When many people are involved in an activity, it is often difficult, if not impossible, to pinpoint who is morally responsible for what, a phenomenon known as the ‘problem of many hands.’ This term is increasingly used to describe problems with attributing individual responsibility in collective settings in such diverse areas as public administration, corporate management, law and regulation, technological development and innovation, healthcare, and finance. This volume provides an in-depth philosophical analysis of this problem, examining the notion of moral (...) responsibility and distinguishing between different normative meanings of responsibility, both backward-looking and forward-looking. Drawing on the relevant philosophical literature, the authors develop a coherent conceptualization of the problem of many hands, taking into account the relationship, and possible tension, between individual and collective responsibility. This systematic inquiry into the problem of many hands pertains to discussions about moral responsibility in a variety of applied settings. (shrink)
The subject of the present inquiry is the approach-to-the-truth research, which started with the publication of Sir Karl Popper's Conjectures and Refutations. In the decade before this publication, Popper fiercely attacked the ideas of Rudolf Carnap about confirmation and induction; and ten years later, in the famous tenth chapter of Conjectures he introduced his own ideas about scientific progress and verisimilitude. Abhorring inductivism for its apprecia tion of logical weakness rather than strength, Popper tried to show that fallibilism could serve (...) the purpose of approach to the truth. To substantiate this idea he formalized the common sense intuition about preferences, that is: B is to be preferred to A if B has more advantages andfewer drawbacks than A. In 1974, however, David Millerand Pavel Tichy proved that Popper's formal explication could not be used to compare false theories. Subsequently, many researchers proposed alternatives or tried to improve Popper's original definition. (shrink)
In this paper we report on our experiences with using network analysis to discern and analyse ethical issues in research into, and the development of, a new wastewater treatment technology. Using network analysis, we preliminarily interpreted some of our observations in a Group Decision Room session where we invited important stakeholders to think about the risks of this new technology. We show how a network approach is useful for understanding the observations, and suggests some relevant ethical issues. We argue that (...) a network approach is also useful for ethical analysis of issues in other fields of research and development. The abandoning of the overarching rationality assumption, which is central to network approaches, does not have to lead to ethical relativism. (shrink)
In this article, we develop an approach for the moral assessment of research and development networks on the basis of the reflective equilibrium approach proposed by Rawls and Daniels. The reflective equilibrium approach aims at coherence between moral judgments, principles, and background theories. We use this approach because it takes seriously the moral judgments of the actors involved in R & D, whereas it also leaves room for critical reflection about these judgments. It is shown that two norms, namely reflective (...) learning and openness and inclusiveness, which are used in the literature on policy and technological networks, contribute to achieving a justified overlapping consensus. We apply the approach to a case study about the development of an innovative sewage treatment technology and show how in this case the two norms are or could be instrumental in achieving a justified overlapping consensus on relevant moral issues. (shrink)
The notion of template has recently been discussed in relation to cross-disciplinary transfer of modeling efforts and in relation to the representational content of models. We further develop and disambiguate the notion of template and find that, suitably developed, it is useful in distinguishing and analyzing different types of transfer, none of which supports a non-representationalist view of models. We illustrate our main findings with the modeling of technology substitution with Lotka-Volterra Competition equations.
Introduction Harry Collins is internationally recognized as a distinguished sociologist of science who writes creatively on a substantial number of varied subjects. He is acknowledged as one of the prominent specialists on the topic of tacit knowledge and has played an important role in the introduction of this topic into science studies. He has investigated the topic extensively, most famously through several case studies of physics [Collins 1974, 1984, 1985, 1990, 2001a,b, 2004], [Collins &...
In this rather technical paper we establish a useful combination of belief revision and verisimilitude according to which better theories provide better predictions, and revising with more verisimilar data results in theories that are closer to the truth. Moreover, this paper presents two alternative definitions of refined verisimilitude, which are more perspicuous than the algebraic version used in previous publications.
In this paper we introduce the overlapping design consensus for the construction of models in design and the related value judgments. The overlapping design consensus is inspired by Rawls’ overlapping consensus. The overlapping design consensus is a well-informed, mutual agreement among all stakeholders based on fairness. Fairness is respected if all stakeholders’ interests are given due and equal attention. For reaching such fair agreement, we apply Rawls’ original position and reflective equilibrium to modeling. We argue that by striving for the (...) original position, stakeholders expel invalid arguments, hierarchies, unwarranted beliefs, and bargaining effects from influencing the consensus. The reflective equilibrium requires that stakeholders’ beliefs cohere with the final agreement and its justification. Therefore, the overlapping design consensus is not only an agreement to decisions, as most other stakeholder approaches, it is also an agreement to their justification and that this justification is consistent with each stakeholders’ beliefs. For supporting fairness, we argue that fairness qualifies as a maxim in modeling. We furthermore distinguish values embedded in a model from values that are implied by its context of application. Finally, we conclude that for reaching an overlapping design consensus communication about properties of and values related to a model is required. (shrink)
Kuipers' choice to let logical models of a theory represent the applications or evidence of that theory leads to various problems in ICR. In this paper I elaborate on four of them. 1. In contrast to applications of a theory, logical models are mutually incompatible. 2. An increase and a decrease of a set of models both represent an increase of logical strength; I call this the ICR paradox of logical strength. 3. The evidence logically implies the strongest empirical law. (...) 4. A hypothesis and its negation can both be false. My conclusion therefore reads that we should not identify (newly invented) applications of a theory with its logical models, but with partial models that can be extended to the logical model(s) of the language used to formulate the theory. As an illustration I give a model theoretical account, based on partial models, of the HD-method and crucial experiments. (shrink)