Steve Jobs was not only a businessman renowned for his legacy of technological innovation and entrepreneurship. His life history indicates eras or seasons as prankster, hippie, family man, and cancer fighter. This psychobiographical case study entailed a psychosocial-historical analysis of Jobs’s development interpreted through Levinson’s theory of the human life cycle, and was undertaken against the background of Merleau-Ponty’s ontological philosophy that elucidates a human science phenomenology where the individual cannot be separated from his/her social world. The primary objective of (...) this study was to uncover the eras and transitions within Jobs’s life cycle. The secondary objective was to illustrate and test the relevance of Levinsonian theory as applied to Jobs’s life. Jobs’s life cycle was uncovered through an analysis of published and publically available materials, which included both primary and secondary data sources. Alexander’s psychobiographical model was employed to extract salient evidence for analysis. A conceptual psychosocial-historical matrix guided the analysis. Key findings indicate that the central components of Jobs’s life and social world had a significant influence on his psychosocial development. In conclusion, Jobs’s development generally conformed to Levinsonian theory as well as to Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological ontology and illustrated the relevance of these conceptual models for understanding the individual’s connectedness to his/her social world. (shrink)
BOOK REVIEW (by Larise du Plessis, with reply by Author) Ron Dultz (2007). Who Are We? Reseda, CA: Ron Dultz Publishing Soft Cover (174 pages) ISBN 10: 0-615-16088-7 & ISBN 13: 978-0-615-16088-7 Cost: USA $12.00.
In The Construction of Social Reality, John Searle develops a theory of institutional facts and objects, of which money, borders and property are presented as prime examples. These objects are the result of us collectively intending certain natural objects to have a certain status, i.e. to ‘count as’ being certain social objects. This view renders such objects irreducible to natural objects. In this paper we propose a radically different approach that is more compatible with standard economic theory. We claim that (...) such institutional objects can be fully understood in terms of actions and incentives, and hence the Searlean apparatus solves a non-existent problem. (shrink)
Contemporary discussion concerning institutions focus on, and mostly accept, the Searlean view that institutional objects, i.e. money, borders and the like, exist in virtue of the fact that we collectively represent them as existing. A dissenting note has been sounded by Smit et al. (Econ Philos 27:1–22, 2011), who proposed the incentivized action view of institutional objects. On the incentivized action view, understanding a specific institution is a matter of understanding the specific actions that are associated with the institution and (...) how we are incentivized to perform these actions. In this paper we develop the incentivized action view by extending it to institutions like property, promises and complex financial organisations like companies. We also highlight exactly how the incentivized action view differs from the Searlean view, discuss the method appropriate to such study and discuss some of the virtues of the incentivized action view. (shrink)
In our earlier work, we argued, contra Searle, that institutional facts can be understood in terms of non-institutional facts about actions and incentives. Butchard and D’Amico claim that we have misinterpreted Searle, that our main argument against him has no merit and that our positive view cannot account for institutional facts created via joint action. We deny all three charges.
According to Transparency International, Africa is the most corrupt region in the world. In South Africa, there is an annual 'loss' of about R30 billion as a result of bribery and corruption. It would appear that it is exactly the poor and the vulnerable who suffer most under the scourge of corruption. The purpose of this research was to investigate the effect of corruption on victim(s) and to evaluate it in an effort to formulate solutions as to how such individuals (...) can be guided and supported in the suffering and hardship that they endure and that specifically emanate from corruption. In the research, an effort was made to move away from the trend of the fragmenting of aid and to present guidelines or suggestions that can lead to a global solution, where multi-disciplinary involvement can be facilitated. The researchers agree that the church can play a key role in this, and the solution was sought in the principles expounded in 1 Corinthians 12. The research method known as action research was investigated as a workable method to be used by the multi-disciplinary aid team in their struggle against corruption. In the final instance, the principles used by Touching Africa in their work were investigated so that these could also be used in the quest for a solution. (shrink)
In two articles, Smits, Buekens, and du Plessis have argued that John Searle’s account of institutional facts suffers serious flaws and should be replaced with a reductive account they call “incentivization.” We argue against their view in two ways. First, the specific flaws they find in Searle are based on misunderstandings. Second, “incentivization,” as they present it, fails as a reduction of strict collective actions and, thus, cannot account for institutional facts such as money or property.
What does being money consist in? We argue that something is money if, and only if, it is typically acquired in order to realise the reduction in transaction costs that accrues in virtue of agents coordinating on acquiring the same thing when deciding what thing to acquire in order to exchange. What kinds of things can be money? We argue against the common view that a variety of things (notes, coins, gold, cigarettes, etc.) can be money. All monetary systems are (...) best interpreted as implementing the same basic protocol. Money, i.e. the thing that we coordinate on acquiring in order to lower our transaction costs, is, in all cases, a set of positions on an abstract mathematical object, namely a relative ratio scale. The things that we ordinarily call ‘money’ are merely records of positions on such a scale. (shrink)
Monetary authorities have been implicated in the financial crisis of 2007?2008. John Muellbauer, for example, has blamed what he thought was initially inadequate policy responses by central banks to the crisis on their models, which are, in his words, ?overdue for the scrap heap?. This paper investigates the role of monetary policy models in the crisis and finds that (i) it is likely that monetary policy contributed to the financial crisis; and (ii) that an inappropriately narrow suite of models made (...) this mistake easier. The core models currently used at prominent central banks were not designed to discover emergent financial fragility. In that respect John Muellbauer is right. But the implications drawn here are less dramatic than his: while the representative agent approach to micro-foundations now seems indefensible, other aspects of modern macroeconomics are not similarly suspect. The case made here is rather for expanding the suite of models used in the regular deliberations of monetary authorities, with new models that give explicit roles to the financial sector, to money and to the process of exchange. Recommending a suite of models for policy making entails no methodological innovation. That is what central banks do; though, of course, how they do it is open to improvement. The methodological innovation is the inclusion of a model that would be sensitive to financial fragility, a sensitivity that was absent in the run-up to the current financial crisis. (shrink)
The field of positive psychology has burgeoned since its formal inception with Martin Seligman’s 1998 APA presidential address. Aimed at better baking the positive half of the psychology “cake”, the gains in research and practice over the past decade and a half have been substantial. Among the chief reasons for the rapid growth and development in this field is the express emphasis on a positivistic scientific methodology. While this methodology has undoubtedly contributed much to the evolution and growth of the (...) field, the empirical emphasis has arguably resulted in the concomitant neglect of the more qualitative complexities of optimal human functioning. The present paper contributes to the discussion regarding the role of method in the field of positive psychology and, using as case studies two papers from the field of phenomenology, argues specifically for the utility of phenomenological psychological methods in the baking of the metaphorical psychology cake. The case studies effectively serve to illustrate the manner in which phenomenological methods, through their focus on rich description and resistance to an interpretative framework, are condusive to contributing to methodological pluralism within positive psychology and thereby providing additional means whereby not only to continue the baking of the positive psychology cake, but, more particularly, to ensure that it is baked thoroughly by adjusting the oven’s heat to the optimal level. (shrink)
In a previous article, we challenged the “incentivization view” held by J. P. Smit, Filip Buekens, and Stan du Plessis as failing to cover social phenomena involving strict joint actions. The authors’ response to our criticism seriously misstates our main point. We have therefore, as briefly and sharply as we can, restated the problem in this note.
Contemporary discussion about the ontology of society identifies two groups of perspectives. One of them, associated with Searle, includes rules in the inventory of elements that constitute social reality. The other one, associated with Smit, Buekens, and du Plessis, claims that rules can be reduced to more fundamental units. Despite the fact that both perspectives seem equally efficient in describing institutional phenomena, we identify both flaws in the viewpoint that dismisses rules and reasons to prefer the alternative position.
Reflections on recent Chinese socio-economic development, insofar as it has been influenced by values, especially Confucianism, and what lessons there are to be learned for understanding sub-Saharan African values and how best to develop in that context.
This article explores the future impact of an African renaissance with a specific emphasis on information ethics to address the needs of the emerging virtual realm. The four main focus areas include the technologi-cal challenges to deploy ICT infrastructure to enable the delivery of information to the people and to allow for new means of communication. The second focus considers the economic obstacles that need to be consi-dered in the quest to empower average citizens to exercise their right to access (...) information. The third focus addresses the linguistic and cultural realities that hinder the adoption of some ICTs. The final focus considers the legal framework that has to be developed and strengthened to establish citizen‘s rights of access and privacy in cyberspace. (shrink)