Sustainable development (SD) – that is, “Development that meets the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs and aspirations” – can be pursued in many different ways. Stakeholder relations management (SRM) is one such way, through which corporations are confronted with economic, social, and environmental stakeholder claims. This paper lays the groundwork for an empirical analysis of the question of how far SD can be achieved through SRM. It describes the so-called SD–SRM (...) perspective as a distinctive research approach and shows how it relates to the wider body of stakeholder theory. Next, the concept of SD is operationalized for the microeconomic level with reference to important documents. Based on the ensuing SD framework, it is shown how SD and SRM relate to each other, and how the two concepts relate to other popular concepts such as Corporate Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility. The paper concludes that the significance of societal guiding models such as SD and of management approaches like CSR is strongly dependent on their footing in society. (shrink)
Based on a theoretical exploration in a previous article, this paper empirically analyzes which issues of SD are taken into account by corporations and stakeholders in what way, and to what extent the concept of sustainable development (SD) can be achieved through stakeholder relations management (SRM) on the corporate level. An important basis for this empirical analysis is a referential framework, which specifies 14 issues of SD. In a first empirical step, the literature-based framework has been operationalized for the business (...) world by analyzing sustainability reports. In a second empirical step, the operationalized framework served as the basis for a survey of selected MNCs. The analyses of the sustainability reports and the survey show how MNCs deal with particular issues of SD and what role they perceive particular stakeholders play. A key conclusion of the article is that SRM indeed promotes SD, but that it is no alternative to predictable government regulation. (shrink)
Quantum mechanics is a theory whose foundations spark controversy to this day. Although many attempts to explain the underpinnings of the theory have been made, none has been unanimously accepted as satisfactory. Fuchs has recently claimed that the foundational issues can be resolved by interpreting quantum mechanics in the light of quantum information. The view proposed is that quantum mechanics should be interpreted along the lines of the subjective Bayesian approach to probability theory. The quantum state is not the physical (...) state of a microscopic object. It is an epistemic state of an observer; it represents subjective degrees of belief about outcomes of measurements. The interpretation gives an elegant solution to the infamous measurement problem: measurement is nothing but Bayesian belief updating in a analogy to belief updating in a classical setting. In this paper, we analyze an argument that Fuchs gives in support of this latter claim. We suggest that the argument is not convincing since it rests on an ad hoc construction. We close with some remarks on the options left for Fuchs' quantum Bayesian project. (shrink)
Expectations in the form of promises and concerns contribute to the sense-making and valuation of emerging nanotechnologies. They add up to what we call ‘de facto assessments’ of novel socio-technical options. We explore how de facto assessments of nanotechnologies differ in the application domains of water and food by examining promises and concerns, and their relations in scientific discourse. We suggest that domain characteristics such as prior experiences with emerging technologies, specific discursive repertoires and user-producer relationships, play a key role (...) in framing expectations of nanotechnology-enabled options. The article concludes by suggesting that domain-specific discourses may lead to undesirable lock-ins into specific de facto assessments pre-structuring anticipatory strategies of actors. (shrink)
Moral Sanctuary is used in this paper as a metaphor for any theory which makes actions immune from moral criticism. Three arguments favoring moral sanctuaries for business activities are countered. Two of the arguments rest on faulty analogies. One compares business activities to games, another to the behavior of machines. The third rests on the claim that business is a unique activity. This position is rejected by a reductio ad absurdum argument; it entails the immunity of all professional activities from (...) moral judgment. I argue that business managers are accountable to the combined requirements of professionalism and democratic citizenship, notions which are briefly described at the conclusion of the paper. (shrink)
Background Central to ethically justified clinical trial design is the need for an informed consent process responsive to how potential subjects actually comprehend study participation, especially study goals, risks, and potential benefits. This will be particularly challenging when studying deep brain stimulation and whether it impedes symptom progression in Parkinson’s disease, since potential subjects will be Parkinson’s patients for whom deep brain stimulation will likely have therapeutic value in the future as their disease progresses.Method As part of an expanded informed (...) consent process for a pilot Phase I study of deep brain stimulation in early stage Parkinson’s disease, an ethics questionnaire composed of 13 open-ended questions was distributed to potential subjects. The questionnaire was designed to guide potential subjects in thinking about their potential participation.Results While the purpose of the study was extensively presented during the informed consent process, in returned responses 70 percent focused on effectiveness and 91 percent included personal benefit as potential benefit from enrolling. However, 91 percent also indicated helping other Parkinson’s patients as motivation when considering whether or not to enroll.Conclusions This combination of responses highlights two issues to which investigators need to pay close attention in future trial designs: how, and in what ways, informed consent processes reinforce potential subjects’ preconceived understandings of benefit, and that potential subjects see themselves as part of a community of Parkinson’s sufferers with responsibilities extending beyond self-interest. More importantly, it invites speculation that a different paradigm for informed consent may be needed. (shrink)
Recently in this journal, R. Shaw-Smith suggested reading ‘citra Kal. Ian.’: ‘circa, implying that the consul died either before or after 1st January, will not do.’ Will the example of citra at Aug. 43.4, adduced by Shaw-Smith ] in support of the meaning ‘ before’?
The conference Quantum Africa 2010 addressed recent advances, both theoretical and experimental, in the rapidly progressing field of quantum technologies. In particular progress in the foundations of quantum cryptography, quantum computing as well as quantum metrology was reported.
The book addresses the questions how literature can convey knowledge and how literary meaning can arise in the face of the fact that fictional texts waive the usual claim to truth. Based on the interdisciplinary cooperation of literary scholars and analytic philosophers, the present anthology attempts a) to analyze the possibility and conditions of gaining knowledge through literature, and b) to apply, in a fruitful way, philosophical theories of meaning and interpretation to the constitution of meaning within the language of (...) literature. The project is guided by the hypothesis that the cognitive function of literature cannot be understood without such fundamental modelings of the complex interaction of meaning, truth and knowledge. (shrink)
Der Band vereint aktuelle Beiträge zu den Themenschwerpunkten Fiktion, Wahrheit und Interpretation im Hinblick auf fiktionale literarische Texte. Im Einzelnen werden Fragen wie die folgenden diskutiert: In welchem Verhältnis stehen Literatur und Wahrheit? Welche Rolle spielen Intentionen für die Interpretation? Sind fiktionale Texte ausschließlich fiktional? Lässt sich die Sprechakttheorie für die Beschreibung der in fiktionalen literarischen Texten enthaltenen Sätze fruchtbar machen? Warum nehmen wir Anteil an fiktionaler Literatur, obwohl wir wissen, dass die beschriebenen Personen und Ereignisse nicht real sind? Die (...) Beiträger nehmen diese Problemfelder aus einer interdisziplinären Warte zwischen Literaturtheorie und analytischer Philosophie in den Blick. (shrink)
Peculiar to Konrad Lorenz’s view of instinctive behavior is his strong innate-learned dichotomy. He claimed that there are neither ontogenetic nor phylogenetic transitions between instinctive and experience-based behavior components, thus contradicting all former accounts of instinct. The present study discusses how Lorenz came to hold this controversial position by examining the history of Lorenz’s early theoretical development in the crucial period from 1931 to 1937, taking relevant influences into account. Lorenz’s intellectual development is viewed as being guided by four (...) theoretical and practical commitments as to how to study and explain behavior. These four factors, which were part of the general approach of Lorenz but not of other animal psychologists, were crucial in bringing about his specific position on instinctive behavior. (shrink)
The present study discusses the early theoretical development of Konrad Lorenz in the period from 1930 to 1937. In this period Lorenz developed his position on instinct in the first place, and thus his theoretical views were subject to change. Despite this change, the paper points to relatively stable features of Lorenz’s approach, which emerged relatively soon in his scientific career and guided his theoretical development in this and beyond this early phase.
At the beginning of the 1950s most students of animal behavior in Britain saw the instinct concept developed by Konrad Lorenz in the 1930s as the central theoretical construct of the new ethology. In the mid 1950s J.B.S. Haldane made substantial efforts to undermine Lorenz''s status as the founder of the new discipline, challenging his priority on key ethological concepts. Haldane was also critical of Lorenz''s sharp distinction between instinctive and learnt behavior. This was inconsistent with Haldane''s account of (...) the evolution of language, and, according to Haldane, inconsistent with elementary genetics. British attitudes to the instinct concept changed dramatically in the wake of Daniel S. Lehraman''s 1953 critique of Lorenz, and by the 1960s Lorenz drew a clear distinction between his own views and those of the English-speaking ethologists. The inconsistencies between Lorenz''s ideas and the trends in contemporary evolutionary genetics that are reflected in Haldane''s critiques may help to explain why the Lorenzian instinct concept was unable to maintain itself in Britian. (shrink)
Konrad Morgen: The Conscience of a Nazi Judge recounts the wartime career of Georg Konrad Morgen (1909–1982), a judge who prosecuted crimes committed by members of the SS in Nazi concentration camps, including Buchenwald, Dachau, and Auschwitz. In 1943, Morgen discovered the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau. He tried to throw sand in the works by prosecuting concentration camp officials for lesser crimes. He charged the chief of the Auschwitz Gestapo with for 2,000 murders, and even sought (...) an arrest warrant for Adolf Eichmann. Yet he worked within the ethos of the SS and continued to defend its reputation after the war. The book is a moral biography of Morgen, focusing on how he felt, thought, and deliberated about the moral challenges of his unique position. It explores Morgen’s moral and legal reasoning by drawing on his wartime papers as well as his postwar interrogations and testimonies at war-crimes trials. What emerges is a case study in moral complexity. (shrink)