This paper examines the foreign direct investment decision from an ethical perspective, and considers the moral agency involved in such decisions, with emphasis upon the corporate decision-maker. Historical capital allocation models once regarded as both financially and ethically normative are shown to be deficient in today's environment. Work of modern western philososphical and theological ethicists is included in analyses of the applicability of selected ethical approaches or metaphors to multinational foreign direct investment decisions and the corporate manager's role and responsibility (...) as corporate decision-maker and moral agent. The ethical perspectives reviewed can serve as an aid to the individual manager's determination of what constitutes a responsible exercise of decision-making power. (shrink)
Patient engagement in healthcare is increasingly discussed in the literature, and initiatives engaging patients in quality improvement activities, organizational design, governance, and research are becoming more and more common and have even become mandatory for certain health institutions. Here we discuss a number of ethical challenges raised by this engagement from patients from the perspectives of research, organizational/quality improvement practices, and patient experiences, while offering preliminary recommendations as to how to address them. We identified three broad categories of ethical issues (...) that intersect between the different types of patient engagement: establishing a shared vision about goals of patient engagement and respective roles; the process and method of engaging with patients; and practical aspects of patient engagement. To explain these issues, we build from our personal, professional, and academic experiences, as well as traditions such as pragmatism and hermeneutics that stress the importance of participation, empowerment, and engagement. Patient engagement can be highly valuable at numerous levels, but particular attention should be paid to the process of engaging with patients and related ethical issues. Some lessons from the literature on the ethics of participatory research can be translated to organizational and quality improvement practices. (shrink)
Although many philosophers argue that making and revising moral decisions ought to be a matter of deliberating over reasons, the extent to which the consideration of reasons informs people’s moral decisions and prompts them to change their decisions remains unclear. Here, after making an initial decision in 2-option moral dilemmas, participants examined reasons for only the option initially chosen(affirming reasons), reasons for only the option not initially chosen (opposing reasons), or reasons for both options. Although participants were more likely to (...) change their initial decisions when presented with only opposing reasons compared with only affirming reasons, these effect sizes were consistently small. After evaluating reasons, participants were significantly more likely not to change their initial decisions than to change them, regardless of the set of reasons they considered. The initial decision accounted for most of the variance in predicting the final decision, whereas the reasons evaluated accounted for a relatively small proportion of the variance in predicting the final decision. This resistance to changing moral decisions is at least partly attributable to a biased, motivated evaluation of the available reasons: participants rated the reasons supporting their initial decisions more favorably than the reasons opposing their initial decisions, regardless of the reported strategy used to make the initial decision.Overall, our results suggest that the consideration of reasons rarely induces people to change their initial decisions in moral dilemmas. (shrink)
Advance care directives for health care have been promoted as a way to improve end-of-life decision making. These documents allow a patient to state, in advance of incapacity, the types of medical treatments they would like to receive, to name a surrogate to make those decisions, or to do both. Although studies have shown that both physicians and patients generally have positive attitudes about the use of these documents, relatively few individuals have actually completed one.What underlies this discrepancy between attitudes (...) and behavior with regard to advance care directives? One obvious explanation is lack of access. Emanuel et al. estimated that approximately 90 percent of the population desire an advance care directive, and they pointed to access as the major barrier. Yet interventions that increase accessibility have typically failed to yield more than a 20 percent completion rate. Thus, it appears that access is not the sole determinant of advance care directive completion. (shrink)
"As the child of refugees of World War II Europe and a renowned philosopher and scholar of propaganda, Jason Stanley has a deep understanding of how democratic societies can be vulnerable to fascism: Nations don't have to be fascist to suffer from fascist politics. In fact, fascism's roots have been present in the United States for more than a century. Alarmed by the pervasive rise of fascist tactics both at home and around the globe, Stanley focuses here on (...) the structures that unite them, laying out and analyzing the ten pillars of fascist politics--the language and beliefs that separate people into an 'us' and a 'them.' He knits together reflections on history, philosophy, sociology, and critical race theory with stories from contemporary Hungary, Poland, India, Myanmar, and the United States, among other nations. He makes clear the immense danger of underestimating the cumulative power of these tactics, which include exploiting a mythic version of a nation's past; propaganda that twists the language of democratic ideals against themselves; anti-intellectualism directed against universities and experts; law and order politics predicated on the assumption that members of minority groups are criminals; and fierce attacks on labor groups and welfare. These mechanisms all build on one another, creating and reinforcing divisions and shaping a society vulnerable to the appeals of authoritarian leadership. By uncovering disturbing patterns that are as prevalent today as ever, Stanley reveals that the stuff of politics--charged by rhetoric and myth--can quickly become policy and reality. Only by recognizing fascists politics, he argues, may we resist its most harmful effects and return to democratic ideals."--Jacket. (shrink)
��This paper investigates how an evolutionary al- gorithm with an indirect encoding exploits the property of phenotypic regularity, an important design principle found in natural organisms and engineered designs. We present the ﬁrst comprehensive study showing that such phenotypic regularity enables an indirect encoding to outperform direct encoding con- trols as problem regularity increases. Such an ability to produce regular solutions that can exploit the regularity of problems is an important prerequisite if evolutionary algorithms are to scale to high-dimensional real-world (...) problems, which typically contain many regularities, both known and unrecognized. The indirect encoding in this case study is HyperNEAT, which evolves artiﬁcial neural networks (ANNs) in a manner inspired by concepts from biological development. We demonstrate that, in contrast to two direct encoding controls, HyperNEAT produces both regular behaviors and regular ANNs, which enables HyperNEAT to signiﬁcantly outperform the direct encodings as regularity increases in three problem domains. We also show that the types of regularities HyperNEAT produces can be biased, allowing domain knowledge and preferences to be injected into the search. Finally, we examine the downside of a bias toward regularity. Even when a solution is mainly regular, some irregularity may be needed to perfect its functionality. This insight is illustrated by a new algorithm called HybrID that hybridizes indirect and direct encodings, which matched HyperNEAT’s performance on regular problems yet outperformed it on problems with some irregularity. HybrID’s ability to improve upon the performance of HyperNEAT raises the question of whether indirect encodings may ultimately excel not as stand-alone algorithms, but by being hybridized with a further process of reﬁnement, wherein the indirect encoding produces patterns that exploit problem regu-. (shrink)
This paper is a companion piece to my earlier paper “Fallibilism and Concessive Knowledge Attributions”. There are two intuitive charges against fallibilism. One is that it countenances the truth (and presumably acceptability) of utterances of sentences such as “I know that Bush is a Republican, though it might be that he is not a Republican”. The second is that it countenances the truth (and presumably acceptability) of utterances of sentences such as “I know that Bush is a Republican, even though (...) I’m not certain that he is”, or “I know that Bush it a Republican, even though it isn’t certain that he is.” In “Fallibilism and Concessive Knowledge Attributions”, I argue that fallibilism in epistemology does not countenance the truth of utterances of sentences such as “I know that Bush is a Republican, though it might be that he is not a Republican”. In this paper, I argue that there are independent reasons for thinking that utterances of sentences such as “I know that Bush is a Republican, though I’m not certain that he is” and “I know that Bush is a Republican, though it’s not certain that he is” are unassertible. More specifically, I argue that these are simply instances of Moore’s Paradox, such as “Dogs bark, but I don’t know that they do.” The right account of Moore’s Paradox does not involve the falsehood of the semantic content of the relevant utterances, but rather their pragmatic unacceptability. So the anti-fallibilist intuitions turn out to have pragmatic, rather than semantic import, and therefore do not tell against the truth of fallibilism. Fallibilism in epistemology is often thought to be theoretically desirable, but intuitively problematic. My purpose with these two papers is to show that fallibilism is not intuitively problematic. (shrink)
Stanley Cavell and English Romanticism serves as both introduction to Cavell for Romanticists, and to the larger question of what philosophy means for the reading of literature, as well as to the importance and relevance of Romantic literature to Cavell's thought. Illustrated through close readings of Wordsworth and Shelley, and extended discussions of Emerson and Thoreau as well as Cavell, Duffy proposes a Romanticism of persisting cultural relevance and truly trans-Atlantic scope. The turn to romanticism of America's most distinguished (...) "ordinary-language" philosopher is shown to be tied to the neo-Romantic claim that far from being merely an illustrator of the truths discovered by philosophy, poetry is its equal partner in the instituting of knowledge. This book will be vital reading for anyone interested in Romanticism, Stanley Cavell and the ever-deepening connections between literature and philosophy. (shrink)
Introduction -- The use and abuse of "use and abuse" -- The pleasures of the canon -- What isn't literature -- What's love got to do with it? -- So you want to read a poem -- Why literature is always contemporary -- On truth and lie in a literary sense -- Go figure -- The impossibility of closure -- Coda: after the humanities.
He had made it all up, he said, and gloated that his "prank" proved that sociologists and humanists who spoke of science as a "social construction" didn't know what they were talking about. Acknowledging the ethical issues raised by his deception, Professor Sokal declared it justified by the importance of the truths he was defending from postmodernist attack: "There is a world; its properties are not merely social constructions; facts and evidence do matter. What sane person would contend otherwise?".