I propose that the meanings of vague expressions render the truth conditions of utterances of sentences containing them sensitive to our interests. For example, 'expensive' is analyzed as meaning 'costs a lot', which in turn is analyzed as meaning 'costs significantly greater than the norm'. Whether a difference is a significant difference depends on what our interests are. Appeal to the proposal is shown to provide an attractive resolution of the sorites paradox that is compatible with classical logic and semantics.
Saul Kripke pointed out that whether or not an utterance gives rise to a liar-like paradox cannot always be determined by checking just its form or content.1 Whether or not Jones’s utterance of ‘Everything Nixon said is true’ is paradoxical depends in part on what Nixon said. Something similar may be said about the sorites paradox. For example, whether or not the predicate ‘are enough grains of coffee for Smith’s purposes’ gives rise to a sorites paradox depends at least in (...) part on what Smith’s purposes are. If Smith’s purpose is to make some coffee to drink, so that he can wake up and start his day, then we would be inclined to accept, and would ﬁnd it strange to deny the following sorites sentence. (shrink)
The rash of high-profile accounting frauds involving internal corporate accountants calls into question the individual accountant’s perceptions of the ethical climate within their organization and the limits to which these professionals will tolerate unethical behavior and/or accept it as the norm. This study uses social cognitive theory to examine the antecedents of individual corporate accountant’s perceived personal fit with their organization’s ethical climate and empirically tests how these factors impact organizational attitudes. A survey was completed by 203 corporate accountants to (...) assess their perception of relevant variables. The results of the structural equation model indicate three significant antecedents relating to ethical climate fit: higher internal levels of locus of control; greater numbers of prior job changes; and higher perceptions of an increasingly better fit with the firm’s ethical climate. Our results also indicate that higher levels of perceived fit to the ethical climate of a firm are associated with higher levels of perceived job satisfaction and organizational commitment. We also theorize that perceptions of an organization’s ethical climate may be reflections of client narcissism and serve a potential indicator of fraud risk. This is an important topic of study, since current auditing standards call for auditors to examine organizational attitudes toward fraud, but offer minimal guidance in doing so. (shrink)
This paper explores the psychological phenomena of sex stereotypes and their consequences for the occurrence of sex discrimination in work settings. Differential conceptions of the attributes of women and men are shown to extend to women and men managers, and the lack of fit model is used to explain how stereotypes about women can detrimentally affect their career progress. Commonly-occurring organizational conditions which facilitate the use of stereotypes in personnel decision making are identified and, lastly, data are provided demonstrating the (...) way in which affirmative action programs and practices can act to promote the stereotyping of women suggesting, that rather than being a remedy for sex discrimination, such programs might in fact be another contributor to the problem. Conclusions focus on the importance of attending to the role sex stereotypes play in hindering women's career progress when procedures to combat sex discrimination in organizations are designed and implemented. (shrink)
Dual-process models of cognition suggest that there are two types of thought: autonomous Type 1 processes and working memory dependent Type 2 processes that support hypothetical thinking. Models of creative thinking also distinguish between two sets of thinking processes: those involved in the generation of ideas and those involved with their refinement, evaluation, and/or selection. Here we review dual-process models in both these literatures and delineate the similarities and differences. Both generative creative processing and evaluative creative processing involve elements that (...) have been attributed to each of the dual processes of cognition. We explore the notion that creative thinking may rest upon the nature of a shifting process between Type 1 and Type 2 dual processes. We suggest that a synthesis of the evidence bases on dual-process models of cognition and of creative thinking, together with developing time-based approaches to explore the shifting process, could better inform the development of i.. (shrink)
Francis Bacon (15611626) wrote that good scientists are not like ants (mindlessly gathering data) or spiders (spinning empty theories). Instead, they are like bees, transforming nature into a nourishing product. This essay examines Bacon's "middle way" by elucidating the means he proposes to turn experience and insight into understanding. The human intellect relies on "machines" to extend perceptual limits, check impulsive imaginations, and reveal nature's latent causal structure, or "forms." This constructivist interpretation is not intended to supplant inductivist or experimentalist (...) interpretations, but is designed to explicate Bacon's account of science as a collaborative project with several interdependent methodological goals. (shrink)
The national ethical guidelines relevant to assisted reproductive technology have recently been reviewed by the National Health and Medical Research Council. The review process paid particular attention to the issue of non-medical sex selection, although ultimately, the updated ethical guidelines maintain the pre-consultation position of a prohibition on non-medical sex selection. Whilst this recent review process provided a public forum for debate and discussion of this ethically contentious issue, the Victorian case of JS and LS v Patient Review Panel  (...) VCAT 856 provides a rare instance where the prohibition on non-medical sex selection has been explored by a court or tribunal in Australia. This paper analyses the reasoning in that decision, focusing specifically on how the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal applied the statutory framework relevant to ART and its comparison to other uses of embryo selection technologies. The Tribunal relied heavily upon the welfare-of-the-child principle under the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008. The Tribunal also compared non-medical sex selection with saviour sibling selection. Our analysis leads us to conclude that the Tribunal’s reasoning fails to adequately justify the denial of the applicants’ request to utilize ART services to select the sex of their prospective child. (shrink)
User participation is a critical ingredient for relevant technology development, whether in agriculture or industry. This has long been recognized in private sector R&D firms. In most public sector agricultural research organizations in developing countries, however, systematic involvement of farmers, especially poor farmers, in research has been weak. These farmers are rarely powerful or well organized enough to bring pressure to bear on government agencies to respond to their needs and priorities. Farmer-responsive research methods, such as on-farm research, farming systems (...) research, and farmer participatory research, have been introduced into research organizations to compensate for the lack of mechanisms for bringing farmers' views into the formulation of research priorities and agendas. The impact of these approaches in achieving this objective, however, has been less than hoped for.Insufficient attention to the political and institutional dimensions of developing client-responsive research is a major reason for this lack of impact. To bring about permanent change, farmer-responsive research methods need to be reinforced by changes in the balance of power between research and its clients and in the constellation of decisionmakers responsible for formulating research agendas. Participatory planning methods applied at the level of research programs provide new opportunities for involving farmers in decision-making about program priorities and for systematically incorporating information about client's needs. Recent experiments with strengthening farmers' associations and linking them with research organizations suggest new opportunities for increasing farmers' ability to express demand, act as an external pressure group, and serve as viable partners with research organizations. (shrink)
The instability inherent in the historical inventory of mathematical objects challenges philosophers. Naturalism suggests we can construct enduring answers to ontological questions through an investigation of the processes whereby mathematical objects come into existence. Patterns of historical development suggest that mathematical objects undergo an intelligible process of reification in tandem with notational innovation. Investigating changes in mathematical languages is a necessary first step towards a viable ontology. For this reason, scholars should not modernize historical texts without caution, as the use (...) of anachronistic notation tends to impede, rather than enhance, our ability to recognize the emergent nature of mathematical objects. (shrink)
Iconophobia, literally the fear of religious images, usually occurs in proportion to the powers attributed to them by their believers. In the worst cases, these fears have led to, or coincide with, a cycle of violence that may involve the actual destruction of images (iconoclasm) and of human life. Semiotics helps interpret the interconnectedness of these seemingly separate events. Most iconoclasm involves confusion between the image or sign (such as a statue) and its referent (the actual subject), and a re-encoding (...) of the signified (the meanings assigned to the sign). This article explores four case studies. In the aftermath of iconoclasm, fragments and ruins can be trans-valued as relics, and thus inspire hatred of the perpetrator and sympathy for the group whose sacred precincts have been violated. Or, broken statues may be preserved by a re-encoding as `art'. Yet not only do historical models warn of recurring conditions in which violence may be perpetrated against people and objects, but the more recent examples indicate that even great works of art that capitalist society deems world treasures cannot be taken out of the currency of iconoclastic exchange. (shrink)
The approach to the Gospel of Luke which seemed certain to prevail twenty years ago has been challenged in all its significant features. The crucial questions concerning the critical interpretation of the Third Gospel are waiting new answers.
Human immunodeficiency virus and other sexually transmitted infections significantly burden youth 13–24 years of age in the United States. Directly engaging youth in sexual health research is a public health priority and urgently needed to develop targeted, youth-friendly, and culturally relevant HIV/sti prevention interventions. Controversies arise, however, regarding informed assent and consent, parental permission or consent, and the definition of “child”/“minor” as it relates to medical, legal, and ethical issues. In this article, we describe challenges in the human subjects review (...) processes that were undertaken before beginning an HIV/sti prevention research project with sexually active youth in an urban setting. These findings provide important contextual information to facilitate youth sexual health research and care, and Institutional Review Board approval processes with fewer delays. (shrink)
When rare documents are collected and reprinted as Opere, Oeuvres, and Gesammelte Schriften, new diagrams are introduced. For the most part the new are faithful reproductions of the old. Sometimes, however, editors correct or simplify diagrams. Thus, before one writes, “so-and-so represents the area to be squared by seven parallelograms,” the more meticulous among us make a before-and-after comparison to insure that the “So-and-so” dividing the space is in fact the mathematician under scrutiny, and not some subsequent draftsman. This underlines (...) the importance of the facsimile edition. (shrink)
In this commentary on a previous Ethics and Social Welfare publication, the authors argue that inclusive and expansive dialogue about interprofessional ethics is more a matter of ??revitalizing?? traditional professional ethics than developing a new field. The dialogue will be most productive of care improvements if it incorporates the service user, includes both health and social care professions, and occurs across countries.