Measurement in soft systems generally cannot exploit physical sensors as data acquisition devices. The emphasis in this case is instead on how to choose the appropriate indicators and to combine their values so to obtain an overall result, interpreted as the value of a property, i.e., the measurand, for the system under analysis. This paper aims at discussing the epistemological conditions of the claim that such a process is a measurement, and performance evaluation is the case introduced to support the (...) analysis, performed in systematic comparison with the paradigm of measurement of physical quantities. Some background questions arising here are: – Are the chosen indicators appropriate performance indicators? – Do such indicators convey complete and non-redundant information on performance? – Does the chosen combination rule generate results suitably interpretable as performance values? And enlarging the focus: – Does the obtained value specifically convey information on the system under analysis, instead of some different entity (typically including the subject who is evaluating)? Operatively: would different subjects evaluate the same system in the same way? i.e., is the obtained information objective? – Does the obtained value convey information that is interpretable in the same way by different subjects? Operatively: would different subjects who have agreed on a decision procedure make the same decision from the same performance information? i.e., is the obtained information intersubjective? Any well founded positive answers to these questions significantly support a structural interpretation of measurement encompassing both physical and soft measurement. (shrink)
Predictive genetic testing for susceptibility to psychiatric conditions is likely to become part of standard practice. Because the onset of most psychiatric diseases is in late adolescence or early adulthood, testing minors could lead to early identification that may prevent or delay the development of these disorders. However, due to their complex aetiology, psychiatric genetic testing does not provide the immediate medical benefits that current guidelines require for testing minors. While several authors have argued non-medical benefits may play a crucial (...) role in favour of predictive testing for other conditions, little research has explored such a role in psychiatric disorders. This paper outlines the potential non-medical benefits and harms of psychiatric genetic testing in minors in order to consider whether the non-medical benefits could ever make such testing appropriate. Five non-medical themes arise in the literature: psychological impacts, autonomy/self-determination, implications of the biomedical approach, use of financial and intellectual resources, and discrimination. Non-medical benefits were prominent in all of them, suggesting that psychiatric genetic testing in minors may be appropriate in some circumstances. Further research needs to empirically assess these potential non-medical benefits, incorporate minors in the debate, and include normative reflection to evaluate the very purposes and motivations of psychiatric genetic testing in minors. (shrink)
In this paper, we examine the problems facing a policy maker who observes inconsistent choices made by agents who are boundedly rational. We contrast a model-less and a model-based approach to welfare economics. We make the case for the model-based approach and examine its advantages as well as some problematic issues associated with it.
We formulate and investigate experimentally a model of how individuals choose between time sequences of monetary outcomes. The model assumes that a decision maker uses, sequentially, two criteria to screen options. Each criterion only permits a decision between some pairs of options, while the other options are incomparable according to that criterion. When the first criterion is not decisive, the decision maker resorts to the second criterion to select an alternative. We find that: (1) traditional economic models based on discounting (...) alone cannot explain a significant (almost 30%) proportion of the data no matter how much variability in the discount functions is allowed; (2) our model, despite considering only a specific (exponential) form of discounting, can explain the data much better solely thanks to the use of the secondary criterion; (3) our model explains certain specific patterns in the choices of the “irrational” people. We reject the hypothesis that anomalous behavior is due simply to random “mistakes” around the basic predictions of discounting theories: deviations are not random and there are clear systematic patterns of association between “irrational” choices. (shrink)
We study preferences over lotteries which do not necessarily satisfy completeness. We provide a characterization which generalizes Expected Utility theory. We show in particular that various sure-thing axioms are needed to guaranteee the representability in terms of utility intervals rather than numbers, and to provide a linear interval order representation which is very much in the spirit of Expected Utility theory.
Dans cet article, nous examinerons quelques aspects de la syntaxe du sujet dans les dialectes occitans du Piémont occidental, dans les dialectes francoprovençaux du Piémont occidental et du Val d’Aoste, y compris les parlers de Celle di Faeto (francoprovençal) dans les Pouilles et de Guardia Piemontese (occitan) en Calabre : l’existence de clitiques sujets, l’absence de l’accord entre verbe et sujet post-posé, l’inversion du verbe et du clitique sujet dans les constructions interrogatives. Toutes ces propriétés morphosyntaxiques qui apparaissent dans les (...) dialectes occitans et francoprovençaux caractérisent également les autres dialectes de l’Italie septentrionale (Bracco, Brandi et Cordin 1985, Poletto 1993, 2000, Rizzi 1986). En revanche, les dialectes occitans et francoprovençaux ne forment pas un groupe identifiable d’une manière univoque, mais ils se subdivisent en typologies grammaticales différentes. (shrink)
The present volume is one of a type we should soon expect to be seeing more of in philosophy of medicine. Philosophy of medicine has now been around long enough that entire careers, or at least substantial portions of careers, can and have been devoted to it. This is an important milestone in the field.This is true, even though, as the author indicates in the introduction, this is not solely a book of philosophy of medicine. Investigations in philosophy of medicine, (...) and the essays included in this volume in particular, can not only contribute to “the development of philosophy of medicine as a discipline” but can also “test and help revise some of [philosophy of science’s] views” . Thus, this book is intended as a contribution both to philosophy of medicine as a specific discipline and to philosophy of science generally. Both of these aspects of the book could attract the attention of the current audience.The book focuses .. (shrink)
Raffaella De Rosa discusses the theory of sensory perception, especially color perception, offered by Ren Descartes. She offers a detailed overview of the recent literature on the topic and provides a new reading of Descartes' theory; she also raises questions of great interest in the contemporary philosophy of mind and cognitive science.
Raffaella De Rosa discusses the theory of sensory perception, especially color perception, offered by René Descartes. She offers a detailed overview of the recent literature on the topic and provides a new reading of Descartes' theory; she also raises questions of great interest in the contemporary philosophy of mind and cognitive science.
This paper studies the influence of an organization’s time perspective on triple bottom line deployment through sustainable innovativeness. Although academics increasingly consider sustainable innovation to be an essential element in deploying the triple bottom line, the degree of an organization’s sustainable innovativeness remains limited. Using ten inductive case studies based on the triangulation of data from multiple-respondent interviews and secondary data, this study shows that an organization’s time perspective plays a crucial role in explaining the organization’s degree of sustainable innovativeness (...) and improvement of triple bottom line outcomes. Specifically, organizations with a longer planning horizon, higher tolerance of uncertainty, and greater ability to learn from the past develop a higher and increasing degree of sustainable innovativeness, allowing trade-offs between triple bottom line dimensions to be mitigated. (shrink)