The role of uncertainty within an organization’s environment features prominently in the business ethics and management literature, but how corporate investment decisions should proceed in the face of uncertainties relating to the natural environment is less discussed. From the perspective of ecological economics, the salience of ecology-induced issues challenges management to address new types of uncertainties. These pertain to constraints within the natural environment as well as to institutional action aimed at conserving the natural environment. We derive six areas of (...) ecology-induced uncertainties and propose ecology-driven real options as a conceptual approach for systematically incorporating these uncertainties into strategic management. We combine our results in an integrative investment framework and illustrate its application with the case of carbon constraints. (shrink)
Der Aufsatz widmet sich dem Wohlfahrtseffekt öffentlicher Ausgaben unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Bereiche Gesundheitswesen und Bildungswesen. Ausgangspunkt ist die Feststellung des bemerkenswert geringen Ertrags hoher Aufwendungen für öffentliche Gesundheit, der insbesondere im Vergleich von Ländern mit teils deutlich variierenden Gesundheitsbudgets auffällt. Da das Gesundheitswesen aufgrund der Opportunitätskostenproblematik mit anderen Bereichen sozialpolitischer Sicherheitsgewähr um knappe öffentliche Mittel konkurriert, ist darauf zu achten, dass deren Allokation bestmöglich optimiert wird. Im deutschen Fall mit seinem ungewöhnlich hohen Anteil öffentlicher Gesundheitsausgaben legt das eine Verschiebung (...) der Prioritäten zugunsten des Bildungswesens nahe, wofür neben potentiellen Verbesserungen des Gesundheitsstatus der Bevölkerung und funktionalen, die gesellschaftliche Integration betreffenden Erwägungen auch solche der sozialen Gerechtigkeit sprechen. Ein Programm zur Reformierung des Gesundheitswesens, das diesen Leitlinien folgt, wird skizziert. (shrink)
This paper deals with a problem which has received a great deal of attention in the ethical literature, but about which very little is known empirically: the selection of recipients for organs in transplant medicine. Based on a larger study, it is shown how this problem is practically resolved in one European country, Germany. It is demonstrated that most of the criteria used to determine recipients are non-medical in nature, even though they generally tend to be rationalized in medical terms. (...) Moreover, the choice of criteria depends as much on prognostic considerations as on personal indiosyncrasies and values held by individual physicians who are in charge at the various programs. Several examples of the extremely diverse policies in which this results are presented. (shrink)
This article critically engages a recent essay Jeffrey Alexander has published on ‘societalization’, whose conceptualization it finds problematic; first, because in contrast to the impression conveyed by the essay, the term itself is anything but new, and, second, because the way Alexander employs the term is highly aporetic, while also being emblematic of much deeper problems that afflict the whole discipline. Following a reconstruction of the term’s morphology and the transmutations it underwent during its gradual incorporation into the English language, (...) the article identifies an undertheorized concept of society as the root cause behind the difficulties into which Alexander maneuvers himself. It concludes with a brief sketch of an alternative that can contribute to overcoming these difficulties. (shrink)
The article concerns itself with normative aspects of public health in light of recent debates. It starts out by introducing a few terminological and conceptual distinctions that set the stage for the subsequent discussion. This is followed by critical remarks on two proposals for developing an adequate public health ethics and the way that the growing health inequalities observed in much of the OECD-world are dealt with in parts of the pertinent literature. The article concludes with a cautionary note on (...) the ‘dangers’ of over-identification with a public health agenda and of over-moralization of empirical findings that give cause for concern. (shrink)
Definition of the problem: The article discusses the ways in which sociological analyses can contribute to the problem of a just allocation of scarce donor organs.Arguments: It is argued that this contribution consists primarily in the demonstration of the ethical, rather than medical nature of the problem itself. Only if its ethical nature is acknowledged will it be possible to come to a proper understanding of the several dilemmas involved and to consider adequate means for handling them.
Glover's planning–control model is based on his finding that visual illusions exert a larger effect in early phases than in late phases of a movement. But evidence for this dynamic illusion effect is weak, because: (a) it appears difficult to replicate; (b) Glover overestimates the accuracy of his results; and (c) he seems to underestimate the illusion effect at late phases.
This article examines differences in the research approaches of farmers and scientists and analyzes how these differences are related to the conditions under which both groups engage in experimental work. Theoretical considerations as well as practical experiences are presented to emphasize the great potential of farmer–researcher collaboration for rural innovation. In the first part of the article, the innovative power of farmer research and experimentation is acknowledged by presenting examples such as crop and animal breeding, development of new production systems, (...) farm equipment, and social innovations. Considering the respective comparative advantages of farmers and scientists, and inspired by theoretical concepts in the fields of knowledge management and innovation processes, we discuss five topics for optimizing the collaboration between farmers and scientists in the field of technological innovation: user orientation, decentralization, informal modes of experimentation, externalization of tacit knowledge, and economic considerations. A better understanding of such issues could help researchers to define their own role in the research process, acknowledge the strengths and weaknesses of their own and farmers’ research approaches, overcome communication gaps, and find creative solutions for problems that typically occur in the process of participatory technology development. (shrink)
Why do we formulate arguments? Usually, things such as persuading opponents, finding consensus, and justifying knowledge are listed as functions of arguments. But arguments can also be used to stimulate reflection on one’s own reasoning. Since this cognitive function of arguments should be important to improve the quality of people’s arguments and reasoning, for learning processes, for coping with “wicked problems,” and for the resolution of conflicts, it deserves to be studied in its own right. This contribution develops first steps (...) towards a theory of reflective argumentation. It provides a definition of reflective argumentation, justifies its importance, delineates it from other cognitive functions of argumentation in a new classification of argument functions, and it discusses how reflection on one’s own reasoning can be stimulated by arguments. (shrink)
Discussions concerning belief revision, theorydevelopment, and ``creativity'' in philosophy andAI, reveal a growing interest in Peirce'sconcept of abduction. Peirce introducedabduction in an attempt to providetheoretical dignity and clarification to thedifficult problem of knowledge generation. Hewrote that ``An Abduction is Originary inrespect to being the only kind of argumentwhich starts a new idea'' (Peirce, CP 2.26).These discussions, however, led to considerabledebates about the precise way in which Peirce'sabduction can be used to explain knowledgegeneration (cf. Magnani, 1999; Hoffmann, 1999).The crucial question (...) is that of understandinghow we can get the new elements capableof enlarging our theories. Under thesecircumstances, it might be helpful to step outof the entanglement and reconsider the basis ofthe problem that originally triggered Peirce'sinterest in abduction. This will lead us toanother Peircean concept, that of ``diagrammaticreasoning,'' which I discuss here in the contextof his ``pragmatism.'' In this way, I hope toreach a better understanding of thecontribution of ``abduction'' to the knowledgegeneration process. (shrink)
A large body of research in cognitive science differentiates human reasoning into two types: fast, intuitive, and emotional “System 1” thinking, and slower, more reflective “System 2” reasoning. According to this research, human reasoning is by default fast and intuitive, but that means that it is prone to error and biases that cloud our judgments and decision making. To improve the quality of reasoning, critical thinking education should develop strategies to slow it down and to become more reflective. The goal (...) of such education should be to enable and motivate students to identify weaknesses, gaps, biases, and limiting perspectives in their own reasoning and to correct them. This contribution discusses how this goal could be achieved with regard to reasoning that involves the construction of arguments; or more precisely: how computer-supported argument visualization tools could be designed that support reflection on the quality of arguments and their improvement. Three types of CSAV approaches are distinguished that focus on reflection and self-correcting reasoning. The first one is to trigger reflection by confronting the user with specific questions that direct attention to critical points. The second approach uses templates that, on the one hand, provide a particular structure to reason about an issue by means of arguments and, on the other, include prompts to enter specific items. And a third approach is realized in specifically designed user guidance that attempts to trigger reflection and self-correction. These types of approaches are currently realized only in very few CSAV tools. In order to inform the future development of what I call reflection tools, this article discusses the potential and limitations of these types and tools with regard to five explanations of the observation that students hardly ever engage in substantial revisions of what they wrote: a lack of strategies how to do it; cognitive overload; certain epistemic beliefs; myside bias; and over-confidence in the quality of one’s own reasoning. The question is: To what degree can each of the CSAV approaches and tools address these five potential obstacles to reflection and self-correction? (shrink)
Most of the epistemological debate on disagreement tries to develop standards that describe which actions or beliefs would be rational under specific circumstances in a controversy. To build things on a firm foundation, much work starts from certain idealizations—for example the assumption that parties in a disagreement share all the evidence that is relevant and are equal with regard to their abilities and dispositions. This contribution, by contrast, focuses on a different question and takes a different route. The question is: (...) What should people actually do who find themselves in deep disagreement with others? And instead of building theory on some “firm foundation,” the paper starts from a specific goal—building consensus by creating new proposals—and asks, first, which actions are suitable to achieve this goal and, second, what are the epistemic conditions of these actions. With regard to the latter, the paper focuses on what has been called framing and reframing in conflict research, and argues that both metaphors need and deserve a suitable epistemological conceptualization. (shrink)
We all seem to have a sense of what good and bad arguments are, and there is a long history—focusing on fallacies—of trying to provide objective standards that would allow a clear separation of good and bad arguments. This contribution discusses the limits of attempts to determine the quality of arguments. It begins with defining bad arguments as those that deviate from an established standard of good arguments. Since there are different conceptualizations of “argument”—as controversy, as debate, and as justification—and (...) since arguments in each of these senses can be used for different purposes, a first problem is that we would need a large variety of standards for “good” arguments. After this, the contribution focuses in particular on proposals made in the literature on how to assess the quality of arguments in the sense of justification. It distinguishes three problems of assessment: How to determine whether reasons are acceptable, whether reasons are sufficient to justify the conclusion, and how to identify arguments in real-world speech acts and texts? It is argued that limitations of argument assessment result from unavoidable relativism: The assessment of many—if not most—arguments depends on the epistemic situation of the evaluator. (shrink)
There is evidence that problem-based learning is an effective approach to teach team and problem-solving skills, but also to acquire content knowledge. However, there is hardly any literature about using PBL in philosophy classes. One problem is that PBL is resource intensive because a facilitator is needed for each group of students to support learning efforts and monitor group dynamics. In order to establish more PBL classes, the question is whether PBL can be provided without the need for facilitators. We (...) present a combination of five strategies—among them the collaborative argument visualization software AGORA-net—to replace facilitators. Additionally, we present evidence that these strategies are sufficient to provide a PBL experience that achieves intended learning goals in an ethics class and is satisfying for students without facilitators. (shrink)
The primary goal of this chapter is to present a new method—called Logical Argument Mapping —for the analysis of framing processes as they occur in any communication, but especially in conflicts. I start with a distinction between boundary setting, meaning construction, and sensemaking as three forms or aspects of framing, and argue that crucial for the resolution of frame-based controversies is our ability to deal with those “webs” of mutually supporting beliefs that determine sensemaking processes. Since any analysis of framing (...) in conflicts and communication is itself influenced by sensemaking—there is no “frame-neutrality”—the main problem for an analyst is to cope with his or her own cognitive limitations. LAM offers a solution to this problem. The method will be exemplified with an analysis of two conflicting interpretations of how the international community should deal with Hamas after its election victory in 2006. (shrink)
Technology is not only an object of philosophical reflection but also something that can change this reflection. This paper discusses the potential of computer-supported argument visualization tools for coping with the complexity of philosophical arguments. I will show, in particular, how the interactive and web-based argument mapping software “AGORA-net” can change the practice of philosophical reflection, communication, and collaboration. AGORA-net allows the graphical representation of complex argumentations in logical form and the synchronous and asynchronous collaboration on those “argument maps” on (...) the internet. Web-based argument mapping can overcome limits of space, time, and access, and it can empower users from all over the world to clarify their reasoning and to participate in deliberation and debate. Collaborative and web-based argument mapping tools such as AGORA-net can change the practice of arguing in two dimensions. First, arguing on web-based argument maps in both collaborative and adversarial form can lead to a fundamental shift in the way arguments are produced and debated. It can provide an alternative to the traditional four-step process of writing, publishing, debating, and responding in new writing with its clear distinction between individual and social activities by a process in which these four steps happen virtually simultaneously, and individual and social activities become more closely intertwined. Second, by replacing the linear form of arguments through graphical representations of networks of inferential relations which can grow over time in an infinite space, these tools do not only allow a clear visualization of structures and relations, but also forms of collaboration in which, for example, participants work on different “construction zones” of larger argument maps, or debates are performed at specific points of disagreement on those maps. I introduce the term synergetic logosymphysis to describe a practice that combines these two dimensions of collaborative- and web-based argument mapping. (shrink)
This volume provides new sources of knowledge based on Michael Otte’s fundamental insight that understanding the problems of mathematics education – how to teach, how to learn, how to communicate, how to do, and how to represent ...
Starting from the observation that small children can count more objects than numbers—a phenomenon that I am calling the “lifeworld dependency of cognition”—and an analysis of finger calculation, the paper shows how learning can be explained as the development of cognitive systems. Parts of those systems are not only an individual’s different forms of knowledge and cognitive abilities, but also other people, things, and signs. The paper argues that cognitive systems are first of all semiotic systems since they are dependent (...) on signs and representations as mediators. The two main questions discussed here are how the external world constrains and promotes the development of cognitive abilities, and how we can move from cognitive abilities that are necessarily connected with concrete situations to abstract knowledge. (shrink)
Based on a typology of five basic forms of abduction, I propose a new definition of abductive insight that empha sizes in particular the inferential structure of a belief system that is able to explain a phenomenon after a new, abductive ly created component has been added to this system or the entire system has been abductively restructured. My thesis is, first, that the argumentative structure of the pursued problem solution guides abductive creativity and, second, that diagrammatic reasoning—if conceptualized according (...) to the requirements defined by Charles Peirce—can support this guidance. This support is mainly possible based on the normative power of the system of representation that has to be used to construct diagrams and to perform experiments with them. (shrink)
Competing models of innovation informing agricultural extension, such as transfer of technology, participatory extension and technology development, and innovation systems have been proposed over the last decades. These approaches are often presented as antagonistic or even mutually exclusive. This article shows how practitioners in a rural innovation system draw on different aspects of all three models, while creating a distinct local practice and discourse. We revisit and deepen the critique of Vietnam’s “model” approach to upland rural development, voiced a decade (...) ago in this journal. Our analysis of interviews with grassroots extension workers and extension managers reveals how they have received government, donor, and academic discourses on participation, user-orientation, and private sector involvement in innovation. Extension workers as well as managers integrate the reform discourses into the still-dominant transfer of technology model. We show how extensionists draw selectively on these diverse discourses to foster interaction with outsiders and clients, and bolster their livelihood strategies. We conclude that the conceptual framework suggested by the innovation systems (IS) approach is broadly appropriate for analyzing the Vietnamese case, but that the IS approach in the contemporary Vietnamese context requires adaptation for taking into account the blurred line between private and state sectors, and recognizing the hegemonic position of state-based networks. Improving extensionists’ ability to mediate between the conflicting principles of farmers’ self-organization and government control is identified as a key challenge for increasing innovative capacity in rural upland Vietnam. (shrink)