The interplay of content and context is observable in a moment to moment manner as propositional content unfolds. The current contribution illustrates this through data from real-time language comprehension indicating that propositional content is not computed in isolation but relies in important ways on context during every step of the computation of meaning. The relevant notion of context that we have to adopt includes all aspects of possible worlds and draws on a variety of knowledge representations, which in a first (...) processing phase serve to generate expectations for upcoming words. In a second phase, the discourse representation is assessed and if necessary updated by means of inferential reasoning and enrichment to reflect the speaker’s intended meaning. (shrink)
This book contributes to current bioethical debates by providing a critical analysis of the philosophy of human death. Bernard N. Schumacher discusses contemporary philosophical perspectives on death, creating a dialogue between phenomenology, existentialism, and analytic philosophy. He also examines the ancient philosophies that have shaped our current ideas about death. His analysis focuses on three fundamental problems: (1) the definition of human death, (2) the knowledge of mortality and of human death as such, and (3) the question of whether (...) death is "nothing" to us or, on the contrary, whether it can be regarded as an absolute or relative evil. Drawing on scholarship published in four languages and from three distinct currents of thought, this volume represents a comprehensive and systematic study of the philosophy of death, one that provides a provocative basis for discussions of the bioethics of human mortality. (shrink)
This book reconsiders the Aristotelian analogy. Focusing primarily on Aristotle’s Physics Alpha, a structure of analogy emerges within Aristotle’s discussion of the principles of “becoming.” Eric Schumacher argues that logos, the first of these principles, is rooted in analogy and entails a type of mobility fit to reflect the be-coming of nature.
Schumaker (philosophy, science and technology department, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) examines how the terms of posture encompass all the major disciplines and investigates a variety of philosophical topics: abstract thought, ...
Minimum wages are usually assumed to be inefficient as they prevent the full exploitation of mutual gains from trade. Yet advocates of wage regulation policies have repeatedly claimed that this loss in market efficiency can be justified by the pursuit of ethical goals. Policy makers, it is argued, should not focus on efficiency alone. Rather, they should try to find an adequate balance between efficiency and equity targets. This idea is based on a two-worlds-paradigm that sees ethics and economics as (...) two inherently conflicting ways of thinking. We, however, believe that this view of the relationship between ethics and economics is fundamentally flawed and blurs our understanding of how an ethically responsible regulation of the labour market should be conducted. In drawing on an economic-ethical approach that resolves the antinomy between efficiency and equity, we show that ethics and economics are, in fact, two sides of the same coin and that minimum wage legislation can only be ethically responsible, if it is at the same time economically efficient. In other words, we can have our cake and eat it too. On the basis of our approach, we develop two simple game theoretical models for different types of labour markets and derive policy implications from an economic-ethical viewpoint. We suggest that under the assumption of perfectly competitive labour markets a tax-funded wage subsidy is preferable over minimum wages, as it makes everyone better off. If, however, employers have monopsony power in the wage setting process, the minimum wage is justifiable under certain conditions. (shrink)
ABSTRACTIf war is an inevitable condition of human nature, as David Hume suggests, then what type of societies can best protect us from defeat and conquest? For David Hume, commerce decreases the relative cost of war and promotes technological military advances as well as martial spirit. Commerce therefore makes a country militarily stronger and better equipped to protect itself against attacks than any other kind of society. Hume does not assume commerce would yield a peaceful world nor that commercial societies (...) would be militarily weak, as many contemporary scholars have argued. On the contrary, for him, military might is a beneficial consequence of commerce. (shrink)
We present a discrete model theory similar in structure to ordinary quantum mechanics, but based on a finite field instead of complex amplitudes. The interpretation of this theory involves only the “modal” concepts of possibility and necessity rather than quantitative probability measures. Despite its simplicity, our model theory includes entangled states and has versions of both Bell’s theorem and the no cloning theorem.
The desire for founding educational reform on a sound empirical basis has coincided with a period of impressive progress in the field of neuroscience and wide public interest in its findings, leading to an ongoing debate about the potential of neuroscience to inform education reform. But is neuroscience really suited to provide specific instructions for improving learning conditions at school? This paper explores the educational implications of neuroscience.
Background: Only data of published study results are available to the scientific community for further use such as informing future research and synthesis of available evidence. If study results are reported selectively, reporting bias and distortion of summarised estimates of effect or harm of treatments can occur. The publication and citation of results of clinical research conducted in Germany was studied.Methods: The protocols of clinical research projects submitted to the research ethics committee of the University of Freiburg in 2000 were (...) analysed. Published full articles in several databases were searched and investigators contacted. Data on study and publication characteristics were extracted from protocols and corresponding publications.Results: 299 study protocols were included. The most frequent study design was randomised controlled trial , followed by uncontrolled studies , laboratory studies and non-randomised studies . 182 were multicentre studies including 97 international collaborations. 152 of 299 had commercial funding and 46 non-commercial funding. 109 of the 225 completed protocols corresponded to at least one full publication ; the publication rate was 48%. 168 of 210 identified publications were cited in articles indexed in the ISI Web of Science. The median was 11 citations per publication .Conclusions: Results of German clinical research projects conducted are largely underreported. Barriers to successful publication need to be identified and appropriate measures taken. Close monitoring of projects until publication and adequate support provided to investigators may help remedy the prevailing underreporting of research. (shrink)
This article answers several calls—coming as well from corporate governance practitioners as from corporate governance researchers—concerning the possibility of complying simultaneously with requirements of innovation and ethics. Revealing the long-term orientation as the variable which permits us to link the principal goal of organization, being “survival,” with innovation and ethic, the article devises a framework for incorporating ethics into a company’s processes and strategies for innovation. With the principal goal of organizations being “survival” in the long-term, it is assumed that (...) innovation is necessary in order to realize a going concern. Firms that do not innovate and adapt to rapidly changing business environments are less likely to be sustainable. Thus, it is in a business’ best interests to adopt an innovation process for long-term success. We posit that there are two simultaneous sources of innovation and change that are unavoidable and embedded in the corporate landscape. First, we argue for genetically embedded, Darwinian explanations for adaptations that enable an entity’s survival. This view is combined with more conventional, social science explanations for change. Our new, comprehensive model of the governance of innovation processes hinges on the one hand on an organization’s long-term orientation, which we argue, is not possible without a consideration of an ethical dimension. On the other hand, the model employs, for the first time, the concept of duality, in order to make the positive coexistence of innovation and ethic analytically visible. Guided by this concept the roots of the ethic within innovation are traced from both natural science forces for change, and cultural pressures operating on members of an organization. We present our Integrated Causal Model of Innovation and propose theoretical relationships that will generate numerous avenues for future research in the field, and help managers to reorient their governance strategies. (shrink)
In theological and philosophical circles, religious experience has often been described in terms of a direct encounter with the supernatural that exceeds the possibilities of normal human experience. More recently, however, select scholars have endeavored to explore the respects in which ordinary aesthetic experiences might serve as a site for mediated encounters with the divine. In this paper, I will argue that any attempt to establish the legitimacy of both direct and aesthetic religious experiences depends upon their placement within a (...) larger context, which recognizes the sense in which all forms of ordinary human experience may mediate an experience of God. In order to bolster this claim, I will begin with a critical assessment of the relevant work of Alvin Plantinga and Mark Wynn, who respectively offer accounts of direct and aesthetic religious experience. I will then show that neither account fully evades two main objections that tend to be leveled against accounts of religious experience. Following this discussion, I will develop an account of the way all ordinary human experiences may mediate religious experience, in conversation with Thomas Aquinas. Far from precluding narrower accounts of religious experience as direct or aesthetic, this account includes them in a way that makes it possible to determine their validity. (shrink)
Corporations in the United States have been starting ethics programs for a variety of reasons both active and passive. Ethics officers are being charged with improving both company image and the level of ethical decision-making by employees. Thirty ethics officers from Fortune 500 firms were surveyed to develop a database of their duties and the companies' commitment to ethical standards. The results suggest much is being done, both in the diversity of responses and the similarities of commitment and duties.
This article is about an intervention introducing prehistoric life in primary education. Its objectives were to foster openness and interest for prehistory and archaeology, as well as content knowledge and conceptual learning with a focus on four main facets: basic knowledge about prehistoric life; conceptual learning/change regarding prehistory; learning about archaeologists and archaeology as a scientific discipline; and learning about interactions of archaeology and other disciplines. Students participated in two workshops about the creation of a prehistoric object, highlighting the close (...) interaction between the natural sciences and humanities within archaeology. The workshop emphasised dialogue between students, teachers and researchers, as well as active participation by the students. The educational effects of the workshops were studied using a pre-post design. Results show that the workshops had sizeable positive effects on both affective and cognitive variables. The appreciation of the workshops ranged from ≈ 70 to 90% for interest, perceived educational value and further aspects. We also found a positive impact of the intervention on cognitive variables, e.g. for several elements of key knowledge about prehistory. Regarding conceptual learning, we found improved understanding of the link between climate change and long-term changes in wildlife in a given area. A positive impact was also found for the understanding of archaeology encompassing both humanities and the natural sciences. No differences of the various outcomes were found between girls and boys; the workshops appear suitable for both genders. We conclude with a discussion of the interpretation of our findings, of some limitations and possible improvements, and of future perspectives, in particular for further classroom implementation. (shrink)
Background: Only data of published study results are available to the scientific community for further use such as informing future research and synthesis of available evidence. If study results are reported selectively, reporting bias and distortion of summarised estimates of effect or harm of treatments can occur. The publication and citation of results of clinical research conducted in Germany was studied.Methods: The protocols of clinical research projects submitted to the research ethics committee of the University of Freiburg in 2000 were (...) analysed. Published full articles in several databases were searched and investigators contacted. Data on study and publication characteristics were extracted from protocols and corresponding publications.Results: 299 study protocols were included. The most frequent study design was randomised controlled trial, followed by uncontrolled studies, laboratory studies and non-randomised studies. 182 were multicentre studies including 97 international collaborations. 152 of 299 had commercial funding and 46 non-commercial funding. 109 of the 225 completed protocols corresponded to at least one full publication ; the publication rate was 48%. 168 of 210 identified publications were cited in articles indexed in the ISI Web of Science. The median was 11 citations per publication.Conclusions: Results of German clinical research projects conducted are largely underreported. Barriers to successful publication need to be identified and appropriate measures taken. Close monitoring of projects until publication and adequate support provided to investigators may help remedy the prevailing underreporting of research. (shrink)
The subject of death and a possible survival has become in recent years a focal point for "scientific" investigations, public interest, and philosophical reflections. Paterson's work finds itself in the midst of this unlikely meeting of these three domains. He does not focus, however, upon the description of the final post mortem state--the domain of pure speculation, to which he dedicates a short chapter--but rather upon the possibility of a life after death which is the presupposition of personal immortality. Such (...) an analysis of death is contrary to the philosophical thanatalogical reverse since Heidegger, which considers death as separated from the question of immortality. On the other hand, Paterson maintains that the belief in a life after death is based not only upon philosophical arguments but also and especially upon empirical facts, which help us in the final analysis to determine whether this state is a utopia without foundation, a possibility, a choice, or even a certitude. (shrink)
Is the minimum wage ethically justifiable? In this chapter, we attempt to answer this question from an order-ethical perspective. To this end, we develop two simple game theoretical models for different types of labour markets and derive policy implications from an order-ethical viewpoint. Our investigation yields a twofold conclusion. Firstly, order ethicists should prefer a tax-funded wage subsidy over minimum wages, if they assume that labour markets are perfectly competitive. Secondly, order ethics suggests that the minimum wage can be ethically (...) justified if employers have monopsony power in the wage setting process. As it turns out, then, order ethics neither favours nor disfavours the minimum wage. Rather, it implies conditions under which this form of labour market regulation is justified and, hence, allows empirical science to play a great role in answering the ethical questions that arise in the context of the minimum wage debate. This illustrates one of order ethics’ strengths, viz. the fact that it tends to de-ideologize the debate about ethical issues. (shrink)