In this paper I present and defend a highly demanding principle of justice in education that has not been seriously discussed thus far. According to the suggested approach, “all the way equality”, justice in education requires nothing short of equal educational outcome between all individual students. This means not merely between equally able children, or between children from different groups and classes, but rather between all children, regardless of social background, race, sex and ability. This approach may seem implausible at (...) first, due to the far-reaching implications it entails, primarily its requirement to deny better-off children their advantage for the sake of equality. However the paper argues that all-the-way-equality, in fact, does a better job realizing the goals of justice in education than alternative conceptions of justice. It is further argued that at least some of the principle’s most radical consequences, those that make it seem counterintuitive, can be mitigated by balancing all-the-way-equality with competing interests. (shrink)
The importance of education and its profound effect on people's life make it a central issue in discussions of distributive justice. However, promoting distributive justice in education comes at a price: prioritising the education of some, as is often entailed by the principles of justice, inevitably has negative effects on the education of others. As a result, all theories of distributive justice in education face the challenge of balancing their requirements with conflicting interests. This article aims to contribute to developing (...) an account of conflicting interests by identifying a category of conflicting interests—non-positional conflicting interests—the realisation of which does not necessarily disrupt distributive justice. Non-positional conflicting interests include, for example, the interest in realising one's full potential and parents’ interest in familial relations. The article argues that the core dimensions of non-positional conflicting interests can usually be realised without upsetting distributive justice, and that actions that do upset distributive justice tend to be peripheral to these interests. Either way, there is no severe friction between distributive justice and non-positional conflicting interests: in the former cases, both are realised simultaneously. In the latter, tension exists; however, because the infringement on the conflicting interest is of relatively little weight, it is often justified, all things considered, in order to promote distributive justice. The conclusion is that while there are indeed cases in which distributive justice must retreat in the face of other interests, the friction between distributive justice and other interests is actually weaker than meets the eye. (shrink)
Boilerplate, the fine print of standard contracts, is more prevalent than ever in commercial trade and in electronic commerce. But what is in it, beyond legal technicalities? Why is it so hard to read and why is it often so one-sided? Who writes it, who reads it, and what effect does it have? The studies in this volume question whether boilerplate is true contract. Does it resemble a statute? Is it a species of property? Should we think of it as (...) a feature of the product we buy? Does competition improve boilerplate? Looking at the empirical reality in which various boilerplates operate, leading private law experts reveal subtle and previously unrecognized ways in which boilerplate clauses encourage information flow, but also reduce it; how new boilerplate terms are produced, and how innovation in boilerplate is stifled; how negotiation happens in the shadow of boilerplate, and how it is subdued. They offer a new explanation as to why boilerplate is often so one-sided. With emphasis on empiricism and economic thinking, this volume provides a more nuanced understanding of the 'DNA' of market contracts, the boilerplate terms. (shrink)
Criminal sanctions are typically inflicted by the state. The central role of the state in determining the severity of these sanctions and inflicting them requires justification. One justification for state-inflicted sanctions is simply that the state is more likely than other agents to determine accurately what a wrongdoer justly deserves and to inflict a just sanction on those who deserve it. Hence, in principle, the state could be replaced by other agents, for example, private individuals. This hypothesis has given rise (...) to recent calls to reform the state's criminal justice system by introducing privately inflicted sanctions, for example, shaming penalties, private prisons, or private probationary services. This paper challenges this view and argues that the agency of the state is indispensable to criminal sanctions. Privately inflicted sanctions sever the link between the state's judgments concerning the wrongfulness of the action and the appropriateness of the sanction and the infliction of sufferings on the criminal. When a private individual inflicts punishment, she acts on what she and not the state judges to be a justified response to a criminal act. Privately inflicted sanctions for violations of criminal laws are not grounded in the judgments of the appropriate agent, namely the state. It is impermissible on the part of the state to approve, encourage, or initiate the infliction of a sanction on an alleged wrongdoer on the basis of a private judgment. Such an approval grants undue weight to the private judgment of the individual who inflicts the sanction. (shrink)
Computer simulation of an epistemic landscape model, modified to include explicit representation of a centralized funding body, show the method of funding allocation has significant effects on communal trade-off between exploration and exploitation, with consequences for the community’s ability to generate significant truths. The results show this effect is contextual, and depends on the size of the landscape being explored, with funding that includes explicit random allocation performing significantly better than peer review on large landscapes. The article proposes a way (...) of incorporating external institutional factors in formal social epistemology, and offers a way of bringing such investigations to bear on current research policy questions. 1Introduction2Theoretical Background3Model Description4Simulation Details 4.1Simulating the epistemic landscape4.2Simulating agents4.3Simulating communal knowledge4.4Simulating funding strategies4.5Simulating merit dynamics5Results and Discussion 5.1Experiment 1: The winner-takes-it-all mechanism only5.2Experiment 2: All dynamic mechanisms5.3Experiment 3: Adding a new funding mechanism 5.4Experiment 4: Varying the degree of myopia5.5Experiment 5: Variability of individual epistemic gain5.6Experiment 6: Likelihood of renewal6Discussion7Conclusion. (shrink)
Computer simulation of an epistemic landscape model, modified to include explicit representation of a centralized funding body, show the method of funding allocation has significant effects on communal trade-off between exploration and exploitation, with consequences for the community’s ability to generate significant truths. The results show this effect is contextual, and depends on the size of the landscape being explored, with funding that includes explicit random allocation performing significantly better than peer-review on large landscapes. The paper proposes a way of (...) incorporating external institutional factors in formal social epistemology, and offers a way of bringing such investigations to bear on current research policy questions. (shrink)
There are now several proposals for introducing random elements into the process of funding allocation for research, and some initial implementation of this policy by funding bodies. The proposals have been supported on efficiency grounds, with models, including social epistemology models, showing random allocation could increase the generation of significant truths in a community of scientists when compared to funding by peer review. The models in the literature are, however, fairly abstract. This paper introduces some of the considerations that are (...) required to build on the modelling work towards a fully-fledged policy proposal, including issues of cost and fairness. (shrink)
Mill's most famous departure from Bentham is his distinction between higher and lower pleasures. This article argues that quality and quantity are independent and irreducible properties of pleasures that may be traded off against each other – as in the case of quality and quantity of wine. I argue that Mill is not committed to thinking that there are two distinct kinds of pleasure, or that ‘higher pleasures’ lexically dominate lower ones, and that the distinction is compatible with hedonism. I (...) show how this interpretation not only makes sense of Mill but allows him to respond to famous problems, such as Crisp's Haydn and the oyster and Nozick's experience machine. (shrink)
In 2013 the Health Research Council of New Zealand began a stream of funding titled 'Explorer Grants', and in 2017 changes were introduced to the funding mechanisms of the Volkswagen Foundation 'Experiment!' and the New Zealand Science for Technological Innovation challenge 'Seed Projects'. All three funding streams aim at encouraging novel scientific ideas, and all now employ random selection by lottery as part of the grant selection process. The idea of funding science by lottery has emerged independently in several corners (...) of academia, including in philosophy of science. This paper reviews the conceptual and institutional landscape in which this policy proposal emerged, how different academic fields presented and supported arguments for the proposal, and how these have been reflected in actual policy. The paper presents an analytical synthesis of the arguments presented to date, notes how they support each other and shape policy recommendations in various ways, and where competing arguments highlight need for further analysis or more data. In addition, it provides lessons for how philosophers of science can engage in shaping science policy, and in particular highlights the importance of mixing complementary expertise: it takes a village to raise policy. (shrink)
A crucial aspect of the human mind is the ability to project the self along the time line to past and future. It has been argued that such self-projection is essential to re-experience past experiences and predict future events. In-depth analysis of a novel paradigm investigating mental time shows that the speed of this “self-projection” in time depends logarithmically on the temporal-distance between an imagined “location” on the time line that participants were asked to imagine and the location of another (...) imagined event from the time line. This logarithmic pattern suggests that events in human cognition are spatially mapped along an imagery mental time line. We argue that the present time-line data are comparable to the spatial mapping of numbers along the mental number line and that such spatial maps are a fundamental basis for cognition. (shrink)
Ecologically-motivated authoritarianism flourished initially during the 1970s but largely disappeared after the decline of socialism in the late-1980s. Today, 'eco- authoritarianism ' is beginning to reassert itself, this time modelled not after the Soviet Union but modern-day China. The new eco-authoritarians denounce central planning but still suggest that governments should be granted powers that free them from subordination to citizens' rights or democratic procedures. I argue that current eco-authoritarian views do not present us with an attractive alternative to market liberal (...) democracy even if we take a highly pessimistic view of our shared prospects under the latter sort of regime. (shrink)
Why Law Matters argues that public institutions and legal procedures are valuable and matter as such, irrespective of their instrumental value. Examining the value of rights, public institutions, and constitutional review, the book criticises instrumentalist approaches in political theory, claiming they fail to account for their enduring appeal.
ABSTRACTWhen morality is important and central to individuals’ identities, it may heighten their sense of responsibility to behave in moral ways. Although research has linked moral identity to various moral actions, research has yet to demonstrate the association between moral identity and individuals’ consistent moral choices, despite situational sanctions to behave immorally. The purpose of this study was to examine if prioritizing morality in the self is associated with individuals’ consistent moral responses in four situations encouraging the expression of immoral (...) behavior. After reading about situations in which peers approved of and encouraged immoral behavior, 185 participants reported the degree to which they disagreed or agreed that: each situation was immoral; they would resist the ‘temptation’ to behave immorally; and they would attempt to convince their peers of the ‘right thing’ to do. Results revealed that, despite being encouraged to behave immorally, heightened moral identity predicted individuals’ moral responses in three situations. When morality is important and central to individuals’ identities, moral choices tend to emerge despite opportunities to behave immorally. (shrink)
In Computers Ltd, David Harel, best-selling author of Algorithmics, explains and illustrates one of the most fundamental, yet under-exposed facets of computers - their inherent limitations. Looking at the bad news that is proven, lasting, and robust, discussing limitations that no amounts of hardware, software, talents, or resources can overcome, the book presents a disturbing and provocative view of computing at the start of the 21st century.
Global climate change is one of the most widely discussed problems of our time. However, many libertarian thinkers have not participated in the ethical dimensions of this discussion due to a narrow focus on the scientific basis for concern about climate change. In this paper, I reject this approach and explore the kind of response libertarians should be offering instead. I frame the climate change problem as one which concerns potential rights-infringements and explore different ways in which climate change might (...) be thought to infringe upon rights. I conclude that there are some ways in which climate change might be expected to result in rights-infringements, but that some of the current concern about climate change cannot be reconciled with a rights-oriented paradigm. I close by outlining future directions for research, emphasizing that much remains to be done in order to formulate a complete libertarian perspective on climate change. (shrink)
This study expands theoretical understanding of organizational misconduct through qualitative analysis of widespread deceptive sales practices at a large U.S. life insurance company. Adopting a symbolic interactionist perspective, this research describes how a set of taken-for-granted interpretive frames located in the organization’s culture created a worldview through which deceptive sales practices were seen as normal, acceptable, routine operating procedure. The findings from this study extend and modify the dominant theoretical ‘pressure/opportunity’ model of organizational misconduct by proposing that the process engine (...) driving misconduct is not amorally rational organization members, but rather is organizational members acting on socially constructed views of the organization that normalize misconduct. (shrink)
Extending prior research on the characteristics potentially associated with adolescents’ tendencies to be a moral rebel, the present study found that adolescents themselves, their peers, and their teachers agreed on adolescents’ tendencies to possess a moral identity, possess moral courage characteristics, and be a moral rebel. Although moral identity did not consistently predict the tendency to be a moral rebel, all indices of the adolescents’ moral courage characteristics positively predicted the tendency to be a moral rebel.
Engineers create airplanes, buildings, medical devices, and software, amongst many other things. Engineers abide by a professional code of ethics to uphold people’s safety and the reputation of the profession. Likewise, students abide by a code of academic integrity while learning the knowledge and necessary skills to prepare them for the engineering and computing professions. This paper reports on studies designed to improve the engineering student culture with respect to academic integrity and ethics. To understand the existing culture at a (...) university in the USA, a survey based on a national survey about cheating was administered to students. The incidences of self-reported cheating and incidences of not reporting others who cheat show the culture is similar to other institutions. Two interventions were designed and tested in an introduction to an engineering course: two case studies that students discussed in teams and the whole class, and a letter of recommendation assignment in which students wrote about themselves three years into the future. Students were surveyed after the two interventions. Results show that first-year engineering students appreciate having a code of academic integrity and they want to earn their degree without cheating, yet less than half of the students would report on another cheating student. The letter of recommendation assignment had some impact on getting students to think about ethics, their character, and their actions. Future work in changing the student culture will continue in both a top-down and bottom-up manner. (shrink)
Immediate experience localizes the self within the limits of the physical body. This spatial unity has been challenged by philosophical and mystical traditions aimed to isolate concepts of mind and body. A more direct challenge of the spatial unity comes from a well-defined group of experiences called 'autoscopic phenomena' , in which the subject has the impression of seeing a second own body in an extrapersonal space. AP are known to occur in many human cultures and have been described in (...) healthy, as well as neurological and psychiatric populations. In this article we investigate the phenomenology of AP as described in the writings of the ecstatic Kabbalah of the thirteenth century, and search for similarities and differences with respect to AP from these and other populations. The article discusses potential common research areas between cognitive science and the science of religious experience. (shrink)
As part of the rationality debate, we examine the impact of deliberative and intuitive thinking styles on diversity preference behavior. A sample of 230 students completed the Rational Experiential Inventory and the Diversity Preference Questionnaire, an original measure of diversification behavior in different real-life situations. In cases where no normative solution was available, we found a clear preference for diversity-seeking in the gain domain and diversity-aversion in the loss domain, regardless of cognitive thinking style. However, in cases where one alternative (...) normatively dominated the other, participants high in deliberative thinking style were more calibrated to normative behavior, regardless of whether their intuitive tendency preference and the normative solution were contradictory or pointed in the same direction. Our findings support a model in which deliberative but not intuitive thinking style is the crucial predictor of rational behavior, since it enables people to better adjust their intuitive preference anchor when normative considerations require doing so. (shrink)
Personal carbon footprints have become a subject of major concern among those who worry about global climate change. Conventional wisdom holds that individuals have a duty to reduce their impacts on the climate system by restricting their carbon footprints. However, I defend a new argument for thinking that this conventional wisdom is mistaken. Individuals, I argue, have a duty to take actions to combat the world’s problems. But since climate change is only one of a nearly endless list of such (...) problems, individuals’ obligations to take action as activists do not specifically require reductions in personal carbon footprints. Moreover, this is true even in spite of the fact that we are personally implicated in causing climate change. This paper also argues that many of those who decide to combat climate change by reducing their carbon footprints are likely doing more than they can justify in this regard. Although most people are not doing enough to combat world problems, a proper devotion to activism would seek a balance with other life demands that many climate activists currently eschew. (shrink)
Extending previous research on the characteristics associated with adolescents’ general tendency to be a moral rebel, the present study examined the roles of moral identity and moral courage characteristics on 3 expressions of the tendency to stand up for one’s beliefs and values despite social pressure not to do so. Results revealed that general and situation-specific moral courage characteristics are important motivators of individuals’ caring, just, and brave expressions of the tendency to be a moral rebel, especially when they possess (...) a relatively strong moral identity. (shrink)
The interrelationships among a number of variables and their effect on ethical decision making was explored. Teams of students and managers participated in a competitive management simulation. Based on prior research, the effects of performance, environmental change, team age, and type of team on the level of ethical behavior were hypothesized. The findings indicate that multiple variables may interact in such a fashion that significance is lost.
Consequentialists typically think that the moral quality of one's conduct depends on the difference one makes. But consequentialists may also think that even if one is not making a difference, the moral quality of one's conduct can still be affected by whether one is participating in an endeavour that does make a difference. Derek Parfit discusses this issue – the moral significance of what I call ‘participation’ – in the chapter of Reasons and Persons that he devotes to what he (...) calls ‘moral mathematics’. In my paper, I expose an inconsistency in Parfit's discussion of moral mathematics by showing how it gives conflicting answers to the question of whether participation matters. I conclude by showing how an appreciation of Parfit's error sheds some light on consequentialist thought generally, and on the debate between act- and rule-consequentialists specifically. (shrink)
Pluralism about scientific method is more-or-less accepted, but the consequences have yet to be drawn out. Scientists adopt different methods in response to different epistemic situations: depending on the system they are interested in, the resources at their disposal, and so forth. If it is right that different methods are appropriate in different situations, then mismatches between methods and situations are possible. This is most likely to occur due to method bias: when we prefer a particular kind of method, despite (...) that method clashing with evidential context or our aims. To explore these ideas, we sketch a kind of method pluralism which turns on two properties of evidence, before using agent-based models to examine the relationship between methods, epistemic situations, and bias. Based on our results, we suggest that although method bias can undermine the efficiency of a scientific community, it can also be productive through preserving a diversity of evidence. We consider circumstances where method bias could be particularly egregious, and those where it is a potential virtue, and argue that consideration of method bias reveals that community standards deserve a central place in the epistemology of science. (shrink)
The state has a duty to protect individuals from violations of their basic rights to life and liberty. But does the state have a duty to criminalize such violations? Further, if there is a duty on the part of the state to criminalize violations, should the duty be constitutionally entrenched? This paper argues that the answer to both questions is positive. The state has a duty not merely to effectively prevent violations of our rights to life and liberty, but also (...) to criminalize such violations. Further, the duty to criminalize ought to be constitutionally entrenched. In the absence of criminal prohibitions on violations of the right to life and liberty individuals live ‘at the mercy’ of others. In the absence of a constitutional duty to criminalize, life and liberty of individuals is contingent upon the judgments and inclinations of the legislature. In both cases citizens’ rights are ‘at the mercy of others’. I also show that the decisions of the German Constitutional Court concerning abortion can be justified on such grounds. (shrink)
Alon Harel defines extreme cases as those in which the only way to avert a destructive threat is to harm innocent people. He rejects traditional consequentialist and non-consequentialist approaches because of the type of reasoning they both employ. I interpret Harel as making two central objections to this form of reasoning. First, traditional approaches require comparisons to be made about the value of human life. Second, decisions in extreme cases, even if permissible, should not be made under the (...) guidance of rules. I argue that these objections, though prima facie plausible, are on reflection relatively weak, and I offer instead a more moderate argument that vindicates Harel’s general thesis that deliberation is morally relevant. More specifically, I argue that whether one acts on certain conditions affects both the moral permissibility of one’s actions and the duties owed by others. (shrink)