It is argued here that large-scale organization and networked computing enable new divisions of communicative work aimed at shaping the content, direction, and outcomes of societal conversations. The challenge for argumentation theory and practice lies in attending to these new divisions of communicative work in constituting contemporary argumentative realities. Goffman’s conceptualization of participation frameworks and production formats are applied to articulate the communicative work of organizations afforded by networked computing that invents and innovates argument in all of its senses—as product, (...) process, and procedure. Communicative work, however, may be scaffolding argumentative contexts and practices that are quite different than what has constituted past argumentative realities. The computerization of argument happens as organizations invent and innovate argument practice relative to the demands and opportunities of interorganizational communication. The cases and examples examined here suggest that argument practice is evolving around the logic of conversation and the principle of personalization. The analysis challenges argumentation theory to seriously engage with the construction of communicative contexts and the realization of ideas about disagreement management in organizational practice and information infrastructures. Directions for integrating insights from a design perspective on argument with insights from organizational and information systems theory are proposed for coming to terms with an era of large-scale organization and computerization, in particular the evolution of argument practice, the inscription of argument in the built environment, and the absorption of socio-cultural argument practices by organizations and computation. (shrink)
'Community' is one of those words that feels good: it is good 'to have a community', 'to be in a community'. And 'community' feels good because of the meanings which the word conveys, all of them promising pleasures, and more often than not the kind of pleasures which we would like to experience but seem to miss. 'Community' conveys the image of a warm and comfortable place, like a fireplace at which we warm our hands on a frosty day. Out (...) there, in the street, all sorts of dangers lie in ambush; in here, in the community, we can relax and feel safe. 'Community' stands for the kind of world which we long to inhabit but which is not, regrettably, available to us. Today 'community' is another name for paradise lost - but for a paradise which we still hope to find, as we feverishly search for the roads that may lead us there. But there is a price to be paid for the privilege of being in a community. Community promises security but seems to deprive us of freedom, of the right to be ourselves. Security and freedom are two equally precious and coveted values which could be balanced to some degree, but hardly ever fully reconciled. The tension between security and freedom, and between community and individuality, is unlikely ever to be resolved. We cannot escape the dilemma but we can take stock of the opportunities and the dangers, and at least try to avoid repeating past errors. In this important new book, Zygmunt Bauman takes stock of these opportunities and dangers and, in his distinctive and brilliant fashion, offers a much-needed reappraisal of a concept that has become central to current debates about the nature and future of our societies. (shrink)
Community engagement has been recognised as an important aspect of the ethical conduct of biomedical research, especially when research is focused on ethnically or culturally distinct populations. While this is a generally accepted tenet of biomedical research, it is unclear what components are necessary for effective community engagement, particularly in the context of genomic research in Africa.
The propositional view of communication states that every literal assertoric utterance of an indicative sentence expresses a proposition, and the audience understands those utterances only if she entertains the proposition(s) the speaker expressed. According to an important objection due to Ray Buchanan, the propositional view is ill‐equipped to handle meaning underdeterminacy. Using resources from situation semantics and MacFarlane's nonindexical contextualism, this article develops a view of literal communication close to the propositional view which overcomes Buchanan's underdeterminacy considerations while (...) accounting for the kind of indifference that typically characterizes speakers' intentions. (shrink)
The book defines the concept of Semantic-Communicative Structure [= Sem-CommS]-a formal object that is imposed on the starting Semantic Structure [= SemS] of a sentence (under text synthesis) in order to turn the selected meaning into a linguistic message. The Sem-CommS is a system of eight logically independent oppositions: 1. Thematicity (Rheme vs. Theme), 2. Givenness (Given vs. Old), 3. Focalization (Focalized vs. Non-Focalized), 4. Perspective (Foregrounded vs. Backgrounded), 5. Emphasis (Emphasized vs. Non-Emphasized), 6. Presupposedness (Presupposed vs. Non-Presupposed), 7. Unitariness (...) (Unitary vs. Articulated), 8. Locutionality (Communicated vs. Signaled). The values of these oppositions mark particular subnetworks of the starting SemS and thus allow for the distinction between sentences such as (a) A man killed a dog vs. The dog was killed by a man, (b) John washed the window vs. It was John who washed the window or (c) It hurts! vs. Ouch! The proposed Sem-Comm-oppositions are conceived as an attempt at sharpening the well-known notions of Topic Comment, Focus, etc. Possible linguistic strategies for expressing the values of the Sem-Comm-oppositions in different languages are discussed at some length, with linguistic illustrations. (shrink)
The author analyses the problem of the communication from the epistemological point of view, noting that the interest to the theme is obviously determined by the enormous ambiguity and by the disciplinary vagueness of the communication's notion itself. It is argued that it is the philosophical conceptualization of the communication that allows in a certain sense to «save» philosophy itself. The author notes that the philosophical studies of communication as if return the relevance to the classical (...) philosophical problems: to the (communicative) sphere, (communicative) time, (social) causality, (collective) subject and object, filling them with the meaningful characteristics and testing their concepts by the experience of the functioning of real society and communication. He concludes that the epistemological content of the concept of communication is comes together with several aspects of human cognition. The first aspect has to do with the dimensions for defining the adequacy for determination of the statement made by the Other (i.e. the other participant), given that the content of the Other's consciousness is unavailable. The second aspect is related to the principle of a double purpose of any communication: on the one hand, integration and mutual understanding and, on the other, informational description of the subject of the message. The third aspect is that communication is based on the most important epistemological distinction between knowledge and ignorance, i.e. on the predominance of any information to one participant of the communication and of its uncertainty to the other participant, and that such a situation actually conditions the formation of communication systems, as well as of a wide variety of forms of sociality. The author also addresses the problem of whether contemporary media make communication at all possible since they decrease the impact that the secrecy of the Other's consciousness has on communication by triggering a communicative act. (shrink)
This paper explores the significance of intelligent social behavior among non-human animals for philosophical theories of communication. Using the alarm call system of vervet monkeys as a case study, I argue that interpersonal communication (or what I call “minded communication”) can and does take place in the absence of the production and recognition of communicative intentions. More generally, I argue that evolutionary theory provides good reasons for maintaining that minded communication is both temporally and explanatorily prior (...) to the use of communicative intentions. After developing these negative points about the place of communicative intentions in detail, I provide a novel alternative account according to which minded communication is characterized in terms of patterns of action and response that function to coordinate the representational mental states of agents. I show that an account which centers on patterns of representational coordination of this sort is well suited to capture the theoretical roles associated with minded communication and that it does so in a way that provides a good fit with comparative facts about the presence of minded communication among non-human animals. (shrink)
Increasingly, epistemologists are becoming interested in social structures and their effect on epistemic enterprises, but little attention has been paid to the proper distribution of experimental results among scientists. This paper will analyze a model first suggested by two economists, which nicely captures one type of learning situation faced by scientists. The results of a computer simulation study of this model provide two interesting conclusions. First, in some contexts, a community of scientists is, as a whole, more reliable when its (...) members are less aware of their colleagues' experimental results. Second, there is a robust tradeoff between the reliability of a community and the speed with which it reaches a correct conclusion. ‡The author would like to thank Brian Skyrms, Kyle Stanford, Jeffrey Barrett, Bruce Glymour, and the participants in the Social Dynamics Seminar at University of California–Irvine for their helpful comments. Generous financial support was provided by the School of Social Science and Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences at UCI. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Baker Hall 135, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890; e-mail: [email protected]. (shrink)
In this paper, the author analyzes and discusses the communicative approach used in the philosophy of science developed by N. Luhmann. He shows how Luhmann's communicative approach can be used to discuss a wide range "the classical problems" of knowledge: criteria for scientific knowledge, its autonomy and tools for achieving it, the problem of the foundation and structure of the scientific knowledge, the relationship between concepts and words, theories and methods.The author also analyzes the problem of the communication constraints (...) imposed on the process of systematic organization of science (i.e. the delimitation principle): the specificity and opportunity of the social theory, its differences and similarities with the settled classic examples of the theorizing; the peculiarities of the particular types of the scientific observation. (shrink)
On standard readings of Grice, Gricean communication requires (a) possession of a concept of belief, (b) the ability to make complex inferences about others’ goal-directed behaviour, and (c) the ability to entertain fourth order meta-representations. To the extent that these abilities are pre-requisites of Gricean communication they are inconsistent with the view that Gricean communication could play a role in their development. In this paper, I argue that a class of ‘minimally Gricean acts’ satisfy the intentional structure (...) described by Grice, but require none of abilities (a)-(c). As a result, Gricean communicative abilities may indeed contribute to the development of (a)-(c) – in particular, by enabling language development. This conclusion has important implications for our theorising about cognitive development. (shrink)
When A utters a declarative sentence in a context to B, typically A can mean a proposition by the sentence, the sentence in context literally expresses a proposition, there are propositions A and B can agree the sentence literally expressed, and B can acquire knowledge from this testimonial exchange. In recent work on linguistic communication, each of these four platitudes has been challenged, and on the same basis: viz. on the ground that exactly which proposition the sentence expressed in (...) context is not discernible given the information provided by the context. I argue that, even if this is true, there will be propositional parts of the proposition expressed by the sentence in context which can be identified and that, consequently, the partial understanding afforded by the existence of such identifiable parts undermines the soundness of the arguments against the platitudes. (shrink)
According to standard assumptions in semantics, ordinary users of a language have implicit beliefs about the truth-conditions of sentences in that language, and they often agree on those beliefs. For example, it is assumed that if Anna and John are both competent users of English and the former utters ‘grass is green’ in conversation with the latter, they will both believe that that sentence is true if and only if grass is green. These assumptions play an important role in an (...) intuitively compelling picture of communication, according to which successful communication through literal assertoric utterances is normally effected thanks to our shared beliefs about the truth-conditions of the sentences uttered in the course of the conversation. Against these standard assumptions, this paper argues that the participants in a conversation rarely have the same beliefs about the truth-conditions of the sentences involved in a linguistic interaction. More precisely, it argues for Variance, the thesis that nearly every utterance is such that there is no proposition which more than one language user believes to be that utterance’s truth-conditional content. If Variance is true, we must reject the standard picture of communication. Towards the end of the paper I identify three ways in which ordinary conversations can be communication-like despite the truth of Variance and argue that the most natural amendments to the standard picture fail to explain them. (shrink)
This paper addresses the theoretical framework on corporate social reporting. Although that corporate social reporting has been analysed from different perspectives, legitmacy theory currently is the dominating perspective. Authors employing this framework suggest that social and environmental disclosures are responses to both public pressure and increased media attention resulting from major social incidents such as the Exxon Valdez oil spill and the chemical leak in Bhopal (India). More specifically, those authors argue that the increase in social disclosures represent a strategy (...) to alter the public''s perception about the legitimacy of the organisation. Therefore, we suggest using corporate communication as an overarching framework to study corporate social reporting in which corporate image and corporate identity are central. (shrink)
Communities of respect are communities of people sharing common practices or a (partial) way of life; they include families, clubs, religious groups, and political parties. This book develops a detailed account of such communities in terms of the rational structure of their members' reactive attitudes, arguing that they are fundamental in three interrelated ways to understanding what it is to be a person. First, it is only by being a member of a community of respect that one can be a (...) responsible agent having dignity; such an agent therefore has certain rights as well as the authority to demand that fellow members recognize her dignity and follow the norms of the community, norms compliance with which they likewise have the authority to demand from her. Second, by prescribing or proscribing both actions and values, communities of respect can shape the identities of its members in ways that others have the authority to enforce, thereby revealing an important interpersonal dimension of the identities of persons. Finally, all of this is grounded in a distinctively interpersonal form of practical rationality in virtue of which we jointly have reasons to recognize the dignity and authority of fellow members and so to comply with their authoritative demands, as well as to respect (and so comply with) the norms of the community. Hence we persons are essentially social creatures. (shrink)
It is sometimes claimed that Gricean communication is necessarily a form of cooperative or ‘joint’ action. A consequence of this Cooperative Communication View is that Gricean communication could not itself contribute to an explanation of the possibility of joint action. I argue that even though Gricean communication is often a form of joint action, it is not necessarily so—since it does not always require intentional action on the part of a hearer. Rejecting the Cooperative Communication (...) View has attractive consequences for our theorising about human cognitive development, since it opens up the possibility of appealing to communicative interaction to explain the emergence of joint action in phylogeny. (shrink)
When scientists or science reporters communicate research results to the public, this often involves ethical and epistemic risks. One such risk arises when scientific claims cause cognitive or behavioural changes in the audience that contribute to the self-fulfilment of these claims. I argue that the ethical and epistemic problems that such self-fulfilment effects may pose are much broader and more common than hitherto appreciated. Moreover, these problems are often due to a specific psychological phenomenon that has been neglected in the (...) research on science communication: many people tend to conform to ‘descriptive norms’, that is, norms capturing (perceptions of) what others commonly do, think, or feel. Because of this tendency, science communication may frequently produce significant social harm. I contend that scientists have a responsibility to assess the risk of this potential harm and consider adopting strategies to mitigate it. I introduce one such strategy and argue that its implementation is independently well motivated by the fact that it helps improve scientific accuracy. (shrink)
Community engagement is gaining prominence in global health research. So far, a philosophical rationale for why researchers should perform community engagement during such research has not been provided by ethics scholars. Its absence means that conducting community engagement is still often viewed as no more than a ‘good idea’ or ‘good practice’ rather than ethically required. In this article, we argue that shared health governance can establish grounds for requiring the engagement of low‐ and middle‐income country (LMIC) community members in (...) global health research, where such research aims to help reduce health disparities. This philosophical basis has important implications for the ethical goals ascribed to engagement and the approach adopted to undertake it. We suggest the ethical goals of engagement in equity‐oriented global health research should include: (a) generating research topics and questions that reflect the key problems disadvantaged groups face in accessing healthcare, services and broader social determinants of health and (b) promoting the translation of research findings into policy and practice in ways that benefit the health of disadvantaged groups. We propose engagement practice should have the following features: deliberation with LMIC community members to make a range of project decisions, beginning with setting research topics and questions; inclusion of members of disadvantaged groups and those with the power to change policy and practice to benefit them; and purposeful structuring of deliberations to minimize the impact of power disparities between LMIC community members. Finally, we reflect on how these features differ from those typical of much current community engagement practice in LMICs. (shrink)
According to an attractive account of belief, our beliefs have centered content. According to an attractive account of communication, we utter sentences to express our beliefs and share them with each other. However, the two accounts are in conflict. In this paper I explore the consequences of holding on to the claim that beliefs have centered content. If we do in fact express the centered content of our beliefs, the content of the belief the hearer acquires cannot in general (...) be identical to the content the speaker expresses. I sketch an alternative account of communication, the Recentering model, that accepts this consequence and explains how expressed and acquired content are related. (shrink)
Unquestionably an influential thinker in Italy today, Giorgio Agamben has contributed to some of the most vital philosophical debates of our time. "The Coming Community" is an indispensable addition to the body of his work. How can we conceive a human community that lays no claim to identity - being American, being Muslim, being communist? How can a community be formed of singularities that refuse any criteria of belonging? Agamben draws on an eclectic and exciting set of sources to explore (...) the status of human subjectivities outside of general identity. From St Thomas' analysis of halos to a stocking commercial shown in French cinemas, and from the Talmud's warning about entering paradise to the power of the multitude in Tiananmen Square, Agamben tracks down the singular subjectivity that is coming in the contemporary world and shaping the world to come. Agamben develops the concept of community and the social implications of his philosophical thought. "The Coming Community" offers both a philosophical mediation and the beginnings of a new foundation for ethics, one grounded beyond subjectivity, ideology, and the concepts of good and evil. Agamben's exploration is, in part, a contemporary and creative response to the work of Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Blanchot, Jean-Luc Nancy, and, more historically, Plato, Spinoza, and medieval scholars and theorists of Judeo-Christian scriptures. This volume is the first in a new series that encourages transdisciplinary exploration and destabilizes traditional boundaries between disciplines, nations, genders, races, humans, and machines. Giorgio Agamben currently teaches philosophy at the College International de Philosophie in Paris and at the University of Macerata. He is the author of "Language and Death" and "Stanzas". This book is intended for those in the fields of cultural theory, literary theory, philosophy. (shrink)
In this paper, we introduce an ecological account of communication according to which acts of communication are active inferences achieved by affecting the behavior of a target organism via the modification of its field of affordances. Constraining a target organism’s behavior constitutes a mechanism of socially extended active inference, allowing organisms to proactively regulate their inner states through the behavior of other organisms. In this general conception of communication, the type of cooperative communication characteristic of human (...) communicative interaction is a way of constraining interaction dynamics toward the goals of a given joint action by constructing and altering shared fields of affordances. This account embraces a pragmatist view according to which communication is a form of action aiming to influence the behavior of a target, and stands against the traditional transmission view according to which communication fundamentally serves to convey information. Understanding acts of communication as active inference under an ecological interpretation allows us to link communicative and ultimately linguistic behavior to the biological imperative of minimizing free energy and to emphasize the action-oriented nature of communicative interaction. (shrink)
Many important theorists – e.g., Gary Watson and Stephen Darwall – characterize blame as a communicative entity and argue that this entails that morally responsible agency requires not just rational but moral competence. In this paper, I defend this argument from communication against three objections found in the literature. The first two reject the argument’s characterization of the reactive attitudes. The third urges that the argument is committed to a false claim.
In light of the many corporate scandals, social and ethical commitment of society has increased considerably, which puts pressure on companies to communicate information related to corporate social responsibility (CSR). The reasons underlying the decision by management teams to engage in ethical communication are scarcely focussed on. Thus, grounded on legitimacy and stakeholder theory, this study analyses the views management teams in large listed companies have on communication of CSR. The focus is on aspects on interest, motives/reasons, users (...) and problems related to corporate communication of CSR information. A questionnaire survey and in-depth interviews confirm that there is a distinct trend shift: towards more focus on CSR in corporate communication. Whilst this trend shift started as a reactive approach initiated by the many corporate scandals, the trend shift is now argued to be of a proactive nature focussed at preventing legitimacy concerns to arise. These findings are significant and interesting, implying that we are witnessing a transit period between two legitimacy strategies. Furthermore, the findings suggest that the way respondents argue when it comes to CSR activities coincides with consequentialism or utilitarianism, i. e. companies engage in CSR activities to avoid negative impacts instead of being driven by a will to make a social betterment or acting in accordance with what is fundamentally believed to be right to do. This provides new input to the ongoing debate about business ethics. The findings should alert national and international policy makers to the need both to increase the vigilance and capacity of the regulatory and judicial systems in the CSR context and to increase institutional pressure to enhance CSR adoption and CSR communication. Furthermore, stakeholders need to be careful in assuming that CSR communication is an evidence of a CSR commitment influencing corporate behaviour and increasing business ethics. (shrink)
Enhancing Communication & Collaboration in Interdisciplinary Research, edited by Michael O'Rourke, Stephen Crowley, Sanford D. Eigenbrode, and J. D. Wulfhorst, is a volume of previously unpublished, state-of-the-art chapters on interdisciplinary communication and collaboration written by leading figures and promising junior scholars in the world of interdisciplinary research, education, and administration. Designed to inform both teaching and research, this innovative book covers the spectrum of interdisciplinary activity, offering a timely emphasis on collaborative interdisciplinary work. The book’s four main parts (...) focus on theoretical perspectives, case studies, communication tools, and institutional perspectives, while a final chapter ties together the various strands that emerge in the book and defines trend-lines and future research questions for those conducting work on interdisciplinary communication. (shrink)
In this important volume Habermas outlines the views which form the basis of his critical theory of modern societies. The volume comprises five interlocking essays, which together define the contours of his theory of communication and of his substantive account of social change. ′What is Universal Pragmatics?′ is the best available statement of Habermas′s programme for a theoryof communication based on the analysis of speech acts. In the following two essays Habermas draws on the work of Kohlberg and (...) others to develop a distinctive account of moral consciousness and normative structures. ′Toward a Reconstruction of historical Materialsim′ takes these issues further, offering a wide–ranging reconstruction of Marx′s historical materialsim understood as a theory of social evolution. The final essay focuses on the question of legitimacy and on the legitimation problems faced by modern states. This book is essential reading for anyone concerned with the key questions of social and political theory today. (shrink)
The question "What can justify criminal punishment ?" becomes especially insistent at times, like our own, of penal crisis, when serious doubts are raised not only about the justice or efficacy of particular modes of punishment, but about the very legitimacy of the whole penal system. Recent theorizing about punishment offers a variety of answers to that question-answers that try to make plausible sense of the idea that punishment is justified as being deserved for past crimes; answers that try to (...) identify some beneficial consequences in terms of which punishment might be justified; as well as abolitionist answers telling us that we should seek to abolish, rather than to justify, criminal punishment. This book begins with a critical survey of recent trends in penal theory, but goes on to develop an original account (based on Duff's earlier Trials and Punishments) of criminal punishment as a mode of moral communication, aimed at inducing repentance, reform, and reconciliation through reparation-an account that undercuts the traditional controversies between consequentialist and retributivist penal theories, and that shows how abolitionist concerns can properly be met by a system of communicative punishments. In developing this account, Duff articulates the "liberal communitarian" conception of political society (and of the role of the criminal law) on which it depends; he discusses the meaning and role of different modes of punishment, showing how they can constitute appropriate modes of moral communication between political community and its citizens; and he identifies the essential preconditions for the justice of punishment as thus conceived-preconditions whose non-satisfaction makes our own system of criminal punishment morally problematic. Punishment, Communication, and Community offers no easy answers, but provides a rich and ambitious ideal of what criminal punishment could be-an ideal of what criminal punishment cold be-and ideal that challenges existing penal theories as well as our existing penal theories as well as our existing penal practices. (shrink)
This article introduces the important issue of communicating with small firms about ethical issues. Evidence from two research projects from the U.K. and Spain are used to indicate some of the important issues and how small firms may differ from large firms in this area. The importance of informal mechanisms such as the influence of friends, family and employees are highlighted, and the likely ineffectiveness of formal tools such as Codes and Social and Ethical Standards suggested. Further resarch in the (...) area of small firms and ethics is essential. (shrink)
Humans alone acquire language. According to one influen- tial school of thought, we do this because we possess a uniquely human ability to act with and attribute “Gricean” communicative intentions. A challenge for this view is that attributing communicative intent seems to require cognitive abilities that infant language learners lack. After considering a range of responses to this challenge, I argue that infant language development can be explained, because Gricean communication is cognitively less demanding than many suppose. However, a (...) consequence of this is that abilities for Gricean communication are unlikely to be uniquely human. (shrink)
Codes of ethics currently offer no guidance to scientists acting in capacity of expert. Yet communicating their expertise is one of the most important activities of scientists. Here I argue that expert communication has a specifically ethical dimension, and that experts must face a fundamental trade-off between "actionability" and "transparency" when communicating. Some recommendations for expert communication are suggested.
Cosmopolitans share the moral assumption that we have obligations and responsibilities to other people, near or distant. Today, those obligations and responsibilities are often connected with communication, but what is considered important for cosmopolitan communication differs between different thinkers. Given the centrality of communication in recent cosmopolitan theory and debate the purpose of this article is to examine assumptions about communication that are often taken for granted, and particularly the commonly held assumption that linguistic communication (...) depends on shared or common languages. It is primarily Donald Davidson's philosophy of language that provides the framework for my examination. I argue that there are several reasons for reconstructing our understanding of the nature of language and communication, and that shared languages play a much more limited role in communication than many communication theorists, cosmopolitans and educators have imagined. (shrink)
Biomedical research is increasingly globalized with ever more research conducted in low and middle-income countries. This trend raises a host of ethical concerns and critiques. While community engagement has been proposed as an ethically important practice for global biomedical research, there is no agreement about what these practices contribute to the ethics of research, or when they are needed.
There is wide agreement that community engagement is important for many research types and settings, often including interaction with ‘representatives’ of communities. There is relatively little published experience of community engagement in international research settings, with available information focusing on Community Advisory Boards or Groups (CAB/CAGs), or variants of these, where CAB/G members often advise researchers on behalf of the communities they represent. In this paper we describe a network of community members (‘KEMRI Community Representatives’, or ‘KCRs’) linked to a (...) large multi-disciplinary research programme on the Kenyan Coast. Unlike many CAB/Gs, the intention with the KCR network has evolved to be for members to represent the geographical areas in which a diverse range of health studies are conducted through being typical of those communities. We draw on routine reports, self-administered questionnaires and interviews to: 1) document how typical KCR members are of the local communities in terms of basic characteristics, and 2) explore KCR's perceptions of their roles, and of the benefits and challenges of undertaking these roles. We conclude that this evolving network is a potentially valuable way of strengthening interactions between a research institution and a local geographic community, through contributing to meeting intrinsic ethical values such as showing respect, and instrumental values such as improving consent processes. However, there are numerous challenges involved. Other ways of interacting with members of local communities, including community leaders, and the most vulnerable groups least likely to be vocal in representative groups, have always been, and remain, essential. (shrink)
Guidelines for health research focus on protecting individual research subjects. It is also vital to protect the communities involved in health research. In particular, a number of studies have been criticized on the grounds that they exploited host communities. The present paper attempts to address these concerns by providing an analysis of community exploitation and, based on this analysis, determining what safeguards are needed to protect communities in health research against exploitation. (edited).
In this book Joseph Heath brings Jürgen Habermas's theory of communicative action into dialogue with the most sophisticated articulation of the instrumental conception of practical rationality-modern rational choice theory. Heath begins with an overview of Habermas's action theory and his critique of decision and game theory. He then offers an alternative to Habermas's use of speech act theory to explain social order and outlines a multidimensional theory of rational action that includes norm-governed action as a specific type.In the second part (...) of the book Heath discusses the more philosophical dimension of Habermas's conception of practical rationality. He criticizes Habermas's attempt to introduce a universalization principle governing moral discourse, as well as his criteria for distinguishing between moral and ethical problems. Heath offers an alternative account of the level of convergence exhibited by moral argumentation, drawing on game-theoretic models to specify the burden of proof that the theory of communicative action and discourse must assume. (shrink)
Strawson style counterexamples to Grice’s account of communication show that a communicative intention has to be overt. Saying what overtness consists in has proven to be difficult for Gricean accounts. In this paper, I show that a common explanation of overtness, one that construes it in terms of a network of shared beliefs or knowledge, is mistaken. I offer an alternative, collectivist, model of communication. This model takes the utterer’s communicative intention to be a we-intention, a kind of (...) intention with a distinctive content that cannot be reduced to an intention in favor of an individual action. I show that the collectivist model can explain overtness in terms of a general feature of we-intentions, namely the requirement that the participants in a shared activity are to intend to act in accordance with meshing subplans. (shrink)
A growing body of research is exploring corporate communication in relation to corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities on social media (SM). Nonetheless, while these studies have shown that SM communication may be an effective tool for reaching and engaging various stakeholders, how the design of corporate CSR communication engenders trustworthiness has yet to be examined. To address this gap, we suggest that SM communication may include important signals related to trust; thus, we investigate whether companies use (...) sources of trustworthiness (reputation, performance, and appearance) while communicating with stakeholders and the response of the latter to such communication. Our empirical analysis is based on a database containing over 66,000 CSR-related messages from eight companies focusing on communication extracted from Twitter. These data are coded according to three sources of trustworthiness and two dimensions of CSR communication (social and environmental). Our findings indicate that all three attributes of trustworthiness are used by companies in their CSR social media communication. We also document how corporate efforts to use CSR communication that engenders trustworthiness influence stakeholder engagement. Our study therefore contributes to the literature on trust in relation to CSR by illustrating the importance of signaling that includes different sources of trustworthiness or their combination in corporate communication. By analyzing how the various trust attributes included in CSR communication affect SM reactions, we also identify which attributes lead to greater stakeholder engagement overall, particularly for the two analyzed dimensions of CSR communication. (shrink)
This paper develops a media theoretical extension of the communicative view on corporate social responsibility by elaborating on the characteristics of network societies, arguing that new media increase the speed and connectivity, and lead to higher plurality and the potential polarization of reality constructions. We discuss the implications for corporate social responsibility of becoming more polyphonic and sketch the contours of “communicative legitimacy.” Finally, we present this special issue and develop some questions for future research.
Prominent accounts of language use (those of Grice, Lewis, Stalnaker, Sperber and Wilson among others) have viewed basic communicative acts as essentially involving the attitudes of the participating agents. Developmental data poses a dilemma for these accounts, since it suggests children below age four are competent communicators but would lack the ability to conceptualise communication if philosophers and linguists are right about what communication is. This paper argues that this dilemma is quite serious and that these prominent accounts (...) would be undermined if an adequate more minimal alternative were available. Just such a minimalist account of communication is offered, drawing on ideas from relevance theory and situation theory. (shrink)
I defend an empirically-oriented approach to the analysis and remediation of social injustice. My springboard for this argument is a debate—principally represented here between Tommie Shelby and Elizabeth Anderson, but with much deeper historical roots and many flowering branches—about whether racial-justice advocacy should prioritize integration (bringing different groups together) or community development (building wealth and political power within the black community). Although I incline toward something closer to Shelby’s “egalitarian pluralist” approach over Anderson’s single-minded emphasis on integration, many of Shelby’s (...) criticisms of integrationism are misguided, and his handling of the empirical literature is profoundly unbalanced. In fact, while both Shelby and Anderson defend the importance of social science to their projects, I’ll argue that each takes a decidedly unempirical approach, which ultimately obscures the full extent of our ignorance about what we can and ought to do going forward. A more authentically empirical tack would be more epistemically humble, more holistic, and less organized around what I’ll call prematurely formulated “Grand Unified Theories of Social Change.” I defend a more “diversified experimentalist” approach, which rigorously tests an array of smaller-scale interventions before trying to replicate and scale up the most promising results. (shrink)
According to the communication desideratum (CD), a notion of semantic content must be adequately related to communication. In the recent debate on indexical reference, (CD) has been invoked in arguments against the view that intentions determine the semantic content of indexicals and demonstratives (intentionalism). In this paper, I argue that the interpretations of (CD) that these arguments rely on are questionable, and suggest an alternative interpretation, which is compatible with (strong) intentionalism. Moreover, I suggest an approach that combines (...) elements of intentionalism with other subjectivist approaches, and discuss the role of intuitions in developing and evaluating theories of indexical reference. (shrink)
Social policies to promote socially excluded young adult women generally concentrate on education, employment, and residence but tend to neglect thriving. The current article puts forward a Civic Engagement Community Participation Thriving Model (CECP-TM) that views thriving as a social policy goal in and of itself. It posits that civic engagement, beyond its contribution to social justice, serves as a vehicle for thriving through self-exploration and identity formation. Both are considered key components of successful maturation and thriving. Nonetheless, civic engagement (...) and self-exploration tend not to be nurtured in socially excluded young adult women, a unique group experiencing intersecting discrimination. The model shows how active civic engagement in the context of a community of peers contributes to developing a sense of belonging and connectedness and promotes new self-reflection, identity formation, and agency capabilities. When situated within the context of intersectionality, these encourage the development of critical consciousness and new understandings of “who I am and how I fit into the social world in which we live.” These can provide a sense of meaning, contribute to identity formation, and promote the thriving of the self and the community. Several examples illustrate the model. (shrink)
This paper aims to examine the role(s) that the various vehicles of marketing communications can play with respect to communicating, publicising and highlighting organisational CSR policies to its various stakeholders. It will further endeavour to evaluate the impact of such communications on an organisation's corporate reputation and brand image. The proliferation of unsubstantiated ethical claims and so-called 'green washing' by some companies has resulted in increasing consumer cynicism and mistrust. This has made the task of communicating with, and more importantly (...) convincing, an organisation's stakeholders vis-à-vis its CSR credentials even more difficult. This paper argues that marketing communications tools can play a major role in conveying a company's CSR messages and communicating a more socially responsible image. (shrink)
Part of the Studies in Crime and Public Policy series, this book, written by one of the top philosophers of punishment, examines the main trends in penal theorizing over the past three decades. Duff asks what can justify criminal punishment, and then explores the legitimacy of actual practices by examining what would count as adequate justification for them. Duff argues that a "communicative conception of punishment," which he presents as a third way between consequentialist and retributive theories, offers the most (...) fruitful way of understanding punishment's meaning and justification. Duff addresses such questions as how much sentences should be constrained by proportionality requirements; what modalities of punishment best communicate their intended meaning; and what decisionmaking procedures he envisions. This book will appeal to criminologists, philosophers, and others interested in theories of punishment. (shrink)
In developing a new theory of political and moral community, J. Donald Moon takes questions of cultural pluralism and difference more seriously than do many other liberal thinkers of our era: Moon is willing to confront the problem of how ...
Annual reports are an important element in the genre of corporate public discourse. The reporting practices mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commission for all publicly traded corporations are intended to render the annual reports a legitimate and trustworthy medium through which management communicates information related to the financial performance of the firm. The following discussion represents an inaugural attempt to investigate the ethical characteristics of the discourse found in corporate annual reports using Habermas' principles of communicative action. In preparing (...) the Management's Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) portion of the report, managers are charged with providing narrative information for investors and other interested third parties relevant to assessing the firm's financial condition. Previous rhetorical studies of the narrative portions of annual reports argue that they serve as means for both legitimate and distorted communication. We investigate this communication medium through the lens of Habermas' norms for communicative action, which require communicators to be comprehensible, truthful, sincere, and legitimate. The study represents an initial attempt to operationalization Habermas' principles of communicative action and to employ a methodology that facilitates their application to research within a business context. From one perspective, consistent with agency theory as specified by neoclassical economics, it would seem that firms anticipating worse-than-expected financial performance would be less likely to exhibit the Habermasian principles necessary for undistorted communication because they would attempt to strategically influence the message being communicated about the firm's financial position. Instead, employing rhetorical analysis software, Diction 5.0, we found that firms expecting both good and bad earnings surprises exhibited a higher level of communicative action than a composite average firm. Although preliminary in nature, our findings suggest that firms anticipating large earnings surprises, either high or low, use the narrative portion of the annual report as a vehicle through which to communicate information about managements' veracity and trustworthiness as well as the firm's financial position. (shrink)
Recent research on bacteria and other microorganisms has provided interesting insights into the nature of life, cooperation, evolution, individuality or species. In this paper, I focus on the capacity of bacteria to produce molecules that are usually classified as ’signals’ and I defend two claims. First, I argue that certain interactions between bacteria should actually qualify as genuine forms of communication. Second, I use this case study to revise our general theories of signaling. Among other things, I argue that (...) a plausible requirement for a state to qualify as a signal is that it is a minimal cause. (shrink)