The globalization movement in recent decades has meant rapid growth in trade, financial transactions, and cross-country ownership of economic assets. In this article, we examine how the globalization of national business systems has influenced the framing of corporate social responsibility (CSR). This is done using text analysis of CEO letters appearing in the annual reports of 15 major corporations in Sweden during a period of transformational change. The results show that the discourse about CSR in the annual reports has changed (...) from a national and communitarian view of social responsibility (cf. a negotiated view of CSR) toward an international and individualistic view of social responsibility (cf. a self-regulating view of CSR). The article contributes theoretically (1) by adding a national–global dimension to previous conceptualizations of CSR and (2) by showing that the rise of CSR discourse and activities in the last 10 years does not have to imply an increased commitment and interest in corporate responsibility per se, only that there are increased societal expectations that corporations should develop the capability to act more independently as moral agents. (shrink)
This paper reports on comparative research on how textual representations of issues related to corporate social responsibility (CSR) in corporate annual reports from Sweden, Canada and the Netherlands have changed over time. The results show a substantial increase on a number of topics that can be linked to the general CSR-discourse in the 2001 sample in comparison to the 1991 and 1981 samples. The rise in the CSR-discourse appears to be related to a drop in other discourses related to issues (...) of social responsibility regarding the social, economic and political development of a company’s native country. (shrink)
Von 1925 bis 1928 wurden im Berliner J. M. Spaeth-Verlag unter der Leitung von Hans Rosenkranz eine Reihe von Werken seinerzeit eher unbekannter, in der Retrospektive jedoch signifikanter Autoren der Zwischenkriegszeit publiziert. Der Beitrag thematisiert Rosenkranz als jungen Verleger und Bewunderer Stefan Zweigs. Er entwirft auf Grundlage der Archivüberlieferung einen neuen Blick auf die Geschichte des Unternehmens und kommentiert das damit verbundene literarische Programm: Welche wichtigen verlegerischen Projekte wurden in jener kurzen Zeit unternommen? Welche Rolle hatte Stefan Zweig (...) für das Zustandekommen einiger Titel und besonders in den letzten Wochen der Verlagsexistenz? Inwiefern lässt sich Programmgestaltung und ökonomische Entwicklung von J. M. Spaeth als paradigmatisch für jüdische Verlage in der Weimarer Republik verstehen? Dazu wird erstmals das Scheitern des Unternehmens während der „Bücherkrise“ Ende der 1920er Jahre aus den Quellen rekonstruiert. (shrink)
This imaginative and unusual book explores the moral sensibilities and cultural assumptions that were at the heart of political debate in Victorian and early twentieth-century Britain. It focuses on the role of intellectuals as public moralists, and suggests ways in which their more formal political theory rested upon habits of response and evaluation that were deeply embedded in wider social attitudes and aesthetic judgements. Stefan Collini examines the characteristic idioms and strategies of argument employed in periodical and polemical writing, (...) and reconstructs the sense of identity and of relation to an audience exhibited by social critics from John Stuart Mill and Matthew Arnold to J. M. Keynes and F. R. Leavis. Dr Collini begins by situating the leading intellectuals in the social and political world of the Victorian governing classes. He explores fundamental values like `altruism', `character', and `manliness', which are revealed as the animating dynamic of much of the political thought of the period. The book assesses the impact of increasing academic specialization across a range of disciplines, and offers an illuminating analysis of the public voice of legal theorists like Maine and Dicey. Through a detailed study of J.S. Mill's posthumous reputation Dr Collini uncovers the process by which the genealogy of images of national cultural identity is established; and he concludes with a provocative exploration of the nationalist significance of what he calls `the Whig interpretation of English literature'. Public Moralists is a subtle and illuminating study by a leading intellectual historian which will redirect debate about the distinctive development of modern English culture. (shrink)
Stefan Sienkiewicz analyses five argument forms which are central to Pyrrhonian scepticism, as expressed in the writings of Sextus Empiricus. In particular, Sienkiewicz distinguishes between two different perspectives of the sceptic and his dogmatic opponent, and interprets the five modes of scepticism from both viewpoints.
How do we get out knowledge of the natural numbers? Various philosophical accounts exist, but there has been comparatively little attention to psychological data on how the learning process actually takes place. I work through the psychological literature on number acquisition with the aim of characterising the acquisition stages in formal terms. In doing so, I argue that we need a combination of current neologicist accounts and accounts such as that of Parsons. In particular, I argue that we learn the (...) initial segment of the natural numbers on the basis of the Fregean definitions, but do not learn the natural number structure as a whole on the basis of Hume's principle. Therefore, we need to account for some of the consistency of our number concepts with the Dedekind-Peano axioms in other terms. (shrink)
The Approximate Number System (ANS) is a system that allows us to distinguish between collections based on the number of items, though only if the ratio between numbers is high enough. One of the questions that has been raised is what the representations involved in this system represent. I point to two important constraints for any account: (a) it doesn’t involve numbers, and (b) it can account for the approximate nature of the ANS. Furthermore, I argue that representations of pure (...) magnitude with vehicles that have an imprecision in the value of the unit of measurement (further clarified through a formal model from measurement theory) fit both these requirements. (shrink)
In recent years combinations of tense and modality have moved intothe focus of logical research. From a philosophical point of view, logical systems combining tense and modality are of interest because these logics have a wide field of application in original philosophical issues, for example in the theory of causation, of action, etc. But until now only methods yielding completeness results for propositional languages have been developed. In view of philosophical applications, analogous results with respect to languages of predicate logic (...) are desirable, and in this paper I present two such results. The main developments in this area can be split into two directions, differing in the question whether the ordering of time is world-independent or not. Semantically, this difference appears in the discussion whether T x W-frames or Kamp-frames (resp. Ockham-frames) provide a suitable semantics for combinations of tense and modality. Here, two calculi are presented, the first adequate with respect to Kamp-semantics, the second to T x Wsemantics. (Both calculi contain an appropriate version of Gabbay's irreflexivity rule.) Furthermore, the proposed constructions of canonical frames simplify some of those which have hitherto been discussed. (shrink)
This article shows how activists in the open data movement re-articulate notions of democracy, participation, and journalism by applying practices and values from open source culture to the creation and use of data. Focusing on the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany and drawing from a combination of interviews and content analysis, it argues that this process leads activists to develop new rationalities around datafication that can support the agency of datafied publics. Three modulations of open source are identified: First, by regarding (...) data as a prerequisite for generating knowledge, activists transform the sharing of source code to include the sharing of raw data. Sharing raw data should break the interpretative monopoly of governments and would allow people to make their own interpretation of data about public issues. Second, activists connect this idea to an open and flexible form of representative democracy by applying the open source model of participation to political participation. Third, activists acknowledge that intermediaries are necessary to make raw data accessible to the public. This leads them to an interest in transforming journalism to become an intermediary in this sense. At the same time, they try to act as intermediaries themselves and develop civic technologies to put their ideas into practice. The article concludes with suggesting that the practices and ideas of open data activists are relevant because they illustrate the connection between datafication and open source culture and help to understand how datafication might support the agency of publics and actors outside big government and big business. (shrink)
Prospect Theory (PT) is widely regarded as the most promising descriptive model for decision making under uncertainty. Various tests have corroborated the validity of the characteristic fourfold pattern of risk attitudes implied by the combination of probability weighting and value transformation. But is it also safe to assume stable PT preferences at the individual level? This is not only an empirical but also a conceptual question. Measuring the stability of preferences in a multi-parameter decision model such as PT is far (...) more complex than evaluating single-parameter models such as Expected Utility Theory under the assumption of constant relative risk aversion. There exist considerable interdependencies among parameters such that allegedly diverging parameter combinations could in fact produce very similar preference structures. In this paper, we provide a theoretic framework for measuring the (temporal) stability of PT parameters. To illustrate our methodology, we further apply our approach to 86 subjects for whom we elicit PT parameters twice, with a time lag of 1 month. While documenting remarkable stability of parameter estimates at the aggregate level, we find that a third of the subjects show significant instability across sessions. (shrink)
I argue that difference-making should be a crucial element for evaluating the quality of evidence for mechanisms, especially with respect to the robustness of mechanisms, and that it should take central stage when it comes to the general role played by mechanisms in establishing causal claims in medicine. The difference- making of mechanisms should provide additional compelling reasons to accept the gist of Russo-Williamson thesis and include mechanisms in the protocols for Evidence- Based Medicine, as the EBM+ research group has (...) been advocating. (shrink)
This volume is the second installment in Stefan Jonsson’s epic study of the crowd and the mass in modern Europe, building on his work in A Brief History of the Masses, which focused on monumental artworks produced in 1789, 1889, and 1989.
In the past few decades, a growth in ethical consumerism has led brands to increasingly develop conscientiousness and depict ethical image at a corporate level. However, most of the research studying business ethics in the field of corporate brand management is either conceptual or has been empirically conducted in relation to goods/products contexts. This is surprising because corporate brands are more relevant in services contexts, because of the distinct nature of services and the key role that employees have in the (...) services sector. Accordingly, this article aims at empirically examining the effects of customer perceived ethicality in the context of corporate services brands. Based on data collected for eight service categories using a panel of 2179 customers, the hypothesized structural model is tested using path analysis. The results show that, in addition to a direct effect, customer perceived ethicality has a positive and indirect effect on customer loyalty, through the mediators of customer affective commitment and customer perceived quality. Further, employee empathy positively influences the impact of customer perceived ethicality on customer affective commitment, and customer loyalty positively impacts customer positive word-of-mouth. The first implication of these results is that corporate brand strategy needs to be aligned with human resources policies and practices if brands want to turn ethical strategies into employee behavior. Second, corporate brands should build more authentic communications grounded in their ethical beliefs and supported by evidence from actual employees. (shrink)
It is widely recognized that the innate versus acquired distinction is a false dichotomy. Yet many scientists continue to describe certain traits as “innate” and take this to imply that those traits are not acquired, or “unlearned.” This article asks what cognitive role, if any, the concept of innateness should play in the psychological and behavioural sciences. I consider three arguments for eliminating innateness from scientific discourse. First, the classification of a trait as innate is thought to discourage empirical research (...) into its developmental origin. Second, this concept lumps together a number of different biological properties that ought to be treated as distinct. Third, innateness is associated with the outmoded folk biological theory of essentialism. In response to these objections, I consider two attempts to revise the concept of innateness which aim to make it more suitable for scientific explanation and research. One proposal is that innateness can be defined in terms of the biological property of environmental canalization. On this view, a trait is innate to the extent that it is developmentally buffered against a range of different environments. Another proposal is that innateness serves as an explanatory primitive for cognitive science. This view holds that there exist a sharp boundary between psychological and biological explanations and that to identify a trait as innate means that it falls into the latter explanatory domain. This essay ends with some questions for future research. (shrink)
This article considers the prospects of inference to the best explanation as a method of confirming causal claims vis-à-vis the medical evidence of mechanisms. I show that IBE is actually descriptive of how scientists reason when choosing among hypotheses, that it is amenable to the balance/weight distinction, a pivotal pair of concepts in the philosophy of evidence, and that it can do justice to interesting features of the interplay between mechanistic and population level assessments.
Mathematical cognition has become an interesting case study for wider theories of cognition. Menary :1–20, 2015) argues that arithmetical cognition not only shows that internalist theories of cognition are wrong, but that it also shows that the Hypothesis of Extended Cognition is right. I examine this argument in more detail, to see if arithmetical cognition can support such conclusions. Specifically, I look at how the use of numerals extends our arithmetical abilities from quantity-related innate systems to systems that can deal (...) with exact numbers of arbitrary size. I then argue that the system underlying our grasp of small numbers is an unhelpful case study for Menary; it doesn’t support an argument for externalism over internalism. The system for large numbers, on the other hand, clearly displays important interactions between public numeral systems and our cognitive processes. I argue that the large number system supports an argument against internalist theories of arithmetical cognition, but that one cannot conclude that the Hypothesis of Extended Cognition is correct. In other words, the large number case doesn’t decide between the Hypothesis of Extended Cognition and the Hypothesis of EMbedded Cognition. (shrink)
In their paper Nothing but the Truth Andreas Pietz and Umberto Rivieccio present Exactly True Logic, an interesting variation upon the four-valued logic for first-degree entailment FDE that was given by Belnap and Dunn in the 1970s. Pietz & Rivieccio provide this logic with a Hilbert-style axiomatisation and write that finding a nice sequent calculus for the logic will presumably not be easy. But a sequent calculus can be given and in this paper we will show that a calculus for (...) the Belnap-Dunn logic we have defined earlier can in fact be reused for the purpose of characterising ETL, provided a small alteration is made—initial assignments of signs to the sentences of a sequent to be proved must be different from those used for characterising FDE. While Pietz & Rivieccio define ETL on the language of classical propositional logic we also study its consequence relation on an extension of this language that is functionally complete for the underlying four truth values. On this extension the calculus gets a multiple-tree character—two proof trees may be needed to establish one proof. (shrink)
For Aristotle, a just political community has to find similarity in difference and foster habits of reciprocity. Conventionally, speech and law have been seen to fulfill this role. This article reconstructs Aristotle’s conception of currency as a political institution of reciprocal justice. By placing Aristotle’s treatment of reciprocity in the context of the ancient politics of money, currency emerges not merely as a medium of economic exchange but also potentially as a bond of civic reciprocity, a measure of justice, and (...) an institution of ethical deliberation. Reconstructing this account of currency in analogy to law recovers the hopes Aristotle placed in currency as a necessary institution particular to the polis as a self-governing political community striving for justice. If currency was a foundational institution, it was also always insufficient, likely imperfect, and possibly tragic. Turned into a tool for the accumulation of wealth for its own sake, currency becomes unjust and a serious threat to any political community. Aristotelian currency can fail precisely because it contains an important moment of ethical deliberation. This political significance of currency challenges accounts of the ancient world as bifurcated between oikos and polis and encourages contemporary political theorists to think of money as a constitutional project that can play an important role in improving reciprocity across society. (shrink)
There are several important criticisms against the unificationist model of scientific explanation: Unification is a broad and heterogeneous notion and it is hard to see how a model of explanation based exclusively on unification can make a distinction between genuine explanatory unification from cases of ordering or classification. Unification alone cannot solve the asymmetry and irrelevance problems. Unification and explanation pull in different directions and should be decoupled, because for good scientific explanation extra ad explanandum information is often required. I (...) am presenting a possible solution to those problems, by focusing on an often overlooked but important element of how theoretic unification is achieved—the conceptual frameworks of theories. The core conceptual assumptions behind theories are decisive for discriminating between explanatory and non-explanatory unification. The conceptual framework is also flexible enough to balance the tension between informativeness and maximum systematization in constructing explanatory inferences. A short case study of orthogenetic and Darwinian explanations in paleontology is presented as an illustration of how my addition to the unificationist model is applicable to a historical debate between rival explanations. (shrink)
Integrating the study of human diversity into the human evolutionary sciences requires substantial revision of traditional conceptions of a shared human nature. This process may be made more difficult by entrenched, 'folkbiological' modes of thought. Earlier work by the authors suggests that biologically naive subjects hold an implicit theory according to which some traits are expressions of an animal's inner nature while others are imposed by its environment. In this paper, we report further studies that extend and refine our account (...) of this aspect of folkbiology. We examine biologically naive subjects' judgments about whether traits of an animal are 'innate', 'in its DNA' or 'part of its nature'. Subjects do not understand these three descriptions to be equivalent. Both innate and in its DNA have the connotation that the trait is species-typical. This poses an obstacle to the assimilation of the biology of polymorphic and plastic traits by biologically naive audiences. Researchers themselves may not be immune to the continuing pull of folkbiological modes of thought. (shrink)
Topic of the paper is Q-logic - a logic of agency in its temporal and modal context. Q-logic may be considered as a basal logic of agency since the most important stitoperators discussed in the literature can be defined or axiomatized easily within its semantical and syntactical framework. Its basic agent dependent operator, the Q-operator (also known as Δ- or cstit-operator), which has been discussed independently by E v. Kutschera and B. E Chellas, is investigated here in respect of its (...) relation to other temporal and modal operators. The main result of the paper, then, is a completeness result for a calculus of Q-logic with respect to a semantics defined on the tree-approach to agency as introduced and developed by, among others, E v. Kutschera and N. D. Belnap. (shrink)
Most accounts of our knowledge of the successor axiom claim that this is based on the procedure of adding one. While they usually don’t claim to provide an account of how children actually acquire this knowledge, one may well think that this is how they get that knowledge. I argue that when we look at children’s responses in interviews, the time when they learn the successor axiom and the intermediate learning stages they find themselves in, that there is an empirically (...) viable alternative. I argue that they could also learn it on the basis of a method that has to do with the structure of the numeral system. Specifically, that they use the syntactic structure of the numeral system and attend to the leftmost digits, the one with the highest place-value. Children can learn that this is a reliable method of forming larger numbers by combining two elements. First, a grasp of the syntactic structure of the numeral system. That way they know that the leftmost digit receives the highest value. Second, an interpretation of numerals as designating cardinal values, so that they also realise that increasing or adding digits on the lefthand side of a numeral produces a larger number. There are thus two, currently equally well-supported, ways in which children might learn that there are infinitely many natural numbers. (shrink)
The number of legal and nonlegal ethical regulations in the biomedical field has increased tremendously, leaving present-day practitioners and researchers in a virtual crossfire of legislations and guidelines. Judging by the production and by the way these regulations are motivated and presented, they are held to be of great importance to ethical practice. This view is shared by many commentators. For instance, Commons and Baldwin write that, within the nursing profession, patient care can be performed unethically or ethically depending on (...) the professional standards the nurses have set for themselves. They also hold that such standards are set when nurses become aware of the ethical codes available. As nurses are often not familiar with the codes, they do not all conform to them. Commons and Baldwin argue that nurses' ability to deal with ethical dilemmas is effectively secured with education on guidelines, creating a “barrier” between personal and professional values. (shrink)
The culture of honour hypothesis offers a compelling example of how human psychology differentially adapts to pastoral and horticultural environments. However, there is disagreement over whether this pattern is best explained by a memetic, evolutionary psychological, dual inheritance, or niche construction model. I argue that this disagreement stems from two shortcomings: lack of clarity about the theoretical commitments of these models and inadequate comparative data for testing them. To resolve the first problem, I offer a theoretical framework for deriving competing (...) predictions from each of the four models. In particular, this involves a novel interpretation of the difference between dual inheritance theory and cultural niche construction. I then illustrate a strategy for testing their predictions using data from the Human Relations Area File. Empirical results suggest that the aggressive psychological phenotype typically associated with honour culture is more common among pastoral societies than among horticultural societies. Theoretical considerations suggest that this pattern is best explained as a case of cultural niche construction. (shrink)
During the Coinage Crisis of 1695, John Locke successfully advocated a full recoinage without devaluation by insisting on silver money's “intrinsick value.” The Great Recoinage has ever since been seen as a crucial step toward the Financial Revolution and it was long regarded as Locke's most consequential achievement. This article places Locke's intervention in the context of the postrevolutionary English state at war and reads his monetary pamphlets as an integral, if largely neglected, part of his political philosophy. Instead of (...) taking Locke's insistence on “intrinsick value” itself at face value, I argue that it was precisely money's fragile conventionality that threatened its role as a societal bond of trust. In response to this fragility and corruptibility, Locke tied money by fiat to an initially arbitrary but unalterable quantity of metal. While Locke's argument contributed to the modern naturalization of money, it arose from a paradoxical political act of monetary depoliticization. (shrink)
Stefan Jonsson uses three monumental works of art to build a provocative history of popular revolt: Jacques-Louis David's _The Tennis Court Oath_, James Ensor's _Christ's Entry into Brussels in 1889_, and Alfredo Jaar's _They Loved It So Much, the Revolution_. Addressing, respectively, the French Revolution of 1789, Belgium's proletarian messianism in the 1880s, and the worldwide rebellions and revolutions of 1968, these canonical images not only depict an alternative view of history but offer a new understanding of the relationship (...) between art and politics and the revolutionary nature of true democracy. Drawing on examples from literature, politics, philosophy, and other works of art, Jonsson carefully constructs his portrait, revealing surprising parallels between the political representation of "the people" in government and their aesthetic representation in painting. Both essentially "frame" the people, Jonsson argues, defining them as elites or masses, responsible citizens or angry mobs. Yet in the aesthetic fantasies of David, Ensor, and Jaar, Jonsson finds a different understanding of democracy-one in which human collectives break the frame and enter the picture. Connecting the achievements and failures of past revolutions to current political issues, Jonsson then situates our present moment in a long historical drama of popular unrest, making his book both a cultural history and a contemporary discussion about the fate of democracy in our globalized world. (shrink)
Research on patients with damage to ventromedial frontal cortices suggests a key role for emotions in practical decision making. This field of investigation is often associated with Antonio Damasio’s Somatic Marker Hypothesis—a putative account of the mechanism through which autonomic tags guide decision making in typical individuals. Here we discuss two questionable assumptions—or ‘myths’—surrounding the direction and interpretation of this research. First, it is often assumed that there is a single somatic marker hypothesis. As others have noted, however, Damasio’s ‘hypothesis’ (...) admits of multiple interpretations (Dunn et al. ; Colombetti ). Our analysis builds upon this point by characterizing decision making as a multi-stage process and identifying the various potential roles for somatic markers. The second myth is that the available evidence suggests a role for somatic markers in the core stages of decision making, that is, during the generation, deliberation, or evaluation of candidate options. On the contrary, we suggest that somatic markers most likely have a peripheral role, in the recognition of decision points, or in the motivation of action. This conclusion is based on an examination of the past twenty-five years of research conducted by Damasio and colleagues, focusing in particular on some early experiments that have been largely neglected by the critical literature. 1 Introduction2 What is the Somatic Marker Model?3 Multiple Somatic Marker Hypotheses3.1 Are somatic markers necessary for practical decision making?3.2 Speed, accuracy, or both?3.3 At which of the five stages of decision making are somatic markers engaged?4 Anecdotal Evidence Suggests a Peripheral Role for Somatic Markers4.1 Chronic indecisiveness4.2 Extreme impulsiveness4.3 Enhanced decision making in the lab4.4 Lack of motivation. 5 Early Experiments Suggest that VMF Damage Leaves Core Processes Intact5.1 The evocative images study5.2 Five problem solving tasks6 Recent Experiments Fail to Discriminate among Alternate Versions of SMH7 Conclusion. (shrink)
In this paper I offer an anti-Humean critique to Williamson and Russo’s approach to medical mechanisms. I focus on one of the specific claims made by Williamson and Russo, namely the claim that micro-structural ‘mechanisms’ provide evidence for the stability across populations of causal relationships ascertained at the (macro-) level of (test) populations. This claim is grounded in the epistemic account of causality developed by Williamson, an account which—while not relying exclusively on mechanistic evidence for justifying causal judgements—appeals nevertheless to (...) mechanisms, and rejects their anti-Humean interpretation in terms of capacities, powers, potencies, etc. By using (and expanding on) Cartwright’s basic critique against Humean mechanisms, I suggest that, in order to move beyond the level of plausibility, Williamson and Russo’s position is in need of a clarification as to the occurent reading of the components, functioning and interferences of mechanisms. Relatedly, as concerns Williamson’s epistemic account of causation, I argue that this account is in need of a more straightforward answer as to what truth-makers its causal claims should have. (shrink)
Linsky and Zalta try to explain how we can refer to mathematical objects by saying that this happens through definite descriptions which may appeal to mathematical theories. I present two issues for their account. First, there is a problem of finding appropriate pre-conditions to reference, which are currently difficult to satisfy. Second, there is a problem of ensuring the stability of the resulting reference. Slight changes in the properties ascribed to a mathematical object can result in a shift of reference (...) and this leads to various problems, e.g., it makes inferring knowledge much harder than it is. (shrink)
By using the notions of exact truth and exact falsity, one can give 16 distinct definitions of classical consequence. This paper studies the class of relations that results from these definitions in settings that are paracomplete, paraconsistent or both and that are governed by the Strong Kleene schema. Besides familiar logics such as Strong Kleene logic, the Logic of Paradox and First Degree Entailment, the resulting class of all Strong Kleene generalizations of classical logic also contains a host of unfamiliar (...) logics. We first study the members of our class semantically, after which we present a uniform sequent calculus that is sound and complete with respect to all of them. Two further sequent calculi and \ calculus) will be considered, which serve the same purpose and which are obtained by applying general methods to construct sequent calculi for many-valued logics. Rules and proofs in the SK calculus are much simpler and shorter than those of the \ and the \ calculus, which is one of the reasons to prefer the SK calculus over the latter two. Besides favourably comparing the SK calculus to both the \ and the \ calculus, we also hint at its philosophical significance. (shrink)
Within evolutionary biology, life-history theory is used to explain cross-species differences in allocation strategies regarding reproduction, maturation, and survival. Behavioral scientists have recently begun to conceptualize such strategies as a within-species individual characteristic that is predictive of behavior. Although life history theory provides an important framework for behavioral scientists, the psychometric approach to life-history strategy measurement—as operationalized by K-factors—involves conceptual entanglements. We argue that current psychometric approaches attempting to identify K-factors are based on an unwarranted conflation of functional descriptions and (...) proximate mechanisms—a conceptual mix-up that may generate unviable hypotheses and invites misinterpretation of empirical findings. The assumptions underlying generic psychometric methodology do not allow measurement of functionally defined variables; rather these methods are confined to Mayr’s proximate causal realm. We therefore conclude that K-factor scales lack validity, and that life history strategy cannot be identified with psychometrics as usual. To align theory with methodology, suggestions for alternative methods and new avenues are proposed. (shrink)
Ştefan Aug. Doinaş and Basarab Nicolescu, two great spirits related through the generosity of the humanist vision, met, held an epistolary dialogue and had common projects. Doinaş commented upon a few of the innovative concepts proposed by Basarab Nicolescu and he also aesthetically transfigured, in literary pages, certain concepts of transdisciplinarity.
In this paper, I focus on life-threatening medical conditions and argue that from the point of view of natural properties, induction(s), and participation in laws, at least some of the ill organisms dealt with in somatic medicine form natural kinds in the same sense in which the kinds in the exact sciences are thought of as natural. By way of comparing two ‘divisions of nature’, viz., a ‘classical’ exact science kind (gold) and a kind of disease (Graves disease), I show (...) that there is no justifiable ‘ontological gap’ between disease kinds and exact sciences kinds. We have instead a difference of degree. (shrink)