Expert Systems (ES) are as yet imperfectly defined. Their two consistently cited characteristics are domain knowledge and expert-level performance. We propose that current structural definitions are inadequate and suggest a view of ES as communication channels. We proceed to explore the factors influencing applicability of ES technology to an enterprise and the impacts that could be expected. A consequence of this view is the idea of incremental information loss on the path from the expert to the ES user. Strategies for (...) minimizing this loss derive naturally from our perspective and are evident in successful ES. (shrink)
The referential focus of this paper is not a hypothesis or theoretical point per se. Instead, it is the body of work (hereafter termed autopoietic theory) developed by Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela. The intended audience is not a community of critical scholars per se. Instead it is the "community of interest" for whom autopoietic theory is at least an object of interest and at most an object of personal commitment. To the extent autopoietic theory has prospered and spread over (...) the last quarter century, it has often been a function of highly interactive, even personal, relationships among self-acknowledged adherents and those generally interested. Owing to the distribution of such correspondents across diverse disciplines, their cohesion as a "community" has been tenuous at best. I wish to step back from the usual scholarly perspective and use this venue to address what may be termed the pragmatics of autopoietic theory. The intention is to offer some sort of "state of the community" assessment, recommendations, and / or tips regarding: (a) autopoietic theory's documentary corpus; (b) discourse on autopoietic theory; and (c) applying the theory in the context of focused research. The goal is to help orient newcomers and provoke reflection among the "veterans.". (shrink)
The title of this paper represents a "trick question" of the sort an interlocutor might employ to solicit an answer which, if framed with specific regard to the question's implicatures, cannot fail to confirm that interlocutor's position or further his aims. The best-known query of this form is the cliched "Do you still beat your spouse?" To escape being trapped, the respondent must either (a) avoid answering or (b) point out and refute the implication(s) embedded in the question itself. In (...) practice, both options typically entail risk. Option (a) may violate the procedural form of the "language game" (cf. Wittgenstein, 1963) within which the question occurs, while option (b) may violate the thematic or orientational focus presumed or enacted in that language game. This paper is intended to outline a "trick question" (that of the title) which has over the years been a recurrent challenge slung at adherents of the theories which have brought us together here in Belo Horizonte. If the following text accomplishes my intentions, it will explain the challenge, assess our response(s) to date, and offer suggestions about what (if any) further action it may prudently motivate. (shrink)
'Self organization' is a popular theme in current studies of human social activity, enterprises, and information technology (IT). This document introduces one well developed theory of self organization (autopoietic theory) and discusses its application to enterprises and their management.
De Interpretatione is among Aristotle's most influential and widely read writings; C. W. A. Whitaker presents the first systematic study of this work, and offers a radical new view of its aims, its structure, and its place in Aristotle's system. He shows that De Interpretatione is not a disjointed essay on ill-connected subjects, as traditionally thought, but a highly organized and systematic treatise on logic, argument, and dialectic.
This is the first philosophical study of artifacts that is book length. In it Randall Dipert develops a theory of what artifacts are and applies it extensively to one of the most complex and intriguing kind of artifacts, art works. He presents his own account of what agents, intentions, and actions are, then uses these notions to clarify what it is for an agent to "make" something. From this starting point, he develops a full theory of artifacts and other (...) artificial things - and, especially, a theory of art works and performances of art works as artifacts. He proposes a theory of nature and of the value of nature as what is essentially nonartificial. Two chapters are devoted to value considerations: merit in artifacts generally, and the evaluation of art works and performance art as artifacts or intentional gestures. Believing that a developed theory of action and philosophy of mind is necessary for a developed aesthetics and philosophy of art, Dipert relies on classical and contemporary research on agency, actions, and intentions, and on the intentionalist theory of mental objects of Brentano and Meinong. Dipert considers artifacts to be physical entities, but he also includes in the definition thoughts, utterances, and performances. This vast category encompasses everyday household objects and tools, streets and edifices, as well as communicative and artistic artifacts. Especially with regard to artistic artifacts, Dipert proposes a theory of expression and communication as actions and extensively discusses the problems of interpreting and recognizing actions, artifacts, and art works. (shrink)
_A Companion to the Philosophy of Education_ is a comprehensive guide to philosophical thinking about education. Offers a state-of-the-art account of current and controversial issues in education, including issues pertaining to multiculturalism, special education, sex education, and academic freedom. Written by an international team of leading experts, who are directly engaged with these profound and complex educational problems. Serves as an indispensable guide to the field of philosophy of education.
Character education in schools has been high on the UK political agenda for the last few years. The government has invested millions in grants to support character education projects and declared its intention to make Britain a global leader in teaching character and resilience. But the policy has many critics: some question whether schools should be involved in the formation of character at all; others worry that the traits schools are being asked to cultivate are excessively competitive or military. In (...) this pamphlet Randall Curren sets out a robust defence of character education. He welcomes the political support it presently enjoys, but contends that greater clarity about the nature, benefits and acquisition of good character is essential. In particular, he argues that too narrow a focus on traits like perseverance and resilience is a serious mistake: these traits are only virtues when they are part of a wider set of moral and intellectual qualities, and when their exercise is guided by good judgment. Curren offers us a compelling and coherent account of what good character is and how it might be cultivated in schools. He explains why schools must be needs-supporting environments that provide students with opportunities to engage in rewarding activity, and why cultivating good character implies promoting the ‘fundamental British values’ of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance. His groundbreaking pamphlet promises to expand the scope and strengthen the foundations of character education in British schools, and should go a long way towards allaying the fears of its detractors. (shrink)
In the popular misconception fostered by blockbuster action movies and best-selling thrillers--not to mention conventional explanations by social scientists--violence is easy under certain conditions, like poverty, racial or ideological hatreds, or family pathologies. Randall Collins challenges this view in Violence, arguing that violent confrontation goes against human physiological hardwiring. It is the exception, not the rule--regardless of the underlying conditions or motivations. -/- Collins gives a comprehensive explanation of violence and its dynamics, drawing upon video footage, cutting-edge forensics, and (...) ethnography to examine violent situations up close as they actually happen--and his conclusions will surprise you. Violence comes neither easily nor automatically. Antagonists are by nature tense and fearful, and their confrontational anxieties put up a powerful emotional barrier against violence. Collins guides readers into the very real and disturbing worlds of human discord--from domestic abuse and schoolyard bullying to muggings, violent sports, and armed conflicts. He reveals how the fog of war pervades all violent encounters, limiting people mostly to bluster and bluff, and making violence, when it does occur, largely incompetent, often injuring someone other than its intended target. Collins shows how violence can be triggered only when pathways around this emotional barrier are presented. He explains why violence typically comes in the form of atrocities against the weak, ritualized exhibitions before audiences, or clandestine acts of terrorism and murder--and why a small number of individuals are competent at violence. (shrink)
There has been considerable debate in the literature about the relative merits of information processing versus dynamical approaches to understanding cognitive processes. In this article, we explore the relationship between these two styles of explanation using a model agent evolved to solve a relational categorization task. Specifically, we separately analyze the operation of this agent using the mathematical tools of information theory and dynamical systems theory. Information-theoretic analysis reveals how task-relevant information flows through the system to be combined into a (...) categorization decision. Dynamical analysis reveals the key geometrical and temporal interrelationships underlying the categorization decision. Finally, we propose a framework for directly relating these two different styles of explanation and discuss the possible implications of our analysis for some of the ongoing debates in cognitive science. (shrink)
This paper addresses a puzzle about moral learning concerning its social context and the potential for moral progress: Won't the social context of moral learning shape moral perceptions, beliefs, and motivation in ways that will inevitably limit moral motivation, perceptiveness, and progress? It addresses the relationships between habituation and moral reasoning in Aristotelian moral education, and assesses Julia Annas’s attempt to defend the possibility of moral progress within a virtue ethical framework. Focusing on the motivational core of the puzzle, the (...) paper argues that Self-determination Theory provides resources for better understanding how moral progress is possible and how moral education can facilitate such progress. (shrink)
The central question for this book is whether schools should attempt to cultivate patriotism, and if so why, how, and with what conception of patriotism in mind. The promotion of patriotism has figured prominently in the history of public schooling in the United States, always with the idea that patriotism is both an inherently admirable attribute and an essential motivational basis for good citizenship. It has been assumed, in short, that patriotism is a virtue in its own right and that (...) it is a foundational aspect of civic virtue more generally. Through an integrated historical and philosophical approach, this book demonstrates that there have been many and diverse attempts to cultivate patriotism in public schools in the United States and that they have been predicated on different conceptions of patriotism, citizenship, and learning. In order to assess these assumptions and evaluate the various practices of patriotic education, we address the nature of virtue and the motivational foundations of civic responsibility, and we frame a general approach to the ethics of education. We find that the history of attempts to cultivate patriotism in schools offers both cautionary and positive lessons. We argue that there is a virtuous form of patriotism and that an inclusive and enabling just school community may contribute to its development. Yet, we conclude that patriotism is not a virtue as such. We argue that civic virtue is what schools should aim to cultivate, and that civic education should be organized around three components of civic virtue, namely civic intelligence, civic friendship, and civic competence. We hold that virtuous patriotism is an appropriate responsiveness to a country’s value, and that such responsiveness is part and parcel of civic virtue that is also responsive to what has value beyond one’s own country. The book concludes with a defense of global civic education, arguing that it should promote global civic friendship and cooperation. The book situates its understanding of patriotism in the context of nationalist, populist, and authoritarian movements in the United States and Europe, and it mounts a spirited defense of democratic institutions that should be of interest to anyone concerned about the polarization of public life and future of democracy. (shrink)
In this provocative book, Randall Havas articulates an approach to Nietzsche which demonstrates that the authentic individual need not stand apart from his or her culture in order to resist the demands of conformism. On Havas's reading, the task of the Nietzschean individual is instead to replace the illusion of culture - "herd morality" - with real community, and in this way to avoid nihilism. It is such community that Nietzsche aspires to establish with his readers - a claim (...) that, in the author's view, suggests that Nietzsche's conception of the nature of community and, hence, of individuality must be understood in terms of his theory of reading and interpretation. Nietzsche holds that the category of the individual is itself a historical construct. Havas's interpretation of this view dissolves the threat it appears to pose to individualism. By treating genealogical method as a response to this threat, he shows how Nietzsche's defense of individualism, his conception of history, and his commitment to truth reinforce one another. On this reading, Nietzsche's more properly ethical concerns lie at the heart of his understanding of the will to knowledge. Havas argues that, for Nietzsche, ostensibly epistemological questions can be assessed only in the light of an understanding of the interdependence between individual and community. (shrink)
Taking the possibility of visual argumentation seriously, this essay explores how refutation might proceed. We posit three ways in which images can refute and be refuted in a mixed-media environment: dissection, in which an image is broken down discursively; substitution, in which one image is replaced within a larger visual frame by a different image; and transformation, in which an image is recontextualized in a new visual frame. These strategies are illustrated in an analysis of three American documentary films on (...) abortion. (shrink)
The paper addresses several issues in the morality of cyberwar and cyberwarfare, defined as one nation's attacks on the governmental or civilian information systems of another nation. It sketches the diverse technical ways in which an attack may occur, including denial-of-service attacks and the insertion of various forms of malware. It argues that existing international law and widely discussed principles of Just War Theory do not straightforwardly apply to cyberwarfare, and many forms of cyberwarfare differ from previous forms of warfare (...) in neither injuring nor killing human beings, nor causing lasting physical damage ? but can nevertheless cause serious harm to a nation's vital interests. Another dissimilarity with traditional warfare is in the degree of knowledge of the identity of an attacker (the ?attribution problem?). The paper argues that cyberwarfare is not amenable to regulation by international pacts and that we can expect long periods of low-level, multilateral cyberwarfare, a Cyber Cold War, as a game-theoretic equilibrium is sought,. The paper laments the lack of a cyberwarfare policy, and concludes that it is only by applying game-theoretic principles that strategies can be discovered that are both moral and effective in suppressing overall harm to all parties in the long run. (shrink)
This review essay examines some central aspects of Kristján Kristjánsson’s book, Aristotelian Character Education, beginning with the claim that contemporary virtue ethics provides methodological, ontological, epistemological, and moral foundations for Aristotelian character education. It considers three different formulations of what defines virtue ethics, and suggests that virtue ethical moral theory has steered character educators away from important aspects of Aristotle’s views on character education. It goes on to suggest a broadening of attention to psychology beyond personality and the psychological status (...) of virtues, and it concludes with an examination of Kristjánsson’s understanding of phronesis. (shrink)
Many researchers in the field of business ethics have attempted to develop methods to determine and evaluate the ethics of a variety of different classes of people, including students, professionals, and mixed samples of students and professionals. Unfortunately, most of these studies were disjunctive, simply adding confusion to an already unfocused area of research. However, Reidenbach and Robin (1988, 1990), have changed this trend by attempting to quantify the various ethical philosophies into a multi-dimensional scale of business ethics. This paper (...) examines the background of the Reidenbach and Robin (1988, 1990) scale — including the authors'' findings, empirically tests the scale, and concludes that the scale needs further refinement. A promising result is a model with four dimensions: a broadbased ethical judgment dimension, a deontological judgment dimension, a teleological judgment dimension, and a social contract dimension. (shrink)
This study examines the impact of a social desirability response bias as a personality characteristic (self-deception and impression management) and as an item characteristic (perceived desirability of the behavior) on self-reported ethical conduct. Findings from a sample of college students revealed that self-reported ethical conduct is associated with both personality and item characteristics, with perceived desirability of behavior having the greatest influence on self-reported conduct. Implications for research in business ethics are drawn, and suggestions are offered for reducing the effects (...) of a socially desirable response bias. (shrink)
Using 94 published empirical articles in academic journals as a data base, this paper provides a critical review of the methodology employed in the study of ethical beliefs and behavior of organizational members. The review revealed that full methodological detail was provided in less than one half of the articles. Further, the majority of empirical research articles expressed no concern for the reliability or validity of measures, were characterized by low response rates, used convenience samples, and did not offer a (...) theoretic framework, hypotheses, or a definition of ethics. Several recommendations, including a reviewer rating form addressing methodological decisions and inclusion of methodologists on the review panel, are offered to improve methodological rigor in published ethics research. (shrink)
As corporate scandals proliferate, organizational researchers and practitioners have made calls for research providing guidance for those wishing to influence positive moral decision-making and behavior in the workplace. This study incorporates social cognitive theory and a vignette-based cognitive measure for moral imagination to examine (a) moral attentiveness and employee creativity as important antecedents of moral imagination and (b) creativity as a moderator of the positive relationship between moral attentiveness and moral imagination. Based on the results from supervisor–subordinate dyadic data (N (...) = 162) obtained from employed students, hypotheses were largely supported as expected. Implications are discussed. (shrink)
A post-Newtonian understanding of matter includes immaterial forces; thus, the concept of ‘physical’ has lost what usefulness it previously had and Cartesian dualism has, consequently, ceased to support a divide between the mental and the physical. A contemporary scientific understanding of mind that goes back at least as far as Priestley in the 18th century, not only includes immaterial components but identifies brain parts in which these components correlate with neural activity. What are we left with? The challenge is no (...) longer to figure out how a physical brain interacts with a nonphysical mind, but to try to unify theories of mind and theories of brain that to date do not share a single property. The challenge is enormous, but at least we can be quite clear about what its nature is, as there is no reason to be distracted by the idea of two distinct substances. In the present volume, many historical perspectives on the mind-body problem are discussed. In what follows, we follow major currents of thought regarding the mind-body problem so that it can be seen how we arrived at the modern conception that it makes sense only to talk about theory unification. (shrink)
Aristotle regarded law and education as the two fundamental and deeply interdependent tools of political art, making the use of education by the statesman a topic of the first importance in his practical philosophy. The present work develops the first comprehensive treatment of this neglected topic, and assesses the importance of Aristotle's defense of public education for current debates about school choice and privatization, and educational equality.
cis is presented of Randall Collins's book, The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change. It presents a sociological theory of intellectual networks that connect thinkers in chains of masters and pupils, colleagues and rivals, and of the internalized conversations that constitute the social processes of thinking. The theory is used to analyze long-term developments of the intellectual communities of philosophers in ancient Greece, ancient and medieval China and India, medieval and modern Japan, medieval Islam and Judaism, (...) medieval Christendom, and modern Europe through the early 20th century. (shrink)
Is faith that p compatible with disbelief that p? I argue that it is. After surveying some recent literature on the compatibility of propositional and non-propositional forms of faith with the lack of belief, I take the next step and offer several arguments for the thesis that both these forms of faith are also compatible, in certain cases, with outright disbelief. This is contrary to the views of some significant recent commentators on propositional faith, including Robert Audi and Daniel Howard-Snyder. (...) The primary argument revolves around the possibility of maintaining a single faith through drastic changes in cognitive attitude. I argue that once we allow that propositional faith is compatible with weaker cognitive attitudes than belief, such as acceptance or assent, there is prima facie reason to consider propositional faith as sometimes compatible with disbelief. I then consider objections and offer some final reflections on the significance of the thesis. (shrink)
Ethical dimensions of friendship have rarely been explicitly addressed as aspects of friendship quality in studies of children's peer relationships. This study identifies aspects of moral virtue significant for friendship, as a basis for empirically investigating the role of ethical qualities in children's friendship assessments and aspirations. We introduce a eudaimonic conception of friendship quality, identify aspects of moral virtue foundational to such quality, review and contest some grounds on which children have been regarded as not mature enough to have (...) friendships that require virtue, and report a qualitative study of the friendship assessments and aspirations of children aged nine and ten. In focus group sessions conducted in ten schools across Great Britain, moral qualities figured prominently in children's assessments of friendship quality. The findings provide evidence of children having friendships exhibiting mutual respect, support, and valuing of each other's good character. (shrink)
The purpose of this study was to build upon previous ethical research; thereby, advancing the hospitality industry's understanding of ethical decision making in lodging operations. In particular, this study reviewed: (a) the primary normative ethical precepts (i.e., egoism, benevolence, and principle) used as a criterion in ethical decision making, and (b) the predominant locus of analysis (e.g., individual, local, or cosmopolitan referent sources) used in applying ethical precepts to ethical decisions.The sample consisted of 500 lodging operations as randomly abstracted from (...) the 1994 Hotel Travel Index produced by Reed Travel. The researcher selected full service, limited service, or as rooms-only lodging operations throughout the United States. A full service property offered guest rooms, meeting rooms, and food and beverage services. A limited service property offered a continental breakfast, small meeting facilities, and guest sleeping rooms. A rooms-only property only offered guest rooms. This purposive sampling process resulted in 198 usable surveys. (shrink)