“Nunchi” is a Korean term that indicates an expert facility in social interactions and especially the ability to interpret and utilize indirect communication with ease and alacrity. In this paper, I introduce and discuss the concept of nunchi with a focus on two main senses in which it is used: as a skill and as a burden. Then, I discuss the relation of nunchi to well-being and flourishing, both in specifically Korean cultural contexts and in social contexts more generally. Finally, (...) I argue that because of nunchi’s close relation to well-being and flourishing, that there is a strong case to be made for treating it as a virtue. (shrink)
Indirect situationist critiques of virtue ethics grant that virtue exists and is possible to acquire, but contend that given the low probability of success in acquiring it, a person genuinely interested in behaving as morally as possible would do better to rely on situationist strategies - or, in other words, strategies of environmental or ecological engineering or control. In this paper, I develop a partial answer to this critique drawn from work in early Confucian ethics and in contemporary philosophy and (...) psychology. From early Confucian ethics, I lean on the concept of li, or ritual. Ritual represents both a set of situational manipulations that are especially effective at directly producing moral behavior and at indirectly cultivating virtue over time, and also a virtue that consists of facility with and expertise in these situational manipulations. Appealing to the particular example of social power, I then argue that one is justified in attempting to acquire virtue if one knows that one will frequently encounter circumstances in which purely situationist strategies lose effectiveness, if these circumstances also carry moral urgency: the risk of great harm or opportunity for great benefit to others is high, and if utilizing the potent combination of situationist strategies and virtue envisioned by the early Confucians as ritual is possible. (shrink)
A central challenge for early Confucian ethics, which relies heavily on the moral rules, scripts, and instructions of ritual, is to provide an account of how best to deviate from ritual when unexpected circumstances demand that one must do so. Many commentators have explored ways in which the Confucian tradition can meet this challenge, and one particularly interesting line of response to it focuses on “mind-reading”—the ability to infer others’ mental states from their behavior. In this article, I introduce nunchi (...) 눈치, a Korean word meaning a keen social awareness and facility in dynamic social situations, and make the case that it represents a key component in a full account of how to best deviate from ritual. (shrink)
Mountaineering is a dangerous activity. For many mountaineers, part of its very attraction is the risk, the thrill of danger. Yet mountaineers are often regarded as reckless or even irresponsible for risking their lives. In this paper, we offer a defence of risk-taking in mountaineering. Our discussion is organised around the fact that mountaineers and non-mountaineers often disagree about how risky mountaineering really is. We hope to cast some light on the nature of this disagreement – and to argue that (...) mountaineering may actually be worthwhile because of the risks it involves. Section 1 introduces the disagreement and, in doing so, separates out several different notions of risk. Sections 2–4 then consider some explanations of the disagreement, showing how a variety of phenomena can skew people's risk judgements. Section 5 then surveys some recent statistics, to see whether these illuminate how risky mountaineering is. In light of these considerations, however, we suggest that the disagreement is best framed not simply in terms of how risky mountaineering is but whether the risks it does involve are justified. The remainder of the paper, sections 6–9, argues that risk-taking in mountaineering often is justified – and, moreover, that mountaineering can itself be justified by and because of the risks it involves. (shrink)
First published in 1905, this reissued edition of The Philosophical Works of Francis Bacon is an edited collection based upon the definitive seven volume edition of 1857, translated and prefaced by Robert Leslie Ellis and James Spedding. Of great historical, philosophical and scientific interest, this collection brings together translations of Bacon’s most important works, including the Novum Organum , the De Augmentis Scientarium , the Parasceve , and the De Principiis atque Originibus, as well as works originally written in English, (...) such as the Valerius Terminus and the Filum Labyrinthi . The reissue offers a comprehensive and provocative collection of the key writings of the man we now consider to be the father of Empiricism who popularised inductive methodologies for scientific inquiry. All works include prefaces by Robert Leslie Ellis and James Spedding, and the collection includes an introductory note from the editor John M. Robertson. (shrink)
A foundational moment in the history of modern European thought, the Enlightenment continues to be a reference point for philosophers, scholars and opinion-formers. To many it remains the inspiration of our commitments to the betterment of the human condition. To others, it represents the elevation of one set of European values to the world, many of whose peoples have quite different values. But what is the relationship between the historical Enlightenment and the idea of 'Enlightenment', and can these two understandings (...) be reconciled?In this Very Short Introduction, John Robertson offers a concise historical introduction to the Enlightenment as an intellectual movement of eighteenth-century Europe. Discussing its intellectual achievements, he also explores how its supporters exploited new ways of communicating their ideas to a wider public, creating a new 'public sphere' for critical discussion of the moral, economic and political issues facing their societies.ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable. (shrink)
Robertson's earlier work, The New Renaissance projected the likely future impact of computers in changing our culture. Phase Change builds on and deepens his assessment of the role of the computer as a tool driving profound change by examining the role of computers in changing the face of the sciences and mathematics. He shows that paradigm shifts in understanding in science have generally been triggered by the availability of new tools, allowing the investigator a new way of seeing into (...) questions that had not earlier been amenable to scientific probing. (shrink)
Standard models of cognition are built from abstract, amodal, arbitrary symbols, and the meanings of those symbols are given solely by their interrelations. The target article (Glenberg 1997t) argues that these models must be inadequate because meaning cannot arise from relations among abstract symbols. For cognitive representations to be meaningful they must, at the least, be grounded; but abstract symbols are difficult, if not impossible, to ground. As an alternative, the target article developed a framework in which representations are grounded (...) in perception and action, and hence are embodied. Recent work (Glenberg & Robertson 1999; 2000; Glenberg & Kaschak 2002; Kaschak & Glenberg 2000) extends this framework to language. (shrink)
forthcoming in M. McNamee (ed) Philosophy, Risk and Adventure Sports, Routledge The final draft of a co-authored article with Simon Robertson (Leeds). In this paper we examine a recent version of an old controversy within climbing ethics. Our organising topic is the ‘bolting’….
Seth suggests that the transformation of the international system from a system of states to a system of nation-states has had profound consequences for international relations, consequences not fully grasped in international relations theory.
Robertson, Geoffrey CAHS is delighted to announce that the Australian Humanist of the Year for 2014 is Geoffrey Robertson QC. He is a human rights barrister, academic, author and broadcaster and holds dual Australian and British citizenship.
In this Very Short Introduction, Ritchie Robertson provides the newcomer with an up-to-date and accessible examination of this fascinating author. Beginning with an examination of Kafka's life, he then goes on to discuss some of the major themes that emerge in Kafka's work, using his short story Metamorphosis as a recurring example.
Fish's writings on philosophy, politics and law comprise numerous books and articles produced over many decades. This book connects those dots in order to reveal the overall structure of his argument and to demonstrate how his work in politics and law flows logically from his philosophical stands on the nature of the self, epistemology and the role of theory. Michael Robertson considers Fish's political critiques of liberalism, critical theory, postmodernism and pragmatism before turning to his observations on political substance (...) and political practice. The detailed analysis of Fish's jurisprudence explores his relationships to legal positivism, legal formalism, legal realism and critical legal studies, as well as his debate with Ronald Dworkin. Gaps and inconsistencies in Fish's arguments are fully explored, and the author provides a description of Fish's own positive account of law and deals with the charge that Fish is an indeterminacy theorist who undermines the rule of law. (shrink)
This groundbreaking new translation of The Interpretation of Dreams is the first to be based on the original text published in November 1899. It restores Freud's original argument, unmodified by revisions he made following the book's critical reception. Reading the first edition reveals Freud's original emphasis on the use of words in dreams and on the difficulty of deciphering them and Joyce Crick captures with far greater immediacy and accuracy than previous translations by Strachey's Freud's emphasis and terminology. An accessible (...) introduction by Ritchie Robertson summarizes and comments on Freud's argument and relates it to his early work. Close annotation explains Freud's many autobiographical, literary and historical allusions and makes this the first edition to present Freud's early work in its full intellectual and cultural context. (shrink)
First published in 1905, this reissued edition of _The Philosophical Works of Francis Bacon_ is an edited collection based upon the definitive seven volume edition of 1857, translated and prefaced by Robert Leslie Ellis and James Spedding. Of great historical, philosophical and scientific interest, this collection brings together translations of Bacon’s most important works, including the _Novum Organum_, the _De Augmentis Scientarium_, the _Parasceve_, and the _De Principiis atque Originibus,_ as well as works originally written in English, such as the (...) _Valerius Terminus_ and the_ Filum Labyrinthi_. The reissue offers a comprehensive and provocative collection of the key writings of the man we now consider to be the father of Empiricism who popularised inductive methodologies for scientific inquiry. All works include prefaces by Robert Leslie Ellis and James Spedding, and the collection includes an introductory note from the editor John M. Robertson. (shrink)
_Europe’s Indians_ forces a rethinking of key assumptions regarding difference—particularly racial difference—and its centrality to contemporary social and political theory. Tracing shifts in European representations of two different colonial spaces, the New World and India, from the late fifteenth century through the late nineteenth, Vanita Seth demonstrates that the classification of humans into racial categories or binaries of self–other is a product of modernity. Part historical, part philosophical, and part a history of science, her account exposes the epistemic conditions (...) that enabled the _thinking_ of difference at distinct historical junctures. Seth’s examination of Renaissance, Classical Age, and nineteenth-century representations of difference reveals radically diverging forms of knowing, reasoning, organizing thought, and authorizing truth. It encompasses stories of monsters, new worlds, and ancient lands; the theories of individual agency expounded by Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau; and the physiological sciences of the nineteenth century. European knowledge, Seth argues, does not reflect a singular history of Reason, but rather multiple traditions of reasoning, of historically bounded and contingent forms of knowledge. _Europe’s Indians_ shows that a history of colonialism and racism must also be an investigation into the historical production of subjectivity, agency, epistemology, and the body. (shrink)
We explore three methods for measuring the conscious status of knowledge using the artificial grammar learning paradigm. We show wagering is no more sensitive to conscious knowledge than simple verbal confidence reports but is affected by risk aversion. When people wager rather than give verbal confidence they are less ready to indicate high confidence. We introduce a “no-loss gambling” method which is insensitive to risk aversion. We show that when people are just as ready to bet on a genuine random (...) process as their own classification decisions, their classifications are still above baseline, indicating knowledge participants are not aware of having. Our results have methodological implications for any study investigating whether people are aware of knowing. (shrink)
The standard behavioral index for human consciousness is the ability to report events with accuracy. While this method is routinely used for scientific and medical applications in humans, it is not easy to generalize to other species. Brain evidence may lend itself more easily to comparative testing. Human consciousness involves widespread, relatively fast low-amplitude interactions in the thalamocortical core of the brain, driven by current tasks and conditions. These features have also been found in other mammals, which suggests that consciousness (...) is a major biological adaptation in mammals. We suggest more than a dozen additional properties of human consciousness that may be used to test comparative predictions. Such homologies are necessarily more remote in non-mammals, which do not share the thalamocortical complex. However, as we learn more we may be able to make “deeper” predictions that apply to some birds, reptiles, large-brained invertebrates, and perhaps other species. (shrink)
Most early studies of consciousness have focused on human subjects. This is understandable, given that humans are capable of reporting accurately the events they experience through language or by way of other kinds of voluntary response. As researchers turn their attention to other animals, “accurate report” methodologies become increasingly difficult to apply. Alternative strategies for amassing evidence for consciousness in non-human species include searching for evolutionary homologies in anatomical substrates and measurement of physiological correlates of conscious states. In addition, creative (...) means must be developed for eliciting behaviors consistent with consciousness. In this paper, we explore whether necessary conditions for consciousness can be established for species as disparate as birds and cephalopods. We conclude that a strong case can be made for avian species and that the case for cephalopods remains open. Nonetheless, a consistent effort should yield new means for interpreting animal behavior. (shrink)
The distinction between essential versus accidental properties has been characterized in various ways, but it is currently most commonly understood in modal terms: an essential property of an object is a property that it must have, while an accidental property of an object is one that it happens to have but that it could lack. Let’s call this the basic modal characterization, where a modal characterization of a notion is one that explains the notion in terms of necessity/possibility. In the (...) characterization just given of the distinction between essential and accidental properties, the use of the word “must” reflects the fact that necessity is invoked, while the use of the word “could” reflects that possibility is invoked. The notions of necessity and possibility are interdefinable: to say that something is necessary is to say that its negation is not possible; to say that something is possible is to say that its negation is not necessary; to say that an object must have a certain property is to say that it could not lack it; and to say that an object could have a certain property is to say that it is not the case that it must lack it. (shrink)
This paper considers future directions of empirical research in business ethics and presents a series of recommendations. Greater emphasis should be placed on the normative basis of empirical studies, behavior (rather than attitudes) should be established as the key dependent variable, theoretical models of ethical decision making should be tested, and empirical studies need to focus on theory-building. Extensions of methodology and the unit of analysis are proposed together with recommendations concerning the need for replication and validity, and building links (...) to managerial and public policy applications. (shrink)
We explore two dimensions of situational factors expected to influence decision-making about ethical issues among sales representatives – universal vs. particular and direct vs. indirect. We argue that these distinctions are important theoretically, methodologically, and managerially. We test our hypotheses by means of a survey of 252 sales representatives. Our results confirm that considering universal and particular and direct and indirect situational factors contributes to our understanding of decision-making about ethical issues within a sales context, specifically willingness to engage in (...) an unethical act. We also find that personal factors act independently and interact with situational factors in decision-making about ethical issues. Both demographic factors, age and gender, and personality factors, Machiavellianism and self-monitoring, have main effects on decision-making, and some of these factors interact with situational factors to affect decision-making. For example, age of the decision-maker (younger) and size of commission (larger) interact such that the likelihood of choosing an unethical alternative is greater. (shrink)
A recent report by Persaud et al. [Persaud, N., McLeod, P. & Cowey, A. . Post-decision wagering objectively measures awareness. Nature Neuroscience 10, 257–261] addresses a fundamental issue in consciousness science: the experimental measurement of conscious content. The authors propose a novel technique, ‘post-decision wagering’, in which subjects place bets on the correctness of decisions or discriminations. In this note, I critique the authors’ claim that their method “measures awareness directly”.
From a corporate governance perspective, one of the most important jobs of a firm's top management team is to create and maintain a positive moral environment. Business ethics has long been considered a cornerstone in the field of strategic management and a number of scholars have called for more research in this area over the years. In this paper 658 articles that appeared in "Strategic Management Journal" over the 10-year period between 1996 and 2005 are reviewed for business ethics focus (...) and content. The results reveal that while business ethics research in "Strategic Management Journal" is on the rise, the overall focus on this research stream has been limited. The most prominent ethics theme during the review period was environmentalism, accounting for 30% of all ethics articles. Author affiliations, future research directions, and implications are also discussed. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationship between national culture and ethical decision making. Established theories of ethics and moral development are reviewed and a culture-based model of ethical decision making in organizations is derived. Although the body of knowledge in both cross-cultural management and ethics is well documented, researchers have failed to integrate the influence of cultural values into the ethical decision-making paradigm. A conceptual understanding of how managers from different nations make decisions about highly ethical (...) issues will provide business ethics researchers with a sound theoretical foundation upon which future empirical inquiry can be based. (shrink)
The Bayesian brain hypothesis provides an attractive unifying framework for perception, cognition, and action. We argue that the framework can also usefully integrate interoception, the sense of the internal physiological condition of the body. Our model of entails a new view of emotion as interoceptive inference and may account for a range of psychiatric disorders of selfhood.
In this paper we theorize that cognitive ethical orientations play an influential role in the beliefs of consumers when faced with different ranges of moral dilemmas. We examine this proposition in transitional Eastern Europe and results from a sample of 210 Romanian consumers suggest that Romanians are faced with a moral situation where low levels of Machiavellianism and high levels of idealism appear to relate to a higher ethical concern about passively benefiting at the expense of others.
Neural Darwinism (ND) is a large scale selectionist theory of brain development and function that has been hypothesized to relate to consciousness. According to ND, consciousness is entailed by reentrant interactions among neuronal populations in the thalamocortical system (the ‘dynamic core’). These interactions, which permit high-order discriminations among possible core states, confer selective advantages on organisms possessing them by linking current perceptual events to a past history of value-dependent learning. Here, we assess the consistency of ND with 16 widely recognized (...) properties of consciousness, both physiological (for example, consciousness is associated with widespread, relatively fast, low amplitude interactions in the thalamocortical system), and phenomenal (for example, consciousness involves the existence of a private flow of events available only to the experiencing subject). While no theory accounts fully for all of these properties at present, we find that ND and its recent extensions fare well. (shrink)
Recent financial fraud legislation such as the Dodd–Frank Act and the Sarbanes–Oxley Act (U.S. House of Representatives, Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, [H.R. 4173], 2010 ; U.S. House of Representatives, The Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002, Public Law 107-204 [H.R. 3763], 2002 ) relies heavily on whistleblowers for enforcement, and offers protection and incentives for whistleblowers. However, little is known about many aspects of the whistleblowing decision, especially the effects of contextual and wrongdoing attributes on organizational (...) members’ willingness to report fraud. We extend the ethics literature by experimentally investigating how the nature of the wrongdoing and the awareness of those surrounding the whistleblower can influence whistleblowing. As predicted, we find that employees are less likely to report: (1) financial statement fraud than theft; (2) immaterial than material financial statement fraud; (3) when the wrongdoer is aware that the potential whistleblower has knowledge of the fraud; and (4) when others in addition to the wrongdoer are not aware of the fraud. Our findings extend whistleblowing research in several ways. For instance, prior research provides little evidence concerning the effects of fraud type, wrongdoer awareness, and others’ awareness on whistleblowing intentions. We also provide evidence that whistleblowing settings represent an exception to the well-accepted theory of diffusion of responsibility. Our participants are professionals who represent the likely pool of potential whistleblowers in organizations. (shrink)
This study examines corporate publications of U.K. firms to investigate the nature of corporate social responsibility disclosure. Using a stakeholder approach to corporate social responsibility, our results suggest a hierarchical model of disclosure: from general rhetoric to specific endeavors to implementation and monitoring. Industry differences in attention to specific stakeholder groups are noted. These differences suggest the need to understand the effects on social responsibility disclosure of factors in a firm's immediate operating environment, such as the extent of government regulation (...) and level of competitiveness in the industry. (shrink)
Efforts to institutionalize ethics in corporations have been discussed without first addressing the desirability of norm conformity or the possibility that the means used to elicit conformity will be coercive. This article presents a theoretical context, grounded in models of social control, within which ethics initiatives may be evaluated. Ethics initiatives are discussed in relation to variables that already exert control in the workplace, such as environmental controls, organizational controls, and personal controls.
Sandberg et al. show that the Perceptual Awareness Scale scale is sensitive compared to confidence ratings and wagering in detecting accurate perception. They go on to argue that the PAS scale is hence a sensitive measure of conscious perception compared to confidence ratings, a claim disputed here. The fact that some visual content is conscious does not entail that the visual content relevant to making a discrimination is conscious. For example, if one saw a square but was only aware of (...) seeing a flash of something, then one has not consciously seen a square. When PAS and confidence ratings come in conflict, we suggest that it is confidence ratings that more reliably indicate the conscious status of contents allowing discrimination. (shrink)
Safe and effective methods of preconception gender selection through flow cytometric separation of X- and Y-bearing sperm could greatly increase the use of gender selection by couples contemplating reproduction. Such a development raises ethical, legal, and social issues about the impact of such practices on offspring, on sex ratio imbalances, and on sexism and the status of women. This paper analyzes the competing interests in preconception gender selection, and concludes that its use to increase gender variety in a family, and (...) possibly for selecting the gender of firstborn, might in many instances be ethically acceptable. (shrink)