The Evolving Social Responsibilities of Internet Corporate Actors: Pointers Past and Present Content Type Journal Article Category Commentary Pages 455-461 DOI 10.1007/s13347-011-0049-0 Authors RobertMadelin, Directorate General Information Society and Media, European Commission, BU25 06/183, 1049 Brussels, Belgium Journal Philosophy & Technology Online ISSN 2210-5441 Print ISSN 2210-5433 Journal Volume Volume 24 Journal Issue Volume 24, Number 4.
This article reports the findings of AI4People, an Atomium—EISMD initiative designed to lay the foundations for a “Good AI Society”. We introduce the core opportunities and risks of AI for society; present a synthesis of five ethical principles that should undergird its development and adoption; and offer 20 concrete recommendations—to assess, to develop, to incentivise, and to support good AI—which in some cases may be undertaken directly by national or supranational policy makers, while in others may be led by other (...) stakeholders. If adopted, these recommendations would serve as a firm foundation for the establishment of a Good AI Society. (shrink)
This paper presents the Futurium platform used by Digital Futures, a foresight project launched by the European Commission's Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT). Futurium was initially developed with the primary purpose of hosting and curating visions and policy ideas generated by Digital Futures (Digital Futures was launched in July 2011 by DG CONNECT's Director General RobertMadelin following a prior DG CONNECT exercise called Digital Science.). However, it has turned into a platform on (...) which to experiment with new policymaking models based on scientific evidence and stakeholder participation, referred to in this paper as ‘Policy Making 3.0’. The platform hosts an online foresight toolkit to facilitate the joint creation of ideas to help design future policies. It leverages the potential of social networks, open data, semantic and knowledge mining technologies as well as participatory brainstorming techniques to engage stakeholders and harness their views and creativity to better inform policies that matter to them. The Futurium distinguishes between different variables, reflecting the emotional vs. rational mindsets of the participants, and offers the possibility to frame the engagement and co-creation process into multiple phases of a workflow. Futurium was developed to support Digital Futures, but its open architecture makes it easily adaptable to any policymaking/decision-making context where thinking ahead, participation, scientific evidence and agility are needed. Futurium is an early prototype implementation of the Policy Making 3.0 model, which is a long-term vision requiring further investigation and experimentation. The Futurium production website can be seen here: ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/futurium. (shrink)
The rash of high-profile accounting frauds involving internal corporate accountants calls into question the individual accountant’s perceptions of the ethical climate within their organization and the limits to which these professionals will tolerate unethical behavior and/or accept it as the norm. This study uses social cognitive theory to examine the antecedents of individual corporate accountant’s perceived personal fit with their organization’s ethical climate and empirically tests how these factors impact organizational attitudes. A survey was completed by 203 corporate accountants to (...) assess their perception of relevant variables. The results of the structural equation model indicate three significant antecedents relating to ethical climate fit: higher internal levels of locus of control; greater numbers of prior job changes; and higher perceptions of an increasingly better fit with the firm’s ethical climate. Our results also indicate that higher levels of perceived fit to the ethical climate of a firm are associated with higher levels of perceived job satisfaction and organizational commitment. We also theorize that perceptions of an organization’s ethical climate may be reflections of client narcissism and serve a potential indicator of fraud risk. This is an important topic of study, since current auditing standards call for auditors to examine organizational attitudes toward fraud, but offer minimal guidance in doing so. (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)
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)
This paper explores the psychological phenomena of sex stereotypes and their consequences for the occurrence of sex discrimination in work settings. Differential conceptions of the attributes of women and men are shown to extend to women and men managers, and the lack of fit model is used to explain how stereotypes about women can detrimentally affect their career progress. Commonly-occurring organizational conditions which facilitate the use of stereotypes in personnel decision making are identified and, lastly, data are provided demonstrating the (...) way in which affirmative action programs and practices can act to promote the stereotyping of women suggesting, that rather than being a remedy for sex discrimination, such programs might in fact be another contributor to the problem. Conclusions focus on the importance of attending to the role sex stereotypes play in hindering women's career progress when procedures to combat sex discrimination in organizations are designed and implemented. (shrink)
Among moral attributes true virtue alone is sublime. … [I]t is only by means of this idea [of virtue] that any judgment as to moral worth or its opposite is possible. … Everything good that is not based on a morally good disposition … is nothing but pretence and glittering misery. 1.
The contemporary explosion of information makes intellectual responsibility more needed than ever. The uncritical tend to believe too much that is unsubstantiated; the overcritical tend to believe too little that is true. A central problem for this paper is to formulate standards to guide an intellectually rigorous search for a mean between excessive credulity and indiscriminate skepticism. A related problem is to distinguish intellectual responsibility for what we believe from moral responsibility for what we do. A third problem is how (...) to square intellectual responsibility in retaining our views with the realization that peers we respect disagree with us. Much of the paper is directed to articulating principles for dealing with such disagreements. (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)
Francis Bacon (15611626) wrote that good scientists are not like ants (mindlessly gathering data) or spiders (spinning empty theories). Instead, they are like bees, transforming nature into a nourishing product. This essay examines Bacon's "middle way" by elucidating the means he proposes to turn experience and insight into understanding. The human intellect relies on "machines" to extend perceptual limits, check impulsive imaginations, and reveal nature's latent causal structure, or "forms." This constructivist interpretation is not intended to supplant inductivist or experimentalist (...) interpretations, but is designed to explicate Bacon's account of science as a collaborative project with several interdependent methodological goals. (shrink)
Neither the existence of God nor the nature of God is apparent or obvious. If God exists, why is it not entirely clear to everyone that this is so? How can theists explain God's hiddenness, and how plausible are their explanations? God, if God exists, is an omnipotent, morally good, omnipresent being, than whom none greater can be conceived. Surely it is well within the abilities of God to let God's existence and nature be known to us. Why isn't the (...) existence and nature of our Heavenly Father as apparent as, say, the existence of our various earthly fathers? (shrink)
The instability inherent in the historical inventory of mathematical objects challenges philosophers. Naturalism suggests we can construct enduring answers to ontological questions through an investigation of the processes whereby mathematical objects come into existence. Patterns of historical development suggest that mathematical objects undergo an intelligible process of reification in tandem with notational innovation. Investigating changes in mathematical languages is a necessary first step towards a viable ontology. For this reason, scholars should not modernize historical texts without caution, as the use (...) of anachronistic notation tends to impede, rather than enhance, our ability to recognize the emergent nature of mathematical objects. (shrink)
A significant feature of John Stuart Mill's moral theory is the introduction of qualitative differences as relevant to the comparative value of pleasures. Despite its significance, Mill presents his doctrine of qualities of pleasures in only a few paragraphs in the second chapter of Utilitarianism, where he begins the brief discussion by saying: utilitarian writers in general have placed the superiority of mental over bodily pleasures chiefly … in their circumstantial advantages rather than in their intrinsic nature.… [B]ut they might (...) have taken the … higher ground with entire consistency. It is quite compatible with the principle of utility to recognize the fact, that some kinds of pleasure are more desirable and more valuable than others. It would be absurd that while, in estimating all other things, quality is considered as well as quantity, the estimation of pleasures should be supposed to depend on quantity alone. (shrink)
In 1935, as the Nazis’ state-of-the art eugenics exhibition from the Deutsches Hygiene Museum was concluding its American tour, a decision had to be made about whether to return the displays to Germany or to house them in an American museum. After the American Academy of Medicine decided against the display because of its political implications, the director of the Buffalo Museum of Science, Carlos Cummings, himself a physician, offered his institution as the exhibition's permanent home. “What is the astounding (...) eugenics program upon which Chancellor Hitler has launched the German people?” Cummings wondered aloud. “As a matter of public interest, without endorsement,” he added, “the Museum will display in the Central Hall throughout this final quarter of 1935, a set of fifty-one posters and charts. . . which gives Americans a graphic explanation of Germany's campaign to rear in posterity ‘a new race nobility.’” Seven years later, with war raging, the museum received permission from the company that had insured the exhibition, to dismantle it from its permanent home in the museum's Hall of Heredity. An exhibition about eugenics, Nazi eugenics no less, that had been enthusiastically received as it had traveled the United States in the mid-1930s, had seemingly fallen victim to the war against eugenics launched by cultural anthropologists and geneticists. In light of the broad scholarship on eugenics, this certainly would be a plausible reading of the deinstallation of the Nazi eugenics exhibition. But the three books under review here suggest a more complex reading, one that suggests that eugenics and racism, considered as ideological systems, were less easily dislodged from American culture than from Buffalo's Museum of Science. (shrink)
For most of the problems that economists consider, the assumption that agents are self-interested works well enough, generating predictions that are broadly consistent with observation. In some significant cases, however, we find economic behavior that seems to be inconsistent with self-interest. In particular, we find that some public goods and some charitable ventures are financed by the independent voluntary contributions of many thousands of individuals. In Britain, for example, the lifeboat service is entirely financed by voluntary contributions. In all rich (...) countries, charitable appeals raise large amounts of money for famine relief in the Third World. The willingness of individuals to contribute to such projects is an economic fact that requires an explanation. (shrink)
This paper redirects some of the philosophical discussion of sexual objectification. Rather than contributing further to debates over what constitutes objectification and whether it is harmful, I argue that aesthetic experience is a useful tool for resisting objectification. Attending to our embodied experiences provides immediate evidence that we are subjects; aesthetically attending to that evidence is a way of valuing it. I consider the human body as an aesthetic site, then as an ethico-aesthetic site, and finally as a site of (...) resistance. In addition to deepening accounts of body aesthetic experience, this paper helps frame human bodies as integral to moral agency, rather than impediments to it. (shrink)
Iconophobia, literally the fear of religious images, usually occurs in proportion to the powers attributed to them by their believers. In the worst cases, these fears have led to, or coincide with, a cycle of violence that may involve the actual destruction of images (iconoclasm) and of human life. Semiotics helps interpret the interconnectedness of these seemingly separate events. Most iconoclasm involves confusion between the image or sign (such as a statue) and its referent (the actual subject), and a re-encoding (...) of the signified (the meanings assigned to the sign). This article explores four case studies. In the aftermath of iconoclasm, fragments and ruins can be trans-valued as relics, and thus inspire hatred of the perpetrator and sympathy for the group whose sacred precincts have been violated. Or, broken statues may be preserved by a re-encoding as `art'. Yet not only do historical models warn of recurring conditions in which violence may be perpetrated against people and objects, but the more recent examples indicate that even great works of art that capitalist society deems world treasures cannot be taken out of the currency of iconoclastic exchange. (shrink)
Robert Owen was one of the most extraordinary Englishmen who ever lived and a great man. In a way his history is the history of the establishment of modern industrial Britain, reflected in the mind and activities of a very intelligent, capable and responsible industrialist, alive to the best social thought of his time. The organisation of industrial labour, factory legislation, education, trade unionism, co-operation, rationalism: he was passionately and ably engaged in all of them. His community at New (...) Lanark was the nearest thing to an industrial heaven in the Britain of dark satanic mills; he tried to found a rational co-operative community in the USA. In everything he contemplated, he saw education as a key. This selection of his writings on education illustrates his rationalist concept of the formation of character and its implications for education and society; also his growing utopian concern with social reorganisation; and third, his impact on social movements. Silver's introduction shows Owen's relationship to particular educational traditions and activities and his long-term influence on attitudes to education. (shrink)
The Westermarck Effect posits that intimate association during childhood promotes human incest avoidance. In previous work, I articulated and defended a version of the Westermarck Effect by developing a phylogenetic argument that has purchase within primatology but that has had more limited appeal for cultural anthropologists due to their commitment to conventionalist or culture-first accounts of incest avoidance. Here I look to advance the discussion of incest and incest avoidance beyond culture-first accounts in two ways. First, I shall dig deeper (...) into the disciplinary grooves within cultural anthropology that make attractive the view that incest has a naturalness to it that is countered only or primarily by explicit social rules, such as taboos. Second, I further explore the emerging, post-conventionalist view of incest avoidance in a more positive vein by elaborating on the nature of the Westermarckian mechanism and how it relates to such explicit social rules and our innate biological endowments. One general aim here is to overcome the bifurcation between perspectives that are seen as biological and those seen as cultural, preempting or countering the claim that rejecting culture-first accounts entails a form of biological reductionism, a general aim I have pursued in related publications on bioessentialism about kinship. (shrink)
A standard objection to act utilitarian theories is that they are not helpful in deciding what it is morally permissible for us to do when we actually have to make a choice between alternatives. That is, such theories are worthless as decision procedures. A standard reply to this objection is that act utilitarian theories can be evaluated solely as theories about right-making characteristics and, when so evaluated, their inadequacy as decision procedures is irrelevant. Even if somewhat unappealing, this is an (...) effective reply to the standard objection. (shrink)
This Article is a short response to Anders Tolland's "Iterated Non-Refutation: Robert Lockie on Relativism", International Journal of Philosophical Studies Vol. 14, no. 2, 245-254, 2006. Tolland's article was itself a response to Lockie, R (2003) "Relativism and Reflexivity", International Journal of Philosophical Studies Vol. 11, no. 3, 319-339.