In recent years, governments, businesses and other organisations have increasingly been forced to attempt to survive by reorganising themselves fundamentally. Although this happens at present on a large scale, it is not unprecedented. In fact, most organisations have had to change their working practises at some time for some reason—for example, when the competition catches up or when technology threatens to make production obsolete. The usual strategy is to fire part of the staff and to redistribute tasks. This tends to (...) put a heavy burden on staff. They have to search for other jobs or attempt re-skilling. Those remaining may face substantial changes in their relations to their managers, who will require changes … ‘or else’. The study reported in the paper focuses on people’s reactions to this approach. Some employees accept and leave. Others become aware of an opportunity to damage their company. Others again see a way to resist and change the way the managers behave and thereby turn around the company and maintain or increase the number of jobs. The study focuses on two questions. The first is how one should model or describe the behaviour of people in the third category, i.e. those wishing to contribute. It does not seem useful to follow one’s first hunch, i.e. to search for quantifiable patterns. People’s behaviour will always be contextualised as a reaction to what managers do. This suggests the use of qualitative methods. The second question is whether the concept of presence may clarify the behaviour and identify ways for employees to contribute positively to changes in their organisations. An obstacle to answering the second question is that qualitative methods focus on people’s experiences in some context, and on the emergence of their behaviour, but do not necessarily lead to suggestions on how to behave with what effect. It is attempted to answer the second question and thereby the first question with the aim of identifying what people may do who are not immediately fired or made redundant when fundamental organisational changes are introduced. Data have been collected from four companies that decided to initiate such changes in 2003–2004. (shrink)
Is inheritable genetic modification the new dividing line in gene therapy? The editors of this searching investigation, representing clinical medicine, public health and biomedical ethics, have established a distinguished team of scientists and scholars to address the issues from the perspectives of biological and social science, law and ethics, including an intriguing Foreword from Peter Singer. Their purpose is to consider how society might deal with the ethical concerns raised by inheritable genetic modification, and to re-examine prevailing views about whether (...) these procedures will ever be ethically and socially justifiable. The book also provides background to define the field, and discusses the biological and technological potential for inheritable genetic modification, its limitations, and its connection with gene therapy, cloning, and other reproductive interventions. For scientists, bioethicists, clinicians, counsellors and public commentators, this is an essential contribution to one of the critical debates in current genetics. (shrink)
The essays in this book engage the original and controversial claims from Michael Boylan's A Just Society. Each essay discusses Boylan's claims from a particular chapter and offers a critical analysis of these claims. Boylan responds to the essays in his lengthy and philosophically rich reply.
La teoría de números, o la aritmética pura, concierne a los números naturales mismos, no a la notación usada, y en particular no a los numerales. La teoría de ristras, o la sintaxis pura, concierne a los numerales como ristras de caracteres «no-interpretados», al margen de los números que puedan denotar cuando son usados. La teoría de los números es puramente aritmética, la teoría de ristras es puramente sintáctica… en tanto se considere el universo del discurso solo. La aritmética semántica (...) es un amplio tema que se inicia cuando se menciona a los numerales y éstos se mencionan como nombres de números. La aritmética semántica da lugar a muchos fascinantes y sorprendentes algoritmos y procesos de decisión; revela en forma vívida el importe experiencial de las proposiciones matemáticas y el poder predictivo del conocimiento matemático; aporta una interesante perspectiva para los estudios filosóficos, históricos y pedagógicos, acerca del crecimiento del conocimiento científico y del papel del discurso metalingüístico en el pensamiento científico. (shrink)
This paper examines farmer intentions to adapt to global climate change by analyzing responses to a climate change scenario presented in a survey given to large-scale farmers across the US Corn Belt in 2012. Adaptive strategies are evaluated in the context of decision making and farmers’ intention to increase their use of three production practices promoted across the Corn Belt: no-till farming, cover crops, and tile drainage. This paper also provides a novel conceptual framework that bridges a typology of adaptation (...) with concepts that help predict intentionality in behavior change models. This conceptual framework was developed to facilitate examination of adaptive decision making in the context of agriculture. This research effort examines key factors that influence farmers’ intentions to increase their use of the practices evaluated given a climate change scenario. Twenty-two covariates are examined across three models developed for no-till farming, cover crops, and tile drainage. Findings highlight that farmers who believed they should adjust their practices to protect their farm from the negative impacts of increased weather variability were more likely to indicate that they would increase their use of each of the practices in response to climate change. Additionally, visiting with other farmers to observe their practices was positively associated with farmers’ intentions to increase their use of the adaptive strategies examined. Farmers who were currently using no-till farming, cover crops, and tile drainage were also more likely to plan to increase their use of these practices in response to increased weather variability associated with climate change. However, farmers who reported high levels of confidence in their current practices were less likely to plan on changing their use of these practices in response to climatic changes. (shrink)
In this paper we contribute to “sociology in bioethics” and help clarify the range of ways sociological work can contribute to ethics scholarship. We do this using a case study of an innovative neurotechnology, functional magnetic resonance imaging, and its use to attempt to diagnose and communicate with severely brain-injured patients. We compare empirical data from interviews with relatives of patients who have a severe brain injury with perspectives from mainstream bioethics scholars. We use the notion of an “ethical landscape” (...) as an analogy for the different ethical positions subjects can take—whereby a person’s position relative to the landscape makes a difference to the way they experience and interact with it. We show that, in comparison to studying abstract ethics “from above” the ethical landscape, which involves universal generalizations and global judgements, studying ethics empirically “from the ground,” within the ethical landscape foregrounds a more plural and differentiated picture. We argue it is important not to treat empirical ethics as secondary to abstract ethics, to treat on-the-ground perspectives as useful only insofar as they can inform ethics from above. Rather, empirical perspectives can illuminate the plural vantage points in ethical judgments, highlight the “lived” nature of ethical reasoning, and point to all ethical vantage points as being significant. This is of epistemic importance to normative ethics, since researchers who pay attention to the various positions in and trajectories through the ethical landscape are unlikely to think about ethics in terms of abstract agency—as can happen with top-down ethics—or to elide agency with the agency of policymakers. Moreover, empirical perspectives may have transformative implications for people on the ground, especially where focus on the potential harms and benefits they face brings their experiences and interests to the forefront of ethical and policy discussion. (shrink)
I review Gabriel Richardson Lear's excellent essay on Aristotle’s conception of the human good. She solves some long-standing problems in the interpretation of Aristotle’s ethics by drawing on resources in his natural philosophy and Plato’s conception of love. Her interpretation is a compelling and, to my mind, largely true account of Aristotle’s view. In this review, I summarize the book's main argument and then explain two fundamental points on which I have concerns.
SUMMARYDuring the 1970s, widespread scientific interest in the risks of climate change prompted John A. Eddy, an astrophysicist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO, to investigate whether sunspots could be used to predict future climate changes. Methodologically, Eddy’s investigations were uniquely historical in nature. By interrogating old manuscripts of solar observations since the early seventeenth century, he identified what appeared to be a correlation between the so-called Maunder Minimum – a virtual cessation of sunspots between (...) 1645 and 1715 – and severely cold temperatures during the Little Ice Age. While he could not identify the physical mechanisms that governed solar-climate relationships, this historical episode fostered his curiosity. Fortuitously, Eddy’s solar-climate research coincided with efforts to use satellites to monitor and record variations in solar energy output, which in context constituted a significant development in managing environmental and technological risk.But using the Maunder Minimum to advance the frontiers of knowledge about solar-terrestrial relationships was not Eddy’s only – or even primary – motivation. In the mid-1840s, German astronomer Heinrich Schwabe discovered what appeared to be a decadal sunspot cycle, the existence of which inspired generations of astrophysicists to more precisely estimate its length as well as determine its underlying causes. Eddy, however, came to believe that the astronomical community failed to consider the implications of subsequent evidence suggesting that Schwabe's solar cycle was not an enduring characteristic of the sun. Instead, he reasoned that evidence offered by nineteenth-century European astronomers Gustav Sporer and Edward Maunder in the 1880s and 1890s had been entirely overlooked. But rather than arguing that their evidence was overlooked in error, Eddy identified what he cast as a conspiracy of wilful ignorance on the part of a staid and conservative astronomical community. By utilizing Eddy's private hand-written notes as they appeared in undergraduate lectures, public speeches and academic talks, as well as his appreciation for the seminal views of sociologist of science Thomas Kuhn, I show that Eddy sought to rectify this injustice by proposing a contrasting vision of science as an interdisciplinary, collaborative and creative process of exploring the ignored areas between scientific disciplines. (shrink)
Unwilling to adopt the radical ontologies that leading answers to van Inwagen's special composition question imply, Ned Markosian proposes that there is no true, non-trivial, and finitely long answer to the SCQ. On my usage, this makes Markosian a particularist about composition. I argue that an improved version of Markosian's particularism fails because it cannot explain how sense perception justifies many of the ordinary-object beliefs we base on it. I further argue that psychologists' research on object perception suggests that general (...) principles govern how we perceptually discriminate unified wholes from mere pluralities, and this narrows the range of answers to the SCQ available to commonsense ontologists. (shrink)
Pretende-se abordar como os argumentos luteranos ─ de natureza constitucional das "magistraturas inferiores" e de direito privado ─ acerca do direito de resistência, desenvolvidos no final da década de 1520 e início de 1530, foram recepcionados no _Segundo Tratado Sobre o Governo Civil_, de John Locke, escrito no século XVII. O argumento de direito privado compreende que todo governante que abandona as boas ações e se dedica a cometer atos tirânicos se despoja de sua autoridade e, consequentemente, deve ser (...) tratado como uma pessoa privada, portanto, sujeita ao lícito revide, o que configura uma espécie de legítima defesa. O argumento constitucional das "magistraturas inferiores" afirma a possibilidade de órgãos intermediários entre o governante e o povo estarem legitimados para oferecer resistência às tiranias. Em John Locke, ambos os argumentos objetivam a solução do problema da tirania para se obter liberdade política e religiosa. (shrink)
Na sua principal obra política, os _Dois Tratados Sobre o Governo_, Locke defende o direito do indivíduo de resistir ao soberano. Entretanto, segundo Locke, o ser humano abandona o estado de natureza voluntariamente para criar o Estado político com a esperança de que o poder político amenize as inconveniências do estado de natureza. Se a criação do Estado político foi voluntária, em que circunstâncias se deve resistir às determinações do soberano? Além disso, como fundamentar o direito de resistência ao soberano (...) que foi instituído com a permissão do próprio indivíduo que agora pretende resistir as suas determinações? O objetivo do presente texto é discutir os motivos pelos quais a defesa do direito de resistência se torna necessária no pensamento político de Locke, e de que forma e com quais fundamentos Locke defende tal direito no _Segundo Tratado Sobre o Governo_. Pretende-se reconstruir o argumento de Locke em defesa do direito de resistência a partir da análise da referida obra e seu contraste com o _Patriarcha _; do contexto histórico e de alguns dos seus principais comentadores.Ainda que, segundo Locke, o Estado tenha surgido para proteger os direitos individuais como a liberdade e a propriedade, o governante está sujeito a se corromper e utilizar sua posição para praticar a injustiça contra seus súditos. O direito de resistência, apoiado na lei da natureza que permanece em vigor mesmo no estado civil, é o último recurso dos indivíduos contra a tirania praticada pelo governante corrompido. (shrink)
The paper investigates the cultural unit of “sanctity” in the light of the notion of “form of life”, in order to show how jazz master John Coltrane pursued sanctity as a regulative model with regards both to personhood and musicianship, so as to translate his existential quest into music. Firstly, the paper briefly summarizes: what we mean today by sanctity ; what are the relationships interweaving music and sanctity ; what we mean by form of life—a notion brought into (...) philosophical discourse by Ludwig Wittgenstein—in semiotic terms and why we can apply it to sanctity. Afterwards, the paper addresses Coltrane’s musical career, relying both on hagiographic discourse built around him and his discography, with special focus on three game-changers among his albums: Giant Steps, A Love Supreme, and Ascension. Coltrane headed a twofold conversion: he abandoned his native Methodist faith to embrace a personal form of syncretic pantheism; he abandoned the language of traditional jazz to embrace the avant-garde technique of modal composition and the once despised free jazz. Not only Coltrane wanted to be a saint, not only was he regarded as such to the extent that a “St. John William Coltrane Church” was established in San Francisco, but he tried to be one through music; namely, by conveying his spiritual journey via sonic means: proposing a musical catechism, a musical mass, and his own mystique. Consistently with the process of selection any saintly figure—and mystiques especially—undergoes in order to be canonized stricto sensu, only some tokens within Coltrane’s body of work were included in the canon, while his later works were left out due to their radicalism. (shrink)
El problema de la intencionalidad ha sido el foco de discusiones losó cas desde sus inicios hasta el día de hoy y las diferentes explicaciones que se han dado al respecto han dado pie a la construcción de sistemas losó cos de todo tipo. Lo común a estos sistemas ha sido el uso del término intencionalidad, en sentido losó co, separado del de intención, en el sentido vulgar, pese a que ambos son actos voluntarios dirigidos hacia objetos. Dicho uso da (...) lugar a confusiones que evitan la producción de nuevo conocimiento y que, para ser aclaradas, implican un nuevo tratamiento de la intencionalidad, para la cual es útil la losofía del lenguaje y de la mente de John Searle. Mediante la lectura crítica de algunos de sus textos más representativos al respecto y de algunos autores que han hecho un análisis de ellos, este artículo comienza clari cando el concepto de intencionalidad, entendiéndolo como una característica, tanto de la conciencia, como de la voluntad. Luego, expone a grandes rasgos la teoría de la intencionalidad en John Searle, pasando de los actos de habla a los estados mentales. Por último, describe los rasgos constitutivos del lenguaje humano y lo compara con el lenguaje computacional. Se concluye que la intencionalidad es una característica hasta ahora exclusiva de los seres humanos y que está en directa relación con el lenguaje y el seguimiento de reglas. (shrink)
The principle of universal instantiation plays a pivotal role both in the derivation of intensional paradoxes such as Prior’s paradox and Kaplan’s paradox and the debate between necessitism and contingentism. We outline a distinctively free logical approach to the intensional paradoxes and note how the free logical outlook allows one to distinguish two different, though allied themes in higher-order necessitism. We examine the costs of this solution and compare it with the more familiar ramificationist approaches to higher-order logic. Our assessment (...) of both approaches is largely pessimistic, and we remain reluctantly inclined to take Prior’s and Kaplan’s derivations at face value. (shrink)