This work addresses the autonomous organization of biological systems. It does so by considering the boundaries of biological systems, from individual cells to Home sapiens, in terms of the presence of Markov blankets under the active inference scheme—a corollary of the free energy principle. A Markov blanket defines the boundaries of a system in a statistical sense. Here we consider how a collective of Markov blankets can self-assemble into a global system that itself has a Markov blanket; thereby providing an (...) illustration of how autonomous systems can be understood as having layers of nested and self-sustaining boundaries. This allows us to show that: (i) any living system is a Markov blanketed system and (ii) the boundaries of such systems need not be co-extensive with the biophysical boundaries of a living organism. In other words, autonomous systems are hierarchically composed of Markov blankets of Markov blankets—all the way down to individual cells, all the way up to you and me, and all the way out to include elements of the local environment. (shrink)
Insular populations have traditionally drawn a lot of attention from epidemiologists as they provide important insights regarding transmission of infectious diseases and propagation of epidemics. There are numerous historical instances where isolated populations showed high morbidity once a new virus entered the population. Building upon that and recent findings that the activation of the behavioral immune system depends both upon one’s vulnerability and environmental context, we predicted that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, place of residence explains a significant proportion of variance (...) in preferred interpersonal distances, animosity toward strangers, and willingness to punish those who do not adhere to COVID-19 preventive measures. With 48 populated islands, Croatia provides a fruitful testing ground for this prediction. We also opted to explore relations among BIS-related variables and social cognitions in a more natural context than has previously been done. The study was conducted online, on Croatian residents, during April and May 2020. As expected, the BIS variables contributed significantly to preferred interpersonal distances, negative emotions toward strangers, and willingness to punish those who do not adhere to COVID-19 preventive measures. Furthermore, our results showed that geographical location explained a significant amount of variance in preferred social distances and negative emotions toward foreigners. As Croatian islands are extremely frequent travel destinations, these differences between mainlanders and islanders cannot be explained by the lack of exposure to foreigners. Additionally, we found that scores on preferred interpersonal distances, pathogen disgust, and germ aversion were significantly higher compared to those obtained in Croatian samples before the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, men scored higher in perceived infectability than before the COVID-19 pandemic, and women did not, which reflects the objectively higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 for men than for women. Taken together, our results support the notion that BIS is a highly adaptive and context-dependent response system, likely more reactive in more susceptible individuals. (shrink)
It is still a matter of controversy whether the Principle of the Common Cause (PCC) can be used as a basis for sound causal inference. It is thus to be expected that its application to quantum mechanics should be a correspondingly controversial issue. Indeed the early 90’s saw a flurry of papers addressing just this issue in connection with the EPR correlations. Yet, that debate does not seem to have caught up with the most recent literature on causal inference generally, (...) which has moved on to consider the virtues of a generalised PCC-inspired condition, the so-called Causal Markov Condition (CMC). In this paper we argue that the CMC is an appropriate benchmark for debating possible causal explanations of the EPR correlations. But we go on to take issue with some pronouncements on EPR by defenders of the CMC. (shrink)
In this article, our aim is to examine the difference between the corporate social responsibility (CSR) practice of the multinational companies (MNCs) and of the domestic companies operating in Serbia, as well as the influence of internal self-regulations such as statements of corporate values and codes of conduct, and external self-regulations such as the implementation of the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards on CSR practice. The CSR practice is observed in five CSR areas: employee relations, customer relations, environmental practice, (...) community and social involvement, and transparency in business activity. The findings indicate that the CSR practice of the MNCs is significantly different in comparison to domestic companies only in the area of employee relations. Furthermore, the overall results suggest that internal self-regulations have more influence on CSR practice than the implementation of generic management system standards. However, the existence of transparent corporate values, codes of conduct and implemented management systems according to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards does not prove to be strong predictors of CSR performance. (shrink)
expose some gaps and difficulties in the argument for the causal Markov condition in our essay ‘Independence, Invariance and the Causal Markov Condition’ (), and we are grateful for the opportunity to reformulate our position. In particular, Cartwright disagrees vigorously with many of the theses we advance about the connection between causation and manipulation. Although we are not persuaded by some of her criticisms, we shall confine ourselves to showing how our central argument can be reconstructed and to casting doubt (...) on Cartwright's claim that the causal Markov condition typically fails when there are indeterministic by-products. Why believe the causal Markov condition? Causation and manipulation The argument Indeterministic by-products and the causal Markov condition The chemical factory counterexample and PM2 Conclusions: causation and manipulability. (shrink)
The theory of social representations must be understood in terms of its proper epistemology so that it can accomplish its full potential in social sciences. This is often difficult to achieve because researchers comprehend it in terms of concepts that are part of static and individualistic Newtonian epistemology rather than in terms of dynamic and relational Einsteinian epistemology. This article considers three signposts that Moscovici identifies and analyses in the theory of relativity, namely the relation between epistemology and science, theory (...) and method, and the argument against the explanation of effects by their causes. The following question is posed: are these signposts also characteristic of the theory of social representations? This question is examined focusing on interactional epistemology, theory and method and the diversity of natural thinking and communication. Moscovici's Psychoanalysis shows that natural thinking appears in a plurality of modes according to the situation in which it takes place and according to social groups towards which it is directed. Natural thinking is controversial and communication-centred. Different professionals, groups and lay people use different kinds of speaking and different communicative genres when they try to resolve “the same” problem. The article suggests that bringing together dialogicality, dialogical linguistics and the theory of social representations may open up new possibilities for theoretical developments in social psychology. (shrink)
The analysis of network robustness tackles the problem of studying how a complex network behaves under adverse scenarios, such as failures or attacks. In particular, the analysis of interdependent networks’ robustness focuses on the specific case of the robustness of interacting networks and their emerging behaviors. This survey systematically reviews literature of frameworks that analyze the robustness of interdependent networks published between 2005 and 2017. This review shows that there exists a broad range of interdependent network models, robustness metrics, and (...) studies that can be used to understand the behaviour of different systems under failure or attack. Regarding models, we found that there is a focus on systems where a node in one layer interacts with exactly one node at another layer. In studies, we observed a focus on the network percolation. While among the metrics, we observed a focus on measures that count network elements. Finally, for the networks used to test the frameworks, we found that the focus was on synthetic models, rather than analysis of real network systems. This review suggests opportunities in network research, such as the study of robustness on interdependent networks with multiple interactions and/or spatially embedded networks, and the use of interdependent network models in realistic network scenarios. (shrink)
Few people have thought so hard about the nature of the quantum theory as has Jeff Bub,· and so it seems appropriate to offer in his honor some reflections on that theory. My topic is an old one, the consistency of our microscopic theories with our macroscopic theories, my example, the Aspect experiments (Aspect et al., 1981, 1982, 1982a; Clauser and Shimony, l978;_Duncan and Kleinpoppen, 199,8) is familiar, and my sirnplrcation of it is borrowed. All that is new here is (...) a kind of diagonalization: an argument that the fundamental principles found to be violated by the quantum theory must be assumed to be true of the experimental apparatus used in the experiments.. (shrink)
We consider HA*, that is Heyting's Arithmetic extended with transfinite induction over all recursive well orderings, which may be viewed as defining constructive truth, since PA* agrees with classical truth. We prove that Markov's Principle, as a schema, is not provable in HA*, but that HA* is closed under Markov's Rule.
In their rich and intricate paper ‘Independence, Invariance, and the Causal Markov Condition’, Daniel Hausman and James Woodward () put forward two independent theses, which they label ‘level invariance’ and ‘manipulability’, and they claim that, given a specific set of assumptions, manipulability implies the causal Markov condition. These claims are interesting and important, and this paper is devoted to commenting on them. With respect to level invariance, I argue that Hausman and Woodward's discussion is confusing because, as I point out, (...) they use different senses of ‘intervention’ and ‘invariance’ without saying so. I shall remark on these various uses and point out that the thesis is true in at least two versions. The second thesis, however, is not true. I argue that in their formulation, the manipulability thesis is patently false and that a modified version does not fare better. Furthermore, I think their proof that manipulability implies the causal Markov condition is not conclusive. In the deterministic case it is valid but vacuous, whereas it is invalid in the probabilistic case. 1 Introduction 2 Intervention, invariance and modularity 3 The causal Markov condition: CM1 and CM2 4 From MOD to the causal Markov condition and back 5 A second argument for CM2 6 The proof of the causal Markov condition for probabilistic causes 7 ‘Cartwright's objection’ defended 8 Metaphysical defenses of the causal Markov condition 9 Conclusion. (shrink)
This paper explores the relationship between a manipulability conception of causation and the causal Markov condition (CM). We argue that violations of CM also violate widely shared expectations—implicit in the manipulability conception—having to do with the absence of spontaneous correlations. They also violate expectations concerning the connection between independence or dependence relationships in the presence and absence of interventions.
This essay explains what the Causal Markov Condition says and defends the condition from the many criticisms that have been launched against it. Although we are skeptical about some of the applications of the Causal Markov Condition, we argue that it is implicit in the view that causes can be used to manipulate their effects and that it cannot be surrendered without surrendering this view of causation.
The causal Markov condition (CMC) plays an important role in much recent work on the problem of causal inference from statistical data. It is commonly thought that the CMC is a more problematic assumption for genuinely indeterministic systems than for deterministic ones. In this essay, I critically examine this proposition. I show how the usual motivation for the CMC—that it is true of any acyclic, deterministic causal system in which the exogenous variables are independent—can be extended to the indeterministic case. (...) In light of this result, I consider several arguments for supposing indeterminism a particularly hostile environment for the CMC, but conclude that none are persuasive. Introduction Functional models and directed graphs The causal Markov theorem The causal Markov theorem and genuine indeterminism Are the exogenous variables independent? EPR Conclusion. (shrink)
The theory of causal Bayes nets [15, 19] is, from an empirical point of view, currently one of the most promising approaches to causation on the market. There are, however, counterexamples to its core axiom, the causal Markov condition. Probably the most serious of these counterexamples are EPR/B experiments in quantum mechanics (cf. [13, 23]). However, these are also the only counterexamples yet known from the quantum realm. One might therefore wonder whether they are the only phenomena in the quantum (...) realm that create problems for causal Bayes nets. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that not only the phenomenon of quantum correlations in EPR/B experiments create problems for causal Bayes nets, but also the temporal evolution of quantum systems, which is described as dualistic by quantum mechanics. For this purpose, it is shown that single photon experiments in a Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) violate the causal Markov condition as well. It is then argued, however, that the Markov violation does not occur under the de Broglie-Bohm interpretation of Bohmian mechanics. (shrink)
Purpose – This paper aims to focus on the modern development of bionics and linking new technologies with the human nervous system or other biological systems that cause changes of the human biological structure. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is a discursive evaluation of technological progress and new systems where computers and machines integrate, making a single matrix entity – the cyborg. Here fundamental questions arise, such as what it means to be human and what is and what should be a (...) human being? Findings – The paper argues for the value of twenty-first century human enhancement techniques and other emerging technologies that promised to “help” humans become “more than human”, trying to create human beings with greatly enhanced abilities, to improve human mental and physical characteristics and capacities. Modern man is gradually disappearing as a natural being and increasingly turning into an artificial creature “cyborg” that leads into the question, what will ultimately remain human in a human body? Originality/value – The paper contributes to the existing debates about further development of cyborgisation and examines boundaries that will strictly divide man from a cyborg in the near future. In order to protect man from the omnipotence of technology and its unethical application is necessary to establish cyborgoethics that would determine the implementation of an artificial boundary in the natural body. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to analyse the Czech legislation applicable to surrogacy cases while considering some basic social aspects. First the basic facts of surrogacy as a medical reproductive technique are discussed. Surrogacy is also considered as a social trend, and in terms of selected social aspects, such as the growing number of couples interested in surrogacy and their social status. Nevertheless, the main goal of the paper is to analyse selected legal problems as regards surrogacy and the (...) Czech legislation. Therefore, the authors describe the basic legal framework that has relevancy to surrogacy cases and identify the most frequent problems concerning surrogacy applications using three model cases. In the concluding remarks the adequacy of Czech legislation is discussed. (shrink)
Many adults hold mistaken beliefs concerning the behavior of mechanical motion and reflections. In the field of psychology this has been investigated in the areas of naïve physics and naïve optics. The interesting question regards where these false beliefs come from. Particularly thought-provoking is the case of errors which are at odds not only with known physical/optical concepts, but also with what people would actually perceive. Some errors are in fact consistent with what people see in ecological conditions while others (...) apparently are not. This has led to the former being referred to as perceptual errors and the latter as conceptual errors. We propose that many of these ‘conceptual errors’ are generalizations of what can be actually perceived under some conditions that are then incorrectly applied under others. In this sense, they can be thought of as a second way in which perception shapes naïve beliefs. (shrink)
Hohwy (Hohwy 2016, Hohwy 2017) argues there is a tension between the free energy principle and leading depictions of mind as embodied, enactive, and extended (so-called ‘EEE1 cognition’). The tension is traced to the importance, in free energy formulations, of a conception of mind and agency that depends upon the presence of a ‘Markov blanket’ demarcating the agent from the surrounding world. In what follows I show that the Markov blanket considerations do not, in fact, lead to the kinds of (...) tension that Hohwy depicts. On the contrary, they actively favour the EEE story. This is because the Markov property, as exemplified in biological agents, picks out neither a unique nor a stationary boundary. It is this multiplicity and mutability– rather than the absence of agent-environment boundaries as such - that EEE cognition celebrates. (shrink)
In the past few decades, a growth in ethical consumerism has led brands to increasingly develop conscientiousness and depict ethical image at a corporate level. However, most of the research studying business ethics in the field of corporate brand management is either conceptual or has been empirically conducted in relation to goods/products contexts. This is surprising because corporate brands are more relevant in services contexts, because of the distinct nature of services and the key role that employees have in the (...) services sector. Accordingly, this article aims at empirically examining the effects of customer perceived ethicality in the context of corporate services brands. Based on data collected for eight service categories using a panel of 2179 customers, the hypothesized structural model is tested using path analysis. The results show that, in addition to a direct effect, customer perceived ethicality has a positive and indirect effect on customer loyalty, through the mediators of customer affective commitment and customer perceived quality. Further, employee empathy positively influences the impact of customer perceived ethicality on customer affective commitment, and customer loyalty positively impacts customer positive word-of-mouth. The first implication of these results is that corporate brand strategy needs to be aligned with human resources policies and practices if brands want to turn ethical strategies into employee behavior. Second, corporate brands should build more authentic communications grounded in their ethical beliefs and supported by evidence from actual employees. (shrink)
This article suggests a revision of the theory of causal nets. In section 1 we introduce an axiomatization of TCN based on a realistic understanding. It is shown that the causal Markov condition entails three independent principles. In section 2 we analyze indeterministic decay as the major counterexample to one of these principles: screening off by common causes. We call SCC-violating common causes interactive causes. In section 3 we develop a revised version of TCN, called TCN*, which accounts for interactive (...) causes. It is shown that there are interactive causal models that admit of no faithful noninteractive reconstruction. (shrink)
Carnap's Inductive Logic, like most philosophical discussions of induction, is designed for the case of independent trials. To take account of periodicities, and more generally of order, the account must be extended. From both a physical and a probabilistic point of view, the first and fundamental step is to extend Carnap's inductive logic to the case of finite Markov chains. Kuipers (1988) and Martin (1967) suggest a natural way in which this can be done. The probabilistic character of Carnapian inductive (...) logic(s) for Markov chains and their relationship to Carnap's inductive logic(s) is discussed at various levels of Bayesian analysis. (shrink)
In the current socioeconomic environment, brands increasingly need to portray societal and ethical commitments at a corporate level, in order to remain competitive and improve their reputation. However, studies that relate business ethics to corporate brands are either purely conceptual or have been empirically conducted in relation to the field of products/goods. This is surprising because corporate brands are even more relevant in the services sector, due to the different nature of services, and the subsequent need to provide a consistent (...) high-quality customer experience across all the brand–customer interactions and touch-points. Thus, the purpose of this article is to study, at a corporate brand level and in the field of services, the effect of customer perceived ethicality of a brand on brand equity. The model is tested by structural equations, using data collected for eight service categories by means of a panel composed of 2179 customers. The test of measurement equivalence between these categories is conducted using generalizability theory. Confirmatory factor analysis marker technique is applied in order to check for common method variance. The results of the hypothesized model indicate that customer perceived ethicality has a positive, indirect impact on brand equity, through the mediators of brand affect and perceived quality. However, there is no empirical evidence for a direct effect of customer perceived ethicality on brand equity. (shrink)
The need for philosophical practice to integrate various methods, both conceptual and those based on the use of emotions, raises the question as to whether its methodology is necessarily eclectic, in terms of the collection of various methodologies used in philosophy, or whether there is a way to move beyond eclecticism. This is the main subject of this paper. In other words, the question is whether there is such a thing as an ‘integrative’ methodology and, if so, what distinguishes such (...) a method from mere eclecticism. In this text, we define the methodological procedure of integrativeness as the process of systematizing perspectives into an orientational answer to the demands of a specific problem. What differentiates such an approach from mere summation is a new contribution that results from a synergistic and systematic meeting of positions and argumentations whose final result differs from its initial elements. Diversity in the form of a multidimensional relationship towards life and the world results in numerous perspectives, which is a value that should be cultivated and integrated into a reflective and actional perception of the world. (shrink)
Cartwright (Synthese 121(1/2):3–27, 1999a; The dappled world, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1999b) attacked the view that causal relations conform to the Markov condition by providing a counterexample in which a common cause does not screen off its effects: the prominent chemical factory. In this paper we suggest a new way to handle counterexamples to Markov causation such as the chemical factory. We argue that Cartwright’s as well as similar scenarios feature a certain kind of non-causal dependence that kicks in once (...) the common cause occurs. We then develop a representation of this specific kind of non-causal dependence that allows for modeling the problematic scenarios in such a way that the Markov condition is not violated anymore. (shrink)
Plagiarism is one of the most severe academic integrity issues. This study examined students’ knowledge of and attitudes towards plagiarism, tested their ability to recognize plagiarism, and explored the association of study levels and attendance in courses dealing with referencing rules and plagiarism with students’ attitudes and knowledge. A cross-sectional online survey was conducted at the University of Split, comprising the students of all schools and study levels. Overall, results indicate the students were not very familiar with referencing rules and (...) did not perform well on either theoretical questions or practical examples. However, they demonstrated positive attitudes towards plagiarism avoidance as well as towards compliance with academic integrity with respect to the correct use of research publications. Students’ self-reported attendance in courses dealing with referencing rules and plagiarism avoidance was not associated with their knowledge of and attitudes toward plagiarism. These findings are important for a general understanding of students’ attitudes, and the relation of practical and theoretical knowledge of plagiarism. Furthermore, the academic community addresses plagiarism not only as an ethical and regulatory violation but also as a direct consequence of a lack of knowledge, and of academic illiteracy. Study programs should be adjusted and long-term policies developed at all academic levels to promote a positive climate among students towards responsible academic writing. (shrink)
In order to be competitive in an era of ethical consumerism, brands are facing an ever-increasing pressure to integrate ethical values into their identities and to display their ethical commitment at a corporate level. Nevertheless, studies that relate business ethics to corporate brands are either theoretical or have predominantly been developed empirically in goods contexts. This is surprising, because corporate brands are more relevant in services settings, given the nature of services, and the fact that services settings comprise a greater (...) number of customer–brand interactions and touch points than goods contexts. Accordingly, the purpose of this article is to empirically examine the effects of customer perceived ethicality of corporate brands that operate in the services sector. Based on data collected for eight service categories using a panel of 2179 customers, the hypothesized structural model is tested using path analysis. The generalizability theory is applied to test for measurement equivalence between these categories. The results of the hypothesized model show that, in addition to a direct impact, customer perceived ethicality has a positive and indirect impact on brand equity, through the mediators of recognition benefits and brand image. Moreover, brand heritage negatively influences the impact of customer perceived ethicality on brand image. The main implication is that managers need to be aware of the need to reinforce brand image and recognition benefits, as this can facilitate the translation of customer perceived ethicality into brand equity. (shrink)
Frente a las más recientes interpretaciones del Timeo platónico, que procuran reducir el papel de la necesidad o anánke hasta volverlo casi irrelevante en la economía de la génesis del universo, defenderé aquí el carácter decisivo de su presencia en la composición del mundo, su relativa autonomía re..
This article analyzes the structure of the “we relation” drawing on Alfred Schütz's theoretical framework. It argues for a flexibilization of the initial framework in order to capture not only the tension, but also the variations in the relation between the lived experience of the other in lived duration and the reflection upon the other, through which meaning is constructed. In order to do so, it revisits Schütz’s claims about immersion into togetherness as part of the experience of copresence and (...) it bridges them with the apparently opposite Sartrian view of the other as either objectifying or being objectified. This leads to certain shifts in the distinction between consociates and contemporaries and sheds light upon the ways in which the process of constructing the other as meaningful is not an added layer, but a co-constitutive element in the vivid experience of copresence and of absence. (shrink)
Recent discussions in the philosophy of science have devoted considerable attention to the analysis of conceptual issues relating to the methodology of explanation and prediction in the sciences. Part of this literature has been devoted to clarifying the very ideas of explanation and prediction. But the discussion has also ranged over various related topics, including the status of laws to be used for explanatory and predictive purposes, the logical interrelationships between explanatory and predictive reasonings, the differences in the strategy of (...) explanatory argumentation in different branches of science, the nature and possibility of teleological explanation, etc. The aim of the present article is to examine the issues involved in such questions from the specialized perspective afforded by one particular kind of physical systems--namely, systems, here to be characterized as discrete state systems, whose behavior has been studied extensively in the scientific literature under the general heading of Markov chains. These systems have been chosen as our focus because their behavior over time can be analyzed at once with great ease and with extraordinary precision. (shrink)
In an ever more transparent, digitalized, and connected environment, customers are increasingly pressuring brands to embrace genuine corporate social responsibility practices and co-creation activities. While both CSR and co-creation are social and collaborative processes, there is still little research examining whether CSR can boost co-creation. In addition, while previous research has mainly related co-creation to emotional outcomes, limited empirical research has related it to rational and behavioral outcomes. To address these shortcomings in the literature, this paper examines the influence of (...) CSR on customer loyalty, considering the mediating roles of co-creation and customer trust. It also investigates the influence of co-creation on customer trust. The data were collected in Spain in late 2017 using an online survey, and the sample contained 1101 customers of health insurance services brands. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesized relationships simultaneously. The results show that CSR influences customer loyalty both directly and indirectly through co-creation and customer trust. However, the indirect impact is the stronger of the two, implying that embracing co-creation activities and developing customer trust can make it easier for CSR practices to enhance customer loyalty. In addition, co-creation has a direct effect on customer trust. (shrink)
We develop a truism of commonsense psychology that perception and action constitute the boundaries of the mind. We do so however not on the basis of commonsense psychology, but by using the notion of a Markov blanket originally employed to describe the topological properties of causal networks. We employ the Markov blanket formalism to propose precise criteria for demarcating the boundaries of the mind that unlike other rival candidates for “marks of the cognitive” avoids begging the question in the extended (...) mind debate. Our criteria imply that the boundary of the mind is nested and multiscale sometimes extending beyond the individual agent to incorporate items located in the environment. Chalmers has used commonsense psychology to develop what he sees as the most serious challenge to the view that minds sometimes extend into the world. He has argued that perception and action should be thought of as interfaces that separate minds from their surrounding environment. In a series of recent papers Hohwy has defended a similar claim using the Markov blanket formalism. We use the Markov blanket formalism to show how both of their objections to the extended mind fail. (shrink)
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