Nicholas Rescher’s way of understanding process philosophy reflects the ambitions of his own philosophical project and commits him to a conceptually ideal interpretation of process. Process becomes a transcendental idea of reflection that can always be predicated of our knowledge of the world and of the world qua known, but not necessarily of reality an sich. Rescher’s own taxonomy of process thinking implies that it has other variants. While Rescher’s approach to process philosophy makes it (...) intelligible and appealing to mainstream analytic philosophy, it leaves behind the more daring ideas of Bergson, James, and Whitehead, all of whom envisioned the primordial reality of process in a radical ontology of becoming. This variant of process thought can be construed as coherent and self-consistent, but not without relinquishing the correspondence theory of truth and embracing challenging ideas that bring us in close proximity to existentialism, apophatic theology, and Buddhism. (shrink)
This article approaches Judaism through Rabbi Bradley S. Artson’s book, God of Becoming and Relationships: The Dynamic Nature of Process Theology. It explores his understanding of how Jewish theology should and does cohere with central features of both process theology and Robert S. Hartman’s formal axiology. These include the axiological/process concept of God, the intrinsic value and valuation of God and unique human beings, and Jewish extrinsic and systemic values, value combinations, and value rankings.
Most process theologians have rejected the creation of the world out of nothing, holding that our universe was created out of some antecedent universe. This article shows how on process grounds, and with faithfulness to much of what Whitehead had to say, process theologians can and should affirm the creation of our universe out of nothing. Standard process objections to this are refuted.
Hierarchical views of nature have for centuries been used to justify the enslaving of peoples perceived as inferior, the often violent and coercive “reeducation” of indigenous peoples, the patriarchal subjugation of women, the cruel use of nonhuman animals for often trivial purposes, and the wanton destruction of the natural world. I join those who condemned the oppressive nature of these forms of hierarchical thinking. Yet, I fear that, in their effort to right past wrongs, too many thinkers are in danger (...) of throwing the axiological baby out with the ontological bathwater. Though the aim at a great ontological leveling is certainly understandable, I fear that, in embracing the opposite extreme and rejecting all hierarchical thinking, some may be in danger of doing violence to the many real and even morally significant differences between individuals. My claim in this paper is that Alfred North Whitehead’s philosophy of organism provides a model for how to appreciate the many grades and types of beings in the world, while avoiding an invidious normative hierarchy that inevitably places everything at the whim of human beings. That is, I will argue that it is possible to defend hierarchy without anthroparchy. To provide context, I will begin with a brief analysis of Aristotle’s “Great Chain of Being” and will then contrast it with Whitehead’s process philosophy. Given this context, using the subtle and perceptive work of the ecofeminist Karen J. Warren, I will then present a model for how to recognize a “descriptive hierarchy” while rejecting a simplistic “prescriptive hierarchy.” . (shrink)
The authors argue that the consciousness debate inhabits the same problem space today as it did in the 17th century. They attribute the lack of progress to a mindset still polarized by Descartes’ real distinction between mind and body, resulting in a standoff between humanistic and scientistic approaches. They suggest that consciousness can be adequately studied only by a multiplicity of disciplines so that the paramount problem is how to integrate diverse disciplinary perspectives into a coherent metatheory. Process philosophy (...) is well qualified to attempt such a synthesis. The rationale for the volume is summed up in the book's unifying thesis: normal, focal-attentive consciousness is not the sui generis phenomenon it is usually taken to be, but part of a wider spectrum of experience (including marginal, deviant, and non-human experience) that can only be studied by approaches as diverse as phenomenology, psycho- and neuropathology, biology, and zoology. (shrink)
Whereas traditional ethical theories limit morality to the relations between human beings, Whitehead seems committed to a fundamentally different model. Yet despite the longstanding consensus among process scholars that Whitehead’s philosophy of organism provides an ideal ground for a rich moral philosophy, particularly one encompassing ecological concerns, there is a relative dearth of scholarship on the topic. What is more, among those who do engage in such scholarship, there seems to be no agreement as to how to classify Whitehead’s (...) ethics, which has at different times been labeled, among other things, a moral interest theory, a totalizing form of utilitarianism, and a virtue ethic.1 Some have even suggested that Whitehead’s metaphysics is consistent with a deontological approach (e.g. Lango 2001). Given the diversity of such conflicting interpretations, one might well wonder whether Whitehead can even be said to have a moral philosophy. In this essay, my primary aim is to bring clarity to the debate over Whitehead’s ethics by systematically examining Whitehead’s own scattered remarks on morality. I will demonstrate that, although he may not have systematically elaborated a complete moral philosophy, he did indeed affirm a model of morality that is every bit as unique, fallible, and speculative as his metaphysics. (shrink)
There is one question that any potential reader who suspects that Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947) might be important for past, contemporary, and future philosophy inevitably raises: how should I read Whitehead? How can I make sense of this incredibly dense tissue of imaginative systematizing, spread over decades of work in disciplines so different and specialized as algebra, geometry, logic, relativistic physics and philosophy of science? Accordingly, this monograph has two main complementary objectives. The first one is to propose a set (...) of efficient hermeneutical tools to get the reader started. These straightforward tools provide answers that are highly coherent and probably the most applicable to Whitehead’s entire corpus. The second objective is to illustrate how the several parts of Process and Reality are interconnected, something that all commentators have either failed to recognise or only incompletely acknowledged. (shrink)
According to Joshua Greene’s influential dual process model of moral judgment, different modes of processing are associated with distinct moral outputs: automatic processing with deontological judgment, and controlled processing with utilitarian judgment. This paper aims to clarify and assess Greene’s model. I argue that the proposed tie between process and content is based on a misinterpretation of the evidence, and that the supposed evidence for controlled processing in utilitarian judgment is actually likely to reflect generic deliberation which, ironically, (...) is incompatible with a utilitarian outlook. This alternative proposal is further supported by the results of a recent neuroimaging study we have done. (shrink)
The U.S. Supreme Court regards parental rights as fundamental. Such a status should subject any legal procedure that directly and substantively interferes with the exercise of parental rights to strict scrutiny. On the contrary, though, despite their status as fundamental constitutional rights, parental rights are routinely suspended or revoked as a result of procedures that fail to meet even minimal standards of procedural and substantive due process. This routine and cavalier deprivation of parental rights takes place in the context (...) of divorce where, during the pendency of litigation, one parent is routinely deprived of significant parental rights without any demonstration that a state interest exists—much less that there is a compelling state interest that cannot be achieved in any less restrictive way. In marked contrast to our current practice, treating parental rights as fundamental rights requires a presumption of joint legal and physical custody upon divorce and during the pendency of divorce litigation. The presumption may be overcome, but only by clear and convincing evidence that such an arrangement is harmful to the children. (shrink)
Griffiths and Russell D. Gray (1994, 1997, 2001) have argued that the fundamental unit of analysis in developmental systems theory should be a process – the life cycle – and not a set of developmental resources and interactions between those resources. The key concepts of developmental systems theory, epigenesis and developmental dynamics, both also suggest a process view of the units of development. This chapter explores in more depth the features of developmental systems theory that favour treating processes (...) as fundamental in biology and examines the continuity between developmental systems theory and ideas about process in the work of several major figures in early 20th century biology, most notable C.H Waddington. (shrink)
Given certain well-known observations by Mach and Russell, the question arises what place there is for causation in the physical world. My aim in this chapter is to understand under what conditions we can use causal terminology and how it fi ts in with what physics has to say. I will argue for a disposition-based process-theory of causation. After addressing Mach’s and Russell’s concerns I will start by outlining the kind of problem the disposition based process-theory of causation (...) is meant to solve. In a second step I will discuss the nature of those dispositions that will be relevant for our question. In section 3 I will discuss existing dispositional accounts of causation before I proceed to present my own account (sections 4 to 6) and contrast it with traditional process-theories (section 7). (shrink)
The paper proposes a process-based model for an ontology that encompasses the emergence of process systems generated by increasingly complex levels of organization. Starting with a division of processes into those that are persistent and those that are fleeting, the model builds through a series of exclusive and exhaustive disjunctions. The crucial distinction is between those persistent and cohesive systems that are energy wells, and those that are far-from-equilibrium. The latter are necessarily open; they can persist only by (...) interaction with their environments. Further distinctions, developed by means of the notions of self-maintenance and error detection, lead to the identification of complex biological organisms that are flexible learners, some of which are self-conscious and form themselves into social institutions. This model provides a non-reductive model for understanding human beings as both embodied and yet emergent. In particular, it provides a way of characterizing action as ‘metaphysically deep’, not an ontological embarrassment within an otherwise physicalist world. (shrink)
Philosophical discussion about the reality of sensory perceptions has been hijacked by two tendencies. First, talk about perception has been largely centered on vision. Second, the realism question is traditionally approached by attaching objects or material structures to matching contents of sensory perceptions. These tendencies have resulted in an argumentative impasse between realists and anti-realists, discussing the reliability of means by which the supposed causal information transfer from object to perceiver takes place. Concerning the nature of sensory experiences and their (...) capacity to provide access to reality, this article challenges the standard categories through which most arguments in this debate have been framed to date. Drawing on the underexplored case of olfaction, I first show how the details of the perception process determine the modalities of sensory experiences. I specifically examine the role of measurement and analyze its influence on the characterization of perceptions in olfaction. My aim is to argue for an understanding of perception through a process view, rather than one pertaining to objects and properties of objects. (shrink)
This article focuses on problematizing the harmonisation of higher education in Europe today. The overall aim is to analyse the construction of the European citizen and the rationality of governing related to such a construction. The specific focus will be on the rules and standards of reason in higher education reforms which inscribe continuums of values that exclude as they include. Who is and who is not constructed as a European citizen? Documents on the Bologna process produced in Europe (...) and in Sweden are analysed drawing on the Foucauldian notion of governmentality, showing a neoliberal rationality of governing. The European citizen needs to become flexible, autonomous and self-regulating as a way of facing the threats of the constantly changing future. The technique of diversity is a condition of possibility for constructing such a citizen and for harmonising higher education in Europe. Further, the current power relations in the discourse define what is and what is not European, thus constructing 'the other', the one who is excluded. (shrink)
The direct social perception thesis claims that we can directly perceive some mental states of other people. The direct perception of mental states has been formulated phenomenologically and psychologically, and typically restricted to the mental state types of intentions and emotions. I will compare DSP to another account of mindreading: dual process accounts that posit a fast, automatic “Type 1” form of mindreading and a slow, effortful “Type 2” form. I will here analyze whether dual process accounts’ Type (...) 1 mindreading serves as a rival to DSP or whether some Type 1 mindreading can be perceptual. I will focus on Apperly and Butterfill’s dual process account of mindreading epistemic states such as perception, knowledge, and belief. This account posits a minimal form of Type 1 mindreading of belief-like states called registrations. I will argue that general dual process theories fit well with a modular view of perception that is considered a kind of Type 1 process. I will show that this modular view of perception challenges and has significant advantages over DSP’s phenomenological and psychological theses. Finally, I will argue that if such a modular view of perception is accepted, there is significant reason for thinking Type 1 mindreading of belief-like states is perceptual in nature. This would mean extending the scope of DSP to at least one type of epistemic state. (shrink)
We develop a model of ethical decision making that integrates the decision-making process and the content variables considered by individuals facing ethical dilemmas. The process described in the model is drawn from Janis and Mann’s [1977, Decision Making: A Psychological Analysis of Conflict Choice and Commitment (The Free Press, New York)] work describing the decision process in an environment of conflict, choice and commitment. The model is enhanced by the inclusion of content variables derived from the ethics (...) literature. The resulting integrated model aids in understanding the complexity of the decision process used by individuals facing ethical dilemmas and suggests variable interactions that could be field-tested. A better understanding of the process will help managers develop policies that enhance the likelihood of ethical behavior in their organizations. (shrink)
In response to the claim that the properties typically used to distinguish System 1 from System 2 crosscut one another, Carruthers, Evans, and Stanovich have abandoned the System 1/System 2 distinction. Evans and Stanovich both opt for a dual-process theory, according to which Type-1 processes are autonomous and Type-2 processes use working memory and involve cognitive decoupling. Carruthers maintains a two-system account, according to which there is an intuitive system and a reflective system. I argue that these defenses of (...) dual-process theory face two problems. First, as pointed out by Sloman, these new dual-process theories cast the net of “reasoning” too wide. Second, and more importantly, this singular distinction cannot accomplish the explanatory work needed to support dual-process theory. These theorists must fall back on using various properties from the Standard Menu in explanations, thereby committing these accounts to a “Standard View” that they had hoped to avoid. Thus, these theorists face a.. (shrink)
The interactivist model has explored a number of consequences of process metaphysics. These include reversals of some fundamental metaphysical assumptions dominant since the ancient Greeks, and multiple further consequences throughout the metaphysics of the world, minds, and persons. This article surveys some of these consequences, ranging from issues regarding entities and supervenience to the emergence of normative phenomena such as representation, rationality, persons, and ethics.
This article is comprised of a dialogue between Pentecostal-Charismatic and Process-Relational theologies on the perennial issue of miracles. The language of supernaturalism, widely employed by Pentecostal-Charismatic theologians, is contrasted with the metaphysical naturalism of Process-Relational theology; it is proposed that a philosophically and scientifically sensitive theology of miracles is possible through a synthesis of both traditions. Themes such as nonmaterialism over materialism, spiritual experience, and prayer for healing miracles are explored. A theology of miracles, mutually informed by both (...) Pentecostal-Charismatic and Process-Relational theologies, may focus less on whether or not miracles are possible, but instead focus more on what kind of miracles human beings might value most. By mutually engaging a theology of nonsupernatural, metaphysically grounded miracles, Pentecostal-Charismatic and Process-Relational theologians may collaborate to establish the groundwork for creative scientific enterprises, especially in the non-Western world where Pentecostalism continues to experience its most rapid growth, Such perspectives may eventually lead to cutting-edge discoveries about the fundamental nature of, and God's interaction with, reality itself. Implications for future research are proposed. (shrink)
Understanding of time, construed as movement, change and becoming, is explained taking examples from natural sciences. Durational and metrical aspects of time are elaborated. General assumptions about passage of time are listed. Indian, Chinese and later insights of path of passage of time are figured. Physical and psychological times are differentiated and explained using Energy-Presence (Being) and Energy-Transformation (Becoming) concepts. Concepts of Time at rest and Time in motion are proposed. -/- . The meanings of time-space, time-flow, different phases of (...) time-conscious and time-transcendent mind and thought processes are interpreted from basic physics principles and Upanishadic awareness -/- An attempt is made to present a comprehensive insight of nature of time, thought process and conscious states (phases) of mind. (shrink)
_Process Philosophy_ surveys the basic issues and controversies surrounding the philosophical approach known as “process philosophy.” Process philosophy views temporality, activity, and change as the cardinal factors for our understanding of the real—process has priority over product, both ontologically and epistemically. Rescher examines the movement’s historical origins, reflecting a major line of thought in the work of such philosophers as Heracleitus, Leibniz, Bergson, Peirce, William James, and especially A. N. Whitehead. Reacting against the tendency to associate (...) class='Hi'>process philosophy too closely with this last-named thinker, Rescher writes, “Indeed, one cardinal task for the partisans of process at this particular juncture of philosophical history is to prevent the idea of ‘process philosophy’ from being marginalized through a limitation of its bearing to the work and influence of any one single individual or group.” This book will appeal to both students and professors of philosophy. Those teachers who have not been trained in process philosophy will welcome this new text by one one of North America’s foremost philosophers as a perspicuous and informative introduction. (shrink)
Quality improvement mechanisms increasingly use outcome measures to evaluate health care providers. This move toward outcome measures is a radical departure from the traditional focus on process measures. More radical still is the proposal to shift from relatively simple and proximal measures of outcome, such as mortality, to complex outcomes, such as quality of life. While the practical, scientific, and ethical issues associated with the use of outcomes such as mortality and morbidity to compare health care providers have been (...) well rehearsed, the specific concerns associated with the use of quality of life measures in quality of care research have received little attention. As with much research on quality of life there is a tendency to assume that the disadvantages are outweighed by the general virtue of “listening” to patients. In this paper we disagree with this assumption and argue that quality of life is a process, not an outcome. (shrink)
In this article we argue that the problem of the relationships between concepts and perception in cognitive science is blurred by the fact that the very notion of concept is rather confused. Since it is not always clear exactly what concepts are, it is not easy to say, for example, whether and in what measure concept possession involves entertaining and manipulating perceptual representations, whether concepts are entirely different from perceptual representations, and so on. As a paradigmatic example of this state (...) of affairs, we will start by taking into consideration the distinction between conceptual and nonconceptual content. The analysis of such a distinction will lead us to the conclusion that concept is a heterogeneous notion. Then we shall take into account the so called dual process theories of mind; this approach also points to concepts being a heterogeneous phenomenon: different aspects of the conceptual competence are likely to be ascribed to different types of systems. We conclude that without a clear specification of what concepts are, the problem of the relationships between concepts and perception is somewhat ill-posed. (shrink)
Time’s arrow is necessary for progress from a past that has already happened to a future that is only potential until creatively determined in the present. But time’s arrow is unnecessary in Einstein’s so-called block universe, so there is no creative unfolding in an actual present. How can there be an actual present when there is no universal moment of simultaneity? Events in various places will have different presents according to the position, velocity, and nature of the perceiver. Standing against (...) this view is traditional common sense since we normally experience time’s arrow as reality and the present as our place in the stream of consciousness, but we err to imagine we are living in the actual present. The present of our daily experience is actually a specious present, according to E. Robert Kelly (later popularized by William James), or duration, according to Henri Bergson, an habitus, as elucidated by Kerby (1991), or, simply, the psychological present (Adams, 2010) – all terms indicating that our experienced present so consists of the past overlapping into the future that any potential for acting from the creative moment is crowded out. Yet, for philosophers of process from Herakleitos onward, it is the philosophies of change or process that treat time’s arrow and the creative fire of the actual present as realities. In this essay, I examine the most well known but possibly least understood process cosmology of Alfred North Whitehead to seek out this elusive but actual present. In doing so, I will also ask if process philosophy is itself an example of the creative imagination and if this relates to doing science. I conclude Whitehead's process philosophy falls short of allowing for the actual creative spontaneity of a dynamic (eternal) present. (shrink)
This paper argues that scientific studies distinguish themselves from other studies by a combination of their processes, their (knowledge) elements and the roles of these elements. This is supported by constructing a process model. An illustrative example based on Newtonian mechanics shows how scientific knowledge is structured according to the process model. To distinguish scientific studies from research and scientific research, two additional process models are built for such processes. We apply these process models: (1) to (...) argue that scientific progress should emphasize both the process of change and the content of change; (2) to chart the major stages of scientific study development; and (3) to define “science”. (shrink)
The purpose of this work is to elaborate an empirically grounded mathematical model of the magnitude of consequences component of “moral intensity” (Jones, Academy of Management Review 16 (2),366, 1991) that can be used to evaluate different ethical situations. The model is built using the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) (Saaty, The Analytic Hierarchy Process , 1980) and empirical data from the legal profession. One contribution of our work is that it illustrates how AHP can be applied in the (...) field of ethics. Following a review of the literature, we discuss the development of the model. We then illustrate how the model can be used to rank-order three well-known ethical reasoning cases in terms of the magnitude of consequences. The work concludes with implications for theory, practice, and future research. Specifically we discuss how this work extends the previous work by Collins ( Journal of Business Ethics 8 , 1, 1989) regarding the nature of harm variable. We also discuss the contribution this work makes in the development of ethical scenarios used to test hypotheses in the field of business ethics. Finally, we discuss how the model can be used for after-action review, contribute to organizational learning, train employees in ethical reasoning, and aid in the design and development of decision support systems that support ethical reasoning. (shrink)
The analytic hierarchy process (AHP) can be used to determine co-author responsibility for a scientific paper describing collaborative research. The objective is to deter scientific fraud by holding co-authors accountable for their individual contributions. A hiearchical model of the research presented in a paper can be created by dividing it into primary and secondary elements. The co-authors then determine the contributions of the primary and secondary elements to the work as a whole as well as their own individual contributions. (...) They can use the results to determine authorship order. (shrink)
Western buying companies impose Supplier Codes of Conduct (SCC) on their suppliers in developing countries; however, many suppliers cannot fully comply with SCC and some of them even cheat in SCC. In this research, we link contract characteristics - price pressure, production complexity, contract duration - to the likelihood of supplier's commitment to SCC through a mediating process: how the buying companies govern their suppliers. Our structural equation model analysis shows that the hierarchy/relational norms governance is a perfect mediator (...) of contract characteristics' effects on the likelihood of supplier's commitment; the market governance, an insignificant one. The managerial implications are provided for successfully implementing SCC in global supply chains. (shrink)
A review of the literature and ethnographic data from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States, and the United Kingdom on the research ethics review process suggest that moral panics can become triggers for punctuated equilibrium in the review process at both the macro and microlevel, albeit with significantly different levels of magnitude and impact. These data suggest that neither the development of the ethics review process nor the process itself proceeds gradually, but both are characterized (...) by periodic major shifts evoked by particular events or situations that result in varying levels of moral panic. One way to deal with this moral panic is to increase the regulation of research and the depth or intensity of the scrutiny of applications under ethics review. Moral panics at the macrolevel influence those at the microlevel and, if the moral panic evoked at the local or microlevel is not satisfactorily resolved, it will evoke action at a higher level. Understanding the evolution of research ethics review processes from this perspective might help make actions by ethics committees and policy makers more understandable and help explain why attention to research ethics are heightened at particular points in time. It may also provide a basis for developing recommendations for adaptations to the ethics review process and policy at both the local and macrolevel. (shrink)
What role does “discursive consciousness” play in decision-making? How does it interact with “practical consciousness?” These two questions constitute two important gaps in strong practice theory that extend from Pierre Bourdieu's habitus to Stephen Vaisey's sociological dual-process model and beyond. The goal of this paper is to provide an empirical framework that expands the sociological dual-process model in order to fill these gaps using models from cognitive neuroscience. In particular, I use models of memory and moral judgment that (...) highlight the importance of executive functions and semantic memory. I outline each model as it pertains to the aforementioned gaps in strong practice theory. I then use the models from cognitive neuroscience to create an expanded dual-process model that addresses how and when conscious mental systems override and interact with subconscious mental systems in the use of cultural ends for decision-making. Finally, using this expanded model I address the sociological debate over the use of interview and survey data. My analysis reveals that surveys and interviews both elicit information encoded in declarative memory and differ primarily in the process of information retrieval that is required of respondents. (shrink)
This article tracks Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as an emergent organizational process that places the employee at its center. Predominantly, research on CSR tends to focus on external pressures and outcomes leading to a neglect of CSR as a dynamic and developing process that relies on the involvement of the employee as a major stakeholder in its co-creation and implementation. Utilizing case study data drawn from a study of a large multinational energy company, we explore how management relies (...) on employees' interaction with CSR as the process of initiation → implementation → maturation develops. Employee involvement grows from a minor element in the CSR initiation stage to a vital contributory factor in CSR's success in the later stages of the process. The article offers new insights into a processual and interactional approach to CSR that accounts for the actions of different actors involved at each stage. Most unusually, it also recognizes the dual impact this has on broader issues concerning the management and involvement of employees through CSR actions, and gaining legitimacy in the eyes of not only external stakeholders but internal too. (shrink)
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme is an innovation in global governance that combines a voluntary industry-led certification system with an inter-state import/export control regime. States, industry, and activists speedily negotiated it in large part due to the concentrated structure of the industry, and the complementary nature of emerging norms regarding both corporate behavior and international intervention in civil conflicts. The potential strength of the Kimberley Process lies in its state-led border controls, but these are being undermined by weak (...) national governments. This effort may not provide an effective model for regulating other "conflict commodities" because of the unique character of the diamond market. (shrink)
Abbreviations Works by Alfred North Whitehead 1) Adventures of Ideas. New York: Macmillan Co., 1967 AI 2) Concept of Nature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971 CN 3) Modes of Thought. New York: Macmillan Co., 1968 MT 4) Process ..
Does a coherentist version of rationality issue requirements on states? Or does it issue requirements on processes? This paper evalu- ates the possibility of process-requirements. It argues that there are two possible definitions of state- and process-requirements: a satisfaction- based definition and a content-based definition. I demonstrate that the satisfaction-based definition is inappropriate. It does not allow us to uphold a clear-cut distinction between state- and process-requirements. We should therefore use a content-based definition of state- and pro- (...) cess-requirements. However, a content-based definition entails that ra- tionality does not issue process-requirements. Content-based process- requirements violate the principle that ‘rationality requires’ implies ‘can satisfy’. The conclusion of this paper therefore amounts to a radical re- jection of process-requirements of rationality. (shrink)
Our comments focus on the ACMCode of Ethics and situate the Code within ageneral ethical decision-making process tospecify the five steps which logically precedehuman action in ethical matters and determinethat action, and the individual differencetraits in these five steps which bear upon theresolution of an ethical problem and lead tomorally responsible action. Our main purpose isto present a cognitive moral processing modelwhich computing professionals can use to betterunderstand their professional rights andduties. It is clear that the Code providessubstantial guidance (...) in the areas ofintellectual property rights, unauthorizedentry into computing systems, and privacy. Inother areas, such as obscenity onbulletin-board systems, the Code is silent. Aninteractive software program which allows theuser to see the ways in which the Code isintegrated and instructive in the six-stepmoral decision-making process is accessible viathe internet. Our secondary purpose is toreformulate the Code as a set of questionswhich allow the computing professional to seepractices which diminish the human person asunethical and those which enhance the humanperson as ethical. (shrink)
Looking back over the last 40 years of work in the philosophy of religion provides a fascinating vantage point from which to assess the state of the discipline today. I describe central features of American philosophy of religion in 1970 and reconstruct the last 40 years as a progression through four main stages. This analysis offers an overarching framework from which to examine the major contributions and debates of process philosophy of religion during the same period. The major thinkers, (...) topics, positions, and controversies are presented, analyzed, and critiqued. In the concluding section I offer a critical appraisal of the state of the field today based on the results of these historical analyses. (shrink)
Due process is the means by which ethical constraints are placed on administrative decision-making. I have developed a model of variation in due process and use this model to explore the implementation of “due process” norms by three standard-setting bodies that are created, funded, and overseen by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants – the Accounting Standards Board, the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board, and the Public Sector Accounting Standards Board. I conducted two analyses: a comparative analysis (...) of the implementation of due process norms based on differences among the three cases; and, a critique of the due process norms followed by these boards based on their internal logic and a set of best practices identified in other contexts for due process by standard setters. I have presented evidence that due process norms are more fully developed, where standards are enforced by the state and the heterogeneity of users is greatest. (shrink)
A combination of process and counterfactual theories of causation is proposed with the aim of preserving the strengths of each of the approaches while avoiding their shortcomings. The basis for the combination, or hybrid, view is the need, common to both accounts, of imposing a stability requirement on the causal relation.
This article explores the patient consent process in modern community pharmacy practice and discusses the related ethical dilemmas in this environment. The myth of appropriately informed consent, and irrefutable evidence as to a pharmacist’s intentions when advising a patient, are core issues for discussion. The objective is to clarify where such dilemmas may exist in the consent process and to ultimately form a framework against which ethical guidelines might facilitate resolution of the dilemma faced by the pharmacist who (...) is expected to simultaneously maintain legal and duty of care responsibilities in the patient consent process. (shrink)
The Process Specification Language (PSL) has been designed to facilitate correct and complete exchange of process information among manufacturing systems, such as scheduling, process modeling, process planning, production planning, simulation, project management, work flow, and business process reengineering. We given an overview of the theories with the PSL ontology, discuss some of the design principles for the ontology, and finish with examples of process specifications that are based on the ontology.
Joshua Greene and his colleagues have proposed a dual-process theory of moral decision-making to account for the effects of emotional responses on our judgments about moral dilemmas that ask us to contemplate causing direct personal harm. Early formulations of the theory contrast emotional and cognitive decision-making, saying that each is the product of a separable neural system. Later formulations emphasize that emotions are also involved in cognitive processing. I argue that, given the acknowledgement that emotions inform cognitive decision-making, a (...) single-process theory can explain all of the data that have been cited as evidence for Greene’s theory. The emotional response to the thought of causing harm may differ in degree, but not in kind, from other emotions influencing moral decision-making. (shrink)
In response to the difficulty of teaching an increasingly large number of students who are ill prepared for the sort of abstract thinking and well-structured essay writing that are essential to the field of Philosophy, I have discovered a five-step method for teaching students in my Philosophy and Social Ethics course how to examine any ethical issue and write well-structured essays discussing the issue. Just as important, students are now required to take more responsibility for the learning process which, (...) I believe, is an appropriate goal for a course in Ethics. (shrink)
We argue that considering only a few ‘big’ ethical decisions in any engineering design process — both in education and practice — only reinforces the mistaken idea of engineering design as a series of independent sub-problems. Using data collected in engineering design organisations over a seven year period, we show how an ethical component to engineering decisions is much more pervasive. We distinguish three types of ethical justification for engineering decisions: (1) consequential, (2) deontological or non-consequential, and (3) virtue-based. (...) We find that although there is some evidence for engineering designers as ‘classic’ consequentialists, a more egocentric consequentialism would appear more fitting. We also explain how the idea of a ‘folk ethics’ — a justification in the second category that consciously weighs one thing with another — fits with the idea of the engineering design process as social negotiation rather than as technological progress. (shrink)
The paper assumes that to be of practical interest process must be understood as physical action that takes place in the world rather than being an idea in the mind. It argues that if an ontology of process is to accommodate actuality, it must be represented in terms of relative probabilities. Folk physics cannot accommodate this, and so the paper appeals to scientific culture because it is an emergent knowledge of the world derived from action in it. (...) class='Hi'>Process is represented as a contradictory probability distribution that does not depend on a spatio-temporal frame. An actuality is a probability density that grounds the values of probabilities to constitute their distributions. Because probability is a conserved value, probability distributions are subject to the constraint of symmetry and must be zero-sum. An actuality is locked-in by other actualities to become a zero-sum symmetry of probability values. It is shown that the locking-in of actualities constructs spatio-temporal locality, lends actualities specificity, and makes them a contradiction. Localization is the basis for understanding empirical observation. Because becoming depends on its construction of being, processes exist as trajectories. The historical trajectories of evolution and revolution as well as the non-historical trajectory of strong emergence are how processes are observed to exist. (shrink)
The recent crises of BSE and FMD in the United Kingdom have revealed widespread concerns on the part of farmers and consumers about government regulations and handling of animal movements, animal welfare, and food safety. Both crises raised issues of government accountability and the lack of openness in public debate. The issues of democratic process and decision-making were especially strong in relation to the mass slaughter policy of the government to control FMD. This article explores public disquiet about these (...) matters, as expressed through the reports of two public inquiries, and the perceived links between government decision-making and the needs of global agribusiness, to the detriment of family farms and animal welfare. In light of the growing evidence about the environmental and economic costs of agribusiness, the argument is made that strong programs of citizen action, such as the Devon Foot and Mouth Inquiry, that are grounded in an ethical stance on animal welfare can challenge the perspectives of central governments about concepts of cost, efficiency, and safety in agriculture. (shrink)
In the last decades philosophers of science and social scientists promoted the view that knowledge of mechanisms might help causal inference considerably in the social sciences. Mechanisms, however, can only assist causal inference effectively if scientists have a means to identify them correctly. Some scholars suggested that process-tracing might be a helpful strategy in this respect. Shared criteria to assess its performance, however, are not available yet; furthermore, the criteria proposed so far tie the validity of process-tracing findings (...) to the specific kind of evidence it uses. In this paper I shall propose a criterion to assess process-tracing performance in cases in which favorable epistemic circumstances do not occur and the existing criteria thus fail to apply. The criterion I propose does not double as a condition for validity. Rather, it aims to assess whether the mechanism process-tracing outlines constitutes admissible evidence for the hypothesis at hand. It will be argued that only if this requirement is fulfilled process-tracing can be used as an effective complement for causal inference. (shrink)
While neuroscience has made enormous progress in understanding the brain, the implications of these empirical findings for ontological questions in philosophy including the mind–body problem remain yet unclear. In the first paper, I discussed the model of brain that as implied and supported by the empirical data. This leads me now to the question of an empirically plausible ontology of brain. Therefore, the aim in this second paper is the ontological characterization of the brain in terms of a process-based (...) ontology that avoids what Whitehead described as “simple location” and “fallacy of misplaced concreteness”. The discussion of the model of the brain is complemented by developing a process-based ontological characterization of the brain. Specifically, as based on Whitehead, I argue that “simple location” of the brain as thing or object in time and space amounts to nothing but an abstraction rendering what Whitehead described as “fallacy of misplaced concreteness”. Instead of describing the brain as static, non-temporal and isolated thing or object, I characterize the brain ontologically by dynamic, temporal, and relational processes. This leads me to a process-based ontology of brain which may be specified in spatiotemporal terms. Since the world’s larger spatiotemporal range or scale contains, e.g., nests, the smaller one of the brain, I characterize their ontological relationship by “spatiotemporal nestedness” and “spatiotemporal directedness”. Such spatiotemporal relationship between world and brain precludes the confusion between the world as whole and the brain as part, e.g., “mereological confusion”. I conclude that process-based or better, more specifically, spatiotemporal ontology of the brain and its relationship to the world may offer novel views on the question for the ontological relationship between mind and brain, e.g., the mind–brain problem, by converting or reformulating it as “world-brain problem”. (shrink)
In his famous essentialist account of identity, Kripke holds that it is necessary to the identity of individual people that they have the parents they do in fact have. Some have disputed this requirement, treating it either as a reason to reject essentialism or as something that should be eliminated in order to make essentialism stronger. I examine the reasoning behind some of these claims and argue that it fails to acknowledge the complex and multi-faceted importance of biological process (...) in determining identity and distinguishing significant differences between biological and non-biological cases. In fact, this failure derives from an inherent tendency to treat the biological case in just the same way as the non-biological case at least at one important point in its history—the point of formation. This analysis offers a way of salvaging Kripke’s original claims. I focus in particular on the views of Graeme Forbes and Teresa Robertson, but also discuss the views of Nathan Salmon, M. S. Price and E. J. Lowe. (shrink)