This paper discusses the establishment of a governance framework to secure the development and deployment of “good AI”, and describes the quest for a morally objective compass to steer it. Asserting that human rights can provide such compass, this paper first examines what a human rights-based approach to AI governance entails, and sets out the promise it propagates. Subsequently, it examines the pitfalls associated with human rights, particularly focusing on the criticism that these rights may be too Western, too individualistic, (...) too narrow in scope and too abstract to form the basis of sound AI governance. After rebutting these reproaches, a plea is made to move beyond the calls for a human rights-based approach, and start taking the necessary steps to attain its realisation. It is argued that, without elucidating the applicability and enforceability of human rights in the context of AI; adopting legal rules that concretise those rights where appropriate; enhancing existing enforcement mechanisms and securing an underlying societal infrastructure that enables human rights in the first place, any human rights-based governance framework for AI risks falling short of its purpose. (shrink)
It is important to understand the drivers of green consumption, because of growing concern for the health of the planet. In this paper, the assumption that a virtue-green product relationship exists is tested. The objective is to understand how product morality can influence the valuation of green products. Relying on virtue theory and positive spillover as conceptual bases, the research implicitly and explicitly tests and confirms green product virtue. The results demonstrate that perceived green product virtue leads to positive emotions, (...) which explain heightened purchase intentions. In line with the conceptualization, I show that the effect is moderated by the importance consumers place on their own morality. Importantly, explicitly framing green products as virtuous activates positive spillover by consumers; when green products are branded with a virtue cue, they encourage consumers to be more virtuous. Beyond being perceived as better people, when consumers interact with green products they effectively engage in more moral acts, such as making donations. The results confirm the perception of green products as moral agents and provide marketers with insights into the marketing value of virtue cues in green product consumption. (shrink)
Collective action processes in complex, multiple-use common-pool resources (CPRs) have only recently become a focus of study. When CPRs evolve into more complex systems, resource use by separate user groups becomes increasingly interdependent. This implies, amongst others, that the institutional framework governing resource use has to be re-negotiated to avoid adverse impacts associated with the increased access of any new stakeholders, such as overexploitation, alienation of traditional users, and inter-user conflicts. The establishment of “platforms for resource use negotiation” is a (...) way of dealing with complex natural resource management problems. Platforms arise when stakeholders perceive the same resource management problem, realize their interdependence in solving it, and come together to agree on action strategies for solving the problem (Röling, 1994). This article sets the scene for a discussion in this Special Issue about the potential of nested platforms for resource use negotiation in facilitating collective action in the management of complex, multiple-use CPRs. The article has five objectives. First, we define “collective action” in the context of this paper. Second, we discuss the importance of collective action in multiple-use CPRs. Third, we introduce the concept of platforms to coordinate collective action by multiple users. Fourth, we address some issues that emerge from evidence in the field regarding the role and potential of nested platforms for managing complex CPRs. Finally, we raise five discussion statements. These will form the basis for the collection of articles in this special issue. (shrink)
New definitions are proposed for communication and language. Communication is defined as the evolution of physical, biochemical, cellular, community, and technological information exchange. Language is defined as community communication whereby the information exchanged comprises evolving individual and group-constructed knowledge and beliefs, that are enacted, narrated, or otherwise conveyed by evolving rule-governed and meaningful symbol systems, that are grounded, interpreted, and used from within evolving embodied, cognitive, ecological, sociocultural, and technological niches. These definitions place emphasis on the evolutionary aspects of communication (...) and language, and they are here differentiated from four older paradigms that instead focus either on the referential or social aspects of language, or the informational or semantic aspects of communication. In contrast with these paradigms, the definitions proposed here for communication and language are in line with a pluralistic evolutionary worldview, one that necessitates the recognition that a multitude of units, levels, mechanisms and processes are involved in bringing forth communication and language. (shrink)
“Neural coding” is a popular metaphor in neuroscience, where objective properties of the world are communicated to the brain in the form of spikes. Here I argue that this metaphor is often inappropriate and misleading. First, when neurons are said to encode experimental parameters, the neural code depends on experimental details that are not carried by the coding variable. Thus, the representational power of neural codes is much more limited than generally implied. Second, neural codes carry information only by reference (...) to things with known meaning. In contrast, perceptual systems must build information from relations between sensory signals and actions, forming an internal model. Neural codes are inadequate for this purpose because they are unstructured and therefore unable to represent relations. Third, coding variables are observables tied to the temporality of experiments, whereas spikes are timed actions that mediate coupling in a distributed dynamical system. The coding metaphor tries to fit the dynamic, circular, and distributed causal structure of the brain into a linear chain of transformations between observables, but the two causal structures are incongruent. I conclude that the neural coding metaphor cannot provide a valid basis for theories of brain function, because it is incompatible with both the causal structure of the brain and the representational requirements of cognition. (shrink)
The explanatory power of structures in analytical sociologists’ agent-based models brings into question methodological individualism. We defend that from an explanatory point of view, the syntactic properties of models require semantic conditions of interpretation drawn from a conceptual research framework; in such a framework, social/relational structures have only partial, explanatory power ; and taking the explanation further through generative mechanism modeling necessitates calling upon methodological individualism’s generic framework of interpretation that relies on social actors’ rational capacity. According to this interpretive (...) framework, forces in action in society are governed by the subjective meaning of/the reasons for individual actions. (shrink)
Breaking new ground in Sarraute studies, John Phillips reads the novels and plays of Nathalie Sarraute in a hitherto largely neglected critical perspective. Through a detailed analysis of textual metaphors, he demonstrates that Sarraute's writing is informed and inspired by an intensely personal set of desires. Unlike previous criticism, which has stressed the formal aspects of the writing to the exclusion of the psychological, this study exploits contemporary psychoanalytic and feminist theory to expose an unconscious feminine dimension which the (...) author herself has never recognized. (shrink)
This special issue explores the concept of debt and its ramifications in contemporary landscapes with the intention of altering the themes and terms of a debate imposed by economistic discourse. Briefly going through the crucial issues raised by the social practice of debt: time and creation – unveils that the languages of contemporary archaeology, sociology, anthropology, art history, literary theory, are ways of allowing for an emancipatory take on the issue of debt.
The article proposes to further develop the ideas of the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis by including into evolutionary research an analysis of phenomena that occur above the organismal level. We demonstrate that the current Extended Synthesis is focused more on individual traits (genetically or non-genetically inherited) and less on community system traits (synergetic/organizational traits) that characterize transgenerational biological, ecological, social, and cultural systems. In this regard, we will consider various communities that are made up of interacting populations, and for which the (...) individual members can belong to the same or to different species. Examples of communities include biofilms, ant colonies, symbiotic associations resulting in holobiont formation, and human societies. The proposed model of evolution at the level of communities revises classic theorizing on the major transitions in evolution by analyzing the interplay between community/social traits and individual traits, and how this brings forth ideas of top-down regulations of bottom-up evolutionary processes (collaboration of downward and upward causation). The work demonstrates that such interplay also includes reticulate interactions and reticulate causation. In this regard, we exemplify how community systems provide various non-genetic ‘scaffoldings’, ‘constraints’, and ‘affordances’ for individual and sociocultural evolutionary development. Such research complements prevailing models that focus on the vertical transmission of heritable information, from parent to offspring, with research that instead focusses on horizontal, oblique and even reverse information transmission, going from offspring to parent. We call this reversed information transfer the ‘offspring effect’ to contrast it from the ‘parental effect’. We argue that the proposed approach to inheritance is effective for modelling cumulative and distributed developmental process and for explaining the biological origins and evolution of language. (shrink)
Applied Evolutionary Epistemology is a scientific-philosophical theory that defines evolution as the set of phenomena whereby units evolve at levels of ontological hierarchies by mechanisms and processes. This theory also provides a methodology to study evolution, namely, studying evolution involves identifying the units that evolve, the levels at which they evolve, and the mechanisms and processes whereby they evolve. Identifying units and levels of evolution in turn requires the development of ontological hierarchy theories, and examining mechanisms and processes necessitates theorizing (...) about causality. Together, hierarchy and causality theories explain how biorealities form and diversify with time. This paper analyzes how Applied EE redefines both hierarchy and causality theories in the light of the recent explosion of network approaches to causal reasoning associated with studies on reticulate and macroevolution. Causality theories have often been framed from within a rigid, ladder-like hierarchy theory where the rungs of the ladder represent the different levels, and the elements on the rungs represent the evolving units. Causality then is either defined reductionistically as an upward movement along the strands of a singular hierarchy, or holistically as a downward movement along that same hierarchy. Upward causation theories thereby analyze causal processes in time, i.e. over the course of natural history or phylogenetically, as Darwin and the founders of the Modern Synthesis intended. Downward causation theories analyze causal processes in space, ontogenetically or ecologically, as the current eco-evo-devo schools are evidencing. This work demonstrates how macroevolution and reticulate evolution theories add to the complexity by examining reticulate causal processes in space–time, and the interactional hierarchies that such studies bring forth introduce a new form of causation that is here called reticulate causation. Reticulate causation occurs between units and levels belonging to different as well as to the same ontological hierarchies. This article concludes that beyond recognizing the existence of multiple units, levels, and mechanisms or processes of evolution, also the existence of multiple kinds of evolutionary causation as well as the existence of multiple evolutionary hierarchies needs to be acknowledged. This furthermore implies that evolution is a pluralistic process divisible into different kinds. (shrink)
We examine how insights made in socio-anthropological and evolutionary schools of thought necessitate us to reevaluate the classic philosophical distinction between epistemology and ontology. We adopt an applied evolutionary epistemological stance and demonstrate that both epistemology and ontology evolve. Epistemology is broadened to include all knowledge and information that all life forms evolve, and ontology encompasses all biologically informed realities that life builds. Through processes such as symbiosis and niche construction, organisms acquire and extend information and knowledge into their offspring, (...) onto unrelated organisms, and onto their niches. Life builds biorealities that change over time. Consequently, knowledge and reality are mutable and truth is spatiotemporally bounded. We conclude that the classic distinction between epistemology and ontology has become superfluous and instead, we argue that the evolving knowledge that comes in the form of organisms and their extended niches equals ontological realities. (shrink)
Cornelius Castoriadis is one of the very few social and political philosophers – modern and ancient – for whom a concept of imagination is truly central. In his work, however, the role of imagination is so overarching that it becomes difficult to grasp its workings and consequences in detail, in particular in its relation to democracy as the political form in which autonomy is the core imaginary signification. This article will proceed by first suggesting some clarifications about Castoriadis’s employment of (...) the concept. This preparatory exploration will allow us in a second step to discuss why the idea of democracy is closely linked to tragedy, and why this linkage in turn is dependent on the centrality of imagination for human action. In a third conceptual step, finally, we suggest that any concept of imagination will need to take into account the plurality and diversity of the outcomes of the power of imagination. Thus, the question of the nature of the novelty that imagination creates needs to be addressed as well as the one of the agon in the face of different imagined innovations in a given democratic political setting. As a consequence of this shift in emphasis, to be elaborated further, one will be able to say more about one question of which Castoriadis was well aware, which he never addressed himself in detail, though: the decline and end of polities and political forms, the question of political mortality. (shrink)
The neural coding metaphor is so ubiquitous that we tend to forget its metaphorical nature. What do we mean when we assert that neurons encode and decode? What kind of causal and representational model of the brain does the metaphor entail? What lies beneath the neural coding metaphor, I argue, is a bureaucratic model of the brain.
Written for non-experts, this volume introduces the mechanisms that underlie reticulate evolution. Chapters are either accompanied with glossaries that explain new terminology or timelines that position pioneering scholars and their major discoveries in their historical contexts. The contributing authors outline the history and original context of discovery of symbiosis, symbiogenesis, lateral gene transfer, hybridization or divergence with gene flow, and infectious heredity. By applying key insights from the areas of molecular (phylo)genetics, microbiology, virology, ecology, systematics, immunology, epidemiology and computational science, (...) they demonstrate how reticulate evolution impacts successful survival, fitness and speciation. Reticulate evolution brings forth a challenge to the standard Neo-Darwinian framework, which defines life as the outcome of bifurcation and ramification patterns brought forth by the vertical mechanism of natural selection. Reticulate evolution puts forward a pattern in the tree of life that is characterized by horizontal mergings and lineage crossings induced by symbiosis, symbiogenesis, lateral gene transfer, hybridization or divergence with gene flow, and infective heredity, making the “tree of life” look more like a “web of life.” On an epistemological level, the various means by which hereditary material can be transferred horizontally challenges our classic notions of units and levels of evolution, fitness, modes of transmission, linearity, communities, and biological individuality. The case studies presented examine topics including the origin of the eukaryotic cell and its organelles through symbiogenesis; the origin of algae through primary and secondary symbiosis and dinoflagellates through tertiary symbiosis; the superorganism and holobiont as units of evolution; how endosymbiosis induces speciation in multicellular life forms; transferrable and non-transferrable plasmids and how they symbiotically interact with their host; the means by which pro- and eukaryotic organisms transfer genes laterally (bacterial transformation, transduction and conjugation as well as transposons and other mobile genetic elements); hybridization and divergence with gene flow in sexually-reproducing individuals; current (human) microbiome and viriome studies that impact our knowledge concerning the evolution of organismal health and acquired immunity; and how symbiosis and symbiogenesis can be modelled in computational evolution. (shrink)
To see "democracy as a tragic regime", as Cornelius Castoriadis did, is to recognize the ever-present risk of democracy’s cancellation, but it also means to emphasize the anti-democratic nature of such cancellation, thus its incompatibility with democracy. In the context of this understanding of democracy, the article takes the political to consist of those relations among people and among institutions within the polis, which aim at deciding about the polis’ fate. It takes the social to be those relations among people (...) and among institutions within the polis, to whom such decisions about the polis’ fate apply and whom they create. If democracy is understood as tension between the two, then the relation between those who decide and those who are subject of the decision is never entirely pacified – hence, always contested and in need of specification. Using the examples of the state of exception and totalitarianism (temporary and permanent self-cancellation), the article argues that these situations are outside a linear continuation with the democratic phenomenon and are due to a displacement, which is akin to the hubristic displacement. (shrink)
he purpose of this paper is to show that the last part of the Theaetetus can be interpreted in a new way, by a discontinuous and thematic analysis and by referring to the central digression of the dialogue. The refutation of the so-called “Dream Theory” is then no longer a dead end. On the contrary it provides results certainly limited but nevertheless consistent. Indeed, through this examination, Socrates analyzes “the whole.” The words πᾶν and ὅλον, designate the general rule of (...) exhaustiveness. It is their common principle. But the two terms have also been differentiated by Socrates in the last section of the dialogue. These positive arguments are used to disqualify a false conception of the totality. All these points ultimately shed light on the central digression in which Socrates brings into conflict the positive activity of the Scientist and the negative activity of the Rhetorician. Basically the “whole” is the secret object of their desire and therefore the hidden stake of their debate. (shrink)
Les recherches menées dans le champ de la psychologie morale par Larry P. Nucci et Elliot Turiel conduisent à identifier le domaine moral avec le domaine des jugements prescriptifs concernant la manière dont nous devons nous comporter à l’égard des autres personnes. Ces travaux empiriques pourraient apporter du crédit aux propositions normatives du philosophe Ruwen Ogien qui défend une conception minimaliste de l’éthique. L’éthique minimale exclut en particulier le rapport à soi du domaine moral. À mon avis cependant, ces travaux (...) de psychologie morale ne permettent pas du tout d’affirmer que nous sommes, empiriquement parlant, des minimalistes moraux. Les résultats des recherches de Nucci et Turiel montrent que les personnes considèrent intuitivement que le domaine personnel – le domaine des actions qui affectent prioritairement l’agent lui-même – doit échapper au contrôle ou à l’interférence des autres personnes. Mais affirmer que c’est l’agent lui-même qui possède l’autorité légitime de décider dans le domaine personnel ne signifie pas que tout ce qu’il y fait soit moralement indifférent. (shrink)
Little is known about employees' responses to their organizations' initiatives in corporate social responsibility (CSR). Academics have already identified a few outcomes regarding CSR's impact on employees' attitudes and behaviours; however, studies explaining the underlying mechanisms that drive employees' favourable responses to CSR remain largely unexplored. Based on organizational identification (OI) theory, this study surveyed 155 employees of a petrochemical organization to better elucidate why, how and under which circumstances employees might positively respond to organizations' CSR initiatives in the controversial (...) oil industry sector. Findings first support that perceived CSR (i.e. environmental CSR) positively relates to employees' OI which is known as an important antecedent of employees' outcomes (Riketta, J Vocat Behavior, 66(2):358, 2005). Furthermore, results highlighted that the relationship between perceived CSR and employees' OI is mediated by organizational trust. Finally, this study also revealed that some contingency factors such as employees' attributions of self-centred motives to their organization's investment in environmental issues can moderate the relationship between perceived CSR and organizational trust. Based on these findings, it is argued that CSR initiatives can support organizations' efforts to maintain a strong relationship with their employees, and gain their support even in a controversial industry sector. (shrink)
Black Existential Freedom looks at the ways in which Black cultural productions reflect a constant struggle for freedom and a refusal to surrender to the destructive forces of dehumanization. This book offers a counter-narrative to current Afro-Pessimist theorizations of Blackness that choose the power of death and nihilism over life.
Ce recueil d’articles fait suite à une journée d’étude organisée à Tours en janvier 2008 et qui avait pour objectif de décrire comment le discours, appréhendé à travers des études de corpus, devient un lieu majeur de l’analyse linguistique et un observatoire de certains faits langagiers susceptibles d’être théorisés comme phénomènes sociaux. Les cadres théoriques sollicités sont variés, mais relèvent tous peu ou prou à la fois du courant énonciativiste francophone et de l’école française de l..
Little is known about employees’ responses to their organizations’ initiatives in corporate social responsibility (CSR). Academics have already identified a few outcomes regarding CSR’s impact on employees’ attitudes and behaviours; however, studies explaining the underlying mechanisms that drive employees’ favourable responses to CSR remain largely unexplored. Based on organizational identification (OI) theory, this study surveyed 155 employees of a petrochemical organization to better elucidate why, how and under which circumstances employees might positively respond to organizations’ CSR initiatives in the controversial (...) oil industry sector. Findings first support that perceived CSR (i.e. environmental CSR) positively relates to employees’ OI which is known as an important antecedent of employees’ outcomes (Riketta, J Vocat Behavior, 66(2):358, 2005). Furthermore, results highlighted that the relationship between perceived CSR and employees’ OI is mediated by organizational trust. Finally, this study also revealed that some contingency factors such as employees’ attributions of self-centred motives to their organization’s investment in environmental issues can moderate the relationship between perceived CSR and organizational trust. Based on these findings, it is argued that CSR initiatives can support organizations’ efforts to maintain a strong relationship with their employees, and gain their support even in a controversial industry sector. (shrink)