In the discussion about consequences of the release of genetically modified (GM) crops, the meaning of the term “environmental damage” is difficult to pin down. We discuss some established concepts and criteria for understanding and evaluating such damages. Focusing on the concepts of familiarity, biological integrity, and ecosystem health, we argue that, for the most part, these concepts are highly ambiguous. While environmental damage is mostly understood as significant adverse effects on conservation resources, these concepts may not relate directly to (...) effects on tangible natural resources but rather to parameters of land use or ecological processes (e.g., the concept of biological integrity). We stress the importance of disclosing the normative assumptions underlying damage concepts and procedures for the evaluation of damages by GM crops. A conceptualization of environmental damage should precede its operationalization. We recommend an unambiguous definition for damage developed earlier and recommend that evaluation criteria be based on this. However, a general damage definition cannot replace case-specific operationalization of damage, which remains an important future challenge. (shrink)
Critical Heuristics of Social Planning has been recognised as the seminal work on critical systems thinking. Ulrich offers a new approach both to practical philosophy (which has until now remained rather unpractical) and to systems thinking (which has reduced the systems idea to a tool of merely instrumental, rather than practical, reason). Critical systems heuristics (CSH), as the approach is now generally called, provides planners, practitioners and policy makers with a conceptual tool for practising practical reason. It will enable (...) them to identify and discuss systematically the value implications of policies, plans, problem definitions, or program evaluations. In addition, the book offers the most thorough-going introduction available today to the espistemological foundations of critical systems thinking, including a practicable model of cogent argumentation on disputed value implications of designs. A must for practitioners and scholars who are interested in a self-critical and practicable understanding of the widespread call for holistic or systems thinking! "Critical Heuristics will be recognised as a very important book in the emerging systems discipline and will hold a significant position for many years to come". Peter B. Checkland, University of Lancaster, England. "An outstanding contribution to an adequate philosophical and heuristic framework for critical social inquiry and design". C. West Churchman, University of California, Berkeley, USA. "The book fills a major gap in the literature on the systems tradition". Michael C. Jackson, University of Hull, England. "Drawing on a profound knowledge of both Anglo-American systems theory and German practical philosophy, this book belongs to the best studies I have seen on the normative foundations of planning and systems design." Horst Steinmann, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. "Mandatory for libraries in the field of planning". John Friedmann, University of California, Los Angeles, USA. (shrink)
How do managers think about the relationship between the pursuit of economic success and ethical demands? This paper presents the main results of a qualitative-empirical study (Ulrich and Thielemann, 1992). The range of thinking patterns displayed by Swiss managers in this field of tension is elucidated and typologized. The results are then compared with those yielded by other studies on managerial ethics. Although the comparisons reveal essential parallels, the findings of previous investigations are interpreted in a considerably different manner. (...) In particular it is shown that, on the strength of a systematic conception of the fundamental problem of business ethics, the frequently heard assertion that the vast majority of managers are ethical opportunists must be revised. The internationally prevailing thinking pattern among managers does not prove to be ethical opportunism or even cynicism buteconomism, i.e. theethical conviction that economically appropriate actionin itself is ethically good as such. (shrink)
Purpose/methods: This study investigated the relationship between ethics education and training, and the use and usefulness of ethics resources, confidence in moral decisions, and moral action/activism through a survey of practicing nurses and social workers from four United States (US) census regions. Findings: The sample (n = 1215) was primarily Caucasian (83%), female (85%), well educated (57% with a master's degree). no ethics education at all was reported by 14% of study participants (8% of social workers had no ethics education, (...) versus 23% of nurses), and only 57% of participants had ethics education in their professional educational program. Those with both professional ethics education and in-service or continuing education were more confident in their moral judgments and more likely to use ethics resources and to take moral action. Social workers had more overall education, more ethics education, and higher confidence and moral action scores, and were more likely to use ethics resources than nurses. Conclusion: Ethics education has a significant positive influence on moral confidence, moral action, and use of ethics resources by nurses and social workers. (shrink)
A longitudinal survey of business graduates over a four-year period revealed stability over time in their assessments of proposals to improve business ethics except for significantly greater disapproval of government regulation. A comparison of graduates and executives indicate both favor developing general ethical business principles, business ethics courses, and codes of ethics, while disapproving government regulation and participation by religious leaders in ethical norms for business. The mean rankings by business graduates over time of factors influencing ethical conduct show significant (...) declines in school-university training and significant increases for religious training and industry practices. Graduates and executives rank family training as the most important influence and school-university training as least important. The authors conclude that a more careful consideration be given to matching reform proposals and influence factors, and to increasing the depth of change efforts in individual business ethics. (shrink)
The paper describes the biblical understanding of God’s commanded law in its indispensable political form, i.e. the law of God’s people. This is distinct from a confinement of God’s commandments to a moral code independent from that political context as it is present as the ‘political worship’ of God’s people.This worship has to be seen as the ground for ethics. From here follow consequences for human laws and legislation concerning human life forms. That disposition of theological ethics has been elaborated (...) in a particular form by the Lutheran-Reformed tradition especially in its concepts of God’s twofold regiment and the estates. (shrink)
Looking for ‘the future of Christian ethics’ we have to be aware of different paradigms of theological ethics and its different implications for a theologically reflected notion of future. With regard to the Reformation heritage there can be identified a Protestant paradigm of a Christian moral subject, liberated for a universal rational responsibility related to the future of the human condition on the one hand, and—according to a Lutheran grammar—an ethics of Christian practices within a worshipping community, grounded in God’s (...) ongoing creational work. The future of Christian ethics, then, consists of the continuity of this Christian witness as it is rooted in God’s promises and faithfulness. (shrink)
detail a question that, for a quarter of a century, remained open despite intense study by various researchers. Is the formula XC B = e(x e(e(e( ) e( )) z)) a single axiom for the classical equivalential calculus when the rules of inference consist..
We all know that ships are safest in the harbor; but alas, that is not what ships are built for. They are destined to leave the harbor and to confront the challenges that are waiting beyond the harbor mole. A similar challenge confronts the practice of research. Research at work cannot play it safe and stay in whatever theoretical and methodological harbors in which it may have found shelter in the past. Still less can it examine and maintain its foundations (...) in the dry dock. Research is more like a ship that must be repaired on the open sea. Yet foundationalist ideas persist in the practice of research. Counter to what is often assumed, today’s dominating model for research--the fallibilist model of critical rationalism--has not really overcome the empirical foundationalism of earlier, positivist research practices. This paper analyses two major foundationalist traps that are currently in the upswing and work against reflective research practice. (shrink)
C5.ω is obtained by adding, schematically, to the strict-implicational fragment C5 of S5 the axiom → ) → . This paper presents a fully general proof that neither C5.ω nor any of a descending chain of its extensions is complete with respect to any class of frames, correcting the garbled details of a version skeched in an earlier paper , 201-208).
This editorial article reports on the progress that the Journal of Research Practice (JRP) has achieved in its ongoing development since November 2011, when a number of editorial initiatives were announced. Several new initiatives are also proposed. In addition, there are some current announcements, including a number of recent awards, distinctions, and nominations.
In the Fall 1988 issue of Informal Logic, John McMurtry suggests that the current mass communication system "obstructs and deforms our thinking and our reasoning by a general system of deception" (p. 133). This essay suggests that McMurtry's view of the mass media is inaccurate. The mass media needs to make choices about what material it includes; McMurtry's description of the media could be explained by a rational theory of media agenda setting. Finally. it is argued that critical thinkers need (...) to go beyond the mass media to make decisions; the mass media should not be expected to provide all arguments and viewpoints. (shrink)
A four-valued matrix is presented which validates all theorems of the implicational fragment, IF, of the classical sentential calculus in which at most two distinct sentence letters occur. The Wajsberg/Diamond-McKinsley Theorem for IF follows as a corollary: every complete set of axioms (with substitution and detachment as rules) must include at least one containing occurrences of three or more distinct sentence letters. Additionally, the matrix validates all IF theses built from nine or fewer occurrences of connectives and letters. So the (...) classic result of Jagkovski for the full sentential calculus -that every complete axiom set must contain either two axioms of length at least nine or else one of length at least eleven-can be improved in the implicational case: every complete axiom set for IF must contain at least one axiom eleven or more characters long. Both results are "best possible", and both apply as well to most subsystems of IF, e.g., the implicational fragments of the standard relevance logics, modal logics, the relatives of implicational intutionism, and logics in the Lukasiewicz family. (shrink)
Realizing that scientific knowledge was not based on a simple disclosure of reality, but was rather invented and developed in accordance with our own conceptions and prejudices, it should no longer be possible to consider matters as if they existed independently of us out there.Taking as examples the notions of memory and information we try to elucidate the relevance this perspective has with respect to neuro- and psychophysiological research.
Following a detailed review of the accomplishments and aspirations of the Journal of Research Practice, we have undertaken a restructuring of the editorial board, with inputs from people associated with this journal. In designing the new structure, we have taken into account the need for building the journal’s profile in the six focus areas recently clarified: (1) Research Applications, (2) Research Spaces, (3) Research Education, (4) Research Experiences, (5) Research Philosophy, and (6) Research on Research. Focus Editors will ensure that (...) the journal remains well engaged with the developments in these focus areas. The new structure allows us to involve all contributors to the journal in playing a role to enhance the journal’s relevance to researchers and reflective professionals. This restructuring exercise has presented us with an opportunity to build on the strengths of the journal and address areas of concern so as to strengthen the journal’s quality, relevance, and impact. A review of different notions of impact has led us to a set of proposed measures for enhancing the relevance and utilisation of the journal in future. (shrink)
With this issue of the Journal of Research Practice, we initiate a conceptual framework for thinking and writing about research, defining areas of editorial focus, and indexing work published in the journal. The framework takes the form of a concept hierarchy that offers index terms at three interrelated levels: (1) focus areas for reflection on research practice within which the journal aims to achieve excellence and strengthen its profile and visibility, (2) subject areas relevant to research practice that the journal (...) aims to cover and in terms of which it defines its focus areas, and (3) keywords for capturing the content of research work done in these subject areas or for reflecting and writing about it. Focus areas are characterized by assigned subject areas; subject areas are characterized by assigned keywords. The concept hierarchy is part of a more comprehensive initiative to strengthen the journal's profile and visibility, an initiative that will also include a restructuring of the editorial team and new roles for the journal's dedicated reviewers and active readers. The article introduces an initial version of the concept hierarchy, explains its intended use and further development, and situates it in the larger effort of which it is a part. (shrink)
Review:Die Kunst vernetzt zu denken: Ideen und Werkzeuge für einen neuen Umgang mit Komplexität [The Art of Network Thinking: Ideas and Tools for a New Way of Dealing with Complexity.] Book by Frederic Vester . Published by Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart, Germany, 1999, , 315 pp., ISBN 3-421-05308-1, EUR 22.80. , Munich, Germany, 2002, 348 pp, ISBN 3-423-33077-5, EUR 12.50).