I first thank Jack Caputo for his superb summary of my position, then call attention to sin as an epistemological category in Aquinas, the (largely undeveloped) resource for a Pauline hermeneutics of suspicion. There follow clarifications of my understanding of Derrida‘s atheism and of my suggestion that he is a natural law theorist. Finally, I argue that my own position of a faith that cannot convert itself into sight a) places no a priori constraints on what we can say (...) about God, however traditional or bizarre, but only on the metaclaims we make about our beliefs, and b) that we do not become more radical by diminishing the substantive content of our belief. (shrink)
The jurisprudent Jack M. Balkin introduced the analogy of memes as a semiotic device for understanding the law. His notion of cultural software into which this device was inserted is developed first, followed by a development of memetic analysis and its several semiotic dimensions. After a brief treatment of the position of ideology in view of memetic analysis, and the corresponding notion of transcendence, Balkin’s explicitly semiotic setting for this doctrine is displayed. This method is then briefly applied to (...) the civilian doctrine of patrimony, to supplement Balkin’s application of it to common law institutions. (shrink)
A-not-B behavior in various mammals and birds suggests it has been selected for during evolution. One scenario is that displacement to B of one food item from a trove at A should not distract the forager. Piagetian stage V experiments may not test for object permanence, but rather for the more abstract notion that physical objects can be unique.
In the emerging discipline of consciousness studies, the bright-line distinction is between third-person methodologies -- honed to a fine edge by the physical sciences -- and first-person methodologies -- usually associated with such disciplines or approaches as phenomenology, introspection, and meditation. Proponents of each approach tend to marvel that their opponents can be so thick-headed, so downright perverse. Third-person methodologists maintain that since physical reality is all there is and causally closed, consciousness will yield its secrets to inquiry that follows (...) the scientific straight and narrow. There is simply no need to traipse off into the tangled thickets of subjectivity, where lurk the wily monsters of bias and self-deception. First-person methodologists respond that their opponents, blinded by loyalty to an inapposite research program, reject the subjective and experiential qualities that are the very essence of consciousness. (shrink)
James Otteson’s Adam Smith’s Marketplace of Life is the latest instalment in a wave of new scholarship signalling a renewed interest in Adam Smith. These works share several characteristics. First, they present Smith as a philosopher and not an economist. Second, they take seriously The Theory of Moral Senti- ments (TMS), Smith’s first book, by suggesting that his moral theory holds..
Environmental degradation and extractive industry are inextricably linked, and the industry’s adverse impact on air, water, and ground resources has been exacerbated with increased demand for raw materials and their location in some of the more environmentally fragile areas of the world. Historically, companies have managed to control calls for regulation and improved, i.e., more expensive, mining technologies by (a) their importance in economic growth and job creation or (b) through adroit use of their economic power and bargaining leverage against (...) weak national governments, regional and international regulatory bodies. More recently, the industry has had to contend with another set of challenges that involved treatment of indigenous people and their traditional land rights, fair treatment of workers, human rights abuses, and bribery and corruption involving local officials and political leaders. These challenges currently fall outside the traditional areas of regulation and control. Nevertheless, they pose serious threat to the industry’s business practices because of their global scope, threat to company’s reputation, and long-term risks of political instability leading to increasing cost of capital. Industry has responded to these challenges by creating voluntary codes of conduct that would signify their intent to comply with higher standards of conduct, and assuage public opinion that no further action is called for. These codes, however, lack any monitoring mechanism and reporting integrity to assure the public that the industry members are indeed meeting their commitments. Consequently, pressure on the industry continues unabated and with ever increasing calls for mandatory regulation and oversight. This article examines the activities of one mining company, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Inc., which has taken a radically different approach in responding to these challenges at its mining operations in West Papua, Indonesia. While cooperating with industry-based efforts of voluntary codes of conduct, Freeport also initiated a radically different response through its own voluntary code that would directly focus on issues of human rights, treatment of indigenous people on whose traditional land its mine was located; economic development and job creation and, improvements in health, education, and housing facilities, to name a few. Additionally, the company earmarked large sums of money and involved representatives of the indigenous people in their management and disbursement. The company took an even more radical action when it committed itself to independent external audits of the company’s compliance with the code, and that these findings and company’s responses would be made public without prior censorship by the company. We analyze the nature of corporate culture, vision and risk-taking propensities of its management that would impel the company to embark on a high risk strategy whose outcomes could not be predicted with any degree of certainty before the fact. The parent company also had to confront discontent among the management ranks at the mine site because of cultural differences and management styles of expatriates and local (Indonesian) managers. Finally, we discuss in some detail the extensive and intensive character of a two phase audit conducted by the outside monitors, their findings, and the process by which they were implemented and reported to general public. We also evaluate the strengths and challenges posed by such audits, their importance to the company’s future, and how such projects might be undertaken by other companies. (shrink)
Contributors: Steven Barbone, Laurent Bove, Edwin Curley, Valérie Debuiche, Michael Della Rocca, Simon B. Duffy, Daniel Garber, Pascale Gillot, Céline Hervet, Jonathan Israel, Chantal Jaquet, Mogens Lærke, Jacqueline Lagrée, Martin Lin, Yitzhak Y. Melamed, Pierre-François Moreau, Steven Nadler, Knox Peden, Alison Peterman, Charles Ramond, Michael A. Rosenthal, Pascal Sévérac, Hasana Sharp, Jack Stetter, Ariel Suhamy, Lorenzo Vinciguerra.
ON DECEMBER 10, 1991 Charles Shonubi, a Nigerian citizen but a resident of the USA, was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport for the importation of heroin into the United States.1 Shonubi's modus operandi was ``balloon swallowing.'' That is, heroin was mixed with another substance to form a paste and this paste was sealed in balloons which were then swallowed. The idea was that once the illegal substance was safely inside the USA, the smuggler would pass the balloons and (...) recover the heroin. On the date of his arrest, Shonubi was found to have swallowed 103 balloons containing a total of 427.4 grams of heroin. There was little doubt about Shonubi's guilt. In fact, there was considerable evidence that he had made at least seven prior heroin-smuggling trips to the USA (although he was not tried for these). In October 1992 Shonubi was convicted in a United States District Court for possessing and importing heroin. Although the conviction was only for crimes associated with Shonubi's arrest date of December 10, 1991, the sentencing judge, Jack B. Weinstein, also made a ®nding that Shonubi had indeed made seven prior drug-smuggling trips to the USA. The interesting part of this case was in the sentencing. According to the federal sentencing guidelines, the sentence in cases such as this should depend on the total quantity of heroin involved. This instruction was interpreted rather broadly.. (shrink)
In the field of Conflict Transformation, Restorative Justice is often perceived as a transformative process focused on healing relationships after a specific harm. The parties considered in a RJ setting are those harmed, those responsible and the community impacted. This is particularly true in the field of criminal and transitional justice, and in an extended and spiritual view, there is reconciliation with the parties and God. Despite cultural differences, RJ theory and concepts have been accepted favorably in the many countries. (...) From a viewpoint focused on methodology and process, however, cultural differences have a significant effect for implementation. For example, important concepts such as control, choice, harm, responsibility, apology, shame, reconciliation and forgiveness vary greatly in the manner in which they are perceived from culture to culture and may create obstacles for successful implementation of a successful process when one culture’s process and definitions are forced upon another. Therefore, promotional factors and the implication of semiotics are an absolute consideration in developing a RJ process within a particular culture. This paper discusses the cultural differences between the United States and Japan with regard to semiotic obstacles in the implementation of a RJ model in the Japanese criminal justice system. While the exploration of cultural differences, particularly between the United States and Japan is not new and has been the focus of many disciplines, little has been considered regarding the assimilation and implementation of a Western RJ model into the Eastern culture of Japan. In sum, is an attempt to clarify and integrate the effects of cultural differences for some factors as they apply to a RJ based reconciliation process focused in Semiotics, Social psychology and the Sociology of law as they apply to the United States and Japan. (shrink)