The professional mining engineer has a number of different duties. He must: produce engineering designs, meet the production requirements set by the mining operation he works for, ensure efficient cooperation between the different departments in a mine, and he is responsible for mine planning. Also, and very importantly, he is responsible for meeting high safety standards and ensuring that his mine is as injury and fatality free as possible. However, it is unfortunately the case that accidents do occur in mines, (...) and that miners are sometimes injured or even killed. Such tragedies raise questions about whether the mining engineer bears some responsibility for the injuries or deaths. In this paper, we argue that the engineer does bear responsibility, but that depending on the circumstances surrounding any particular accident, ascriptions of moral responsibility do not always mean that the engineer is morally blameworthy. We conclude that professional accountability and moral responsibility require that the mining engineer take practical steps to ensure that high safety standards are upheld, and that, when accidents occur, steps are taken to identify the causes so that similar tragedies can be avoided in the future. (shrink)
Acceptance of elderly or marginal health individuals as kidney donors is debated, with practices varying between centres. Transplant recipients, live kidney donors and health-care professionals caring for patients with renal failure were surveyed regarding their views on live donor kidney transplantation (LDKT) of marginal health (diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis, obesity, etc.) and elderly donors. Participants were recruited within a tertiary renal and transplant centre and invited to participate in focus groups and structured interviews. They also completed an anonymous questionnaire. Of 464 (...) participants who completed the questionnaire (36% health-care professionals and 64% patients), 49% and 64%, respectively, stated that marginal and elderly donors should be accepted for LDKT. In the structured interviews, emphasis was given to presenting to donor, recipient and their respective families a calculated risk regarding the effect that either a nephrectomy or transplant has on long-term quality of life. Participants stated that an independent third party in addition to the transplant team should discuss involved risks. Issues of ‘how desperate’ the recipient's situation is should also be considered. Health-care professionals stated that regardless of the strength of will of an individual to donate a kidney (despite age, health problems or personal risk), they should always have the right to say ‘no’ if performing a specific LDKT was against their professional and ethical values. About half of those surveyed considered that marginal health and elderly donors were acceptable for LDKT. Emphasis was given to the explanation to donors and recipients of the risks involved in such transplantation. (shrink)
Reinhold Niebuhr is widely acknowledged as the father of Christian realism and a staunch critic of pacifism. In a famous exchange with his brother H. Richard in The Christian Century, Niebuhr defended the necessity of entering the fray of battle to combat evil as opposed to opting for non-violent detachment that ultimately usurps God’s authority to decide on final matters. Niebuhr, however, never endorsed an aggressive Just War doctrine. Striving to reconcile the Christian command of love with the harsh realities (...) of power resulting from universal sinfulness, Niebuhr emphasised the necessity of negotiating the distance between the two extremes of a pendulum swinging from Christian pacifism to the endorsement of interventionist policies. Rather than this being an expression of the ambiguity of his moral convictions, this paper argues that it is a product of his sensitivity to applying contextual moral and political judgement as an exercise of theological responsibility. (shrink)
Dispositional essentialists ultimately appeal to dispositional essences in order to provide (a) an explanation of the conservation of physical quantities and (b) identity conditions for fundamental physical properties. This paper aims to offer alternative suggestions based on symmetry considerations and exhibits their consequences for the thesis of dispositional essentialism.
It is shown that Lewisâ ontological doctrine of Humean supervenience incorporates at its foundation the so-called separability principle of classical physics. In view of the systematic violation of the latter within quantum mechanics, the claim that contemporary physical science may posit non-supervenient relations beyond the spatiotemporal ones is reinforced on a foundational basis concerning constraints on the state representation of physical systems. Depending on the mode of assignment of states to quantum systems â unit state vectors versus statistical density operators (...) â we distinguish between strongly and weakly non-Humean, non-supervenient relations. It is demonstrated that in either case, the relations of quantum entanglement constitute prototypical examples of irreducible physical relations that do not supervene upon a spatiotemporal arrangement of Humean qualities, weakening, thereby, the thesis of Humean supervenience. In this respect, the status of Lewisâ recombination principle is examined, whereas his conception of lawhood is critically investigated. It is concluded that the assumption of ontological reductionism, as expressed in Lewisâ Humean doctrine, cannot be regarded as a reliable code of the nature of the physical world and its contents. It is proposed instead that due to the undeniable existence of non-supervenient relations, a metaphysic of relations of a moderate kind ought to be acknowledged as an indispensable part of our understanding of the natural world at a fundamental level. (shrink)
Standard quantum mechanics undeniably violates the notion of separability that classical physics accustomed us to consider as valid. By relating the phenomenon of quantum nonseparability to the all-important concept of potentiality, we effectively provide a coherent picture of the puzzling entangled correlations among spatially separated systems. We further argue that the generalized phenomenon of quantum nonseparability implies contextuality for the production of well-defined events in the quantum domain, whereas contextuality entails in turn a structural-relational conception of quantal objects, viewed as (...) carriers of dispositional properties. It is finally suggested that contextuality, if considered as a conditionalization preparation procedure of the object to be measured, naturally leads to a separable concept of reality whose elements are experienced as distinct, well-localized objects having determinate properties. In this connection, we find it necessary to distinguish the meaning of the term reality from the criterion of reality for us. The implications of the latter considerations for the notion of objectivity in quantum mechanics are also discussed. (shrink)
The basic principles of dispositional essentialism do not require that the fundamental spatiotemporal relations are dispositional in nature. Nevertheless, Bird (who defends dispositional monism) argues that they possess dispositional essences in virtue of the fact that the obtaining of these relations can be characterised by the satisfaction of a certain counterfactual. In this paper I argue that his suggestion fails, and so, despite his attempt, the case of the spatiotemporal relations remains the ‘big bad bug’ for the thesis of dispositional (...) monism. (shrink)
Standard quantum mechanics unquestionably violates the separability principle that classical physics (be it point-like analytic, statistical, or field-theoretic) accustomed us to consider as valid. In this paper, quantum nonseparability is viewed as a consequence of the Hilbert-space quantum mechanical formalism, avoiding thus any direct recourse to the ramifications of Kochen-Specker’s argument or Bell’s inequality. Depending on the mode of assignment of states to physical systems – unit state vectors versus non-idempotent density operators – we distinguish between strong/relational and weak/deconstructional forms (...) of quantum nonseparability. The origin of the latter is traced down and discussed at length, whereas its relation to the all important concept of potentiality in forming a coherent picture of the puzzling entangled interconnections among spatially separated systems is also considered. Finally, certain philosophical consequences of quantum non-separability concerning the nature of quantum objects, the question of realism in quantum mechanics, and possible limitations in revealing the actual character of physical reality in its entirety are explored. (shrink)
The present study attempts to provide a consistent and coherent account of what the world could be like, given the conceptual framework and results of contemporary quantum theory. It is suggested that standard quantum mechanics can, and indeed should, be understood as a realist theory within its domain of application. It is pointed out, however, that a viable realist interpretation of quantum theory requires the abandonment or radical revision of the classical conception of physical reality and its traditional philosophical presuppositions. (...) It is argued, in this direction, that the conceptualization of the nature of reality, as arising out of our most basic physical theory, calls for a kind of contextual realism. Within the domain of quantum mechanics, knowledge of 'reality in itself', 'the real such as it truly is' independent of the way it is contextualized, is impossible in principle. In this connection, the meaning of objectivity in quantum mechanics is analyzed, whilst the important question concerning the nature of quantum objects is explored. (shrink)
This paper examines the problem of founding irreversibility on reversible equations of motion from the point of view of the Brussels school's recent developments in the foundations of quantum statistical mechanics. A detailed critique of both their 'subdynamics' and 'transformation' theory is given. It is argued that the subdynamics approach involves a generalized form of 'coarse-graining' description, whereas, transformation theory cannot lead to truly irreversible processes pointing to a preferred direction of time. It is concluded that the Brussels school's conception (...) of microscopic temporal irreversibility, as such, is tacitly assumed at the macroscopic level. Finally a logical argument is provided which shows, independently of the mathematical formalism of the theory concerned, that statistical reasoning alone is not sufficient to explain the arrow of time. (shrink)
In the present study we attempt to incorporate the philosophical dialogue about physical reality into the instructional process of quantum mechanics. Taking into account that both scientific realism and constructivism represent, on the basis of a rather broad spectrum, prevalent philosophical currents in the domain of science education, the compatibility of their essential commitments is examined against the conceptual structure of quantum theory. It is argued in this respect that the objects of science do not simply constitute ‘personal constructions’ of (...) the human mind for interpreting nature, as individualist constructivist consider,neither do they form products of a ‘social construction’, as sociological constructivist assume; on the contrary, they reflect objective structural aspects of the physical world. A realist interpretation of quantum mechanics, we suggest, is not only possible but also necessary for revealing the inner meaning of the theory’s scientific content. It is pointed out, however, that a viable realist interpretation of quantum theory requires the abandonment or radical revision of the classical conception of physical reality and its traditional metaphysical presuppositions. To this end, we put forward an alternative to the traditional realism interpretative scheme, which is in harmony with the findings of present-day quantum theory, and which, if adequately introduced into the instructional process of contemporary physics, is expected to promote the conceptual reconstruction of the learners towards an appropriate view of nature. (shrink)
The logic of a physical theory reflects the structure of the propositions referring to the behaviour of a physical system in the domain of the relevant theory. It is argued in relation to classical mechanics that the propositional structure of the theory allows truth-value assignment in conformity with the traditional conception of a correspondence theory of truth. Every proposition in classical mechanics is assigned a definite truth value, either ‘true’ or ‘false’, describing what is actually the case at a certain (...) moment of time. Truth-value assignment in quantum mechanics, however, differs; it is known, by means of a variety of ‘no go’ theorems, that it is not possible to assign definite truth values to all propositions pertaining to a quantum system without generating a Kochen–Specker contradiction. In this respect, the Bub–Clifton ‘uniqueness theorem’ is utilized for arguing that truth-value definiteness is consistently restored with respect to a determinate sublattice of propositions defined by the state of the quantum system concerned and a particular observable to be measured. An account of truth of contextual correspondence is thereby provided that is appropriate to the quantum domain of discourse. The conceptual implications of the resulting account are traced down and analyzed at length. In this light, the traditional conception of correspondence truth may be viewed as a species or as a limit case of the more generic proposed scheme of contextual correspondence when the non-explicit specification of a context of discourse poses no further consequences. (shrink)
The conceptual structure of orthodox quantum mechanics has not provided a fully satisfactory and coherent description of natural phenomena. With particular attention to the measurement problem, we review and investigate two unorthodox formulations. First, there is the model advanced by GRWP, a stochastic modification of the standard Schrödinger dynamics admitting statevector reduction as a real physical process. Second, there is the ontological interpretation of Bohm, a causal reformulation of the usual theory admitting no collapse of the statevector. Within these two (...) seemingly quite different approaches, we discuss in a comparative manner, several points: The meaning of the state vector, the status of quantum probability, the legitimacy of attributing macro objective properties to physical systems, and the possibility of retrieving the classical limit. Finally, we consider aspects of non-locality and relevant difficulties with formulating a relativistic generalization of the two approaches. (shrink)
According to the dispositional essentialist account of laws of nature, the latter express the dispositional nature of fundamental natural properties. In this paper I discuss the difficulty that the existence of fundamental constants of nature raises for that account. To this end, I examine a relevant argument against the account and describe how an advocate of the dispositionalist conception may try to undermine it by raising objections to its premises. Then I discuss those objections and show that eventually all fail. (...) I finally conclude that the existence of the fundamental constants remains a “constant” threat to the dispositional essentialist conception of laws. (shrink)
In this paper I critically examine the most recent gauge-theoretic argument against the intrinsicality of fundamental properties formulated by French and McKenzie (2012). I show that it cannot achieve its intended goal (which is to undermine Lewis’s neo-Humean metaphysical project) but it can have a signifi cant infl uence to dispositional essentialists that hold that the fundamental physical properties are intrinsic features of their bearers.
The overwhelming majority of the attempts in exploring the problems related to quantum logical structures and their interpretation have been based on an underlying set-theoretic syntactic language. We propose a transition in the involved syntactic language to tackle these problems from the set-theoretic to the category-theoretic mode, together with a study of the consequent semantic transition in the logical interpretation of quantum event structures. In the present work, this is realized by representing categorically the global structure of a quantum algebra (...) of events (or propositions) in terms of sheaves of local Boolean frames forming Boolean localization functors. The category of sheaves is a topos providing the possibility of applying the powerful logical classification methodology of topos theory with reference to the quantum world. In particular, we show that the topos-theoretic representation scheme of quantum event algebras by means of Boolean localization functors incorporates an object of truth values, which constitutes the appropriate tool for the definition of quantum truth-value assignments to propositions describing the behavior of quantum systems. Effectively, this scheme induces a revised realist account of truth in the quantum domain of discourse. We also include an Appendix, where we compare our topos-theoretic representation scheme of quantum event algebras with other categorial and topos-theoretic approaches. (shrink)
This paper is an attempt to summarize and evaluate the current state of empirical research on corporate social performance and policy. The extreme complexity and scope of the area and the recency of much of the relevant work makes the study preliminary, partial, and a little presumptuous out of necessity given the previous absence of such a systematic summary and analysis of empirical research. The present effort, however, may be useful in facilitating and channeling future empirical research.
The development of legislation determining corporate behaviour is a fascinating topic, offering insight into the societal problems of corporate enterprise as they are related to their accounting, their administration, and their external reporting. In this paper the following specific implications for accounting are examined:– -Should accountants get involved in social auditing and are they the core persons in corporate social accounting systems? – -Should corporate social performance measurement and reporting become obligatory and to what extent? – -A general framework for (...) the implementation of corporate social accounting systems is suggested and quidelines for its auditing are proposed. – -A tentative set of social auditing standard is outlined together with its methodological accompaniments. (shrink)
Metaphysicians who hold that there is an ontological distinction between two kinds of fundamental natural properties assume that properties are dispositional or non-dispositional necessarily. In contrast to this, I suggest that one can admit the existence of fundamental contingently dispositional properties. After some clarifications concerning the content of the suggested view, I respond to several objections regarding its intelligibility and viability and outline two of its important consequences.
Several difficulties, concerning the individuation and the variation of tropes, beset the initial classic version of trope theory. K. Campbell (Abstract particulars, Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1990) presented a modified version that aims to avoid those difficulties. Unfortunately, the revised theory cannot make the case that one of the fundamental tropes, space-time, is a genuine particular.
In this paper the social indicators research is linked with accountability at corporate and national level. The case for auditing social measurements is advanced and a possible scheme is proposed. An analytical survey of all the related developments in social accounting is presented and certain conclusions are drawn. Finally, an interdisciplinary approach to accounting for the quality of life is critically examined in the framework of a mixed economy that today prevails in the western world.
We give a partial answer to an important open problem in descriptive set theory, the Decomposability Conjecture for Borel functions on an analytic subset of a Polish space to a separable metrizable space. Our techniques employ deep results from effective descriptive set theory and recursion theory. In fact it is essential to extend several prominent results in recursion theory (e.g. the Shore-Slaman Join Theorem) to the setting of Polish spaces. As a by-product we give both positive and negative results on (...) the Martin Conjecture on the degree preserving Borel functions between Polish spaces. Additionally we prove results about the transfinite version as well as the computable version of the Decomposability Conjecture. (shrink)
This paper interrogates some prominent post-Marxist engagements with St Paul’s messianism by reading them in the theological context of the anti-historicist revival of Pauline eschatology in the twentieth century. In both readings, the means through which the critique of historicism is delivered is the revival of the eschatological core of Paul’s proclamation. Paul is read as inaugurating a “new world” of freedom, love and redemptive hope as opposed to the “old world” of oppression, sorrow, death and despair. And yet, it (...) is exactly in such an apocalyptic reading of Pauline eschatology that both philosophical and theological critiques of historicism, despite protestations to the contrary, remain prisoners to the aporias of a historicist temporality. The symptom of the philosophers’ residual parasitism on historicism is expressed as antinomian negativism, while in the case of the theologians it can take the form of a self-assured Church triumphalism. (shrink)
Few issues seem to have more long-term impact upon the relations between business and society than those of corporate attitudes toward greater public accountability, corporate behaviours in response to such attitudes, and societal reaction to those behaviours. Nevertheless, there has been relatively little rigorous behavioural research of managerial attitudes toward corporate social accountability. This empirical study researches the attitudes of management in Britain toward corporate social accountability. It assesses the corporate concern for social responsibility during the peak period of such (...) concern by all interested parties (1974–1979). (shrink)
The category-theoretic representation of quantum event structures provides a canonical setting for confronting the fundamental problem of truth valuation in quantum mechanics as exemplified, in particular, by Kochen–Specker’s theorem. In the present study, this is realized on the basis of the existence of a categorical adjunction between the category of sheaves of variable local Boolean frames, constituting a topos, and the category of quantum event algebras. We show explicitly that the latter category is equipped with an object of truth values, (...) or classifying object, which constitutes the appropriate tool for assigning truth values to propositions describing the behavior of quantum systems. Effectively, this category-theoretic representation scheme circumvents consistently the semantic ambiguity with respect to truth valuation that is inherent in conventional quantum mechanics by inducing an objective contextual account of truth in the quantum domain of discourse. The philosophical implications of the resulting account are analyzed. We argue that it subscribes neither to a pragmatic instrumental nor to a relative notion of truth. Such an account essentially denies that there can be a universal context of reference or an Archimedean standpoint from which to evaluate logically the totality of facts of nature. (shrink)
The category-theoretic representation of quantum event structures provides a canonical setting for confronting the fundamental problem of truth valua- tion in quantum mechanics as exempliﬁed, in particular, by Kochen-Specker’s theorem. In the present study, this is realized on the basis of the existence of a categorical adjunction between the category of sheaves of variable local Boolean frames, constituting a topos, and the category of quantum event al- gebras. We show explicitly that the latter category is equipped with an object of (...) truth values, or classifying object, which constitutes the appropriate tool for assigning truth values to propositions describing the behavior of quantum systems. Eﬀectively, this category-theoretic representation scheme circumvents consistently the semantic ambiguity with respect to truth valuation that is in- herent in conventional quantum mechanics by inducing an objective contextual account of truth in the quantum domain of discourse. The philosophical im- plications of the resulting account are analyzed. We argue that it subscribes neither to a pragmatic instrumental nor to a relative notion of truth. Such an account essentially denies that there can be a universal context of reference or an Archimedean standpoint from which to evaluate logically the totality of facts of nature. In this light, the transcendence condition of the usual concep- tion of correspondence truth is superseded by a reﬂective-like transcendental reasoning of the proposed account of truth that is suitable to the quantum domain of discourse. (shrink)
The category-theoretic representation of quantum event structures provides a canonical setting for confronting the fundamental problem of truth valuation in quantum mechanics as exemplified, in particular, by Kochen-Specker’s theorem. In the present study, this is realized by representing categorically the global structure of a quantum algebra of events in terms of sheaves of local Boolean frames forming Boolean localization functors. The category of sheaves is a topos providing the possibility of applying the powerful logical classification methodology of topos theory with (...) reference to the quantum world. In particular, we show that the topos-theoretic representation scheme of quantum event algebras by means of Boolean localization functors incorporates an object of truth values, which constitutes the appropriate tool for the definition of quantum truth-value assignments to propositions describing the behavior of quantum systems. Effectively, this scheme induces a contextualist account of truth in the quantum domain of discourse. The philosophical implications of the resulting account are analyzed. Such an account essentially denies that there can be a universal context of reference or an Archimedean standpoint from which to state the totality of facts of nature. (shrink)
After defending the ontologically genuine existence of at least some of the actual nomic relations, I discuss some issues concerning their metaphysical features. I firstly argue in favour of the metaphysical contingency of nomic relations and then I suggest that their relata-specificity is the most plausible metaphysical view that guarantees the unity of facts that the laws of nature are. Finally, I present a novel account according to which some of the actual nomic relations are neither external nor external but (...) contingently possess a kind of hybrid character. (shrink)
Radical non-dispositionalism is the view according to which the actual causal/nomic roles of natural properties are totally irrelevant to their de re modal representation. The major difficulty besetting all forms of radical non-dispositionalism is that the latter allegedly allows the metaphysical possibility of two natural properties swapping their actual causal/nomic roles. The aim of this paper is to provide a plausible solution to that problem. To this end, I describe the necessary steps that a proponent of the view may take (...) to respond to it. I argue that those steps include the rejection of the transworld existence of natural properties and the adoption of a counterpart-theoretic framework for their de re modal representation. I, finally, present two versions of the property-counterpart framework which are consistent with the radical non-dispositionalism. (shrink)