Is privacy the key ethical issue of the internet age? This coauthored essay argues that even if all of a user’s privacy concerns were met through secure communication and computation, there are still ethical problems with personalized information systems. Our objective is to show how computer-mediated life generates what Ernesto Laclou and Chantal Mouffe call an “atypical form of social struggle”. Laclau and Mouffe develop a politics of contingent identity and transient articulation (or social integration) by means of the notions (...) of absent, symbolic, hegemonic power and antagonistic transitions or relations. In this essay, we introduce a critical approach to one twenty-first-century atypical social struggle that, we claim, has a disproportionate effect on those who experience themselves as powerless. Our aim is to render explicit the forms of social mediation and distortion that result from large-scale machine learning as applied to personal preference information. We thus bracket privacy in order to defend some aspects of the EU GDPR that will give individuals more control over their experience of the internet if they want to use it and, thereby, decrease the unwanted epistemic effects of the internet. Our study is thus a micropolitics in in the Deleuzian micropolitical sense and a preliminary analysis of an atypical social struggle. [Added note: the contract law specialist cited twice in this article (Jonathan R. Bruno) is a graduate of Harvard Law and is presently located at University of Michigan Law School (Ann Arbor) (not identical to the 'data scientist' of the same name that populates the first page of links brought up by a Google-search on this proper name.]. (shrink)
This study represents an improvement in the ethics scales inventory published in a 1988 Journal of Business Ethics article. The article presents the distillation and validation process whereby the original 33 item inventory was reduced to eight items. These eight items comprise the following ethical dimensions: a moral equity dimension, a relativism dimension, and a contractualism dimension. The multidimensional ethics scale demonstrates significant predictive ability.
The field of business ethics has been active for several decades, but it has yet to develop a generally agreed upon applied ethical perspective for the discipline. Academics in business disciplines have developed useful science-based models explaining why business people behave ethically but without a generally accepted definition of ethical behavior. Academics in moral philosophy have attempted to formulate what they believe ethical behavior is, but many seem to ignore or reject the basic mission of business. The purpose of this (...) article is to offer one view of ethics in business that accommodates the mission of business. This purpose is achieved by reviewing the mission of ethics in applied disciplines like business and melding it into the mission of business in capitalistic societies. (shrink)
Engineers’ love of technology often gets in the way of their being useful. Consider Post-it Notes or, better yet, plain paper notepads. These probably seemed like trivial ideas, but they turned out to be terribly useful. Why? Because the marvel that is the human brain has a horrible short-term memory, which means that dumb-as-dirt memory aids can make people substantially smarter.
Given a finite state space and common priors, common knowledge of the identity of an agent with the minimal (or maximal) expectation of a random variable implies ‘consensus’, i.e., common knowledge of common expectations. This ‘extremist’ statistic induces consensus when repeatedly announced, and yet, with n agents, requires at most log2 n bits to broadcast.
La théorie du jugement était une des préoccupations de Husserl depuis la toute première période de sa carrière. Ses premières recherches dans ce domaine se trouvent dans deux manuscrits rédigés en 1893 et 1893-1894 et publiés dans le volume XL des Husserliana . Dans cet article, j’examinerai la théorie du jugement dans ces manuscrits en relation aux questions suivantes : 1) les jugements en relation aux représentations ; 2) les assomptions comme des actes qui se déroulent parallèlement aux jugements ; (...) 3) les jugements impropres en tant que distincts des jugements propres ; 4) les jugements objectifs ; 5) les états de choses en tant que corrélatifs des actes de juger. Nous verrons que, tandis que Husserl se libère à maints égards de la théorie du jugement de Brentano qu’il avait apprise à Vienne puis à Halle, ses positions sont en même temps tout à fait représentatives de la phénoménologie autrichienne dans la mesure où elles impliquent à la fois une psychologie descriptive et une théorie de l’objet, bien que sans aucune prétention d’établir une nouvelle méthode en philosophie.The theory of judgment was one of Husserl’s concerns from a very early period of his career onward. His early investigations in this area are to be found in two manuscripts which he wrote in 1893 and 1893/94, which have been published as Text Nr. 1 and Text Nr. 2 of Husserliana XL. In this paper I examine the theory of judgment in these manuscripts with regard to the issues of 1) judgments in relation to presentations, 2) assumptions as acts which run parallel to judgments, 3) improper judgments as distinct from improper ones, 4) objective judgments, and 5) states of affairs as correlatives of judging acts. While we see Husserl freeing himself in many respects from the Brentanian theory of judgment which he had learned in Vienna and again in Halle, it is at the same time seen that Husserl’s views are quite representative of Austrian phenomenology insofar as they involve both descriptive psychology and object-theory, though without any pretense of establishing a novel method of philosophy. (shrink)
While Hermann Lotze's philosophy was widely received all over the world, his views on abstraction and Platonic ideas are of particular interest because they were to a large extent adopted by one of the most eminent philosophers of the twentieth century, namely Edmund Husserl. In this paper these views are examined in three distinct aspects. The first of these aspects is to be found in Lotze's thesis that there is a mental process, prior to abstraction, whereby "first universals" are apprehended. (...) The second one lies in his view that there is yet a higher level of apprehension, as found in the process of abstraction itself. According to Lotze, abstraction is not to be identified with the mere removal of particular features, but rather the replacement of these with first universals, resulting in "general images" and ultimately concepts. In addition to Lotze's analysis of the cognition of universals, there is finally a third thesis (an ontological one) which is examined in this paper, namely that the universals are Platonic Ideas in the sense that they have "validity" (Geltung) independently of their corresponding particulars and also of the mind which grasps them. The three claims in question are examined here in detail. Also, an attempt is made to point out some of the connections between Lotze and Husserl on the topic under discussion. (shrink)
_Concept and Judgment in Brentano's Logic Lectures_ provides an analysis of an important feature of Brentano's philosophy in the 19th century. Relevant materials in both German and English are also included in the volume.
What emerges in Fischer’s phenomenological aesthetics is clearly the view that empathy is absolutely crucial not only to the apprehension of the aesthetic object, but also to the enjoyment of it. While this position certainly has merits, I have argued that in some ways his phenomenological description leaves something to be desired. This was particularly seen in his claim that empathy can never be described as an intuitive presentation of feeling. Perhaps another criticism which can be added here is be (...) found in a consideration of abstract works of art. In the case of these it would seem that empathy plays a much smaller role than it does in the apprehension of other aesthetic objects, especially works of art of other kinds. This is not to say that empathy could play no role at all in the apprehension of abstract works of art, for we may keep in mind that Fischer formulates the notion of mechanical empathy whereby one empathetically grasps power and other phenomena which are analogues of the will. It remains to be seen in the further development of a phenomenological aesthetics whether the notion of empathy can be applied in any other way in such cases. (shrink)
One of the most important students of Franz Brentano was Anton Marty, who made it his task to develop a philosophy of language on the basis of Brentano’s analysis of mind. It is most unfortunate that Marty does not receive the attention he deserves, primarily due to his detailed and distracting polemics. In the analysis presented here his philosophy of language and other aspects of his thought, such as his ontology , are examined first and foremost in their positive rather (...) than critical character. The analysis is moreover supplemented by translations of four important works by Marty, including his entire work On the Origin of Language. These are in fact the first English translations of any substantial writings by him. The resulting picture that emerges from the analysis and translations is that Marty has much to say that proves to be of enduring interest for the philosophy of language on a range of topics, especially the meanings of statements, of emotive expressions, and of names as regards both their communicative and their ontological aspects. The volume will be of interest not only to philosophers and historians of philosophy, but also to historians of linguistics and psychology. (shrink)
For sociologist Emile Durkheim, the “sacred” constitutes all those things “set apart and forbidden.” Within Evangelical Christianity, and to a lesser degree Protestantism in general, the sacred has arguably centered on the individual believer and her/his personal relationship with God and scripture. Recently, however, a growing movement within Evangelical Christianity has emphasized the sacred nature of relationships and community, culminating in the mantra “God is love.” This shift has set community above the personal in the hierarchy of sacred Evangelical things, (...) and is reminiscent of earlier progressive forms of Evangelicalism, such as Social Gospel Christianity. Rob Bell, an Evangelical author, pastor, and Oprah Network star, possibly best exemplifies this change and its ramifications, which extend from a postcolonial critique of mission work and evangelism to a move to more inclusive and even Universalist soteriology. Such efforts that have left Bell labeled as a heretic in some Evangelical circles. (shrink)
The influence of Franz Brentano in twentieth century philosophy has been extensive. His two most famous and outstanding pupils were Alexius Meinong and Edmund Husserl. These two are closely related not only regarding their common background in the school of Brentano, but also in their common concern with problems arising from British empiricism. Such a problem is to be found in the nominalist views of Locke, Berkeley, and Hume and their concomitant theories of general ideas. While Meinong's early work continues (...) in the empiricist tradition by characterizing general ideas in terms of abstraction and not in terms of general objects as their correlates, Husserl's _Logical Investigations_ are committed to the claim that general ideas can be described only as ideas which refer to general objects. In _Meinong and Husserl onion and Universals_ the epistemological, psychological, and ontological aspects of these theories are examined and compared. Included is also a translation of _Abstraction and Comparing_ by Meinong. (shrink)
Book review of Rollinger & Sowa's 2004 translation of Husserl's own later collection of manuscripts on transcendental idealism (and realism): It has long served the interests of certain partisans to paint Husserl as a Cartesian philosopher of consciousness, as a man who, like his early modern predecessor, was obsessed with demonstrating that the ‘‘data’’ of conscious experience constitute an epistemological fundamentum inconcussum. Husserl thus becomes a stock character in those narratives of modern philosophy which see it as having been dominated (...) by a poisonous Cartesian subjectivism prior to the arrival of one or another of philosophy’s great twentieth-century saviors (typically one chooses either Heidegger or Wittgenstein here). On the other side, it has long been common for Husserlians to brush aside this character- ization of Husserl as a gross oversimplification and indeed fundamental mis- understanding of his thought, one resting on a lack of any real familiarity with his writings and ideas.We are thus presented with the paradox that while many of the most conscientious of Husserl’s expositors could read him as an anti- Cartesian philosopher, other, generally less sympathetic but often not less intelligent readers could come to the exact opposite conclusion... (shrink)
Clinical ethics can be viewed as a practical discipline that provides a structured approach to assist healthcare practitioners in identifying, analysing and resolving ethical issues that arise in practice. Clinical ethics can therefore promote ethically sound clinical and organisational practices and decision-making, thereby contributing to health organisation and system quality improvement. In order to develop students’ decision-making skills, as well as prepare them for practice, we decided to introduce a clinical ethics strand within an undergraduate medical curriculum. We designed a (...) programme of clinical ethics activities for teaching and assessment purposes that involved using ethical frameworks to analyse hypothetical and real-life cases in uni- and inter- professional groups. In this paper, we draw on medical student feedback collected over 6 years to illustrate the appeal to students of learning clinical ethics. We also outline the range of benefits for students, healthcare organisations, and the field of clinical ethics arising from tomorrow’s doctors experiencing clinical ethics early in their training. We conclude by briefly reflecting on how including clinical ethics within tomorrow’s doctors curricular can secure and continue future engagement in clinical ethics support services in the UK, alongside the dangers of preparing students for organisational cultures that might not exist. We anticipate the findings presented in the paper will contribute to wider debates examining the impact of ethics teaching, and its ability to inform future doctors’ practice. (shrink)
The first Young Researchers in Human–Robot Interaction Workshop, held on March 1, 2006 in Salt Lake City, Utah, provides insight into how to facilitate the establishment of the HRI community. Organized in conjunction with the first annual ACM/IEEE Human Robot Interaction Conference, the NSF-sponsored workshop assembled 15 graduate students from 5 different countries in computer science, psychology, engineering, and the arts to build the HRI community. This report highlights recommendations from discussion sessions, a synopsis of the plenary address, and representative (...) examples of the participants’ presentations. Participants emphasized that HRI is a unique field, requiring knowledge in computing, psychology, and communications despite the differences in the courses, methods, and philosophies across disciplines. The following are needed for future growth in HRI: stable, canonical robotics platforms for research purposes, a multidisciplinary community infrastructure to connect researchers, and a “Berlitz phrasebook” and collected reference materials for helping understand the “other” disciplines. (shrink)
We confirm a conjecture, about neat embeddings of cylindric algebras, made in 1969 by J. D. Monk, and a later conjecture by Maddux about relation algebras obtained from cylindric algebras. These results in algebraic logic have the following consequence for predicate logic: for every finite cardinal α ≥ 3 there is a logically valid sentence X, in a first-order language L with equality and exactly one nonlogical binary relation symbol E, such that X contains only 3 variables (each of which (...) may occur arbitrarily many times), X has a proof containing exactly α + 1 variables, but X has no proof containing only α variables. This solves a problem posed by Tarski and Givant in 1987. (shrink)
For every finite n ≥ 4 there is a logically valid sentence φ n with the following properties: φ n contains only 3 variables (each of which occurs many times); φ n contains exactly one nonlogical binary relation symbol (no function symbols, no constants, and no equality symbol): φ n has a proof in first-order logic with equality that contains exactly n variables, but no proof containing only n - 1 variables. This result was first proved using the machinery of (...) algebraic logic developed in several research monographs and papers. Here we replicate the result and its proof entirely within the realm of (elementary) first-order binary predicate logic with equality. We need the usual syntax, axioms, and rules of inference to show that φ n has a proof with only n variables. To show that φ n has no proof with only n - 1 variables we use alternative semantics in place of the usual, standard, set-theoretical semantics of first-order logic. (shrink)
Purpose This paper aims to formalize long-term trajectories of human civilization as a scientific and ethical field of study. The long-term trajectory of human civilization can be defined as the path that human civilization takes during the entire future time period in which human civilization could continue to exist. -/- Design/methodology/approach This paper focuses on four types of trajectories: status quo trajectories, in which human civilization persists in a state broadly similar to its current state into the distant future; catastrophe (...) trajectories, in which one or more events cause significant harm to human civilization; technological transformation trajectories, in which radical technological breakthroughs put human civilization on a fundamentally different course; and astronomical trajectories, in which human civilization expands beyond its home planet and into the accessible portions of the cosmos. -/- Findings Status quo trajectories appear unlikely to persist into the distant future, especially in light of long-term astronomical processes. Several catastrophe, technological transformation and astronomical trajectories appear possible. -/- Originality/value Some current actions may be able to affect the long-term trajectory. Whether these actions should be pursued depends on a mix of empirical and ethical factors. For some ethical frameworks, these actions may be especially important to pursue. (shrink)
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