It is common in political theory and practice to challenge normatively ambitious proposals by saying that their fulfillment is not feasible. But there has been insufficient conceptual exploration of what feasibility is, and very little substantive inquiry into why and how it matters for thinking about social justice. This paper provides one of the first systematic treatments of these issues, and proposes a dynamic approach to the relation between justice and feasibility that illuminates the importance of political imagination and dynamic (...) duties to expand agents’ power to fulfill ambitious principles of justice. (shrink)
Do we have positive duties to help others in need or are our moral duties only negative, focused on not harming them? Are any of the former positive duties, duties of justice that respond to enforceable rights? Is their scope global? Should we aim for global equality besides the eradication of severe global poverty? Is a humanist approach to egalitarian distribution based on rights that all human beings as such have defensible, or must egalitarian distribution be seen in an associativist (...) way, as tracking existing frameworks such as statehood and economic interdependence? Are the eradication of global poverty and the achievement of global equality practically feasible or are they hopelessly utopian wishes? -/- This book argues that there are basic positive duties of justice to help eradicate severe global poverty; that global egalitarian principles are also reasonable even if they cannot be fully realized in the short term; and that there are dynamic duties to enhance the feasibility of the transition from global poverty to global equality in the face of nonideal circumstances such as the absence of robust international institutions and the lack of a strong ethos of cosmopolitan solidarity. The very notion of feasibility is crucial for normative reasoning, but has received little explicit philosophical discussion. This book offers a systematic exploration of that concept as well as of its application to global justice. It also arbitrates the current debate between humanist and associativist accounts of the scope of distributive justice. Drawing on moral contractualism (the view that we ought to follow the principles that no one could reasonably reject), this book provides a novel defense of humanism, challenges several versions of associativism (which remains the most popular view among political philosophers), and seeks to integrate the insights underlying both views. (shrink)
This paper examines employees’ reactions to Corporate Social Responsibility programs at the attitudinal level. The results presented are drawn from an in-depth study of two Chilean construction firms that have well-established CSR programs. Grounded theory was applied to the data prior to the construction of the conceptual framework. The analysis shows that the implementation of CSR programs generates two types of attitudes in employees: attitudes toward the organization and attitudes toward society. These two broad types of attitudes can then be (...) broken down into four different categories : acceptance of the new role of the organization, identification with the organization, importance attached to the work performed and a sense of social justice. In turn, each of these categories is a grouping of many different concepts, some of which have at first sight little to do with CSR. Finally, the analysis reveals an attitudinal employee typology: the committed worker, the indifferent worker, and the dissident worker. (shrink)
Michel Janssen and Harvey Brown have driven a prominent recent debate concerning the direction of an alleged arrow of explanation between Minkowski spacetime and Lorentz invariance of dynamical laws in special relativity. In this article, I critically assess this controversy with the aim of clarifying the explanatory foundations of the theory. First, I show that two assumptions shared by the parties—that the dispute is independent of issues concerning spacetime ontology, and that there is an urgent need for a constructive interpretation (...) of special relativity—are problematic and negatively affect the debate. Second, I argue that the whole discussion relies on a misleading conception of the link between Minkowski spacetime structure and Lorentz invari-ance, a misconception that in turn sheds more shadows than light on our understand-ing of the explanatory nature and power of Einstein’s theory. I state that the arrow connecting Lorentz invariance and Minkowski spacetime is not explanatory and uni-directional, but analytic and bidirectional, and that this analytic arrow grounds the chronogeometric explanations of physical phenomena that special relativity offers. (shrink)
In 2006, this journal addressed the problem of technological artefacts, and through a series of articles aimed at tackling the ‘dual nature of technical artefacts’, posited an understanding of these as constituted by both a structural and a functional component. This attempt to conceptualise artefacts established a series of important questions, concerning such aspects of material technologies as mechanisms, functions, human intentionality, and normativity. However, I believe that in establishing the ‘dual nature’ thesis, the authors within this issue focused too (...) strongly on technological function. By positing function as the analytic axis of the ‘dual nature’ framework, the theorists did not sufficiently problematise what is ultimately a social phenomenon. Here I posit a complementary analytic approach to this problem; namely, I argue that by using the Strong Programme’s performative theory of social institutions, we can better understand the nature of material technologies. Drawing particularly from Martin Kusch’s work, I here argue that by conceptualising artefacts as artificial kinds, we can better examine technological ontology, functions, and normativity. Ultimately, a Strong Programme approach, constructivist and collectivist in nature, offers a useful elaboration upon the important question raised by the ‘dual nature’ theorists.Keywords: Technological artefacts; Dual nature; Technological functions; Normativity of artefacts; Performative theory of social institutions. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the virtue of temperance as a moral competence in professional performance. The analysis relies on three different streams of literature: virtue ethics, positive psychology and competency-based management. The paper analyzes how temperance is defined in each of these perspectives. The paper proposes an integrative definition of temperance as “moral competence” and summarizes behaviors in business environments in which temperance plays a role.
It is often assumed that the supervaluationist theory of vagueness is committed to a global notion of logical consequence, in contrast with the local notion characteristic of modal logics. There are, at least, two problems related to the global notion of consequence. First, it brings some counterexamples to classically valid patterns of inference. Second, it is subject to an objection related to higher-order vagueness . This paper explores a third notion of logical consequence, and discusses its adequacy for the supervaluationist (...) theory. The paper proceeds in two steps. In the first step, the paper provides a deductive notion of consequence for global validity using the tableaux method. In the second step, the paper provides a notion of logical consequence which is an alternative to global validity, and discusses i) whether it is acceptable to the supervaluationist and ii) whether it plays a better role in a theory of vagueness in the face of the problems related to the global notion. (shrink)
Paraconsistent approaches have received little attention in the literature on vagueness (at least compared to other proposals). The reason seems to be that many philosophers have found the idea that a contradiction might be true (or that a sentence and its negation might both be true) hard to swallow. Even advocates of paraconsistency on vagueness do not look very convinced when they consider this fact; since they seem to have spent more time arguing that paraconsistent theories are at least as (...) good as their paracomplete counterparts, than giving positive reasons to believe on a particular paraconsistent proposal. But it sometimes happens that the weakness of a theory turns out to be its mayor ally, and this is what (I claim) happens in a particular paraconsistent proposal known as subvaluationism. In order to make room for truth-value gluts subvaluationism needs to endorse a notion of logical consequence that is, in some sense, weaker than standard notions of consequence. But this weakness allows the subvaluationist theory to accommodate higher-order vagueness in a way that it is not available to other theories of vagueness (such as, for example, its paracomplete counterpart, supervaluationism). (shrink)
This Guide is designed to restore the theological background that informs Kant’s treatment of grace in Religion to its rightful place. This background is essential not only to understand the nature of Kant’s overall project in this book, namely, to determine the “association” or “union” between Christianity (as a historical faith) and rational religion, but also to dispel the impression of “internal contradictions” and conundrums” that contemporary interpreters associate with Kant’s treatment of grace and moral regeneration. That impression, we argue, (...) is the result of entrenched interpretative habits that can be traced back to Karl Barth’s reading of the text. Once we realize that such a reading rests on a mistake, much of the anxiety and confusion that plague current discussions on these issues can be put to rest. (shrink)
Most research studying the corporate social performance –corporate financial performance link has utilized developed country samples. Also, this literature has generally focused on a wide variety of industries, ignoring the fact that certain sectors – such as controversial industries – have graver social and environmental issues. Hence, a gap exists in this tradition when it comes to emerging markets and controversial industries. This paper attempts to fill this void by providing preliminary evidence and insight on the matter. Based on an (...) exploration in six Latin American countries and five controversial industries, we find a negative bidirectional association between CSP and CFP. These results tend to contradict the mainstream conclusion of a positive bidirectional link, suggesting that institutional and market-level forces play a major role in shaping this relationship. (shrink)
A commitment to ‘making’—creating or producing things—can shape scientific and technological fields in important ways. This article demonstrates this by exploring synthetic biology, a field committed to making use of advanced techniques from molecular biology in order to make with living matter. I describe and analyse how this field’s ‘drive to make’ shapes its organisational, methodological, epistemological, and ontological character. Synthetic biologists’ ambition to make helps determine how their field demarcates itself, sets appropriate methods and practices, construes the purpose and (...) character of knowledge, and views the things of the living world. Using empirical data from extensive ethnographic and interview-based research, I discuss the importance of seemingly simple and unimportant commitments—in this case, a focus on the making of things rather than the production of knowledge claims. I conclude by examining the ramifications of this line of research for studies of science and technology. (shrink)
The continental drift controversy has been deeply analysed in terms of rationalist notions, which seem to find there a unique topic to describe the weight of evidence for reaching consensus. In that sense, many authors suggest that Alfred Wegener’s theory of the original supercontinent Pangea and the subsequent continental displacements finally reached a consensus when irrefutable evidence became available. Therefore, rationalist approaches suggest that evidence can be enough by itself to close scientific controversies. In this article I analyse continental drift (...) debates from a different perspective which is based on styles of thought. I’ll argue that continental drift debate took much longer than it was usually recognized with two styles of thought coexisting for hundreds of years. These were fixism and mobilism and they were always confronting their own evidence and interpretations and functioning as general frameworks for the acceptability of a specific theory. Therefore, this text aims to bring much broader sociological elements than usually involved in the analysis of the continental drift theory. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that both perdurance theory and the ‘relations-to-times’ endurantist view rely on an atemporal notion of property instantiation and relation bearing. I distinguish two possible meanings of ‘atemporal’ which result in two different understandings of what it is for an object to have a property or to bear a relation atemporally. I show that standard presentations of the theories considered are indeterminate as to which of these two understandings is the intended one. I claim that even (...) if both understandings are admissible, one of them is more attractive and has more to recommend than the other. (shrink)
Synthetic biology, an emerging field of science and technology, intends to make of the natural world a substrate for engineering practice. Drawing inspiration from conventional engineering disciplines, practitioners of synthetic biology hope to make biological systems standardized, calculable, modular, and predictably functional. This essay develops a Heideggerian reading of synthetic biology as a useful perspective with which to identify and explore key facets of this field, its knowledge, its practices, and its products. After overviews of synthetic biology and Heidegger’s account (...) of technology, I discuss calculability, utility, function, setting-upon, and ordering, with the aim of discussing the manner in which synthetic biology works to render the biological world intelligible as something to be used, rather than something that is in and of itself. Having developed this Heideggerian reading, I proffer a number of corrections to his account that enable a more accurate, nuanced understanding of synthetic biology. Specifically, I discuss the notion of Ge-stell and submit that multiple systems of “enframing” may help to make Heidegger’s argument more robust. I suggest that synthetic biology may work to reveal the natural world as a standing-reserve of function. (shrink)
This paper aims to offer an account of affective experiences within Predictive Processing, a novel framework that considers the brain to be a dynamical, hierarchical, Bayesian hypothesis-testing mechanism. We begin by outlining a set of common features of affective experiences that a PP-theory should aim to explain: feelings are conscious, they have valence, they motivate behaviour, and they are intentional states with particular and formal objects. We then review existing theories of affective experiences within Predictive Processing and delineate two families (...) of theories: Interoceptive Inference Theories and Error Dynamics Theories. We highlight the strengths and shortcomings of each family of theories and develop a synthesis: the Affective Inference Theory. Affective Inference Theory claims that valence corresponds to the expected rate of prediction error reduction. In turn, the particular object of a feeling is the object predicted to be the most likely cause of expected changes in prediction error rate, and the formal object of a feeling is a predictive model of the expected changes in prediction error rate caused by a given particular object. Finally, our theory shows how affective experiences bias action selection, directing the organism towards allostasis and towards optimal levels of uncertainty in order to minimise prediction error over time. (shrink)
Can we develop a definition of power that is satisfactorily determinate but also enables rather than foreclose important substantive debates about how power relations proceed and should proceed in social and political life? I present a broad definition of agential power that meets these desiderata. On this account, agents have power with respect to a certain outcome (including, inter alia, the shaping of certain social relations) to the extent that they can voluntarily determine whether that outcome occurs. This simple definition (...) generates a surprisingly complex agenda for substantive research. It is quite fruitful for both descriptive and normative purposes-or so this paper argues. The broad account of agential power offered here is partly developed through a critical engagement with Rainer Forst's important recent account of "noumenal power.". (shrink)
To be justifiable, the demands of a conception of human rights and global justice must be such that (a) they focus on the protection of important human interests, and (b) their fulfilment is feasible. I discuss the feasibility condition. I present a general account of the relation between moral desirability, feasibility and obligation within a conception of justice. I analyse feasibility, a complex idea including different types, domains and degrees. It is possible to respond in various ways if the fulfilment (...) of basic socioeconomic human rights against severe poverty seems at first to be infeasible. (shrink)
Practices related to research misconduct seem to have been multiplied in recent years. Many cases of scientific fraud have been exposed publicly, and journals and academic institutions have deployed different measures worldwide in this regard. However, the influence of specific social and cultural environments on scientific fraud may vary from society to society. This article analyzes how scientists in Japan deal with accusations of scientific fraud. For such a purpose, a series of scientific fraud cases that took place in Japan (...) has been reconstructed through diverse sources. Thus, by analyzing those cases, the social basis of scientific fraud and the most relevant aspects of Japanese cultural values and traditions, as well as the concept of honour which is deeply involved in the way Japanese scientists react when they are accused of and publicly exposed in scientific fraud situations is examined. (shrink)
This paper presents a substantivist construal of discourse ethics, which claims that we should see our engagement in public deliberation as expressing and elaborating a substantive commitment to basic moral ideas of solidarity, equality, and freedom. This view is different from Habermas's standard formalist defence of discourse ethics, which attempts to derive the principle of discursive moral justification from primarily non-moral presuppositions of rational argumentation as such. After explicating the difference between the substantivist and the formalist construal, I defend the (...) former by showing that it is not only intuitively compelling, but also particularly well equipped for addressing four important objections recently levelled against discourse ethics and its political applications. I conclude by pointing out some consequences of the previous discussion for the future of Critical Theory. (shrink)
Is democracy a human right? There is a growing consensus within international legal and political practice that the answer is “Yes.” However, some philosophers doubt that we should see democracy as a human right. In this paper I respond to the most systematic challenge presented so far, which was recently offered by Joshua Cohen. His challenge is directed to the view that democracy is a human right, not to the view that democracy is part of what justice demands. It is (...) instructive because it forces us to consider important questions about the nature and justification of human rights, including the putative human right to democracy. There is a tendency to see every claim of justice as a human right, and Cohen presses us to face the risk that this slip may occur in the case of democracy. Thus my aim is not simply to refute Cohen’s arguments but to engage the questions he forcefully and helpfully puts on the table. I start in section 2 by analyzing Cohen’s account of human rights. In section 3 I defend the human right to democracy against his challenge. I conclude in section 4 by articulating some reasons for the claim that democracy is a human right that mobilize and elaborate on some of Cohen’s own key premises. (shrink)
Developing critical thinking ability is one of the main goals of medical education, in part because it enhances clinical reasoning, a vital competence in clinical practice. However, there is limited evidence suggesting ways to effectively teach critical thinking in the classroom. Here, we describe the use of a drama-based critical thinking classroom scenario. The study used a mixed-methods approach with both quantitative and qualitative analysis of questionnaire responses. Ninety-one medical students in Colombia were asked to identify and evaluate arguments regarding (...) a dilemma between ethics, social responsibility and scientific work presented in the play Should’ve by the Nobel laureate Roald Hoffmann. Chi square analyses of responses to closed-ended questions showed that the drama-based classroom scenario provided learners with opportunities to make decisions, and to identify and evaluate arguments from the play. Qualitative analysis of responses to open-ended questions confirmed these findings and illustrated the processes underlying the decisions. Students were able to evaluate arguments in an impartial way. Our findings support the use of drama-based scenarios in the classroom as an approach to fostering medical students’ critical thinking. This approach could contribute to a classroom pedagogy in which all students have an active role in responding to controversial questions, evaluating arguments and critically responding. This would support the development of critical thinking and promote deeper understanding of the dilemmas involved in scientific work. (shrink)
Little is known about employee reactions in the form of un/ethical behavior to perceived acts of unfairness toward their peers perpetrated by the supervisor. Based on prior work suggesting that third parties also make fairness judgments and respond to the way employees are treated, this study first suggests that perceptions of interactional justice for peers (IJP) lead employees to two different responses to injustice at work: deviant workplace behaviors (DWBs) and organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs). Second, based on prior literature pointing (...) to supervisors as among the most important sources of moral guidance at work, a mediating role is proposed for ethical leadership. The article suggests that supervisors who inflict acts of injustice on staff will be perceived as unethical leaders, and that these perceptions would explain why employees react to IJP in the form of deviance (DWBs) and citizenship (OCBs). Data were collected from 204 hotel employees. Results of structural equation modeling demonstrate that DWBs and OCBs are substantive reactions to IJP, whereas ethical leadership significantly mediates reactions in the form of DWBs and OCBs. Behavioral ethics and managerial implications are discussed. (shrink)
The _Dictionary of World Philosophy_ covers the diverse and challenging terminology, concepts, schools and traditions of the vast field of world philosophy. Providing an extremely comprehensive resource and an essential point of reference in a complex and expanding field of study the _Dictionary_ covers all major subfields of the discipline. Key features: * Cross-references are used to highlight interconnections and the cross-cultural diffusion and adaptation of terms which has taken place over time * The user is led from specific terms (...) to master entries which provide valuable historical and cultural context * Each master entry is followed by at least two suggestions for further reading on the subject, creating a substantial bibliography of world philosophy * References extend beyond philosophy to related areas such as cognitive science, computer science, language and physics Subdisciplines covered include:* aesthetics * ethics * sociopolitical philosophy * the philosophy of law * epistemology * logic * the philosophy of science * the philosophy of mind * the philosophy of culture and history * metaphysics * the philosophy of religion Entries are drawn from West Africa, Arabic, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Jewish, Korean, Latin American, Maori and Native American philosophy including the important and so far largely neglected instance of Pre-Hispanic thought: Nahua philosophy. (shrink)
This article questions Balibar’s claim that Simondon’s concept of the transindividual does not fulfil all the requirements for a materialist ‘philosophical anthropology’. In fact, we demonstrate that Simondon’s philosophy of individuation, and notably his concept of the transindividual, can be, as it were, included in a genealogy of aleatory materialism. Simondon’s philosophy of individuation is indeed a philosophy of the transindividual insofar as it involves the constant revision of the different historical forms taken by social relations in the coevolution of (...) human beings and their techno-social and natural milieu. Simondon’s way of conceiving anthropogenesis as an open and ‘metastable’ field in which individuals and processes relate to each other maintaining their own knowledge in motion, marks, in our view, a materialist style of thinking. Against this background we analyse Simondon’s overcoming of the dichotomy between the individual and society through a ‘double rejection’, we sketch his theory of a ‘double source’ for social relations, and we explain in what sense, from his perspective, the transindividual ‘can be said in many ways’. (shrink)
Samuel Scheffler has recently argued that some relationships are non-instrumentally valuable; that such relationships give rise to “underived” special responsibilities; that there is a genuine tension between cosmopolitan egalitarianism and special responsibilities; and that we must consequently strike a balance between the two. We argue that there is no such tension and propose an alternative approach to the relation between cosmopolitan egalitarianism and special responsibilities. First, while some relationships are non-instrumentally valuable, no relationship is unconditionally valuable. Second, whether such relationships (...) give rise to special responsibilities is conditional on those relationships not violating certain moral constraints. Third, these moral constraints arise from within cosmopolitan egalitarianism itself. Thus the value of relationships and the special responsibilities to which they give rise arise within the parameters of cosmopolitan egalitarianism itself. The real tension is not between cosmopolitan equality and special responsibilities, but between special responsibilities and the various general duties that arise from the recognition, demanded by cosmopolitan egalitarianism, of a multiplicity of other basic goods. Indeed, even the recognition of special relationships itself gives rise to general duties that may condition and/or weigh against putative special responsibilities. (shrink)
This paper provides a critical exploration of the capability approach to human rights (CAHR) with the specific aim of developing its potential for achieving a synthesis between “humanist” or “naturalistic” and “political” or “practical” perspectives in the philosophy of human rights. Section II presents a general strategy for achieving such a synthesis. Section III provides an articulation of the key insights of CAHR (its focus on actual realizations given diverse circumstances, its pluralism of grounds, its emphasis on freedom of choice, (...) its demand for public reasoning, its context-sensitive universalism, and its broad view of obligations). These insights go some way toward the achievement of the desired synthesis. But, as explained in IV.1, in its current form CAHR faces two serious objections by the defenders of the political perspective: the Gap Between Capabilities-Interests and Rights Objection and the Disconnect From Practice Objection. Answering these criticisms requires some amendments to CAHR. Section IV.2 suggests a response to the first objection based on the introduction of a contractualist framework of justification. Sections IV.3 and IV.4 tackle the second objection by introducing a re-characterization of the cosmopolitan standard underlying the humanist perspective and by identifying the differences and relations between various dimensions of a conception of human rights and their significance for actual political practice. The paper illustrates the practical implications of CAHR, in its modified form, for the pursuit of some important rights. (shrink)
Although anomic feelings have been found to lead employees to unethical performance, little is known about why this relationship is possible. The aim of this study is to test a compassion-based explanation of why anomic employees harm co-workers by displaying interpersonal deviance. The prediction is made that once sociological anomie enters organizations in the form of employees’ private feelings of anomie—i.e., “anomia”—, this anomia will individually move staff to be uncompassionate in the workplace. Three uncompassionate feelings toward co-workers are then (...) hypothesized to mediate the relationship between anomia and interpersonal deviance: negative judgments about others, over-identification, and isolation. Data were collected from 280 employees at ten hotels in the Canary Islands. The results indicated that anomia was significantly and positively linked to uncompassionate feelings and interpersonal deviance, but only negative judgments about others mediated the anomia effects on interpersonal deviance. Findings suggest to managers that by spreading ethical standards that discourage negative judgments about others in the workplace, they can neutralize the mechanisms leading anomia to interpersonal deviance. (shrink)
The aim of the present paper is to contribute to the discussion on the constitutive a priori in science by linking it with the discussion on scientific laws and theories, in such a way to show how the different senses of the notion of constitutive a priori are not incompatible to each other and that they can be precised in a unified, though differentiated, manner.
In this paper we investigate a semantics for first-order logic originally proposed by R. van Rooij to account for the idea that vague predicates are tolerant, that is, for the principle that if x is P, then y should be P whenever y is similar enough to x. The semantics, which makes use of indifference relations to model similarity, rests on the interaction of three notions of truth: the classical notion, and two dual notions simultaneously defined in terms of it, (...) which we call tolerant truth and strict truth. We characterize the space of consequence relations definable in terms of those and discuss the kind of solution this gives to the sorites paradox. We discuss some applications of the framework to the pragmatics and psycholinguistics of vague predicates, in particular regarding judgments about borderline cases. (shrink)
This essay reviews the documents of the pontifical magisterium of the Church from the encyclical Mater et magistra (1961) to the exhortation Evangelii gaudium (2013), in order to show the Church’s historical commitment to the defense of the environment. It then argues that Laudato si’ elevates the theological status of the environmental crisis to that of a new social issue, much as Leo XIII did for the industrial crisis with his encyclical letter Rerum novarum (1891).
This paper presents and defends a way to add a transparent truth predicate to classical logic, such that and A are everywhere intersubstitutable, where all T-biconditionals hold, and where truth can be made compositional. A key feature of our framework, called STTT (for Strict-Tolerant Transparent Truth), is that it supports a non-transitive relation of consequence. At the same time, it can be seen that the only failures of transitivity STTT allows for arise in paradoxical cases.