Corruption presents an assurance problem to businesses: all businesses are best off if none act corruptly but in the event that corruption occurs are better off if they act corruptly than if they do not, and because there is no assurance that other actors are not cheating a business does not know how to act. The usual solution to an assurance problem – criminal sanctions imposed on cheaters – does not work in a corrupt system. Integrative Social Contract Theory suggests (...) a solution to the assurance problem. Application of Integrative Social Contract Theory to corruption demonstrates that in the case of corruption it has advantages over international law, and that the theory's elegance lies in its recognition of norms generated by multiple communities. (shrink)
In this paper we propose to argue for two claims. The first is that a sizeable group of epistemological projects – a group which includes much of what has been done in epistemology in the analytic tradition – would be seriously undermined if one or more of a cluster of empirical hypotheses about epistemic intuitions turns out to be true. The basis for this claim will be set out in Section 2. The second claim is that, while the jury is (...) still out, there is now a substantial body of evidence suggesting that some of those empirical hypotheses are true. Much of this evidence derives from an ongoing series of experimental studies of epistemic intuitions that we have been conducting. A preliminary report on these studies will be presented in Section 3. In light of these studies, we think it is incumbent on those who pursue the epistemological projects in question to either explain why the truth of the hypotheses does not undermine their projects, or to say why, in light of the evidence we will present, they nonetheless assume that the hypotheses are false. In Section 4, which is devoted to Objections and Replies, we’ll consider some of the ways in which defenders of the projects we are criticizing might reply to our challenge. Our goal, in all of this, is not to offer a conclusive argument demonstrating that the epistemological projects we will be criticizing are untenable. Rather, our aim is to shift the burden of argument. (shrink)
The debate over off-line simulation has largely focussed on the capacity to predict behavior, but the basic idea of off-line simulation can be cast in a much broader framework. The central claim of the off-line account of behavior prediction is that the practical reasoning mechanism is taken off-line and used for predicting behavior. However, there's no reason to suppose that the idea of off-line simulation can't be extended to mechanisms other than the practical reasoning system. In principle, any cognitive component (...) can be taken off-line and used to perform some other function. On this view of off-line simulation, such accounts differ radically from traditional information-based accounts of cognitive capacities. And cognitive penetrability provides a wedge for empirically determining whether a capacity requires an information-based account or an off-line simulation account. Stich and Nichols (1992) argued that the simulation theory of behavior prediction was inadequate because behavior prediction seemed to be cognitively penetrable. We present empirical evidence that supports the claim that the behavior prediction is cognitively penetrable. As a result, the simulation account of behavior prediction still seems unpromising. However, off-line simulation might provide accounts of other cognitive capacities. Indeed, off- line simulation accounts have recently been offered for a strikingly diverse set of capacities including counterfactual reasoning, empathy and mental imagery. Goldman, for instance, maintains that counterfactual reasoning and empathy clearly demand off-line simulation accounts. We argue that there are alternative information-based explanations of these phenomena. Nonetheless, the off-line accounts of these phenomena are interesting and clearly worthy of further exploration. (shrink)
Richard Popkin gives the frame into which the topics of the colloquium fit: Cartesian skepticism about our knowledge of the existence of the self and the external world. Robert Fogelin sketches a prescriptive model for human action, using classical and contemporary ideas on the grammar of act descriptions. Following these individual papers, there are three symposia, consisting of a paper, comments, and author's reply. In the first, with Philip Hugly as commentator, Fred Dretske attempts to undercut skeptical attack on (...) the validity of ordinary perceptual claims. He holds that an epistemic perceptual report conveys two items: a description, and a justification of the increment in knowledge which is the crux of each particular claim. The second symposiast is Roderick Chisholm, writing with historical fluency and analytic skill on the loose and strict senses of identity. In his comments, S. Shoemaker offers a "special concern" criterion for personal identity. In the third symposium, Jaakko Hintikka argues that the logic of perceptual terms is modal, in the extended sense that most of the words used to express propositional attitudes, words like 'knows', 'believes', 'strives', serve as modal operators. Romane Clark is Hintikka's commentator. Again, the comments seem genuinely helpful in clarifying or emphasizing the issues for the reader. Hintikka tells us that he finds that traditional problems in perception are closely related to difficulties logicians have met as they try to understand the interplay between modal notions and the basic logical concepts of identity and existence. His comment expresses the sense of discovery and promise which pervades these papers. It strikes one that this Colloquium achieved a felicitous combination of high-level technique and creative scholarship.--M. B. M. (shrink)
Experimental philosophy is a new interdisciplinary field that uses methods normally associated with psychology to investigate questions normally associated with philosophy. The present review focuses on research in experimental philosophy on four central questions. First, why is it that people's moral judgments appear to influence their intuitions about seemingly nonmoral questions? Second, do people think that moral questions have objective answers, or do they see morality as fundamentally relative? Third, do people believe in free will, and do they see free (...) will as compatible with determinism? Fourth, how do people determine whether an entity is conscious? (shrink)
The aim of this chapter is to address the role of memory in past-life convictions. Although it is commonly accepted in the modern media - and popular western culture more generally - that people believe they have lived before because the memory contains detailed verifiable facts, little is known about how people actually reason about the veracity of their previous existence. To our knowledge, the current project is the most extensive research that probes the role of memory in past life (...) convictions. More specifically, we explore two questions. First, to what extent does memory lead to past-life belief, and is this conviction based on external validation or via the episodic sense of personal identity contained in the memory? Second, what is the conception of self on which one's current self is taken to be the same as the past-life self? -/- In what follows, we propose that memory plays an important role in convincing people that they have lived before. Fundamentally, this memory is episodic insofar as it represents the event as happened to the encoder. This memory contrasts with semantic memory - memory of facts...Further, we contend that it is the episodic sense of personal identity (rather than external validation) that typically contributes to the belief in a past life. Finally, we argue that the conception of self implicated in past-life belief is the non-trait conception. Of course, this fits naturally with the idea that the belief in a past life issues partly from the episodic sense of identity, since it is the non-trait conception of self that is implicated in the episodic sense of identity... -/- Our proposal in this chapter can be construed as a psychological extension of Reid's point in the context of past-life belief. People assume that they are the same person as someone in earlier times, despite large variations in the traits between those individuals, and they think this partly because of the testimony of their episodic memory. If our account is correct, then it makes the belief in a past life less bizarre, at least psychologically. For we are suggesting that the episodic sense of personal identity that led to your conviction that you existed at the time of your sixteenth birthday celebrations some decades ago, is also involved in other people's convictions that they existed 200 years ago. This proposal is also situated in recent cognitive approaches to the study of religion and religious experiences, which suggests that extraordinary convictions are often underpinned by the ordinary processes of social cognition (e.g. see Barrett 2000; Barrett 2007; Boyer 2001; Lawson and McCauley 1990; for reincarnation, see White Forthcoming-a,-b). (shrink)
Throughout the 20th century, an enormous amount of intellectual fuel was spent debating the merits of a class of skeptical arguments which purport to show that knowledge of the external world is not possible. These arguments, whose origins can be traced back to Descartes, played an important role in the work of some of the leading philosophers of the 20th century, including Russell, Moore and Wittgenstein, and they continue to engage the interest of contemporary philosophers. (e.g., Cohen 1999, DeRose 1995, (...) Hill 1996, Klein 1981, Lewis 1996, McGinn 1993, Nozick 1981, Schiffer 1996, Unger 1975, Williams 1996) Typically, these arguments make use of one or more premises which the philosophers proposing them take to be intuitively obvious. Beyond an appeal to intuition, little or no defense is offered, and in many cases it is hard to see what else could be said in support of these premises. A number of authors have suggested that the intuitions undergirding these skeptical arguments are universal – shared by everyone (or almost everyone) who thinks reflectively about knowledge. In this paper we will offer some evidence indicating that they are far from universal. Rather, the evidence suggests that many of the intuitions epistemologists invoke vary with the cultural background, socioeconomic status and educational background of the person offering the intuition. And this, we will argue, is bad news for the skeptical arguments that rely on those intuitions. The evidence may also be bad news for skepticism itself – not because it shows that skepticism is false, but rather because, if we accept one prominent account of the link between epistemic intuitions and epistemic concepts, it indicates that skepticism may be much less interesting and much less worrisome than philosophers have taken it to be. (shrink)
This essay makes the affirmative case for health reform by expounding on three fundamental points: one moral case for expanding access to coverage and care to all is grounded in scriptural concepts of community and mutual obligation which continue to inform the American pursuit of justice; the structure of PPACA springs from an appreciation of and approach to channeling market forces that was developed and proposed by a coalition of moderate and conservative Republican U.S. senators almost 20 years ago; the (...) most humane path to a better and more sustainable health system lies in implementing PPACA as fast and fully as we can. The purpose of this essay is to articulate why it is not possible to make our health system better, sustainable and serve us all without government playing specific and limited but absolutely crucial catalytic roles. (shrink)
Obesity is a particularly vexing public health challenge, since it not only underlies much disease and health spending but also largely stems from repeated personal behavioral choices. The newly enacted comprehensive health reform law contains a number of provisions to address obesity. For example, insurance companies are required to provide coverage for preventive-health services, which include obesity screening and nutritional counseling. In addition, employers will soon be able to offer premium discounts to workers who participate in wellness programs that emphasize (...) behavioral choices. These policies presume that government intervention to reduce obesity is necessary and justified. Some people, however, argue that individuals have a compelling interest to pursue their own health and happiness as they see fit, and therefore any government intervention in these areas is an unwarranted intrusion into privacy and one's freedom to eat, drink, and exercise as much or as little as one wants. This paper clarifies the overlapping individual, employer, and social interest in each person's health generally to avoid obesity and its myriad costs in particular. The paper also explores recent evidence on the impact of government interventions on obesity through case studies on food labeling and employer-based anti-obesity interventions. Our analysis suggests a positive role for government intervention to reduce and prevent obesity. At the same time, we discuss criteria that can be used to draw lines between government, employer, and individual responsibility for health, and to derive principles that should guide and limit government interventions on obesity as health reform's various elements (e.g., exchanges, insurance market reforms) are implemented in the coming years. (shrink)
The issues before the Supreme Court, arising as they did out of multiple cases and divergent appellate court rulings, were quite complex, and its final decision will be parsed rather differently by lawyers, health policy wonks, and economists (or metaphysical philosophers, in Chief Justice John Roberts's memorable phrase). This essay will focus on one singular element: did the final ruling enhance or detract from our collective power to exercise stewardship over our health care resources? -/- Clearly Americans diverge on key (...) features of a desirable society and on the wisdom of using government to achieve even mutually desirable goals. But before politics settles the fate of the Affordable Care Act (and perhaps also the federal role in health policy for the foreseeable future), we should focus on what the Court has allowed us to consider: if we want it to, federal power may constitutionally be marshalled to compel insurers to end discrimination against the sick and to offer more transparent products so the marketplace will better serve consumers. (shrink)
. Underwater communication is usually affected by ambient noise, which may be generated by different sources, such as the wind origin sea-surface sources, ships and under water life. The properties of background noise, which are non-stationary in nature, depend on location, sea depth, wind speed and sound propagation conditions in the area. Overall performance of underwater acoustic instruments can be improved by denoising the underwater signals. This paper proposes a novel denoising method using empirical mode decomposition technique. Frequency domain based (...) thresholding has been used to denoise the signal, which involves three steps: EMD is applied to the noisy signal to decompose the signal into intrinsic mode functions. Thresholding is applied to each IMF in the frequency domain to remove the noise. Thresholded IMFs are added to obtain the denoised signal. Real-time experiments were performed to validate the proposed technique on the basis of the records of the ambient noise data recorded at sea for various wind speed. It was observed that the experimental results are in good agreement with the proposed algorithm under different wind-noise levels. (shrink)
A collection of personal narratives and essays, Living Professionalism is designed to help medical students and residents understand and internalize various aspects of professionalism. These essays are meant for personal reflection and above all, for thoughtful discussion with mentors, with peers, with others throughout the health care provider community who care about acting professionally.
Neither prevention nor preemption can have any moral standing in the abstract, since it is the circumstances, not the concepts, that inform their qualities as strategies. The question, rather, is whether the decision to engage in a new war against the Iraqi regime is just.