The aim of this review is to show the fruitfulness of using images of facial expressions as experimental stimuli in order to study how neural systems support biologically relevant learning as it relates to social interactions. Here we consider facial expressions as naturally conditioned stimuli which, when presented in experimental paradigms, evoke activation in amygdala–prefrontal neural circuits that serve to decipher the predictive meaning of the expressions. Facial expressions offer a relatively innocuous strategy with which to investigate these normal variations (...) in affective information processing, as well as the promise of elucidating what role the aberrance of such processing might play in emotional disorders. (shrink)
Lists of species underpin many fields of human endeavour, but there are currently no universally accepted principles for deciding which biological species should be accepted when there are alternative taxonomic treatments (and, by extension, which scientific names should be applied to those species). As improvements in information technology make it easier to communicate, access, and aggregate biodiversity information, there is a need for a framework that helps taxonomists and the users of taxonomy decide which taxa and names should be used (...) by society whilst continuing to encourage taxonomic research that leads to new species discoveries, new knowledge of species relationships, and the refinement of existing species concepts. Here, we present 10 principles that can underpin such a governance framework, namely (i) the species list must be based on science and free from nontaxonomic considerations and interference, (ii) governance of the species list must aim for community support and use, (iii) all decisions about list composition must be transparent, (iv) the governance of validated lists of species is separate from the governance of the names of taxa, (v) governance of lists of accepted species must not constrain academic freedom, (vi) the set of criteria considered sufficient to recognise species boundaries may appropriately vary between different taxonomic groups but should be consistent when possible, (vii) a global list must balance conflicting needs for currency and stability by having archived versions, (viii) contributors need appropriate recognition, (ix) list content should be traceable, and (x) a global listing process needs both to encompass global diversity and to accommodate local knowledge of that diversity. We conclude by outlining issues that must be resolved if such a system of taxonomic list governance and a unified list of accepted scientific names generated are to be universally adopted. (shrink)
Like nature itself, modern economic life is driven by relentless competition and unbridled selfishness. Or is it? Drawing on converging evidence from neuroscience, social science, biology, law, and philosophy, Moral Markets makes the case that modern market exchange works only because most people, most of the time, act virtuously. Competition and greed are certainly part of economics, but Moral Markets shows how the rules of market exchange have evolved to promote moral behavior and how exchange itself may make us more (...) virtuous. Examining the biological basis of economic morality, tracing the connections between morality and markets, and exploring the profound implications of both, Moral Markets provides a surprising and fundamentally new view of economics--one that also reconnects the field to Adam Smith's position that morality has a biological basis. Moral Markets, the result of an extensive collaboration between leading social and natural scientists, includes contributions by neuroeconomist Paul Zak; economists Robert H. Frank, Herbert Gintis, Vernon Smith, and Bart Wilson; law professors Oliver Goodenough, Erin O'Hara, and Lynn Stout; philosophers William Casebeer and Robert Solomon; primatologists Sarah Brosnan and Frans de Waal; biologists Carl Bergstrom, Ben Kerr, and Peter Richerson; anthropologists Robert Boyd and Michael Lachmann; political scientists Elinor Ostrom and David Schwab; management professor Rakesh Khurana; computational science and informatics doctoral candidate Erik Kimbrough; and business writer Charles Handy. (shrink)
This exploration of a notorious mathematical problem is the work of the man who discovered the solution. Written by an award-winning professor at Stanford University, it employs intuitive explanations as well as detailed mathematical proofs in a self-contained treatment. This unique text and reference is suitable for students and professionals. 1966 edition. Copyright renewed 1994.
In Religion and the Obligations of Citizenship Paul J. Weithman asks whether citizens in a liberal democracy may base their votes and their public political arguments on their religious beliefs. Drawing on empirical studies of how religion actually functions in politics, he challenges the standard view that citizens who rely on religious reasons must be prepared to make good their arguments by appealing to reasons that are 'accessible' to others. He contends that churches contribute to democracy by enriching political (...) debate and by facilitating political participation, especially among the poor and minorities, and as a consequence, citizens acquire religiously based political views and diverse views of their own citizenship. He concludes that the philosophical view which most defensibly accommodates this diversity is one that allows ordinary citizens to draw on the views their churches have formed when voting and offering public arguments for their political positions. (shrink)
This study examines the effects of demographic characteristics on ethical perceptions. While earlier research has produced conflicting results regarding the predictive power of these variables, significant and definite insights were obtained with proper controls. The following predictors of ethical attitudes are examined: age, gender, marital status, education, dependent children status, region of the country and years in business, while controlling for job status. A nation-wide random sample of employees was used in obtaining a response rate of fifty-three percent (total n (...) of 423). Indices of aspects of business ethical attitudes were constructed using factor analysis. Linear multiple regression analysis indicated the significant predictive variables. Age was found to be a most-significant predictor. Older workers had stricter interpretations of ethical standards. Gender and region predicted attitudes about job-discrimination practices only, with women and persons from the Midwest most strongly opposed to the practice. All the other variables proved to be unreliable ethics predictors. (shrink)
Trust is a temporary attachment between humans that pervades our daily lives. Recent research has shown that the affiliative hormone oxytocin rises with a social signal of interpersonal trust and is associated with trustworthy behavior (the reciprocation of trust). This commentary reports these results and relates them to the target article's findings for variations in affiliative-related behaviors.
This paper examines the strengths and weaknesses of one of science's most pervasive and flexible metaprinciples;optimalityis used to explain utility maximization in economics, least effort principles in physics, entropy in chemistry, and survival of the fittest in biology. Fermat's principle of least time involves both teleological and causal considerations, two distinct modes of explanation resting on poorly understood psychological primitives. The rationality heuristic in economics provides an example from social science of the potential biases arising from the extreme flexibility of (...) optimality considerations, including selective search for confirming vidence, ex post rationalization, and the confusion of prediction with explanation. Commentators are asked to reflect on the extent to which optimality is an organizing principle of nature, a set of relatively unconnected techniques of science, a normative principle for rational choice and social organization, a metaphysical way of looking at the world, or something else still. (shrink)
Since the last century, vaccination has been one of the most important tools we possess for the prevention and elimination of disease. Yet the tremendous gains from vaccination are now threatened by a growing hesitance to vaccinate based on a variety of concerns or objections. Geographic clustering of some families who choose not to vaccinate has led to a number of well-publicized outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. Of note is that some of these outbreaks are centered within some Christian religious groups (...) that increasingly avoid vaccination due to moral concerns, fears about safety, or doubts about the necessity of vaccines. We argue from the perspective of Catholic social teaching on why there is a moral duty to vaccinate. (shrink)
ABSTRACTHélène Landemore's Democratic Reason offers a new justification for democracy and for broad-based citizen participation, appealing to the “emergent” intelligence of large, diverse groups. She argues that ordinary citizens should rule as directly as possible because they will make better informed, more intelligent decisions than, for example, appointed officials, councils of experts, or even elected representatives. The foundation of this conclusion is the premise that “diversity trumps ability” in a wide range of contexts. But the main support for that claim (...) is merely a series of computer experiments that are strongly biased toward that result and tell us essentially nothing about decision making in real-world political settings. Moreover, Landemore's analyses of alternative forms of rule deal only in abstract comparisons between sharply distinguished ideal types. Among other difficulties, they entirely overlook the central consideration in such comparisons: the relative ability of any decision-making process to go beyond stereotyped, intrinsic strategies and integrate multiple sources and varieties of information. In the end, Landemore's claims for the superior intelligence of broadly participatory forms are thus not supported by credible evidence. (shrink)
Most people would agree that compulsive lying is a "sickness." In his provocative Lying, Paul Griffiths suggests that consistent truth telling might evoke a similar response. After all, isn't unremitting honesty often associated with stupidity, insanity, and fanatical sainthood? Drawing from Augustine's writings, and contrasting them with the work of other Christian and non-Christian thinkers, Griffiths deals with the two great questions concerning lying: What is it to lie? When, if ever, should or may a lie be told? Examining (...) Augustine's answers to these questions, Griffiths grapples with the difficulty of those answers while rendering them more accessible. With rhetorical savvy Augustine himself would applaud, Griffiths aims to "seduce" rather than argue his readers into agreement with Augustine. Augustine's historically significant, characteristically Christian, and undeniably radical thoughts on lying ignite Griffiths's searching discussion of this challenging and crucial topic. Marvelously erudite and energetic, Lying will draw Augustine enthusiasts, students of ethics, and anyone who is committed to living a more honest life. (shrink)
Clinical ethicists encounter the most emotionally eviscerating medical cases possible. They struggle to facilitate resolutions founded on good reasoning embedded in compassionate care. This book fills the considerable gap between current texts and the continuing educational needs of those actually facing complex ethics consultations in hospital settings. 28 richly detailed cases explore the ethical reasoning, professional issues, and the emotional aspects of these impossibly difficult consultations. The cases are grouped together by theme to aid teaching, discussion and professional growth. The (...) cases inform any reader who has a keen interest in the choices made in real-life medical dilemmas as well as the emotional cost to those who work to improve the situations. On a more advanced level, this book should be read by ethics committee members who participate in ethics consultations, individual ethics consultants, clinicians who seek education about complex clinical ethics cases, and bioethics students. (shrink)
This collection of papers makes a step towards increased dialogue among philosophical liberals and their theological, sociological and legal critics. The text should be significant for those concerned with the place of religion within a liberal society.
A framework is presented for studying ethical conduct in public accounting practice. Four levels of analysis are distinguished: individual, local office, multi-office firm and professional institute. Several propositions are derived from the framework and discussed: (1) The effects of ethical vs. unethical behavior on an accountant's prospects for advancement are asymmetrical in nature; (2) the way individuals perceive or frame the decision problem at hand will make an ethical response more or less likely; (3) the economic incentives present in competitive (...) markets influence the work goals of firms and offices, and lead to ethical dilemmas for individuals; and (4) initiatives at the firm or institute level aimed at compliance with professional ethical standards will by themselves have little effect on individual ethical behavior. Research into ethical behavior of practitioners will capture self-conscious and biased responses unless it is designed so as to permit indirect observation and recording of spontaneous comments. To assure valid research findings, practitioners should be interviewed and their motives assessed indirectly. A longitudinal approach is recommended, beginning with students who are choosing an accounting career. Two types of questions for use in these interviews are described. (shrink)
_Exploring Religious Diversity_ analyzes the philosophical questions raised by the fact that many religions in the world often appear to contradict each other in doctrine and practice. Analyzes the philosophical questions raised by the fact that many religions in the world often appear to contradict each other in doctrine and practice. Evaluates the fundamental philosophical underpinnings of the debates between religious and non-religious approaches to religious diversity. Contains a glossary that defines the book's key technical terms and how they are (...) related to one another. (shrink)
In Continental Realism Paul Ennis tackles the rise of realist metaphysics in contemporary continental philosophy. Pitted against the dominant antirealist and transcendental continental hegemony Ennis argues that continental thinking must establish an alliance between metaphysics, speculation, and realism if we are to truly get back to the things themselves.
Through a detailed re-reading of Saussure's work in the light of contemporary developments in the human, life and physical sciences, Paul Thibault provides us with the means to redefine and refocus our theories of social meaning-making. Saussure's theory of language is generally considered to be a formal theory of abstract sign-types and sign-systems, separate from our individual and social practices of making meaning. In this challenging book, Thibault presents a different view of Saussure. Paying close attention to the original (...) texts, including the Cours de Linguistic Generale, he demonstrates that Saussure was centrally concerned with trying to formulate a theory of how meanings are made. In addition to demonstrating the continuing viability of Saussure's thinking through a range of examples, Re-reading Saussure makes an important intervention in contemporary linguistic and semiotic debate. (shrink)
Are you familiar with Michael Sandel’s work?Yes I am. In the nineties I read several books on communitarianism, including Michael Sandel’s Democracy’s Discontent: America in Search of a Public Philosophy.What do you think of communitarianism?I discussed communitarianism in my books Five Essays from 1999 and, especially, Historical Ontology more than ten years ago. My thoughts have not changed since then. Simply put, I think communitarianism is the product of developed countries with long traditions of liberalism. It has referential value, but (...) if directly or indiscriminately adopted in other societies it can be quite dangerous.In recent years Sandel has become very... (shrink)
Patients living with chronic pain require appropriate access to opioid therapy along with improved access to pain care and additional therapeutic options. It's both medically reasonable and ethical to consider opioid therapy as a treatment option in the management of chronic, non-cancer pain for a subset of patients with severe pain that is unresponsive to other therapies, negatively impacts function or quality of life, and will likely outweigh the potential harms. This paper will examine opioid therapy in the setting of (...) the opioid epidemic, why critics feel that the CDC guideline has resulted in harsh consequences for patients and their physicians, and the rationale for opioid therapy as a means of providing ethical and compassionate pain care. (shrink)
The relationship between Employer and Employees is a central one in the world of business. While an important relationship, it is one that is often a source of tension for the workplace. Employers are seemingly in constant mistrust of workers, while workers often look upon their bosses as "less than competent". In the American world of business today, should this "adversarial" relationship continue or should the Employer–Employee Relationship be governed by different rules. Immanuel Kant's Categorical Imperative offers some insights into (...) the way this relationship should be viewed. Also, the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead has some important points to add to the discussion of this crucial business relationship. A look at the case involving Malden Mills Textile Plant and its CEO Aaron Feuerstein will be used to launch this discussion. (shrink)
The essay examines the impact of thought insertion on typical conceptions of self-consciousness. Stephens and Graham have recently argued that thought insertion is compatible with the inseparability thesis, which maintains that with regard to self-consciousness subjectivity is a proper part of introspection--introspection and subjectivity are inseparable. They argue that thought insertion is an error of agency and not an error of subjectivity. The essay contends that even if they are correct in their interpretation that thought insertion is an error of (...) agency rather than subjectivity, which is unlikely, they are incorrect to maintain that it is not also an error of subjectivity. Evidence is put forth to indicate that thought insertion is, at best, a mistake of agency and subjectivity. It is concluded that thought insertion is incompatible with the inseparability thesis, and a new inseparability thesis is thereby postulated. (shrink)
Conflicts of interest have an erosive effect on trust in science, damaging first the attitude of the public toward scientists and their research, but also weakening the trusting interdependence of scientists. Disclosure is recognized as the key tool for management of conflicts, but rules with sanctions must be improved, new techniques for avoidance of financial conflicts by alternative funding of evaluative research must be sought, and there must be new thinking about institutional conflicts of interest. Our profession is education, and (...) both the public and research professionals of all ages would benefit from greater understanding of how science should and does work. (shrink)