Despite the burgeoning literature on the governance and impact of cross-sector partnerships in the past two decades, the debate on how and when these collaborative arrangements address globally relevant problems and contribute to systemic change remains open. Building upon the notion of wicked problems and the literature on governing such wicked problems, this paper defines harnessing problems in multi-stakeholder partnerships as the approach of taking into account the nature of the problem and of organizing governance processes accordingly. The paper develops (...) an innovative analytical framework that conceptualizes MSPs in terms of three governance processes harnessing three key dimensions of wicked problems. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil provides an illustrative case study on how this analytical framework describes and explains organizational change in partnerships from a problem-based perspective. The framework can be used to better understand and predict the complex relationships between MSP governance processes, systemic change and societal problems, but also as a guiding tool in organizing governance processes to continuously re-assess the problems over time and address them accordingly. (shrink)
In 1973, Rittel and Webber coined the term ‘wicked problems’, which they viewed as pervasive in the context of social and policy planning.1 Wicked problems have 10 defining characteristics: they are not amenable to definitive formulation; it is not obvious when they have been solved; solutions are not true or false, but good or bad; there is no immediate, or ultimate, test of a solution; every implemented solution is consequential, it leaves traces that cannot be undone; there are no criteria (...) to prove that all potential solutions have been identified and considered; every wicked problem is essentially unique; every wicked problem can be considered to be a symptom of another problem; a wicked problem can be explained in numerous ways and the choice of explanation determines what will count as a solution and the actors are liable for the consequences of the actions they generate.1 One needs only a passing familiarity with the history of HIV prevention research, and with the intellectual traditions of research ethics, to appreciate that the perils and opportunities arising from proposals to conduct research with people who inject drugs in some of the most precarious social and political circumstances around the world and the challenges associated with implementing the findings satisfy Rittel's and Webber's criteria for ‘wicked problems’. HIV prevention research has contributed important new knowledge about the feasibility, efficacy or relative efficacy of various prevention strategies in a variety of contexts around the world. But the pathways and timelines for how this knowledge has contributed to improvements in public health practice and/or the establishment of policies that ensure unfettered access to appropriate healthcare services for PWID are less clear and decidedly non-linear. One account of the transition from trial to policy …. (shrink)
In 1973, Rittel and Webber coined the term ‘wicked problems’, which they viewed as pervasive in the context of social and policy planning. 1 Wicked problems have 10 defining characteristics: they are not amenable to definitive formulation; it is not obvious when they have been solved; solutions are not true or false, but good or bad; there is no immediate, or ultimate, test of a solution; every implemented solution is consequential, it leaves traces that cannot be undone; there are no (...) criteria to prove that all potential solutions have been identified and considered; every wicked problem is essentially unique; every wicked problem can be considered to be a symptom of another problem; a wicked problem can be explained in numerous ways and the choice of explanation determines what will count as a solution and the actors are liable... (shrink)
The aspects of Erhard Weigel's Analysis Aristotelica ex Euclide restituta that foreshadowed and helped form some characteristics of symbolic logic are highlighted: first, the idea of a pure form of a logical syllogism or of a mathematical proof and, second, a tentative arithmetisation of some aspects of logic. Also, Weigel's emphasis on the role of symbols and figures in the process of mathematical proof is discussed.
More than two hundred years after the publication of his seminal The World as Will and Representation, Arthur Schopenhauer's influence is still felt in philosophy and beyond. As one of the most readable and central philosophers of the 19th century, his work inspired the most influential thinkers and artists of his time, including Nietzsche, Freud, and Wagner. Though known primarily as a herald of philosophical pessimism, the full range of his contributions is displayed here in a collection of thirty-one essays (...) on the forefront of Schopenhauer scholarship. Essays written by contemporary Schopenhauer scholars explore his central notions, including the will, empirical knowledge, and the sublime, and widens to the interplay of ethics and religion with Schopenhauer's philosophy. Authors confront difficult aspects of Schopenhauer's work and legacy--for example, the extent to which Schopenhauer adopted ideas from his predecessors compared to how much was original and visionary in his central claim that reality is a blind, senseless "will," the effectiveness of his philosophy in the field of scientific explanation and extrasensory phenomena, and the role of beauty and sublimity in his outlook. Essays also challenge prevailing assumptions about Schopenhauer by exploring the fundamental role of compassion in his moral theory, the Hindu, Christian, and Buddhist aspects of his philosophy, and the importance of asceticism in his views on the meaning of life. The collection is an internationally constituted work that reflects upon Schopenhauer's philosophy with authors presently working across the globe. It demonstrates fully the richness of Schopenhauer's work and his lasting impact on philosophy and psychoanalysis, as well as upon music, the visual arts, and literature. (shrink)
The Philosophy of Hans-Georg Gadamer, edited by Lewis Edwin Hahn, the twenty-fourth volume in the “Library of Living Philosophers”—a series founded in 1938 by Paul Arthur Schlipp, the aim of which has been to represent some of the world's greatest living philosphers. In keeping with this tradition, the 600-page Gadamer volume contains an invaluable and lengthy autobiographical sketch by Gadamer himself, long with wide-ranging critical and interpretive essays by twenty-nine scholars. The essays address the foundations of philosophical hermeneutics, the significance (...) of beauty, art, and aesthetics to hermeneutic theory, theSocratic-Platonic sources of Gadamer's outlook, the relationship between Gadamer's hermeneutics and the characteristic perspectives of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, questions concerning Gadamer'sconnection to political affairs in twentieth-century Germany, and the nuances of Martin Heidegger's profound influence on Gadamer's thought. The essays divide evenly into those which take issue with Gadamer and those which interpretively and sympathetically elaborate on Gadamerian themes. Of the twenty-nine authors, twenty-six were teaching at North American colleges and universities at the time of writing. (shrink)
Over the past few years, individual competencies for sustainability have received a lot of attention in the educational, sustainability and business administration literature. In this article, we explore the meaning of two rather new and unfamiliar moral competencies in the field of corporate sustainability: normative competence and action competence. Because sustainability can be seen as a highly complex or ‘wicked’ problem, it is unclear what ‘normativity’ in the normative competence and ‘responsible action’ in the action competence actually mean. In this (...) article, we raise the question how both these moral competencies have to be understood and how they are related to each other. We argue for a virtue ethics perspective on both moral competencies, because this perspective is able to take the wickedness of sustainability into account. It turns out that virtue ethics enables us to conceptualize normative competence and action competence as two aspects of one virtuous competence for sustainability. (shrink)
Cécile Wick's work, oscillating among photography, painting, and drawing, is one of the most important oeuvres in contemporary Swiss art. Solo exhibitions in various galleries and a large retrospective at the Museum of Fine Art in Berne have recently showcased her prints and etchings to great acclaim. Cécile Wick. Colored Waters offers readers the first glimpse of the artist's more recent photographs and, in particular, drawings. Watercolors, ink drawings, inkjet prints and photographs are presented in series, putting media and motifs (...) in a dialogue and revealing new aspects of Wick's work. Around 160 color reproductions of artworks are complemented with essays by Martin Jaeggi and Nadine Olonetzky on subjects such as light, traces, signs, buildings, nature, and rhythm in Wick's oeuvre. (shrink)
Recent work on the subject speaks to the importance trust has for firm performance. Yetlittle work has been done to show how context affects the ability of firms to create trust in relationships with key stakeholders. This paperlooks at how the institutional environment may affect the performance of different strategies for managing firm-stakeholder relationships, and in turn, how this affects firm performance. The authors put forward propositions that build on these theoretical insights and offer prospects for future empirical work.
The term stakeholder is a powerful one. This is due, to a significant degree, to its conceptual breadth. The term means differentthings to different people and hence evokes praise or scorn from a wide variety of scholars and practitioners. Such breadth of interpretation, though one of stakeholder theory’s greatest strengths, is also one of its most prominent theoretical liabilities. The goal of the current paper is like that of a controlled burn that clears away some of the underbrush of misinterpretation (...) in the hope of denying easy fuel to the critical conflagration that would raze the theory. We aim to narrow its technical meaning for greater facility of use in management and organizational studies. By elaborating a number of common misinterpretations – critical and friendly - of the theory, we hope to render a stronger and more convincing theory as a starting place for future research. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that the almost forgotten early dissertation of the phenomenologist Hans Reiner Freiheit, Wollen und Aktivität. Phänomenologische Untersuchungen in Richtung auf das Problem der Willensfreiheit engages with what I call the unity problem of activity. This problem concerns the question whether there is a structure in virtue of which all instances of human activity—and not only “full-blown” intentional actions—can be unified. After a brief systematic elucidation of this problem, which is closely related to the contemporary “problem (...) of action,” I elaborate and critically discuss two relevant threads running through Reiner’s work. The first view concerns the alleged motivational asymmetry between activity and passivity according to which it is essential only for active experiences to be motivated by an underlying passivity. The second view focuses on Reiner’s phenomenology of the will, especially on his notions of “ego-centrality” and “inner will” the latter being introduced in analogy to Brentano’s notion of “inner consciousness.” These two notions are supposed to unify all manifestations of the human will, including “full-blown” intentional actions and non-intentional doings such as laughter. Reiner’s extension of will-based actions to non-intentional activity is one of the most remarkable aspects of his early work. Finally, I show that Reiner ultimately answers the unity problem in the negative because he ends up with the view that besides will-based agency he also acknowledges so-called “motor activity” which is not intrinsically related to the will. I close with a couple of tentative proposals how volitional and motor actions might be unified nonetheless. (shrink)
There is growing appreciation of the challenges posed by our current economic activity in terms of the natural environment. Increasingly, people have come to appreciate that business must not only be more aware of its environmental impact, but also must be more environmentally sustainable in its core operations. Academic theories of management influence managerial practice. They clarify what is important to the corporation, and where managers and employees should direct their attention. The focus of this paper is to explore the (...) extent to which three possible managerial mindsets—shareholder value maximization, stakeholder value maximization, and the triple bottom line—may either enhance or inhibit the ability of corporations to manage in an environmentally sustainable way. We discuss the implications of each of these mindsets and highlight their relative strengths and weaknesses, noting that all three hold promise, but each has limitations in enabling managers to operate sustainably. (shrink)
This paper argues that the notion of value has been overly simplified and narrowed to focus on economic returns. Stakeholder theory provides an appropriate lens for considering a more complex perspective of the value that stakeholders seek as well as new ways to measure it. We develop a four-factor perspective for defining value that includes, but extends beyond, the economic value stakeholders seek. To highlight its distinctiveness, we compare this perspective to three other popular performance perspectives. Recommendations are made regarding (...) performance measurement for both academic researchers and practitioners. The stakeholder perspective on value offered in this paper draws attention to those factors that are most closely associated with building more value for stakeholders, and in so doing, allows academics to better measure it and enhances managerial ability to create it. (shrink)
Scheibe is one of the most important philosophers of science in Germany. He has written extensively on all the problems that confront the philosophy of physics: rationalism vs. empiricism; reductionism; the foundations of quantum mechanics; space-time, and much more. Since little of his work has been translated into English, he is not yet well known internationally. However, this collection of some 40 of his papers will remedy this unfortunate situation.
Hermann Weyl was one of the early contributors to the mathematics of general relativity. This article argues that in 1929, for the formulation of a general relativistic framework of the Dirac equation, he both abolished and preserved in modified form the conceptual perspective that he had developed earlier in his “analysis of the problem of space.” The ideas of infinitesimal congruence from the early 1920s were aufgehoben in the general relativistic framework for the Dirac equation. He preserved the central idea (...) of gauge as a “purely infinitesimal” aspect of symmetries in a group extension schema. With respect to methodology, however, Weyl gave up his earlier preferences for relatively a-priori arguments and tried to incorporate as much empiricism as he could. This signified a clearly expressed empirical turn for him. Moreover, in this step he emphasized that the mathematical objects used for the representation of matter structures stood at the center of the construction, rather than interaction fields which, in the early 1920s, he had considered as more or less derivable from geometrico-philosophical considerations. (shrink)
To attain individual morality in an age demanding social morality, to pride oneself on the results of personal effort when the time demands social adjustment, is utterly to fail to apprehend the situation.melioration of most social problems today—problems like health care and environmental justice—requires a feminist pragmatist methodology1 because many of these problems are not only dynamically complex, but inherently wicked. That is, many of our social problems today are characterized by intense disagreement between fragmented stakeholders, multiple and often conflicting (...) objectives, as well as high levels of uncertainty, variability, and risk. While the burgeoning field of wicked problems implicitly relies on a .. (shrink)
The concept of wicked problems has inspired researchers in a variety of research fields, but it has also led to various discussions on, for instance, conceptual confusion and ways to tackle such complex problems. Many contemporary problems can be characterized as wicked problems: their nature is complex and there is no one best possible way to solve them. During the last decades, many insights have been developed to define characteristics of wicked problems and ways to tackle them. At present, however, (...) we need to examine the actionable knowledge accumulated in the literature to address the challenges that wicked problems create. Given the above, this introductory paper summarizes how wicked problems have evolved, what we have already learnt about them, and what scientific insights are needed to move forward. This systematic review can provide new knowledge that can lead to the development and subsequent evaluation of the wicked problems research area. (shrink)
The seven deadly sins have provided gossip, amusement, and the plots of morality plays for nearly fifteen hundred years. In Wicked Pleasures, well-known philosopher, business ethicist, and admitted sinner Robert C. Solomon brings together a varied group of contributors for a new look at the old catalogue of sins. Solomon introduces the sins as a group, noting their popularity and pervasiveness. From the formation of the canon by Pope Gregory the Great, the seven have survived the sermonizing of the Reformation, (...) the Inquisition, the Enlightenment, the brief French reign of supreme reason, the apotheoses of capitalism, communism, secular humanism and postmodernism, the writings of numerous rabbis and evangelical moralists, two series in the New York Times, and several bad movies. Taking their cue from this remarkable history, the contributors, including Thomas Pynchon, allowed one sin apiece, provide a non-sermonizing and relatively light-hearted romp through the domain of the deadly seven. (shrink)
This innovative volume presents an insightful philosophical portrait of the life and work of Arthur Schopenhauer. Focuses on the concept of the sublime as it clarifies Schopenhauer’s aesthetic theory, moral theory and asceticism Explores the substantial relationships between Schopenhauer’s philosophy and Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity Defends Schopenhauer’s position that absolute truth can be known and described as a blindly striving, all-permeating, universal “Will” Examines the influence of Asian philosophy on Schopenhauer Describes the relationships between Schopenhauer’s thought and that of Hegel, (...) Nietzsche, and Wittgenstein. (shrink)
As a commentator, citizen, and advisor, Daniel Yankelovich has had a long career reporting and analyzing national issues, trends, and opinions. Here, he shares the philosophical foundation of his successful career and revisits some of his breakthrough experiences, drawing insightful conclusions applicable to our current condition.
In this article, the morality in the “wickedness” of design problems as wicked problems is explored. I will use for that purpose the characteristics of wicked problems as identified by Horst Rittel and Melvin Webber. These characteristics suggest interdisciplinary thinking for solving such problems. An awareness of the wicked nature of design problems can stimulate proper use of the concept of utopias for solving these problems. I will use the philosophy of Herman Dooyeweerd to provide a framework for understanding the (...) nature of design problems as wicked problems. (shrink)