Between the sense of self and the reality of self Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 113-118 DOI 10.1007/s11097-011-9234-y Authors Wenjing Cai, Center for Subjectivity Research, University of Copenhagen, Njalsgade 140-142, 5th floor, 2300 Copenhagen, Denmark Journal Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences Online ISSN 1572-8676 Print ISSN 1568-7759 Journal Volume Volume 11 Journal Issue Volume 11, Number 1.
In this article, we examine the empirical association between firm value and CSR engagement for firms in sinful industries, such as tobacco, gambling, and alcohol, as well as industries involved with emerging environmental, social, or ethical issues, i.e., weapon, oil, cement, and biotech. We develop and test three hypotheses, the window-dressing hypothesis, the value-enhancement hypothesis, and the value-irrelevance hypothesis. Using an extesive US sample from 1995 to 2009, we find that CSR engagement of firms in controversial industries positively affects firm (...) value after controlling for various firm characteristics. To address the potential endogeneity problem, we further estimate a system of equations and change regression and continue to find a positive relation between CSR engagement and firm value. Our findings support the value-enhancement hypothesis and are consistent with the premise that the top management of US firms in controversial industries, in general, considers social responsibility important even though their products are harmful to human being, society, or environment. (shrink)
We empirically examine the impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR) on CEO compensation using a large sample of the US firms from 1996 to 2010. We develop and test two hypotheses, the overinvestment hypothesis based on agency theory and the conflict–resolution hypothesis based on stakeholder theory. We find that the lag of CSR adversely affects both total compensation and cash compensation, after controlling for various firm and board characteristics. Our estimates show that an interquartile increase in CSR is followed by (...) a 4.35% (2.78%) decrease in total (cash) compensation. We also find an inverse association between lagged employee relations and CEO compensation. Our results are robust to the correction for endogeneity using instrumental variable approach. Taken together, our results support the conflict–resolution hypothesis, but not the CSR overinvestment argument. (shrink)
In this study, we examine the relation between corporate environmental responsibility and risk in U.S. public firms. We develop and test the risk-reduction, resource-constraint, and cross-industry variation hypotheses. Using an extensive U.S. sample during the 1991–2012 period, we find that for U.S. industries as a whole, CER engagement inversely affects firm risk after controlling for various firm characteristics. The result remains robust when we use firm fixed effect or an alternative measure of CER using principal component analysis or downside risk (...) measures. To address the concern of endogeneity bias, we use a system equations approach and dynamic system generalized methods of moment regressions, and continue to find that environmentally responsible firms experience lower risk. These findings support the risk-reduction hypothesis, but not the resource-constraint hypothesis, along with the notion that the top management in U.S. firms is generally risk averse and that their CER engagement facilitates their risk management efforts. Our cross-industry analysis further reveals that the inverse CER-risk association mainly comes from the manufacturing sector, whereas in the service sector, CER tends to increase firm risk. (shrink)
This paper uses an innovative way to screen stocks and analyzes the relationship between corporate environmental responsibility and long-run stock returns. By our definition, an environmentally responsible (green) company gives no environmental concern and shows environmental strength(s). Using 20 years’ data of 1992–2011, we find evidence that environmentally responsible company outperforms, in the 4th to 7th year after the screening year. An equal-weighted environmentally responsible portfolio earned an annual four-factor alpha of 4.06 % in the 4th year, 3.00 % above (...) industry benchmarks, and 3.87 % above characteristic benchmarks. The results are robust to alternative portfolio weighting methodologies, controlling for firm characteristics, and the removal of outliers. Testing using industry-adjusted Tobin’s Q, we find consistent evidence that environmental strength creates firm value. We argue that environmental responsibility is an intangible asset, likely to be undervalued by the market, especially in the long horizon, thereby causing environmentally responsible companies to exhibit long-horizon excess returns. (shrink)
There are numerous traces of Nietzsche's influence in Wang Guowei's "On the Dream of the Red Chamber" even though there is not a single mention of Nietzsche's name in that seminal essay. Nietzschean thought looms large where Wang openly disagrees with or quietly departs from the views of Schopenhauer and, to a lesser extent, those of Kant and Aristotle. His questioning of Schopenhauer's "no-life-ism" harks back to Nietzsche's challenge to Schopenhauer's life-negating ethics. His portrayal of Bao Yu reveals three distinctive (...) character traits of the Nietzschean overman. In particular, the praise of Bao Yu's rebellious character reveals Wang's preference for the iconoclastic Nietzschean overman over the passive Schopenhauerian saint. A strong influence of Nietzsche's views of tragedy may also be observed in Wang's discussion of the tragic form. His modification of Aristotle's catharsis seems to have been made in the spirit of Nietzsche's criticism of its "pathological discharge." His stress on the ultimate salvational function of the Dream strongly reminds us of what Nietzsche has said about the life-saving role of the Dionysian tragedy in the Birth. Finally, in his conditional endorsement of "live-life-ism" we can see a thinly disguised repudiation of the extreme Darwinian tendency he mistakenly reads into Nietzsche's works. It should not be surprising that there are so many echoes of Nietzschean thought in "On the Dream." While writing this essay Wang was deeply occupied with the study of Nietzsche's aesthetic and ethical theories through comparisons with Schopenhauer's. If this influence of Nietzsche can be established on the basis of the evidence given above, there is then a need to reassess Nietzschean thought as a catalyst more important than hitherto thought for the rethinking of traditional Chinese literary and cultural traditions--a broad twentieth-century critical and intellectual trend initiated by none other than Wang's "On the Dream.". (shrink)
Two types of the attentional network, alerting and orienting, help organisms respond to environmental events for survival in the temporal and spatial dimensions, respectively. Here, we applied chromatic flicker beyond the critical fusion frequency to address whether awareness was necessary for activation of the two attentional networks. We found that high-frequency chromatic flicker, despite its failure to reach awareness, produced the alerting and orienting effects, supporting the dissociation between attention and awareness. Furthermore, as the flicker frequency increased, the orienting effect (...) attenuated whereas the alerting effect remained unchanged. According to the systematic decline in temporal frequency sensitivity across the visual hierarchy, this finding suggests that unconscious alerting might be associated with activity in earlier visual areas than unconscious orienting. Since high-frequency flicker has been demonstrated to only activate early visual cortex, we suppose that neural activation in early visual areas might be sufficient to activate the two attentional networks. (shrink)
This article examines the impact of traditional Chinese culture on organ donation from the perspective of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. In each of these cultural systems, it appears that there are some particular sayings or remarks that are often taken in modern Chinese society to be contrary to organ donation, especially cadaveric organ donation. However, this article argues that the central concerns of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism are “great love,” “ren,” and “dao,” which can be reasonably interpreted to support organ (...) donation. The author understands that each cultural system, in order to play its cultural function, must have its central concerns as well as relevant ritual practices (li) that incarnate its religious and ethical commitments. That is, each plays a general cultural role, which influences organ donation in particular not merely through abstract or general ethical principles and teachings, but through a combination of ethical teachings and the forming of particular ritual practices. This article contends that the primary reason Chinese individuals fail to donate sufficient cadaveric organs for transplantation is not because particular remarks or sayings from each of these systems appear to conflict with donation. Neither is it that the central concerns of these systems cannot support cadaveric donation. Rather, it is that modern Chinese individuals have failed to develop and secure relevant ritual practices that support the central concerns of organ transplantation. The article concludes that in order to promote more donations, there is a need to form relevant ritual practices supporting organ donation in conformity with the central concerns of these cultural systems. (shrink)
There are many classical connections between the proof-theoretic strength of systems of arithmetic and the provable totality of recursive functions. In this paper we study the provability strength of the totality of recursive functions by investigating the degree structure induced by the relative provability order of recursive algorithms. We prove several results about this proof-theoretic degree structure using recursion-theoretic techniques such as diagonalization and the Recursion Theorem.
We investigate the “unprovability of unprovability”. Given a sentence P and a fixed base theory T, the unprovability of P is the sentence “\ ”. We show that the unprovability of an unprovable true sentence can be “hard to prove”.
The article explores a gradual refinement of the notion of reflection in Husserlian phenomenology. In his early period, Husserl takes phenomenological reflection to attain adequate evidence, since its object is self-given in an absolute and complete manner. However, this conception of reflection does not remain unchanged. Husserl later realizes that immanent perception or phenomenological reflection also involves a certain horizonality and naivety that has to do with its temporal nature and must be queried in a further critical, apodictic reflection. Focusing (...) more on the notion of apodicticity than adequacy, Husserl subsequently ascribes a new methodological role to reflection: instead of a mere epistemic warrant that guarantees for us the ultimate truth of our experiential life once and for all, phenomenological reflection ensures the strictness of phenomenology insofar as it entails an ethical-existential dimension as the norm of a life-form where the subject pursues full self-understanding and self-justification. (shrink)
The paper presents the prevailing understanding of pre-reflective and reflective experience as a “data-description model”. According to this model, pre-reflective experience is the original datum, the meaning of which is fully determined in the very beginning, whereas reflection is a secondary layer that purports to recover faithfully the meaning of the pre-reflective. The paper spells out the difficulty of this model by looking into the scepticism on reflection. Despite its contribution to explicating the basic level of human consciousness, the data-description (...) model merely attends to the epistemological function of reflection and its orientation towards the past. The aim of the paper is thus to propose an alternative model inspired by the phenomenological-hermeneutical tradition, especially the paradigm of “text” Gadamer and Ricoeur emphasize. By understanding pre-reflective experience as a text, we are able to make explicit the essential role reflection plays for human life and its inherent existential dimension. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThe guiding question of this comparative study is the relation between transcendental theory and common-sense realism: how to understand their compatibility, but also possible tensions between the two. This question concerns, in a broader sense, the relation between philosophy and natural life, or more precisely, what philosophy possibly can and cannot do for natural life. In the following discussion, I first introduce the idealism-realism controversy in Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology. I then move on to McDowell’s theory and look into a significant (...) convergence between the two philosophies, namely, their insistence on the “unboundedness” of subjectivity, and I clarify how this shared viewpoint makes their proposals compatible with common-sense realism. In a third section, I elaborate the relation between a transcendental and a natural stance by turning to Husserl’s method of phenomenological reduction. In the end, by attending to the anti-naturalism of Husserl and McDowell, I wish to shed s... (shrink)
The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study found that even though children from all East Asian countries outperformed American children, American students reported higher self-evaluation of their math and science abilities than did students from East Asian countries such as China, Korea, and Japan (Mullis, Martin, Gonzalez, & Chrostowski, 2004). Such cross-cultural differences in self-appraisal ﬁt the stereotype of the modest East Asian and contribute to the received view that East Asians have less positive self-concepts than Americans. This view (...) was summarized recently by Heine, Lehman, Markus, and Kitayama (1999) as follows: ‘‘The need for positive self-regard, as it is currently conceptualized, is not a universal, but rather is rooted in significant aspects of North American culture’’ (p. 766; but cf. Sedikides, Gaertner, & Vevea. (shrink)
The Daoist religion is an ancient religion that took root and flourished in China's soil. It was created in the time of Emperor Shundi of the Eastern Han dynasty and today claims a history of over 1,800 years. Its philosophical thought—which is a theory of moral and behavioral discipline whose core is a belief in immortals or supernatural beings —derived its origins from what is called "the teachings of Huang [Huangdi, or the Yellow Emperor] and Lao [Lao Zi]." Consequently, it (...) has always made its claim to being the "successor to the cultural influences of Huang and Lao" , and as such is considered to be one of the principle entities of China's traditional culture. In fact, Mr. Lu Xun went as far as to say: "All of China's roots are in the Daoist religion"1 What, however, are the real contents of the Daoist religion? And what are its cultural functions? (shrink)
Previous studies argue that religious firms are more ethical and thus engage less in accrual earnings management. At odds with the ethical view, we use a sample of Chinese listed firms and show that firms in religious regions use more real earnings management. We postulate that besides ethics, religion also proxies for risk aversion, which motivates firms to substitute accrual earnings management with real earnings management. Consistent with this view, we show that the positive association between religiosity and real earnings (...) management is more pronounced for firms with lower litigation risk and for firms with less reputable auditors. In addition, we use a mediation model introduced by Baron and Kenny :1173–1182, 1986) to show that religiosity affects earnings management through the channel of risk aversion. We conclude that firms choose real earnings management over accrual-based earnings management because of risk aversion, rather than ethical reasons. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThis paper examines critically the notion of reflection as self-objectification and points out its insufficiency in accounting for the pathological phenomenon of hyperreflexivity. It proposes an understanding of reflection as situated and motivated from within a world and having a normative aspect that concerns the very life of the reflecting person. On this account, the paper argues, on the one hand, that both phenomenological reflection and hyperreflexivity can be viewed as forms of reflection characterized by loss of the world. On (...) the other hand, by construing the phenomenological loss as imaginative vis-à-vis the real loss of hyperreflexivity, the paper emphasizes a difference between the two domains. (shrink)