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)
'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.
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)
It is widely believed that such old-fashioned questions have been rendered absurd by the materialism of modern empirical science, but some seemingly 'magical' properties of quantum mechanics have brought them back into serious discussion in some circles. I will examine the possibility of making miracles using well-established principles of quantum mechanics--in particular, the possibility that quantum theory allows for the most desirable ' miracle ' of all: immortality.
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.
Aristotle's treatise De Interpretatione is one of his central works; it continues to be the focus of much attention and debate. 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, basing this view upon a detailed chapter-by-chapter analysis.By treating the work systematically, rather than concentrating on certain selected passages, Whitaker is able to show that, contrary to traditional opinion, (...) it forms an organized and coherent whole. He argues that the De Interpretatione is intended to provide the underpinning for dialectic, the system of argument by question and answer set out in Aristotle's Topics; and he rejects the traditional view that the De Interpretatione concerns the assertion and is oriented towards the formal logic of the Prior Analytics. In doing so, he sheds valuable new light on some of Aristotle's most famous texts. (shrink)
Jarrod Whitaker examines the ritualized poetic construction of male identity in the Rigveda, India's oldest Sanskrit text, arguing that an important aspect of early Vedic life involves the sustained promotion and embodiment of what it means to be a true man.
C. W. A. Whitaker, Aristotle?s De Interpretatione. Contradiction and Dialectic. Oxford:Clarendon Press, 1996. x + 235 pp., £30. ISBN 0 19 823619 0 Ulrich Nortmann, Modale Syllogismen, mögliche Welten, Essentialismus. Eine Analyse der aristotelischen Modallogik (Perspektiven der Analytischen Philo-sophie/Perspectives in Analytical Philosophy, 9). Berlin and New York:Walter de Gruyter, 1996. x + 427 pp. DM 260.00 (for members of the Society for Analytical Philosophy DM 98.00). ISBN 3-11-014660-6.
This collection of twelve original essays commissioned by Britain's Royal Economic Society commemorates the 1990 centennial of the first publication of Alfred Marshall's Principles of Economics, one of the truly seminal works in the history of the subject. Marshall, who lived from 1842 to 1924, was the founder of the Cambridge school of economics and the teacher of John Maynard Keynes. Each of the twelve essays in this volume focuses on some aspect or aspects of Marshall's work, life, or legacy. (...) His magnum opus, the Principles, receives considerable attention, but the discussion is not narrowly restricted to that work - which was in any case only a portion of a larger project, never completed. John Whitaker's essay sets out the detailed history of Marshall's failure to complete the projected second volume of the Principles, and describes the thorny path leading to the publication of Industry and Trade in 1919 and Money Credit and Commerce in 1923. (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)
Coregulation refers to the process by which relationship partners form a dyadic emotional system involving an oscillating pattern of affective arousal and dampening that dynamically maintains an optimal emotional state. Coregulation may represent an important form of interpersonal emotion regulation, but confusion exists in the literature due to a lack of precision in the usage of the term. We propose an operational definition for coregulation as a bidirectional linkage of oscillating emotional channels between partners, which contributes to emotional stability for (...) both partners. We propose several distinctions and raise unanswered questions that will need to be addressed in order to understand the relevance of coregulation for well-being in adulthood. (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)
The stucly assesses how a social desirabiIity bias influences the relationship between several independent and dependent variables commonly investigated in ethics research. The effect of a SD bias was observed when a questionnaire was administered under varying conditions of anonymity and with different measurement techniques for the SD construct. Findings reveal that a SD bias is present in the majority of relationships studied, and it most frequently plays a moderating role. While the measure of SD influences the strength and type (...) of relationship, condition of anonymity has relatively little effect on the level of SD. (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)
The present study applied Ajzen's (1985) theory of planned behavior to the explanation of ethical decision making. Nurses in three hospitals were provided with scenarios that depicted inadequate patient care and asked if they would report health professionals responsible for the situation. Study results suggest that the theory of planned behavior can explain a significant amount of variation in the intent to report a colleague. Attitude toward performing the behavior explained a large portion of the variance; subjective norms explained a (...) moderate amount of the variance; and, perceived behavioral control added little to the explanation of variance. Implications for research and practice are discussed. (shrink)
Extensive interest in business ethics has developed accompanied by an increase in empirical research on the determinants of unethical conduct. In setting forth the theory of reasoned action, Fishbein and Ajzen (1975) maintained that research attention on such variables as personality traits and demographic characteristics is misplaced and, instead, researchers should focus on behavioral intentions and the beliefs that shape those intentions. This study summarizes business ethics research which tests the theory of reasoned action and suggests directions for further research.
For many years after Bohr's response to the EPR argument, Bohr was considered to have provided an authoritative rebuttal of the ideas of the paper, and more generally of Einstein's stance on quantum theory. More recently, however, there has been great difficulty even in achieving general agreement on Bohr's meaning. Two recent papers, by Dickson, and by Clifton and Halvorson, have sought to establish the structure of Bohr's argument. In the present paper, the papers of EPR and Bohr are re-assessed (...) in the light of these recent papers, and also in light of the development and presentation of quantum information theory. (shrink)
Businesses that maintain ethical standards have an advantage in the marketplace based on the increasing interest of consumers in products that have a social and ethical component. Fair trade organisations that adopt environmental, social and ethical principles in trading are in a good position to make the most of this growing interest in the market. However, it is unclear whether fair trade organisations are taking full advantage of emerging market opportunities for ethically traded products. This research explores this issue by (...) describing the business strategies of three fair trade organisations that import and sell craft goods into Western countries and evaluates them in the context of this growing market. The research findings indicate that in order to remain in business, fair trade craft organisations have had to adopt better business practices in recent years, improving quality, customer service and product offerings to customers. However, growth appears to be limited, as distribution remains focused on a small, niche market. This paper explores the distribution strategies of two fair trade commodity organisations that are successfully reaching a wider customer base, demonstrating that fair trade products have a unique selling advantage in the mainstream marketplace. In conclusion, fair trade craft organisations are not exploiting this market opportunity to the degree they should and will need to explore wider distribution and alternative business strategies to expand their market share. (shrink)
A comprehensive formal system is developed that amalgamates the operational and the realistic approaches to quantum mechanics. In this formalism, for example, a sharp distinction is made between events, operational propositions, and the properties of physical systems.
The treatment decisions of competent adults, especially treatment refusals, are generally respected. In the case of minors something turns on their age, and older minors ought increasingly to make their own decisions. On the other hand, parents decide on behalf of infants and young children. Their right to do so can best be justified in terms of the importance of preserving intimate family relationships, rather than in terms of the child's best interests, although the child's best interests will most often (...) follow from this arrangement. Nevertheless, there are and ought to be legal, ethical, and financial constraints on parental decision making. (shrink)
Interest in children’s agency within the research process has led to a renewed consideration of the relationships between researchers and children. Child protection concerns are sometimes not recognised by researchers, and sometimes ignored. Yet much research on children’s lives, especially in health, has the potential to uncover child abuse. University research guidance should be in place to safeguard both researchers and the populations under scrutiny. The aim of this study was to examine university guidance on protecting children in research contexts.
In his paper titled ‘Against “measurement” ’ [Physics World 3(8), 33–40 ], Bell criticised arguments that use the concept of measurement to justify the statistical interpretation of quantum theory. Among these was the text of Gottfried [Quantum Mechanics (Benjamin, New York, )]. Gottfried has replied to this criticism, claiming to show that, for systems with both continuous and discrete degrees of freedom, the statistical interpretation for the discrete variables is implied by requiring that the continuous variables are described classically. In (...) the present paper, Gottfried’s argument is criticised. It is suggested that he takes over aspects of classical physics which are in conflict with the classical limit of the Schrödinger equation. He incorrectly assumes that, in the output from a Stern-Gerlach apparatus, the wave-function of any ion is restricted to one or another of the beams. (shrink)
Piron's axioms for a realistically interpreted quantum mechanics are analyzed in detail within the context of a formal mathematical structure expressed in the conventional set-theoretic idiom of mathematics. As a result, some of the serious misconceptions that have encouraged recent criticisms of Piron's axioms are exposed.
The problem of resource allocation in health has stimulated much thought and research, in attempts to provide objective, rational methods by which necessary choices can be made. One such method was proposed in a paper in this journal. The authors argued for a utilitarian approach, which they claimed to demonstrate was acceptable to society at large. This paper argues that the evidence supporting such a claim was flawed; such a utilitarian approach is not socially acceptable, and is therefore not relevant. (...) Rather more relevant directions for research are discussed, based on the assertion that a degree of realism is essential when considering the problems of resource allocation. (shrink)
Palliative care is a recent branch of health care. The doctors, nurses, and other professionals involved in it took their inspiration from the medieval idea of the hospice, but have now extended their expertise to every area of health care: surgeries, nursing homes, acute wards, and the community. This has happened during a period when patients wish to take more control over their own lives and deaths, resources have become scarce, and technology has created controversial life-prolonging treatments. Palliative care is (...) therefore faced with more ethical problems that other areas of health care. This book, by a clinician, teacher, and writer on health care ethics, has been written to provide all those who care for the terminally ill--doctors, nurses, social workers, clergymen, physiotherapists--with the concepts and principles which will assist them with difficult decisions. It challenges many received doctrines of palliative care, but its well-illustrated central theme is that technical expertise must be controlled by humane, non-technical judgments. (shrink)
In orthodox quantum mechanics, it has virtually become the custom to identify properties of a physical system with operationally testable propositions about the system. The causes and consequences of this practice are explored mathematically in this paper. Among other things, it is found that such an identification imposes severe constraints on the admissible states of the physical system.
In The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Habermas makes the claim that the unprecedented public use of critical reason was an essential constituent of the early modern European (bourgeois) public sphere (1991, 27-28, 105-6, and more generally 1-117). Narrating the history of the particular concept of critical reason that animated the public sphere, Habermas locates its origin in the practical reason (phronesis) of Aristotle but argues that Niccolò Machiavelli and Thomas More had drastically transformed the concept when they substituted (...) for phronesis a practical reason based instead on techne (1973, 42, 50-51). Machiavelli's role was central in this transformation, for he "reduces the practical .. (shrink)
Despite the prevalence of elective business ethics courses, little research has sought to explain and predict why some students enroll in these courses and while others do not. Using the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen and Madden, 1986) as a theoretical foundation, 178 graduate students in Ireland were surveyed about their intention to sign up for an elective ethics class. Their behavior was measured two months later. The results reveal the power of the theory of planned behavior to explain and (...) predict who takes elective ethics classes. (shrink)
Since the mid-1990s, there has been a rise in the number of deaths of undocumented Mexican migrants crossing the U.S./Mexican border. Who is responsible for these deaths? This article examines the culpability of (1) migrants, (2) humanitarian volunteers, (3) the Mexican government, (4) the U.S. government, and (5) U.S. businesses. A significant portion of the blame is assigned to U.S. free trade policies and U.S. businesses employing undocumented immigrants.