral landscape thus needs to adapt to reflect this novel empirical reality. In this paper I take for granted one basic moral principle advanced by Peter Singer and explore the implications that empirical considerations from demography, evolutionary biology, and biogerontology have for the way we conceive of fulfilling this principle at the operational level. After bringing to the fore a number of considerations that Singer (...) ignores, such as the probability that nonintervention will result in harm and the likelihood that different kinds of extrinsic and intrinsic harms can be prevented, I argue that the aspiration to extend the human biological warranty period (by retarding the rate of aging) is a pressing moral imperative for the twenty-first century. In the final sections I briefly address some standard objections raised against life extension and conclude that, while there may be some legitimate concerns worth addressing, they are not compelling enough to provide a rational basis for forfeiting the potential health and economic benefits that could be realized by extending the biological warranty period. (shrink)
In times of stress, trauma and crisis—whether on a personal or global scale—it can be all too easy for us to externalize a larger-than-life figure who can assuage our suffering, a Hero who comes to the fore even as we recede into the background. In taking on our collective burden, however, such an omnipotent Hero can actually undermine us, representing as it does the very same characteristics we fail to note in one another. By granting the Hero to power (...) to set things right, we seem to deny it to ourselves, leaving us temporarily lightened but ultimately helpless. In response, Sue Grand deconstructs the myth of the Heroic and argues for the "ordinary hero," a more realistic figure with the same limitations, concerns and fears as the rest of us, but who nonetheless stands up for the greater good in the face of danger, despair and villainy. From the foundation of relational psychoanalysis, Grand incorporates cultural and ethical considerations in her examination of what this ordinary hero might look like, a trip that takes us from the consulting room to right outside our front doors, from the heart of a "civilized" nation to the myriad war-torn regions dappling the globe, both past and present. Along the way we meet individuals whose encounters with adversity range from the mundane to the catastrophic, and learn how they struggle against the dubious concept of the Hero looming large in their lives. Recounting this journey in finely-tuned yet imminently accessible and enjoyable prose, Grand demonstrates that the best place to ultimately find the ordinary hero is within each other: The hero is us. (shrink)
‘Neuroethics’ is a term which has come into use in the last few years, and which is variously defined. In the Preface to his book, Grant Gillett indicates the sense in which he is using it: the central questions in neuroethics, he says, are those of ‘human identity, consciousness and moral responsibility or the problem of the will’. His aim is to offer an account of human identity which can shed light on issues both in general philosophy and in (...) bioethics.The question which this account seeks to answer is stated in various ways in the book, but perhaps the simplest formulation is this: what is the difference between being somebody and being some body? The Cartesian answer, that the difference lies in the possession of an immaterial thinking substance, is rejected on the grounds that a thinking thing cannot be only a thinking thing: to think is to respond to the world in various ways, which requires bodily means of response. But the same argument also applies to the ‘Cartesian materialism’ which would identify ‘mind’ with ‘brain’. Instead …. (shrink)
"George Grant in Process contains 14 essays by noted scholars on Grant's political thought, his religious thinking and philosophical method, the intellectual background of his ideas, and his “red-toryism.”".
Faculty members in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines are typically expected to pursue grant funding and publish to support their research or teaching agendas. Providing effective professional development programs on grant preparation and management and on research publications is crucial. This study shares the design and implementation of such a program for Native STEM faculty from two tribal colleges and one public, non-tribal, Ph.D. granting institution during a 3-year period. The overall development and implementation of the program (...) is centered on the six R’s Indigenous framework – Respect, Relationship, Representation, Relevance, Responsibility, and Reciprocity. The role of NAF-STEM and their interactions with the program, as members of the community formed by their participation, impacted the program. Their practices and the program co-emerged over time, each providing structure and meaning for the other. Through such reciprocity, NAF-STEM and the program research team continually refined the program through their mutual engagement. They took on the shared responsibility of the program while they participated in and shaped its practices. The process and results of formative and summative assessment and the impact of COVID-19 on the program are reported. Results of the program offer lessons on the implementation of six R’s framework in professional development at institutions of higher education. (shrink)
The new art of videogames -- What are videogames anyway? -- On definition -- Theories of gaming -- A definition of videogames -- Videogames and fiction -- From tennis for two to worlds of warcraft -- Imaginary worlds and works of fiction -- Fictional or virtual? -- Interactive fiction -- Stepping into fictional worlds -- Welcome to rapture -- Meet niko bellic -- Experiencing game worlds -- Acting in game worlds -- Games through fiction -- The nature of gaming -- (...) What are the rules of this game? -- Playing, cheating, fragging, and griefing -- Videogames and narrative -- The stories games tell -- Would you kindly put down that wrench? -- Reconciling games and narratives -- Emotion in videogaming -- How can we be moved by the fate of Niko Bellic? -- My fear of mutants -- The role of the emotions in gaming -- The morality of videogames -- The problem with crime simulators -- Are games bad for you? -- On being offensive -- Sticking up for videogames -- Videogames as art -- Are videogames art? -- A cluster theory of art -- The art in videogames -- New art from old bottles. (shrink)
This work is a very fine scholarly biography of George Parkin Grant, often considered Canada's preeminent political philosopher. William Christian is a professor of political studies at the University of Guelph, who--as a younger scholar--knew the more elderly Grant well, in person. Drawing on numerous primary sources, Christian's book is both a personal history of Grant, as well as a careful description of the philosophical, intellectual, and religious odyssey of Grant's life. It pays particular attention to (...)Grant's early life and background as the fount of many of his later ideas. The work includes acknowledgments; a chronology; a preface; twenty-five pithily titled chapters; an epilogue; extensive endnotes; a list of sources--archival and interview sources, works mentioned in text or notes, selected secondary sources, and a bibliography of George Grant's publications prepared by K. Mark Haslett; as well as an index; and photo credits. The scholarly apparatus is quite excellent, indeed, and could serve as a starting point for those interested in further study of Grant. Christian's book may, however, be criticized as being somewhat too hagiographical. (shrink)
This paper examines several primarily academic discourses on corruption to demarcate the assumptions embedded within each one. It begins by discussing different definitions of corruption, which leads to an identification of five prominent discourses on the subject that are examined in some detail. The paper concludes by considering some implications of this analysis.
It is often supposed one can draw a distinction, among the assumptions on which an inference rests, between certain background assumptions and certain more salient, or foregrounded, assumptions. Yet what may such a fore-v-background structure, or such structures, consist it? In particular, how do they relate to consciousness? According to a ‘Boring View’, such structures can be captured by specifying, for the various assumptions of the inference, whether they are phenomenally conscious, or access conscious, or else how easily available (...) they are to such consciousness. According to an ‘Interesting View’, there are fore-v-background structures over and above such classifications. The chapter gestures at reasons for thinking that an Interesting View at least merits exploration. The paper discusses some recent contributions to such a view in analytical philosophy; some remarks in Husserl on what he dubbed the horizonal dimension of acts of consciousness; and psychological work on the role of gist or schema representations in perception and memory. It is proposed that background assumptions can figure in consciousness by being as it were condensed into a consciously, though inattentively, entertained notion of their overall thematic gist, where this thematic gist gives the drift of a possible elucidation of how or why such-and-such salient grounds mean that so-and-so conclusion holds. (shrink)
In the United States today, much interpersonal racism is driven by corrupt forms of self-preservation. Drawing from Jean- Jacques Rousseau, I refer to this as self-love racism. The byproduct of socially-induced racial anxieties and perceived threats to one’s physical or social wellbeing, self-love racism is the protective attachment to the racialized dimensions of one’s social status, wealth, privilege, and/or identity. Examples include police officer related shootings of unarmed Black Americans, anti-immigrant sentiment, and the resurgence of unabashed white supremacy. This form (...) of racism is defined less by the introduction of racism into the world and more on the perpetuation of racially unjust socioeconomic and political structures. My theory, therefore, works at the intersection of the interpersonal and structural by offering an account of moral complacency in racist social structures. My goal is to reorient the directionality of philosophical work on racism by questioning the sense of innocence at the core of white ways-of-being. (shrink)
Fitness is a central concept in evolutionary theory. Just as it is central to biological evolution, so, it seems, it should be central to cultural evolutionary theory. But importing the biological fitness concept to CET is no straightforward task—there are many features unique to cultural evolution that make this difficult. This has led some theorists to argue that there are fundamental problems with cultural fitness that render it hopelessly confused. In this essay, we defend the coherency of cultural fitness against (...) those who call it into doubt. (shrink)
How important is it for managers to have the “nice” virtues of modesty, civility, and humility? While recent scholarship has tended to focus on the organizational consequences of leaders having or lacking these traits, I want to address the prior, deeper question of whether and how these traits are intrinsically morally important. I argue that certain aspects of modesty, civility, and humility have intrinsic importance as the virtues of relational equality – the attitudes and dispositions by which we relate as (...) moral equals. I provide a novel account of the normative grounds of the virtues of relational equality and develop a corresponding framework for how these virtues can be enacted by managers. The virtues are grounded in the value of opposing objectionable forms of social hierarchy, which requires social norms that grant all persons the same personal authority over their lives and interactions. I show how this view of virtue contrasts with prevailing Aristotelian, Personalist, and Smithian views in business ethics. I then explain how, for managers, sustaining and enacting the virtues of relational equality involves a distinctive cluster of role-specific traits: respect for employees’ equal personal authority, a commitment to express such respect, and a disposition to give equal weight and deference to employees’ relevant interests. (shrink)
We introduce here evoText, a new tool for automated analysis of the literature in the biological sciences. evoText contains a database of hundreds of thousands of journal articles and an array of analysis tools for generating quantitative data on the nature and history of life science, especially ecology and evolutionary biology. This article describes the features of evoText, presents a variety of examples of the kinds of analyses that evoText can run, and offers a brief tutorial describing how to use (...) it. (shrink)
Block Fitness.Grant Ramsey - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 37 (3):484-498.details
There are three related criteria that a concept of fitness should be able to meet: it should render the principle of natural selection non-tautologous and it should be explanatory and predictive. I argue that for fitness to be able to fulfill these criteria, it cannot be a property that changes over the course of an individual's life. Rather, I introduce a fitness concept--Block Fitness--and argue that an individual's genes and environment fix its fitness in such a way that each individual's (...) fitness has a fixed value over its lifetime. (shrink)
As engineers propose constructing humanlike automata, the question arises as to whether such machines merit human rights. The issue warrants serious and rigorous examination, although it has not yet cohered into a conversation. To put it into a sure direction, this paper proposes phrasing it in terms of whether humans are morally obligated to extend to maximally humanlike automata full human rights, or those set forth in common international rights documents. This paper’s approach is to consider the ontology of humans (...) and of automata and whether ontological difference between them, that pertains to the very bases of human rights, affects the latter’s claims to full human rights. Considering common bases of human rights, can these bases tell us whether a certain ontological distinction of humans from automata—or a de facto distinction about humans tacitly acknowledged by full-rights-recognizing societies—makes a difference in whether humans are morally obligated to assign these entities full rights? Human rights to security also arise. The conclusion is that humans need not be under any moral obligation to confer full human rights on automata. The paper’s ultimate point is not to close the discussion with this ontological cap but to set a solid moral and legal groundwork for opening it up tout court. (shrink)
In this essay I examine a well-known articulation of human nature skepticism, a paper by Hull. I then review a recent reply to Hull by Machery, which argues for an account of human nature that he claims is both useful and scientifically robust. I challenge Machery’s account and introduce an alternative account—the “life-history trait cluster” conception of human nature—that I hold is scientifically sound and makes sense of our intuitions about—and desiderata for—human nature.
This article argues that legal precedents do not create rules, but rather create a special type of reason in favour of a decision in later cases. Precedents are often argued to be analogous to statutes in their law-creating function, but the common law practice of distinguishing is difficult to reconcile with orthodox accounts of the function of rules. Instead, a precedent amounts to a decision on the balance of reasons in the case before the precedent court, and later courts are (...) required to decide cases on the basis that the earlier decision was correctly decided. (shrink)
Homology is a biological sameness relation that is purported to hold in the face of changes in form, composition, and function. In spite of the centrality and importance of homology, there is no consensus on how we should understand this concept. The two leading views of homology, the genealogical and developmental accounts, have significant shortcomings. We propose a new account, the hierarchical-dependency account of homology, which avoids these shortcomings. Furthermore, our account provides for continuity between special, general, and serial homology.
Conwy Lloyd Morgan (1852–1936) is widely regarded as the father of modern comparative psychology. Yet, Morgan initially had significant doubts about whether a genuine science of comparative psychology was even possible, only later becoming more optimistic about our ability to make reliable inferences about the mental capacities of non-human animals. There has been a fair amount of disagreement amongst scholars of Morgan’s work about the nature, timing, and causes of this shift in Morgan’s thinking. We argue that Morgan underwent two (...) quite different shifts of attitude towards the proper practice of comparative psychology. The first was a qualified acceptance of the Romanesian approach to comparative psychology that he had initially criticized. The second was a shift away from Romanes’ reliance on systematizing anecdotal evidence of animal intelligence towards an experimental approach, focused on studying the development of behaviour. We emphasize the role of Morgan’s evolving epistemological views in bringing about the first shift – in particular, his philosophy of science. We emphasize the role of an intriguing but overlooked figure in the history of comparative psychology in explaining the second shift, T. Mann Jones, whose correspondence with Morgan provided an important catalyst for Morgan’s experimental turn, particularly the special focus on development. We also shed light on the intended function of Morgan’s Canon, the methodological principle for which Morgan is now mostly known. The Canon can only be properly understood by seeing it in the context of Morgan’s own unique experimental vision for comparative psychology. (shrink)
Antibiotic research and development has failed to produce innovative antibiotics in the past two decades, which is due to both scientific and economic factors. We reviewed national and international funding agencies and critically assessed current grant funding mechanisms. Finally, we propose four complementary grant-funding incentives aimed to help developers along the R&D pipeline. Equally important objective of these incentives is to address some of the known R&D risks and bottlenecks.
In this paper, I argue (contra some recent philosophical work) that an objective distinction between natural selection and drift can be drawn. I draw this distinction by conceiving of drift, in the most fundamental sense, as an individual-level phenomenon. This goes against some other attempts to distinguish selection from drift, which have argued either that drift is a population-level process or that it is a population-level product. Instead of identifying drift with population-level features, the account introduced here can explain these (...) population-level features based on a property that I label driftability. Additionally, this account shows that biology’s “first law”—the Principle of Drift (Brandon, J Phil 102(7):319–335 2006)—is not a foundational law, but is a consequence of driftability. (shrink)
The study of animal culture is a flourishing field, with culture being recorded in a wide range of taxa, including non-human primates, birds, cetaceans, and rodents. In spite of this research, however, the concept of culture itself remains elusive. There is no universally assented to concept of culture, and there is debate over the connection between culture and related concepts like tradition and social learning. Furthermore, it is not clear whether culture in humans and culture in non-human animals is really (...) the same thing, or merely loose analogues that go by the same name. The purpose of this paper is to explicate core desiderata for a concept of culture and then to construct a concept that meets these desiderata. The paper then applies this concept in both humans and non-human animals. (shrink)
What is so special about human life? What is the relationship between flesh and blood and the human soul? Is there a kind of life that is worse than death? Can a person die and yet the human organism remain in some real sense alive? Can souls become sick? What justifies cutting into a living human body? These and other questions, writes neurosurgeon and philosopher Grant Gillett, pervade hospital wards, clinical offices, and operating rooms. In Bioethics in the Clinic: (...) Hippocratic Reflections, Gillett brings the tools of philosophy to bear on some of the most pressing issues confronting bioethicists today. Gillett draws on many schools of thought, including analytic, moral, and postmodern philosophy; utilitarianism; classical ethical theory; phenomenology; and metaphysics. He engages the reasoning of such philosophers as Aristotle, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Foucault, Habermas, Levinas, and Martha Nussbaum, and offers both practical and clinical insights into such topics as the principle of "Do no harm," informed consent, confidentiality, cloning, and euthanasia. Opening with an explanation of the axioms to be traced throughout succeeding discussions, with special emphasis on Hippocratic principles, Gillett focuses on general and specific problems of clinical practice, particularly as they affect the physician-patient relationship. The author then goes on to address ethical problems related to both the end of life, including euthanasia, and the beginning of life, such as embryo and stem cell research. Rigorous and elegant, this book will be of interest to those in medical fields, to students and scholars of philosophy, and to lay readers interested in the profound ethical dramas played out in hospitals and doctors' offices every day. (shrink)