What motives underlie the ways humans interact socially? Are these the same for all societies? Are these part of our nature, or influenced by our environments?Over the last decade, research in experimental economics has emphatically falsified the textbook representation of Homo economicus. Literally hundreds of experiments suggest that people care not only about their own material payoffs, but also about such things as fairness, equity and reciprocity. However, this research left fundamental questions unanswered: Are such social preferences stable components of (...) human nature; or, are they modulated by economic, social and cultural environments? Until now, experimental research could not address this question because virtually all subjects had been university students, and while there are cultural differences among student populations throughout the world, these differences are small compared to the full range of human social and cultural environments. A vast amount of ethnographic and historical research suggests that people's motives are influenced by economic, social, and cultural environments, yet such methods can only yield circumstantial evidence about human motives. Combining ethnographic and experimental approaches to fill this gap, this book breaks new ground in reporting the results of a large cross-cultural study aimed at determining the sources of social preferences that underlie the diversity of human sociality. The same experiments which provided evidence for social preferences among university students were performed in fifteen small-scale societies exhibiting a wide variety of social, economic and cultural conditions by experienced field researchers who had also done long-term ethnographic field work in these societies. The findings of these experiments demonstrated that no society in which experimental behaviour is consistent with the canonical model of self-interest. Indeed, results showed that the variation in behaviour is far greater than previously thought, and that the differences between societies in market integration and the importance of cooperation explain a substantial portion of this variation, which individual-level economic and demographic variables could not. Finally, the extent to which experimental play mirrors patterns of interaction found in everyday life is traced.The book starts with a succinct but substantive introduction to the use of game theory as an analytical tool and its use in the social sciences for the rigorous testing of hypotheses about fundamental aspects of social behaviour outside artificially constructed laboratories. The results of the fifteen case studies are summarized in a suggestive chapter about the scope of the project. (shrink)
Researchers from across the social sciences have found consistent deviations from the predictions of the canonical model of self-interest in hundreds of experiments from around the world. This research, however, cannot determine whether the uniformity results from universal patterns of human behavior or from the limited cultural variation available among the university students used in virtually all prior experimental work. To address this, we undertook a cross-cultural study of behavior in ultimatum, public goods, and dictator games in a range of (...) small-scale societies exhibiting a wide variety of economic and cultural conditions. We found, first, that the canonical model – based on self-interest – fails in all of the societies studied. Second, our data reveal substantially more behavioral variability across social groups than has been found in previous research. Third, group-level differences in economic organization and the structure of social interactions explain a substantial portion of the behavioral variation across societies: the higher the degree of market integration and the higher the payoffs to cooperation in everyday life, the greater the level of prosociality expressed in experimental games. Fourth, the available individual-level economic and demographic variables do not consistently explain game behavior, either within or across groups. Fifth, in many cases experimental play appears to reflect the common interactional patterns of everyday life. Key Words: altruism; cooperation; cross-cultural research; experimental economics; game theory; ultimatum game; public goods game; self-interest. (shrink)
Recent investigations have uncovered large, consistent deviations from the predictions of the textbook representation of Homo economicus (Roth et al, 1992, Fehr and Gächter, 2000, Camerer 2001). One problem appears to lie in economists’ canonical assumption that individuals are entirely self-interested: in addition to their own material payoffs, many experimental subjects appear to care about fairness and reciprocity, are willing to change the distribution of material outcomes at personal cost, and reward those who act in a cooperative manner while punishing (...) those who do not even when these actions are costly to the individual. These deviations from what we will term the canonical model have important consequences for a wide range of economic phenomena, including the optimal design of institutions and contracts, the allocation of property rights, the conditions for successful collective action, the analysis of incomplete contracts, and the persistence of noncompetitive wage premia. Fundamental questions remain unanswered. Are the deviations from the canonical model evidence of universal patterns of behavior, or do the individual’s economic and social environments shape behavior? If the latter, which economic and social conditions are involved? Is reciprocal behavior better explained statistically by individuals’ attributes such as their sex, age, or relative wealth, or by the attributes of the group to which the individuals belong? Are there cultures that approximate the canonical account of self-regarding behavior? Existing research cannot answer such questions because virtually all subjects have been university students, and while there are cultural differences among student populations throughout the world, these differences are small compared to the range of all social and cultural environments. To address the above questions, we and our collaborators undertook a large cross-cultural study of behavior in ultimatum, public good, and dictator games.. (shrink)
We would like to thank the commentators for their generous comments, valuable insights and helpful suggestions. We begin this response by discussing the selfishness axiom and the importance of the preferences, beliefs, and constraints framework as a way of modeling some of the proximate influences on human behavior. Next, we broaden the discussion to ultimate-level (that is evolutionary) explanations, where we review and clarify gene-culture coevolutionary theory, and then tackle the possibility that evolutionary approaches that exclude culture might be sufficient (...) to explain the data. Finally, we consider various methodological and epistemological concerns expressed by our commentators. (shrink)
Experiments are not models of cooperation; instead, they demonstrate the presence of the ethical and other-regarding predispositions that often motivate cooperation and the punishment of free-riders. Experimental behavior predicts subjects' cooperation in the field. Ethnographic studies in small-scale societies without formal coercive institutions demonstrate that disciplining defectors is both essential to cooperation and often costly to the punisher.
A Personal Meaning of Insects Map was administered to participants from eastern Canada and northeastern United States. In the four-phase inductive study, participant responses to insects were coded and analyzed. Responses were elicited prior to and after viewing an insect video. Responses regarding the most cited insects, negative and positive associations with insects, and suggested management and education strategies were examined. Participants also discussed how information was acquired from various sources. The findings suggest that perceptions of insects are contextualized and (...) sometimes inaccurate relative to scientific taxonomy. Research and the development of education strategies that take into account how the general public understands insects and where it acquires its information would be better served if we were to develop management and educational tools that address human-insect encounters from various socio-cultural perspectives. (shrink)
The first Ethics Bowl competition was established in the 1990s by Dr. Robert Ladenson of the Illinois Institute of Technology to help students reason through ethical challenges they will face in their personal and professional lives, and help them develop responsibilities as citizens of a democracy. Since then, the Ethics Bowl format and its pedagogical goals have been adapted to many other academic disciplines and a variety of student and professional populations. Our aim was to quantify the growth of (...) the Ethics Bowl concept by enumerating and describing extant Ethics Bowl programs, outlining both pedagogical goals and operational aspects. Using respondent-driven sampling, we identified 20 Ethics Bowl programs across the globe, reaching tens of thousands of participants annually, and an additional two programs preparing to launch in the near future. We conclude by making recommendations for pedagogical and operational dimensions of the programs. (shrink)
Emotions, according to David Hume, are “simple and uniform impressions,” “internal” impressions which are related to other impressions according to an empirically demonstrable set of “laws of association.” The notion that an emotion is “simple” and a mere “impression” accounts for the relatively little attention the topic of “the passions” has received in modern philosophy, at least until very recently. Unlike “ideas,” to which such “impressions” are usually contrasted, emotions are thought to be preconceptual, unintelligent, irrational, causal products of “animal (...) spirits” of a sub-human nature, mere “feelings” which deserve none of the careful analysis so often dedicated to the structures of perception, knowledge and reason. In Descartes’ treatise on the passions, for example, “animal spirits” and the crude physiology of emotions take priority over his quick and often glib quasi-conceptual analyses of them. His analysis is thoroughly strait jacketed by the dubious dualism that usually bears his name, and ever since, the question whether emotions should be thought of as mere “feelings” or “impressions” or rather conceived of in terms of their physiology and manifestations in behavior has dominated what little study of emotions existed before this century. (shrink)
Explaining Norms is a work in philosophy of social science aspiring to provide an account of norms, their general character, their kinds ðformal, legal, moral, and socialÞ, what they can explain, and what explains their dynamic ðemergence, persistence, and unravelingÞ. The authors engage with various positions in ethics, political philosophy, and ðto some extentÞ the philosophy of law. The discussion is rewarding and inventive—it provides distinctive and intriguing views on several topics ðe.g., on the distinction between moral and social normsÞ. (...) There are a lot of ideas here. Perhaps this is predictable, given that the work is a product of four capable minds. What is surprising is the range of ideas and arguments on which the authors manage to agree and out of which they construct one reasonably cohesive account. Given the wide range of literatures discussed, readers are likely to find much of interest. Not surprisingly, some related literatures do seem to be underplayed—treated in a few footnotes and somewhat by the way, with little development of systematic connections. There are thriving literatures in comparative psychology/ ethology, moral psychology, and cultural anthropology that are devoted to how we humans manage to cooperate and coordinate as we do. While there are footnotes to some of this literature ðsee the index for, e.g., Boyd, Bowles, Camerer, Gintis, and HenrichÞ, many readers would have benefited from a discussion that more fully related the position developed in Explaining Norms to that work in experimental economics and anthropology. Discussing the relationships with work in moral psychology and ethology would also have been appreciated ðHaidt, de Waal, and Tomasello are not mentionedÞ. Still, there is very much to like about what is treated here. The authors seek conceptually individually necessary and jointly sufficient conditions for being a norm. On the account provided, norms are something on the order of normative principles accepted in some group ð3–4Þ. Thus, norms involve some normative principle, possessing “a certain generality of scope and application.” These principles need not be objectively correct or fitting, and they may be objectively “simply awful” ð3Þ. The central questions have to do with what is involved in some group accepting these normative principles. The authors locate their position in two dimensions. (shrink)
Critics of Robert Nozick's libertarian political theory often allege that the theory in general and its account of property rights in particular lack sufficient foundations. A key difficulty is thought to lie in his account of how portions of the world which no one yet owns can justly come to be initially acquired. But the difficulty is illusory, because the concept of justice does not meaningfully apply to initial acquisition in the first place. Moreover, the principle of self-ownership provides (...) a solid foundation for Nozick's libertarianism, and when seen in the light of that principle and its full implications, the standard purported examples of injustices in acquisition are revealed to be nothing of the kind. Footnotesa The original draft of this paper was written in the summer of 2002 while I was a Visiting Scholar at the Social Philosophy and Policy Center, Bowling Green State University. I thank the directors of the Center, Fred D. Miller, Jr., Ellen Frankel Paul, and Jeffrey Paul, for hosting me. I also thank colloquium audience members at Bowling Green State University for comments on that draft. (shrink)
Robert Putnam in his book Bowling Alone and subsequent works has analysed the phenomenon that American society increasingly avoids various community driven activities, such as civic associations, activities with friends and family (Putnam, Bowling Alone. Simon and Schuster, New York; 2006). In this paper we introduce the idea that a counterpart to this social trend is a global addiction to fame and celebrity. We believe that the global internet is one of the major drivers of this search for fame (...) for the sake of being famous. However, most people aspiring to be famous celebrities will not succeed in this quest, and become disappointed. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the ethical implications of such social contagion, bandwagon effects in today's global business environment towards fame and celebrity. The contribution of this paper is to provide a future direction for research on business ethics in terms of this growing global phenomenon of fame and celebrity addiction. (shrink)
I offer a defense of the moral side-constraints to which Robert Nozick appeals in Anarchy, State and Utopia but for which he fails to provide a sustained justification. I identify a line of anti-consequentialist argumentation which is present in Nozick and which, in the terminology of Samuel Scheffler, moves first to affirm a personal prerogative which allows the individual not to sacrifice herself for the sake of the best overall outcome and second moves on to affirm restrictions (i.e., moral (...) side-constraints) which prohibit the individual from suppressing others' exercise of their personal prerogatives even if that suppression would serve the overall good. I argue that one ought to follow this line of anti-consequentialist argumentation all the way to the affirmation of restrictions by showing that the rationale for the adoption of the personal prerogative is not satisfied unless the accompanying restrictions are adopted as well. Footnotesa A distant ancestor of this essay was written during the spring of 1997 when I was a Visiting Scholar at the Social Philosophy and Policy Center, Bowling Green State University. The draft of the present essay was composed during the tenure of a summer research grant from the Murphy Institute of Political Economy at Tulane University. I am very grateful to both institutions and to Ellen Frankel Paul and Mary Sirridge for their exceedingly helpful editorial advice. (shrink)
Marshalling a mind-numbing array of data, Harvard political scientist Robert D. Putnam, in his book Bowling Alone, shows that on virtually every conceivable measure, civic participation, or what he refers to as “social capital,” is plummeting to levels not seen for almost 100 years. And we should care, Putnam argues, because connectivity is directly related to both individual and social wellbeing on a wide variety of measures. On the other hand, social capital of the “bonding kind” brings with it (...) the ugly side effect of animosity toward outsiders. Given the increasing heterogeneity of our world, the goal therefore must be to enhance connectivity of the “bridging sort,” i.e., connecting across differences. This, in turn, requires that we first clarify what bridging communicative styles looks like. Examining communication as it might transpire in Kant’s kingdom of ends, through the perspective of Habermas’ “communicative action,” and within the scientific community, offers a compelling suggestion that there is a way of communicating such that, if adopted, one would come to view others as if they were persons, i.e., that a bridging communicative style facilitates a kind of bonding that sees through differences toward the commonality of personhood. This paper will briefly explore how communicating toward personhood might be promoted. (shrink)
Drawing on Aristotle’s notion of “ultimate responsibility,” Robert Kane argues that to be exercising a free will an agent must have taken some character forming decisions for which there were no sufficient conditions or decisive reasons.<sup>1</sup> That is, an agent whose will is free not only had the ability to develop other dispositions, but could have exercised that ability without being irrational. To say it again, a person has a free will just in case her character is the product (...) of decisions that she could have rationally avoided making. That one’s character is the product of such decisions entails ultimate responsibility for its manifestations, engendering a free will. (shrink)
In this significant contribution to Hegel scholarship, Robert Williams develops the most comprehensive account to date of Hegel's concept of recognition. Fichte introduced the concept of recognition as a presupposition of both Rousseau's social contract and Kant's ethics. Williams shows that Hegel appropriated the concept of recognition as the general pattern of his concept of ethical life, breaking with natural law theory yet incorporating the Aristotelian view that rights and virtues are possible only within a certain kind of community. (...) He explores Hegel's intersubjective concept of spirit as the product of affirmative mutual recognition and his conception of recognition as the right to have rights. Examining Hegel's Jena manuscripts, his _Philosophy of Right_, the _Phenomenology of Spirit_, and other works, Williams shows how the concept of recognition shapes and illumines Hegel's understandings of crime and punishment, morality, the family, the state, sovereignty, international relations, and war. A concluding chapter on the reception and reworking of the concept of recognition by contemporary thinkers including Derrida, Levinas, and Deleuze demonstrates Hegel's continuing centrality to the philosophical concerns of our age. (shrink)
This collection of original essays--by philosophers of biology, biologists, and cognitive scientists--provides a wide range of perspectives on species. Including contributions from David Hull, John Dupre, David Nanney, Kevin de Queiroz, and Kim Sterelny, amongst others, this book has become especially well-known for the three essays it contains on the homeostatic property cluster view of natural kinds, papers by Richard Boyd, Paul Griffiths, and Robert A. Wilson.
Drawing on Aristotle’s notion of “ultimate responsibility,” Robert Kane argues that to be exercising a free will an agent must have taken some character forming decisions for which there were no sufficient conditions or decisive reasons. That is, an agent whose will is free not only had the ability to develop values and beliefs besides those that presently make up her motives, but could have exercised that ability without being irrational. An agent wills freely, on this view, by beingultimately (...) responsible for how she is currently disposed to act. Kane needs, then, to show how an agent could be responsible for decisions that her deliberations did not guarantee. He must also explain how a decision for which there is no decisive reason could yet be rational, assuming that the responsibility engendering decisions forming the basis of a free will would be rational. I shall argue here that Kane has achieved neither of these goals. (shrink)
Robert R. Williams offers a bold new account of divergences and convergences in the work of Hegel and Nietzsche. He explores four themes - the philosophy of tragedy; recognition and community; critique of Kant; and the death of God - and explicates both thinkers' critiques of traditional theology and metaphysics.
"The availability of a paperback version of Boyle's philosophical writings selected by M. A. Stewart will be a real service to teachers, students, and scholars with seventeenth-century interests. The editor has shown excellent judgment in bringing together many of the most important works and printing them, for the most part, in unabridged form. The texts have been edited responsibly with emphasis on readability.... Of special interest in connection with Locke and with the reception of Descarte's Corpuscularianism, to students of the (...) Scientific Revolution and of the history of mechanical philosophy, and to those interested in the relations among science, philosophy, and religion. In fact, given the imperfections in and unavailability of the eighteenth-century editions of Boyle’s works, this collection will benefit a wide variety of seventeenth-century scholars." --Gary Hatfield, University of Pennsylvania. (shrink)
[Robert Stalnaker] Saul Kripke made a convincing case that there are necessary truths that are knowable only a posteriori as well as contingent truths that are knowable a priori. A number of philosophers have used a two-dimensional model semantic apparatus to represent and clarify the phenomena that Kripke pointed to. According to this analysis, statements have truth-conditions in two different ways depending on whether one considers a possible world 'as actual' or 'as counterfactual' in determining the truth-value of the (...) statement relative to that possible world. There are no necessary a posteriori or contingent a priori propositions: rather, contingent a priori and necessary a posteriori statements are statements that are necessary when evaluated one way, and contingent when evaluated the other way. This paper distinguishes two ways that the two-dimensional framework can be interpreted, and argues that one of them gives the better account of what it means to 'consider a world as actual', but that it provides no support for any notion of purely conceptual a priori truth. /// [Thomas Baldwin] Two-dimensional possible world semantic theory suggests that Kripke's examples of the necessary a posteriori and contingent a priori should be handled by interpreting names as implicitly indexical. Like Stalnaker, I reject this account of names and accept that Kripke's examples have to be accommodated within a metasemantic theory. But whereas Stalnaker maintains that a metasemantic approach undermines the conception of a priori truth, I argue that it offers the opportunity to develop a conception of the a priori aspect of stipulations, conceived as linguistic performances. The resulting position accommodates Kripke's examples in a way which is both intrinsically plausible and fits with Kripke's actual discussion of them. (shrink)
"Amongst the human mind's proudest accomplishments is the invention of a science dedicated to understanding itself: cognitive science. ... This volume is an authoritative guide to this exhilarating new body of knowledge, written by the experts, edited with skill and good judment. If we were to leave a time capsule for the next millennium with records of the great achievements of civilization, this volume would have to be in it."--Steven Pinker.
This volume is a continuation of Robert Greystones on the Freedom of the Will: Selections from His Commentary on the Sentences. From this, five of the most relevant questions were selected for editing and translation in this timely volume. This edition should prompt not just a footnote to, but a re-writing of the history of philosophy.
The conceptualisation of kinship and its study remain contested within anthropology. This paper draws on recent cognitive science, developmental cognitive psychology, and the philosophy of science to offer a novel argument for a view of kinship as progeneratively or reproductively constrained. I shall argue that kinship involves a form of extended cognition that incorporates progenerative facts, going on to show how the resulting articulation of kinship’s progenerative nature can be readily expressed by an influential conception of kinds, the homeostatic property (...) cluster view. Identifying the distinctive role that our extended cognitive access to progenerative facts plays in kinship delivers an integrative, progenerativist view that avoids standard performativist criticisms of progenerativism as being ethnocentric, epistemically naïve, and reductive. (shrink)