Supportive peer relationships are crucial for mental and physical health. Early adolescence is an especially important period in which peer influence and school environment strongly shape psychological development and maturation of core social-emotional regulatory functions. Yet, there is no integrated evidence based model of SPR in this age group to inform future research and practice. The current meta-analysis synthetizes evidence from 364 studies into an integrated model of potential determinants of SPR in early adolescence. The model encompasses links with 93 (...) variables referring to individual and environmental potential influences on SPR based on cross-sectional correlational data. Findings suggest the central importance of identity and social–emotional skills in SPR. School environment stands out as a compelling setting for future prevention programs. Finally, we underscore an alarming gap of research on the influence of the virtual and online environment on youth's social realm given its unquestionable importance as a globally expanding social interaction setting. Hence, we propose an integrated model that can serve as organizational framework, which may ultimately lead to the adoption of a more structured and integrated approach to understanding peer relationship processes in youth and contribute to overcoming marked fragmentation in the field. (shrink)
Oregon is the only state in the United States where a physician may legally prescribe a lethal dose of barbiturate for a patient intending suicide. The Oregon Death with Dignity Act was passed by voters in 1994 and came into effect after much legal wrangling in October of 1997. At the same time, a cabinetmaker named Pat Matheny was struggling with progressive weakness from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. I met with Pat and his family for a lengthy interview in (...) October 1998 in Coos Bay, Oregon, for a television news report on his decision to get a lethal prescription. Below is an extract from that interview. On the day this introduction was written, 10 March 1999, Pat took the prescribed lethal overdose of barbiturates and died at home. His illness was taking his voice, he could not move his hands or legs, and breathing was becoming very difficult. His mother told me he knew that was for him. (shrink)
Down Girl is a broad, original, and far ranging analysis of what misogyny really is, how it works, its purpose, and how to fight it. The philosopher Kate Manne argues that modern society's failure to recognize women's full humanity and autonomy is not actually the problem. She argues instead that it is women's manifestations of human capacities -- autonomy, agency, political engagement -- is what engenders misogynist hostility.
Socrates famously compares himself to a midwife in Plato's Theaetetus. Much less well known is the developed metaphor of pregnancy at the centre of the initiation ritual that begins Brahmanical education. In this ritual, called Upanayana, the teacher is presented as becoming pregnant with the student. The Arthavaveda states: The teacher leads the student towards himself, makes him an embryo within; he bears him in his belly three nights.
'This is an excellent book. It addresses what, in both conceptual and political terms, is arguably the most important source of tension and confusion in current arguments about the environment, namely the concept of nature; and it does so in a way that is both sensitive to, and critical of, the two antithetical ways of understanding this that dominate existing discussions.' Russell Keat, University of Edinburgh.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has existed in name for over 70 years. It is practiced in many countries and it is studied in academia around the world. However, CSR is not a universally adopted concept as it is understood differentially despite increasing pressures for its incorporation into business practices. This lack of a clear definition is complicated by the use of ambiguous terms in the proffered definitions and disputes as to where corporate governance is best addressed by many of the (...) national bodies legislating, mandating, or recommending CSR. This article explores the definitions of CSR as published on the Internet by governments in four countries (United Kingdom (UK), France, the United States, and Canada). We look for a consensus of understanding in an attempt to propose a more universal framework to enhance international adoption and practice of CSR using the triple bottom line. Our results concur with the findings of both national and international bodies and suggest that both within and among the countries in our study there exists no clear definition of the concept of CSR. While there are some similarities, there are substantial differences that must be addressed. We present a number of proposals for a more universal framework to define CSR. (shrink)
One variety of love is familiar in everyday life and qualifies in every reasonable sense as a reactive attitude. ‘Reactive love’ is paradigmatically (a) an affectionate attachment to another person, (b) appropriately felt as a non-self-interested response to particular kinds of morally laudable features of character expressed by the loved one in interaction with the lover, and (c) paradigmatically manifested in certain kinds of acts of goodwill and characteristic affective, desiderative and other motivational responses (including other-regarding concern and a desire (...) to be with the beloved). ‘Virtues of intimacy’ as expressed in interaction with the lover are agent-relative reasons for reactive love, and like other reactive attitudes, reactive love generates reasons in its own right. Within a broad conception of the virtues, reactive love sheds light on the reactive attitudes more generally. (shrink)
GPs usually care for their patients for an extended period of time, therefore, requests to not only discontinue a patient’s treatment but to assist a patient in a suicide are likely to create intensely stressful situations for physicians. However, in order to ensure the best patient care possible, the competent communication about the option of physician assisted suicide as well as the assessment of the origin and sincerity of the request are very important. This is especially true, since patients’ requests (...) for PAS can also be an indicator for unmet needs or concerns. Twenty-three qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted to in-depth explore this multifaceted, complex topic while enabling GPs to express possible difficulties when being asked for assistance. The analysis of the gathered data shows three main themes why GPs may find it difficult to professionally communicate about PAS: concerns for their own psychological well-being, conflicting personal values or their understanding of their professional role. In the discussion part of this paper we re-assess these different themes in order to ethically discuss and analyse how potential barriers to professional communication concerning PAS could be overcome. (shrink)
Does the morality of abortion depend on the moral status of the human fetus? Must the law of abortion presume an answer to the question of when personhood begins? Can a law which permits late abortion but not infanticide be morally justified? These are just some of the questions this book sets out to address. With an extended analysis of the moral and legal status of abortion, Kate Greasley offers an alternative account to the reputable arguments of Ronald Dworkin and (...) Judith Jarvis Thomson and instead brings the philosophical notion of 'personhood' to the foreground of this debate. Structured in three parts, the book will consider the relevance of prenatal personhood for the moral and legal evaluation of abortion; trace the key features of the conventional debate about when personhood begins and explore the most prominent issues in abortion ethics literature: the human equality problem and the difference between abortion and infanticide; and examine abortion law and regulation as well as the differing attitudes to selective abortion. The book concludes with a snapshot into the current controversy surrounding the scope of the right to conscientiously object to participation in abortion provision. (shrink)
Food security is becoming an increasingly relevant topic in the Global North, especially in urban areas. Because such areas do not always have good access to nutritionally adequate food, the question of how to supply them is an urgent priority in order to maintain a healthy population. Urban and peri-urban agriculture, as sources of local fresh food, could play an important role. Whereas some scholars do not differentiate between peri-urban and urban agriculture, seeing them as a single entity, our hypothesis (...) is that they are distinct, and that this has important consequences for food security and other issues. This has knock-on effects for food system planning and has not yet been appropriately analysed. The objectives of this study are to provide a systematic understanding of urban and peri-urban agriculture in the Global North, showing their similarities and differences, and to analyse their impact on urban food security. To this end, an extensive literature review was conducted, resulting in the identification and comparison of their spatial, ecological and socio-economic characteristics. The findings are discussed in terms of their impact on food security in relation to the four levels of the food system: food production, processing, distribution and consumption. The results show that urban and peri-urban agriculture in the Global North indeed differ in most of their characteristics and consequently also in their ability to meet the food needs of urban inhabitants. While urban agriculture still meets food needs mainly at the household level, peri-urban agriculture can provide larger quantities and has broader distribution pathways, giving it a separate status in terms of food security. Nevertheless, both possess potential, making them valuable for urban food planning, and both face similar threats regarding urbanisation pressures, necessitating adequate planning measures. (shrink)
Internalists about reasons following Bernard Williams claim that an agent’s normative reasons for action are constrained in some interesting way by her desires or motivations. In this paper, I offer a new argument for such a position—although one that resonates, I believe, with certain key elements of Williams’ original view. I initially draw on P.F. Strawson’s famous distinction between the interpersonal and the objective stances that we can take to other people, from the second-person point of view. I suggest that (...) we should accept Strawson’s contention that the activity of reasoning with someone about what she ought to do naturally belongs to the interpersonal mode of interaction. I also suggest that reasons for an agent to perform some action are considerations which would be apt to be cited in favor of that action, within an idealized version of this advisory social practice. I then go on to argue that one would take leave of the interpersonal stance towards someone—thus crossing the line, so to speak—in suggesting that she do something one knows she wouldn’t want to do, even following an exhaustive attempt to hash it out with her. An internalist necessity constraint on reasons is defended on this basis. (shrink)
By looking at the politics of classification within machine learning systems, this article demonstrates why the automated interpretation of images is an inherently social and political project. We begin by asking what work images do in computer vision systems, and what is meant by the claim that computers can “recognize” an image? Next, we look at the method for introducing images into computer systems and look at how taxonomies order the foundational concepts that will determine how a system interprets the (...) world. Then we turn to the question of labeling: how humans tell computers which words will relate to a given image. What is at stake in the way AI systems use these labels to classify humans, including by race, gender, emotions, ability, sexuality, and personality? Finally, we turn to the purposes that computer vision is meant to serve in our society—the judgments, choices, and consequences of providing computers with these capacities. Methodologically, we call this an archeology of datasets: studying the material layers of training images and labels, cataloguing the principles and values by which taxonomies are constructed, and analyzing how these taxonomies create the parameters of intelligibility for an AI system. By doing this, we can critically engage with the underlying politics and values of a system, and analyze which normative patterns of life are assumed, supported, and reproduced. (shrink)
Human microbiome research makes causal connections between entire microbial communities and a wide array of traits that range from physiological diseases to psychological states. To evaluate these causal claims, we first examine a well-known single-microbe causal explanation: of Helicobacter pylori causing ulcers. This apparently straightforward causal explanation is not so simple, however. It does not achieve a key explanatory standard in microbiology, of Koch’s postulates, which rely on manipulations of single-microorganism cultures to infer causal relationships to disease. When Koch’s postulates (...) are framed by an interventionist causal framework, it is clearer what the H. pylori explanation achieves and where its explanatory strengths lie. After assessing this ‘simple’, single-microbe case, we apply the interventionist framework to two key areas of microbiome research, in which obesity and mental health states are purportedly explained by microbiomes. Despite the experimental data available, interventionist criteria for explanation show that many of the causal claims generated by microbiome research are weak or misleading. We focus on the stability, specificity and proportionality of proposed microbiome causal explanations, and evaluate how effectively these dimensions of causal explanation are achieved in some promising avenues of research. We suggest some conceptual and explanatory strategies to improve how causal claims about microbiomes are made. (shrink)
What makes certain mental states subject to evaluation with respect to norms of rationality and justification, and others arational? In this paper, I develop and defend an account that explains why belief is governed by, and so appropriately subject to, evaluation with respect to norms of rationality and justification, one that does justice to the complexity of our evaluative practice in this domain. Then, I sketch out a way of extending the account to explain when and why other kinds of (...) mental states are rationally evaluable. I argue that the cognitive or psychological mechanisms that give rise to and sustain our mental states help to render our mental states appropriate targets for evaluation with respect to norms of rationality and justification when the operation of these mechanisms is responsive, in a specific way, to our judgments about which kinds of considerations constitute rationalizing and justifying reasons for being in states of the relevant sort. (shrink)
According to the normativist, it is built into the nature of belief itself that beliefs are subject to a certain set of norms. I argue here that only a normativist account can explain certain non-normative facts about what it takes to have the capacity for belief. But this way of defending normativism places an explanatory burden on any normativist account that an account on which a truth norm is explanatorily fundamental simply cannot discharge. I develop an alternative account that can (...) achieve explanatory adequacy where this sort of truth privileging account falls short. (shrink)
The antinomy of teleological judgment is one of the most controversial passages of Kant’s "Critique of the Power of Judgment". Having developed the idea of an explanation of organized beings by mechanical and teleological natural laws in §§ 61-68, in §§ 69-78 Kant raises the question of whether higher order mechanical and teleological natural laws, which unify the particular empirical laws of organized beings, might pose an antinomy of conflicting principles within the power of judgment. I will argue against alternative (...) views that this antinomy is neither a conflict between objective constitutive principles of the determining power of judgment nor a conflict between an objective constitutive principle of the determining power of judgment and a subjective regulative maxim of the reflecting power of judgment nor does it consist in a confusion of a pair of subjective regulative maxims of the reflecting power of judgment with a pair of objective constitutive principles of the determining power of judgment, but does consist in an apparent conflict between mechanical and teleological natural laws as subjective regulative maxims of the reflecting power of judgment. I will further argue that Kant’s resolution of the antinomy consists in the regulative idea of a supersensible that represents the unity of both kinds of natural laws and justifies the unification of both kinds of natural laws in the human power of judgment. Kant uses three notions when he talks about the supersensible – the regulative idea of a divine artisan, the regulative idea of a divine intuitive understanding, and the regulative idea of an underdetermined, supernatural ground of nature. I will show how each of these notions accounts for the unity of both kinds of natural laws and will discuss possible correlations between them. I will then explain how the unity of both kinds of natural laws in the regulative idea of a supersensible accounts for the unification of both kinds of natural laws in the human power of judgment. While the divine intuitive understanding is perfect and uncreated and, thus, capable of a representation of the unity of both kinds of natural laws, the human discursive understanding is imperfect and created; it is capable only of the representation of the unification of both kinds of natural laws in form of a hierarchy of laws. (shrink)
Ein textnaher, fortlaufender Kommentar zu Kants Lehre von organisierten Wesen in der „Kritik der Urteilskraft“ ist ein Desiderat sowohl der Kantforschung als auch der Philosophie und Geschichte der Lebenswissenschaften. Auch gibt es bisher nur wenige Lesarten, die Kants Philosophie der Biologie im Ganzen erschließen und versuchen, sie in die vielschichtigen historischen Kontexte der frühneuzeitlichen Naturforschung einzuordnen. Das vorliegende Buch schließt diese Lücken. Es verteidigt die Thesen, dass Kant organisierte Wesen durch drei Arten von Kräften und Gesetzen charakterisiert – durch mechanische, (...) physisch teleologische und moralteleologische Krätfe und Gesetze – deren Vereinbarkeit im Bewusstsein des Menschen, und in der Erfahrungswelt, so, wie sie dem Menschen erscheint, auf der regulativen Idee ihrer Einheit im schöpferischen, theoretisch praktischen Bewusstsein Gottes beruht. Kants Lehre von organisierten Wesen kann als Verbindung einer gemäßigten, weder animalkulistisch noch ovistisch vereinseitigten, Präformationslehre mit einer vitalistischen Spielart der Epigenesislehre verstanden werden. – Weiterführende und provokative Einsichten für eine der bewegtesten Debatten der gegenwärtigen Kantforschung. (shrink)
There are growing discontinuities between the research practices of data science and established tools of research ethics regulation. Some of the core commitments of existing research ethics regulations, such as the distinction between research and practice, cannot be cleanly exported from biomedical research to data science research. Such discontinuities have led some data science practitioners and researchers to move toward rejecting ethics regulations outright. These shifts occur at the same time as a proposal for major revisions to the Common Rule—the (...) primary regulation governing human-subjects research in the USA—is under consideration for the first time in decades. We contextualize these revisions in long-running complaints about regulation of social science research and argue data science should be understood as continuous with social sciences in this regard. The proposed regulations are more flexible and scalable to the methods of non-biomedical research, yet problematically largely exclude data science methods from human-subjects regulation, particularly uses of public datasets. The ethical frameworks for Big Data research are highly contested and in flux, and the potential harms of data science research are unpredictable. We examine several contentious cases of research harms in data science, including the 2014 Facebook emotional contagion study and the 2016 use of geographical data techniques to identify the pseudonymous artist Banksy. To address disputes about application of human-subjects research ethics in data science, critical data studies should offer a historically nuanced theory of “data subjectivity” responsive to the epistemic methods, harms and benefits of data science and commerce. (shrink)
We often make a distinction between what we owe as a matter of repayment, and what we give or offer out of charity. But how shall we describe our obligations to fellow citizens when we are in a position to be charitable because of a past injustice on the part of the state? This essay examines the moral implications of past injustice by considering Immanuel Kant's remarks on this phenomenon in his lectures and writings. In particular, it discusses the role (...) of the state and the individual in addressing the problem. (shrink)
There is an apparent tension between Immanuel Kant's model of moral agency and his often-neglected philosophy of moral education. On the one hand, Kant's account of moral knowledge and decision-making seems to be one that can be self-taught. Kant's famous categorical imperative and related 'fact of reason' argument suggest that we learn the content and application of the moral law on our own. On the other hand, Kant has a sophisticated and detailed account of moral education that goes well beyond (...) the kind of education a person would receive in the course of ordinary childhood experience. The task of this paper will be to reconcile these seemingly conflicting claims. Ultimately, I argue, Kant's philosophy of education makes sense as a part of his moral theory if we look not only at individual moral decisions, but also at the goals or ends that these moral decisions are intended to achieve. In Kant's case, this end is what he calls the highest good, and, I argue, the most coherent account of the highest good is a kind of ethical community and end of history, similar to the Groundwork 's realm of ends. Seen as a tool to bring about and sustain such a community, Kant's philosophy of moral education exists as a coherent and important part of his moral philosophy. (shrink)
Art theory has consistently emphasised the importance of situational, cultural, institutional and historical factors in viewers’ experience of fine art. However, the link between this heavily context-dependent interpretation and the workings of the mind is often left unexamined. Drawing on relevance theory—a prominent, cogent and productive body of work in cognitive pragmatics—we here argue that fine art achieves its effects by prompting the use of cognitive processes that are more commonly employed in the interpretation of words and other stimuli presented (...) in a communicative context. We describe in particular how institutional factors effectively co-opt these processes for new ends, allowing viewers to achieve cognitive effects that they otherwise would not, and so provide cognitivist backing for an Institutional Theory of Art, such as that put forward by Arthur Danto. More generally, we situate and describe the Western fine art tradition as a phenomenon that is a consequence of both the cognitive processes involved in communication, and of cultural norms, practices and institutions. (shrink)
This book features opening arguments followed by two rounds of reply between two moral philosophers on opposing sides of the abortion debate. In the opening essays, Kate Greasley and Christopher Kaczor lay out what they take to be the best case for and against abortion rights. In the ensuing dialogue, they engage with each other's arguments and each responds to criticisms fielded by the other. Their conversational argument explores such fundamental questions as: what gives a person the right to life? (...) Is abortion bad for women? What is the difference between abortion and infanticide? Underpinned by philosophical reasoning and methodology, this book provides opposing and clearly structured perspectives on a highly emotive and controversial issue. The result gives readers a window into how moral philosophers argue about the contentious issue of abortion rights, and an in-depth analysis of the compelling arguments on both sides. (shrink)
Although corporate social responsibility practice increasingly addresses gender issues, and gender and CSR scholarship is expanding, feminist theory is rarely explicitly referenced or discussed in the CSR literature. We contend that this omission is a key limitation of the field. We argue that CSR theorization and research on gender can be improved through more explicit and systematic reference to feminist theories, and particularly those from feminist organization studies. Addressing this gap, we review developments in feminist organization theory, mapping their relevance (...) to CSR. With reference to six major theoretical perspectives in CSR scholarship, we note feminist research relating to each. Drawing upon FOS theory and CSR theory, we then develop an integrated theoretical framework for the analysis of gender issues in CSR. Our framework enables us to identify research strengths in the gender and CSR literature, as well as gaps therein, to open new conversations and to posit future research directions for this emerging area of scholarship. Our paper illustrates how a better grounding of CSR in feminist theory can contribute to CSR research more broadly. (shrink)
?Vulnerability? is now a popular term in the lexicon of every-day life and a notion frequently drawn upon by policy-makers, academics, journalists, welfare workers and local authorities. This essay explores some of the ethical and practical implications of ?vulnerability? as a concept in social welfare. It highlights how ideas about vulnerability shape the ways in which we manage and classify people, justify state intervention in citizens? lives, allocate resources in society and define our social obligations. The lack of clarity and (...) limited analysis of the concept of ?vulnerability? in welfare arenas is highlighted as concerning, particularly given that those seen as most in need of support seem to be implicated in commonly held views about ?the vulnerable?. I argue that far from being innocuous, ?vulnerability? is so loaded with political, moral and practical implications that it is potentially damaging to the pursuit of social justice. Two opposing presentations of the notion are set out in order to illustrate that ?vulnerability? is a concept that should be handled with more care. (shrink)
Was Aristotle the ‘father’ and founder of the epigenesis doctrine? Historically, I will argue, this question must be answered with ‘no’. Aristotle did not initiate and had no access to a debate that described itself in terms of ‘epigenesis’ and ‘preformation’, and thus cannot be considered the ‘father’ or founder of the epigenesis-preformation controversy in a literal sense. But many ancient accounts of reproduction and embryological development contain analogies to what early modern scientist called ‘epigenesis’ and ‘preformation’, and, in this (...) analogous sense, Aristotle can be considered a precursor of the epigenesis-preformation controversy. But is Aristotle’s position actually epigenetic, as most of the traditional interpreters hold, or preformationist, as some of the recent scholars believe? I will argue against the one-sidedness of both readings that Aristotle’s account of reproduction and heredity contains mainly epigenetic, but also a few preformationist characteristics. Whereas, for instance, Aristotle’s idea of a successive development of the embryo’s parts is doubtlessly epigenetic, Aristotle’s idea that the development of the embryo is an actualization and enlargement of potential parts, which are simultaneously present in the semen, can be considered a preformationist feature. (shrink)
This article traces the "dialogue" between the work of the philosophers Luce Irigaray and Emmanuel Levinas. It attempts to construct a more nuanced discussion than has been given to date of Irigaray's critique of Levinas, particularly as formulated in "Questions to Emmanuel Levinas" (Irigaray 1991). It suggests that the concepts of the feminine and of voluptuosity articulated by Levinas have more to contribute to Irigaray's project of an ethics of sexual difference than she herself sometimes appears to think.
Calls for increasing integration of ethical considerations into business education are well documented. Business graduates are perceived to be ethically naive at best, and at worst, constrained in their moral development by the lack of ethical content in their courses. The pedagogic concern is to find effective methods of incorporating ethics into the fabric of business education. The purpose of this paper is to suggest and illustrate role play as an appropriate method for integrating ethical concerns.
This paper looks at the cultural transformation of nursing. It argues that introducing computers in a female occupation is not simply a case of imposing ‘male’ technology on ‘female’ care-oriented practices and values. In order to understand current changes of nursing practice, three points of view have to be simultaneously kept in focus: 1) the differences between women's interests and ambitions; 2) the readings of a technology that have already been established through previous examples of design and use (in hospitals (...) up to date primarily for the purpose of establishing discipline and management control); and 3) the social practices that dominate a field of work (in the case of health work the already technology-driven cure aspect). (shrink)
In this paper, I investigate the relation of Kant's theory of biology to epigenetic accounts of organic generation and development. In the literature, a dispute about similarities between Blumenbach's epigenetic account and Kant dominated the debate for many years (see Lenoir 1980, 1981, and 1982, 17–34, Richards 2000; 2002, 207–37; Look 2006, and van den Berg 2009). Some more recent interpreters claim that Wolff's, more than Blumenbach's account plays the pivotal role in the development of a vitalistic conception of epigenesis (...) in Kant (see Dupont 2007 and Huneman 2007). Although I myself hold the view that Kant's position contains preformistic and epigenetic characteristics, in the current paper I focus solely on an investigation of epigenetic elements in Kant's account and compare them to the corresponding epigenetic elements in Wolff's theory. Section I of the paper is devoted to an analysis of Wolff's most important epigenetic theorems: the notion of the essential power (vis essentialis) and the conception of the part-whole composition of organized matter. Although Wolff describes the essential power vitalisticly, as a principle of life, he understands it as the cause of mechanical motions explaining the generation, nourishment, and the growth of an organism. Wolff's model of the part-whole composition of organic matter is subtle, but committed to fundamental mechanistic assumptions, such as that the organism as a whole is composed of inorganic parts. In section II, I analyze the corresponding elements in Kant's theory: the notion of the formative power and the conception of the whole-part composition of organized materials. Kant describes the formative power as a principle that causes the purposive form of an organized being such that matter and mechanism are the means to the purpose of the being as their end. The purpose of the whole is a functional unit which is in principle superior to the form and matter of the subordinate parts. The parts are combined into such a whole in being mutually cause and effect of each other and in being related to the superior whole. In section III, I respond to the debate in the literature. Against Dupont (2007) and Huneman (2007) I argue that, according to Wolff, the vis essentialis accounts for mechanic effects in matter, whereas, according to Kant, the formative power explains the intentional order (form, end, purpose) of an individual organized being, its parts, and its species. Since this view is closer to Blumenbach than to Wolff, the ongoing comparison between Kant and Blumenbach in the literature is justified. However, the emphasis on the specific part-whole composition that Kant considers to be the determining feature of an organized being can be found only in Wolff and not in Blumenbach—though Wolff and Kant describe it in opposing ways. This increases the systematic importance of Wolff for Kant. Thus, a fresh look on the historical debate is required. (shrink)
Culture is a unique and fascinating aspect of the human species. How did it emerge and how does it develop? Richard Dawkins suggested culture evolves and that memes are cultural replicators, subject to variation and selection in the same way as genes are in the biological world. Thus human culture is the product of a mindless evolutionary algorithm. Does this imply, as some have argued, that we are mere meme machines and that the conscious self is an illusion? This highly (...) readable and accessible book extends Dawkins's theory, presenting for the first time a fully developed concept of cultural DNA. Distin argues that culture's development can be seen as the result of memetic evolution and as the product of human creativity. Memetic evolution is perfectly compatible with the view of humans as conscious and intelligent. This book should find a wide readership amongst philosophers, psychologists, sociologists and non-academic readers. (shrink)
This article examines the “Choice Argument” for sweatshops, i.e., the claim that it is morally wrong or impermissible for third parties to interfere with the choice of sweatshop workers to work in sweatshops. The Choice Argument seeks, in other words, to shift the burden of proof onto those who wish to regulate sweatshop labor. It does so by forcing critics of sweatshops to specify the conditions under which it is morally permissible to interfere with sweatshop workers’ choice. My aim in (...) this article is to meet that burden. Unlike other critics of sweatshop labor, however, my argument does not proceed from contested economic or moral assumptions. To the contrary, my strategy will be to demonstrate that even if we grant the truth of the economic and moral assumptions made by defenders of the Choice Argument, it never- theless does not follow that it is morally wrong to interfere with the choice of sweatshop workers to work in sweatshops. The Choice Argument thus fails on its own terms. (shrink)
Epistemic evaluation is often appropriately prescriptive in character because believers are often capable of exercising some kind of control—call it doxastic control—over the way in which they regulate their beliefs. An intuitively appealing and widely endorsed account of doxastic control—the immediate causal impact account—maintains that a believer exercises doxastic control when her judgments about how she ought to regulate her beliefs in a particular set of circumstances can cause the believer actually to regulate her beliefs in those circumstances as she (...) judges she ought to. I show here that the immediate causal impact account is ultimately untenable. Nevertheless, the immediate causal impact account gets something important about the nature of doxastic control right: exercising doxastic control involves being such that one’s conception of ideal belief regulation somehow shapes the way in which one actually regulates one’s beliefs. Thus, I develop here an alternative account according to which, insofar as she exercises doxastic control, a believer’s conception of ideal belief regulation shapes the way in which she actually believes by exerting causal power directly on her dispositions to regulate her beliefs in certain ways. I defend this alternative against other competitors by showing that it can be extended to supply a unified account of rational control that explains why evaluation with respect to the various different norms of rationality that govern the way in which we form, revise and sustain not only our beliefs, but also our intention, hopes, fears, etc. is often appropriately prescriptive. (shrink)
This paper investigates the potential and actual contribution of corporate social responsibility (CSR) to gender equality in a framework of gender mainstreaming (GM). It introduces GM as combining technical systems (monitoring, reporting, evaluating) with political processes (women’s participation in decision-making) and considers the ways in which this is compatible with CSR agendas. It examines the inclusion of gender equality criteria within three related CSR tools: human capital management (HCM) reporting, CSR reporting guidelines, and socially responsible investment (SRI) criteria on employee (...) and diversity issues. Although evidence is found of gender equality information being requested within several CSR related reporting frameworks, these requirements are mostly limited in scope, or remain optional elements. The nature and extent of relevant stakeholder opportunities are investigated to explain this unfulfilled potential. (shrink)
A high heritability estimate usually corresponds to a situation in which trait variation is largely caused by genetic variation. However, in some cases of gene-environment covariance, causal intuitions about the sources of trait difference can vary, leading experts to disagree as to how the heritability estimate should be interpreted. We argue that the source of contention for these cases is an inconsistency in the interpretation of the concepts ‘genotype’, ‘phenotype’, and ‘environment’. We propose an interpretation of these terms under which (...) trait variance initially caused by genetic variance is subsumed into a heritability for all cases of gene-environment covariance. (shrink)