Different aspects of people's interactions with money are best conceptualized using the drug and tool theories. The key question is when these models of money are most likely to guide behavior. We suggest that the Drug Theory characterizes motivationally active uses of money and that the Tool Theory characterizes behavior in motivationally cool situations. (Published Online April 5 2006).
This paper examines six cross-sector partnerships in South Africa and Zambia. These partnerships were part of a research study undertaken between 2003 and 2005 and were selected because of their potential to contribute to poverty reduction in their respective countries. This paper examines the context in which the partnerships were established, their governance and accountability mechanisms and the engagement and participation of the partners and the intended beneficiaries in the partnerships. We argue that a partnership approach which has proven successful (...) in one context can be used as a valuable learning resource. However, a partnership's work, which includes all aspects of the partnership and its activities, cannot necessarily be transferred directly to another partnership without a thorough and locally informed analysis of the context in which it is implemented. In addition, we suggest that it is difficult to assess whether the good intentions behind partnerships were translated into real benefits for target groups as effective monitoring and evaluation procedures were not in place in the partnerships studied. Similarly, the absence of regularised governance and accountability systems in partnerships made it difficult to support partner and beneficiary participation and engagement. We conclude that there is a need to move beyond a 'one-size-fits-all' approach to partnerships and that partnership replication should focus more strongly on the transfer of learning about partnership processes instead of simply copying partnership activities. Moreover, the development of stronger mechanisms for assessing and ensuring accountability towards both partners and intended beneficiaries is required if partnerships are to meet their intended objectives. (shrink)
It is a commonplace that Frege thought ordinary language to be seriously defective. Yet his remarks about ordinary language are not always unflattering. Comparing the relation between his formal language and ordinary language to the relation between the microscope and the eye, Frege remarked: ‘[the eye], because of the range of its applicability and because of the ease with which it can adapt itself to the most varied circumstances, has a great superiority over the microscope’. The point, of course, is (...) that, for Frege, the deficiencies of ordinary language arise in connection with the scientific endeavour: ordinary language is not an acceptable medium in which to pursue truth. As he goes on to observe: ‘… viewed as an optical instrument [the eye] reveals many imperfections … as soon as scientific purposes place strong requirements upon sharpness of resolution, the eye proves to be inadequate. On the other hand, the microscope is perfectly suited for just such purposes’. (shrink)
SOME PHILOSOPHERS (NOTABLY RICHARD SWINBURNE AND NINIAN SMART) HAVE ARGUED THAT WHILE THERE IS A LOGICAL POSSIBILITY OF A MIRACLE OCCURRING, THERE COULD NOT BE A REPEATABLE MIRACLE. I DISCUSS VARIOUS INTERPRETATIONS OF THIS CLAIM AND ARGUE THAT THERE IS NO INTERESTING SENSE IN WHICH IT IS TRUE.
En épistémologie des sciences sociales, Jon Elster est connu pour sa défense de l’individualisme méthodologique et sa critique des explications de haut niveau. Cette note critique la plus récente formulation de sa position . D’une part, nous montrons que les problèmes relatifs aux explications au niveau agrégé s’appliquent également aux explications en termes de mécanismes psychologiques, privilégiées par Elster. Si les mécanismes psychologiques contribuent à l’explication en sciences sociales, ce n’est pas parce qu’ils font explicitement référence à des états intentionnels, (...) mais parce qu’ils rendent mieux compte que les autres hypothèses de ce qui fait la différence entre deux faits ou événements. D’autre part, nous soutenons que l’individualisme ne doit pas servir d’idéal régulateur dans la recherche en sciences sociales. Si l’explication des comportements individuels est souvent essentielle pour produire une bonne explication, il existe des situations où elle est susceptible de nuire à la qualité de celle-ci en introduisant des éléments inadéquats.In epistemology of the social sciences, Jon Elster is well known for his defense of methodological individualism and his criticism of high-level explanations. This note criticizes the most recent version of his position . First, I argue that the problems related to explanations at the aggregate level also pertain to explanations in terms of psychological mechanisms, favored by Elster. If psychological mechanisms contribute to explanation in the social sciences, it is not because they explicitly refer to intentional states, but rather because they account better than alternative hypotheses for the difference between two facts or events. Second, I contend that individualism should not be taken as a regulative ideal for research in the social sciences. If accounts of individual behavior are often essential to good explanations, there are situations in which they are likely to be detrimental to them by encouraging the introduction of irrelevant factors. (shrink)
The paper addresses three late Hegelian philosophers from northern Europe: Norwegian M.J. Monrad (1816–97), Swede J.J. Borelius (1823–1909) and Finn Th. Rein (1838–1919). The focus is on their views on the crisis of Hegelian speculative philosophy. The popularity of G.W.F. Hegel's philosophy in Germany declined rapidly since the 1840s. The decline was influenced by e.g. new scientific discoveries. Hegelianism maintained a strong position in northern Europe (especially in Norway and in Finland) several decades longer than in Germany. Rein, (...) Monrad and Borelius, all professors of philosophy, endorsed Hegel’s philosophy and agreed that it has to be reformed in order to meet the new challenges. They disagreed with each other, however, about the extent of this reform. They had conflicting interpretations of Hegel’s method too. (shrink)
As is well known, Hegel's philosophy arrived in Finland early. Already at the end of 1820s the studies in philosophy at the sole Finnish university were conducted in a Hegelian manner. The most important advocates of Finnish Hegelianism were professor J.J. Tengström and his pupil J.V. Snellman. -/- Thiodolf Rein succeeded Snellman as a professor in 1868. At that time the status of Hegelianism was already diminishing in Finland. Also Rein became increasingly critical towards Hegel's philosophy over the (...) course of the 1870s. In his works of 1860s Rein still presented ideas for the reform of Hegel's philosophy. The paper examines these ideas and contrasts them with the tradition of Finnish Hegelianism. -/- Additionally, the paper also discusses Rein's commentary on various German idealist philosophies of the 1860s. (shrink)
Education as object of inquiry is susceptible to multiple interpretations, which -most of them- run the risk of falling only in the understanding of structural factors or in internalist aspects. Reason why one feels like exploring routes that do not engage in a determinist paradox of the type: soci..
Technical change, defined as the manufacture and modification of tools, is generally thought to have played an important role in the evolution of intelligent life on earth, comparable to that of language. In this volume, first published in 1983, Jon Elster approaches the study of technical change from an epistemological perspective. He first sets out the main methods of scientific explanation and then applies those methods to some of the central theories of technical change. In particular, Elster considers neoclassical, evolutionary, (...) and Marxist theories, whilst also devoting a chapter to Joseph Schumpeter's influential theory. (shrink)
In this article I reply to Jon Robson's objections to my argument that God does not contain any possible worlds. I had argued that ugly possible worlds clearly compromise God's beauty. Robson argues that I failed to show that possible worlds can be subject to aesthetic evaluation, and that even if they were it could be the case that ugliness might contribute to God's overall beauty. In reply I try to show that possible worlds are aesthetically evaluable by arguing that (...) possible worlds are maximally rich representations of possible events. I further argue that nothing in God's being can be aesthetically non-evaluable since God must be maximal beauty – a beauteous maximality which needs no ugliness. Finally I show in what sense Christ's heavenly scars can be beautiful. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThe discussion on the Buddhist roots of contemporary mindfulness practices is dominated by a narrative which considers the Theravāda tradition and Theravāda-based ‘neo-vipassanā movement’ as the principal source of Buddhist influences in mindfulness-based stress reduction and related mindfulness-based programmes. This Theravāda bias fails to acknowledge the significant Mahāyāna Buddhist influences that have informed the pioneering work of Jon Kabat-Zinn in the formation of the MBSR programme. In Kabat-Zinn’s texts, the ‘universal dharma foundation’ of mindfulness practice is grounded in pan-Buddhist teachings (...) on the origins and cessation of suffering. While MBSR methods derive from both Theravāda-based vipassanā and non-dual Mahāyāna approaches, the philosophical foundation of MBSR differs significantly from Theravāda views. Instead, the characteristic principles and insights of MBSR practice indicate significant similarities and historical continuities with contemporary Zen/sŏn/thiền and Tibetan Dzogchen teachings based on doctrinal developments within Indian and East Asian Mahāyāna Buddhism. (shrink)
In arguments in support of capitalism, the following propositions are sometimes advanced or presupposed: the best life for the individual is one of consumption, understood in a broad sense that includes aesthetic pleasures and entertainment as well as consumption of goods in the ordinary sense; consumption is to be valued because it promotes happiness or welfare, which is the ultimate good; since there are not enough opportunities for consumption to provide satiation for everybody, some principles of distributive justice must be (...) chosen to decide who gets what; the total to be distributed has first to be produced. What is produced depends, among other things, on the motivation and information of the producers. The theory of justice must take account of the fact that different principles of distribution have different effects on motivation and information; economic theory tells us that the motivational and informational consequences of private ownership of the means of production are superior to those of the various forms of collective ownerships. In the traditional controversy over the relative merits of capitalism and economic systems, the focus has been on proposition. In this paper, I consider instead propositions and. Before one can even begin to discuss how values are to be allocated, one must consider what they are – what it is that ought to be valued. I shall argue that at the center of Marxism is a specific conception of the good life as one of active self-realization, rather than passive consumption. (shrink)
This is a review essay about David Corfield and Jon Williamson's anthology Foundations of Bayesianism. Taken together, the fifteen essays assembled in the book assess the state of the art in Bayesianism. Such an assessment is timely, because decision theory and formal epistemology have become disciplines that are no longer taught on a routine basis in good philosophy departments. Thus we need to ask: Quo vadis, Bayesianism? The subjects of the articles include Bayesian group decision theory, approaches to the concept (...) of probability, Bayesian approaches in the philosophy of mathematics, reflections on the relationship between causation and probability, the Independence axiom, and a range of criticisms of Bayesianism, among other subjects. While critical of some of the arguments presented in the articles, this review recommends Corfield and Williamson's volume to anyone who is trying to stay abreast of Bayesian research. (shrink)
The purpose of this study is to see how Jon Stewart and his Daily Show colleagues hold traditional broadcast media accountable. This paper suggests Stewart is holding those who claim they are practicing journalism accountable to the public they claim to serve and outlines the normative implications of that accountability. There is a journalistic norm that media practitioners, and the media as a whole, should be accountable to the public. Here, accountability ?refers to the process by which media are called (...) to account for meeting their obligations? (McQuail, 1997, p. 515). However, the government cannot enforce this accountability due to privileges afforded to the press by the First Amendment. Further, while national press councils have been effective in other countries, specifically India, there is no national press council in the United States. Enforcing accountability, then, falls to journalists?along with press critics. The researchers suggest that The Daily Show with Jon Stewart holds traditional broadcast media accountable in four distinct ways. (shrink)
At least since the French moralists—Montaigne, Pascal, La Rochefoucauld, La Bruyère—it has been a commonplace that people can fool themselves as well as others about their beliefs and motivations. In this article, I consider some mechanisms of transmutation and misrepresentation, and their impact on behavior. I argue that deception and self-deception are not merely ex post rationalizations of behavior whose real motive and explanation are found elsewhere, but that they have independent causal and explanatory power. If people, that is, did (...) not fool themselves or others about why they do what they do they would act differently. The reason is that deception and self-deception take place under constraints that prevent us from offering totally opportunistic or self-serving rationalizations of what we do. There is a consistency constraint that is induced by the costs of being seen as offering inconsistent justifications for one's behavior, and an imperfection constraint diat is induced by the costs of being seen as offering justifications that are too blatantly self-serving. (shrink)
This paper argues against Jon Elster's contention that there is a fundamentalincompatibility between, on one hand, autonomy and rationality and, on theother hand, adaptation to conditions of one's existence in the sense that one'sdesires or preferences are adjusted to what it is possible to achieve. While thefirst part of the paper more narrowly concentrated on Elster's discussion ofthese ideas, this second part goes on to a more general discussion of the conceptof rationality. On the basis of this discussion, it is (...) claimed that Elster's conclusionsconcerning autonomy and adaptation are premised on a defective conceptionof human experience and rationality. Moreover, the claim is made that thesedefects are also characteristic of "rational choice theory" more generally. (shrink)
In this article I reply to Jon Robson's objections to my argument that God does not contain any possible worlds. I had argued that ugly possible worlds clearly compromise God's beauty. Robson argues that I failed to show that possible worlds can be subject to aesthetic evaluation, and that even if they were it could be the case that ugliness might contribute to God's overall beauty. In reply I try to show that possible worlds are aesthetically evaluable by arguing that (...) possible worlds are maximally rich representations of possible events. I further argue that nothing in God's being can be aesthetically non-evaluable since God must be maximal beauty – a beauteous maximality which needs no ugliness. Finally I show in what sense Christ's heavenly wounds can be beautiful. (shrink)
Physics has for a long time been regarded as the most mature of all sciences due to strict mathematically formulated laws of physics and success of theories in applications, for which it has been taken as the example of scientificity which other sciences should strive towards. Just what aspect of physics it is that is regarded as the cause of its success and hence the yardstick of scientificity – this question has given rise to differing opinions. In his book Making (...) Social Sciences More Scientific. The Need For Predictive Models Rein Taagepera criticises the opinion that physics is a rigorous science ‘merely’ due to the use of mathematical operations and numerical accuracy of results. He shows that the strictness of physics consists instead in its method that allows to set numbers and mathematical formalism into correspondence with real phenomena in a way that enables application (first of all prediction), and to unite physical theories into uniform, integral systems. At the same time he teaches how it would be possible to reach the same in social sciences. In the first part of my review I will give an overview of the book’s chapters, describing in more detail Taagepera’s general understanding of science and scientific method. In the second part of the review I analyse the positions presented in the book from the point of view of philosophy of science (particularly that of constructive realism), providing examples from social sciences. With my critique I show that the society cannot be handled with strict theories similar to those of physics, and that in order to raise the applicational strength of social sciences, other means often suit better than rendering them similar to physics by developing mathematical formalism. (shrink)
Bayesian networks are computer programs which represent probabilitistic relationships graphically as directed acyclic graphs, and which can use those graphs to reason probabilistically , often at relatively low computational cost. Almost every expert system in the past tried to support probabilistic reasoning, but because of the computational difficulties they took approximating short-cuts, such as those afforded by MYCIN's certainty factors. That all changed with the publication of Judea Pearl's Probabilistic Reasoning in Intelligent Systems, in 1988, which synthesized a decade of (...) research making accurate graphical probabilistic reasoning computationally achievable.Bayesian network technology is now one of the fastest growing fields of research in artificial intelligence. That it has become a publication industry in its own right is shown by a search on Google scholar :This development, together with a parallel related growth in the use of causal discovery algorithms which automate the learning of Bayesian networks from sample data, has generated considerable interest, and controversy, within the philosophy-of-science community.Three central questions bringing together AI researchers and philosophers of science are: Are Bayesian networks Bayesian? What is the relation between probability and causality? Are the assumptions behind causal discovery of Bayesian networks realistic or fantastical?Jon Williamson, as a philosopher of science with a keen interest in the technology, asks and answers these questions in his new book. Although it is self-contained, his book is not very likely as an introduction to the technology , nor is it optimal even as an introduction to the philosophical problems in interpreting Bayesian networks . Rather Williamson's book is an attempt to move the debate forward by solving the central problems of the …. (shrink)
The author offers a critical commentary on Rousseau’s chapter on civil religion in the “Social Contract”, book 4, chapter 8. It investigates Rousseau’s attempt to overcome the conflict between politics and religion by merging a civil religion that creates an emotional bond to the particular state without fostering superstition and intolerance, and it shows that this attempt fails. It is demonstrated that Rousseau’s concept of civil religion neither offers any doctrine of salvation transcending this life nor prescribes any content going (...) beyond moral norms. Civil religion for Rousseau is in service to politics and its instrumental character is desired by the citizens who are supposed autonomously to agree on the need of a secularized civil ethic. (shrink)
This paper focuses on the defection of nuclear physicist Bruno Pontecorvo from Britain to the USSR in 1950 in an attempt to understand how government and intelligence services assess threats deriving from the unwanted spread of secret scientific information. It questions whether contingent agendas play a role in these assessments, as new evidence suggests that this is exactly what happened in the Pontecorvo case. British diplomatic personnel involved in negotiations with their US counterparts considered playing down the case. Meanwhile, the (...) press decided to play it up, claiming that Pontecorvo was an atom spy. Finally, the British secret services had evidence showing that this was a fabrication, but they did not disclose it. If all these manipulations served various purposes, then they certainly were not aimed at assessing if there was a threat and what this threat really was. (shrink)