This paper considers the ethical implications of applying three major ethical theories to the memory structure of an artificial companion that might have different embodiments such as a physical robot or a graphical character on a hand-held device. We start by proposing an ethical memory model and then make use of an action-centric framework to evaluate its ethical implications. The case that we discuss is that of digital artefacts that autonomously record and store user data, where this data are used (...) as a resource for future interaction with users. (shrink)
Bringing culture and personality in a combination with emotions requires bringing three different theories together. In this paper, we discuss an approach for combining Hofstedeâs cultural dimensions, BIG five personality parameters and PSI theory of emotions to come up with an emergent affective character model.
Food retailers are powerful actors of the agro-industrial food system. They exert strong lock-in effects that hinder transitions towards more sustainable agri-food systems. Indeed, their marketing practices generally result in excluding the most sustainable food products, such as local, low-input, small-scale farmers’ products. Recently in Belgium, several initiatives have been created to enable the introduction of local products on supermarket shelves. In this article, we study three of those initiatives to analyse if the development of local sourcing in supermarkets opens (...) up an opportunity for a transition towards more sustainable agri-food systems. We conceptualise transitions as a shift in governance and ethical values and adopt a pragmatist approach of ethics combined with the systemic perspective of transition studies, to evaluate the impact of these initiatives. Our analysis shows that they mainly contribute to the reproduction of the incumbent agri-food system. It also highlights that first, to be a driver for sustainability transitions, food ethics need to be systemic i.e. relate to a systemic understanding of problems and perspective of sustainability, including social justice. And second, it highlights that governance arrangements involving not only representative organisations of the various agri-food and non-agricultural actors, but also actors upholding ethical values that are currently missing in conventional supply chains and representing excluded and marginalised interests, favour the uptake of such systemic ethics by incumbent actors. Hence, systemic ethics and inclusive governance are key features for initiatives to contribute to a sustainability transition. (shrink)
With the ever-growing quality of observational data in astronomy, the complexity of astrophysical models has been increasing in turn. This trend raises the question: Are there still reasons to prefer simpler models if the final goal is an actual model-target comparison? I argue for two aspects in which astrophysical research may favor models having reduced complexity: first, to address the problem of determining the values of adjustable parameters and, second, to pave the way for a validation of the model based (...) on the modeler’s understanding of the scope of the model and the critical processes on the target’s side. (shrink)
This paper explores the epistemic status of models and simulations between theory, on the one hand, and observations, on the other. In particular, I will argue that the interpretation of an essentially invariant astrophysical model structure can change substantially over time. I will illustrate this claim using as an example the first 20 years of development of the Paris-Durham shock code—a numerical model of slow interstellar shock waves. I will show that the model’s interpretation and, in particular, its underlying representational (...) ideal—the modeler’s goal governing the development and the use of the model—changed notably during this period. Whereas the code was originally used in a purely exploratory fashion, it was later taken to represent and encompass the target phenomenon as completely as possible. It is noteworthy that during this transition the model’s change of epistemic status was never explicitly acknowledged or in any way articulated. However, the impetus for the change can, I claim, be found in the role that observational data came to play in the later publications. (shrink)
The present study examines the moderating effects of two components of culture on the relationship between organizational climate and commitment. Moderator regression analyses reveal that value similarity has a direct effect on levels of commitment but does not moderate the climate-commitment relationship. In contrast, company philosophy is found to affect commitment directly but also to moderate the relationship between the reward and consideration dimensions of climate and organizational commitment. The results provide support for a culture-based explanation of commitment and offer (...) some insights into the linkage between climate and organizational culture. (shrink)
The essay reviews the digital emergency measures many governments have adopted in an attempt to curb Covid-19. It argues that those ‘virologically legitimized’ measures may infringe the human right to privacy and mark the transition into a world of global surveillance. At this possible turning point in human history, panic and latent fear seem to fog much needed farsightedness. Leaving the current state of emotional paralysis and restarting to critically assess the digital pandemic management can serve as an emergency break (...) against drifting into a new era of digital monitoring. (shrink)
The study investigates the »Four Principles of Biomedical Ethics« published by Tom Beauchamp and James Childress with a particular concern for the principle of respect for autonomy. The leading question is in which philosophical background autonomy is dealt with by Beauchamp/childress and by the enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant, while the more emipirical theoretical framework of Beauchamp/childress and the rationalistic framework of Kant are being analyzed. After having considered the foundation of autonomy both in Beauchamp/childress and Kant, the study turns to (...) the relationship of autonomy and human dignity by exploring the implicit extension of autonomy, human dignity and being human, and asks which consequences have to be drawn from a theological point of view. (shrink)
The article deals with Kant's understanding of personhood and autonomy. It highlights the connection of autonomy and human dignity within Kant's appreciation of morality, and indicates how his distinction between the empirical and transcendental spheres enables Kant to extend dignity even to humans who are not actually autonomous. Turning to contemporary approaches within ethics that refer to Kant but omit this transcendental framework, it defends the necessity of a trans-empirical frame within the Kantian system and hints at consequences for bioethics. (...) It concludes that Kant works with neither an absolutist notion of freedom in terms of solipsistic autarky, nor an empirical freedom and autonomy that begin and end at certain points of time. (shrink)
A growing literature examines the organizational factors that promote women’s access to positions of organizational power. Fewer studies, however, explore the implications of women in leadership positions for the opportunities and experiences of subordinates. Do women leaders serve to undo the gendered organization? In other words, is women’s greater representation in leadership positions associated with less gender segregation at lower organizational levels? We explore this question by drawing on Cohen and Huffman’s conceptual framework of women leaders as either “change agents” (...) or “cogs in the machine” and analyze a unique multilevel data set of workplaces nested within Fortune 1000 firms. Our findings generally support the “agents of change” perspective. Women’s representation among corporate boards of directors, corporate executives, and workplace managers is associated with less workplace gender segregation. Hence, it appears that women’s access to organizational power helps to undo the gendered organization. (shrink)
If the Bucolics as a whole ‘ look on us with dark enigmatical eyes,’ for long no more impenetrable darkness and no more compelling enigma could be found than that of the fourth poem in the collection. But Skutsch, the authors of Virgil's Messianic Eclogue, and more recently Mr. Royds in his Virgil and Isaiah, have done much to solve its many mysteries. Their efforts, however, were mainly directed towards the problems of fact contained in the Eclogue, and so far (...) little attention seems to have been given to an equally interesting point, that of its metrical arrangement. It is plain that we must consult the Sibyll for help: if it is not plain, that is not Virgil's fault. I hope to be able to show here that Virgil himself has left in this poem certain unmistakeable signs for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, besides his own rather casual reference to the Cumaeum carmen, and incidentally to dispose anew of the theory which reads in that expression an allusion not to the Sibyl but to Hesiod. (shrink)
Animal welfare is an importantsocietal issue in Switzerland. Policy makershave responded with a strict legislation onanimal protection and with two programs topromote animal friendly husbandry. Alsoprivate actors in the meat industry initiatedprograms for animal friendly meat productionto meet consumers' expectations. Labeled meathas a market share of over 20%. Depending onthe stakeholders responsible for the labels,their objectives vary. While retailers want toattract consumers with meat produced in ananimal friendly and environmentally compatiblemanner and with products of consistently goodsensory quality, producers want to (...) keep marketshares and increase their revenues. (shrink)
Dissipative systems are described by a Hamiltonian, combined with a “dynamical matrix” which generalizes the simplectic form of the equations of motion. Criteria for dissipation are given and the examples of a particle with friction and of the Lotka-Volterra model are presented. Quantization is first introduced by translating generalized Poisson brackets into commutators and anticommutators. Then a generalized Schrödinger equation expressed by a dynamical matrix is constructed and discussed.
Investigators agree that hope is an important coping skill for patients. Hope is stronger than optimism and influences one's physical well being. Suggestions and strategies that can be used in the clinical setting to increase hope begin with an admission of its important role.