In the psychological literature, love is often seen as a construct inseparable from that of close, interpersonal relationships. As a result, it has been often assumed that the same motivational factors underlie both phenomena. This often leads researchers to propose that love does not exist in itself—that it is an emotion which stems solely from a need for attachment, fulfillment of reproductive aims, or for social exchange. The popular cultural imagination, however, perceives love as a unique, mysterious, altruistic, ever-lasting bond (...) between two people—a vision of love which is at odds with its supposed psychological origins. We propose that an ideal of love and its enactment in our culture is a result of two intertwining factors. Within the last few centuries, interpersonal relationships and love have replaced religion as islands of existential comfort. Toward this end, lovers project illusory meaning on their partners. The laborious and turbulent process of withdrawing these projections can lead to what many thinkers think “love” is: bestowal of value on another, and consequent respect for, and care for that person, unmotivated by one's own needs, within the context of a real relationship. (shrink)
What is the strength of anthropological fieldwork when we want to understand human technologies? In this article we argue that anthropological fieldwork can be understood as a process of gaining insight into different contextualisations in practiced places that will open up new understandings of technologies in use, e.g., technologies as multistable ontologies. The argument builds on an empirical study of robots at a Danish rehabilitation centre. Ethnographic methods combined with anthropological learning processes open up new way for exploring how robots (...) enter into professional practices and change values, social relations and materialities. Though substantial funding has been invested in developing health service robots, few studies have been undertaken that explore human-robot interactions as they play out in everyday practice. We argue that the complex learning processes involve not only so-called end-users but also staff, management, doings and discourse in a complex amalgamation of materials and values. (shrink)
This commentary is a response to Spear’s :229–241, 2020) remarks on the difficulty of qualifying confabulations in gaslighting as epistemically innocent. I propose a way to improve on the currently employed definition of epistemic benefit and show that if it is supplemented with a pragmatic and enactive understanding of “epistemic functioning”, we can easily and intuitively grasp why such confabulations are not epistemically beneficial.
Machine learning systems have shown great potential for performing or supporting inferential reasoning through analyzing large data sets, thereby potentially facilitating more informed decision-making. However, a hindrance to such use of ML systems is that the predictive models created through ML are often complex, opaque, and poorly understood, even if the programs “learning” the models are simple, transparent, and well understood. ML models become difficult to trust, since lay-people, specialists, and even researchers have difficulties gauging the reasonableness, correctness, and reliability (...) of the inferences performed. In this article, we argue that bridging this gap in the understanding of ML models and their reasonableness requires a focus on developing an improved methodology for their creation. This process has been likened to “alchemy” and criticized for involving a large degree of “black art,” owing to its reliance on poorly understood “best practices”. We soften this critique and argue that the seeming arbitrariness often is the result of a lack of explicit hypothesizing stemming from an empiricist and myopic focus on optimizing for predictive performance rather than from an occult or mystical process. We present some of the problems resulting from the excessive focus on optimizing generalization performance at the cost of hypothesizing about the selection of data and biases. We suggest embedding ML in a general logic of scientific discovery similar to the one presented by Charles Sanders Peirce, and present a recontextualized version of Peirce’s scientific hypothesis adjusted to ML. (shrink)
Focused on the notion of the threshold of objectivity, my article dissects the empirical mirror-glass of the philosophy of Joseph Melançon. I propose to thrust this emblematic perspective of determinist discourse against the literary turn, acclaimed for its underpinning ambiguous subjectivity – here notably made relevant by Pierre Bourdieu. Both discursive practices complete each other and reject each other in a self-feeding spiral: incessant motivation for a hybrid, vexing study of mutual tensions.
AbstractPressure from the public and non-governmental organisations is pushing lead companies in the cocoa and chocolate sectors towards becoming more environmentally sustainable and socially just. Because of this, several sustainability programmes, certification schemes and delivery initiatives have been introduced. These have changed the relationship between chocolate companies, cocoa exporters, and small-scale farmers. This paper observes how large companies in the cocoa export and consumer markets are shifting away from their traditionally remote position in the cocoa sector. The pressure to ensure (...) sustainability and justice has provoked more mutually dependent relationships with cocoa producers. Our analysis outlines the implications this emerging reconfiguration of global-local relationships has for procedural justice principles of interdependence and refutability, and the distributive justice principles of need and equity. These principles are important because they enable the different dimensions of inclusion: ownership, voice, risk, and reward. This paper highlights and qualifies arrangements surrounding these justice principles that manifest in the way five service delivery initiatives - associated with sustainability programmes and led by major buying companies in Ghana’s cocoa sector – are implemented. We show inclusiveness as an outcome of dynamic global-local relationships that are constantly reworked in response to smallholder farmers’ agency and state regulations. Portraying inclusiveness as an outcome of interactions changes its conceptualisation from a predefined ethical standpoint included in the design of standards to a result of unfolding mutual dependencies, which refashion how inclusive agriculture value chains work. (shrink)
Review of UNCERTAIN ARCHIVES: CRITICAL KEYWORDS FOR BIG DATA EDITED BY NANNA BONDE THYLSTRUP, DANIELA AGOSTINHO, ANNIE RING, CATHERINE D’IGNAZIO AND KRISTIN VEEL CAMBRIDGE: THE MIT PRESS, 2021. 640 PAGES ISBN: 9780262539883.
Maya Zehfuss critiques constructivist theories of international relations (currently considered to be at the cutting edge of the discipline) and finds them wanting and even politically dangerous. Zehfuss uses Germany's first shift toward using its military abroad after the end of the Cold War to illustrate why constructivism does not work and how it leads to particular analytical outcomes and forecloses others. She argues that scholars are limiting their abilities to act responsibly in international relations by looking towards constructivism as (...) the future. (shrink)
Assessments of quality in healthcare often focus on treatment outcome or patient safety, but rarely acknowledge the importance of patients’ encounters with healthcare personnel. The aim of this study was to gain an improved understanding of negative experiences of healthcare encounters by investigating experiences of the general population. A questionnaire was distributed to a randomly selected sample population of 1484 inhabitants in Stockholm County, Sweden. The material was subjected to conventional content analysis. Seventeen different types of complaint about negative encounters (...) were identified, including unpleasant behavior, not being listened to, inadequate information, and discrimination. Two possible underlying explanations are discussed; structural factors relating to the organization and allocation of healthcare, and individual factors relating to the staff’s attitudes and professional practice. The results indicate that different strands of actions are needed to reduce patients’ negative experiences of encounters in healthcare, depending on the setting as well as on which of the two factors predominates. (shrink)
Many countries have included agriculture as one of the sectors where they intend to obtain significant greenhouse gas emission reductions. In Norway, the dairy-beef sector, in particular, has been targeted for considerable emission cuts. Despite publicly expressed interest within the agricultural sector for reducing emissions, significant measures have yet to be implemented. In this paper, we draw on qualitative data from Norway when examining the extent the wider agri-food network around farmers promotes or restrains the transition toward low-emission agricultural production. (...) A qualitative analysis based on interviews with key stakeholders from various parts of the agri-food network of dairy-beef indicates that, if it is up to the dairy-beef system itself, it will develop in the direction of continued increased production volumes and increased efficiency in production, combined with moderate measures to reduce emissions. There is an obvious reluctance to stimulate the consumer demand toward other products or meat products with reduced emissions because such a solution would complicate full exploitation of existing agricultural resources and hence could bring considerable negative economic consequences. Another factor limiting the scope and drive towards a low-carbon production is that the effects of various potential climate measures do not appear as unambiguous. Our study indicates that the dairy-beef sector will likely not reach the goal of reduced emissions from its own initiatives. Rather, significant changes would probably require both push and pull support from forces outside the agricultural system. (shrink)
In 2007 a social scientist and a designer created a spatial installation to communicate social science research about the regulation of emerging science and technology. The rationale behind the experiment was to improve scientific knowledge production by making the researcher sensitive to new forms of reactions and objections. Based on an account of the conceptual background to the installation and the way it was designed, the paper discusses the nature of the engagement enacted through the experiment. It is argued that (...) experimentation is a crucial way of making social science about science communication and engagement more robust. (shrink)
The paper discusses two answers to the question, How to address the harmful effects of technology? The first response proposes a complete separation of science from culture, religion, and ethics. The second response finds harm in the logic and method of science itself. The paper deploys a feminist technoscience approach to overcome these accounts of neutral or deterministic technological agency. In this technoscience perspective, agency is not an attribute of autonomous human users alone but enacted and performed in socio-material configurations (...) of people and technology and their ‘intra-actions’. This understanding of agency is proposed as an alternative that opens up for the reconfiguration of design and use for more ethical effects, such as the cultivation of cognitive justice, the equal treatment and representation of different ways of knowing the world. The implication of this approach is that design becomes an adaptive and ongoing intra-active process in which more desirable configurations of people and technology become possible. (shrink)
The article combines a criticism of public understanding of science with the sociology of expectations to examine how particular expectations toward scientific progress have performative effects for the construction of publics as citizens of science. By analyzing a particular controversy about gene therapy in Denmark, the article demonstrates how different sets of expectations can be used to discriminate among three different assemblages: the assemblage of consumption, the assemblage of comportment, and the assemblage of heroic action. Each of these assemblages makes (...) medical science, scientific citizenship, politics, patients, doctors, and expectations toward the future emerge in particular ways. By their radically different expectations toward science and their different constructions of what it means to be a scientific citizen, the assemblages construct the objectives of the governance of science in three very different ways. (shrink)
Viewed from a certain perspective, nothing can seem more secure than introspection. Consider an ordinary conscious episode—say, your current visual experience of the colour of this page. You can judge, when reflecting on this experience, that you have a visual experience as of something white with black marks before you. Does it seem reasonable to doubt this introspective judgement? Surely not—such doubt would seem utterly fanciful. The trustworthiness of introspection is not only assumed by commonsense, it is also taken for (...) granted by many of theorists about the mind. Within both philosophy and the science of consciousness it is widely held that introspection is generally reliable, at least with respect to the question of one’s current (or immediately prior) conscious states. Without this assumption, we could not make sense of theorists’ widespread use of introspection, both in support of their own position and to undermine that of their opponents. (shrink)
Responsible sustainable consumer behavior involves a complex pattern of environmental and social issues, in line with the view of sustainability as a construct with both environmental and social pillar. So far, environmental dimension was far more researched than social dimension. In this article, we investigate the antecedents of both environmentally and socially RSCB and willingness to behave in environmentally/socially responsible way. We include measures of concern, perceived consumer control/effectiveness, personal/social norms and ethical ideologies/obligation to better explain and extend the traditional (...) theory of planned behavior. Additionally, we test the impact of information availability about environmental or social impact on RSCB. Our findings on a representative sample of 426 respondents show that in general, antecedents of environmentally and socially responsible sustainable consumption are similar in their effect on consumer behavior, with personal norms, concern and ethical ideologies having the strongest impact on RSCB. When comparing both types of behavior, socially responsible behavior is more influenced by perceived behavioral control and possibly social norms than environmentally responsible behavior, while information availability plays its role for both behaviors. Sustainable responsible consumption can be achieved by embracing both dimensions of sustainability and consumers need to have a sense for both social and environmental issues. The complexity and struggles between doing what is good for environment and society could be the reason why consumers have difficulties achieving sustainable responsible consumption. (shrink)
The aim of my paper is to review the discussion concerning various difficulties which surround the definition of depression and the methods of diagnosing and treating the disease against the background of the now dominant reductionist paradigm in psychiatry, as well as to answer the question whether a new approach to psychiatric disorders proposed by philosophers of psychiatry working within the phenomenologically inspired embodied and enactive paradigm indeed offers a solution to these difficulties. I present the issues specific to the (...) subject of depression in light of the more general problems related to biological psychiatry that have recently caused much debate. In the second part of the paper, I consider enactive, phenomenological and embodied theories of depression and the possibilities of new methods of treatment. My goal is to assess whether these theories indeed add anything important to the conceptions that are already present in psychiatry. I conclude that even if the embodied philosophy of psychiatry does not solve many of the problems faced by modern psychiatry, it can, nevertheless, provide a useful theoretical basis for future changes. (shrink)