By examining single-word reading times (in full sentences read for meaning), we show that (1) function words are accessed faster than content words, independent of perceptual characteristics; (2) previous failures to show this involved problems of frequency range and task used; and (3) these differences in lexical access are related to perceptual fluency. We relate these findings to issues in the literature on event-related potentials (ERPs) and neurolinguistics.
Among Plato's works, the Statesman is usually seen as transitional between the Republic and the Laws. This book argues that the dialogue deserves a special place of its own. Whereas Plato is usually thought of as defending unchanging knowledge, Dr Lane demonstrates how, by placing change at the heart of political affairs, Plato reconceives the link between knowledge and authority. The statesman is shown to master the timing of affairs of state, and to use this expertise in managing the (...) conflict of opposed civic factions. To this political argument corresponds a methodological approach which is seen to rely not only on the familiar method of 'division', but equally on the unfamiliar centrality of the use of 'example'. The demonstration that method and politics are interrelated transforms our understanding of the Statesman and its fellow dialogues. (shrink)
Since constitutional arrangements are what make politics work, they are a central concern of political theory._This book, now completely updated, is the first comprehensive exploration of the political theory of constitutions. Jan-Erik Lane begins by examining the origins and history of constitutionalism and answers key questions such as: What is a constitution? Why are there constitutions? From where does constitutionalism originate? How is the constitutional state related to democracy and justice? Constitutions play a major role in domestic and international (...) politics in the early 21st century and an updated version of this classic textbook will introduce students to a number of different areas -- theoretical, empirical, and moral -- which will aid their understanding of this important topic. (shrink)
In this paper, Neal Lane describes some lessons he learned about science and politics from his seven years in Washington, serving in the Clinton Administration, first as Director of the National Science Foundation and then as Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Bourdieu's academic work and his political interventions have always proved controversial, with reactions varying from passionate advocacy to savage critique. In the last decade of his career, the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu became involved in a series of high-profile political interventions, defending the cause of striking students and workers, speaking out in the name of illegal immigrants, the homeless, and the unemployed, challenging the incursion of the market into the field of artistic and intellectual production. This new study presents the (...) first sustained critical analysis of the political implications of Bourdieu's sociology. Through a close reading of the political speeches and pronouncements of his later years, Jeremy F. Lane provides a detailed exposition both of Bourdieu's critique of neo-liberalism and of his own political position. Bourdieu's theory of politics is also brought into critical dialogue with the work of a range of other commentators of a broadly Marxist or post-Marxist orientation who have also intervened in such debates - theorists such as Stuart Hall, Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, Judith Butler, Slavoj Zizek and Jacques Rancière. The first sustained analysis of Bourdieu's politics - this study will seek to assess the validity of his claims as to the distinctiveness and superiority of his own field theory as a tool of political analysis. It will be of great use to students, and researchers in sociology, social theory; cultural studies, French studies and political science. (shrink)
Jean Baudrillard is one of the most famous and controversial of writers on postmodernism. But what are his key ideas? Where did they come from and why are they important? This book offers a beginner's guide to Baudrillard's thought, including his views on technology, primitivism, reworking Marxism, simulation and the hyperreal, and America and postmodernism. Richard Lane places Baudrillard's ideas in the contexts of the French and postmodern thought and examines the ongoing impact of his work. Concluding with an (...) extensively annotated bibliography of the thinker's own texts, this is the perfect companion for any student approaching the work of Jean Baudrillard. (shrink)
This book offers a new interpretation of the metaphysics of Charles Peirce, the founder of pragmatism and one of America's greatest philosophers. Robert Lane begins by examining Peirce's basic realism, his belief in a world that is independent of how anyone believes it to be. Lane argues that this realism is the basis for Peirce's account of truth, according to which a true belief is one that would be settled by investigation and that also represents the real world. (...) He then explores Peirce's application of his Pragmatic Maxim to clarify the idea of reality, his two forms of idealism, and his realism about generality and vagueness. This rich study will provide readers with a clear understanding of Peirce's thoughts on reality and truth and how they intersect, and of his views on the relation between the mind and the external world. (shrink)
This book explores the persistence of absolute in Benjamin's work by sketching out the relationship between philosphy and theology apparent in his diverse writings, from the early youth movement essays to the later books, essays and fragments. Lane examines Benjamin from two main perspectives: a history-of-ideas approach situating Benjamin in relation to the new German-Jewish thinking at the turn of the twentieth-century, as well as the German youth movements, Surrealism and the "Georgekreis"; and a conceptual approach examining more critical (...) issues in relation to Benjamin and Kant, modern aesthetics and narrative order. (shrink)
Philosophical and scientific investigations of the proprietary aspects of self—mineness or mental ownership—often presuppose that searching for unique constituents is a productive strategy. But there seem not to be any unique constituents. Here, it is argued that the “self-specificity” paradigm, which emphasizes subjective perspective, fails. Previously, it was argued that mode of access also fails to explain mineness. Fortunately, these failures, when leavened by other findings (those that exhibit varieties and vagaries of mineness), intimate an approach better suited to searching (...) for an explanation. Having an alternative in hand, one that shows promise of achieving explanatory adequacy, provides an additional reason to suspend the search for unique constituents. In short, a negative and a positive thesis are developed: we should cease looking for unique constituents and should seek to explain mineness in accord with the model developed here. This model rejects attempts to explain the phenomenon in terms of either a narrative or a minimal sense of self; it seeks to explain at a “molecular” level, one that appeals to multiple, interacting dimensions. The molecular-level model allows for the possibility that subjective perspective is distinct from a stark perspective (one that does not imply mineness). It proposes that the confounding of tacit expectations plays an important role in explaining mental ownership and its complement, disownership. But the confounding of tacit expectations is not sufficient. Because we are able to be aware of the existence of mental states that do not belong to self, we require a mechanism for determining degree of self-relatedness. One such mechanism is proposed here, and it is shown how this mechanism can be integrated into a general model of mental ownership. In the spirit of suggesting how this model might be able to help resolve outstanding problems, the question as to whether inserted thoughts belong to the patient who reports them is also considered. (shrink)
Sydney Shoemaker, developing an idea of Wittgenstein’s, argues that we are immune to error through misidentification relative to the first-person pronoun. Although we might be liable to error when “I” (or its cognates) is used as an object, we are immune to error when “I” is used as a subject (as when one says, “I have a toothache”). Shoemaker claims that the relationship between “I” as-subject and the mental states of which it is introspectively aware is tautological: when, say, we (...) judge that “I feel pain,” we are tautologically aware that feels pain is instantiated and that it is instantiated in oneself. Moreover, he contends that this relationship holds not just for bodily sensations, but also for the sense of agency and for visual perception. But we deny that this relationship is tautological; instead, we treat Shoemaker’s principle (IEM) as a hypothesis. We then proceed to show that certain pathological states and experimentally-induced illusions can be adduced to show that IEM describes not a necessary relationship but a contingent relationship, one that sometimes fails to obtain. That we are not immune to error in the way Shoemaker describes has grave consequences for many aspects of his ideas concerning the first-person perspective. In the course of arguing that these empirical phenomena count against IEM, we also show that not only can the content of conscious experience be misrepresented, so too can the subject: that is, not only can the what of conscious experience be misrepresented, so too can the who. (shrink)
Subjectivity theories of consciousness take self-reference, somehow construed, as essential to having conscious experience. These theories differ with respect to how many levels they posit and to whether self-reference is conscious or not. But all treat self-referencing as a process that transpires at the personal level, rather than at the subpersonal level, the level of mechanism. -/- Working with conceptual resources afforded by pre-existing theories of consciousness that take self-reference to be essential, several attempts have been made to explain seemingly (...) anomalous cases, especially instances of alien experience. These experiences are distinctive precisely because self-referencing is explicitly denied by the only person able to report them: those who experience them deny that certain actions, mental states, or body parts belong to self. The relevant actions, mental states, or body parts are sometimes attributed to someone or something other than self, and sometimes they are just described as not belonging to self. But all are referred away from self. -/- The cases under discussion here include somatoparaphrenia, schizophrenia, depersonalization, anarchic hand syndrome, and utilization behavior; the theories employed, Higher-Order Thought, Wide Intrinsicality, and Self-Representational. Below I argue that each of these attempts at explaining or explaining away the anomalies fails. Along the way, since each of these theories seeks at least compatibility with science, I sketch experimental approaches that could be used to adduce support for my position, or indeed for the positions of theorists with whom I disagree. -/- In a concluding section I first identify two presuppositions shared by all of the theorists considered here, and argue that both are either erroneous or misleading. Second, I call attention to divergent paths adopted when attempting to explain alienation experiences: some theorists choose to add a mental ingredient, while others prefer to subtract one. I argue that alienation from experience, action, or body parts could result from either addition or subtraction, and that the two can be incorporated within a comprehensive explanatory framework. Finally, I suggest that this comprehensive framework would require self-referencing of a sort, but self-referencing that occurs solely on the level of mechanism, or the subpersonal level. In adumbrating some features of this “subpersonal self,” I suggest that there might be one respect in which it is prior to conscious experience. (shrink)
For centuries, humans have contemplated the minds of gods. Research on religious cognition is spread across sub-disciplines, making it difficult to gain a complete understanding of how people reason about gods' minds. We integrate approaches from cognitive, developmental, and social psychology and neuroscience to illuminate the origins of religious cognition. First, we show that although adults explicitly discriminate supernatural minds from human minds, their implicit responses reveal far less discrimination. Next, we demonstrate that children's religious cognition often matches adults' implicit (...) responses, revealing anthropomorphic notions of God's mind. Together, data from children and adults suggest the intuitive nature of perceiving God's mind as human-like. We then propose three complementary explanations for why anthropomorphism persists in adulthood, suggesting that anthropomorphism may be an instance of the anchoring and adjustment heuristic; a reflection of early testimony; and/or an evolutionary byproduct. (shrink)
Recent studies have demonstrated neural overlap between resting state activity and self-referential processing. This “rest-self” overlap occurs especially in anterior cortical midline structures like the perigenual anterior cingulate cortex (PACC). However, the exact neurotemporal and biochemical mechanisms remain to be identified. Therefore, we conducted a combined electroencephalography (EEG)-magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) study. EEG focused on pre-stimulus (e.g., prior to stimulus presentation or perception) power changes to assess the degree to which those changes can predict subjects’ perception (and judgment) of subsequent (...) stimuli as high or low self-related. MRS measured resting state concentration of glutamate, focusing on PACC. High pre-stimulus (e.g., prior to stimulus presentation or perception) alpha power significantly correlated with both perception of stimuli judged to be highly self-related and with resting state glutamate concentrations in the PACC. In sum, our results show (i) pre-stimulus (e.g., prior to stimulus presentation or perception) alpha power and resting state glutamate concentration to mediate rest-self overlap that (ii) dispose or incline subjects to assign high degrees of self-relatedness to perceptual stimuli. (shrink)
It is not necessarily the case that we ever have experiences of self, but human beings do regularly report instances for which self is experienced as absent. That is there are times when body parts, mental states, or actions are felt to be alien. Here I sketch an explanatory framework for explaining these alienation experiences, a framework that also attempts to explain the “mental glue” whereby self is bound to body, mind, or action. The framework is a multi-dimensional model that (...) integrates personal and sub-personal components, psychological and neural processes. I then proceed to show how this model can be applied to explain the action-related passivity experiences of persons suffering from schizophrenia. I argue that a distinctive phenomenological mark of these experiences is that they are vividly felt, unlike ordinary actions (those taken to belong to self), and I seek to explain these heightened sensory experiences from within the proposed framework. I also propose hypotheses concerning such phenomena as thought insertion and anarchic hand syndrome that are motivated by this framework. Finally, I argue that the proposed model and view of self-experiences is consistent with several aspects of and theories of consciousness, especially theories which indicate that consciousness is more likely to be engaged when we are dealing with novelty or error—e.g. when self seems to have gone missing. I conclude by recommending that if we wish to learn about self, we would be well advised to attend closely to those times when it seems absent. (shrink)
Can ordinary citizens in a democracy evaluate the claims of scientific experts? While a definitive answer must be case by case, some scholars have offered sharply opposed general answers: a skeptical versus an optimistic. The article addresses this basic conflict, arguing that a satisfactory answer requires a first-order engagement in judging the claims of experts which both skeptics and optimists rule out in taking the issue to be one of second-order assessments only. Having argued that such first-order judgments are necessary, (...) it then considers how they are possible, outlining a range of practices and virtues that can inform their success and likelihood, and drawing throughout on ancient Greek insights as well as contemporary social psychology and sociology of knowledge. In conclusion the ethics of democratic judgment so developed is applied to the dramatic conviction of the members of an Italian scientific risk commission in L'Aquila. (shrink)
For many years, Charles Peirce maintained that all senses of the modal terms "possible" and "necessary" can be defined in terms of "states of information." But in 1896, he was motivated by his work in set theory to criticize that account of modality, and in 1905 he characterized that criticism as a return "to the Aristotelian doctrine of a real possibility ... the great step that was needed to render pragmaticism an intelligible doctrine." But since Peirce was a realist about (...) modality before 1896, and since he continued defining "possibility" in terms of "states of information" after that date, it is not clear exactly what he changed his mind about. In this essay I explain what it was that Peirce changed his mind about and why, in retrospect, he viewed that change as a decisive step in the development of pragmaticism. (shrink)
There is a distinctive form of existential anxiety, neuroexistential anxiety, which derives from the way in which contemporary neuroscience provides copious amounts of evidence to underscore the Darwinian message—we are animals, nothing more. One response to this 21st century existentialism is to promote Eudaimonics, a version of ethical naturalism that is committed to promoting fruitful interaction between ethical inquiry and science, most notably psychology and neuroscience. We argue that philosophical reflection on human nature and social life reveals that while working (...) to be and remain biologically fit, humans also seek meaning in a way that conforms to a pattern recognized by Plato. We argue that human beings should seek “the good,” “the true,” and “the beautiful”; moreover, the proper measure of human flourishing is the degree to which humans achieve these three, in a maximally harmonious way. One potential problem with this view, however, is that it might privilege the role of truth, such that if there is a conflict among these three, what is good or beautiful should yield to what is true. But this seems to conflict with evidence from neuroscience and psychology (e.g. the study of positive illusions) which suggests that people with a tendency to form and harbor certain false beliefs tend to more easily achieve eudaimonia than do those for whom truth takes precedence in all domains. We argue that this conflict is only apparent: the false beliefs in question are not literally beliefs; instead, they are an amalgam of belief and desire, an amalgam that we dub, tertullian beliefs (or, t-beliefs). Among other things, what is distinctive about t-beliefs is that they are able to change the world, in certain specific ways, such that, strictly speaking, it would be erroneous to say of them that they aim away from the truth. Paradoxically, it is because they seem to aim away from the truth, that they are sometimes able to succeed in changing the world so that it matches what we desire, or, what we t-believe. (shrink)
Feminist and trans theory challenges "the" binary sex/gender system, but can create a new binary opposition of subversive transgender versus conservative transsexual. This paper aims to shift debate concerning bodies as authentic/real versus constructed/mutable, arguing that such debate establishes a false dichotomy that may be overcome by reappraising scientific understandings of sex/gender. Much recent biology and neurology stresses nonlinearity, contingency, self-organization, and open-endedness. Engaging with this research offers ways around apparently interminable theoretical impasses.
Sleep onset is associated with marked changes in behavioral, physiological, and subjective phenomena. In daily life though subjective experience is the main criterion in terms of which we identify it. But very few studies have focused on these experiences. This study seeks to identify the subjective variables that reflect sleep onset. Twenty young subjects took an afternoon nap in the laboratory while polysomnographic recordings were made. They were awakened four times in order to assess subjective experiences that correlate with the (...) (1) appearance of slow eye movement, (2) initiation of stage 1 sleep, (3) initiation of stage 2 sleep, and (4) 5 min after the start of stage 2 sleep. A logistic regression identified control over and logic of thought as the two variables that predict the perception of having fallen asleep. For sleep perception, these two variables accurately classified 91.7% of the cases; for the waking state, 84.1%. (shrink)
According to Rosenthal’s Higher-Order Thought (HOT) theory of consciousness, first-order mental states become conscious only when they are targeted by HOTs that necessarily represent the states as belonging to self. On this view a state represented as belonging to someone distinct from self could not be a conscious state. Rosenthal develops this view in terms of what he calls the ‘thin immunity principle’ (TIP). According to TIP, when I experience a conscious state, I cannot be wrong about whether it is (...) I who I think is in that state. We first suggest that TIP is a direct consequence of the HOT theory. Next we argue that somatoparaphrenia—a pathology in which sensations are sometimes represented as belonging to other people—shows that TIP can be violated. This violation of TIP in turn shows that the HOT theory’s claim that conscious states are necessarily represented as belonging to self is in error. Rosenthal’s attempt to account for pathological cases is found to be inadequate when applied to somatoparaphrenia, and other possible defenses are also shown to be incapable of preserving TIP. We further conclude by suggesting that the HOT theory’s failing in this regard is not a failing that is peculiar to this theory of consciousness. (shrink)
This study reports the results of a survey designed to assess the impact of business education on the ethical beliefs of business students. The study examines the beliefs of graduate and undergraduate students about ethical behavior in educational settings. The investigation indicates that the behavior which students learn or perceive is required to succeed in business schools may run counter to the ethical sanctions of society and the business community.
This study explores the reactions of 412 business students to a range of ethical marketing dilemmas. Reviewing some of the comparable Australian and U.S. research in the field, the study examines the ethical judgements for potential demographic differences. The findings suggest that a majority of students are prepared to act unethically in order to gain some competitive or personal advantage. Yielding the highest ethical response are situations of potential and significant social impact. The results support some previous research that shows (...) the existence of gender and age differences in ethical response and likely behaviour. This (gender) difference was most divergent on the issue of portrayal of women in advertising. In particular, females and older students respond more ethically in a majority of situations. The research concludes a number of opportunities for new directions in education, public policy making and further research. (shrink)
Spontaneous activity levels prior to stimulus presentation can determine how that stimulus will be perceived. It has also been proposed that such spontaneous activity, particularly in the default-mode network (DMN), is involved in self-related processing. We therefore hypothesised that pre-stimulus activity levels in the DMN predict whether a stimulus is judged as self-related or not. Method: Participants were presented in the MRI scanner with a white noise stimulus that they were instructed contained their name or another. They then had to (...) respond with which name they thought they heard. Regions where there was an activity level difference between self and other response trials two seconds prior to the stimulus being presented were identified. Results: Pre-stimulus activity levels were higher in the right temporoparietal junction (RTPJ), the right temporal pole (RTP), and the left superior temporal gyrus in trials where the participant responded that they heard their own name than trials where they responded that they heard another. Conclusion: Pre-stimulus spontaneous activity levels in particular brain regions, largely overlapping with the DMN, predict the subsequent judgement of stimuli as self-related. This extends our current knowledge of self-related processing and its apparent relationship with intrinsic brain activity in what can be termed a rest-self overlap. (shrink)
In a recent Opinion article, Sui and Humphreys  argue that experimental findings suggest self is ‘special’, in that self-reference serves a binding function within human cognitive economy. Contrasting their view with other functionalist positions, chiefly Dennett's , they deny that self is a convenient fiction and adduce findings to show that a ‘core self representation’ serves as an ‘integrative glue’ helping to bind distinct types of information as well as distinct stages of psycho- logical processing. In other words, where (...) Dennett regards self as analogous to a center of gravity, a simplification posited by observers, Sui and Humphreys regard self as a function that modulates mental processes. In practice, however, the concept of ‘self’ they employ is not unlike Dennett's. We side with Sui and Humphreys in hold- ing that self-reference modulates mental processes: reference to self during a task can bind memory to source, increase perceptual integration, and link attention to decision making, among other things. What is more, these functions are not reducible to other factors such as semantic coding, familiarity, or reward . But whereas Sui and Humphreys contribute important empirical detail, the binding functions they describe are compatible with Dennett's version of functionalism, which treats self as an artifact of social process. (shrink)
This is the ﬁrst of two papers that examine Charles Peirce’s denial that human beings have a faculty of intuition. The semiotic and epistemo-logical aspects of that denial are well-known. My focus is on its neglected metaphysical aspect, which I argue amounts to the doctrine that there is no determinate boundary between the internal world of the cognizing subject and the external world that the subject cognizes. In the second paper, I will argue that the “objective idealism” of Peirce’s 1890s (...) cosmological series is a more general iteration of the metaphysical aspect of his earlier denial of intuition. (shrink)
Background: Family members are often required to act as substitute decision-makers when health care or research participation decisions must be made for an incapacitated relative. Yet most families are unable to accurately predict older adult preferences regarding future health care and willingness to engage in research studies. Discussion and documentation of preferences could improve proxies' abilities to decide for their loved ones. This trial assesses the efficacy of an advance planning intervention in improving the accuracy of substitute decision-making and increasing (...) the frequency of documented preferences for health care and research. It also investigates the financial impact on the healthcare system of improving substitute decision-making.Methods/DesignDyads (n = 240) comprising an older adult and his/her self-selected proxy are randomly allocated to the experimental or control group, after stratification for type of designated proxy and self-report of prior documentation of healthcare preferences. At baseline, clinical and research vignettes are used to elicit older adult preferences and assess the ability of their proxy to predict those preferences. Responses are elicited under four health states, ranging from the subject's current health state to severe dementia. For each state, we estimated the public costs of the healthcare services that would typically be provided to a patient under these scenarios. Experimental dyads are visited at home, twice, by a specially trained facilitator who communicates the dyad-specific results of the concordance assessment, helps older adults convey their wishes to their proxies, and offers assistance in completing a guide entitled My Preferences that we designed specifically for that purpose. In between these meetings, experimental dyads attend a group information session about My Preferences. Control dyads attend three monthly workshops aimed at promoting healthy behaviors. Concordance assessments are repeated at the end of the intervention and 6 months later to assess improvement in predictive accuracy and cost savings, if any. Copies of completed guides are made at the time of these assessments.DiscussionThis study will determine whether the tested intervention guides proxies in making decisions that concur with those of older adults, motivates the latter to record their wishes in writing, and yields savings for the healthcare system.Trial RegistrationISRCTN89993391. (shrink)
Most mental disorders affect only a small segment of the population. On the reasonable assumption that minds or brains are prone to occasional malfunction, these disorders do not seem to pose distinctive explanatory problems. Depression, however, because it is so prevalent and costly, poses a conundrum that some try to explain by characterizing it as an adaptation—a trait that exists because it performed fitness-enhancing functions in ancestral populations. Heretofore, proposed evolutionary explanations of depression did not focus on thought processes; instead, (...) they emphasized that it facilitates navigation of adverse social circumstances or promotes immune response to infectious agents. According to a new hypothesis, the “analytical rumination hypothesis” (ARH), however, depression’s crucial adaptive trait is rumination—negative, intrusive thought. ARH holds that, (i) social dilemmas trigger depressed mood; (ii) depressed mood induces changes in body systems that facilitate ruminative analysis aimed at solving dilemmas; and, (iii) depressive rumination is a fitness-enhancing trait that was selected for in evolutionary time. Jointly, (i)~(iii) imply that we should not think of rumination as a disorder; instead, it is a trade-off, an eminently rational one. In the same way that fever solves a problem—coordination of the immune system in response to infection—so too does depressive rumination solve a problem, a social dilemma, albeit at the cost of inducing anhedonia and other maladies. But they argue that the cost is worthwhile, something that should be endured “until the problem is solved.” First, we argue that there are two distinct types of rumination, brooding and pondering; the former is associated with a disposition for depression, not the latter. But only the latter has the problem-solving capabilities that ARH requires. Second, recent brain imaging studies of depression reveal resting state hypoactivity in lateral regions and hyperactivity in paralimbic regions; this asymmetric pattern correlates with heightened levels of brooding, self-focused rumination. In other words, on the personal level, patients are trapped within self, isolated from the external world and suffused with negative affect; on the subpersonal level, this pattern is reflected by an asymmetric pattern of lateral vs. paralimbic resting state activity. Third, we proceed to conjecture that rational responses (e.g., pondering) to social dilemmas are those that strike a balance between internal and external considerations in the process of belief formation. Fourth, because the asymmetric resting state activity blocks those who suffer with depression from accessing and processing potentially positive stimuli from the external world, the capacity for rational, analytic response—hence, problem-solving—is constrained. Fifth, it follows that, although there might be conditions for which suffering should be endured rather than pharmacologically alleviated, depression is not one of those. Indeed, in view of the effects of the asymmetric resting state pattern, it is unlikely that depressive rumination would have been useful even for ancestral populations. (shrink)
Communication by scientists with policy makers and attentive publics raises ethical issues. Scientists need to decide how to communicate knowledge effectively in a way that nonscientists can understand and use, while remaining honest scientists and presenting estimates of the uncertainty of their inferences. They need to understand their own ethical choices in using scientific information to communicate to audiences. These issues were salient in the Fourth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change with respect to possible sea level rise (...) from disintegration of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets. Due to uncertainty, the reported values of projected sea level rise were incomplete, potentially leading some relevant audiences to underestimate future risk. Such judgments should be made in a principled rather than an ad hoc manner. Five principles for scientific communication under such conditions are important: honesty, precision, audience relevance, process transparency, and specification of uncertainty about conclusions. Some of these principles are of intrinsic importance while others are merely instrumental and subject to trade-offs among them. Scientists engaged in assessments under uncertainty should understand these principles and which trade-offs are acceptable. (shrink)
A cursory glance at the list of Nobel Laureates for Economics is sufficient to confirm Stanovich’s description of the project to evaluate human rationality as seminal. Herbert Simon, Reinhard Selten, John Nash, Daniel Kahneman, and others, were awarded their prizes less for their work in economics, per se, than for their work on rationality, as such. Although philosophical works have for millennia attempted to describe, explicate and evaluate individual and collective aspects of rationality, new impetus was brought to this endeavor (...) over the last century as mathematical logic along with the social and behavioral sciences emerged. Yet more recently, over the last several decades, propelled by the emergence of artificial intelligence, cognitive science, evolutionary psychology, neuropsychology, and related fields, even more sophisticated approaches to the study of rationality have emerged. (shrink)
“The most likely use for Haack’s volume will be in introductory pragmatism courses and it is eminently appropriate for this task. However, others who would wish to speak out about pragmatism authoritatively would do well to go through the book from cover to cover. Outside of philosophy, the volume provides an introduction to a vital aspect of what philosophy has to offer to other disciplines, psychology among them....it is hard to think what could have been done to improve upon the (...) collection.”. (shrink)
In this comprehensive collection of essays, most of which appear for the first time, eminent scholars from many disciplines—philosophy, economics, sociology, political science, demography, theology, history, and social psychology—examine the causes, nature, and consequences of present-day consumption patterns in the United States and throughout the world.
While ethical and moral issues have been widely considered in the general areas of marketing and sales, similar attention has not been given to the impact of strategic account management (SAM) approaches to handling the relationships between suppliers and very␣large customers. SAM approaches have been widely␣adopted by suppliers as a mechanism for managing␣relationships and partnerships with dominant customers␣– characterized by high levels of buyer–seller inter-dependence and forms of collaborative partnership. Observation suggests that the perceived moral intensity of␣these relationships is commonly (...) low, notwithstanding the underlying principles of benefiting the few (large, strategic customers) at the expense of the many (smaller customers and other stakeholders), and the magnitude of the consequences of concessions made to large customers, even though some such consequences may be unintended. Dilemmas exist also for executives implementing strategic account relationships regarding such issues as information sharing, trust, and hidden incentives for unethical behaviour. We propose the need for greater transparency and senior management questioning of the ethical and moral issues implicit in strategic account management. (shrink)