Although microfinance organizations are generally considered as inherently ethical, recent events have challenged the legitimacy of the sector. High interest rates and the excessive profitability of some market leaders have raised the question of how to define a fair profit level for social enterprise. In this article, we construct a fair profit framework based on four dimensions: profitability, social mission, pricing, and surplus distribution. We then apply this framework using an empirical sample of 496 microfinance institutions. Results indicate that satisfying (...) all four criteria is a difficult, although not impossible, task. According to our framework, 24 MFIs emerge as true double bottom line organizations. These MFIs are characterized by higher outreach to women, lower portfolio risk, and higher productivity in high-density environments such as South Asia. We argue that excessive profits can be better understood relative to pricing, the outreach of the MFI, and organizational commitment to clients in the form of reduced interest rates. (shrink)
In this interview, Cynthia Hammond sits down with Marc Lafrance in order to discuss the 30-year sketching practice that led to her exhibition, Drawings for a Thicker Skin, in 2012. In this practice, Hammond made small, quick drawings of the clothes she would need for trips or key professional events. As she explains, the drawings were not just essential to knowing what to pack; they were essential to being able to pack. While she never conceived of the practice as (...) art, when invited to exhibit the drawings she found a way to relate this idiosyncratic and private practice to a larger set of ontological concerns. Clothing as a second skin is the key idea here, as Hammond and Lafrance explore what it means to navigate identity, idealized self-image, professional ‘passing’ and the skin ego. (shrink)
Marc Hauser puts forth the theory that humans have evolved a universal moral instinct, unconsciously propelling us to deliver judgments of right and wrong independent of gender, education, and religion. Combining his cutting-edge research with the latest findings in cognitive psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, economics, and anthropology, Hauser explores the startling implications of his provocative theory vis-à-vis contemporary bioethics, religion, the law, and our everyday lives.
Counterfactuals all the way down? Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9437-9 Authors Jim Woodward, History and Philosophy of Science, 1017 Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA Barry Loewer, Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA John W. Carroll, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-8103, USA Marc Lange, Department of Philosophy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB#3125—Caldwell Hall, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3125, USA Journal Metascience (...) Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796 Journal Volume Volume 20 Journal Issue Volume 20, Number 1. (shrink)
Scientists have long counseled against interpreting animal behavior in terms of human emotions, warning that such anthropomorphizing limits our ability to understand animals as they really are. Yet what are we to make of a female gorilla in a German zoo who spent days mourning the death of her baby? Or a wild female elephant who cared for a younger one after she was injured by a rambunctious teenage male? Or a rat who refused to push a lever for food (...) when he saw that doing so caused another rat to be shocked? Aren’t these clear signs that animals have recognizable emotions and moral intelligence? With _Wild Justice_ Marc Bekoff and Jessica Pierce unequivocally answer yes. Marrying years of behavioral and cognitive research with compelling and moving anecdotes, Bekoff and Pierce reveal that animals exhibit a broad repertoire of moral behaviors, including fairness, empathy, trust, and reciprocity. Underlying these behaviors is a complex and nuanced range of emotions, backed by a high degree of intelligence and surprising behavioral flexibility. Animals, in short, are incredibly adept social beings, relying on rules of conduct to navigate intricate social networks that are essential to their survival. Ultimately, Bekoff and Pierce draw the astonishing conclusion that there is no moral gap between humans and other species: morality is an evolved trait that we unquestionably share with other social mammals. Sure to be controversial, _Wild Justice_ offers not just cutting-edge science, but a provocative call to rethink our relationship with—and our responsibilities toward—our fellow animals. (shrink)
Scientists have long counseled against interpreting animal behavior in terms of human emotions, warning that such anthropomorphizing limits our ability to understand animals as they really are. Yet what are we to make of a female gorilla in a German zoo who spent days mourning the death of her baby? Or a wild female elephant who cared for a younger one after she was injured by a rambunctious teenage male? Or a rat who refused to push a lever for food (...) when he saw that doing so caused another rat to be shocked? Aren’t these clear signs that animals have recognizable emotions and moral intelligence? With Wild Justice Marc Bekoff and Jessica Pierce unequivocally answer yes. Marrying years of behavioral and cognitive research with compelling and moving anecdotes, Bekoff and Pierce reveal that animals exhibit a broad repertoire of moral behaviors, including fairness, empathy, trust, and reciprocity. Underlying these behaviors is a complex and nuanced range of emotions, backed by a high degree of intelligence and surprising behavioral flexibility. Animals, in short, are incredibly adept social beings, relying on rules of conduct to navigate intricate social networks that are essential to their survival. Ultimately, Bekoff and Pierce draw the astonishing conclusion that there is no moral gap between humans and other species: morality is an evolved trait that we unquestionably share with other social mammals. Sure to be controversial, Wild Justice offers not just cutting-edge science, but a provocative call to rethink our relationship with—and our responsibilities toward—our fellow animals. (shrink)
The question of whether biologists should continue to use the Linnaean hierarchy has been a hotly debated issue. Invented before the introduction of evolutionary theory, Linnaeus's system of classifying organisms is based on outdated theoretical assumptions, and is thought to be unable to provide accurate biological classifications. Marc Ereshefsky argues that biologists should abandon the Linnaean system and adopt an alternative that is more in line with evolutionary theory. He traces the evolution of the Linnaean hierarchy from its introduction (...) to the present. He illustrates how the continued use of this system hampers our ability to classify the organic world, and then goes on to make specific recommendations for a post-Linnaean method of classification. Accessible to a wide range of readers by providing introductory chapters to the philosophy of classification and the taxonomy of biology, the book will interest both scholars and students of biology and the philosophy of science. (shrink)
Policy-makers must sometimes choose between an alternative which has somewhat lower expected value for each person, but which will substantially improve the outcomes of the worst off, or an alternative which has somewhat higher expected value for each person, but which will leave those who end up worst off substantially less well off. The popular ex ante Pareto principle requires the choice of the alternative with higher expected utility for each. We argue that ex ante Pareto ought to be rejected (...) because it conflicts with the requirement that, when possible, one ought to decide as one would with full information. We apply our argument in an analysis of US policy on screening for breast cancer. -/- . (shrink)
To what extent do moral judgments depend on conscious reasoning from explicitly understood principles? We address this question by investigating one particular moral principle, the principle of the double effect. Using web-based technology, we collected a large data set on individuals' responses to a series of moral dilemmas, asking when harm to innocent others is permissible. Each moral dilemma presented a choice between action and inaction, both resulting in lives saved and lives lost. Results showed that: (1) patterns of moral (...) judgments were consistent with the principle of double effect and showed little variation across differences in gender, age, educational level, ethnicity, religion or national affiliation (within the limited range of our sample population) and (2) a majority of subjects failed to provide justifications that could account for their judgments. These results indicate that the principle of the double effect may be operative in our moral judgments but not open to conscious introspection. We discuss these results in light of current psychological theories of moral cognition, emphasizing the need to consider the unconscious appraisal system that mentally represents the causal and intentional properties of human action. (shrink)
Conflicts of interest are rampant in the American medical community. Today it is not uncommon for doctors to refer patients to clinics or labs in which they have a financial interest (40% of physicians in Florida invest in medical centers); for hospitals to offer incentives to physicians who refer patients (a practice that can lead to unnecessary hospitalization); or for drug companies to provide lucrative give-aways to entice doctors to use their "brand name" drugs (which are much more expensive than (...) generic drugs). In Medicine, Money and Morals, Marc A. Rodwin draws on his own experience as a health lawyer--and his research in health ethics, law, and policy--to reveal how financial conflicts of interest can and do negatively affect the quality of patient care. He shows that the problem has become worse over the last century and provides many actual examples of how doctors' decisions are influenced by financial considerations. We learn how two California physicians, for example, resumed referrals to Pasadena General Hospital only after the hospital started paying $70 per patient (their referrals grew from 14 in one month to 82 in the next). As Rodwin writes, incentives such as this can inhibit a doctor from taking action when a hospital fails to provide proper service, and may also lead to the unnecessary hospitalization of patients. We also learn of a Wyeth-Ayerst Labs promotion in which physicians who started patients on INDERAL (a drug for high blood pressure, angina, and migraines) received 1000 mileage points on American Airlines for each patient (studies show that promotions such as this have a direct effect on a doctor's choice of drug). Rodwin reveals why the medical community has failed to regulate conflicts of interest: peer review has little authority, state licensing boards are usually ignorant of abuses, and the AMA code of ethics has historically been recommended rather than required. He examines what can be learned from the way society has coped with the conflicts of interest of other professionals --lawyers, government officials, and businessmen--all of which are held to higher standards of accountability than doctors. And he recommends that efforts be made to prohibit and regulate certain kinds of activity (such as kickbacks and self-referrals), to monitor and regulate conduct, and to provide penalties for improper conduct. Our failure to face physicians' conflicts of interest has distorted the way medicine is practiced, compromised the loyalty of doctors to patients, and harmed society, the integrity of the medical profession, and patients. For those concerned with the quality of health care or medical ethics, Medicine, Money and Morals is a provocative look into the current health care crisis and a powerful prescription for change. (shrink)
: To what extent do moral judgments depend on conscious reasoning from explicitly understood principles? We address this question by investigating one particular moral principle, the principle of the double effect. Using web-based technology, we collected a large data set on individuals’ responses to a series of moral dilemmas, asking when harm to innocent others is permissible. Each moral dilemma presented a choice between action and inaction, both resulting in lives saved and lives lost. Results showed that: patterns of moral (...) judgments were consistent with the principle of double effect and showed little variation across differences in gender, age, educational level, ethnicity, religion or national affiliation and a majority of subjects failed to provide justifications that could account for their judgments. These results indicate that the principle of the double effect may be operative in our moral judgments but not open to conscious introspection. We discuss these results in light of current psychological theories of moral cognition, emphasizing the need to consider the unconscious appraisal system that mentally represents the causal and intentional properties of human action. (shrink)
It is often thought that consciousness has a qualitative dimension that cannot be tracked by science. Recently, however, some philosophers have argued that this worry stems not from an elusive feature of the mind, but from the special nature of the concepts used to describe conscious states. Marc Champagne draws on the neglected branch of philosophy of signs or semiotics to develop a new take on this strategy. The term “semiotics” was introduced by John Locke in the modern period (...) – its etymology is ancient Greek, and its theoretical underpinnings are medieval. Charles Sanders Peirce made major advances in semiotics, so he can act as a pipeline for these forgotten ideas. Most philosophers know Peirce as the founder of American pragmatism, but few know that he also coined the term “qualia,” which is meant to capture the intrinsic feel of an experience. Since pragmatic verification and qualia are now seen as conflicting commitments, Champagne endeavors to understand how Peirce could (or thought he could) have it both ways. The key, he suggests, is to understand how humans can insert distinctions between features that are always bound. Recent attempts to take qualities seriously have resulted in versions of panpsychism, but Champagne outlines a more plausible way to achieve this. So, while semiotics has until now been the least known branch of philosophy ending in –ics, his book shows how a better understanding of that branch can move one of the liveliest debates in philosophy forward. (shrink)
In his groundbreaking book, Marc Hauser puts forth a revolutionary new theory: that humans have evolved a universal moral instinct, unconsciously propelling us to deliver judgments of right and wrong independent of gender, education, and religion. Combining his cutting-edge research with the latest findings in cognitive psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, economics, and anthropology, Hauser explores the startling implications of his provocative theory vis-à-vis contemporary bioethics, religion, the law, and our everyday lives.
Logical puzzles like the doctrinal paradox raise the problem of how to aggregate individual judgements into a collective judgement, or alternatively, how to merge collectively inconsistent knowledge bases. In this paper, we view judgement aggregation as a function on propositional logic valuations, and we investigate how logic constrains judgement aggregation. In particular, we show that there is no non-dictatorial decision method for aggregating sets of judgements in a logically consistent way if the decision method is local, i.e., only depends on (...) the individual judgements on the proposition under consideration. (shrink)
Saul Kripke, commenting on Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, relates the following thought experiment: let us suppose that one has never added numbers greater than 50 before. A “bizarre sceptic” could argue that there is no hard evidence against the hypothesis that it has only ever been meant for instance, that:if x, y < 57, x “plus” y = x + yif x, y ≥ 57, x “plus” y = 5What can be retorted to that man? This problem appears in some extreme (...) cases of problematic legal interpretation. One particularly telling example is that of space law. In a sense, the very existence of space law reflects the attitude of Kripkenstein’s sceptic, in the sense that, above a certain altitude, the traditional held rules cease to apply. We propose however that any understanding of changes of legal interpretation must take the paradox into account, and that instances of breaking precedent, in particular, can be fruitfully construed in light of Kripkenstein’s hypotheses. Additionally, and as noted by Jean-Michel Salanskis, if we were to justify that by “plus”, it has always been meant “addition”, we would therefore need to infer another rule. This rule needs, in its turn to be justified by another rule etc., hence the necessity for legal practitioners to define these rules and generally establish a closed, functional and coherent system of hermeneutics. Religious law offers strikingly extreme thoughts experiments in the same matter. (shrink)
In this paper, I aim to show that agency-based accounts of moral status are more plausible than many have previously thought. I do this by developing a novel account of moral status that takes agency, understood as the capacity for intentional action, to be the necessary and sufficient condition for the possession of moral status. This account also suggests that the capacities required for sentience entail the possession of agency, and the capacities required for agency, entail the possession of sentience. (...) Thus on this account sentient beings possess agency and agents possess sentience. If this is correct, it will show that an Agency Account of moral status can offer a plausible defence of the moral status of all sentient beings, something that previous Agency Accounts have not succeeded in doing. What is more, this account could establish that all sentient animals are not just moral status holders per se, but that they are owed pro tanto obligations regarding continued existence and liberty, similar in kind, though not always in strength, to those owed to humans. (shrink)
This paper argues that social trust is the emergent product of a complex system of property relations, backed up by a sub-system of mutual monitoring. This happens in a context similar to Ostrom’s commons, where cooperation is necessary for the management of resources, in the absence of external authorities to enforce sanctions. I show that social trust emerges in this context because of an institutional structure that enables individuals to develop a generalized disposition to internalize the external effects of their (...) actions. This is made possible by the “patrimonial” nature of this structure. (shrink)
Kafka’s works very often work as parables in which the lesson has been lost; or at least is ingeniously obfuscated from immediate understanding from the reader. His short story “In the Penal” Colony is no exception: the Traveller visits a penal colony with an unusual take on capital punishment as a sophisticated machine, built by the former commandant, inscribed unto the flesh of the criminals the law whose violation has resulted in their excruciating painful death. Our proposal is that the (...) story is a clear reference of a very commonplace Jewish ritual of laying “tefillin”, i.e. phylacteries containing certain commandments and to be affixed to one’s head and arm every morning, and that such preoccupation of ensuring the transmission of the law by physical inscription unto the mind and the flesh. (shrink)
This study examines whether the empirical evidence on the relationship between corporate social performance and corporate financial performance differs depending on the publication outlet in which that evidence appears. This moderator meta-analysis, based on a total sample size of 33,878 observations, suggests that published CSP-CFP findings have been shaped by differences in institutional logics in different subdisciplines of organization studies. In economics, finance, and accounting journals, the average correlations were only about half the magnitude of the findings published in Social (...) Issues in Management, Business Ethics, or Business and Society journals. Specifically, economists did not find null or negative CSP-CFP correlations, and average findings published in general management outlets were closer to Social Issues in Management, Business Ethics, and Business and Society results than to findings reported in economics, finance, and accounting journals. (shrink)
Moral error theory claims that all moral judgments are in error. Moral abolitionism is the view that the error theorist should then eliminate moral talk or judgments. This paper discusses the possible effects of adopting abolitionism on lying, breaking the law, adultery, and murder/revenge.
According to one widely held view, a belief is fully justified only if it holds up against the strongest available counterarguments, and we can be appropriately confident that it does hold up only if there is free and open critical discussion of those beliefs between us and our epistemic peers. In this paper I argue that this common picture of ideal rational group inquiry interacts with epistemic problems concerning reasonable disagreement in a way that makes those problems particularly difficult to (...) resolve. By focusing on this idealized context, we get a clearer picture of the epistemic principles at issue. In the end, I argue that the best way to resolve the resulting epistemic conflicts is by appeal to the underdetermination of theory by evidence together with a principle of epistemic conservatism. (shrink)
This paper explores the nature of the relationship between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and competitiveness. We start with the commonly held view that firm competitiveness is defined by the market. That is, the question of what are the critical competitiveness factors is answered by looking at how companies and financial analysts describe and evaluate a firm. To analyze this, we review the current state of the art on the relationship between CSR and competitiveness. Second, CSR criteria used by financial analysts (...) is identified and compared with company valuation methods. Third, the results of a multi-stakeholder dialogue on CSR and competitiveness of the European financial sector are presented. As a conclusion, we argue that CSR and competitiveness relate through a learning and innovation cycle, where corporate values, policies and practices are permanently defined and re-defined. Thus, we propose that learning takes place as CSR is embedded in business processes, and that once it has been integrated, in turn, it generates innovative practices, and finally, competitiveness. At the end of the paper, we propose that CSR in practice consists of managing inherent paradoxes generated by the tension between CSR and business policies. (shrink)
Sparrow argues that military robots capable of making their own decisions would be independent enough to allow us denial for their actions, yet too unlike us to be the targets of meaningful blame or praise—thereby fostering what Matthias has dubbed “the responsibility gap.” We agree with Sparrow that someone must be held responsible for all actions taken in a military conflict. That said, we think Sparrow overlooks the possibility of what we term “blank check” responsibility: A person of sufficiently high (...) standing could accept responsibility for the actions of autonomous robotic devices—even if that person could not be causally linked to those actions besides this prior agreement. The basic intuition behind our proposal is that humans can impute relations even when no other form of contact can be established. The missed alternative we want to highlight, then, would consist in an exchange: Social prestige in the occupation of a given office would come at the price of signing away part of one's freedoms to a contingent and unpredictable future guided by another agency. (shrink)
This article builds on C. S. Peirce’s suggestive blueprint for an inclusive outlook that grants reality to his three categories. Moving away from the usual focus on (contentious) cosmological forces, I use a modal principle to partition various ontological layers: regular sign-action (like coded language) subsumes actual sign-action (like here-and-now events) which in turn subsumes possible sign-action (like qualities related to whatever would be similar to them). Once we realize that the triadic sign’s components are each answerable to this asymmetric (...) subsumption, we obtain the means to track at which level of complexity semiosis finds itself, in a given case. Since the bulk of such a “trinitarian” metaphysics would be devoted to countenancing uninterpreted phenomena, I argue that current misgivings about sign-based ontologies are largely misplaced. (shrink)
There has been some theoretical and empirical debate that the positive relationship between corporate social performance (CSP) and firm financial performance (FFP) is spurious and in fact caused by a third factor, namely large firm size. This study examines this question by integrating three meta-analyses of more than two decades of research on (1) CSP and FFP, (2) firm size and CSP, and (3) firm size and FFP into one path-analytic model. The present study does not confirm size as a (...) third factor which would confound the relationship between CSP and FFP. That is, even if firm size is controlled for across studies (comprising, on average, over 15 000 observations), CSP and FFP remain positively correlated, showing a "true-score" corrected path coefficient p of 0.37. (shrink)
Deleuze's readings of Hume, Spinoza, Bergson and Nietzsche respond to philosophical critiques of classical and modern empiricism. However, Deleuze's arguments against those critiques - by Kant, Hegel, Husserl and Heidegger - consolidate the philosophy of immanence that can be called 'transcendental empiricism'. Marc Rolli offers us a detailed examination of Gilles Deleuze's philosophy of transcendental empiricism. He demonstrates that Deleuze takes up and radicalises the empiricist school of thought developing a systematic alternative to the mainstreams of modern continental philosophy.
This article explores the role of financial markets for sustainable development. More specifically, the authors ask to what extent financial markets foster and facilitate more sustainable business practices. The authors highlight that their current role is rather modest and conclude that, on the old paths, a paradoxical situation exists. On one hand, financial market participants increasingly integrate environmental, social, and governance criteria into their investment decisions, whereas on the other hand, in terms of organizational reality, there seems to be no (...) real shift toward more sustainable business practices. The authors identify two main challenges within the field of sustainable investments that are relevant for entering new avenues that may help overcome this situation. First, a reorientation toward a long-term paradigm for sustainable investments is important. Second, ESG data must become more trustworthy. From a theoretical point of view, the authors finally highlight the potential market consequences when ESG investment criteria are used. (shrink)
Institutional theory rests on a rejection of reductionism. Instead of reducing higher-order phenomena to aggregates of behavior, institutional theory reverses this causal imagery. It attributes the behavior of organizations and nation-states to contextual factors, notably organizational fields, national institutional systems, or the emerging global polity, Institutionalists, particularly within sociology, also emphasize specifically cultural mechanisms for these higher-order effects. This article develops the methodological foundations for these claims. It surveys and elaborates research designs for documenting higher-order effects and for differentiating the (...) cultural mechanisms of institutional influence. It also presents new strategies for assessing multiple logics and the coherence of institutional orders, moving beyond adoption and diffusion studies to analyze the dynamic and contested processes of institutionalization and institutional change. (shrink)
George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne, was an Irish philosopher and divine who pursued a number of grand causes, contributing to the fields of economics, mathematics, political theory and theology. He pioneered the theory of 'immaterialism', and his work ranges over many philosophical issues that remain of interest today. This volume offers a complete and accurate edition of Berkeley's extant correspondence, including letters written both by him and to him, supplemented by extensive explanatory and critical notes. Alexander Pope famously said 'To (...) Berkeley every virtue under heaven', and a careful reading of the letters reveals a figure worthy of admiration, sheds new light on his personal and intellectual life, and provides insight into the broad historical and philosophical currents of his time. The volume will be an invaluable resource for philosophers, modern historians and those interested in Anglo-Irish culture. (shrink)