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Jeffrey C. Alexander [48]Joshua Alexander [30]J. McKenzie Alexander [30]James Alexander [28]
John Alexander [15]J. Alexander [14]John B. Alexander [13]Jason McKenzie Alexander [9]

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  1. The Instability of Philosophical Intuitions: Running Hot and Cold on Truetemp.Stacey Swain, Joshua Alexander & Jonathan M. Weinberg - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (1):138-155.
    A growing body of empirical literature challenges philosophers’ reliance on intuitions as evidence based on the fact that intuitions vary according to factors such as cultural and educational background, and socio-economic status. Our research extends this challenge, investigating Lehrer’s appeal to the Truetemp Case as evidence against reliabilism. We found that intuitions in response to this case vary according to whether, and which, other thought experiments are considered first. Our results show that compared to subjects who receive the Truetemp Case (...)
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  2.  78
    Experimental Philosophy: An Introduction.Joshua Alexander - 2012 - Polity.
    Experimental philosophy uses experimental research methods from psychology and cognitive science in order to investigate both philosophical and metaphilosophical questions. It explores philosophical questions about the nature of the psychological world - the very structure or meaning of our concepts of things, and about the nature of the non-psychological world - the things themselves. It also explores metaphilosophical questions about the nature of philosophical inquiry and its proper methodology. This book provides a detailed and provocative introduction to this innovative field, (...)
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  3. Are Philosophers Expert Intuiters?Jonathan M. Weinberg, Chad Gonnerman, Cameron Buckner & Joshua Alexander - 2010 - Philosophical Psychology 23 (3):331-355.
    Recent experimental philosophy arguments have raised trouble for philosophers' reliance on armchair intuitions. One popular line of response has been the expertise defense: philosophers are highly-trained experts, whereas the subjects in the experimental philosophy studies have generally been ordinary undergraduates, and so there's no reason to think philosophers will make the same mistakes. But this deploys a substantive empirical claim, that philosophers' training indeed inculcates sufficient protection from such mistakes. We canvass the psychological literature on expertise, which indicates that people (...)
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  4. Analytic Epistemology and Experimental Philosophy.Joshua Alexander & Jonathan M. Weinberg - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (1):56–80.
    It has been standard philosophical practice in analytic philosophy to employ intuitions generated in response to thought-experiments as evidence in the evaluation of philosophical claims. In part as a response to this practice, an exciting new movement—experimental philosophy—has recently emerged. This movement is unified behind both a common methodology and a common aim: the application of methods of experimental psychology to the study of the nature of intuitions. In this paper, we will introduce two different views concerning the relationship that (...)
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  5. Putting the Trolley in Order: Experimental Philosophy and the Loop Case.S. Matthew Liao, Alex Wiegmann, Joshua Alexander & Gerard Vong - 2012 - Philosophical Psychology 25 (5):661-671.
    In recent years, a number of philosophers have conducted empirical studies that survey people's intuitions about various subject matters in philosophy. Some have found that intuitions vary accordingly to seemingly irrelevant facts: facts about who is considering the hypothetical case, the presence or absence of certain kinds of content, or the context in which the hypothetical case is being considered. Our research applies this experimental philosophical methodology to Judith Jarvis Thomson's famous Loop Case, which she used to call into question (...)
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  6. Epistemic Landscapes, Optimal Search, and the Division of Cognitive Labor.Jason McKenzie Alexander, Johannes Himmelreich & Christopher Thompson - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (3):424-453,.
    This article examines two questions about scientists’ search for knowledge. First, which search strategies generate discoveries effectively? Second, is it advantageous to diversify search strategies? We argue pace Weisberg and Muldoon, “Epistemic Landscapes and the Division of Cognitive Labor”, that, on the first question, a search strategy that deliberately seeks novel research approaches need not be optimal. On the second question, we argue they have not shown epistemic reasons exist for the division of cognitive labor, identifying the errors that led (...)
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  7. Accentuate the Negative.Joshua Alexander, Ronald Mallon & Jonathan M. Weinberg - 2010 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (2):297-314.
    Our interest in this paper is to drive a wedge of contention between two different programs that fall under the umbrella of “experimental philosophy”. In particular, we argue that experimental philosophy’s “negative program” presents almost as significant a challenge to its “positive program” as it does to more traditional analytic philosophy.
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  8. Salience and Epistemic Egocentrism: An Empirical Study.Joshua Alexander, Chad Gonnerman & John Waterman - 2014 - In James Beebe (ed.), Advances in Experimental Epistemology. Continuum. pp. 97-117.
    Jennifer Nagel (2010) has recently proposed a fascinating account of the decreased tendency to attribute knowledge in conversational contexts in which unrealized possibilities of error have been mentioned. Her account appeals to epistemic egocentrism, or what is sometimes called the curse of knowledge, an egocentric bias to attribute our own mental states to other people (and sometimes our own future and past selves). Our aim in this paper is to investigate the empirical merits of Nagel’s hypothesis about the psychology involved (...)
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  9. Restrictionism and Reflection: Challenge Deflected, or Simply Redirected?Jonathan M. Weinberg, Joshua Alexander, Chad Gonnerman & Shane Reuter - 2012 - The Monist 95 (2):200-222.
    It has become increasingly popular to respond to experimental philosophy by suggesting that experimental philosophers haven’t been studying the right kind of thing. One version of this kind of response, which we call the reflection defense, involves suggesting both that philosophers are interested only in intuitions that are the product of careful reflection on the details of hypothetical cases and the key concepts involved in those cases, and that these kinds of philosophical intuitions haven’t yet been adequately studied by experimental (...)
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  10. The Discourse of American Civil Society: A New Proposal for Cultural Studies.Jeffrey C. Alexander & Philip Smith - 1993 - Theory and Society 22 (2):151-207.
  11.  43
    Theoretical Logic in Sociology: Positivism, Presuppositions, and Current Controversies.Jeffrey C. Alexander - 1982 - University of California Press, C1982-1982.
  12. Fin de Siáecle Social Theory Relativism, Reduction, and the Problem of Reason.Jeffrey C. Alexander - 1995 - Verso.
    In four closely interwoven studies, Jeffrey Alexander identifies the central dilemma that provokes contemporary social theory and proposes a new way to resolve it. The dream of reason that marked the previous fin de siècle foundered in the face of the cataclysms of the twentieth century, when war, revolution, and totalitarianism came to be seen as themselves products of reason. In response there emerged the profound skepticism about rationality that has so starkly defined the present fin de siècle. From Wittgenstein (...)
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  13.  44
    Salient Alternatives in Perspective.Mikkel Gerken, Chad Gonnerman, Joshua Alexander & John P. Waterman - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (4):792-810.
    This paper empirically investigates how perspective bears on putative salient alternative effects on knowledge ascriptions. Some theoretical accounts predict salient alternative effects in both fir...
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  14. Accentuate the Negative.Joshua Alexander, Ronald Mallon & Jonathan M. Weinberg - 2013 - In Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Experimental Philosophy: Volume 2. Oxford University Press USA.
    There are two ways of understanding experimental philosophy's process of appealing to intuitions as evidence for or against philosophical claims: the positive and negative programs. This chapter deals with how the positivist method of conceptual analysis is affected by the results of the negative program. It begins by describing direct extramentalism, semantic mentalism, conceptual mentalism, and mechanist mentalism, all of which argue that intuitions are credible sources of evidence and will therefore be shared. The negative program challenges this view by (...)
     
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  15. Bargaining With Neighbors.Jason Alexander & Brian Skyrms - 1999 - Journal of Philosophy 96 (11):588-598.
  16. After Neofunctionalism: Action, Culture, and Civil Society.Jeffrey C. Alexander - 1998 - In Neofunctionalism and After. Blackwell. pp. 210--33.
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  17. Is Experimental Philosophy Philosophically Significant?Joshua Alexander - 2010 - Philosophical Psychology 23 (3):377-389.
    Experimental philosophy has emerged as a very specific kind of response to an equally specific way of thinking about philosophy, one typically associated with philosophical analysis and according to which philosophical claims are measured, at least in part, by our intuitions. Since experimental philosophy has emerged as a response to this way of thinking about philosophy, its philosophical significance depends, in no small part, on how significant the practice of appealing to intuitions is to philosophy. In this paper, I defend (...)
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  18. The Challenge of Sticking with Intuitions Through Thick and Thin.Joshua Alexander & Jonathan M. Weinberg - 2014 - In Booth Anthony Robert & P. Rowbottom Darrell (eds.), Intuitions. Oxford University Press.
    Philosophical discussions often involve appeals to verdicts about particular cases, sometimes actual, more often hypothetical, and usually with little or no substantive argument in their defense. Philosophers — on both sides of debates over the standing of this practice — have often called the basis for such appeals ‘intuitions’. But, what might such ‘intuitions’ be, such that they could legitimately serve these purposes? Answers vary, ranging from ‘thin’ conceptions that identify intuitions as merely instances of some fairly generic and epistemologically (...)
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  19.  23
    Bargaining with Neighbors: Is Justice Contagious?Jason Alexander & Brian Skyrms - 1999 - Journal of Philosophy 96 (11):588.
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  20. Preferential Attachment and the Search for Successful Theories.J. McKenzie Alexander - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):769-782.
    Multiarm bandit problems have been used to model the selection of competing scientific theories by boundedly rational agents. In this paper, I define a variable-arm bandit problem, which allows the set of scientific theories to vary over time. I show that Roth-Erev reinforcement learning, which solves multiarm bandit problems in the limit, cannot solve this problem in a reasonable time. However, social learning via preferential attachment combined with individual reinforcement learning which discounts the past, does.
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  21.  8
    Inventing New Signals.Jason McKenzie Alexander, Brian Skyrms & Sandy L. Zabell - 2012 - Dynamic Games and Applications 2 (1):129-145.
    Amodel for inventing newsignals is introduced in the context of sender–receiver games with reinforcement learning. If the invention parameter is set to zero, it reduces to basic Roth–Erev learning applied to acts rather than strategies, as in Argiento et al.. If every act is uniformly reinforced in every state it reduces to the Chinese Restaurant Process—also known as the Hoppe–Pólya urn—applied to each act. The dynamics can move players from one signaling game to another during the learning process. Invention helps (...)
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  22.  85
    Framing How We Think About Disagreement.Joshua Alexander, Diana Betz, Chad Gonnerman & John Philip Waterman - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2539-2566.
    Disagreement is a hot topic right now in epistemology, where there is spirited debate between epistemologists who argue that we should be moved by the fact that we disagree and those who argue that we need not. Both sides to this debate often use what is commonly called “the method of cases,” designing hypothetical cases involving peer disagreement and using what we think about those cases as evidence that specific normative theories are true or false, and as reasons for believing (...)
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  23. Neofunctionalism and After: Collected Readings.Jeffrey C. Alexander (ed.) - 1998 - Blackwell.
    "Neofunctionalism and After" brings together for the first time in one volume all of Alexander's writings on neofunctionalism, the present volume also contains ...
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  24.  47
    Practices Make Perfect: On Minding Methodology When Mooting Metaphilosophy.Joshua Alexander & Jonathan Weinberg - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy.
    In this paper, we consider two different attempts to make an end run around the experimentalist challenge to the armchair use of intuitions: one due to Max Deutsch and Herman Cappelen, contending that philosophers do not appeal to intuitions, but rather to arguments, in canonical philosophical texts; the other due to Joshua Knobe, arguing that intuitions are so stable that there is in fact no empirical basis for the experimentalist challenge in the first place. We show that a closer attention (...)
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  25.  3
    The Dark Side of Modernity.Jeffrey C. Alexander - 2013 - Polity Press.
    Social theory between progress and apocalypse -- Autonomy and domination: Weber's cage -- Barbarism and modernity: Eisenstadt's regret -- Integration and justice: Parsons' utopia -- Despising others: Simmel's stranger -- Meaning evil -- De-civilizing the civil sphere -- Psychotherapy as central institution -- The frictions of modernity and their possible repair.
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  26. Follow the Leader : Local Interactions with Influence Neighborhoods.Peter Vanderschraaf & J. McKenzie Alexander - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (1):86-113.
    We introduce a dynamic model for evolutionary games played on a network where strategy changes are correlated according to degree of influence between players. Unlike the notion of stochastic stability, which assumes mutations are stochastically independent and identically distributed, our framework allows for the possibility that agents correlate their strategies with the strategies of those they trust, or those who have influence over them. We show that the dynamical properties of evolutionary games, where such influence neighborhoods appear, differ dramatically from (...)
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  27.  40
    Learning to Signal in a Dynamic World.J. McKenzie Alexander - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (4):797-820.
    Sender–receiver games, first introduced by David Lewis ([1969]), have received increased attention in recent years as a formal model for the emergence of communication. Skyrms ([2010]) showed that simple models of reinforcement learning often succeed in forming efficient, albeit not necessarily minimal, signalling systems for a large family of games. Later, Alexander et al. ([2012]) showed that reinforcement learning, combined with forgetting, frequently produced both efficient and minimal signalling systems. In this article, I define a ‘dynamic’ sender–receiver game in which (...)
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  28.  55
    A Genealogy of Political Theory: A Polemic.James Alexander - 2019 - Contemporary Political Theory 18 (3):402-423.
    Here is a sketch of a genealogy of political theory for the last century. This is a genealogy in Nietzsche’s sense: therefore, neither unhistorical taxonomy, nor a history of political theory as it is written by historians, but a typology in time. Four types of modern political theory are distinguished. These are called, with some justification, positive, normative, third way and sceptical political theory. Seen from the vantage of the twenty-first century, they form an instructive sequence, emerging as a series (...)
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  29. Evolutionary Explanations of Distributive Justice.J. McKenzie Alexander - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (3):490-516.
    Evolutionary game theoretic accounts of justice attempt to explain our willingness to follow certain principles of justice by appealing to robustness properties possessed by those principles. Skyrms (1996) offers one sketch of how such an account might go for divide-the-dollar, the simplest version of the Nash bargaining game, using the replicator dynamics of Taylor and Jonker (1978). In a recent article, D'Arms et al. (1998) criticize his account and describe a model which, they allege, undermines his theory. I sketch a (...)
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  30.  53
    Iconic Consciousness: The Material Feeling of Meaning.Jeffrey C. Alexander - 2010 - Thesis Eleven 103 (1):10-25.
    This article suggests an iconic turn in cultural sociology. Icons can be seen, it is argued, as symbolic condensations that root social meanings in material form, allowing the abstractions of cognition and morality to be subsumed, to be made invisible, by aesthetic shape. Meaning is made iconically visible, in other words, by the beautiful, sublime, ugly, or simply by the mundane materiality of everyday life. But it is via the senses that iconic power is made. This new approach to meaning (...)
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  31.  46
    You Just Can’T Count on (Un)Reliability.Joshua Alexander & Jonathan M. Weinberg - 2020 - Analysis 80 (4):737-751.
    Edouard Machery argues that many traditional philosophical questions are beyond our capacity to answer. Answering them seems to require using the method of cases, a method that involves testing answers to philosophical questions against what we think about real or imagined cases. The problem, according to Machery, is that this method has proved unreliable ; what we think about these kinds of cases is both problematically heterogeneous and volatile. His bold solution: abandon the method of cases altogether and with it (...)
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  32.  49
    Notes Towards A Definition of Politics.James Alexander - 2014 - Philosophy 89 (2):273-300.
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  33.  24
    Critical Reflections on `Reflexive Modernization'.Jeffrey C. Alexander - 1996 - Theory, Culture and Society 13 (4):133-138.
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  34. Knowledge, Certainty, and Skepticism: A Cross-Cultural Study.John Philip Waterman, Chad Gonnerman, Karen Yan & Joshua Alexander - 2018 - In Stephen Stich, Masaharu Mizumoto & Eric McCready (eds.), Epistemology for the rest of the world. Oxford University Press. pp. 187-214.
    We present several new studies focusing on “salience effects”—the decreased tendency to attribute knowledge to someone when an unrealized possibility of error has been made salient in a given conversational context. These studies suggest a complicated picture of epistemic universalism: there may be structural universals, universal epistemic parameters that influence epistemic intuitions, but that these parameters vary in such a way that epistemic intuitions, in either their strength or propositional content, can display patterns of genuine cross-cultural diversity.
     
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  35. Why the Angels Cannot Choose.J. McKenzie Alexander - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (4):619 - 640.
    Decision theory faces a number of problematic gambles which challenge it to say what value an ideal rational agent should assign to the gamble, and why. Yet little attention has been devoted to the question of what an ideal rational agent is, and in what sense decision theory may be said to apply to one. I show that, given one arguably natural set of constraints on the preferences of an idealized rational agent, such an agent is forced to be indifferent (...)
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  36.  13
    10. The Facts of the Matter: A Discussion of Norton's Material Theory of Induction The Facts of the Matter: A Discussion of Norton's Material Theory of Induction (Pp. 188-197). [REVIEW]Marc Ereshefsky, Mohan Matthen, Matthew H. Slater, Alex Rosenberg, D. M. Kaplan, Kevin Js Zollman, Peter Vanderschraaf, J. McKenzie Alexander & Gordon Belot - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (1):86-113.
    We introduce a dynamic model for evolutionary games played on a network where strategy changes are correlated according to degree of influence between players. Unlike the notion of stochastic stability, which assumes mutations are stochastically independent and identically distributed, our framework allows for the possibility that agents correlate their strategies with the strategies of those they trust, or those who have influence over them. We show that the dynamical properties of evolutionary games, where such influence neighborhoods appear, differ dramatically from (...)
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  37. Three Models of Culture and Society Relations: Toward an Analysis of Watergate.Jeffrey C. Alexander - 1984 - Sociological Theory 2:290-314.
    One of the most important contributions of the Parsonian tradition has been its conceptualization of the relative autonomy and mutual interpenetration of culture and social systems. The first part of this chapter defines three ideal types of empirical relationships between culture and society: specification, refraction, and columnization. Each is related to different configurations of social structure and culture and, in turn, to different degrees of social conflict. The second part of the chapter uses this typology to illuminate critical aspects of (...)
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  38.  26
    Iconic Experience in Art and Life.Jeffrey C. Alexander - 2008 - Theory, Culture and Society 25 (5):1-19.
    This article examines a key question emerging from the strong program in cultural sociology — can art provide a window into social life? An examination of Giacometti's Standing Woman shows that art attempts to express cultural structures via immersion into and through the material surfaces of aesthetic form. Through an analysis of the iconic significance of family photos, furniture and celebrities, the article goes on to suggest that such iconic experience remains at the basis of contemporary social life. It explains (...)
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  39.  4
    Positivism, Presuppositions, and Current Controversies.Jeffrey C. Alexander - 1982 - Routledge.
    This volume begins by challenging the bases of the recent scientization of sociology. Then it challenges some of the ambitious claims of recent theoretical debate. The author not only reinterprets the most important classical and modern sociological theories but extracts from the debates the elements of a more satisfactory, inclusive approach to these general theoretical points.
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  40.  4
    The Antinomies of Classical Thought: Marx and Durkheim.Lillian Chavenson Saden PrOfessor of Sociology Jeffrey C. Alexander & Jeffrey C. Alexander - 1982 - Theoretical Logic in Sociology.
    This volume challenges prevailing understanding of the two great founders of sociological thought. In a detailed and systematic way the author demonstrates how Marx and Durkheim gradually developed the fundamental frameworks for sociological materialism and idealism. While most recent interpreters of Marx have placed alienation and subjectivity at the centre of his work, Professor Alexander suggests that it was the later Marx¿s very emphasis on alienation that allowed him to avoid conceptualizing subjectivity altogether. In Durkheim¿s case, by contrast, the author (...)
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  41. Expectations and Choiceworthiness.J. McKenzie Alexander - 2011 - Mind 120 (479):803-817.
    The Pasadena game is an example of a decision problem which lacks an expected value, as traditionally conceived. Easwaran (2008) has shown that, if we distinguish between two different kinds of expectations, which he calls ‘strong’ and ‘weak’, the Pasadena game lacks a strong expectation but has a weak expectation. Furthermore, he argues that we should use the weak expectation as providing a measure of the value of an individual play of the Pasadena game. By considering a modified version of (...)
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  42. Fact-Signs and Cultural Sociology: How Meaning-Making Liberates the Social Imagination.Jeffrey C. Alexander - 2011 - Thesis Eleven 104 (1):87-93.
  43.  55
    Common Good Leadership in Business Management: An Ethical Model From the Indian Tradition.John M. Alexander & Jane Buckingham - 2011 - Business Ethics, the Environment and Responsibility 20 (4):317-327.
    While dominant management thinking is steered by profit maximisation, this paper proposes that sustained organisational growth can best be stimulated by attention to the common good and the capacity of corporate leaders to create commitment to the common good. The leadership thinking of Kautilya and Ashoka embodies this principle. Both offer a common good approach, emphasising the leader's moral and legal responsibility for people's welfare, the robust interaction between the business community and the state, and the importance of moral training (...)
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  44.  62
    Decision Theory Meets the Witch of Agnesi.J. McKenzie Alexander - 2012 - Journal of Philosophy 109 (12):712-727.
    In the course of history, many individuals have the dubious honor of being remembered primarily for an eponym of which they would disapprove. How many are aware that Joseph-Ignace Guillotin actually opposed the death penalty? Another notable case is that of Maria Agnesi, an Italian woman of privileged, but not noble, birth who excelled at mathematics and philosophy during the eighteenth century. In her treatise of 1748, Instituzioni Analitiche, she provided a comprehensive summary of the current state of knowledge concerning (...)
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  45.  35
    Culture Trauma, Morality and Solidarity: The Social Construction of 'Holocaust and Other Mass Murders'.Jeffrey C. Alexander - 2016 - Thesis Eleven 132 (1):3-16.
    Cultural trauma occurs when members of a collectivity feel they have been subjected to a horrendous event that leaves indelible marks upon their group consciousness, marking their memories forever and changing their future identity in fundamental and irrevocable ways. While this new scientific concept clarifies causal relationships between previously unrelated events, structures, perceptions, and actions, it also illuminates a neglected domain of social responsibility and political action. By constructing cultural traumas, social groups, national societies, and sometimes even entire civilizations, not (...)
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  46. Three Rival Views of Tradition (Arendt, Oakeshott and MacIntyre).James Alexander - 2012 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 6 (1):20-43.
    If we define tradition too hastily we leave to one side the question of what the relevance of tradition is for us. Here the concept of tradition is opened up by considering the different views of it taken by Hannah Arendt, Michael Oakeshott and Alasdair MacIntyre. We see that each has put tradition into a fully developed picture of what our predicament is in modernity; and that each has differed in their assessment of what our relation to tradition is or (...)
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  47.  6
    Thinking Again About Science in Technology.Jennifer Karns Alexander - 2012 - Isis 103 (3):518-526.
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  48. Random Boolean Networks and Evolutionary Game Theory.J. McKenzie Alexander - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1289-1304.
    Recent years have seen increased interest in the question of whether it is possible to provide an evolutionary game-theoretic explanation for certain kinds of social norms. I sketch a proof of a general representation theorem for a large class of evolutionary game-theoretic models played on a social network, in hope that this will contribute to a greater understanding of the long-term evolutionary dynamics of such models, and hence the evolution of social norms.
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  49.  1
    On the Social Construction of Moral Universals: The `Holocaust' From War Crime to Trauma Drama.Jeffrey C. Alexander - 2002 - European Journal of Social Theory 5 (1):5-85.
    The following is simultaneously an essay in sociological theory, in cultural sociology, and in the empirical reconstruction of postwar Western history. Per theory, it introduces and specifies a model of cultural trauma - a model that combines a strong cultural program with concern for institutional and power effects - and applies it to large-scale collectivities over extended periods of time. Per cultural sociology, the essay demonstrates that even the most calamitous and biological of social facts - the prototypical evil of (...)
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  50.  64
    Evolutionary Game Theory.J. McKenzie Alexander - 2001 - Standord Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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