Decision Theory and Rationality offers a challenging new interpretation of a key theoretical tool in the human and social sciences. This accessible book argues, contrary to orthodoxy in politics, economics, and management science, that decision theory cannot provide a theory of rationality.
Interest in republicanism as a political theory has burgeoned in recent years, but its implications for the understanding of law have remained largely unexplored. Legal Republicanism is the first book to offer a comprehensive, critical survey of the potential for creating republican accounts of fundamental issues in law and legal theory.
Determined to fight alone, stripped from the security that could be offered by community, human beings of our times have openly embraced their individuality. With such a purpose, consciously or unconsciously, they have decided to decimate the institutions and to break with the burden imposed by rules, laws and agreements, which they consider are oppressive and limit their personal development. Thus, the article offers a philosophical review of the concept of community and examines the necessity of its reconfiguration as social (...) linking force. This arises as an answer to possible risks associated with the coming of a new individual that adopts her selfhood as the only truth, which leads to not acknowledging otherness and plurality, and to individualism as the only possible way of being. (shrink)
Among various issues that concern human beings, there are a few that are of current interest and have really grabbed our attention: love for nature, environmental defense, and worries about Biodiversity and Biosecurity. The article considers one particular aspect regarding the bioethical concern of using animals in experiments that might benefit both humans and animals. The problematic aspect of the bioethical use of animals in scientific experimentation has been and will remain crucial for human life. Additionally, the results of this (...) type of research could contribute to animal welfare, which have an impact on public health. (shrink)
Animals have made possible to science the production of new knowledge within the fields of Biology and Physiology. This knowledge has allowed the development of methods of diagnosis and treatments that improve the quality of life of human beings and animals. Therefore, the use of animals for testing should be made with respect, and considering the possible reactions of the animals and their own ethology. Animal testing might remain under debate in the coming years due to the necessity to adapt (...) the care of the animals used for testing to the opportunities and challenges that might come in the future. Thus, it will be relevant for researchers to remain up to date with the progress of procedures. Bearing all this in mind, it is necessary to examine the ethical appropriateness of the legal aspects considered by Colombian regulations concerning scientific experimentation and testing. Such aspects are discussed in the article and a proposal for a National Legislation that takes into account all the technical, scientific and bioethical elements that are involved in animal testing is outlined. (shrink)
Brian Garrett has criticized my diagnosis of the paradox of self-consciousness. In reply, I focus on the classification of 'I'-thoughts, and show how the notion of immunity to error through misidentification can be used to characterize 'I'-thoughts, even though an important class of 'I'-thoughts are not themselves immune to error through misidentification. 'I'-thoughts which are susceptible to error through misidentification are dependent upon those which are not. The dependence here has to do with how a thinker understands what would defeat (...) such thoughts. (shrink)
Dans sa Somme, art. 34, Henri de Gand se penche sur les questions se rapportant à la vérité en Dieu . Il n’y a pas tant d’auteurs qui se sont donné la peine d’étudier ce problème à fond, nous fait-il remarquer1 — bien à tort, d’après lui. Car trois problèmes fondamentaux concernant la vérité se superposent: celui de la localisation, celui de la définition classique et celui de l’essence de la vérité.
Reichenbachian approaches to indexicality contend that indexicals are "token-reflexives": semantic rules associated with any given indexical-type determine the truth-conditional import of properly produced tokens of that type relative to certain relational properties of those tokens. Such a view may be understood as sharing the main tenets of Kaplan's well-known theory regarding content, or truth-conditions, but differs from it regarding the nature of the linguistic meaning of indexicals and also regarding the bearers of truth-conditional import and truth-conditions. Kaplan has criticized these (...) approaches on different counts, the most damaging of which is that they make impossible a "logic of demonstratives". The reason for this is that the token-reflexive approach entails that not two tokens of the same sentential type including indexicals are guaranteed to have the same truth-conditions. In this paper I rebut this and other criticisms of the Reichenbachian approach. Additionally, I point out that Kaplan's original theory of "true demonstratives" is empirically inadequate, and claim that any modification capable of accurately handling the linguistic data would have similar problems to those attributed to the Reichenbachian approach. This is intended to show that the difficulties, no matter how real, are not caused by idiosincracies of the "token-reflexive" view, but by deep facts about indexicality. (shrink)
The paper examines an alleged distinction claimed to exist by Van Gelder between two different, but equally acceptable ways of accounting for the systematicity of cognitive output (two “varieties of compositionality”): “concatenative compositionality” vs. “functional compositionality.” The second is supposed to provide an explanation alternative to the Language of Thought Hypothesis. I contend that, if the definition of “concatenative compositionality” is taken in a different way from the official one given by Van Gelder (but one suggested by some of his (...) formulations) then there is indeed a different sort of compositionality; however, the second variety is not an alternative to the language of thought in that case. On the other hand, if the concept of concatenative compositionality is taken in a different way, along the lines of Van Gelder's explicit definition, then there is no reason to think that there is an alternative way of explaining systematicity. (shrink)
This paper introduces an axiomatisation for equational hybrid logic based on previous axiomatizations and natural deduction systems for propositional and first-order hybrid logic. Its soundness and completeness is discussed. This work is part of a broader research project on the development a general proof calculus for hybrid logics.
Descriptive semantic theories purport to characterize the meanings of the expressions of languages in whatever complexity they might have. Foundational semantics purports to identify the kind of considerations relevant to establish that a given descriptive semantics accurately characterizes the language used by a given individual or community. Foundational Semantics I presents three contrasting approaches to the foundational matters, and the main considerations relevant to appraise their merits. These approaches contend that we should look at the contents of speakers’ intuitions; at (...) the deep psychology of users and its evolutionary history, as revealed by our best empirical theories; or at the personal-level rational psychology of those subjects. Foundational Semantics II examines a fourth view, according to which we should look instead at norms enforced among speakers. The two papers aim to determine in addition the extent to which the approaches are really rival, or rather complementary. (shrink)
Humans have developed the capacity to approve or disapprove of the behavior of their children and of unrelated individuals. The ability to approve or disapprove transformed social learning into a system of cumulative cultural inheritance, because it increased the reliability of cultural transmission. Moreover, people can transmit their behavioral experiences (regarding what can and cannot be done) to their offspring, thereby avoiding the costs of a laborious, and sometimes dangerous, evaluation of different cultural alternatives. Our thesis is that, during ontogeny, (...) the evaluative communication (approval/disapproval) between parents and offspring is substituted by other evaluative communications among peers, like individuals of the same generation. Each person belongs to a reference social group with individuals that interact more intensively. Humans have developed psychological mechanisms that enable cultural transmission by being receptive to parental advice as well as their reference social group. The selective pressure that promoted these new evaluative interactions arose to facilitate the establishment of efficient cooperative relationships. In short, the social control of behavior is essential to understand human cultural transmission. (shrink)
This study investigates the effects of internal and external corporate governance and monitoring mechanisms on the choice of corporate social responsibility (CSR) engagement and the value of firms engaging in CSR activities. The study finds the CSR choice is positively associated with the internal and external corporate governance and monitoring mechanisms, including board leadership, board independence, institutional ownership, analyst following, and anti- takeover provisions, after controlling for various firm characteristics. After correcting for endogeneity and simultaneity issues, the results show that (...) CSR engagement positively influences firm value measured by industry-adjusted Tobin’s q. We find that the impact of analyst following for firms that engage in CSR on firm value is strongly positive, while the board leadership, board independence, blockholders’ ownership, and institutional ownership play a relatively weaker role in enhancing firm value. Furthermore, we find that CSR activities that address internal social enhancement within the firm, such as employees diversity, firm relationship with its employees, and product quality, enhance the value of firm more than other CSR subcategories for broader external social enhancement such as community relation and environmental concerns. (shrink)
Espino, Santamaria, and Garcia-Madruga (2000) report three results on the time taken to respond to a probe word occurring as end term in the premises of a syllogistic argument. They argue that these results can only be predicted by the theory of mental models. It is argued that two of these results, on differential reaction times to end-terms occurring in different premises and in different figures, are consistent with Chater and Oaksford's (1999) probability heuristics model (PHM). It is argued that (...) the third finding, on different reaction times between figures, does not address the issue of processing difficulty where PHM predicts no differences between figures. It is concluded that Espino et al.'s results do not discriminate between theories of syllogistic reasoning as effectively as they propose. (shrink)
In this article, we examine the empirical association between corporate governance (CG) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) engagement by investigating their causal effects. Employing a large and extensive US sample, we first find that while the lag of CSR does not affect CG variables, the lag of CG variables positively affects firms’ CSR engagement, after controlling for various firm characteristics. In addition, to examine the relative importance of stakeholder theory and agency theory regarding the associations among CSR, CG, and corporate (...) financial performance (CFP), we also examine the relation between CSR and CFP. After correcting for endogeneity bias, our results show that CSR engagement positively influences CFP, supporting the conflict-resolution hypothesis based on stakeholder theory, but not the CSR overinvestment argument based on agency theory. Furthermore, firms’ CSR engagement with the community, environment, diversity, and employees plays a significantly positive role in enhancing CFP. (shrink)
This article provides the foundation for a new predictive theory of animal learning that is based upon a simple logical model. The knowledge of experimental subjects at a given time is described using logical equations. These logical equations are then used to predict a subject’s response when presented with a known or a previously unknown situation. This new theory suc- cessfully anticipates phenomena that existing theories predict, as well as phenomena that they cannot. It provides a theoretical account for phenomena (...) that are beyond the domain of existing models, such as extinction and the detection of novelty, from which “external inhibition” can be explained. Examples of the methods applied to make predictions are given using previously published results. The present theory proposes a new way to envision the minimal functions of the nervous system, and provides possible new insights into the way that brains ultimately create and use knowledge about the world. (shrink)
In this paper, it is argued that the most fruitful approach to developing normative models of argument quality is one that combines the argumentation scheme approach with Bayesian argumentation. Three sample argumentation schemes from the literature are discussed: the argument from sign, the argument from expert opinion, and the appeal to popular opinion. Limitations of the scheme-based treatment of these argument forms are identified and it is shown how a Bayesian perspective may help to overcome these. At the same time, (...) the contributions of the standard scheme-based approach are highlighted, and it is argued that only a combination of the insights of different traditions will yield a complete normative theory of argument quality. (shrink)
This paper outlines a framework of the temporal interpretation in Chinese with a special focus on complement and relative clauses. It argues that not only does Chinese have no morphological tenses but there is no need to resort to covert semantic features under a tense node in order to interpret time in Chinese. Instead, it utilises various factors such as the information provided by default aspect, the tense-aspect particles, and pragmatic reasoning to determine the temporal interpretation of sentences. It is (...) shown that aspectual markers in Chinese play the same role that tense plays in a tense language. This result implies that the Chinese phrase structure has AspP above VP but no TP is above AspP. (shrink)
For millennia, knowledge has eluded a precise definition. The industrialization of knowledge (IoK) and the associated proliferation of the so-called knowledge communities in the last few decades caused this state of affairs to deteriorate, namely by creating a trio composed of data, knowledge, and information (DIK) that is not unlike the aporia of the trinity in philosophy. This calls for a general theory of knowledge (ToK) that can work as a foundation for a science of knowledge (SoK) and additionally distinguishes (...) knowledge from both data and information. In this paper, I attempt to sketch this generality via the establishing of both knowledge structures and knowledge systems that can then be adopted/adapted by the diverse communities for the respective knowledge technologies and practices. This is achieved by means of a formal–indeed, mathematical–approach to epistemological matters a.k.a. formal epistemology. The corresponding application focus is on knowledge systems implementable as computer programs. (shrink)