The purpose of this paper is to present the theoretical and philosophical assumptions of the Nursing Manifesto , written by three activist scholars whose objective was to promote emancipatory nursing research, practice, and education within the dialogue and praxis of social justice. Inspired by discussions with a number of nurse philosophers at the 2008 Knowledge Conference in Boston, two of the original Manifesto authors and two colleagues discussed the need to explicate emancipatory knowing as it emerged from the Manifesto . (...) Our analysis yielded an epistemological framework based on liberation principles to advance praxis in the discipline of nursing. This paper adds to what is already known on this topic, as there is not an explicit contribution to the literature of this specific Manifesto , its significance, and utility for the discipline. While each of us have written on emancipatory knowing and social justice in a variety of works, it is in this article that we identify, as a unit of knowledge production and as a direction towards praxis, a set of critical values that arose from the emancipatory conscience-ness and intention seen in the framework of the Nursing Manifesto. (shrink)
The theoretical virtue of parsimony values the minimizing of theoretical commitments, but theoretical commitments come in two kinds : ontological and ideological. While the ontological commitments of a theory are the entities it posits, a theory’s ideological commitments are the primitive concepts it employs. Here, I show how we can extend the distinction between quantitative and qualitative parsimony, commonly drawn regarding ontological commitments, to the domain of ideological commitments. I then argue that qualitative ideological parsimony is a theoretical virtue. My (...) defense proceeds by demonstrating the merits of qualitative ideological parsimony and by showing how the qualitative conception of ideological parsimony undermines two notable arguments from ideological parsimony: David Lewis’ defense of modal realism and Ted Sider’s defense of mereological nihilism. (shrink)
The distinction between qualitative properties like mass and shape and non-qualitative properties like being Napoleon and being next to Obama is important, but remains largely unexamined. After discussing its theoretical significance and cataloguing various kinds of non-qualitative properties, I survey several views about the nature of this distinction and argue that all proposed reductive analyses of this distinction are unsatisfactory. I then defend primitivism, according to which the distinction resists reductive analysis.
Mereological realism holds that the world has a mereological structure – i.e. a distribution of mereological properties and relations. In this article, I defend Eleaticism about properties, according to which there are no causally inert non-logical properties. I then present an Eleatic argument for mereological anti-realism, which denies the existence of both mereological composites and mereological simples. After defending Eleaticism and mereological anti-realism, I argue that mereological anti-realism is preferable to mereological nihilism. I then conclude by examining the thesis that (...) composition is identity and noting its consequences for the question of mereological structure. (shrink)
Many familiar forms of property realism identify properties with sui generis ontological categories like universals or tropes and posit a fundamental instantiation relation that unifies objects with their properties. In this paper, I develop and defend locationism, which identifies properties with locations and holds that the occupation relation that unifies objects with their locations also unifies objects with their properties. Along with the theoretical parsimony that locationism enjoys, I argue that locationism resolves a puzzle for actualists regarding the ontological status (...) of uninstantiated properties. I also note some promising applications of the locationist framework to the metaphysics of quantities and possible worlds. (shrink)
In this paper, I examine the putative incompatibility of three theses: (1) Haecceitism, according to which some maximal possibilities differ solely in terms of the non-qualitative or de re possibilities they include; (2) Modal correspondence, according to which each maximal possibility is identical with a unique possible world; (3) Counterpart theory, according to which de re modality is analyzed in terms of counterpart relations between individuals. After showing how the modal realism defended by David Lewis resolves this incompatibility by rejecting (...) modal correspondence, I defend modal correspondence and develop an alternative strategy for reconciling these theses. Specifically, I examine Lewis’s arguments against non-qualitative counterpart theory and undermine them by developing a novel version of non-qualitative counterpart theory that appeals to a metaphysics of bare particulars. I then indicate how this version of non-qualitative counterpart theory accommodates both haecceitism and modal correspondence. (shrink)
It is commonly assumed that all propositions have modal profiles and therefore bear their truth-values either contingently or necessarily. I argue against this commonly assumed view and in defence of amodalism, according to which certain true propositions are neither necessarily nor contingently true, but only true simpliciter. I consider three arguments against ‘possible-worlds theories’, which hold that modal concepts are to be analysed in terms of possible worlds. Although each of these arguments targets a different version of possible-worlds theory, these (...) versions jointly exhaust the entire range of possible-worlds theories. After showing that each argument is naturally addressed by adopting amodalism, I argue that all defenders of possible-worlds theory ought to accept amodalism. (shrink)
Eleaticism ties ontology to causality by denying the impossibility of causally inert entities. This paper examines some challenges regarding the proper formulation and general plausibility of Eleaticism. After suggesting how Eleatics ought to respond to these challenges, I consider the prospects for extending Eleaticism from ontology to ideology by requiring all primitive ideology to be causal in nature. Surprisingly enough, the resulting view delivers an eternalist and possibilist metaphysical picture in the neighborhood of Lewisian modal realism.
Haecceitism and Hume’s Dictum are each controversial theses about necessity and possibility. According to haecceitism, there are qualitatively indiscernible possible worlds that differ only with respect to which individuals occupy which qualitative roles. According to Hume’s Dictum, there are no necessary connections between distinct entities or, as Humeans sometimes put it, reality admits of “free recombination” so any entities can co-exist or fail to co-exist. This paper introduces a puzzle that results from the combination of haecceitism and Hume’s Dictum. This (...) puzzle revolves around the free recombination of non-qualitative properties like being Socrates. After considering several responses to this puzzle, I defend an ideology-driven solution, which dispenses with non-qualitative properties like being Socrates in favour of primitive theoretical ideology while, at the same time, preserving a commitment to both haecceitism and Hume’s Dictum. (shrink)
Where alienation is concerned, the older Marx has something to puzzle everyone. There are far too many uses of terminology related to the concept of alienation for those who assert the existence of a break in Marx's work to feel comfortable. Yet, the older Marx's account of alienation is much too subordinate and sporadic to constitute a really clear demonstration that there is no break. Supporters of a break have largely ignored the passages in the older Marx, where the alienation (...) vocabulary recurs. Supporters of continuity have largely used such passages to 'prove' that alienation is really at the centre of the older Marx's writings, without looking very carefully at the specific context in which the passages occur. In this article, I shall attempt to analyse these passages in context. I shall show that many of the uses of the term 'alienation' in the later Marx relate simply to 'selling'; that the concept of the fetishism of commodities does not require a philosophical notion of an alienated man; and that many of Marx's references to the 'many-sided man' can be read as emotionally charged empirical descriptions of the effects of the capitalist mode of production rather than philosophical analyses. Regressions to the concept of alienation as found in the young Marx are, in fact, relatively rare. (shrink)
In this paper, I defend an indexical analysis of the abstract-concrete distinction within the framework of modal realism. This analysis holds the abstract-concrete distinction to be conceptually inseparable from the distinction between the actual and the merely possible, which is assumed to be indexical in nature. The resulting view contributes to the case for modal realism by demonstrating how its distinctive resources provide a reductive analysis of the abstract-concrete distinction. This indexical analysis also provides a solution to a sceptical problem (...) regarding our concreteness, which parallels the sceptical problem that motivates indexicalism about actuality. (shrink)
“With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet.” So recalled Victor Frankenstein, reflecting on the creative act. By its end, however,Frankensteinhas less to do with the scientist's creativity and more to do with his monster's. This is why Mary Shelley inverts this Promethean moment in the book's final scene, as the monster stands over the lifeless (...) body of his creator. Frankenstein's last words mark the inversion: his “instruments of life,” he laments, had given rise to “an instrument of mischief,” a creature animated by a desire for human fulfillment. To live may mean behaving instrumentally, but some instruments get the better of you. Frankenstein learns this lesson the hard way; but does his monster? He echoes his creator's words—“Fear not that I shall be the instrument of future mischief”—and promises his own end, when he will “collect my funeral pile and consume to ashes this miserable frame.” One's frame is mere matter, but such an act is proof of the life that animates it. On the cusp of death, then, the monster lives.Frankensteinreminds us that the question “What is life?” can only be answered by experiment, from the medical horrors that gave the monster life to the fatal act with which he plans to abandon it. At life's end, as at its beginning, creator and creation combine; we become our instruments, or they surpass us. (shrink)
Lynne Baker’s case for the incompatibility of naturalism with the first-person perspective raises a range of questions about the relationship between naturalism and the various properties involved in first-person perspectives. After arguing that non-qualitative properties—most notably, haecceities like being Lynne Baker—are ineliminably tied to first-person perspectives, this paper considers whether naturalism and non-qualitative properties are, in fact, compatible. In doing so, the discussion focus on Shamik Dasupgta’s argument against individuals and, in turn, non-qualitative properties. Several strategies for undermining Dasgupta's argument (...) are considered, drawing on de re laws and haecceitistic possibilities. Finally, an analogy is drawn between naturalism and platonism regarding mathematical entities and naturalism's parallel commitment to individuals. I conclude that naturalists are obliged to posit non-qualitative properties. (shrink)
Foreword Michael Wood xi 1 Plato Today, by R.H.S. Crossman, Spectator 3 2 English Philosophy since 1900, by G. J. Warnock, Philosophy 5 3 Thought and Action, by Stuart Hampshire, Encounter 8 4 The Theological Appearance of the Church of England: An External View, Prism 17 5 The Four Loves, by C. S. Lewis, Spectator 24 6 Discourse on Method, by René Descartes, translated by Arthur Wollaston, Spectator 26 7 The Individual Reason: L’esprit laïc, BBC Radio 3 talk, Listener 28 (...) 8 What Is Existentialism? BBC World Service talk broadcast in Vietnamese 35 9 Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions, by Jean-Paul Sartre, translated by Philip Mairet, Spectator 38 10 Sense and Sensibilia, by J. L. Austin, reconstructed by G. J. Warnock; Philosophical Papers, edited by J. O. Urmson and G. J. Warnock, Oxford Magazine 40 11 The Concept of a Person, by A. J. Ayer, New Statesman 45 12 Two Faces of Science, BBC Radio 3 talk in the series Personal View, Listener 48 13 The English Moralists, by Basil Willey, New York Review of Books 52 14 Universities: Protest, Reform and Revolution, Lecture in celebration of the foundation of Birkbeck College 55 15 Has ’God’ a Meaning? Question 70 16 Russell and Moore: The Analytical Heritage, by A. J. Ayer 75 17 Immanuel Kant, by Lucien Goldmann, Cambridge Review 77 18 A Theory of Justice, by John Rawls, Spectator 82 19 Beyond Freedom and Dignity, by B. F. Skinner, Observer 87 20 What Computers Can’t Do: A Critique of Artificial Reason, by Hubert L. Dreyfus, New York Review of Books 90 21 Wisdom: Twelve Essays, edited by Renford Bambrough, Times Literary Supplement 101 22 The Socialist Idea, edited by Stuart Hampshire and L. Kolakowski, Observer 104 23 Anarchy, State, and Utopia, by Robert Nozick, Political Philosophy 107 24 The Ethics of Fetal Research, by Paul Ramsey, Times LiterarySupplement 115 25 The Moral View of Politics, BBC Radio 3 talk in the series Current Trends in Philosophy, Listener 119 26 The Life of Bertrand Russell, by Ronald W. Clark; The Tamarisk Tree: My Quest for Liberty and Love, by Dora Russell; My Father Bertrand Russell, by Katharine Tait; Bertrand Russell, by A. J. Ayer, New York Review of Books 125 27 Reflections on Language, by Noam Chomsky; On Noam Chomsky: Critical Essays, edited by Gilbert Harman, New York Review of Books 133 28 The Selfish Gene, by Richard Dawkins, New Scientist 140 29 The Fire and the Sun: Why Plato Banished the Artists, by Iris Murdoch, New Statesman 142 30 The Logic of Abortion, BBC Radio 3 talk, Listener 146 31 On Thinking, by Gilbert Ryle, edited by Konstantin Kolenda, London Review of Books 152 32 Rubbish Theory, by Michael Thompson, London Review of Books 157 33 Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life, by Sissela Bok, Political Quarterly 161 34 Logic and Society and Ulysses and the Sirens, by Jon Elster, London Review of Books 165 35 The Culture of Narcissism, by Christopher Lasch; Nihilism and Culture, by Johan Goudsblom, London Review of Books 169 36 Religion and Public Doctrine in England, by Maurice Cowling, London Review of Books 173 37 Nietzsche on Tragedy, by M. S. Silk and J. P. Stern; Nietzsche: A Critical Life, by Ronald Hayman; Nietzsche, vol. 1, The Will to Power as Art, by Martin Heidegger, translated by David Farrell Krell, London Review of Books 179 38 After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory, by Alasdair MacIntyre, Sunday Times 184 39 Philosophical Explanations, by Robert Nozick, New York Review of Books 187 40 The Miracle of Theism: Arguments for and against the Existence of God, by J. L. Mackie, Times Literary Supplement 197 41 Offensive Literature: Decensorship in Britain, 1960-1982, by John Sutherland, London Review of Books 200 42 Consequences of Pragmatism, by Richard Rorty, New York Review of Books 204 43 The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell, vol. I, Cambridge Essays 1888-99, edited by Kenneth Blackwell and others, Observer 216 44 Reasons and Persons, by Derek Parfit, London Review of Books 218 45 Wickedness: A Philosophical Essay, by Mary Midgley, Observer 224 46 Secrets: On the Ethics of Concealment and Revelation, by Sissela Bok; The Secrets File: The Case for Freedom of Information in Britain Today, edited by Des Wilson, foreword by David Steel, London Review of Books 226 47 Choice and Consequence, by Thomas C. Schelling, Economics and Philosophy 231 48 Privacy: Studies in Social and Cultural History, by Barrington Moore, Jr., New York Review of Books 236 49 Ordinary Vices, by Judith Shklar; Immorality, by Ronald Milo, London Review of Books 241 50 The Right to Know: The Inside Story of the Belgrano Affair, by Clive Ponting; The Price of Freedom, by Judith Cook, Times Literary Supplement 246 51 Taking Sides: The Education of a Militant Mind, by Michael Harrington, New York Times Book Review 252 52 A Matter of Principle, by Ronald Dworkin 256 53 The View from Nowhere, by Thomas Nagel, London Review of Books 261 54 What Hope for the Humanities? Times Educational Supplement 267 55 The Society of Mind, by Marvin Minsky, New York Review of Books 274 56 Whose Justice? Which Rationality? by Alasdair MacIntyre, London Review of Books 283 57 Intellectuals, by Paul Johnson, New York Review of Books 288 58 Contingency, Irony and Solidarity, by Richard Rorty, London Review of Books 295 59 Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity, by Charles Taylor, New York Review of Books 301 60 The Need to Be Sceptical, Times Literary Supplement 311 61 The Saturated Self: Dilemmas of Identity in Contemporary Life, by Kenneth J. Gergen, New York Times Book Review 318 62 Realism with a Human Face, by Hilary Putnam, London Review of Books 320 63 Political Liberalism, by John Rawls, London Review of Books 326 64 Inequality Reexamined, by Amartya Sen, London Review of Books 332 65 The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics, by Martha Nussbaum, London Review of Books 339 66 Only Words, by Catharine MacKinnon, London Review of Books 345 67 The Limits of Interpretation, by Umberto Eco; Interpretation and Overinterpretation, by Umberto Eco, with Richard Rorty, Jonathan Culler, and Christine Brooke-Rose, edited by Stefan Collini; Six Walks in the Fictional Woods, by Umberto Eco; Apocalypse Postponed, by Umberto Eco, translated and edited by Robert Lumley; Misreadings, by Umberto Eco, translated by William Weaver; How to Travel with a Salmon & Other Essays, by Umberto Eco, translated by William Weaver, New York Review of Books 352 68 On Hating and Despising Philosophy, London Review of Books 363 69 The Last Word, by Thomas Nagel, New York Review of Books 371 70 Wagner and the Transcendence of Politics, New York Review of Books 388 71 Why Philosophy Needs History, London Review of Books 405. (shrink)
I have on my desk an artifact of wonderful contrivance. Though its outer skin is of flimsy cardboard standing over half a foot high, it is squarely based, making it nearly untippable on shelves. It is a deodorant product called ban—a box containing a bottle containing a liquid. But this simple division of the artifact into three components gives no idea of the complex relationships sustained between part and part, or within each part taken separately.Study, first, the bottle. It emerges (...) from the box a tall and shapely miracle of ballast. It emerges from the box a tall and shapely miracle of ballast. Its most prominent feature, the revolving-ball applicator on top, is airy enough not to destabilize the three-and-one-half ounces of liquid in the bottle’s pyramidal base. It looks like one of those skirted Egyptian statues with no waist to speak of—bulbous of headdress or hairstyle above, firm-footed below, pinched in the middle.The box, despite artfully cutout windows, gives little suggestion of the Nefertiti-like interior. On the contrary: the box suggests that the bottle is bulkier than, unclothed, it turns out to be. Still, one could argue that the box is almost suicidally candid. It not only confesses but proclaims how much of the interior is taken up by the applicator . The upper window space on the bottle is intruded on by a semicircle of cardboard—the lower half of a full yellow circle boldly marked off from the green and white product colors that reign everywhere else. Inside the circle, wide letters boast: WIDE BALL. The circle is, in fact, exactly the size of the wide ball as seen in section, giving us what seems an almost geometrical regard for truth in advertising. The circle is repeated, at full size, on both ends of the box; but there it is white, with WIDE BALL printed in green. Why this emphasis on an empty ball, on the fact that one is being sold a great content of air? The ball is shrouded by a huge plastic cover, a screw-on cowl that gives the Egyptian figure its impressive headdress. Garry Wills, adjunct professor of history at Northwestern University, is the author of Reagan’s America . His previous contribution to Critical Inquiry was “Washington’s Citizen Virtue: Greenough and Houdon”. (shrink)
Primitives are both important and unavoidable, and which set of primitives we endorse will greatly shape our theories and how those theories provide solutions to the problems that we take to be important. After introducing the notion of a primitive posit, I discuss the different kinds of primitives that we might posit. Following Cowling (2013), I distinguish between ontological and ideological primitives, and, following Benovsky (2013) between functional and content views of primitives. I then propose that these two distinctions (...) cut across each other leading to four types of primitive posits. I then argue that theoretical virtues should be taken to be meta-theoretical ideological primitives. I close with some reflections on the global nature of comparing sets of primitives. (shrink)
Kantian Humility (KH) holds that the intrinsic properties of objects are unknowable for agents such as ourselves. Categorial properties, such as being an object, present a potential threat to KH. Cowling (2010) argues that knowing KH to be true requires knowledge of categorial properties. However, if such properties are shown to be intrinsic properties, then KH is committed to their being unknowable. I defend KH by presenting three alternative responses to this challenge. First, that categorial properties are not properties (...) in the sense relevant to KH. Second, that if they are properties, they are not intrinsic properties. Third, that if they are intrinsic properties, KH is not committed to their being unknowable. I also show how these responses can be applied to a related objection to KH offered by Moore (2001). (shrink)
This study examines the use of a video news release in a specific story. Press coverage and editorial criticism in the case showed that journalists do not articulate sufficiently how the news owners' sway, through institutional controls, can lead to a hegemony of expedient action in the newsroom. Critical self-reflection by news workers will better enable journalists to ethically deliberate news choices that balance their responsibilities to owners, peers, and the public.
Think of a number, any number, or properties like fragility and humanity. These and other abstract entities are radically different from concrete entities like electrons and elbows. While concrete entities are located in space and time, have causes and effects, and are known through empirical means, abstract entities like meanings and possibilities are remarkably different. They seem to be immutable and imperceptible and to exist "outside" of space and time. This book provides a comprehensive critical assessment of the problems raised (...) by abstract entities and the debates about existence, truth, and knowledge that surround them. It sets out the key issues that inform the metaphysical disagreement between platonists who accept abstract entities and nominalists who deny abstract entities exist. Beginning with the essentials of the platonist–nominalist debate, it explores the key arguments and issues informing the contemporary debate over abstract reality: arguments for platonism and their connections to semantics, science, and metaphysical explanation the abstract–concrete distinction and views about the nature of abstract reality epistemological puzzles surrounding our knowledge of mathematical entities and other abstract entities. arguments for nominalism premised upon concerns about paradox, parsimony, infinite regresses, underdetermination, and causal isolation nominalist options that seek to dispense with abstract entities. Including chapter summaries, annotated further reading, and a glossary, _Entities_ is essential reading for anyone seeking a clear and authoritative introduction to the problems raised by abstract entities. (shrink)
Initiatives relying on artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver socially beneficial outcomes—AI for social good (AI4SG)—are on the rise. However, existing attempts to understand and foster AI4SG initiatives have so far been limited by the lack of normative analyses and a shortage of empirical evidence. In this Perspective, we address these limitations by providing a definition of AI4SG and by advocating the use of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a benchmark for tracing the scope and spread of AI4SG. (...) We introduce a database of AI4SG projects gathered using this benchmark, and discuss several key insights, including the extent to which different SDGs are being addressed. This analysis makes possible the identification of pressing problems that, if left unaddressed, risk hampering the effectiveness of AI4SG initiatives. (shrink)
Wilderness valued as mere resource for human?interest satisfaction is challenged in favor of wilderness as a productive source, in which humans have roots, but which also yields wild neighbors and aliens with intrinsic value. Wild value is storied achievement in an evolutionary ecosystem, with instrumental and intrinsic, organismic and systemic values intermeshed. Survival value is reconsidered in this light. Changing cultural appreciations of values in wilderness can transform and relativize our judgments about appropriate conduct there. A final valued element in (...) wildness is its idiographic historical particularity, and most surprising is the emergence of a novel morality when humans learn to let values go wild. (shrink)
This study investigated gender-related differences in ethical attitudes of 318 graduate and undergraduate business students. Significant differences were observed in male and female responses to questions concerning ethics in social and personal relationships. No differences were noted for survey items concerning rules-based obligations. Implications for future management are discussed.
Trust is a fundamental aspect of the moral treatment of stakeholders within the organization–stakeholder relationship. Stakeholders trust the organization to return benefit or protections from harm commensurate with their contributions or stakes. However, in many situations, the firm holds greater power than the stakeholder and therefore cannot necessarily be trusted to return the aforementioned duty to the stakeholder. Stakeholders must therefore rely on the trustworthiness of the organization to fulfill obligations in accordance to Phillips’ principle of fairness (Business Ethics Quarterly (...) 7(1), 1997, 51–66), particularly where low-power stakeholders may not be fully consenting (Van Buren III, Business Ethics Quarterly 11(3), 2001, 481–499). The construct of organizational trustworthiness developed herewith is presented as a possible solution to the problem of unfairness in organization–stakeholder relations. While organizational trustworthiness does not create an ethical obligation where none existed before, stakeholders who lack power will likely be treated fairly when organizational trustworthiness is present. (shrink)
According to the modal view, essence admits of reductive analysis in exclusively modal terms. Fine (1994) argues that modal view delivers an inadequate analysis of essence. This paper defends the modal view from Fine's challenge. This defense proceeds by examining the disagreement between Finean primitivists and Quinean eliminativists about essence. In order to model this disagreement, a distinction between essence and a separable concept, nature, is required. This distinction is then used to show that Fine's challenge is misdirected and therefore (...) unsuccessful. (shrink)
After so much scholarship has been devoted to the dispute between the defenders and critics of liberalism, it is reasonable to ask whether the topic has been exhausted or, at the very least, if the rival and incommensurable options have been so thoroughly defined that one simply has to pick a side. John Christman's new book, The Politics of Persons, demonstrates that this intuition is flawed. The central concern of this compelling work is to outline an alternative conception of autonomy (...) that incorporates a wide range of insights provided by the critics of liberalism. What emerges is not only a plausible philosophical compromise but also a politically relevant model for understanding how the policies and .. (shrink)
Chaïm Perelman resuscitated the rhetorical tradition by developing an elegant and detailed theory of argumentation. Rejecting the single-minded Cartesian focus on rational truth, Perelman recovered the ancient wisdom that we can argue reasonably about matters that admit only of probability. From this one would conclude that Perelman's argumentation theory is inalterably opposed to natural law, and therefore that I would have done better to have written an article titled "Perelman's Theory of Argumentation as a Rejection of Natural Law."However, my thesis (...) is precisely that Perelman's theory of argumentation connects to the natural law tradition in interesting and productive ways. Perelman referred to natural law in. (shrink)
When Donna Rice, who was brought into the public limelight as a companion to ex-presidentiaI candidate Gary Hart, appeared at a university ethics seminar, her statement, and the subsequent coverage, raised three troubling questions for journalists: the nature of academic inquiry, journalistic practices, and the right of people to define themselves.
The popular view of shareholder activism focuses on shareholder resolutions and the shareholder vote via proxy statements at the annual meeting, which is treated as a “David vs. Goliath” showdown between the small group of socially responsible investors and the powerful corporation. This article goes beyond the popular view to examine where the real action typically occurs – in the Dialogue process where corporations and shareholder activist groups mutually agree to ongoing communications to deal with a serious social issue. Use (...) of the capitalized word “Dialogue” is intended to distinguish this formal process between corporations and shareholders from all the other forms of dialogue or two-way communication exchanged between a corporation and its stakeholders. The phenomenon of Dialogue between a corporation and dissident shareholders has not been analyzed in the academic literature or in the popular press because it occurs behind the scenes and out of sight from media scrutiny. Yet this is where a great deal of social change initiated by shareholder activists is negotiated. This article contributes both theoretically and empirically to the study of Dialogues between shareholder activists and corporations. We explain how Dialogues occur in the context of the shareholder resolution process and examine two Dialogues that focus on international labor issues in two industries. Then data on Dialogues during the period, 1999–2005, from the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility are analyzed. This research contributes to knowledge about the Dialogue process and the emerging literature on corporation–stakeholder engagement. (shrink)
The idea of artificial intelligence for social good is gaining traction within information societies in general and the AI community in particular. It has the potential to tackle social problems through the development of AI-based solutions. Yet, to date, there is only limited understanding of what makes AI socially good in theory, what counts as AI4SG in practice, and how to reproduce its initial successes in terms of policies. This article addresses this gap by identifying seven ethical factors that are (...) essential for future AI4SG initiatives. The analysis is supported by 27 case examples of AI4SG projects. Some of these factors are almost entirely novel to AI, while the significance of other factors is heightened by the use of AI. From each of these factors, corresponding best practices are formulated which, subject to context and balance, may serve as preliminary guidelines to ensure that well-designed AI is more likely to serve the social good. (shrink)
Technologies to rapidly alert people when they have been in contact with someone carrying the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 are part of a strategy to bring the pandemic under control. Currently, at least 47 contact-tracing apps are available globally. They are already in use in Australia, South Korea and Singapore, for instance. And many other governments are testing or considering them. Here we set out 16 questions to assess whether — and to what extent — a contact-tracing app is ethically justifiable.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already having a major impact on society. As a result, many organizations have launched a wide range of initiatives to establish ethical principles for the adoption of socially beneficial AI. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of proposed principles threatens to overwhelm and confuse. How might this problem of ‘principle proliferation’ be solved? In this paper, we report the results of a fine-grained analysis of several of the highest-profile sets of ethical principles for AI. We assess whether these (...) principles converge upon a set of agreed-upon principles, or diverge, with significant disagreement over what constitutes ‘ethical AI.’ Our analysis finds a high degree of overlap among the sets of principles we analyze. We then identify an overarching framework consisting of five core principles for ethical AI. Four of them are core principles commonly used in bioethics: beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, and justice. On the basis of our comparative analysis, we argue that a new principle is needed in addition: explicability, understood as incorporating both the epistemological sense of intelligibility (as an answer to the question ‘how does it work?’) and in the ethical sense of accountability (as an answer to the question: ‘who is responsible for the way it works?’). In the ensuing discussion, we note the limitations and assess the implications of this ethical framework for future efforts to create laws, rules, technical standards, and best practices for ethical AI in a wide range of contexts. (shrink)
This article reports the findings of AI4People, an Atomium—EISMD initiative designed to lay the foundations for a “Good AI Society”. We introduce the core opportunities and risks of AI for society; present a synthesis of five ethical principles that should undergird its development and adoption; and offer 20 concrete recommendations—to assess, to develop, to incentivise, and to support good AI—which in some cases may be undertaken directly by national or supranational policy makers, while in others may be led by other (...) stakeholders. If adopted, these recommendations would serve as a firm foundation for the establishment of a Good AI Society. (shrink)
In this study, we propose considering membership in the Ethics Officer Association (EOA) as a proxy for the firm's commitment to ethical decision making, and we analyze the influence of firm- and CEO-specific characteristics on this commitment. While we observe a positive relationship between membership and firm size, we also document a negative relationship between EOA membership and the executive's time in position and, to a more modest extent, accounting returns. Pursuing this further, we present evidence that firms with past (...) legal issues may seek EOA membership as a signal of their intention to be compliant in the future. (shrink)
Ernst Mayr (1980) provided an influential picture of the nature of the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis and of the debate and changes occurring prior to its completion. Mayr intended his account to be applicable to comparable cases. Sociobiology should be evaluated both as a comparable case, an attempt to produce a synthesis which undergoes development of the sort Mayr described, and as an extension of the Modern Synthesis itself. Examination of what the explanatory goals and development of the New Sociobiological Synthesis (...) would be, if it is to achieve a fruitful synthesis which fits Mayr's account, undermines Richard Lewontin's critique of sociobiology. Although Lewontin speaks for many in viewing sociobiology as the latest historical manifestation of social Darwinism, genetic determinism, biological reductionism, and vulgar adaptationism, sociobiology's effort to produce a synthesis does not entail commitment to those positions. (shrink)