This article discusses how the concept of a fair finite lottery can best be extended to denumerably infinite lotteries. Techniques and ideas from non-standard analysis are brought to bear on the problem.
It has long been thought that the ancient Greeks did not take mechanics seriously as part of the workings of nature, and that therefore their natural philosophy was both primitive and marginal. In this book Sylvia Berryman challenges that assumption, arguing that the idea that the world works 'like a machine' can be found in ancient Greek thought, predating the early modern philosophy with which it is most closely associated. Her discussion ranges over topics including balancing and equilibrium, lifting (...) water, sphere-making and models of the heavens, and ancient Greek pneumatic theory, with detailed analysis of thinkers such as Aristotle, Archimedes, and Hero of Alexandria. Her book shows scholars of ancient Greek philosophy why it is necessary to pay attention to mechanics, and shows historians of science why the differences between ancient and modern reactions to mechanics are not as great as was generally thought. (shrink)
This essay argues that ideals of cooperation or adversariality in argumentation are not equally attainable for women. Women in argumentation contexts face oppressive limitations undermining argument success because their authority is undermined by gendered norms of politeness. Women endorsing or, alternatively, transgressing feminine norms of politeness typically defend their authority in argumentation contexts. And yet, defending authority renders it less legitimate. My argument focuses on women in philosophy but bears the implication that other masculine dis- course contexts present similar double (...) binds that urge social and political change. (shrink)
Scientists have used models for hundreds of years as a means of describing phenomena and as a basis for further analogy. In _Scientific Models in Philosophy of Science, _Daniela Bailer-Jones assembles an original and comprehensive philosophical analysis of how models have been used and interpreted in both historical and contemporary contexts. Bailer-Jones delineates the many forms models can take, and how they are put to use. She examines early mechanical models employed by nineteenth-century physicists such as Kelvin and (...) Maxwell, describes their roots in the mathematical principles of Newton and others, and compares them to contemporary mechanistic approaches. Bailer-Jones then views the use of analogy in the late nineteenth century as a means of understanding models and to link different branches of science. She reveals how analogies can also be models themselves, or can help to create them. The first half of the twentieth century saw little mention of models in the literature of logical empiricism. Focusing primarily on theory, logical empiricists believed that models were of temporary importance, flawed, and awaiting correction. The later contesting of logical empiricism, particularly the hypothetico-deductive account of theories, by philosophers such as Mary Hesse, sparked a renewed interest in the importance of models during the 1950s that continues to this day. Bailer-Jones analyzes subsequent propositions of: models as metaphors; Kuhn's concept of a paradigm; the Semantic View of theories; and the case study approaches of Cartwright and Morrison, among others. She then engages current debates on topics such as phenomena versus data, the distinctions between models and theories, the concepts of representation and realism, and the discerning of falsities in models. (shrink)
I respond to H. M. Collins's claim (1985, 1990, 1993) that experimental inquiry cannot be objective because the only criterium experimentalists have for determining whether a technique is "working" is the production of "correct" (i.e., the expected) data. Collins claims that the "experimenters' regress," the name he gives to this data-technique circle, cannot be broken using the resources of experiment alone. I argue that the data-technique circle, can be broken even though any interpretation of the raw data produced by techniques (...) is theory-dependent. However, it is possible to break this circle by eliminating dependence on even those theoretical presuppositions that are shared by an entire scientific community through the use of multiple independently theory-dependent techniques to produce robust bodies of data. Moreover, I argue, that it is the production of robust bodies of data that convinces experimentalists of the objectivity of their data interpretations. (shrink)
This collection of essays analyzes relations of social inequality that appear to be logical extensions of a "natural order," and in the process demonstrates that a revitalized feminist anthropology of the 1990s has much to offer the field of feminist theory. Fashioned as a response to the lack of cultural analysis in feminist scholarship, the contributors question the category of gender within the inclusive context of the structural dynamics of inequality. They also examine how cultural identities, domains and institutions affect (...) our perception of gender in society. The first selection of essays addresses how ideas of family and kinship have fostered society's hierarchies and legitimized the status quo. In part two, the essays show how several dimensions of inequality are implicit in the construction of identities that are based upon ideas of social solidarity. Contributors: Susan McKinnon, University of Virginia; Kath Weston, Arizona State West; Rayna Rapp, New School for Social Research; Janet Dolgin, Hofstra University; Harriet Whitehead, Duke University; Carol Delaney, Stanford University; Brackette Williams, University of Arizona; Sylvia Yanagisako, Stanford University; Phyllis Chock, Catholic University; Sherry Ortner, University of Michigan; Anna Tsing, University of California, Santa Cruz. (shrink)
Rasmussen (1993) argues that, because electron microscopists did not use robustness and would not have been warranted in using it as a criterion for the reality or the artifactuality of mesosomes, the bacterial mesosome serves as a test case for robustness that it fails. I respond by arguing that a more complete reading of the research literature on the mesosome shows that ultimately the more robust body of data did not support the mesosome and that electron microscopists used and were (...) warranted in using robustness as a criterion for the artifactuality of mesosomes. (shrink)
Neoclassical and Austrian/evolutionary economic paradigms have different implications for integrating corporate social responsibility (corporate citizenship) and competitive strategy. porter's "Five Forces" model implicitly rests on neoclassical theory of the firm and is not easily reconciled with corporate social responsibility. Resource-based models of competitive strategy do not explicitly embrace a particular economic paradigm, but to the extent their conceptualization rests on neoclassical assumptions such as imperfect factor markets and profits as rents, these models also imply a trade-off between competitive advantage and (...) corporate social responsibility. Differences in Austrian/evolutionary economic model's assumptions about equilibrium, profits, and other economic concepts allow this paradigm to embrace alternative views of strategy such as the activities or dynamic capabilities views. These alternative views of strategy focus on learning and adaptation; they align more easily with corporate social responsibility. In practice this alignment comes about because social engagement facilitates the learning and adaptation that are a source of competitive advantage. Among the many business arguments for CSR such as improved employee morale/productivity or brand differentiation, this view prioritizes innovation. (shrink)
Without doubt, Weighing Lives, like its precursor, Weighing Goods, is an excellent and thought-provoking piece of work. In the first place, it addresses a question of the most fundamental importance, namely: how should we aggregate the well-being of past, present and future members of the human race under the various possible states of the world that may, in the event, prevail? This involves, amongst other things, dealing with questions of aggregation across time, people and different states of the world; the (...) issue of what constitutes a “neutral” state of well-being and what is, in fact, the value of continuing to survive. (shrink)
Phenomenological interviews with queer women in rural Nova Scotia reveal significant forms of trauma experienced during labour and birth. Situating the accounts of participants within both phenomenological and intersectional analyses reveals harms enabled by structurally embedded heteronormative and homophobic healthcare practices and policies. Our account illustrates the breadth and depth of harm experienced and outlines how these violate core ethical principles and values in healthcare.
In this paper, we review the literature on moderators and mediators in the corporate sustainability –corporate financial performance relationship. We provide some clarity on what has been learned so far by taking a contingency perspective on this much-researched relationship. Overall, we find that this research has made some progress in the past. However, we also find this research stream to be characterized by three major shortcomings, namely low degree of novelty, missing investment in theory building, and a lack of research (...) design and measurement options. To address these shortcomings, we suggest avenues for future research. Beyond that we also argue for a stronger emphasis on the strategic perspective of CS. In particular, we propose future research to take a step back and aim for an integration of the CS–CFP relationship into the strategic management literature. (shrink)
The purpose of this study was to examine how moral reasoning develops for 236 students enrolled in either a diversity course or a management course. These courses were compared based on the level of diversity inclusion and type of pedagogy employed in the classroom. We used causal modelling to compare the two types of courses, controlling for the effects of demographic (i.e., race, gender), curricular (i.e., previous course-related diversity learning) and pedagogical (i.e., active learning) covariates. Results showed that students enrolled (...) in the diversity course demonstrated higher levels of moral reasoning than students enrolled in the management course. In addition, results show that previous diversity courses as well as current enrolment in a diversity course contributed to moral reasoning gains. Implications are discussed. (shrink)
Big Data enhances the possibilities for storing personal data extracted from social media and web search on an unprecedented scale. This paper draws on the political economy of information which explains why the online industry fails to self-regulate, resulting in increasingly insidious web-tracking technologies. Content analysis of historical blogs and request for comments on HTTP cookies published by the Internet Engineering Task Force illustrates how cookie technology was introduced in the mid-1990s, amid stark warnings about increased system vulnerabilities and deceptive (...) personal data extractions. In conclusion, online users today are left with few alternatives but to enter into unconscionable contracts about the extraction of their personal data when using the Internet for private purposes. (shrink)
Empirical work on and common observation of the emotions tells us that our emotions sometimes key us to the presence of real and important reason-giving considerations without necessarily presenting that information to us in a way susceptible of conscious articulation and, sometimes, even despite our consciously held and internally justified judgment that the situation contains no such reasons. In this paper, I want to explore the implications of the fact that emotions show varying degrees of integration with our conscious agency—from (...) none at all to quite substantial—for our understanding of our rationality, and in particular for the traditional assumption that weakness of the will is necessarily irrational. (shrink)
This article contributes to the revision of the concept of system in social theory using complexity theory. The old concept of social system is widely discredited; a new concept of social system can more adequately constitute an explanatory framework. Complexity theory offers the toolkit needed for this paradigm shift in social theory. The route taken is not via Luhmann, but rather the insights of complexity theorists in the sciences are applied to the tradition of social theory inspired by Marx, Weber, (...) and Simmel. The article contributes to the theorization of intersectionality in social theory as well as to the philosophy of social science. It addresses the challenge of theorizing the intersection of multiple complex social inequalities, exploring the various alternative approaches, before rethinking the concept of social system. It investigates and applies, for the first time, the implications of complexity theory for the analysis of multiple intersecting social inequalities. Key Words: complexity theory inequality intersectionality social theory. (shrink)
Call a bit of scientific discourse a description of a missing system when (i) it has the surface appearance of an accurate description of an actual, concrete system (or kind of system) from the domain of inquiry, but (ii) there are no actual, concrete systems in the world around us fitting the description it contains, and (iii) that fact is recognised from the outset by competent practitioners of the scientific discipline in question. Scientific textbooks, classroom lectures, and journal articles abound (...) with such passages; and there is a widespread practice of talking and thinking as though there are systems which fit the descriptions they contain perfectly, despite the recognition that no actual, concrete systems do so—call this the face value practice . There are, furthermore, many instances in which philosophers engage in the face value practice whilst offering answers to epistemological and methodological questions about the sciences. Three questions, then: (1) How should we interpret descriptions of missing systems? (2) How should we make sense of the face value practice? (3) Is there a set of plausible answers to (1) and (2) which legitimates reliance on the face value practice in our philosophical work, and can support the weight of the accounts which are entangled with that practice? In this paper I address these questions by considering three answers to the first: that descriptions of missing systems are straightforward descriptions of abstract objects, that they are indirect descriptions of “property-containing” abstracta, and that they are (in a different way) indirect descriptions of mathematical structures. All three proposals are present in the literature, but I find them wanting. The result is to highlight the importance of developing a satisfactory understanding of descriptions of missing systems and the face value practice, to put pressure on philosophical accounts which rely on the practice, and to help us assess the viability of certain approaches to thinking about models, theory structure, and scientific representation. (shrink)
This article considers the question of whether corporate entities can benefit from the criminal-law defence of duress. The excuse of duress is accorded in recognition of the defendant’s extreme fear of a threatened consequence, and it is unclear whether corporate entities—as distinct from their members—can experience fear. Many proponents of corporate rationality deny that corporations can have emotional states. I argue that corporations can experience the fear that is necessary to ground a claim of duress, but that the law should (...) only allow fear to excuse coerced corporate action in a narrow set of circumstances. (shrink)
Traditional approaches to theory structure and theory change in science do not fare well when confronted with the practice of certain fields of science. We offer an account of contemporary practice in molecular biology designed to address two questions: Is theory change in this area of science gradual or saltatory? What is the relation between molecular biology and the fields of traditional biology? Our main focus is a recent episode in molecular biology, the discovery of enzymatic RNA. We argue that (...) our reconstruction of this episode shows that traditional approaches to theory structure and theory change need considerable refinement if they are to be defended as generally applicable. 1This paper emerged from discussions between us, and we are both equally responsible for its errors. We would like to thank Yvonne Paterson for helpful comments. (shrink)
In this book , Lorraine Besser-Jones develops a eudaimonistic virtue ethics based on a psychological account of human nature. While her project maintains the fundamental features of the eudaimonistic virtue ethical framework—virtue, character, and well-being—she constructs these concepts from an empirical basis, drawing support from the psychological fields of self-determination and self-regulation theory. Besser-Jones’s resulting account of "eudaimonic ethics" presents a compelling normative theory and offers insight into what is involved in being a virtuous person and "acting well." (...) This original contribution to contemporary ethics and moral psychology puts forward a provocative hypothesis of what an empirically-based moral theory would look like. (shrink)
This article compares inference to the best explanation with Bayes’s rule in a social setting, specifically, in the context of a variant of the Hegselmann–Krause model in which agents not only update their belief states on the basis of evidence they receive directly from the world, but also take into account the belief states of their fellow agents. So far, the update rules mentioned have been studied only in an individualistic setting, and it is known that in such a setting (...) both have their strengths as well as their weaknesses. It is shown here that in a social setting, inference to the best explanation outperforms Bayes’s rule according to every desirable criterion. 1 What Is Inference to the Best Explanation?2 Judging the Rules—By Which Lights?3 From an Individualistic to a Social Perspective 3.1 The Hegselmann–Krause model 3.2 A probabilistic extension of the Hegselmann–Krause model 3.3 Simulations4 Results and Discussion5 Interpretation6 Conclusion. (shrink)
Scientific models represent aspects of the empirical world. I explore to what extent this representational relationship, given the specific properties of models, can be analysed in terms of propositions to which truth or falsity can be attributed. For example, models frequently entail false propositions despite the fact that they are intended to say something "truthful" about phenomena. I argue that the representational relationship is constituted by model users "agreeing" on the function of a model, on the fit with data and (...) on the aspects of a phenomenon that are modelled. Model users weigh the propositions entailed by a model and from this decide which of these propositions are crucial to the acceptance and continued use of the model. Thus, models represent phenomena when certain propositions they entail are true, but this alone does not exhaust the representational relationship. Therefore, the constraints that produce the choice of the relevant propositions in a model must also be examined and their analysis contributes to understanding the relationship between models and phenomena. (shrink)
Cesarean delivery rates have been steadily increasing worldwide. In response, many countries have introduced target goals to reduce rates. But a focus on target goals fails to address practices embedded in standards of care that encourage, rather than discourage, cesarean sections. Obstetrical standards of care normalize use of technology, creating an imperative to use technology during labor and birth. A technological imperative is implicated in rising cesarean rates if physicians or patients fear refusing use of technology. Reproductive autonomy is at (...) stake since a technological imperative undermines patients’ ability to choose cesareans or refuse use of technology increasing the likelihood of cesareans. To address practices driven by a technological imperative I outline three physician obligations that are attached to respecting patient autonomy. These moral obligations show that a focus on respect for autonomy may prove not only an ideal ethical response but also an achievable practical response to lowering cesarean rates. (shrink)
In this new and original book, Claire Armon-Jones examines the concept of affect and various philosophical positions which attempt to define and characterize it: the standard view, the neo-cognitivist view, and the objectual thesis. She contends that these views radically distort our understanding of affect by disregarding modes of affect which fail to conform to the accounts they each employ. Against the standard and neo-cognitivist views she argues that the notions they use to characterize affect are neither necessary nor (...) sufficient; and against the objectual thesis she further argues that affective states exhibit degrees of independence from the concept of an object. She develops a new theory of the varieties of affect that explains their cognitive nature, their felt aspect, their special logic and the relationship between their objectless and object-directed forms. Armon-Jones concludes by suggesting that her arguments call into question certain assumptions about the rationality and moral status of affect and require a revision of the conception of the good in affect. (shrink)
Scholars across disciplines recognize sport as an institution perpetuating sexism and bias against women in light of its masculine ideals. However, little philosophical research identifies how a masculine environment impacts women’s possibilities in sport. This paper shows that socially structured masculine ideals of athletic excellence impact recognition of women’s athletic achievements while contributing to contexts endangering respect and self-respect. Exploring athletic disrespect reveals connections to more broadly harmful sport practices that include physical and sexual violence. Thus, the practical concern is (...) that sport’s masculine ideals might undermine women’s pursuit of athletic excellence in more harmful ways than previously recognized. (shrink)
Noradrenergic pathways are involved in mediating the central and peripheral effects of physiological arousal. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of noradrenergic transmission in moral decision-making. We studied the effects in healthy volunteers of propranolol (a noradrenergic beta-adrenoceptor antagonist) on moral judgement in a set of moral dilemmas pitting utilitarian outcomes (e.g., saving five lives) against highly aversive harmful actions (e.g., killing an innocent person) in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group design. Propranolol (40 mg orally) (...) significantly reduced heart rate, but had no effect on self-reported mood. Importantly, propranolol made participants more likely to judge harmful actions as morally unacceptable, but only in dilemmas where harms were ‘up close and personal’. In addition, longer response times for such personal dilemmas were only found for the placebo group. Finally, judgments in personal dilemmas by the propranolol group were more decisive. These findings indicate that noradrenergic pathways play a role in responses to moral dilemmas, in line with recent work implicating emotion in moral decision-making. However, contrary to current theorising, these findings also suggest that aversion to harming is not driven by emotional arousal. Our findings are also of significant practical interest given that propranolol is a widely used drug in different settings, and is currently being considered as a potential treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder in military and rescue service personnel. (shrink)
_Living Poetically_ is the first book to focus primarily on Kierkegaard's existential aesthetics as opposed to traditional aesthetic features of his writings such as the use of pseudonyms, literary techniques and figures, and literary criticism. _Living Poetically_ traces the development of the concept of the poetic in Kierkegaard's writings as that concept is worked out in an ethical-religious perspective in contrast to the aesthetics of early German romanticism and Hegelian idealism. Sylvia Walsh seeks to elucidate what it means, in (...) Kierkegaard's view, to be an authentic poet in the form of a poetic writer and to clarify his own role as a Christian poet and writer as he understood it. Walsh shows that, in spite of strong criticisms made of the poetic in some of his writings, Kierkegaard maintained a fundamentally positive understanding of the poetic as an essential ingredient in ethical and religious forms of life. Walsh thus reclaims Kierkegaard as a poetic thinker and writer from those who would interpret him as an ironic practitioner of an aestheticism devoid of and detached from the ethical-religious as well as from those who view him as rejecting the poetic and aesthetic on ethical or religious grounds. Viewing contemporary postmodern feminism and deconstruction as advocating a romantic mode of living poetically, Walsh concludes with a feminist reading of Kierkegaard that affirms both individuality and relatedness, commonalities and differences between the self and others, men and women, for the fashioning of an authentic mode of living poetically in the present age. (shrink)
Non-Archimedean probability functions allow us to combine regularity with perfect additivity. We discuss the philosophical motivation for a particular choice of axioms for a non-Archimedean probability theory and answer some philosophical objections that have been raised against infinitesimal probabilities in general.
Sport is recognized both in sport studies and in the social sciences as a social institution forming, reinforcing, and perpetuating male hegemony. They recognize the constraints, barriers, and harms to women arising from current gendered social structures but cannot be expected to advance philosophical implications. Yet, the latter requires attention since sport not only mirrors but appears to magnify oppressive gendered practices. This article hopes to meet that need through a feminist philosophical analysis that reveals significant barriers, frustrations, and...
Human freedom is in tension with nomological determinism and with statistical determinism. The goal of this paper is to answer both challenges. Four contributions are made to the free-will debate. First, we propose a classification of scientific theories based on how much freedom they allow. We take into account that indeterminism comes in different degrees and that both the laws and the auxiliary conditions can place constraints. A scientific worldview pulls towards one end of this classification, while libertarianism pulls towards (...) the other end of the spectrum. Second, inspired by Hoefer, we argue that an interval of auxiliary conditions corresponds to a region in phase space, and to a bundle of possible block universes. We thus make room for a form of non-nomological indeterminism. Third, we combine crucial elements from the works of Hoefer and List; we attempt to give a libertarian reading of this combination. On our proposal, throughout spacetime, there is a certain amount of freedom that can be interpreted as the result of agential choices. Fourth, we focus on the principle of alternative possibilities throughout and propose three ways of strengthening it. (shrink)
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