Kuhn claimed that several algorithms can be defended to select the best theory based on epistemic values such as simplicity, accuracy, and fruitfulness. In a recent paper, Okasha :83–115, 2011) argued that no theory choice algorithm exists which satisfies a set of intuitively compelling conditions that Arrow had proposed for a consistent aggregation of individual preference orderings. In this paper, we put forward a solution to avoid this impossibility result. Based on previous work by Gaertner and Xu, we suggest to (...) view the theory choice problem in a cardinal context and to use a general scoring function defined over a set of qualitative verdicts for every epistemic value. This aggregation method yields a complete and transitive ranking and the rule satisfies all Arrovian conditions appropriately reformulated within a cardinal setting. We also propose methods that capture the aggregation across different scientists. (shrink)
Wulf Gaertner provides a comprehensive account of an important and complex issue within social choice theory: how to establish a social welfare function while restricting the spectrum of individual preferences in a sensible way. Gaertner's starting point is K. J. Arrow's famous 'Impossibility Theorem', which showed that no welfare function could exist if an unrestricted domain of preferences is to be satisfied together with some other appealing conditions. A number of leading economists have tried to provide avenues out of this (...) 'impossibility' by restricting the variety of preferences: here, Gaertner provides a clear and detailed account, using standardized mathematical notation, of well over forty theorems associated with domain conditions. Domain Conditions in Social Choice Theory will be an essential addition to the library of social choice theory for scholars and their advanced graduate students. (shrink)
Joachim Gaertner discusses the tasks of the churches in the making of Europe. He outlines that the implementation and operation of common policies within the European Community will force the churches to Iook for common border-crossing Standpoints on socio-ethical and political issues. The task of forging common positions will certainly be difficult and at times even impossible. Nevertheless the churches must try to tackle this problem. According to Gaertner this requires an instrument of coordination which is authorized and qualified for (...) joint action and is entitled to speak on behalf of the individual churches. (shrink)
Originally published in 1944, this book presents the case for keeping examinations as part of the British school system. Brereton suggests potential reforms and argues that examinations have positive values in 'stimulating pupils and teachers generally, and in co-ordinating the work and aims of schools that might otherwise drift far apart'. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in the debate surrounding the changing role of examinations in British education.
In this cross-cultural exploration of the comparative experiences of Asian and Western women in higher education management, leading feminist theorist Carmen Luke constructs a provocative framework that situates her own standpoint and experiences alongside those of Asian women she studied over a three-year period. She conveys some of the complexity of global sweeps and trends in education and feminist discourse as they intersect with local cultural variations but also dovetail into patterns of regional similarities. Western feminist research has established (...) that relatively few women hold senior positions in universities and colleges. Using the now common metaphor of the "glass ceiling," this research has developed a range of social, cultural, and institutional explanations for women's underrepresentation in academic life. International studies show that women in non-Western countries are also underrepresented in higher education. Yet do Western explanations and strategies for change hold for academic women working in non-Western universities? The very diversity among women's experiences calls into question many of the analytic tools, terms, claims, and solutions formulated by Western feminism. This is the first study to show how cultural differences figure into the institutional dynamics of "glass ceilings." It raises important theoretical and practical, strategic, and tactical questions about issues of cultural difference and institutional power. (shrink)
David DeGrazia’s stated purposes for Taking Animals Seriously are to apply a coherentist methodology to animal ethics, to do the philosophical work necessary for discussing animal minds, and to fill in some of the gaps in the existing literature on animal ethics.
This introductory text explores the theory of social choice. This text is an important starting point for students grappling with the complexities of social choice theory. Rigorous yet accessible, with new chapter exercises, it avoids the use of technical language and provides an up-to-date discussion of this rapidly developing field.
This article describes the nature of animal abuse and the response of the criminal justice system to all cruelty cases prosecuted by the Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals between 1975 and 1996. Dogs were the most common target; when combined with cats, these domestic animals composed the vast majority of incidents. Almost all of these animals were owned, and females were the majority of complainants. Suspects were almost always young males, and most of the time they allegedly (...) shot, beat, stabbed, or threw their victims. Reportedly, adults were more likely than minors to abuse dogs, shoot them, and commit such acts alone rather than in a group, while minors were more likely to abuse cats, beat them, and commit such acts with peers present. Less than half of the alleged abusers were found guilty in court, one-third were fined, less than one-quarter had to pay restitution, one-fifth were put on probation, one-tenth were sent to jail, and an even smaller percent were required to undergo counseling or perform community service. (shrink)
In the field of health technology assessment, there are several approaches that can be used for ethical analysis. However, there is a scarcity of literature that critically evaluates and compares the strength and weaknesses of these approaches when they are applied in practice. In this paper, we analyse the applicability of some selected approaches for addressing ethical issues in HTA in the field of complex health interventions. Complex health interventions have been the focus of methodological attention in HTA. However, the (...) potential methodological challenges for ethical analysis are as yet unknown.Six of the most frequently described and applied ethical approaches in HTA were critically assessed against a set of five characteristics of complex health interventions: multiple and changing perspectives, indeterminate phenomena, uncertain causality, unpredictable outcomes, and ethical complexity. The assessments are based on literature and the authors’ experiences of developing, applying and assessing the approaches.The Interactive, participatory HTA approach is by its nature and flexibility, applicable across most complexity characteristics. Wide Reflective Equilibrium is also flexible and its openness to different perspectives makes it better suited for complex health interventions than more rigid conventional approaches, such as Principlism and Casuistry. Approaches developed for HTA purposes are fairly applicable for complex health interventions, which one could expect because they include various ethical perspectives, such as the HTA Core Model® and the Socratic approach.This study shows how the applicability for addressing ethical issues in HTA of complex health interventions differs between the selected ethical approaches. Knowledge about these differences may be helpful when choosing and applying an approach for ethical analyses in HTA. We believe that the study contributes to increasing awareness and interest of the ethical aspects of complex health interventions in general. (shrink)
I analyze the “Sportsman’s Code,” arguing that several of its rules presuppose a respect for animals that renders hunting a prima facie wrong. I summarize the main arguments used to justify hunting and consider them in relation to the prima facie case against hunting entailed by the sportsman’s code. Sport hunters, I argue, are in a paradoxical position—the more conscientiously they follow the code, themore strongly their behavior exemplifies a respect for animals that undermines the possibilities of justifying hunting altogether. (...) I consider several responses, including embracing the paradox, renouncing the code, and renouncing hunting. (shrink)
This paper studies a ranking rule of the following type axiomatically: each voter places k candidates into n categories with ranks from n to 1 attached to these categories, the candidate(s) with the highest aggregate score is (are) the winner(s). We show that it is characterized by a monotonicity condition and a multi-stage cancellation property.
In Democracy and the Claims of Nature, the leading thinkers in the fields of environmental, political, and social theory come together to discuss the tensions and sympathies of democratic ideals and environmental values. The prominent contributors reflect upon where we stand in our understanding of the relationship between democracy and the claims of nature. Democracy and the Claims of Nature bridges the gap between the often competing ideals of the two fields, leading to a greater understanding of each for the (...) other. (shrink)
Cultural relativism was the subject of a panel presentation at the 2005 meetings of the American Anthropological Association. In 2007, three of the four presentations were published in Anthropological Quarterly. The present article comprises what was presented in the fourth panel presentation, my own, plus a critical realist critique of the other three papers and the discussant's introduction of them. The critical realist method of immanent critique, applied here, reveals the gaps, contradictions and non-sequiturs of cultural relativism, and suggests that (...) the critical realist meta-philosophy of philosopher Roy Bhaskar, sociologist Margaret Archer, and others offers anthropologists a stronger theoretical paradigm from which to operate. (shrink)
In an article from 1973, Rittel and Webber distinguished between “tame” or “benign” problems on the one hand and “wicked” problems on the other. The authors argued that wicked problems occur in nearly all public policy issues. Since different groups adhere to different value-sets, solutions can only be expressed as better or worse. By no means can they be viewed as definitive or objective. In this paper we shall consider, from this very angle, the theory of social choice which is (...) about the aggregation of individual preferences with the aim to derive a consistent social preference. We shall show that collective choice offers wicked problems of various types which differ in their degree of severity. We shall hereby concentrate on welfare functions and voting schemes of different kinds and shall discuss these in the light of various criteria such as Arrow’s independence condition, Condorcet consistency, monotonicity, manipulability, and other properties. (shrink)
Anthropology is the study of humanness, and the tension between cultural particularity and human universals has always enlivened the sub-discipline of ethnology. For example, efforts to show that logic and emotion vary with culture raise meta-theoretical questions of ontology and epistemology. Since the Boazian and Malinowskian revolution, however, the trend has been to delineate humanness in terms suggested by a given people, avoiding the fraught terrain of species ontology. But just as there is a global ecology, so there is a (...) global culture, seen as the sum of human intelligibilia. Linking the two is the central human problem, which evolved consciousness must solve. Critical realism offers a meta-theoretical description of the human-world relation capable of grounding both particular and comparative discussions. This paper uses a critical realist anthropology of consciousness to indicate its ethnological potential. Then by applying the result to two contemporary ethnological statements, by Kirsten Hastrup and Tim Ingold, it explores the approach's practical utility. Essentially, there must be a reality that exists independently of human consciousness, for consciousness evolved. With it emerged morality, and a morally warranted anthropological task is to accurately describe the world's structure as it impinges on any cultural mode of knowing. (shrink)
Micro and small businesses contribute the majority of business activity in the most developed economies. They are typically embedded in local communities and therefore well placed to influence community wellbeing. While there has been considerable theoretical and empirical analysis of corporate citizenship and corporate social responsibility (CSR), the nature of micro-business community responsibility (mBCR) remains relatively under-explored. This article presents findings from an exploratory study of mBCR that examined the approaches, motivations and barriers of this phenomenon. Analysis of data from (...) 36 semi-structured interviews with micro-business owner-operators in the Australian city of Brisbane revealed three mBCR approaches, suggesting an observable mBCR typology. Each mBCR type was at least partly driven by enlightened self-interest (ESI). In addition to a pure ESI approach, findings revealed ESI combined with philanthropic approaches and ESI combined with social entrepreneurial approaches. The combination of doing business and doing good found amongst participants in this study suggests that many micro-business owner-operators are supporters of their local communities and, therefore, driven by more than profit. This study provides a fine-grained understanding of micro-business involvement in community wellbeing through a lens of responsible business behaviour. (shrink)
Cultural relativism was the subject of a panel presentation at the 2005 meetings of the American Anthropological Association. In 2007, three of the four presentations were published in Anthropological Quarterly. The present article comprises what was presented in the fourth panel presentation, my own, plus a critical realist critique of the other three papers and the discussant’s introduction of them. The critical realist method of immanent critique, applied here, reveals the gaps, contradictions and non-sequiturs of cultural relativism, and suggests that (...) the critical realist meta-philosophy of philosopher Roy Bhaskar, sociologist Margaret Archer, and others offers anthropologists a stronger theoretical paradigm from which to operate. (shrink)
We examine individuals’ distributional orderings in a number of contexts. This is done by using a questionnaire-experiment that is presented to respondents in any one of seven “flavors” or interpretations of the basic distributional problem. The flavors include inequality, risk, social welfare and justice.
Actual causes - e.g. Suzy's being exposed to asbestos - often bring about their effects - e.g. Suzy's suffering mesothelioma - probabilistically. I use probabilistic causal models to tackle one of the thornier difficulties for traditional accounts of probabilistic actual causation: namely probabilistic preemption.
This article explores how the press reports nonhuman animal hoarding and hoarders. It discusses how 100 articles from 1995 to the present were content analyzed. Analysis revealed five emotional themes that include drama, revulsion, sympathy, indignation, and humor. While these themes draw readers' attention and make disparate facts behind cases understandable by packaging them in familiar formats, they also present an inconsistent picture of animal hoarding that can confuse readers about the nature and significance of this behavior as well as (...) animal abuse, more generally. (shrink)