For as long as realists and instrumentalists have disagreed, partisans of both sides have pointed in argument to the actions and sayings of scientists. Realists in particular have often drawn comfort from the literal understanding given even to very theoretical propositions by many of those who are paid to deploy them. The scientists' realism, according to the realist, is not an idle commitment: a literal understanding of past and present theories and concepts underwrites their employment in the construction of new (...) theories. The theme of this book is philosophy and technology, and here's the connection: new theories point out—and explain— new phenomena. So realism, claim the realists, is at the heart of science's achievement of what Bacon, that early philosopher of technology, identified as science's aim: new knowledge offering new powers. (shrink)
We live in a 'bimoral' society, in which people govern their lives by two contrasting sets of principles. On the one hand there are the principles associated with traditional morality. Although these allow a modicum of self-interest, their emphasis is on our duties and obligations to others: to treat people honestly and with respect, to treat them fairly and without prejudice, to help and are for them when needed, and ultimately, to put their needs above their own. On the other (...) hand there are the principles associated with the entrepreneurial self-interest. These also impose obligations, but of a much more limited kind. Their emphasis is competitive rather than cooperative: to advance our own interests rather than to meet the needs of others. Both sets of principles have always been present in society but in recent years, traditional moral authorities have lost much of their force and the morality of self-interest has acquired a much greater social legitimacy, over a much wider field of behavior, than ever before. The result of this is that in many situations it is no longer at all apparent which set of principles should take precedence. In this book, John Hendry traces the cultural and historical origins of the 'bimoral' society have also led to new, more flexible forms of organizing, which have released people's entrepreneurial energies and significantly enhanced the creative capacities of business. Working within these organizations, however is fraught with moral tensions as obligations and self-interest conflict and managers are pulled in all sorts of different directions. Managing them successfully poses major new challenges of leadership, and 'moral' management, as the technical problem-solving that previously characterized managerial work is increasingly accomplished by technology and market mechanisms. The key role of management becomes the political and moral one of determining purposes and priorities, reconciling divergent interests, and nurturing trust in interpersonal relationships. Exploring these tensions and challenges, Hendry identifies new issues of contemporary management and puts recognized issues into context. He also explores the challenges posed for a post-traditional society as it seeks to regulate and govern an increasingly powerful and global business sector. (shrink)
In this article I sketch G. N. Lewis’s views on chemical bonding and Linus Pauling’s attempt to preserve Lewis’s insights within a quantum‐mechanical theory of the bond. I then set out two broad conceptions of the chemical bond, the structural and the energetic views, which differ on the extent in which they preserve anything like the classical chemical bond in the modern quantum‐mechanical understanding of molecular structure. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Durham University, 50 Old (...) Elvet, Durham DH1 3HN, UK; e‐mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
The two authors of this paper have diametrically opposed views of the prevalence and strength of adaptation in nature. Hendry believes that adaptation can be seen almost everywhere and that evidence for it is overwhelming and ubiquitous. Gonzalez believes that adaptation is uncommon and that evidence for it is ambiguous at best. Neither author is certifiable to the knowledge of the other, leaving each to wonder where the other has his head buried. Extensive argument has revealed that each author (...) thinks his own view is amply supported by both theory and empirical evidence. Further reflection has revealed that the differences in opinion may start with the different disciplines in which we work: evolutionary ecology for Hendry and community ecology for Gonzalez. In the present paper, we each present devastating evidence supporting our own position and thus refuting that of the other. We then identify the critical differences that led to such opposing views. We close by combining our two perspectives into a common framework based on the adaptive landscape, and thereby suggest means by which to assess the prevalence and strength of adaptation. (shrink)
After a decade of intensive debate, stakeholder ideas have come to exert a significant influence on academic managementthinking, but normative stakeholder theory itself appears to be in considerable disarray. This paper attempts to untangle the confusionand to prepare the ground for a more productive approach to the normative stakeholder problem. The paper identifies three distinctkinds of normative stakeholder theory and three different levels of claim that can be made by such theories, and uses this classificationto argue that stakeholder theorists have (...) consistently pitched their sights either too high or too low to engage effectively with the rivalshareholder theory. To the extent that they have their sights too high they have also undermined their own position by sacrificingcredibility and introducing major problems of derivation. (shrink)
We argue that the inference from dispositional essentialism about a property (in the broadest sense) to the metaphysical necessity of laws involving it is invalid. Let strict dispositional essentialism be any view according to which any given property’s dispositional character is precisely the same across all possible worlds. Clearly, any version of strict dispositional essentialism rules out worlds with different laws involving that property. Permissive dispositional essentialism is committed to a property’s identity being tied to its dispositional profile or causal (...) role, yet is compatible with moderate interworld variation in a property’s dispositional profile. We provide such a model of dispositional essentialism about a property and metaphysical contingency of the laws involving it. (shrink)
In this article I assess the problems and prospects of a microstructural approach to chemical substances. Saul Kripke and Hilary Putnam famously claimed that to be gold is to have atomic number 79 and to be water is to be H2O. I relate the first claim to the concept of element in the history of chemistry, arguing that the reference of element names is determined by atomic number. Compounds are more difficult: water is so complex and heterogeneous at the molecular (...) level that `water is H2O' seems false under some interpretations. I sketch a response to this problem. (shrink)
In this article we critically evaluate Robin Le Poidevin's recent attempt to set out an argument for the ontological reduction of chemistry independently of intertheoretic reduction. We argue, firstly, that the argument he envisages applies only to a small part of chemistry, and that there is no obvious way to extend it. We argue, secondly, that the argument cannot establish the reduction of chemistry, properly so called.
Most writers on international business ethics adopt a universalist perspective, but the traditional expression of problems in terms of a discrepancy between (superior) home country and (inferior) host country values makes it difficult to preserve the symmetry required by a universalizability criterion. In this paper a critique of Donaldson’s (1989) theory is used to illustrate some of the ways in which ethnocentric assumptions can enter into a supposedly universalist argument. A number of suggestions are then made for improving Donaldson’s approach (...) by careful attention to the requirement of universalizability, expressed in a contractarian theory in the form of agent symmetry or reciprocity. (shrink)
Lavoisier defined an element as a chemicalsubstance that cannot be decomposed usingcurrent analytical methods. Mendeleev saw anelement as a substance composed of atoms of thesame atomic weight. These `definitions' doquite different things: Lavoisier'sdistinguishes the elements from the compounds,so that the elements may form the basis of acompositional nomenclature; Mendeleev's offersa criterion of sameness and difference forelemental substances, while Lavoisier's doesnot. In this paper I explore the historical andtheoretical background to each proposal.Lavoisier's and Mendeleev's explicitconceptions of elementhood differed from eachother, and (...) from the official IUPAC definitionof `element' of the 1920s. However, Lavoisierand Mendeleev both subscribed to – andemployed – a deeper notion of a chemicalelement as the component of compound substancesthat (i) can survive chemical change, and (ii)explains the chemical behaviour of itscompounds. (shrink)
This paper contends that rationality is more properly evaluated as a property of an organization’s relationships with its stakeholders than of the organization itself. We predicate our approach on the observation that stakeholders can hold goals quite distinct from those of owners and top managers, and these too can be rationally pursued. We build upon stakeholder theory and Weber’s classic distinction between wertrationalitat and zweckrationalitat, adding to them the “new institutionalist” concept of the organization field . Stakeholders employ a variety (...) of direct and indirect mechanisms to rationalize relations with the firm. We discuss four: internal subunits, legislated stakeholder participation, legislated access to information, and direct stakeholder activism. Thesedevelopments are blurring the distinction between the environment and the organization by importing the values and goals of external stakeholders into the internal organization. They are also precipitating a more structured set of relationships among the actors who comprise the field. To the extent that the zweckrationalitat values of managers and owners as well as the wertrationalitat concerns of stakeholders are met, the firm is more rational. (shrink)
In the present study, I sought to more fully understand stakeholder organizations’ strategies for influencing business firms. I conducted interviews with 28 representatives of four environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs): Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Greenpeace, Environmental Defense (ED), and Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Qualitative methods were used to analyze this data, and additional data in the form of reviews of websites and other documents was conducted when provided by interviewees or needed to more fully comprehend interviewee’s comments. Six propositions (...) derived from Frooman (1999) formed the basis for the initial data analysis; all six propositions were supported to some extent. Perhaps more interestingly, the data revealed that Frooman’s model is too parsimonious to adequately describe stakeholder influence strategies and related alliances, necessitating the development of an alternative theoretical model grounded in the data collected. (shrink)
A number of the most influential presentations of normative stakeholder theory are based upon an economic model of the firm as a nexus of contracts. In this paper I argue that the use of such a model to address moral issues is both logically and practically problematic and effectively undermines the stakeholder position. I then sketch out the key characteristics of an alternative, social relationships model of the firm, and show how this might provide a basis for the development of (...) a more relevant and robust version of normative stakeholder theory than has hitherto been proposed. (shrink)
In this paper I investigate two views of theoretical explanation in quantum chemistry, advocated by John Clarke Slater and Charles Coulson. Slater argued for quantum‐mechanical rigor, and the primacy of fundamental principles in models of chemical bonding. Coulson emphasized systematic explanatory power within chemistry, and continuity with existing chemical explanations. I relate these views to the epistemic contexts of their disciplines.
The history of science and the philosophy of science have a long and tangled relationship. On the one hand, philosophical reflection on science can be guided, shaped, and challenged by historical scholarship—a process begun by Thomas Kuhn and continued by successive generations of ‘post-positivist’ historians and philosophers of science. On the other hand, the activity of writing the history of science raises methodological questions concerning, for instance, progress in science, realism and antirealism, and the semantics of scientific theories, questions which (...) are the subject of continued debate in philosophy. Clearly the history and the philosophy of science will continue to challenge each other's research agendas and guiding assumptions. (shrink)
In this paper I examine the relationship between historians, philosophers and sociologists of science, and indeed scientists themselves. I argue that they co-habit a shared intellectual territory ; and they should be able to do so peacefully, and with mutual respect, even if they disagree radically about how to describe the methods and results of science. I then go on to explore some of the challenges to mutually respectful cohabitation between history, philosophy and sociology of science. I conclude by identifying (...) a familiar kind of project in the philosophy of science which seeks to explore the worldview of a particular scientific discipline, and argue that it too has a right to explore the shared territory even though some historians and sociologists may find it methodologically suspect. (shrink)
Over the last twenty years the organization of business activity appears to have shifted from an emphasis on bureaucratic organizations toward an emphasis on market structures. Economic self-interest has acquired a new social legitimacy, and the force of traditional moral authorities has waned. In these circumstances the work of Emile Durkheim on the problematics of business ethics and the impact of a culture of self-interest on the stability of society, work that has hitherto been neglected by the business ethics community, (...) acquires a new relevance. In this paper we review Durkheim''s problematization of business ethics, establish its relevance for the contemporary world, and use it to develop an empirical research agenda for the contemporary sociology of business ethics. (shrink)
By their own account, physicalists are committed to the claim that physics is causally complete, or closed. The claim is presented as an empirical one. However, detailed and explicit empirical arguments for the claim are rare. I argue that molecular models are a key source of evidence but that, on closer inspection, they do not support the completeness claim.
Arthur Fine and André Kukla have argued that realism and instrumentalism are indifferent with respect to scientific practice. I argue that this claim is ambiguous. One interpretation is that for any practice, the fact that that practice yields predictively successful theories is evidentially indifferent between scientific realism and instrumentalism. On the second construal, the claim is that for any practice, adoption of that practice by a scientist is indifferent between their being a realist or instrumentalist. I argue that there are (...) no good arguments for the indifference claim under the second interpretation, and good reasons to think that it is false. (shrink)
In this paper I defend, against Eric Scerri’s objections, the following theses: that Lavoisier and Mendeleev shared a ‘core conception’ of chemical element, and that this core conception underwrites referential continuity in the names of particular elements.Keywords: Antoine Lavoisier; Dmitri Mendeleev; Chemical elements; Substance; Natural kinds; Reference.
In this paper I investigate the relationship between vernacular kind terms and specialist scientific vocabularies. Elsewhere I have developed a defence of realism about the chemical elements as natural kinds. This defence depends on identifying the epistemic interests and theoretical conception of the elements that have suffused chemistry since the mid-eighteenth century. Because of this dependence, it is a discipline-specific defence, and would seem to entail important concessions to pluralism about natural kinds. I argue that making this kind of concession (...) does not imply that vernacular kind terms have independent application conditions. Nor does it preclude us saying that chemists, with their particular epistemic interests, have discovered the underlying nature of water, the stuff that is named and thought about in accordance with the practical interests of everyday life. There are limits to pluralism. (shrink)
This paper discusses the emergence of the concepts of fusion as an energy source and of the controlled fusion reactor. These concepts are shown to have arisen from the bringing together of several different branches of physics, notably nuclear physics, astrophysics, and gas discharge physics, in the period between the two world wars. By the late 1930s, enough information had become available for the possibility of a controlled fusion device to be explored, and a number of physicists seem to have (...) recognized this independently. Such a possibility was the subject of discussion at Los Alamos during and immediately after the war, but the first detailed proposals to be recorded seem to be those of G. P. Thomson and P. C. Thonemann, both working in Britain in the middle to late 1940s. These proposals, which led to the setting up in Britain of the first coherent programme of controlled fusion research, are outlined and discussed. (shrink)