The prefrontal cortex has long been suspected to play an important role in cognitive control, in the ability to orchestrate thought and action in accordance with internal goals. Its neural basis, however, has remained a mystery. Here, we propose that cognitive control stems from the active maintenance of patterns of activity in the prefrontal cortex that represent goals and the means to achieve them. They provide bias signals to other brain structures whose net effect is to guide the flow of (...) activity along neural pathways that establish the proper mappings between inputs, internal states, and outputs needed to perform a given task. We review neurophysiological, neurobiological, neuroimaging, and computational studies that support this theory and discuss its implications as well as further issues to be addressed. (shrink)
One hypothesis concerning the human dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is that it functions, in part, to signal the occurrence of conflicts in information processing, thereby triggering compensatory adjustments in cognitive control. Since this idea was first proposed, a great deal of relevant empirical evidence has accrued. This evidence has largely corroborated the conflict-monitoring hypothesis, and some very recent work has provided striking new support for the theory. At the same time, other findings have posed specific challenges, especially concerning the (...) way the theory addresses the processing of errors. Recent research has also begun to shed light on the larger function of the ACC, suggesting some new possibilities concerning how conflict monitoring might fit into the cingulate's overall role in cognition and action. (shrink)
Color provides an instance of a general puzzle about how to reconcile the picture of the world given to us by our ordinary experience with the picture of the world given to us by our best theoretical accounts. The Red and the Real offers a new approach to such longstanding philosophical puzzles about what colors are and how they fit into nature. It is responsive to a broad range of constraints --- both the ordinary constraints of color experience and the (...) more theoretical constraints of color science, psychology, semantics, and ontology. (shrink)
This study investigates the differences in individuals'' ethical decision making between Canadian university business students and accounting professionals. We examine the differences in three measures known to be important in the ethical decision-making process: ethical awareness, ethical orientation, and intention to perform questionable acts. We tested for differences in these three measures in eight different questionable actions among three groups: students starting business studies, those in their final year of university, and professional accountants.The measures of awareness capture the extent to (...) which respondents felt that a particular action was unethical according to each of several ethical criteria. We found few differences between the two student groups on these measures, suggesting that their education had minimal effect on raising their awareness of the ethical issues in the vignettes. Indeed, overall, the graduating student''s scores were marginally lower than those of the entry-level students. However, the professionals viewed some actions as significantly less ethical than did the graduating students. (shrink)
Perhaps the most significant contemporary theory of lawhood is the Best System (/MRL) view on which laws are true generalizations that best systematize knowledge. Our question in this paper will be how best to formulate a theory of this kind. We’ll argue that an acceptable MRL should (i) avoid inter-system comparisons of simplicity, strength, and balance, (ii) make lawhood epistemically accessible, and (iii) allow for laws in the special sciences. Attention to these problems will bring into focus a useful menu (...) of novel MRL theories, some of which solve problems the original MRL theory could not. Hence we conceive of the paper as moving toward a better Best System theory of laws. (shrink)
Are colors relational or non-relational properties of their bearers? Is red a property that is instantiated by all and only the objects with a certain intrinsic (/non-relational) nature? Or does an object with a particular intrinsic (/non-relational) nature count as red only in virtue of standing in certain relations - for example, only when it looks a certain way to a certain perceiver, or only in certain circumstances of observation? In this paper I shall argue for the view that color (...) properties are relational (henceforth, relationalism), and against the view that colors are not relational (henceforth, anti- or non-relationalism). (shrink)
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a dramatically expanding area of activity for managers and academics. Consumer demand for responsibly produced and fair trade goods is swelling, resulting in increased demands for CSR activity and information. Assets under professional management and invested with a social responsibility focus have also grown dramatically over the last 10 years. Investors choosing social responsibility investment strategies require access to information not provided through traditional financial statements and analyses. At the same time, a group of mainstream (...) institutional investors has encouraged a movement to incorporate environmental, social, and governance information into equity analysis, and multi-stakeholder groups have supported enhanced business reporting on these issues. The majority of research in this area has been performed on European and Australian firms. We expand on this literature by exploring the CSR disclosure practices of a size-and industry-stratified sample of 50 publicly traded U. S. firms, performing a content analysis on the complete identifiable public information portfolio provided by these firms during 2004. CSR activity was disclosed by most firms in the sample, and was included in nearly half of public disclosures made during that year by the sample firms. Areas of particular emphasis are community matters, health and safety, diversity and human resources (HR) matters, and environmental programs. The primary venues of disclosure are mass media releases such as corporate websites and press releases, followed closely by disclosures contained in mandatory filings. Consistent with prior research, we identify industry effects in terms of content, emphasis, and reporting format choices. Unlike prior research, we can offer only mixed evidence on the existence of a size effect. The disclosure frequency and emphasis is significantly different for the largest one-fifth of the firms, but no identifiable trends are present within the rest of the sample. There are, however, identifiable size effects with respect to reporting format choice. Use of websites is positively related to firm size, while the use of mandatory filings is negatively related to firm size. Finally, and also consistent with prior literature, we document a generally self-laudatory tone in the content of CSR disclosures for the sample firms. (shrink)
An important obstacle to lawhood in the special sciences is the worry that such laws would require metaphysically extravagant conspiracies among fundamental particles. How, short of conspiracy, is this possible? In this paper we'll review a number of strategies that allow for the projectibility of special science generalizations without positing outlandish conspiracies: non-Humean pluralism, classical MRL theories of laws, and Albert and Loewer's theory. After arguing that none of the above fully succeed, we consider the conspiracy problem through the lens (...) of our preferred view of laws, an elaboration of the MRL view that we call the Better Best System (BBS) theory. BBS offers a picture on which, although all events supervene on a fundamental level, there is no one unique locus of projectibility; rather there are a large number of loci corresponding to the different areas (ecology, economics, solid-state chemistry, etc.) in which there are simple and strong generalizations to be made. While we expect that some amount of conspiracy-fear-inducing special science projectibility is inevitable given BBS, we'll argue that this is unobjectionable. It follows from BBS that the laws of any particular special or fundamental science amount to a proper subset of the laws. From this vantage point, the existence of projectible special science generalizations not guaranteed by the fundamental laws is not an occasion for conspiracy fantasies, but a predictable fact of life in a complex world. (shrink)
Based on evidence from press articles covering 39 corporate fraud cases that went public during the period 1992-2005, the objective of this article is to examine the role of managers' behavior in the commitment of the fraud. This study integrates the fraud triangle (FT) and the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to gain a better understanding of fraud cases. The results of the analysis suggest that personality traits appear to be a major fraud-risk factor. The analysis was further validated through (...) a quantitative analysis of keywords which confirmed that keywords associated with the attitudes/rationalizations component of the integrated theory were predominately found in fraud firms as opposed to a sample of control firms. The results of the study suggest that auditors should evaluate the ethics of management through the components of the TPB: the assessment of attitude, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control and moral obligation. Therefore, it is potentially important that the professional standards that are related to fraud detection strengthen the emphasis on managers' behavior that may be associated with unethical behavior. (shrink)
Molyneux's Question (MQ) concerns whether a newly sighted man would recognize/distinguish a sphere and a cube by vision, assuming he could previously do this by touch. We argue that (MQ) splits into questions about (a) shared representations of space in different perceptual systems, and about (b) shared ways of constructing higher dimensional spatiotemporal features from information about lower dimensional ones, most of the technical difficulty centring on (b). So understood, MQ resists any monolithic answer: everything depends on the constraints faced (...) by particular perceptual systems in extracting features of higher dimensionality from those of lower. Each individual question of this type is empirical and must be investigated separately. We present several variations on MQ based on different levels of dimensional integration—some of these are familiar, some novel adaptations of problems known elsewhere, and some completely novel. Organizing these cases in this way is useful because it unifies a set of disparate questions about intermodal transfer that have held philosophical and psychological interest, suggests a new range of questions of the same type, sheds light on similarities and differences between members of the family, and allows us to formulate a much-augmented set of principles and questions concerning the intermodal transfer of spatiotemporal organization. (shrink)
We propose that scientific representation is a special case of a more general notion of representation, and that the relatively well worked-out and plausible theories of the latter are directly applicable to the scien- tific special case. Construing scientific representation in this way makes the so-called “problem of scientific representation” look much less inter- esting than it has seemed to many, and suggests that some of the (hotly contested) debates in the literature are concerned with non-issues.
There is nothing in this World constant but Inconstancy. [Swift 1711: 258] In this paper I argue that two standard characterizations of colour constancy are inadequate to the phenomenon. This inadequacy matters, since, I contend, philosophical appeals to colour constancy as a way of motivating illumination-independent conceptions of colour turn crucially on the shortcomings of these characterizations. After critically reviewing the standard characterizations, I provide a novel counterfactualist understanding of colour constancy, argue that it avoids difficulties of its traditional rivals, (...) and defend it from objections. Finally, I show why, on this improved understanding, colour constancy does not have the philosophical consequences that have been claimed for it in the literature. (shrink)
This paper discusses the relevancy of a contingent factors model posited by Jones for conducting accounting ethics research. Using a sample of 37 experienced Australian auditing managers and partners of all of the ‘Big Four’ multinational accounting firms, we find that the contextual model developed by Jones can help guide accounting ethics research by isolating the contingent factors that affect ethical decision making. Moreover, we examine how the factors differ across different accounting settings. Implications for accounting ethics research and accounting (...) practice are then discussed. (shrink)
We examine whether a taxpayer’s decision to choose a taxpayer-favorable (vs. a taxpayer-unfavorable) characterization of income is associated with contextual and individual dimensions of that decision. Using a 2 × 2 factorial experimental design, we manipulate the prevailing social norm on whether there is a general belief that a specific form of income should be characterized as a capital gain (taxed at a lower tax rate and hence taxpayer favorable) or as ordinary income (taxed at a higher tax rate and (...) hence taxpayer unfavorable), and the group affiliation on whether the individual is making a tax characterization decision as a sole proprietor or as a member of a group practice. Moreover, we measure participants’ fairness perception of characterizing the income as capital gains versus ordinary. We study the decisions of 180 graduate business and accounting students from two US business schools to explore these dimensions using a tax-ambiguous income situation. Results indicate that both contextual and individual dimensions impact taxpayer decisions. Specifically, the social norm and fairness perception of characterizing income as capital gains affects the likelihood of choosing such a characterization. Being a sole proprietor or a member of a group practice does not have any significant main effect. However, relative to all other conditions, taxpayers are most likely to characterize income as capital gains when both the social norms are for capital gains characterization and when the taxpayer is a member of a group practice. Results remain largely robust to a variety of alternative explanations. We conclude the paper with a discussion of our findings and their implications for tax policy, enforcement, and research. (shrink)
We examine whether a taxpayer’s decision to choose a taxpayer-favorable characterization of income is associated with contextual and individual dimensions of that decision. Using a 2 × 2 factorial experimental design, we manipulate the prevailing social norm on whether there is a general belief that a specific form of income should be characterized as a capital gain or as ordinary income, and the group affiliation on whether the individual is making a tax characterization decision as a sole proprietor or as (...) a member of a group practice. Moreover, we measure participants’ fairness perception of characterizing the income as capital gains versus ordinary. We study the decisions of 180 graduate business and accounting students from two US business schools to explore these dimensions using a tax-ambiguous income situation. Results indicate that both contextual and individual dimensions impact taxpayer decisions. Specifically, the social norm and fairness perception of characterizing income as capital gains affects the likelihood of choosing such a characterization. Being a sole proprietor or a member of a group practice does not have any significant main effect. However, relative to all other conditions, taxpayers are most likely to characterize income as capital gains when both the social norms are for capital gains characterization and when the taxpayer is a member of a group practice. Results remain largely robust to a variety of alternative explanations. We conclude the paper with a discussion of our findings and their implications for tax policy, enforcement, and research. (shrink)
Answering machines and other types of recording devices present prima facie problems for traditional theories of the meaning of indexicals. The present essay explores a range of semantic and pragmatic responses to these issues. Careful attention to the difficulties posed by recordings promises to help enlighten the boundaries between semantics and pragmatics more broadly.
(Tye 2006) presents us with the following scenario: John and Jane are both stan- dard human visual perceivers (according to the Ishihara test or the Farnsworth test, for example) viewing the same surface of Munsell chip 527 in standard conditions of visual observation. The surface of the chip looks “true blue” to John (i.e., it looks blue not tinged with any other colour to John), and blue tinged with green to Jane.1 Tye then in eﬀect poses a multiple choice question.
Regulatory responses to the business failures of 1998–2001 framed them as a general failure of governance and ethics rather than as firm-specific problems. Among the regulatory responses are Section 406 of Sarbanes–Oxley Act, SEC, and exchange requirements to provide a Code of Ethics. However, institutional pressures surrounding this regulation suggest the potential for symbolic responses and decoupling of response from organizational action. In this article, we examine Codes of Ethics for a stratified sample of 75 U.S. firms across five distinct (...) industries and find that content and language converge across organizations in ways undesired by the regulators, and that language is used to minimize the effects of the Code on constraining organizational behavior. There is, however, a noteworthy exception in the sections of the Codes dedicated the ethics of financial reporting. Although this material still contains legalistic boilerplate information, it does offer concrete guidance and emphatic language pertaining to the need to maintain the integrity of reporting practices. This suggests that the corporate understanding of the source of the failures is one of fraudulent financial reporting. Aside from the matter of financial reporting, the vague and stylized content of the Codes was a predicted response and constitutes a rational response to the regulation. The regulation, however, clearly states the belief that Codes should vary from firm to firm and that individual firms should determine the specific content of a Code. Aside from financial reporting matters, the observed result suggests that regulatory efforts may have failed to instigate corporate change in attitudes toward and enforcement of higher ethical standards by corporate actors. (shrink)
CEO compensation has received much attention from both academics and regulators. However, academics have given scant attention to understanding judgments about CEO compensation by third parties such as investors. Our study contributes to the ethics literature on CEO compensation by examining whether judgments about CEO compensation are influenced by two aspects of a company’s tone at the top—social ties between the CEO and members of the Executive Compensation Committee and the CEO’s Reputation, particularly for financial reporting and disclosures. Although, stock (...) exchanges such as NASDAQ require ECC members to be independent, CEOs still may have social connections to the ECC. In addition, CEOs develop a reputation for the quality of their company’s financial reporting and disclosures. We expect both CEO Social Ties and CEO Reputation to impact say-on-pay judgments, and that fairness perceptions about the CEO compensation will mediate the relationship. We conduct an experiment to test our hypotheses. In this study, we employ a two by two experimental design where we manipulate CEO Social Ties with members of the ECC and CEO Reputation for the quality of financial reporting disclosures . Participants were MBA students who provided a say-on-pay judgment , and judgments about the fairness of the CEO’s compensation. Results indicate that CEO Social Ties affected participants’ say-on-pay judgments, which were fully mediated by their perceptions about fairness of the CEO’s compensation. Further, the CEO’s Reputation also affected participants’ say-on-pay judgments, which were fully mediated by their perceptions about fairness of the CEO’s compensation. Implications for research and public policy are presented. (shrink)
Reidenbach and Robin (1988, 1990) proposed and refined a multidimensional ethics scale. This study replicates and extends their work by examining the generalizability of the scale beyond marketing to accounting, and to subjects from across the United States and other countries. Results indicate that, in general, the scale holds for this different sample and context. However, an additional utilitarian construct emerged in the current study as important for accounting academics in their ethical decision-making. We also found that when we refined (...) Reidenbach and Robin's measure of intention to make a particular choice, a social desirability bias or halo effect was identified. Methodological implications for business ethics research are also presented. (shrink)
We offer a novel theory of information that differs from traditional accounts in two respects: (i) it explains information in terms of counterfactuals rather than conditional probabilities, and (ii) it does not make essential reference to doxastic states of subjects, and consequently allows for the sort of objective, reductive explanations of various notions in epistemology and philosophy of mind that many have wanted from an account of information.
An important motivation for relational theories of color is that they resolve apparent conflicts about color: x can, without contradiction, be red relative to S1 and not red relative to S2. Alas, many philosophers claim that the view is incompatible with naive, phenomenally grounded introspection. However, when we presented normal adults with apparent conflicts about color (among other properties), we found that many were open to the relationalist's claim that apparently competing variants can simultaneously be correct. This suggests that, philosophers' (...) claims to the contrary notwithstanding, introspection does not supply authoritative and unambiguous reason to reject color relationalism. (shrink)
Recent years have featured a spate of regulatory action pertaining to the development and/or disclosure of corporate governance structures in response to financial scandals resulting in part from governance failures. During the same period, corporate governance activists and institutional investors increasingly have called for increased voluntary governance disclosure. Despite this attention, there have been relatively few comprehensive studies of governance disclosure practices and response to the regulation. In this study, we examine a sample of 50 U.S. firms and their public (...) disclosure packages from 2004. We find a high degree of variability in the presentation and reporting format choices for many elements of the governance structure. This variability includes several items for which disclosure is mandated by regulators or legislative action. In particular, smaller firms offer fewer disclosures pertaining to independence, board selection procedures, and oversight of management (including whistleblowing procedures). There are also trends associated with board characteristics: boards that are less independent offer fewer disclosures of independence and management oversight matters. Moreover, large firms provide more disclosures of independence standards, board selection procedures, audit committee matters, management control systems, other committee matters, and whistleblowing procedures but do not appear to have a strictly superior information environment when compared to smaller firms. The findings raise questions about compliance with regulatory requirements and the degree to which conflicts of interest between managers and directors are being controlled. While there have been notable improvements in the information environment of governance disclosures, there remain structural issues that may possess negative ramifications for stakeholders. (shrink)
Color relationalism is the view that colors are constituted in terms of relations to perceiving subjects. Among its explanatory virtues, relation- alism provides a satisfying treatment of cases of perceptual variation. But it can seem that relationalists lack resources for saying that a representa- tion of x’s color is erroneous. Surely, though, a theory of color that makes errors of color perception impossible cannot be correct. In this paper I’ll argue that, initial appearances notwithstanding, relationalism contains the resources to account (...) for errors of color perception. I’ll conclude that worries about making room for error are worries the relationalist can meet. (shrink)
Many have held that photographs give us a ﬁrmer epistemic connection to the world than do other depictive representations. To take just one example, Bazin famously claimed that “The objective nature of photography confers on it a quality of credibility absent from all other picture-making” ([Bazin, 1967], 14). Unfortunately, while the intuition in question is widely shared, it has remained poorly understood. In this paper we propose to explain the special epistemic status of photographs. We take as our starting place (...) (in §1) Kendall Walton’s startling proposal that photographs are special because they are “transparent” [Walton, 1984] — that is, that they are special because, unlike other depictive representations, they enable us literally to see their depicta.1 Walton’s proposal has not convinced many; however, it has proven surprisingly diﬃcult to say just what is wrong about the transparency thesis. In §§2–4 we’ll rise to this challenge and show why photographs are not transparent in Walton’s sense. Finally, in §§5–7 we’ll propose and defend a novel diagnosis of what is epistemically special about photographs. (shrink)
Students of perception have long known that perceptual constancy is an important aspect of our perceptual interaction with the world. Here is a simple example of the phenomenon concerning color perception: there is some ordinary sense in which an unpainted ceramic coffee cup made from a uniform material looks a uniform color when it is viewed under uneven illumination, even though the light reflected by the shaded regions to our eyes is quite different from the light reflected by the unshaded (...) regions to our eyes (see figure 1). Or consider this example concerning size perception: there is some ordinary sense in which two telephone poles look the same size when the first is viewed from 100 meters and when the second is viewed from 1 meter, even though the visual angle subtended by the two poles on our retinae is very different (see figure 2). Or consider this example concerning shape perception: there is some ordinary sense in which a penny looks round both when viewed head on and when viewed from an acute angle, even though the area projected by the penny onto our retinae under these two conditions is very different (see figure 3). Or, finally, consider this example concerning auditory volume perception (which I cannot depict graphically): there is some ordinary sense in which a speaker’s voice sounds the same volume when heard from across the room and when heard from a distance of 1 meter, even though the energy striking our ears under these two conditions is very different. (shrink)
Deliberation and democratic legitimacy -- Moral pluralism and political consensus -- Associations and democracy (with Joel Rogers) -- Freedom of expression -- Procedure and substance in deliberative democracy -- Directly-deliberative polyarchy (with Charles Sabel) -- Democracy and liberty -- Money, politics, political equality -- Privacy, pluralism, and democracy -- Reflections on deliberative democracy -- Truth and public reason.
Although ethics consultation is offered as a clinical service in most hospitals in the United States, few valid and practical tools are available to evaluate, ensure, and improve ethics consultation quality. The quality of ethics consultation is important because poor quality ethics consultation can result in ethically inappropriate outcomes for patients, other stakeholders, or the health care system. To promote accountability for the quality of ethics consultation, we developed the Ethics Consultation Quality Assessment Tool. ECQAT enables raters to assess the (...) quality of ethics consultations based on the written record. Through rigorous development and preliminary testing, we identified key elements of a quality ethics consultation, established scoring criteria, developed training guidelines, and designed a holistic assessment process. This article describes the development of the ECQAT,.. (shrink)