Abstract Although moral education is or ought to be a standing concern, both in the family and in society, this article mainly deals with moral education in basic schools in the Netherlands. As such it is a counterpart of religion in the denominational schools. It is organized by the Dutch Humanistisch Verbond (Humanist League) which is also responsible for the teacher's training and the methods of teaching. That defines the humanist context of this form of education. Thus humanist moral education (...) makes a major contribution ?? albeit only in a minority of schools ?? to a humanist development of children. (shrink)
This article presents the results of an experiment that completely measures the utility function and probability weighting function for different positive and negative monetary outcomes, using a representative sample of N = 1,935 from the general public. The results confirm earlier findings in the lab, suggesting that utility is less pronounced than what is found in classical measurements where expected utility is assumed. Utility for losses is found to be convex, consistent with diminishing sensitivity, and the obtained loss-aversion coefficient of (...) 1.6 is moderate but in agreement with contemporary evidence. The estimated probability weighting functions have an inverse-S shape and they imply pessimism in both domains. These results show that probability weighting is also an important phenomenon in the general population. Women and lower educated individuals are found to be more risk averse, in agreement with common findings. In contrast to previous studies that ascribed gender differences in risk attitudes solely to differences in the degree utility curvature, however, our results show that this finding is primarily driven by loss aversion and, for women, also by a more pessimistic psychological response toward the probability of obtaining the best possible outcome. (shrink)
How do we measure happiness? Focusing on subjective measures as a proxy for welfare and well-being, this book finds ways to do that. Subjective measures have been used by psychologists, sociologists, political scientists, and, more recently, economists to answer a variety of scientifically and politically relevant questions. Van Praag, a pioneer in this field since 1971, and Ferrer-i-Carbonell present in this book a generally applicable methodology for the analysis of subjective satisfaction. Drawing on a range of surveys on people's (...) satisfaction with their jobs, income, housing, marriages, and government policy, among other areas of life, this book shows how satisfaction with life "as a whole" is an aggregate of these domain satisfactions. Using German, British, Dutch, and Russian data, the authors cover a wide range of topics, even some not usually considered part of economic study.The book makes a distinction between actual satisfaction levels and individual norms, and in this way complements Van Praag's earlier work within the Leyden School with his later work in "happiness research". Among the many topics covered, the authors discuss: individuals' memory and anticipation processes and the estimation of adaptation phenomena ; the effect of reference groups on income norms and satisfaction with income; the importance of climate for well-being, including the development of a climate-equivalence index; the trade-offs between chronic diseases and income when well-being is kept constant; the damage of aircraft noise on well-being; the construction of a new talent tax tariff; and inequality from a satisfaction perspective, including the definition of "satisfaction inequalities", a natural extension of income inequality and poverty.This groundbreaking book presents new and fruitful methodology that consitutes a welcome addition to the social sciences. (shrink)
Foundations of Humanism is a primer on secular humanism written by one of the leading figures in the movement. J.P. van Praag writes that the modern world is shaped by a central paradox: the technology that provides us with unprecedented possibilities at the same time imposes an oppressive organization on society. This organization, with its trappings of overspecialization and overcentralization, promotes feelings of impotence and alienation and a spirit of rebellion, especially in the young. In this book, van (...) class='Hi'>Praag examines the ways in which the philosophy of humanism can be applied to this paradox of modern life. Humanism holds that the purpose of life is life itself. Van Praag demonstrates how, through the application of this principle, the paradox can be transcended and how personal fulfillment and social creativity can be achieved. Foundations of Humanism is designed to give the reader a comprehensive view of secular humanism, including its historical roots in classical Greece and the Renaissance, its elaboration as a formal philosophy, and its practical aspects as a social philosophy. Finally, it explores the application of humanist principles in counseling and education. (shrink)
This essay attempts to develop a psychologically informed semantics of perception reports, whose predictions match with the linguistic data. As suggested by the quotation from Miller and Johnson-Laird, we take a hallmark of perception to be its fallible nature; the resulting semantics thus necessarily differs from situation semantics. On the psychological side, our main inspiration is Marr's (1982) theory of vision, which can easily accomodate fallible perception. In Marr's theory, vision is a multi-layered process. The different layers have filters of (...) different gradation, which makes vision at each of them approximate. On the logical side, our task is therefore twofold • to formalise the layers and the ways in which they may refine each other, and • to develop logical means to let description vary with such degrees of refinement. The first task is formalised by means of an inverse systems of first order models, with reality appearing as its inverse limit. The second task is formalised by means of so-called conditional quantifiers, a new form of generalised quantification which can best be described as resource bounded quantification. We show that the logic provides for a semantics and pragmatics of direct perception reports. In particular, direct perception reports have a possibly nonveridical, approximative semantics, which becomes veridical only by virtue of our pragmatic expectation that what is perceived would continue to be the case, were we to perceive more accurately. It is a general feature of resource bounded logics that the underlying logics are weak, but that stronger principles can be obtained pragmatically, by strengthening the resource. For the logic of vision this feature is clarified by showing how changes in the resource capture different notions of partiality, and by studying how the perception verb interacts with connectives and quantifiers in different visual contexts. The inference Veridicality, which is now viewed rather as a nonmonotonic inference, is also studied in depth. We end with an attempt to buttress the proposed model by comparing it with suggestions put forward in Cognitive or Conceptual Semantics, in the literature on evidentials, and in Husserl's philosophy of perception. (shrink)
This article deals with happiness and inequality. Section 2 gives an explanation of the neo-classical negative attitude towards happiness as an operational concept, differentiating between ordinal and cardinal happiness. Section 3 introduces the happiness economics literature and the so-called Leyden School, which can be viewed as a forerunner of present-day happiness economics. Section 4 concentrates on the effect of income inequality in a given country on the individual's feelings of happiness. Section 5 considers current attempts to characterize the inequality of (...) the distribution of happiness and how that may be decomposed. Section 6 concludes. (shrink)
ABSTRACTIncreasing numbers of youngsters are at risk of early school leaving. In this study, we examine educational decision-making of inner-city youth during their educational trajectories and how this could contribute to the decision to leave school without an educational qualification. Based on interviews with 34 youngsters in a Flemish city, our findings show that the educational trajectories of these youngsters were very diverse in terms of educational choices, characterized by frequent, illogical movements across fields of study, institutions and type of (...) educational programmes. These educational trajectories can be seen as the result of a series of short-term decisions made throughout the school career, in which youngsters relied on the information available within their social networks. Educational decisions seemed influenced by the often precarious living conditions in which these youngsters live. The value of education is constantly negotiated against the importance... (shrink)
How do we measure happiness? Focusing on subjective measures as a proxy for welfare and well-being, this book finds ways to do that. Subjective measures have been used by psychologists, sociologists, political scientists, and, more recently, economists to answer a variety of scientifically and politically relevant questions. Van Praag, a pioneer in this field since 1971, and Ferrer-i-Carbonell present in this book a generally applicable methodology for the analysis of subjective satisfaction. Drawing on a range of surveys on people's (...) satisfaction with their jobs, income, housing, marriages, and government policy, among other areas of life, this book shows how satisfaction with life "as a whole" is an aggregate of these domain satisfactions. Using German, British, Dutch, and Russian data, the authors cover a wide range of topics. This groundbreaking book presents a new and fruitful methodology that constitutes a welcome addition to the social sciences. The paperback edition has been revised to bring the literature review up-to-date and the chapter on poverty has been revised and extended to take account of new research. (shrink)
This article examines the effects of strategic and substantive news on political cynicism, turnout intention and voter uncertainty, drawing on two experiments. We found that among less politically knowledgeable citizens, all news mobilizes, but strategic news also induces cynicism. For the more knowledgeable citizens, we found that the combination of strategic and substantive news yields slightly less cynicism and that substantive news makes these citizens reconsider their voting choice. Overall, we only found favorable or neutral effects among the more knowledgeable, (...) while we found both favorable and unfavorable effects among the less knowledgeable. The implications for news effects research are discussed. (shrink)
Resuming the so-called ‘great campaign’ for resilience of Jaap van Praag, the founding father of contemporary Dutch humanism, this paper proposes a hermeneutical theory that unveils, from a humanistic point of view, the possibility of a relational autonomous ‘will’ in the relationship with exemplary inspirational figures. It will be demonstrated that relational autonomy can be realized from a resilient position toward the heteronomous contagion of our daily life ‘will’ through mimesis, as it is understood in mimetic theory.
Klaus Ruthenberg and Jaap van Brakel (eds): Stuff. The nature of chemical substances Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 183-186 DOI 10.1007/s10698-009-9077-6 Authors Martín Labarca, CONICET, Universidad Nacional de Quilmes Buenos Aires Argentina Olimpia Lombardi, CONICET, Universidad de Buenos Aires Buenos Aires Argentina Journal Foundations of Chemistry Online ISSN 1572-8463 Print ISSN 1386-4238 Journal Volume Volume 11 Journal Issue Volume 11, Number 3.
Probably colour is the best worked-out example of allegedly neurophysiologically innate response categories determining percepts and percepts determining concepts, and hence biology fixing the basic categories implicit in the use of language. In this paper I argue against this view and I take C. L. Hardin's Color for Philosophers  as my main target. I start by undermining the view that four unique hues stand apart from all other colour shades (Section 2) and the confidence that the solar spectrum is (...) naturally divided into four categories (Section 3). For such categories to be truly universal, they have to be true for all peoples and in Section 4 I show that Berlin and Kay's  widely quoted theory of basic colour categories is not sufficiently supported to lend it any credibility. Having disposed of the view that inspection of language or ?pure? perception unveils the universal colour categories. I turn to neurophysiological and psychophysical theories of colour vision to see whether they provide a more solid basis for deciding what the innate response categories are. In Section 5 I show that Hardin's account of the opponent-process theory neither supports his view that ?colour-coding?takes place early in the visual neural pathway, nor his view that knowledge of colour vision science will help us solve many philosophical mysteries about colour. In Section 6 I give a more detailed review of what is known today about the neurophysiology of colour vision and I show that there's nothing in the brain which could be called a colour module, let alone a module with homunculi for particular basic colour categories. In Section 7 I show that psychophysical models do not support such rigid constraints on category formation either. Hence (Section 8), at least in the case of colour, current science supports a plasticity in the formation of categories that goes far beyond the requirements of those naturalistic philosophers who would like to ground primitive concepts in biology. (shrink)
We provide an ethical evaluation of the debate on managing diversity within teams and organizations between equality and business case scholars. Our core assertion is that equality and business case perspectives on diversity from an ethical reading appear stuck as they are based on two different moral perspectives that are difficult to reconcile with each other. More specifically, we point out how the arguments of equality scholars correspond with moral reasoning grounded in deontology, whereas the foundations of the business case (...) perspective are crafted by utilitarian arguments. We show that the problems associated with each diversity perspective correspond with the traditional concerns with the two moral perspectives. To resolve this stalemate position, we argue that the equality versus business case debate needs to be approached from a third, less well-known moral perspective (i.e. virtue ethics). We posit that a focus on virtues can enhance equality by reducing prejudice and illustrate this by applying it to the HRM domains of recruitment and selection and of performance management. Subsequently, we argue that values are key to aligning virtues with each other and with corporate strategy, delineate our values and virtues perspective on diversity, and argue why and how it can enhance organizational performance. (shrink)