The consensus among legal philosophers is probably that rule-based legal expert systems leave much to be desired as aids in legal decision-making. Why? What can we do about it? A bureaucrat administering some set of complex rules will ascertain the facts and apply the rules to them in order to discover their consequences for the case in hand. This process of deductive reasoning is characteristically bureaucratic.
Although the AI paradigm is useful for building knowledge-based systems for the applied natural sciences, there are dangers when it is extended into the domains of business, law and other social systems. It is misleading to treat knowledge as a commodity that can be separated from the context in which it is regularly used. Especially when it relates to social behaviour, knowledge should be treated as socially constructed, interpreted and maintained through its practical use in context. The meanings of terms (...) in a knowledge-base are assumed to be references to an objective reality whereas they are instruments for expressing values and exercising power. Expert systems that are not perspicuous to the expert community will lose their meanings and cease to contain genuine knowledge, as they will be divorced from the social processes essential for the maintenance of both meaning and knowledge. Perspicuity is usually sacrificed when knowledge is represented in a formalism, with the result that the original problem is compounded with a second problem of penetrating the representation language. Formalisms that make business and legal problems easier to understand are one essential research goal, not only in the quest for intelligent machines to replace intelligent human beings, but also in the wiser quest for computers to support collaborative work and other forms of social problem solving. (shrink)
Two fundamental paradigms are in conflict. Expert systems are the creation of the artificial intelligence paradigm which presumes that an objective reality can be understood and controlled by an individual expert intelligence that can be replaced by machinery. The alternative paradigm assumes that reality is the subjective product of human beings striving to collaborate through shared norms and experiences, a process that can be assisted by but never replaced by computers. The first paradigm is appropriate in the domains of natural (...) science and mathematics but dangerous in social sciencet business and, especially, the law. Expert systems are constructed on the basis of a number of metaphysical assumptions that are invalid in the legal domain. These assumptions are assimilated through a number ofcommonplace metaphors that guide the thoughts of the majority of people entering the computing field who are usually trained in first paradigm subjects such as mathematics and the natural science. This inappropriate paradigm hinders our progress in the field of computers and law. We need to adopt a socially orientated view of tbe nature of reality, of language, of meaning, of intelligence, and of reasoning. It will be easier then to build computer systems to facilitate social interactions in the legal domain and easier to understand why boxes that try to imitate legal expertise are intrinsically fraudulent. (shrink)
Careful examination of the facts of record shows that the JRE has been as successful as its competitors in expanding the cultural range and scope of inquiry in religious ethics. Yet it should be noted that the debate between cultural particularists and philosophical ethicists, a debate that has shaped the actual practices of the field of comparative religious studies, has not been vigorously pursued in these pages. Likewise, the JRE has not yet realized its potential to foster collaborative work among (...) scholars working in different religious traditions, to encourage attention to neglected topics, or to enlarge, through fuller attention to diverse religious traditions, the range of ethical and metaethical interests that dominate inquiry in religious ethics. (shrink)
The treatise was in origin a polemic against the Erasistrateans in Rome whom Galen found to be in opposition to his own views. It is of interest not only for Galen's views on venesection but also for the fragments of the writings of Erastistratus contained in it. The text has not yet appeared in a modern critical edition. The Kühn edition of 1826 is the most recent, but Kühn did not go beyond the work of the Renaissance editors in dealing (...) with the numerous corruptions of the text. The emendations proposed below are occasioned by the want of a satisfactory reading anywhere in the tradition. (shrink)
The notion of stakeholder salience based on attributes (e.g., power, legitimacy, urgency) is applied in the family business setting. We argue that where principal institutions intersect (i.e., family and business); managerial perceptions of stakeholder salience will be different and more complex than where institutions are based on a single dominant logic. We propose that (1) whereas utilitarian power is more likely in the general business case, normative power is more typical in family business stakeholder salience; (2) whereas in a general (...) business context legitimacy is socially constructed; for family stakeholders, legitimacy is based on heredity; and (3) whereas temporality and criticality are somewhat independent in general-business urgency, they are linked in the family business case because of family ties and family-centered non-economic goals. We apply this theoretical framework to position and integrate the contributions to this special section of Business Ethics Quarterly on “Stakeholder Theory, Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Family Enterprise.”. (shrink)