Business schools have become implicated in the widespread demonisation of the financial classes. By educating those held most responsible for the crisis – financial traders and speculators – they are said to have produced ruthlessly talented graduates who have ambition in abundance but little sense for social responsibility or ethics. This ethical lack thrives upon the trading floor within a compelling critique of the complicity of the pedagogy of the business school with the financial crisis of the global economy. An (...) ethical turn within the curriculum is now widely encouraged as a counteractive force. Within this paper, however, we argue that taking this ethical turn is not enough. For business ethicists to learn from the financial crisis, the crisis' legacy needs to be taken account of, and financialisation needs to be taken seriously. Pedagogical reform cannot bracket itself off from the crisis as if it were coincidental with or separate from it. Post-crisis pedagogy must rather take the fact that it is requested now, in light of the crisis, as its very point of departure. The financial crisis must not be understood as something to be resisted in the name of Business Ethics. Instead, the financial crisis must be understood as the very foundation for contemporary Business Ethics in particular and for contemporary business and management education more generally. (shrink)
Certain strands of contemporary media theory are concerned with the ways in which computational environments exploit the ‘missing half-second’ of human perception and thereby influence, control or exploit humans at an affective level. The ‘technological unconscious’ of our times is often understood to work at this affective level, and high-frequency trading is regularly provided as a primary illustrative example of the contagious dynamics it produces. We challenge and complicate this account of the relation between consciousness, affect and media technologies by (...) drawing on the recent work of N. Katherine Hayles and by focusing in detail on the ways in which the ‘costs of consciousness’ are accounted for and negotiated in high-frequency trading. We suggest that traders actively develop modes of awareness accounting for the costs of consciousness, and that the necessary ‘stupidity’ of high-frequency trading algorithms as well as competition pose limits to the full automation of financial markets. (shrink)
Demonstratives play a crucial role in the acquisition and use of language. Bringing together a team of leading scholars this detailed study, a first of its kind, explores meaning and use across fifteen typologically and geographically unrelated languages to find out what cross-linguistic comparisons and generalizations can be made, and how this might challenge current theory in linguistics, psychology, anthropology and philosophy. Using a shared experimental task, rounded out with studies of natural language use, specialists in each of the languages (...) undertook extensive fieldwork for this comparative study of semantics and usage. An introduction summarizes the shared patterns and divergences in meaning and use that emerge. (shrink)
This paper demonstrates how the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority governs advertising ethics with and on behalf of its members and stakeholders. Drawing on an archive of 310 non-commercial adjudication reports, we highlight the substantive norms and procedural mechanisms through which the ASA governs advertising complaints alleging offence and/or harm. Substantively, the ASA precludes potential normative transgressions by publishing, disseminating, consulting upon, and updating detailed codes of advertising conduct. Procedurally, the ASA adjudicates between allegations and justifications of offence and harm on (...) a received complaint-by-complaint basis, often upon consequentialist grounds. Such consequentialism, we claim, has the effect of normalizing power imbalances between the ASA’s members, on the one hand, and wider stakeholders, on the other hand. The paper argues that, in the context of UK advertising, what Michel Foucault called the right ‘to be or not to be governed like that’ is enjoyed by relatively few subjects. Having demonstrated how UK advertising practices are governed, the paper closes with suggestions as to how they might be governed otherwise. (shrink)
This paper urges contemporary Business Ethicists to reconsider the relationship between habit and virtue in the light of recent debates between contemporary philosophers and scientists. Synthesizing insights from current Neuroscience, from twentieth century American Pragmatism and from nineteenth century French Aristotelianism, this emergent intellectual tradition proposes a dynamic account of habit’s embodiment which we will first describe and then advocate. Two recurring suggestions within this habit renaissance are of particular relevance to Business Ethicists: firstly, that there is a ‘plastic’ structure (...) pertaining to habit and, secondly, that there is a processual ‘double-law of habituation’. Taken together, these accounts of habit and habituation provide virtue ethicists with a basis for claiming analytic and pragmatic authority within applied ethics debates in general and within Business Ethics debates in particular. We develop this argument in three steps. Firstly, we elaborate upon why habits are said to be plastic and why the process of habituation is said to be characterised by a double-law. Secondly, we distinguish this account of habit’s relationship to virtue from, and where necessary defend it against, the influential articulations of the habit: virtue relationship provided by situationism, by deontology and by communitarianism, respectively. Finally, we draw practical lessons from the initial elaborations made in the argument’s first step, and the subsequent clarifications provided in its second step, by announcing seven characteristics of highly effective virtue habituation projects. (shrink)
In their book Unto Others, Sober and Wilson argue that various evolutionary considerations (based on the logic of natural selection) lend support to the truth of psychological altruism. However, recently, Stephen Stich has raised a number of challenges to their reasoning: in particular, he claims that three out of the four evolutionary arguments they give are internally unconvincing, and that the one that is initially plausible fails to take into account recent findings from cognitive science and thus leaves open (...) a number of egoistic responses. These challenges make it necessary to reassess the plausibility of Sober & Wilson’s evolutionary account—which is what I aim to do in this paper. In particular, I try to show that, as a matter of fact, Sober & Wilson’s case remains compelling, as some of Stich’s concerns rest on a confusion, and those that do not are not sufficiently strong to establish all the conclusions he is after. The upshot is that no reason has been given to abandon the view that evolutionary theory has advanced the debate surrounding psychological altruism. (shrink)
The philosopher Graham Harman argues that contemporary debates about the nature of reality as such, and about the nature of objects in particular, can be meaningfully applied to social theory and practice. With Immaterialism, he has recently provided a case-based demonstration of how this could happen. But social theorists have compelling reasons to oppose object-oriented social theory’s 15 principles. Fidelity to Harman’s aesthetic foundationalism, and his particular use of serial endosymbiosis theory as a mechanism of social change, constrain the very (...) practices which it is supposed to enable. However, social theory stands to benefit from object-oriented philosophy through what we call posthuman relationism – characterised as a commitment to the reality of the nonhuman, but not divorced from the human. The emphasis in object-oriented social theory on how objects withdraw from cognitive or affective capture and representation needs to be tempered by an equal focus on how objects appeal. (shrink)
The 2014 SSE Conference near San Francisco is now behind us, and I’d rate it as quite successful. Apart from the predictable good times shared with friends whom we see only at these get-togethers, several things in particular stood out for me. First, Gerald Pollack’s Dinsdale lecture on the fourth phase of water was unusually interesting, and in fact all the invited talks were both stimulating and entertainingly presented. Although I wasn’t monitoring the behavior of attendees generally or invited speakers (...) in particular, I happened to sit near or next to Gerald Pollack for much of the meeting. And I have to say that I was also struck and impressed by his attentiveness and openness to the rest of the program. If he missed a presentation, I didn’t see it, and I believe he took careful notes of most of the talks as well. I doubt this was a mere courtesy. I believe Pollack exemplifies the kind of inquisitiveness, open-mindedness, and intellectual courage I at least take to be a prerequisite for membership in the SSE, but which one sees all too infrequently in the Academy, or in the real world generally. Moreover, the conference was quite well-attended, and I was pleased that many of those present don’t yet qualify for membership in the AARP.1 The shortage of “young blood” has been a concern, not just for the SSE, but also for other similarly minded organizations to which I belong 2. Indeed, the SSE Council routinely considers ways to encourage the recruitment and participation of new and young members. Brenda Dunne has certainly helped with this by organizing and hosting the New Members and Young Investigators meetings at the annual conferences, and my spies informed me that this year’s meeting was again a success. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction Mollie Painter-Morland and Rene; ten Bos; 1. Globalization Rene; ten Bos; 2. Corporate agency Mollie Painter-Morland; 3. Stakeholders David Bevan and Pat Werhane; 4. Organizational culture Hugh Willmott; ENRON narrative Hugh Willmott; 5. Moral dilemmas and decision-making Mollie Painter-Morland; 6. Organizational justice Carl Rhodes; 7. Reward and compensation Mollie Painter-Morland; 8. Leadership Rene; ten Bos and Sverre Spoelstra; 9. Whistle-blowing Mollie Painter-Morland and Rene; ten Bos; 10. Marketing Janet Borgerson; 11. CSR StephenDunne (...) and Rene; ten Bos; 12. Global standards Andreas Rasche; 13. Sustainability Rene; ten Bos and David Bevan; Glossary; Index. (shrink)
_Philosophy and Poetry_ is the 33rd volume in the _Midwest Studies in Philosophy_ series. It begins with contributions in verse from two world class poets, JohnAshbery and Stephen Dunn, and an article by Dunn on the creative processthat issued in his poem. The volume features new work from an internationalcollection of philosophers exploring central philosophical issues pertinent topoetry as well as the connections between the two domains.
Philosophy and Poetry is the 33rd volume in the Midwest Studies in Philosophy series. It begins with contributions in verse from two world class poets, JohnAshbery and Stephen Dunn, and an article by Dunn on the creative processthat issued in his poem. The volume features new work from an internationalcollection of philosophers exploring central philosophical issues pertinent topoetry as well as the connections between the two domains.
Thomas Berry presents his vision of cosmology and the relationships in creation. Responses from Donald Senior, Gregory Baum, Margaret Brennan, Stephen Dunn, James Farris, and Brian Swimme round out the insights and create magnetic reading.
We present a model of computation for string functions over single-sorted, total algebraic structures and study some basic features of a general theory of computability within this framework. Our concept generalizes the Blum-Shub-Smale setting of computability over the reals and other rings. By dealing with strings of arbitrary length instead of tuples of fixed length, some suppositions of deeper results within former approaches to generalized recursion theory become superfluous. Moreover, this gives the basis for introducing computational complexity in a BSS-like (...) manner. Relationships both to classical computability and to Friedman's concept of eds computability are established. Two kinds of nondeterminism as well as several variants of recognizability are investigated with respect to interdependencies on each other and on properties of the underlying structures. For structures of finite signatures, there are universal programs with the usual characteristics. For the general case of not necessarily finite signature, this subject will be studied in a separate, forthcoming paper. (shrink)
Covenant Theology brings together a number of perspectives on this important feature of Christian tradition from across the theological discipline. Based on four lectures delivered at the University of Liverpool, each address is followed by a response, allowing respected scholars of the field to engage in lively and public debate. The progression from Old Testament to New Testament, then to systematic theology and pastoral theology is intentional, as readers are encouraged to view theology as an integrative discipline rather than a (...) series of fragmented specialisms with little or no relation to one another. With contributions from Stephen Clark, James Dunn, Gary Badcock, and Robin Gill, this academic book combines fresh insights with more traditional approaches and makes for an informed and interesting read. · Lively public debate from key scholars responding to each point. · Discussions from the full length of the Bible. · Practical in its application. · Wide view of theological debate. · Links theology to other disciplines. · Encourages everyone to join the debate. (shrink)
The last thirty years has witnessed an explosion of scholarly books and articles on Locke which, claims Harpham, has "recast our most basic understanding of Locke as a historical actor and political theorist, the Two Treatises as a document, and liberalism as a coherent tradition of political discourse". The seven articles in this volume attempt to assess this "new scholarship," which is described as revisionist and historicist. This volume is now probably the best introduction to the "new scholarship." The introduction (...) by Edward Harpham, "Locke's Two Treatises in Perspective," and the bibliography provide a nice summary of key ideas, books, and articles. The essence of the new perspective is best stated by Richard Ascraft [[sic]] in "The Politics of Locke's Two Treatises of Government": "Locke's thought is thus both philosophically more conservative and politically more radical than we have hitherto supposed. In short, Locke is at once closer to Aristotle and Hooker and to the levelers and Sidney than the prevailing interpretations of his political thought maintain". Ashcraft attempts to separate Locke from the philosophy of Hobbes on such issues as resistance, toleration, justice and natural law, obligation; he directs his argument against Macpherson and Strauss, whose presences haunt the borders of the new scholarship. Eldon Eisenach, in his "Religion and Locke's Two Treatises of Government," interprets Locke's philosophy as marked by a deep skepticism regarding the reach of natural reason and informed by a "deep faith in the efficacy of biblical revelation" as the source of our moral and political duties. Eisenach comes close to dissenting from the new scholarship by wondering whether "Dunn and Ashcraft" are whistling in the dark concerning the coherence of Locke's "worldview"; but he closes ranks with the assertion that the Essay lays out a path to salvation. Eisenach concludes that Locke is not antireligious and secular, but a defender of biblical Christianity. The new scholarship must emphasize all the more a "spiritualist and assertively evangelical Locke". David Resnick, in "Rationality and the Two Treatises," attempts to recover the portrait of Locke as an antitraditionalist, committed to a critical rationalism. Resnick uses Weber's theory of rationality to render a consistent account of Locke's social analysis. Yet Resnick also insists that Locke's political philosophy is not self-interested and atomistic but is rooted in a fully Christian worldview: "Locke's deeply held theological convictions about the existence, benevolence and rationality of God ground his reasoning in a metaphysically stable framework". This religious assumption provides a basis for Locke's "rationality." But a new inconsistency is opened up by this resolution--a rationalism rooted in religious faith, by a philosopher who continually urged their distinction. Karen Iversen Vaughn, in "The Economic Background to Locke's Two Treatises of Government," attempts to correct the new scholarship's neglect of the economic premises of Locke's political philosophy; this neglect is part of an overreaction to Macpherson, but Vaughn offers a moderate economic interpretation of Locke. Vaughn shows the importance of rational self-interest in economic behavior, the necessity of political society to set conditions for economic pursuit: limit on sovereign power is an example of self-interest and evidence that "economic aspects of man's behavior permeated all aspects of life". Further, "civil society requires enforceable rules to contain the self-seeking actions of all men, so that life, liberty and property can be protected". Vaughn's essay opens the back door to the "self-interested" Locke of the "old scholarship." Ronald Hamowy, in "Cato's Letters, John Locke, and the Republican Paradigm," also seeks to redress the imbalance of the new scholarship, arguing that Locke's philosophy was not displaced by the civic humanist tradition and republican virtue. He offers a detailed analysis of Cato's Letters by John Tenchard and Thomas Gordon. Like Locke, "Cato" defines political authority in terms of inalienable rights. His analysis of liberty is strikingly Lockean, and not republican. Pocock's assessment of Locke's irrelevance to Whiggism and the American founding must be rejected. In the final essay, "Locke's Two Treatises and Contemporary Thought: Freedom, Community and the Liberal Tradition," Stephen L. Newman compares contemporary American libertarian and communitarian alternatives to the liberal welfare state. Newman offers a very trenchant criticism of libertarianism as decidedly non-Lockean by dint of its utter depoliticization of all behavior and its tendency to restore the execution of natural law to the private citizen and private groups. On the other hand, communitarianism fails to provide a sufficiently specific and robust notion of the common good, and more consistent writers like Walzer and Barber fall back not upon a teleological community, but autonomy mixed with participation. Locke's distinction of politics from economics, family, and social groups still provides the most workable and realistic account of politics available in the modern world; hence Newman concludes that libertarianism and communitarianism offer "impoverished" political theories. (shrink)
To understand H.L.A. Hart's general theory of law, it is helpful to distinguish between substantive and methodological legal positivism. Substantive legal positivism is the view that there is no necessary connection between morality and the content of law. Methodological legal positivism is the view that legal theory can and should offer a normatively neutral description of a particular social phenomenon, namely law. Methodological positivism holds, we might say, not that there is no necessary connection between morality and law, but rather (...) that there is no connection, necessary or otherwise, between morality and legal theory. The respective claims of substantive and methodological positivism are, at least on the surface, logically independent. Hobbes and Bentham employed normative methodologies to defend versions of substantive positivism, and in modern times Michael Moore has developed what can be regarded as a variant of methodological positivism to defend a theory of natural law. (shrink)
[Stephen Makin] Aristotle draws two sets of distinctions in Metaphysics 9.2, first between non-rational and rational capacities, and second between one way and two way capacities. He then argues for three claims: [A] if a capacity is rational, then it is a two way capacity [B] if a capacity is non-rational, then it is a one way capacity [C] a two way capacity is not indifferently related to the opposed outcomes to which it can give rise I provide explanations (...) of Aristotle's terminology, and of how [A]-[C] should be understood. I then offer a set of arguments which are intended to show that the Aristotelian claims are plausible. \\\ [Nicholas Denyer] In De Caelo 1: 11-12 Aristotle argued that whatever is and always will be true is necessarily true. His argument works, once we grant him the highly plausible principle that if something is true, then it can be false if and only if it can come to be false. For example, assume it true that the sun is and always will be hot. No proposition of this form can ever come to be false. Hence this proposition cannot be false. Hence it is necessarily true, and so too is anything that follows from it. In particular, it is necessarily true that the sun is hot. Moreover, if the sun not only is and always will be hot, but also always has been, then it follows by similar reasoning that the sun not only cannot now fail to be hot, but also never could have failed. Anything everlastingly true is therefore, in the strictest sense of the term, necessarily true. (shrink)
Perceptual systems respond to proximal stimuli by forming mental representations of distal stimuli. A central goal for the philosophy of perception is to characterize the representations delivered by perceptual systems. It may be that all perceptual representations are in some way proprietarily perceptual and differ from the representational format of thought (Dretske 1981; Carey 2009; Burge 2010; Block ms.). Or it may instead be that perception and cognition always trade in the same code (Prinz 2002; Pylyshyn 2003). This paper rejects (...) both approaches in favor of perceptual pluralism, the thesis that perception delivers a multiplicity of representational formats, some proprietary and some shared with cognition. The argument for perceptual pluralism marshals a wide array of empirical evidence in favor of iconic (i.e., image-like, analog) representations in perception as well as discursive (i.e., language-like, digital) perceptual object representations. (shrink)
This essay deals with property rights in body parts that can be exchanged in a market. The inquiry arises in the following context. With some exceptions, the laws of many countries permit only the donation, not the sale, of body parts. Yet for some years there has existed a shortage of body parts for transplantation and other medical uses. It might then appear that if more sales were legally permitted, the supply of body parts would increase, because people would have (...) more incentive to sell than they currently have to donate. To allow sales is to recognize property rights in body parts. To allow sales, however, makes body parts into “commodities”—that is, things that can be bought and sold in a market. And some view it as morally objectionable to treat body parts as commodities. (shrink)
Dispositionalism about belief has had a recent resurgence. In this paper we critically evaluate a popular dispositionalist program pursued by Eric Schwitzgebel. Then we present an alternative: a psychofunctional, representational theory of belief. This theory of belief has two main pillars: that beliefs are relations to structured mental representations, and that the relations are determined by the generalizations under which beliefs are acquired, stored, and changed. We end by describing some of the generalizations regarding belief acquisition, storage, and change.
ABSTRACTThis paper provides a naturalistic account of inference. We posit that the core of inference is constituted by bare inferential transitions, transitions between discursive mental representations guided by rules built into the architecture of cognitive systems. In further developing the concept of BITs, we provide an account of what Boghossian  calls ‘taking’—that is, the appreciation of the rule that guides an inferential transition. We argue that BITs are sufficient for implicit taking, and then, to analyse explicit taking, we posit (...) rich inferential transitions, which are transitions that the subject is disposed to endorse. (shrink)
Perhaps the most salient feature of Rawls's theory of justice which at once attracts supporters and repels critics is its apparent egalitarian conclusion as to how economic goods are to be distributed. Indeed, many of Rawls's sympathizers may find this result intuitively appealing, and regard it as Rawls's enduring contribution to the topic of economic justice, despite technical deficiencies in Rawls's contractarian, decision-theoretic argument for it which occupy the bulk of the critical literature. Rawls himself, having proposed a “coherence” theory (...) of justification in metaethics, must regard the claim that his distributive criterion “is a strongly egalitarian conception” as independently a part of the overarching moral argument. The alleged egalitarian impact of Rawls's theory is crucial again in normative ethics where Rawls is thought to have developed a major counter-theory to utilitarianism, one of the most popular criticisms of which has been its alleged inadequacy in handling questions of distributive justice. Utilitarians can argue, however, as Brandt recently has, that the diminishing marginal utility of money, along with ignorance of income-welfare curves, would require a utility-maximizing distribution to be substantially egalitarian. The challenge is therefore for Rawls to show that his theory yields an ethically preferable degree of equality. (shrink)
Most theories of concepts take concepts to be structured bodies of information used in categorization and inference. This paper argues for a version of atomism, on which concepts are unstructured symbols. However, traditional Fodorian atomism is falsified by polysemy and fails to provide an account of how concepts figure in cognition. This paper argues that concepts are generative pointers, that is, unstructured symbols that point to memory locations where cognitively useful bodies of information are stored and can be deployed to (...) resolve polysemy. The notion of generative pointers allows for unresolved ambiguity in thought and provides a basis for conceptual engineering. (shrink)