This paper explores corporate charitable giving disclosures in order to question the extent to which corporations can claim that their philanthropy activities are charitable at all. Exploration of these issues is carried out by means of a tropological analysis that focuses on the different linguistic tropes within the philanthropy disclosures of 52 companies, namely metaphor and synecdoche. The results reveal a number of complex and contradictory things. Primarily, the master metaphor of 'altruism' projected by the corporate disclosures is ideologically at (...) odds with the more business case-oriented discourse that shapes the disclosures. This contradiction is put into starker contrast by the existence of a root metaphor, whereby the recipients of corporate philanthropy are presented as the 'deserving poor'. Synecdochal devices are present within the corporate disclosures, whereby employee initiatives that are independent of corporate strategies are used to confer attributes onto the disclosures that bolster the master metaphor of 'altruism'. As such, corporate philanthropy is presented by the paper as a structurally incoherent discourse and yet one that has implications for both extracting greater value from various societal groups and in defining, on behalf of civil society, what is a worthy cause. (shrink)
This paper examines two issues related to research of certified fair trade goods. The first is the question of how agendas for fair trade research should be developed. The second issue is the existence of major gaps in the fair trade literature, including the study of the particular features of fair trade practice in individual northern countries. In taking up the first of these issues, the paper proposes that normative analysis should provide the basis for developing research agendas. Such an (...) approach is important to ensure that the necessary types of questions to make normative judgments and policy decisions are posed and that biases that tend to favor mainstreaming practices in the generation of knowledge are minimized. The paper addresses the second research issue by examining the development of research agendas at the level of individual countries, using Canada as a case. (shrink)
Corporate social responsibility is often framed in terms of opposing constructions of the firm. These reflect, respectively, different accounts of its obligations: either to shareholders or to stakeholders. Although these opposing constructions of corporate responsibility are diametrically opposed, they are also much more fluid and mobile in certain contexts, since they can act as discursive resources that are deployed and brought into play in the struggle over shaping what responsibility means. They are less the fixed, ideological “signposts” they might appear, (...) and more like “weathervanes” that move alongside changing rhetorical currents. To show this, we analyse the Securities and Exchange Commission consultation process, and legislation, relating to the provenance of “conflict minerals”. We identify two dialectically opposed camps, each seeking to influence final legislation and with end goals in keeping with the shareholder/stakeholder dichotomy. One camp lobbied for firms to scrutinize their entire supply chain, constructing the firm as a “global citizen” with very wide social responsibilities. The second camp lobbied for a lighter touch approach, constructing the firm as a “trader”, with much narrower social responsibilities. We analyse the complex interplay between these two opposed camps, our contribution being to show how both deploy competing conceptions of the corporation as discursive resources. (shrink)
The analytical notion of ‘scientific style of reasoning’, introduced by Ian Hacking in the middle of the 1980s, has become widespread in the literature of the history and philosophy of science. However, scholars have rarely made explicit the philosophical assumptions and the research objectives underlying the notion of style: what are its philosophical roots? How does the notion of style fit into the area of research of historical epistemology? What does a comparison between Hacking’s project on styles of thinking and (...) other similar projects suggest? My aim in this paper is to answer these questions. Hacking has denied that his project of styles of thinking falls into the field of historical epistemology. I shall challenge his remark by tracing out the connections of the notion of style with historical epistemology and, more in general, with a tradition of thought born in France in the beginning of twentieth-century. (shrink)
In this paper I take a critical look at Judith Jarvis Thomson famous violinist analogy for abortion. I argue that while the violinist example does show that a right to life does not entail a right to be given the means of life, the violinist cast is relevantly different from the pregnancy case. I also argue that Thomson's positive argument in favor of the permissibility of abortion fails because it is based on a false conception of bodily self-ownsership. (...) Finally, I offer an argument against abortion built not on the child's rights, but the mother's obligation to the vulnerable. (shrink)
A virtual reality translation of Judith Thomson's Violinist Analogy. These modules are free to download and use in the classroom and for research/x-phi purposes. -/- *Requires an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive and VR capable computer. To open the files, uncompress the downloaded .zip folder and run the executable (.exe) file.
En los últimos años Ian Hacking se ha dedicado a trabajar principalmente acerca de las ciencias humanas. El objetivo de este artículo es presentar algunas de las nociones acuñadas por el filósofo canadiense -fundamentalmente las de ontología histórica y nominalismo dinámico- para dicho ámbito. A par..
The rosy dawn of my title refers to that optimistic time when the logical concept of a natural kind originated in Victorian England. The scholastic twilight refers to the present state of affairs. I devote more space to dawn than twilight, because one basic problem was there from the start, and by now those origins have been forgotten. Philosophers have learned many things about classification from the tradition of natural kinds. But now it is in disarray and is unlikely to (...) be put back together again. My argument is less founded on objections to the numerous theories now in circulation, than on the sheer proliferation of incompatible views. There no longer exists what Bertrand Russell called ‘the doctrine of natural kinds’—one doctrine. Instead we have a slew of distinct analyses directed at unrelated projects. (shrink)
I introduce two new tools in experimental neurobiology, optogenetics and DREADDs. These tools permit unprecedented control over activity in specific neurons in behaving animals. In addition to their inherent scientific interest, these tools make an important contribution to philosophy of science. They illustrate the very premises of Ian Hacking’s “microscope” argument for the relative independence of experiment from theory. This new example is important for generalizing Hacking’s argument because the background sciences and the fields of engineering producing these tools differ (...) significantly. (shrink)
Ian Rumfitt has proposed systems of bilateral logic for primitive speech acts of assertion and denial, with the purpose of ‘exploring the possibility of specifying the classically intended senses for the connectives in terms of their deductive use’ : 810f). Rumfitt formalises two systems of bilateral logic and gives two arguments for their classical nature. I assess both arguments and conclude that only one system satisfies the meaning-theoretical requirements Rumfitt imposes in his arguments. I then formalise an intuitionist system of (...) bilateral logic which also meets those requirements. Thus Rumfitt cannot claim that only classical bilateral rules of inference succeed in imparting a coherent sense onto the connectives. My system can be extended to classical logic by adding the intuitionistically unacceptable half of a structural rule Rumfitt uses to codify the relation between assertion and denial. Thus there is a clear sense in which, in the bilateral framework, the difference between classicism and intuitionism is not one of the rules of inference governing negation, but rather one of the relation between assertion and denial. (shrink)
In a recent article Mark Ian Thomas Robson argues that there is a clear contradiction between the view that possible worlds are a part of God's nature and the theologically pivotal, but philosophically neglected, claim that God is perfectly beautiful. In this article I show that Robson's argument depends on several key assumptions that he fails to justify and as such that there is reason to doubt the soundness of his argument. I also demonstrate that if Robson's argument were sound (...) then this would be a problem for all classical theists and not just those who hold the possible worlds view. (shrink)
The analytical notion of ‘scientific style of reasoning’, introduced by Ian Hacking in the middle of the 1980s, has become widespread in the literature of the history and philosophy of science. However, scholars have rarely made explicit the philosophical assumptions and the research objectives underlying the notion of style: what are its philosophical roots? How does the notion of style fit into the area of research of historical epistemology? What does a comparison between the Hacking’s project on styles of thinking (...) and other similar projects suggest? My aim in this paper is to answer these questions. Hacking has denied that his project of styles of thinking falls into the field of historical epistemology. I shall challenge his remark by tracing out the connections of the notion of style with historical epistemology and, more in general, with a tradition of thought born in France in the beginning of twentieth-century. (shrink)
I argue that Judith Jarvis Thomson's attack on consequentialism, premised on the semantic claim that all goodness is goodness-in-a-way, is less powerful and less precisely targeted than she supposes. For we can develop an argument against pure obligation or categorical imperatives that is largely parallel to Thomson's argument against pure goodness. The right response to both arguments is that the existence of pure goodness or pure obligation is neither semantically rule out nor semantically guaranteed.
How is a person's freedom related to his or her preferences? Liberal theorists of negative freedom have generally taken the view that the desire of a person to do or not do something is irrelevant to the question of whether he is free to do it. Supporters of the “pure negative” conception of freedom have advocated this view in its starkest form: they maintain that a person is unfree to Φ if and only if he is prevented from Φ-ing by (...) the conduct or dispositions of some other person. This definition of freedom is value-neutral in the sense that no reference is made to preferences over options or indeed to any other indicators of the values of options, either in the characterization of “Φ-ing” itself or in the characterization of the way in which Φ-ing can be constrained. (shrink)
The famous ‘trolley problem’ began as a simple variation on an example given in passing by Philippa Foot , involving a runaway trolley that cannot be stopped but can be steered to a path of lesser harm. By switching from the perspective of the driver to that of a bystander, Judith Jarvis Thomson showed how the case raises difficulties for the normative theory Foot meant to be defending, and Thomson compounded the challenge with further variations that created still (...) more puzzles of broader interest. In recent years, her thought experiments have even been co-opted by psychologists engaged in the empirical study of moral judgment . Yet more than thirty years after launching the trolley problem, Thomson has now strikingly reversed course, retracting the very claim she had originally used to raise puzzles for Foot. I shall argue that this reversal is a mistake, leading to a needlessly counterintuitive, contrarian position about damage-control cases. Instead of overturning her earlier position, her new variations merely uncover a surprising insight about the conditions under which one may permissibly sacrifice another for a good end.1. The central case at issue is what Thomson now calls Bystander's Two Options: you are a bystander who sees a runaway trolley headed toward five innocent people who cannot move off the track; you cannot stop the trolley, but you have access to a switch that will divert it onto a side track where one innocent person is trapped. Is it permissible to throw the switch and divert the trolley toward lesser harm? The common answer, and Thomson's earlier one, is that it is: in cases like this, where there is a public threat and we can act on it so …. (shrink)
In the Mead–Freeman controversy, Ian Jarvie has supported much of Derek Freeman’s critique of Margaret Mead’s Coming of Age in Samoa, arguing that Samoan society was sexually repressive rather than sexually permissive, that Mead was “hoaxed” about Samoan sexual conduct, that Mead was an “absolute” cultural determinist, that Samoa was a definitive case refuting Mead’s “absolute” cultural determinism, that Mead’s book changed the direction of cultural anthropology, and that Freeman’s personal conduct during the controversy was thoroughly professional. This article calls (...) into question these empirical and theoretical arguments, often using Freeman’s own field research and publications. (shrink)
This article explores the proposal offered by Ian Hacking for the distinction between natural and social sciences—a proposal that he has defined from the outset as complex and different from the traditional ones. Our objective is not only to present the path followed by Hacking’s distinction, but also to determine if it constitutes a novelty or not. For this purpose, we deemed it necessary to briefly introduce the core notions Hacking uses to establish his strategic approach to social sciences, under (...) the assumption that they are less well known that the ones corresponding to his treatment of natural sciences. (shrink)
In this paper we give a full account of the work of William Thomson on absolute temperature, which to this day provides the theoretical underpinnings for the most rigorous measurements of temperature. When Thomson fashioned his concepts of ‘absolute’ temperature, his main concern was to make the definition of temperature independent of the properties of particular thermometric substances . He tried out a succession of definitions based on the thermodynamics of ideal heat engines; most notably, in 1854 he (...) gave the ratio of two temperatures as the ratio of quantities of heat taken in and given out at those temperatures in a Carnot cycle. But there were difficulties with using such definitions for experimental work, since it was not possible even to approximate an ideal Carnot engine in reality. More generally, it is not trivial to connect an abstract concept with concrete operations in order to make physical measurements possible. In the end, Thomson argued that an ideal gas thermometer would indicate his absolute temperature, and that the deviation of actual gas thermometers from the ideal could be estimated by means of the Joule‐Thomson effect. However, the measurement of the Joule‐Thomson effect itself required measurements of temperature, so there was a problem of circularity. (shrink)
James Thomson envisaged a lamp which would be turned on for 1 minute, off for 1/2 minute, on for 1/4 minute, etc. ad infinitum. He asked whether the lamp would be on or off at the end of 2 minutes. Use of “internal set theory” (a version of nonstandard analysis), developed by Edward Nelson, shows Thomson's lamp is chimerical; its copy within set theory yields a contradiction. The demonstration extends to placing restrictions on other “infinite tasks” such as (...) Zeno's paradoxes of motion and Kant's First Antinomy. Resolution of such logical-philosophical problems leads to some very general constraints which must be placed upon the syntax of physical theories. In particular, at some scale space and time would appear granular. The suitability of internal set theory for analyzing phenomena is examined, using a paper by Alper and Bridger (1997) to frame the discussion. (shrink)
In her ground-breaking 1971 article, “A Defense of Abortion,” Judith Jarvis Thomson argues that even if one grants to the prolifer her most important premise—that the fetus is a person—the prolifer’s conclusion, the intrinsic wrongness of abortion, does not follow. However, in her 1995 article, “Abortion: Whose Right?,” Thomson employs Rawlsian liberalism to argue that even though the prolifer’s view of fetal personhood is not unreasonable, the prochoice advocate is not unreasonable in rejecting it. Thus, because we should (...) err on the side of liberty, the right to abortion is vindicated. In this article, I argue that Thomson’s latter reliance on Rawlsian thinking suggests a way of re-reading her earlier essay that casts doubt on whether she really grants the dominant prolife account of unborn human life. (shrink)
In his book The Boundary Stones of Thought, Ian Rumfitt considers five arguments in favour of intuitionistic logic over classical logic. Two of these arguments are based on reflections concerning the meaning of statements in general, due to Michael Dummett and John McDowell. The remaining three are more specific, concerning statements about the infinite and the infinitesimal, statements involving vague terms, and statements about sets.Rumfitt is sympathetic to the premisses of many of these arguments, and takes some of them to (...) be effective challenges to Bivalence, the following principle: Each statement is either true or false.However, he argues that counterexamples to Bivalence do not immediately lead to counterexamples to Excluded Middle, and so do not immediately refute classical logic; here, Excluded Middle is taken to be the following principle: For each statement A, is true.Much... (shrink)
How do concert pianists commit to memory the structure of a piece of music like Bach’s Italian Concerto, learning it well enough to remember it in the highly charged setting of a crowded performance venue, yet remaining open to the freshness of expression of the moment? Playing to this audience, in this state, now, requires openness to specificity, to interpretation, a working dynamicism that mere rote learning will not provide. Chaffin, Imreh and Crawford’s innovative and detailed research suggests that (...) the key to this skill is a declarative mental roadmap aiding musical performance. This hypothesis is neatly and unintentionally summarized by professional pianist Imreh, who states when learning a new piece of music “My fingers were playing the notes just fine. The practice I needed was in my head. I had to learn to keep track of where I was. It was a matter of learning exactly what I needed to be thinking of as I played, and at exactly what point. (shrink)
This article considers the objection to abortion that a woman who voluntarily engages in sexual activity is responsible for her fetus and so cannot have an abortion. The conclusion argued for is that the conceptions of responsibility that can ground the objection that are considered do not necessitate a requirement on the part of a pregnant woman to carry her pregnancy to term. Thus, the iterations of the responsibility objection presented cannot be used to curtail reproductive choice.