The rational-agent frame of reference for the analysis of corporate strategic decision-making may be expanded to a moral-agent perspective where decision content is seen as comprising both commercial and ethical factors. Relevant factors may then be classified on the basis of the ethical decision principles to which they relate: rational-egoism, self-referential altruism or deontology. This approach is then applied to the problem of decision support for strategic divestment by MNCs.
In perception science, an alternative to focusing on individual sensory systems is to describe the environment to be perceived. We focus on the emergent dynamics of human-environment interactions as an important category of the environment to be perceived. We argue that information about such dynamics is available in subtle patterns of movement variability that, of necessity, stimulate multiple sensory systems.
ABSTRACTBesides physiological, behavioural, and affective effects, romantic love also has cognitive effects. In this study, we tested whether individual differences in infatuation and/or attachment level predict impaired interference control even in the absence of a love booster procedure, and whether individual differences in attachment level predict reduced adaptive cognitive control as measured by conflict adaptation and post-error slowing. Eighty-three young adults who had recently fallen in love completed a Stroop-like task, which yielded reliable indices of interference control and adaptive cognitive (...) control. We did not observe the predicted negative association between infatuation or attachment level and interference control. It might be that reduced interference control with love only happens when people are actively thinking about their beloved. In addition, we observed only weak evidence for the prediction t... (shrink)
Hugh of Saint-Victor's De Sacramentis is usually regarded as an early summa of theology. As such it has been regarded as not totally satisfying, lacking a clearness of its conceptual system when compared with the work of e.g. Peter the Lombard. What may make up for this lack of system and even confer coherence, be it on a different level, is Hugh's pedagogical view of creation and salvation history, as it shows most clearly in his tropological digressions. In his exposition (...) of the history of salvation as it unfolds since the very beginning, Hugh incorporates the process by which the monk can not only follow the story of the macrocosm, but at the same time can read his self into being, allowing recognition of ambivalence from the start, and thus presenting a multi-demensional view of being human. In the same way as, on the cosmic level, any pre-lapsarian state of innocence exhibits a flaw from the very beginning, so the life of man is in a permanent state of ambiguity. This ambiguity is the framework for man as a moral being. Only within the possibility of choice can man be just or happy, without choice justus and beatus have no real significance. Matters are shown to be even more complicated when, in the story of Eve Hugh draws attention to her doubtful interpretation of God's command, as a factor which precedes her choice. In this way, De Sacramentis is not only a doctrina in our sense of the content of Christian dogma, but it offers the monk a point to which he can attach and conform his intentio: by bringing his intentio in form with the story about creation and fall and reparation, the reader can in fact effect the necessary reparatio, consisting of knowledge of truth and love of virtue. (shrink)
We propose a new approach for tracing value change. Value change may lead to a mismatch between current value priorities in society and the values for which technologies were designed in the past, such as energy technologies based on fossil fuels, which were developed when sustainability was not considered a very important value. Better anticipating value change is essential to avoid a lack of social acceptance and moral acceptability of technologies. While value change can be studied historically and qualitatively, we (...) propose a more quantitative approach that uses large text corpora. It uses probabilistic topic models, which allow us to trace values that are latent. We demonstrate the approach for five types of value change in technology. Our approach is useful for testing hypotheses about value change, such as verifying whether value change has occurred and identifying patterns of value change. The approach can be used to trace value change for various technologies and text corpora, including scientific articles, newspaper articles, and policy documents. (shrink)
In this article, an ethical analysis of an educational programme on renal replacement therapy options for patients and their social network is presented. The two main spearheads of this approach are: (1) offering an educational programme on all renal replacement therapy options ahead of treatment requirement and (2) a home-based approach involving the family and friends of the patient. Arguments are offered for the ethical justification of this approach by considering the viewpoint of the various stakeholders involved. Finally, reflecting on (...) these ethical considerations, essential conditions for carrying out such a programme are outlined. The goal is to develop an ethically justified and responsible educational programme. (shrink)
ABSTRACTMajor depressive disorder is a prevalent condition with high relapse rates. There is evidence that cognitive reactivity is an important vulnerability factor for the recurrence of depression. Mindfulness-based interventions are designed to reduce relapse rates, with cognitive reactivity as one of the proposed working mechanisms. In a randomised controlled trial we compared the effect of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy with treatment-as-usual on cognitive reactivity in recurrently depressed patients. Depressive symptoms, cognitive reactivity, and mindfulness skills were assessed pre and post treatment. Patients (...) in the MBCT group reported a significantly greater reduction in cognitive reactivity than those in the TAU group. The reduction of cognitive reactivity appeared to mediate the association between MBCT/TAU and decrease of depressive symptoms, using pre and post scores. The current study provides evidence that MBCT reduces cognitive reactivity and preliminar... (shrink)
PurposeTo explore the mindfulness practice, its long-term effects, facilitators and barriers, in clinical clerkship students 2 years after participation in an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction training.MethodA qualitative study was performed by semi-structured in-depth interviews with 16 clinical clerkship students selected by purposive sampling. Students had participated in a MBSR training 2 years before and were asked about their current mindfulness practice, and the long-term effects of the MBSR training. Thematic analysis was conducted using the constant comparison method. Data saturation was (...) reached after 16 interviews.ResultsMost interviewees were still engaged in regular, predominantly informal, mindfulness practice, although some discontinued mindfulness practice and reported an “unchanged lifestyle.” Three main themes came forward; “focused attention and open awareness” during daily activities as core elements of long-term mindfulness practice; “changes in behavior and coping” that resulted from taking a pause, reflecting, recognizing automatic behavioral patterns and making space for a conscious response; “integration in personal and professional life” by enhanced enjoyment of daily activities, improved work-life-balance and making different career choices. Barriers and facilitators in starting and maintaining mindfulness practice were understanding and intention as “pre-conditions”; practical, personal, and professional factors of students in maintaining practice.ConclusionTwo years after participation in a MBSR training, many interviewees were still engaged in mindfulness practice contributing to both personal and professional changes. In light of the high clerkship demands, MBSR training could be a valuable addition to medical curricula, supporting medical students in developing necessary competencies to become well-balanced professionals. (shrink)
About one third of patients with epilepsy have seizures refractory to the medical treatment. Electrical stimulation mapping is the gold standard for the identification of “eloquent” areas prior to resection of epileptogenic tissue. However, it is time-consuming and may cause undesired side effects. Broadband gamma activity recorded with extraoperative electrocorticography during cognitive tasks may be an alternative to ESM but until now has not proven of definitive clinical value. Considering their role in cognition, the alpha and beta bands could further (...) improve the identification of eloquent cortex. We compared gamma, alpha and beta activity, and their combinations for the identification of eloquent cortical areas defined by ESM. Ten patients with intractable focal epilepsy participated in a delayed-match-to-sample task, where syllable sounds were compared to visually presented letters. We used a generalized linear model approach to find the optimal weighting of each band for predicting ESM-defined categories and estimated the diagnostic ability by calculating the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve. Gamma activity increased more in eloquent than in non-eloquent areas, whereas alpha and beta power decreased more in eloquent areas. Diagnostic ability of each band was close to 0.7 for all bands but depended on multiple factors including the time period of the cognitive task, the location of the electrodes and the patient’s degree of attention to the stimulus. We show that diagnostic ability can be increased by 3–5% by combining gamma and alpha and by 7.5–11% when gamma and beta were combined. We then show how ECoG power modulation from cognitive testing can be used to map the probability of eloquence in individual patients and how this probability map can be used in clinical settings to optimize ESM planning. We conclude that the combination of gamma and beta power modulation during cognitive testing can contribute to the identification of eloquent areas prior to ESM in patients with refractory focal epilepsy. (shrink)
Mastery imagery is used to regulate anxiety. The ability to image this content is associated with trait confidence and anxiety, but research examining mastery imagery ability's association with confidence and anxiety in response to a stressful event is scant. The present study examined whether trait mastery imagery ability mediated the relationship between confidence and anxiety, and the subsequent associations on performance in response to an acute psychological stress. Participants completed assessments of mastery imagery ability and engaged in a standardized acute (...) psychological stress task. Immediately prior to the task, confidence, cognitive and somatic anxiety intensity, and interpretation of anxiety symptoms regarding the task were assessed. Path analyses supported a model whereby mastery imagery ability mediated the relationship between confidence and cognitive and somatic anxiety interpretation. Greater mastery imagery ability and confidence were both directly associated with better performance on the stress task. Mastery imagery ability may help individuals experience more facilitative anxiety and perform better during stressful tasks. Improving mastery imagery ability by enhancing self-confidence may help individuals successfully cope with anxiety elicited during stressful situations. (shrink)
In defining physical (i.e. causal dynamic) units to which conscious experience is to be ascribed, integrated information theory (IIT) raises three notable requirements: (1) that a unit to which consciousness is ascribed must be defined, or circumscribed, by some intrinsic aspect or property, where intrinsic implies existing 'for itself' or 'from its point of view'; (2) that the intrinsic aspect that defines the unit to which consciousness is ascribed must be dynamic (i.e. involve causal power) rather than purely structural or (...) kinematic; (3) that this dynamic aspect must involve the integration of elements of information in such a way that semantic values of elements are interdependent, allowing rich meaning. It will be argued that, although these requirements are all well-motivated, IIT falls short on them within a testable natural science framework. Concerns raised about the three requirements all point towards one central problem: that the concept of 'integrated information' does not involve any specific causal relation. Although IIT starts from strictly causal premises, the final analysis appears to invoke two incompatible accounts of the same events, with 'integration' having no causal relational basis. It will also be argued that the way IIT attempts to provide a testable theory of dynamic units to which consciousness is ascribed mustcausal reason inherent in any means of testing, be at best redundant for in the human case and, as a general principle, untenable. (shrink)