This paper examines potential predictors of ethical decisions regarding insider trading. An interactionist perspective is taken, in which person variables, situational variables, and the interaction of these two sets of variables are viewed as influencing ethical decisions. The results of our study support such a perspective. Ethical decisions regarding insider trading appear to be a function of a complex set of interacting variables related to both the person and the situation. The implications of these findings are discussed.
On-line mechanisms in the processing of anaphora were investigated in two reading experiments. Short German texts were presented incrementally for self-paced reading, and inspection times were recorded for every single word. Each text contained a critical two-clause sentence with an elliptical gap and a personal pronoun. In the first experiment, varying the surface structure of the antecedent clause affected inspection times for the anaphor clause as a whole. In the second experiment, varying the semantic structure of the antecedent affected antecedent (...) but not anaphor inspection times. The findings are not in agreement with the view that anaphor resolution is an exclusively retroactive process triggered on encountering the anaphor. Rather, the results suggest that anaphor resolution includes proactive subprocesses: foundations for interpreting anaphora yet to come are laid during reading the antecedent. (shrink)
Kelsen's monistic theory of international law was shaped during his exile in Geneva, but its deep roots are to be found in his Pure Theory of Law, centred on the neo-Kantian notion of “system.” According to this conception, a legal system can only descend from a single principle. Consequently, Kelsen constructed a monistic theory of law, i.e., a legal system incorporating all norms into a pyramidal structure culminating in a single principle: the fundamental norm. This Kelsenian pyramid must also include (...) international law, considering that if international law were a legal system different from national law, the theoretical construction would need two fundamental norms. This dualism is as incompatible with Kelsen's monistic vision as Schmitt's theory of “Great Spaces,” creating a hierarchical system of international relations. In the Kelsenian pyramid, international law occupies a position superior to national law: The consequences of this assumption are discussed in some documents recently published in German and French. (shrink)
Desde que su mentor, Norberto Bobbio, le encargara la traducción de la segunda edición de la Teoría pura del derecho, la carrera de Mario G. Losano ha sido tan larga como polifacética. En esta entrevista, conversamos sobre su formación y sobre el contexto cultural que envolvió el inicio de su carrera académica en Italia. Posteriormente, nos centramos en dos de los principales temas de su producción académica. Por un lado, profundizamos en sus estudios kelsenianos, destacando el enfoque histórico que (...) caracteriza su aproximación a los problemas iusfilosóficos. Y, por otro lado, abordamos el asunto de los orígenes y el desarrollo de la informática jurídica, de la cual el profesor Losano ha sido un destacado precursor. (shrink)
Responsible Robotics is about developing robots in ways that take their social implications into account, which includes conceptually framing robots and their role in the world accurately. We are now in the process of incorporating robots into our world and we are trying to figure out what to make of them and where to put them in our conceptual, physical, economic, legal, emotional and moral world. How humans think about robots, especially humanoid social robots, which elicit complex and sometimes disconcerting (...) reactions, is not predetermined. The animal–robot analogy is one of the most commonly used in attempting to frame interactions between humans and robots and it also tends to push in the direction of blurring the distinction between humans and machines. We argue that, despite some shared characteristics, when it comes to thinking about the moral status of humanoid robots, legal liability, and the impact of treatment of humanoid robots on how humans treat one another, analogies with animals are misleading. (shrink)
A critically important ethical issue facing the AI research community is how AI research and AI products can be responsibly conceptualised and presented to the public. A good deal of fear and concern about uncontrollable AI is now being displayed in public discourse. Public understanding of AI is being shaped in a way that may ultimately impede AI research. The public discourse as well as discourse among AI researchers leads to at least two problems: a confusion about the notion of (...) ‘autonomy’ that induces people to attribute to machines something comparable to human autonomy, and a ‘sociotechnical blindness’ that hides the essential role played by humans at every stage of the design and deployment of an AI system. Here our purpose is to develop and use a language with the aim to reframe the discourse in AI and shed light on the real issues in the discipline. (shrink)
The concept of agency as applied to technological artifacts has become an object of heated debate in the context of AI research because some AI researchers ascribe to programs the type of agency traditionally associated with humans. Confusion about agency is at the root of misconceptions about the possibilities for future AI. We introduce the concept of a triadic agency that includes the causal agency of artifacts and the intentional agency of humans to better describe what happens in AI as (...) it functions in real-world contexts. We use the VW emission fraud case to explain triadic agency since in this case a technological artifact, namely software, was an essential part of the wrongdoing and the software might be said to have agency in the wrongdoing. We then extend the case to include futuristic AI, imagining AI that becomes more and more autonomous. (shrink)
Abstract We examine the construction of electromagnetism in its current form, and in an alternative form, from a point of view that combines a minimal realism with strict rational demands. We begin by discussing the requests of reason when constructing a theory and next, we follow the historical development as presented in the record of original publications, the underlying epistemology (often explained by the authors) and the mathematical constructions. The historical construction develops along socio-political disputes (mainly, the reunification of Germany (...) and the second industrial revolution), epistemic disputes (at least two demarcations of science in conflict) and several theories of electromagnetism. Such disputes resulted in the militant adoption of the ether by some, a position that expanded in parallel with the expansion of Prussia. This way of thinking was facilitated by the earlier adoption of a standpoint that required, as a condition for understanding, the use of physical hypothesis in the form of analogies; an attitude that is antithetic to Newton's “hypotheses non fingo”. While the material ether was finally abandoned, the epistemology survived in the form of “substantialism” and a metaphysical ether: the space. The militants of the ether attributed certainties regarding the ether to Faraday and Maxwell, when they only expressed doubts and curiosity. Thus, the official story is not the real history. This was achieved by the operation of detaching Maxwell's electromagnetism from its construction and introducing a new game of formulae and interpretations. Large and important parts of Maxwell work are today not known, as for example, the rules for the transformation of the electromagnetic potentials between moving systems. When experiments showed that all the theories based in the material ether were incorrect, a new interpretation was offered: Special Relativity (SR). At the end of the transformation period a pragmatic view of science, well adapted to the industrial society, had emerged, as well as a new protagonist: the theoretical physicist. The rival theory of delayed action at distance initiated under the influence of Gauss was forgotten in the midst of the intellectual warfare. The theory is indistinguishable in formulae from Maxwell's and its earlier versions are the departing point of Maxwell for the construction of his equations. We show in a mathematical appendix that such (relational) theory can incorporate Lorentz' contributions as well as Maxwell's transformations and C. Neumann's action, without resource to the ether. Demarcation criteria was further changed at the end of the period making room for habits and intuitions. When these intuited criteria are examined by critical reason (seeking for the fundaments) they can be sharpened with the use of the Non Arbitrariness Principle, which throws light over the arbitrariness in the construction of SR. Under a fully rational view SR is not acceptable, it requires to adopt a less demanding epistemology that detaches the concept from the conception, such as Einstein's own view in this respect, inherited from Hertz. In conclusion: we have shown in this relevant exercise how the reality we accept depends on earlier, irrational, decisions that are not offered for examination but rather are inherited from the culture. (shrink)
Next SectionMonicelli's suicide has reawakened a political and legal dispute about the medical role in end-of-life decisions, allowing us to discuss medical, ethical, legal, religious and political debate in various paradigmatic conscious and unconscious cases of end-of-life decision. We analyse the uncertainty about the ‘a priori’ choice between different specific legislative systems, highlighting the need for a unifying model, dictated by the existing trust in the critical relationship between patient and doctor, whose primary mission should be not only ‘to cure’ (...) but also ‘to care’. (shrink)
The problem of assessing the sustainability of human development is discussed in theoretical and practical terms.In Part I, two theoretical tools for describing the challenge of assessing sustainable development are introduced and briefly discussed: (i) the use of an energetic model to describe the dynamic interaction between the human and the biophysical compartment; (ii) basic concepts derived from the hierarchy theory applied to the development of human society. Sustainable and ethical development of human society requires the consideration of three hierarchical (...) levels: the biosphere, the societal and the individual level. Such a holistic assessment can be obtained by integrating scientific and ethical considerations. (shrink)
A Second level Master in “Clinical Bioethics Consultation” has been organized in Italy to offer an opportunity to offer an adequate training to carry out an ethics consultation in different health fields. The master has been promoted and realized by different institutions: Catholic University of Sacred Hearth in Rome, Insubria University in Varese, “Federico II” University in Naples, Lanza Foundation in Padua and the Local Health and Social Care Unit n.7 in Veneto Region. The aim of the master is train (...) ethics consultants to offer help regarding a correct decision, which will take by others. The choice must be as much as possible shared between patient, family and health care team. Ethics consultation can be primarily request by the physicians, nurses and health care staff such as support about a choice that wants to be the most appropriate and to clarify a dilemma between different options. Secondly an ethics consultation can be demand by the patient and the family members to find a clarification about their dilemmas and future choices. Also the administrative staff could ask the consultation, when it need to better explain ad example about a specific clinical case or a question concerned the health policy. (shrink)
The five of us research and teach risk analysis with an eye towards decision support. Our work has been dedicated to taming risks and helping to make challenging decisions. But nothing had prepared us for the Covid-19 pandemic. We first had to grapple with the news coming from abroad, including, for some of us, our home countries. Then, some information and research, but mostly opinions, started coming in from our academic community, and we felt the tensions. Finally, the UK went (...) into an unofficial and then official lockdown, and all University staff were asked to redirect their research capacity so as to support the national effort for risk analysis and decision support. As we write this on the 20th of April, many countries, including the UK, are starting to consider how to get out of lockdown. Like the previous stages of the pandemic, there is little data, perhaps a bit more research, surely many more opinions, and definitely an overwhelming amount of personal experiences and thoughts. Here we reflect on all of the above, just in case it can help the readers of this Minds in Society flash editorial to think and act, or at least, to not have to do so entirely on their own. As it can be expected, our collage introduces more questions than it can answer. (shrink)
Let M be an o-minimal expansion of a real closed field. Let G be a definably compact definably connected abelian n-dimensional group definable in M. We show the following: the o-minimal fundamental group of G is isomorphic to ℤn; for each k>0, the k-torsion subgroup of G is isomorphic to n, and the o-minimal cohomology algebra over ℚ of G is isomorphic to the exterior algebra over ℚ with n generators of degree one.