Using a conviction-based measure, we find that local public corruption exerts a negative effect on the lending activity of US banks. Our baseline estimations show that the difference in public corruption between, for example, Alabama, where corruption is high, and Minnesota, where corruption is low, implies that banks headquartered in the former state grant 0.55% less credit ceteris paribus. Using proxies for relationship lending and monitoring, we also find that these bank characteristics weaken the negative effect of public corruption on (...) lending. These results are robust to tests that address endogeneity, to the use of perception-based measures of corruption, and after controlling for credit demand conditions. In further analysis, we show that these effects are more evident for smaller banks and banks operating in a single state. These findings provide evidence that public corruption could facilitate information asymmetry in the lending market and, thus, could hinder local development by reducing bank credit. (shrink)
The meta-semiotic ideology that underpins most contemporary semiotics seems at odds with the one that underlies the attempt at planning and creating a new language. Semiotics, as well as modern linguistics, has increasingly evolved into a substantially descriptive endeavor, excluding any consistent normative purpose. Faithful to the epistemology of Ferdinand de Saussure, semiotics does not primarily aim at either pointing at some supposed flaws of such or such language or at proposing some new linguistic forms meant to fix them. The (...) article analyses linguistic utopias from the perspective of present-day semiotics. (shrink)
Religion can bring about social harmony as well as social conflict. Religious law is a key element in both cases. Scholars can explain how religious law changes according to historical and socio-cultural context. They can also help reengineering prescriptions that cause social conflict. Changes in religious law can be explained according to a chronological rhetoric (certain agents cause certain changes) or according to a logical rhetoric (a change acquires its meaning in opposition to other possible changes). The two approaches are (...) complementary, but the semiotics of religious law predominantly adopts the second one. In both cases, the explanation of how a religious law changes and the reengineering of a religious prescription are related activities. The semiotics of religious law is particularly equipped to propose alternatives for conflicting prescriptions. However, there is a difference between showing that some alternatives exist and advocating which alternatives should be taken. Whilst the latter position is similar to that of semiotic guerrilla warfare, the former rather configures the semiotics of religious law as a therapy. Semiotic guerrilla warfare stresses the need to demystify the discourse of power that subjugates individuals or groups to a certain religious law. Semiotic therapy does not focus on demystification but on reconciliation. The task of the semiotic therapy of religious law is to show that situations of social conflict generated by certain prescriptions can be decreased or eliminated by adopting alternative paths of meaning. The semiotic therapist of religious law can be effective in showing these alternatives only if some pragmatic and semantic preconditions are met: a correct involvement with the sets of religious core values at stake and an articulated analysis of the paths of meaning to which these values give rise. (shrink)
Do Ideas exist and can we prove it ? Do proofs of their existence have all the same value or not ? Aristotle addresses these issues in two famous documents of the controversy that pitted supporters of the theory of Forms against its opponents within Plato’s Academy : his lost work, quoted by Alexander of Aphrodisias by the title of Peri Ideon, and the lengthy thrust against Ideas that can be read, with some minor variations, in books A, chapter 9, (...) and M, chapter 4, of his Metaphysics. As we only have fragments of the first, the second being laconic and little more than a summary, there has been much speculation about the exact number and nature of the arguments for and against the Forms. Since the pioneering works of Léon Robin, Paul Wilpert et Harold Cherniss, one problem in particular has attracted the attention of specialists : what arguments does Aristotle accuse of either producing Ideas on relatives for one or of dragging in the « Third Man » for another ? Why does he consider these arguments to be more rigorous than the others ? If we are not dealing with the same arguments, how can these be more or better argued than those mentioned by Aristotle in the same breath, namely the arguments Plato’s followers took from the sciences, the one over many and the thought about things that have perished ? Through detailed analysis of texts from the Corpus Aristotelicum and Alexander’s commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics, Rationes ex machina develops a new interpretation of the controversial file of the akribesteroi tôn logôn as well as a micrological solution to the puzzle that has come to be a sort of compulsory figure of the exegesis of the Aristotelian criticism of « Plato’s Ideas ». (shrink)
In 2006, acclaimed Italian film director Nanni Moretti released Il caimano [“the Caiman”], a surreal depiction of Silvio Berlusconi’s career as controversial businessman and politician. In one of the last sequences, an indicted Berlusconi leaves the courthouse of Milan, while his supporters besiege its premises and set them on fire. Admired for his capacity of prophetically foreseeing the developments of Italian society, Nanni Moretti’s apocalyptic vision was confirmed by reality on March 11, 2013, when a group of deputes and senators (...) from PDL, Silvio Berlusconi’s political party, ‘besieged’ the courthouse of Milan in order to interfere with the new trials the political leader was involved in: an affair of prostitution of minors, known as “the Ruby case”, and the alleged corruption of a senator. Since when Silvio Berlusconi has been the center of the Italian both political and juridical arena, and with the increasing representation of his trials in Italian and international media, the courthouses of such trials, and particularly that of Milan, have turned more and more into the theater of a socio-political showdown, in which what matters though is not only what takes place in the Court, but also, and perhaps even more, what happens in the area surrounding its premises. Here pro- and -anti Berlusconi partisans have gathered daily in order to manifest their stand to both the citizenry and the media; here media professionals have been stationed 24/7, waiting for the next scandal; and here a dramatic battle line between the political power and the juridical one inexorably materializes with all the violent evidence of its proxemics. The essay analyzes through semiotics a series of verbal and especially visual texts representing the courthouses of Silvio Berlusconi’s trials, with the goal of understanding what this imagery reveals of the current trends of Italian socio-political and juridical arena. More broadly, the essay compares this case study with other instances of courthouses besieged by crowds, so as to semiotically seize the delicate equilibrium of the judiciary proxemics between totalitarian and populist ideologies of law. (shrink)
The essay seeks to single out, describe, and analyze the main semiotic features that compose the fundamentalist understanding of authoriality. Given a definition of authoriality as the series of semiotic dynamics that induce a reader to posit a genetic relation between an author and a text, the fundamentalist authoriality is characterized as displaying six main traits. First, centrality of the written text: in order to postulate a perfect coincidence between a transcendent intentio auctoris (intention of the author) and an immanent (...) intentio lectoris (intention of the reader), fundamentalist exegetical and juridical hermeneutics must be anchored to a stable message, canonized into a written verbal text or into a corpus of written verbal texts. Second, fundamentalist authoriality rests on the assumption of the immutability and mono-centrism of the religious semiosphere that irradiates from the written text. Third, literalism, infallibility, and non-contradiction are attributed to the relation between the written text, its exegetical hermeneutics, and the pragmatic normative orders to which it gives rise. Fourth, fundamentalist authoriality rules out any potential duplicity of the operations that ‘extract’ meaning from religious texts. Fifth, the assumption of the immutability of the religious text leads to exclusion of any operation that might alter the form of both its expression and content, hence to stigmatization of translation. The sixth feature of fundamentalist authoriality encompasses all the previous ones: in fundamentalism, a religious text is not actually a text anymore, but a mirror, whose passive reflection of the exegete’s mind undermines the semiotic nature of the relation between the reader and the text. (shrink)
The essay seeks to single out, describe, and analyze the main semiotic features that compose the fundamentalist understanding of authoriality. Given a definition of authoriality as the series of semiotic dynamics that induce a reader to posit a genetic relation between an author and a text, the fundamentalist authoriality is characterized as displaying six main traits. First, centrality of the written text: in order to postulate a perfect coincidence between a transcendent intentio auctoris and an immanent intentio lectoris, fundamentalist exegetical (...) and juridical hermeneutics must be anchored to a stable message, canonized into a written verbal text or into a corpus of written verbal texts. Second, fundamentalist authoriality rests on the assumption of the immutability and mono-centrism of the religious semiosphere that irradiates from the written text. Third, literalism, infallibility, and non-contradiction are attributed to the relation between the written text, its exegetical hermeneutics, and the pragmatic normative orders to which it gives rise. Fourth, fundamentalist authoriality rules out any potential duplicity of the operations that ‘extract’ meaning from religious texts. Fifth, the assumption of the immutability of the religious text leads to exclusion of any operation that might alter the form of both its expression and content, hence to stigmatization of translation. The sixth feature of fundamentalist authoriality encompasses all the previous ones: in fundamentalism, a religious text is not actually a text anymore, but a mirror, whose passive reflection of the exegete’s mind undermines the semiotic nature of the relation between the reader and the text. (shrink)
The way in which people change and represent their spiritual evolution is often determined by recurrent language structures. Through the analysis of ancient and modern stories and their words and images, this book describes the nature of conversion through explorations of the encounter with the religious message, the discomfort of spiritual uncertainty, the loss of personal and social identity, the anxiety of destabilization, the reconstitution of the self and the discovery of a new language of the soul.
A GP is not informed that her patient is HIV-positive. The question is posed-should doctors in special clinics act on the assumption that patients do not want their GP informed? It is argued that this assumption may be false, and that it may deny patients the offer of appropriate and timely support.
This article has provided some philosophical thoughts concerning the journey of research undertakings involving human participants, with consideration given to both natural / physical and human / social science fields, and with a focus on the situation in Sierra Leone. In the process of professional engagement, researchers must seek to give serious reflective thoughts on how their engagement may affect participants and communities - this study has unravelled some thoughts on evolving perspectives. Ethical code of practice has been highlighted (...) as an important instrument in helping researchers manifest serious thoughts in their epistemic quest for pursuing knowledge, through engagement with human participants. The ethical requirement of a researcher to demonstrate intellectual virtue / prudence is a key aspect of the discourse in this article - that which enable trust to be established, and more so, the researcher's ability to exercise practical wisdom in their engagement with research communities. Keywords : Phronesis; Epistemology; Ethics; Praxis; Human Participants; Sierra Leone. (shrink)
Research in the subject area of economics (as a social science) has defined its ontologie of scientific investigation through economic methodology; a philosophical approach entailing the proviso of empirical evidence and backed by an understanding of human interaction in their natural habitat. The contention of economic methodology being refuted for its non-scientific means of investigation and particularly with the application of Ceteris Paribus (CP) law, has been critically addressed in this article, with Sierra Leone as a case example. Sierra (...)Leone is a complex economy and issues surrounding the assumption of CP has been brought to the fore, with a view of the political economy structure being made transparent so as to make it possible for economists to address critical issues surrounding corruption (exogenous factors), not accounted for in econometric modelling. This is not necessarily that which is considered as the most obvious, with the use of CP concept, for example, the influence of naturally occurring incidents like adverse weather conditions, flooding and earthquakes. (shrink)
The article addresses critical discourses pertaining to triangulation methodology as a step forward in dealing with policy formulation, particularly at the Bank of Sierra Leone. Alternative prescriptive measure like critical discourse analysis have been proposed as a means to the cutting head development in bridging the gap between orthodox and heterodox views of economic sciences investigations.
The thought about this book has been developed with the view of adding value to the teaching of Research Methodology for undergraduate and graduate students in developing economies like Sierra Leone. At the same time, it is a very useful tool for professionals engaged in research as part of their work life and for which their understanding of the dichotomy between Research Methods and Research Methodology needs to be addressed. It is divided into distinct sections, which makes it very (...) easy for the beginner researcher to understand the difference in concepts used, while at the same time enhancing their basic understanding of scientific tool(s) needed to pursue ontological research, with the aim of adding new value in the body of knowledge. The main motivation for producing the first edition is based on the following: ● To write a book that focused on using and applying the techniques of research methodology in a research setting. ● To write a book that is accessible to students and practicing researchers in developing country like Sierra Leone, where the subject matter is not so well taught, but critical in developing knowledge capacity for graduates entering the profession of research. ● To pursue critical research, particularly in the social science field pertaining to Econometrics, Sociology, Development Economics and many more. (shrink)
This article presents findings from a qualitative case study of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in rural Sierra Leone. It adds to the sparse literature directly evaluating local experiences of transitional justice mechanisms. It investigates the conceptual foundations of retributive and restorative approaches to postwar justice, and describes the emerging alternative argument demanding attention be paid to economic, cultural, and social rights in such transitional situations. The article describes how justice is defined in Makeni, a town in Northern (...) Sierra Leone, and shows that the TRC’s restorative approach was unable to generate a sense of postwar justice, and was, to many, experienced as a provocation. The conclusions support an alternative distributive conception of justice and show that local conception of rights, experiences of infringement and needs for redress, demand social, cultural, and economic considerations be taken seriously in transitional justice cases. (shrink)
When we judge an action as morally right or wrong, we rely on our capacity to infer the actor's mental states. Here, we test the hypothesis that the right temporoparietal junction, an area involved in mental state reasoning, is necessary for making moral judgments. In two experiments, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation to disrupt neural activity in the RTPJ transiently before moral judgment and during moral judgment. In both experiments, TMS to the RTPJ led participants to rely less on the (...) actor's mental states. A particularly striking effect occurred for attempted harms : Relative to TMS to a control site, TMS to the RTPJ caused participants to judge attempted harms as less morally forbidden and more morally permissible. Thus, interfering with activity in the RTPJ disrupts the capacity to use mental states in moral judgment, especially in the case of attempted harms. (shrink)
Serious gender-based crimes were committed against women and girls during Sierra Leone’s decade-long armed conflict. This article examines how the Special Court for Sierra Leone has approached these crimes in its first four judgments. The June 20, 2007 trial judgment in the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council case assists international criminal law’s limited understanding of the crime against humanity of forced marriage, but also collapses evidence of that crime into the war crime of outrages upon personal dignity. The February (...) 22, 2008 appeals judgment attempts to correct this misstep. In contrast, the August 2, 2007 trial judgment in the Civil Defence Forces case is virtually silent on crimes committed against women and girls, although the May 28, 2008 appeals judgment attempts to partially redress this silence. This article concludes that the four judgments, considered together, raise the specter that the Special Court could potentially fail to make a significant progressive contribution to gender-sensitive transitional justice. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThis paper explores the impact of the philosophical structure of Leone Ebreo’s Dialoghi d’amore on the construction of Tullia d’Aragona’s Dialogo della infinità di amore. Analysing both the explicit references to and the indirect citations of Leone’s Dialoghi, I aim to demonstrate how the reinterpretation of some fundamental topics of this work – such as the re-evaluation of the sensual aspect of human love and the distinction between honest and vulgar love – lies at the heart of Tullia’s (...) dialogue. The article also intends to shed light on the complex role of Benedetto Varchi in the elaboration of these issues by d’Aragona, who for the final revision of her text could have relied – as she did for her poems – on his collaboration. (shrink)
Few arguments from the past have stirred up as much interest as Aristotle’s “Third man” and not so many texts have received as much attention as its account in chapter 22 of the Sophistici elenchi. And yet, several issues about both remain highly controversial, starting from the very nature of the argument at stake and the exact signification of some of its features. The essay provides a close commentary of the text, dealing with its main difficulties and suggesting an overall (...) interpretation of Aristotle’s discussion of the “Third Man” argument. (shrink)
« Qu’est-ce que le langage et à quoi sert-il ? » -/- « Qu’est-ce qu’un signe linguistique et en quoi consiste sa signification ? » -/- « Quels sont les effets que les expressions linguistiques produisent, les contraintes qu’il faut respecter et les précautions qu’il convient de prendre lorsqu’on les utilise ? » -/- Ce complexe de questions, dont on peut retracer l’origine dans un certain nombre de textes de l’Antiquité, oriente depuis les enjeux fondamentaux de la réflexion sur la (...) nature et le sens des expressions linguistiques ainsi que sur les conditions effectives de leur utilisation. Au fil des débats philosophiques, littéraires et autres, cette compréhension du langage s’est déclinée en une variété de manières d’entendre ce que, pour une expression linguistique ou une suite d’expressions linguistiques données, « signifier » veut dire. Les contributions de ce numéro thématique se sont concentrées sur les idées linguistiques que les auteurs de langue et culture grecque – confrontés, plus ou moins explicitement, à la question « comment penser le langage ? » – ont développées afin de rendre compte du phénomène complexe de la signification comme propriété des signes linguistiques, corrélat d’un contenu de pensée ou encore comme produit d’une pratique réglée d’échanges. (shrink)
Scholarly dissatisfaction with Aristotle’s fallacy of accident has traditionally focused on his examples, whose compatibility with the fallacy’s definition has been doubted time and again. Besides a unified account of the fallacy of accident itself, the paper provides a formalized analysis of its several examples in Aristotle’s Sophistici elenchi. The most problematic instances are dealt with by means of an internal reconstruction of their features as conveyed by Aristotle’s text and an extensive survey of their interpretation in the Byzantine and (...) Latin exegetical tradition. Carefully handled a doxographical approach, as opposed to rapid results oriented practices, proves to be most effective in that it supplies both useful albeit ordinarily overlooked insights and a comprehensive framework of reference for further investigations. (shrink)