The authors here promote the reintroduction of temporality into the description and analysis of spoken interaction. They argue that spoken words are, in fact, temporal objects and that unless linguists consider how they are delivered within the context of time, they will not capture the full meaning of situated language use. Their approach is rigorously empirical, with analyses of English, German, and Italian rhythm, all grounded in sequences of actual talk-in-interaction.
The self-limiting revolutions of 1989 in Central Europe offer an alternative paradigm of revolutionary change that is reminiscent more of the American struggle for independence in 1776 than the Jacobin tendencies that grew out of the French Revolution of 1789. In order to understand the contradictory impulses of the revolutions of 1989—the desire for a radical renewal and the concern for preservation—this article takes as its point of departure the political thought of Hannah Arendt and Edmund Burke.
The series of Velvet revolutions in 1989, which brought about the collapse of communism in Europe, seem to have vindicated those political theorists and activists who believed in the possibility of non-violent power. The relative success of the 1989 revolutions has validated a new paradigm of revolutionary change based on the assumption that radical changes were attainable through moderate means. Yet the legacy of these non-violent revolutions also points towards the limits of political strategies fundamentally opposed to violence. The article (...) shows that the key architects of non-violent revolutions in 1989 were well aware of the contingent nature of all political actions, and were thus willing to take risks in their pursuit of freedom. (shrink)
Using a new dataset of environmental, social, and corporate governance company ratings for the European market, this article examines whether socially responsible stock selection adds or destroys value in terms of portfolio performance. From 2004 to 2012, we find the following: Negative screens excluding unrated stocks from a representative European stock universe allow investors to significantly outperform a passive investment in a diversified European stock benchmark portfolio. Additional negative screens based on environmental and social scores neither add nor destroy portfolio (...) value, when cut-off rates are not too high. In contrast, governance screens can significantly increase portfolio performance under similar conditions. Thus, investors in the European stock market can do well while doing good. Because of a loss of diversification, positive screens can cause portfolios to underperform the benchmark. This implies that investors should concentrate on eliminating the worst firms. Our results are robust along several dimensions, namely, choice of performance measure, time, test parametrisation, portfolio weighting scheme, approximation of the risk-free rate, and consideration of transaction costs. (shrink)
Excerpt“Europe is not America,” opined the leading editorial in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung1 in the midst of the most severe financial crisis that the United States has experienced in its history. A few days later, when it became obvious that European-style capitalism was not immune to the problems caused by the reckless investment strategies of banks around the globe, the outburst of this European (German?) Schadenfreude dissipated. Yet, the underlying assumption remained: the economic downturn in the United States was indicative (...) of a profound crisis of the neo-liberal capitalist order that had been championed by different U.S. administrations for at…. (shrink)
Are we able to make objective moral judgments? This perennial philosophical topic needs often to be revisited because it is central to human life. Judging how people conduct themselves, the institutions they devise, whether, in short, they are doing what's right or what's wrong, is ubiquitous. In this essay I defend the objectivity of ethical judgments by deploying a neo-Aristotelian naturalism by which to keep the “is-ought” gap at bay and place morality on an objective footing. I do this with (...) the aid of the ideas of Ayn Rand as well as, but only by implication and association, those of Martha Nussbaum and Philippa Foot. (shrink)
Tibor Machan's _Ayn Rand_ aims to provide an introduction to Ayn Rand’s thought for “a broader readership who may have heard of Rand but not examined her ideas in detail”. . . . He portrays himself as an admirer, but not as a true believer who supposes that Rand can think no wrong. In addition to sympathetically discussing her views, he tries also to respectfully assess criticisms of those views. His position is not one of unqualified endorsement, but rather (...) one of respect and high regard for Rand as a philosopher. (shrink)
There have been a number of attacks on the idea of human rights recently, both in the course of political and diplomatic encounters across the globe, as well as in the more systematic literature of political philosophy. These attacks do not always distinguish between the Lockean, negative and the more recent positive rights traditions. For example, at the 1993 summer conference on Human Rights in Vienna, Austria, many diplomats from different regions of the world raised such questions as 'When we (...) speak of human rights, are these conditions that everyone everywhere ought to enjoy?’Is it perhaps the case that human rights are one thing for people in one part of the globe and another for those in another part?' These questions were raised in large part about the rights spelled out in the United Nations Declaration of Universal Human Rights, including both negative and positive rights–e.g., the rights to freedom of expression and to public education, respectively. (shrink)
In Putting Humans First: Why We Are Nature’s Favorite, Tibor Machan argues against moral perspectives that require taking animals’ interests seriously. He attempts to defend the status quo regarding routine, harmful uses of animals for food, fashion and experimentation. Graham and Nobis show that his arguments fail: they arguments provide no good reason to resist pro-animal moral conclusions that are supported by a wide range of contemporary ethical arguments.
Frank Bubb and Tibor Machan raise objections to Mack's "Problematic Arguments in Randian Kthics." Bubb argues that a universalization test allows Rand to condemn every parasitic action—even ones that serve the agent's survival. But this universalization test is faulty; it calls upon individuals to act as would be rational if the world were not as it is. Machan argues that Rand can hold that the fundamental choice between life and death is ungrounded without being a subjectivist. But Machan does (...) not successfully differentiate the putatively ungrounded choice between life and death from other choices that he admits are arbitrary. (shrink)
William Dwyer responds to the comments of George Lyons and Tibor R. Machan on his review of Machan's Initiative (Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, Fall 2001). Dwyer reiterates points in his initial review, stressing the need to understand choice within a larger causal context.
This collection of essays seeks to explore Tibor R. Machan’s philosophical ideas by considering some of the basic issues with which he has been concerned throughout his long and highly productive career.
THERE HAS BEEN FOR MANY years a tension between the anarcho-capitalist or free-market anarchist, and the limited government or minarchist wings of the libertarian movement. This dispute has both enriched debate within such institutions as the Libertarian Party, the International Society of Individual Liberty, the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and the Cato Institute, and magazines such as Liberty and Reason, and has engendered greater insights as to the core of the overall philosophy shared by both.1 While this intralibertarian debate has (...) had its staunch supporters on either side, for many participants it has not been a pressing issue. After all, modern society resembles neither vision, and present governments will have to be radically reduced in scope and orientation before the divisions between these two alternatives will become a matter of practical interest. Thus many have agreed that this debate, except as a matter of intellectual curiosity, will have no practical relevance until that happy day when present governments are reduced to, say, 5 percent of their present size and influence.2 But intellectual curiosity and political philosophy are integral parts of libertarianism. Accordingly, analysis of government can. (shrink)
This essay examines the relationship between human choice and Rand's ethical standard for moral goodness and obligation. It shows that the neo-Aristotclian interpretation of Rand's ethics—an interpretation that does not accept the doctrine of "premoral choice" but instead claims that flourishing as a rational animal is the telos of human life and choice—is crucial to the viability of her ethical theory. The defenders of premoral choice confuse the conceptual order with the real and, despite their intentions, make Rand's ethics into (...) a voluntarist ethics, that is, an ethics in which reason is subordinate to will. (shrink)