Although research has found that long-term mindfulness meditation practice promotes executive functioning and the ability to sustain attention, the effects of brief mindfulness meditation training have not been fully explored. We examined whether brief meditation training affects cognition and mood when compared to an active control group. After four sessions of either meditation training or listening to a recorded book, participants with no prior meditation experience were assessed with measures of mood, verbal fluency, visual coding, and working memory. Both interventions (...) were effective at improving mood but only brief meditation training reduced fatigue, anxiety, and increased mindfulness. Moreover, brief mindfulness training significantly improved visuo-spatial processing, working memory, and executive functioning. Our findings suggest that 4 days of meditation training can enhance the ability to sustain attention; benefits that have previously been reported with long-term meditators. (shrink)
Cases have been employed across multiple disciplines, including ethics education, as effective pedagogical tools. However, the benefit of case-based learning in the ethics domain varies across cases, suggesting that not all cases are equal in terms of pedagogical value. Indeed, case content appears to influence the extent to which cases promote learning and transfer. Consistent with this argument, the current study explored the influences of contextual and personal factors embedded in case content on ethical decision-making. Cases were manipulated to include (...) a clear description of the social context and the goals of the characters involved. Results indicated that social context, specifically the description of an autonomy-supportive environment, facilitated execution of sensemaking processes and resulted in greater decision ethicality. Implications for designing optimal cases and case-based training programs are discussed. (shrink)
Organizational leaders face environmental challenges and pressures that put them under ethical risk. Navigating this ethical risk is demanding given the dynamics of contemporary organizations. Traditional models of ethical decision-making (EDM) are an inadequate framework for understanding how leaders respond to ethical dilemmas under conditions of uncertainty and equivocality. Sensemaking models more accurately illustrate leader EDM and account for individual, social, and environmental constraints. Using the sensemaking approach as a foundation, previous EDM models are revised and extended to comprise a (...) conceptual model of leader EDM. Moreover, the underlying factors in the model are highlighted—constraints and strategies. Four trainable, compensatory strategies (emotion regulation, self-reflection, forecasting, and information integration) are proposed and described that aid leaders in navigating ethical dilemmas in organizations. Empirical examinations demonstrate that tactical application of the strategies may aid leaders in making sense of complex and ambiguous ethical dilemmas and promote ethical behavior. Compensatory tactics such as these should be central to organizational ethics initiatives at the leader level. (shrink)
The relationship between mental models and ethical decision making, along with the mechanisms through which mental models affect EDM, are not well understood. Using the sensemaking approach to EDM, we empirically tested the relationship of mental models to EDM. Participants were asked to depict their mental models in response to an ethics case to reveal their understanding of the ethical dilemma, and then provide a response, along with a rationale, to a different ethical problem. Findings indicated that complexity of respondents’ (...) mental models was related to EDM, and that this relationship was mediated by sensemaking processes. The implications of these findings for improving integrity training in organizations, as well as ultimately understanding the role of mental models in EDM, are discussed. (shrink)
The effectiveness of case-based learning in ethics education varies widely regarding how cases are presented. Case process instruction may impact case-based ethics education to promote sensemaking processes, ethical sensemaking strategy use, and ethical decision making (EDM) quality. This study examined two teaching techniques, notes and review, and participants completed note-taking and review activities examining a case-based scenario during an ethics education course. Results suggest that providing case notes in outline form improves sensemaking processes, strategy use, and EDM quality. In addition, (...) combining processes of provided notes and passive review results in incremental, additive performance via certain ethical sensemaking strategies and EDM quality. (shrink)
Case-based instruction is a stable feature of ethics education, however, little is known about the attributes of the cases that make them effective. Emotions are an inherent part of ethical decision-making and one source of information actively stored in case-based knowledge, making them an attribute of cases that likely facilitates case-based learning. Emotions also make cases more realistic, an essential component for effective case-based instruction. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of emotional case content, and complementary (...) socio-relational case content, on case-based knowledge acquisition and transfer on future ethical decision-making tasks. Study findings suggest that emotional case content stimulates retention of cases and facilitates transfer of ethical decision-making principles demonstrated in cases. (shrink)
This paper looks at the usage of depictions of monsters as a form of self representation on the Internet and attempts to discover what may hide behind this choice of the avatar. It endeavours to tie the notions of representation, visuality and monstrosity together, with the avatar at the intersection of images and identities. The purpose of this exploration is to open up a discussion to analyse and elucidate the phenomenon of monstrosity from a semiotic perspective, namely as a form (...) of representation of the human being in the virtual world. The choice of an icon of a monster as avatar establishes a link between image and identity since a certain mind has put it forward as its representative in an effort to prove its own presence to the others with the intention of being seen in a particular way. Communicating this sign over the Internet is akin to the mediaeval carnival where the sign shield stands for the masquerade disguise, allowing one to overcome dogmatism and alienation engendered by the hierarchy of the society through making it possible to contact people of every rank, title or position, allowing one to become free. (shrink)
Although various models of ethical decision making have implicitly called upon constructs governed by working memory capacity , a study examining this relationship specifically has not been conducted. Using a sense making framework of EDM, we examined the relationship between WMC and various sensemaking processes contributing to EDM. Participants completed an online assessment comprised of a demographic survey, intelligence test, various EDM measures, and the Automated Operation Span task to determine WMC. Results indicated that WMC accounted for unique variance above (...) and beyond ethics education, exposure to ethical issues, and intelligence in several sensemaking processes. Additionally, a marginally significant effect of WMC was also found with reference to EDM. Individual differences in WMC appear likely to play an important role in the ethical decision-making process, and future researchers may wish to consider their potential influences. (shrink)
Jon Elster reports that in 1940, and again in 1970, the U.S. draft lottery was challenged for falling short of the legally mandated ‘random selection’. On both occasions, the physical mixing of the lots appeared to be incomplete, since the birth dates were clustered in a way that would have been extremely unlikely if the lots were fully mixed. There appears to have been no suspicion on either occasion that the deficiency in the mixing was intended, known, or believed to (...) favor or disfavor any identifiable group. If the selection was non-random in the way charged, Elster asks, was it unfair? (shrink)
Although case-based training is popular for ethics education, little is known about how specific case content influences training effectiveness. Therefore, the effects of (a) codes of ethical conduct and (b) forecasting content were investigated. Results revealed richer cases, including both codes and forecasting content, led to increased knowledge acquisition, greater sensemaking strategy use, and better decision ethicality. With richer cases, a specific pattern emerged. Specifically, content describing codes alone was more effective when combined with short-term forecasts, whereas content embedding codes (...) within context was more effective when combined with long-term forecasts, leading to greater knowledge acquisition and sensemaking strategy use. (shrink)
This project examined the ethical issues faced by academics and professionals in the Humanities. We conducted focus groups to gather information about the ethical concerns in these fields and used the qualitative data arising from the discussions to create a taxonomy that represents the structure of ethical issues in the Humanities. A key implication of our findings is that while the focus of ethics research and interventions has been primarily on the sciences and engineering, academics and professionals in other fields (...) also encounter some unique critical ethical dilemmas that require further research and methods of intervention. (shrink)
This classic edition presents the correspondence of one of the great thinkers of the 18th century, and offers a rich picture of the man and his age. This first volume contains David Hume's letters from 1727 to 1765. Hume's correspondents include such famous public figures as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Adam Smith, James Boswell, and Benjamin Franklin.
The purpose of this study was to explore if and how social media might come to bear on people’s understanding of ethics. Participants were asked to complete online surveys regarding social media interaction and respond to 14 scenarios depicting ethical dilemmas. Our results suggest that social media and people’s perceptions of ethics do share a relationship. Specifically, we found that people who reported being exposed to ethical violations on social media were more likely to find our unethical scenarios to be (...) personally unacceptable, to be of lower ethicality, and to react negatively to the content. These findings suggest that mere exposure to ethical violations is enough to produce awareness in people regarding ethical issues, which carries significant implications for ethics education. (shrink)
In 'How Many Lives Has Schrödinger's Cat?' David Lewis argues that the Everettian no-collapse interpretation of quantum mechanics is in a tangle when it comes to probabilities. This paper aims to show that the difficulties that Lewis raises are insubstantial. The Everettian metaphysics contains a coherent account of probability. Indeed it accounts for probability rather better than orthodox metaphysics does.
This study examined how structuring case-based ethics training, either through (a) case presentation or (b) prompt questions, influences training outcomes. Results revealed an interaction between case presentation and prompt questions such that some form of structure improved effectiveness. Specifically, comparing cases led to greater sensemaking strategy use and decision-ethicality when trainees considered unstructured rather than structured prompts. When cases were presented sequentially, structuring prompts improved training effectiveness. Too much structure, however, decreased future ethical decision making, suggesting that there can be (...) too much of a good thing when structuring case-based ethics education. Implications for designing ethics training programs are discussed. (shrink)
This essay explains the inescapability of moral demands. I deny that the individual has genuine reason to comply with these demands only if she has desires that would be served by doing so. Rather, the learning of moral reasons helps to shape and channel self- and other-interested motivations so as to facilitate and promote social cooperation. This shaping happens through the “embedding” of reasons in the intentional objects of motivational propensities. The dominance of the instrumental conception of reason, according to (...) which reasons must be based in desires of the individual, has made it harder to recognize that reasons shape desires. I attempt to undermine this dominance by arguing that the concept of a self that extends over time is constructed to meet the demands of social cooperation. Prudential reasons to act on behalf of the persisting self's desires are often taken to constitute the paradigm of reasons based on desires of the individual. But such reasons, along with the very concept of the persisting self, are constructed to promote human cooperation and to shape the individual's desires. (shrink)
Locke defined a person as ‘a thinking intelligent being, that has reason and reflection, and can consider itself as itself, the same thinking thing, in different times and places” . To many who have been excited by the same thought as Locke, continuity of consciousness has seemed to be an integral part of what we mean by a person. The intuitive appeal of the idea that to secure the continuing identity of a person one experience must flow into the next (...) experience in some ‘stream of consciousoness” is evidenced by the number of attempts in the so-called constructionalist tradition to explain continuity of consciousness in terms of memory, and then build or reconstruct the idea of a person with these materials. The philosophical difficulty of the idea is plain from the failure of these attempts. Hindsight suggests this was as inevitable as the failure of the attempt to make bricks from straw alone—and as a failure just as uninteresting. Which is not to deny that the memory theorist might get from it a sense that some of the difficulties in his programme have arisen from his leaving flesh and bones, the stuff of persons, out of his construction. (shrink)
Case-based instruction has been regarded by many as a viable alternative to traditional lecture-based education and training. However, little is known about how case-based training techniques impact training effectiveness. This study examined the effects of two such techniques: (a) presentation of alternative outcome scenarios to a case, and (b) conducting a structured outcome evaluation. Consistent with the hypotheses, results indicate that presentation of alternative outcome scenarios reduced knowledge acquisition, reduced sensemaking and ethical decision-making strategy use, and reduced decision ethicality. Conducting (...) a structured outcome evaluation had no impact on these outcomes. Results indicate that those who use case-based instruction should take care to use clear, less complex cases with only a singular outcome if they are seeking these types of outcomes. (shrink)
The great variousness and plurality of goodness has given comfort to general scepticism about values and a multitude of metaethical attitudes or predilections. But is this variousness and plurality really the hotch-potch it has appeared? The paper recapitulates and expands von Wright's typology of the varieties of goodness and looks to explain the order or system that underlies the phenomena by developing and extending a conjecture of Aristotle's, the so-called ‘focal hypothesis’, and combining therewith a suggestion of von Wright's, to (...) the effect that the central case of something good is the faring well of a being. By means of focal hypothesis, one may account fairly well for medical, technical, instrumental, beneficial and utilitarian goodness. Other varieties such as hedonic and ethical goodness complicate the picture, as also do all cases where it seems that an antecedent kind of goodness impinges upon a being. These complications mirror in part the finding that the human scale of values is not a scale exclusively of human values. (shrink)
David and Mary Norton present the definitive scholarly edition of Hume's Treatise, one of the greatest philosophical works ever written. This set comprises the two volumes of texts and editorial material, which are also available for purchase separately. -/- David Hume (1711 - 1776) is one of the greatest of philosophers. Today he probably ranks highest of all British philosophers in terms of influence and philosophical standing. His philosophical work ranges across morals, the mind, metaphysics, epistemology, religion, and (...) aesthetics; he had broad interests not only in philosophy as it is now conceived but in history, politics, economics, religion, and the arts. He was a master of English prose. -/- The Clarendon Hume Edition will include all of his works except his History of England and minor historical writings. It is the only thorough critical edition, and will provide a far more extensive scholarly treatment than any previous editions. This edition (which has been in preparation since the 1970s) offers authoritative annotation, bibliographical information, and indexes, and draws upon the major advances in textual scholarship that have been made since the publication of earlier editions - advances both in the understanding of editorial principle and practice and in knowledge of the history of Hume's own texts. (shrink)
Case-based reasoning has long been used to facilitate instructional effectiveness. Although much remains to be known concerning the most beneficial way to present case material, recent literature suggests that simplifying case material is favorable. Accordingly, the current study manipulated two instructional techniques, incremental case presentation and forecasting outcomes, in a training environment in an attempt to better understand the utility of simplified versus complicated case presentation for learning. Findings suggest that pairing these two cognitively demanding techniques reduces satisfaction and detracts (...) from the effectiveness of the learning approach. Implications regarding the use of instructional techniques in training programs are discussed. (shrink)
Counterfactuals is David Lewis' forceful presentation of and sustained argument for a particular view about propositions which express contrary to fact conditionals, including his famous defense of realism about possible worlds and his theory of laws of nature.
It is widely assumed that the normativity of conceptual judgement poses problems for naturalism. Thus John McDowell urges that 'The structure of the space of reasons stubbornly resists being appropriated within a naturalism that conceives nature as the realm of law' (1994, p 73). Similar sentiments have been expressed by many other writers, for example Robert Brandom (1994, p xiii) and Paul Boghossian (1989, p 548).
David Wallace argues that we should take quantum theory seriously as an account of what the world is like--which means accepting the idea that the universe is constantly branching into new universes. He presents an accessible but rigorous account of the 'Everett interpretation', the best way to make coherent sense of quantum physics.
The book is an extended study of the problem of consciousness. After setting up the problem, I argue that reductive explanation of consciousness is impossible , and that if one takes consciousness seriously, one has to go beyond a strict materialist framework. In the second half of the book, I move toward a positive theory of consciousness with fundamental laws linking the physical and the experiential in a systematic way. Finally, I use the ideas and arguments developed earlier to defend (...) a form of strong artificial intelligence and to analyze some problems in the foundations of quantum mechanics. (shrink)
David and Mary Norton present the definitive scholarly edition of Hume's Treatise, one of the greatest philosophical works ever written. This volume contains their account of how the Treatise was written and published; an explanation of how they established the text; an extensive set of annotations; and a detailed bibliography and index.
Consciousness and Mind presents David Rosenthal's influential work on the nature of consciousness. Central to that work is Rosenthal's higher-order-thought theory of consciousness, according to which a sensation, thought, or other mental state is conscious if one has a higher-order thought that one is in that state. The first four essays develop various aspects of that theory. The next three essays present Rosenthal's homomorphism theory of mental qualities and qualitative consciousness, and show how that theory fits with and helps (...) sustain the HOT theory. A crucial feature of homomorphism theory is that it individuates and taxonomizes mental qualities independently of the way we're conscious of them, and indeed independently of our being conscious of them at all. So the theory accommodates the qualitative character not only of conscious sensations and perceptions, but also of those which fall outside our stream of consciousness. Rosenthal argues that, because this account of mental qualities makes no appeal to consciousness, it enables us to dispel such traditional quandaries as the alleged conceivability of undetectable quality inversion, and to disarm various apparent obstacles to explaining qualitative consciousness and understanding its nature. Six further essays build on the HOT theory to explain various important features of consciousness, among them the complex connections that hold in humans between consciousness and speech, the self-interpretative aspect of consciousness, and the compelling sense we have that consciousness is unified. Two of the essays, one an extended treatment of homomorphism theory, appear here for the first time. There is also a substantive introduction, which draws out the connections between the essays and highlights their implications. (shrink)
David Shoemaker presents a new pluralistic theory of responsibility, based on the idea of quality of will. His approach is motivated by our ambivalence to real-life cases of marginal agency, such as those caused by clinical depression, dementia, scrupulosity, psychopathy, autism, intellectual disability, and poor formative circumstances. Our ambivalent responses suggest that such agents are responsible in some ways but not others. Shoemaker develops a theory to account for our ambivalence, via close examination of several categories of pancultural emotional (...) responsibility responses and their appropriateness conditions. The result is three distinct types of responsibility, each with its own set of required capacities: attributability, answerability, and accountability. Attributability is about the having and expressing of various traits of character, and it is the target of a range of aretaic sentiments and emotional practices organized around disdain and admiration. Answerability is about one’s capacity to govern one’s actions and attitudes by one’s evaluative judgments about the worth of various practical reasons, and it is the target of a range of sentiments and emotional practices organized around regret and pride. Accountability is about one’s ability to regard others, both evaluatively and emotionally, and it is the target of a range of sentiments and emotional practices organized around anger and gratitude. In Part One of the book, this tripartite theory is developed and defended. In Part Two of the book, the tripartite theory’s predictions about specific marginal cases are tested, once certain empirical details about the nature of those agents have been filled in and discussed. (shrink)