In light of the many corporate scandals, social and ethical commitment of society has increased considerably, which puts pressure on companies to communicate information related to corporate social responsibility (CSR). The reasons underlying the decision by management teams to engage in ethical communication are scarcely focussed on. Thus, grounded on legitimacy and stakeholder theory, this study analyses the views management teams in large listed companies have on communication of CSR. The focus is on aspects on interest, motives/reasons, users and problems (...) related to corporate communication of CSR information. A questionnaire survey and in-depth interviews confirm that there is a distinct trend shift: towards more focus on CSR in corporate communication. Whilst this trend shift started as a reactive approach initiated by the many corporate scandals, the trend shift is now argued to be of a proactive nature focussed at preventing legitimacy concerns to arise. These findings are significant and interesting, implying that we are witnessing a transit period between two legitimacy strategies. Furthermore, the findings suggest that the way respondents argue when it comes to CSR activities coincides with consequentialism or utilitarianism, i. e. companies engage in CSR activities to avoid negative impacts instead of being driven by a will to make a social betterment or acting in accordance with what is fundamentally believed to be right to do. This provides new input to the ongoing debate about business ethics. The findings should alert national and international policy makers to the need both to increase the vigilance and capacity of the regulatory and judicial systems in the CSR context and to increase institutional pressure to enhance CSR adoption and CSR communication. Furthermore, stakeholders need to be careful in assuming that CSR communication is an evidence of a CSR commitment influencing corporate behaviour and increasing business ethics. (shrink)
A selection of Aristotle's most important philosophical works in English translation with an introduction and comments by Renford Bambrough with emphasis on metaphysical questions and a new afterword by Susanne Bobzien that focuses on how to study Aristotle and on Aristotle on determinism and freedom.
Das Balsamierungsritual: Eine Edition der Textkomposition Balsamierungsritual. By Susanne Töpfer. Studien zur spätägyptischen Religion, vol. 13. Wiesbaden: Harroswitz, 2015. Pp. xii + 440, 53 pls. €89.
Adam Arvidsson and Nicolai Peitersen, a scholar and an entrepreneur, outline the shape such an economy might take, identifying its origins in innovations already existent in our production, valuation, and distribution systems.
Author Susanne Claxton offers a new ecophenomenological perspective to Heidegger and his engagement with the Greeks, and an alternative to the ruling binary in environmental ethics of anthropocentrism and ecocentrism.
A more ethical economic system is now possible, one that rectifies the crisis spots of our current downturn while balancing the injustices of extreme poverty and wealth. Adam Arvidsson and Nicolai Peitersen, a scholar and an entrepreneur, outline the shape such an economy might take, identifying its origins in innovations already existent in our production, valuation, and distribution systems. Much like nineteenth-century entrepreneurs, philosophers, bankers, artisans, and social organizers who planned a course for modern capitalism that was more economically (...) efficient and ethically desirable, we now have a chance to construct new instruments, institutions, and infrastructure to reverse the trajectory of a quickly deteriorating economic environment. Considering a multitude of emerging phenomena, Arvidsson and Peitersen show wealth creation can be the result of a new kind of social production, and the motivation of continuous capital accumulation can exist in tandem with a new desire to maximize our social impact. Arvidsson and Peitersen argue that financial markets could become a central arena in which diverse ethical concerns are integrated into tangible economic valuations. They suggest that such a common standard has already emerged and that this process is linked to the spread of social media, making it possible to capture the sentiment of value to most people. They ultimately recommend how to build upon these developments to initiate a radical democratization of economic systems and the value decisions they generate. (shrink)
Virtuous Bodies breaks new ground in the field of Buddhist ethics by investigating the diverse roles bodies play in ethical development. Traditionally, Buddhists assumed a close connection between body and morality. Thus Buddhist literature contains descriptions of living beings that stink with sin, are disfigured by vices, or are perfumed and adorned with virtues. Taking an influential early medieval Indian Mahayana Buddhist text-Santideva's Compendium of Training (Siksasamuccaya)-as a case study, Susanne Mrozik demonstrates that Buddhists regarded ethical development as a (...) process of physical and moral transformation. Mrozik chooses The Compendium of Training because it quotes from over one hundred Buddhist scriptures, allowing her to reveal a broader Buddhist interest in the ethical significance of bodies. The text is a training manual for bodhisattvas, especially monastic bodhisattvas. In it, bodies function as markers of, and conditions for, one's own ethical development. Most strikingly, bodies also function as instruments for the ethical development of others. When living beings come into contact with the virtuous bodies of bodhisattvas, they are transformed physically and morally for the better. Virtuous Bodies explores both the centrality of bodies to the bodhisattva ideal and the corporeal specificity of that ideal. Arguing that the bodhisattva ideal is an embodied ethical ideal, Mrozik poses an array of fascinating questions: What does virtue look like? What kinds of physical features constitute virtuous bodies? What kinds of bodies have virtuous effects on others? Drawing on a range of contemporary theorists, this book engages in a feminist hermeneutics of recovery and suspicion in order to explore the ethical resources Buddhism offers to scholars and religious practitioners interested in the embodied nature of ethical ideals. (shrink)
This essay aims to analyze the conception of a work of art in the thought of Susanne K. Langer. The author offers us a definition of art, grounded on the idea that art is the “creation of symbolic forms of human feeling”. This thesis is, in turn, constructed from a robust theory of the symbolic function of the human mind.
Graphene is a nanomaterial with many promising and innovative applications, yet early studies indicate that graphene may pose risks to humans and the environment. According to ideas of responsible research and innovation, all relevant actors should strive to reduce risks related to technological innovations. Through semi-structured interviews, we investigated the idea of graphene as a risk held by two types of key actors: graphene researchers and innovation advisors at universities, where the latter are facilitating the movement of graphene from the (...) laboratory to the marketplace. The most common idea found is that graphene is not a risk due to, e.g., low toxicity, low amounts produced/used, and its similarity to harmless materials. However, some researchers and advisors also say that graphene is a risk, e.g., under certain conditions or due to a lack of risk-related information. We explain the co-existence of these seemingly contradictory ideas through the semantic ambiguity of the word risk and a risk/no-risk rhetoric, where risks are mentioned rhetorically only to be disregarded as manageable or negligible. We suggest that some of the ideas held by the researchers and innovation advisors constitute a challenge to responsible research and innovation regarding graphene. At the same time, we acknowledge the dilemma that the discourse of responsible innovation creates for the actors: denying graphene risks makes them irresponsible due to a lack of risk awareness, while affirming graphene risks makes them irresponsible due to their everyday engagement in graphene development. We therefore recommend more research into what researchers and innovation advisors should do in practice in order to qualify as responsible. (shrink)
This article suggests that Facebook embodies a new logic of capitalist governance, what has been termed the ‘social logic of the derivative’. The logic of the derivative is rooted in the now dominant financial level of the capitalist economy, and is mediated by social media and the algorithmic processing of large digital data sets. This article makes three precise claims: First, that the modus operandi of Facebook mirrors the operations of derivative financial instruments. Second, that the algorithms that Facebook uses (...) share a genealogy with those of derivative financial instruments – both are outcomes of the influence of the ‘cyber sciences’ on managerial practice in the post-war years. Third, that the future potential of Facebook lies in its ability to apply the logic of derivatives to the financial valuation of ordinary social relations, thus further extending the process of financialization of everyday life. (shrink)
This article investigates the potential role of the commons in the future transformation of digital capitalism by comparing it to the role of the commons in the transition to capitalism. In medieval and early modern Europe the commons supported gradual social and technological innovation as well as a new civil society organized around the combination of commons-based petty production and new ideals of freedom and equality. Today the new commons generated by the global real subsumption of ordinary life processes are (...) supporting similar forms of commons-based petty production. After positioning the new petty producers within the framework of the crisis of digital capitalism, the article concludes by extrapolating a number of hypothetical scenarios for their role in its future transformation. (shrink)
Robert Innis has performed an immensely valuable service for scholars in the fields of American philosophy, aesthetics, and semiotics. Not only does his comprehensive view of Susanne K. Langer’s opus show us its development, but this is the only book in English devoted solely to Langer. I hope it may help retrieve her considerable philosophical achievement from the penumbral, fading status it has today. Not only does Innis give us a close discussion of Langer’s philosophy, but he also presents (...) a running argument that she should be embraced as an “American philosopher” and semiotician who shares themes with Dewey and Peirce. This is significant insofar as Langer held herself aloof from the work of both Dewey and . (shrink)
The continual possibility of aesthetic experience throughout history has prompted philosophical reflections about its nature and meaning in human life. This article outlines some neuroscientific ways of understanding its functioning, focusing specifically on Susanne Langer’s contribution. Commonly subsumed under the heading ‘philosophy of mind’ – especially due to the trilogy Mind: An Essay on Human Feeling – Langer’s interests in the human mind developed already in the 1950s, as witnessed by the paper The Deepening Mind. A Half-Century of American (...) Philosophy. Following these lines, the article discusses Langer’s philosophical approach from the perspective of a (neuro)aesthetic inquiry, emphasizing particularly the importance of the non-discursive realm of the mind. It also shows how Langer’s account might be seen as going beyond that of John Dewey, which is often referred to as an advancement in the historical development of neuroaesthetics. (shrink)
Empathie ist in den vergangenen Jahren zu einem der zentralen Begriffe in Gesellschaft und Wissenschaft geworden. Steht er fur die einen fur das Vermogen von Personen oder gar einer ganzen Gesellschaft, fremden Perspektiven, Erfahrungen und Gefuhlen sensibel und nachfuhlend zu begegnen, ist Empathie fur die anderen ein leerer Begriff oder ein fehlgeleitetes Prinzip. In diesem Band wird "Empathie" kritisch, historisch und semantisch aus asthetischen Blickwinkeln betrachtet: Untersucht werden die Funktion und der Wert der Empathie in unserem Umgang mit Musik, Literatur, (...) Film und Sprache. Braucht es Empathie, um sich in Klange, Melodien, Performer einzufuhlen? Gehen wir empathisch mit fiktionalen Charakteren mit? Wie reagieren wir empathisch gegenuber Sprache und ihren Rhythmen? Was genau heisst in all diesen asthetischen Kontexten eigentlich Empathie? Der Band enthalt eine differenzierte Zusammenstellung aus aktuellen wissenschaftlichen und kunstlerischen Perspektiven zum Thema. (shrink)
This thesis takes up a rights-based perspective to discuss a number of issues related to the problem of permissible harm. It appeals to a person’s capacity to shape her life in accordance with her own ideas of the good to explain why her death can be bad for her, and why each of us should have primary say over what may be done to her. The thesis begins with an investigation of the badness of death for the person who dies. (...) If death is bad for us, this helps explain the wrongness of killing. The thesis defends the deprivation account—i.e. the idea that death is bad for us when and because it deprives us of good life—against two Epicurean challenges. It adds that death is also bad when and because it thwarts our agency. Next, the thesis deals with the logic of our moral rights to non-interference. It proposes a conception of rights according to which the stringency of our rights derives from and is justified by the rational aspect of our human nature. It argues that this conception of moral rights solves the paradox of deontology. While our rights to non-interference are stringent, they are not absolute. The thesis considers two possible exceptions to the general rule that it is impermissible to harm an innocent person against her consent. First, using an actual case from WWII, it investigates the circumstances under which a government may expose some parts of its population to an increased risk of harm in order to decrease the risk to others. Second, it considers the permissibility of self-defence against an innocent threat. It argues that the potential victim of an innocent threat has a justice-based reason to treat her own interests as on a par with those of the threat. (shrink)
In his inaugural lecture at Cambridge as Regius Professor of Modern History in 1895, Lord Acton urged that the historian deliver moral judgments on the figures of his research. Acton declaimed: I exhort you never to debase the moral currency or to lower the standard of rectitude, but to try others by the final maxim that governs your own lives and to suffer no man and no cause to escape the undying penalty which history has the power to inflict on (...) wrong.1 In 1902, the year after Acton died, the president of the American Historical Association, Henry Lea, in dubious celebration of his British colleague, responded to the exordium with a contrary claim about the historian’s obligation, namely to render the facts of history objectively without subjective moralizing. Referring to Acton’s lecture, Lea declared: I must confess that to me all this seems to be based on false premises and to lead to unfortunate conclusions as to the objects and purposes of history, however much it may serve to give point and piquancy to a narrative, to stimulate the interests of the casual reader by heightening lights and deepening shadows, and to subserve the purpose of propagating the opinions of the writer.2 As our colleague Peter Novick has detailed in his great account of the American historical profession, by the turn of the century historians in the United States had begun their quest for scientific status, which for most seemed to preclude the leakage of moral opinion into the objective recovery of the past—at least in an overt way. Peter also catalogues the stumbling failures of this noble dream, when political partisanship and rampant nationalism sullied the ideal.3 Historians in our own time continue to be wary of rendering explicit moral pronouncements, thinking it a derogation of their obligations. On occasion, some historians have been moved to embrace the opposite attitude, especially when considering the horrendous events of the twentieth century—the Holocaust, for instance.. (shrink)
On the Value of Love -/- The main purpose of the article is to show by means of an analysis of the development of the different philosophical conceptions of love in the history of philosophy that there is a deep connection between the problems of love and those of values, even this connection is not always been explicitly thematized. Through a discussion of the connection between love and knowledge, love and autonomy, love and mysticism, and the role of romantic love, (...) the author puts the question if love endows the value of the beloved or if, on the contrary, love opens up the mind for values that would remain otherwise hidden for us. The analysis also displays the consequences of the different philosophical conceptions of love for the understanding of the gender problematic and some global problems concerning the meaningfulness of life, human creativity, and the multiple forms of love, including religious love and perception. (shrink)
Hobbes's political theory has traditionally been taken to be an endorsement of state power and a prescription for unconditional obedience to the sovereign's will. In this book, Susanne Sreedhar develops a novel interpretation of Hobbes's theory of political obligation and explores important cases where Hobbes claims that subjects have a right to disobey and resist state power, even when their lives are not directly threatened. Drawing attention to this broader set of rights, her comprehensive analysis of Hobbes's account of (...) political disobedience reveals a unified and coherent theory of resistance that has previously gone unnoticed and undefended. Her book will appeal to all who are interested in the nature and limits of political authority, the right of self-defense, the right of revolution, and the modern origins of these issues. (shrink)
This book offers a new account of what it is to act for a normative reason. The first part of the book examines the problems of causal accounts of acting for reasons and suggests to solve them by a dispositional approach. The author argues for a dispositional account which unites epistemic, volitional, and executional dispositions in a complex normative competence. This ‘Normative Competence Account’ allows for more and less reflective ways of acting for normative reasons. The second part of the (...) book clarifies the relation between the normative reason that an agent acts for and his or her motivating reasons. It refutes the widely held ‘identity view’ that acting for a normative reason requires the normative reason to be identical with a motivating reason. The author describes how normative reasons are related to motivating reasons by a relation of correspondence, and proposes a new understanding of how normative reasons explain those actions that are performed for them. Determined by Reasons engages with current debates from a wide range of different philosophical areas, including action theory, metaethics, moral psychology, epistemology, and ontology, to develop a new account of acting for normative reasons. (shrink)
From colonialism to a neocolonial state -- Law and court : the making of familial ideologies during the Colonial era -- The making of the new Yemeni woman -- "This is our customs and traditions" -- Social maps and a mystery -- Morality, causality, and social praxis.
Der vorliegende Aufsatz prüft, unter welchen Bedingungen ein Psychologismus für motivierende Gründe der gegenwärtig wachsenden Kritik standhalten kann. Zwei zentrale antipsychologistische Argumente, das „Spezialfallargument“ und das „Idealfallargument“, werden rekonstruiert und zurückgewiesen. Sie werfen dem Psychologismus vor, unsere praktische Überlegung lediglich in Spezialfällen adäquat zu beschreiben und damit unvereinbar zu sein, dass Personen im Idealfall aus normativen Gründen handeln. Der Aufsatz zeigt auf, dass diese Argumente voraussetzen, dass der motivierende Grund identisch ist mit demjenigen, was aus der Sicht des Handelnden als (...) normativer Grund erscheint. Diese Voraussetzung wird zurückgewiesen, so dass ein Psychologismus zum Vorschein kommt, der von den antipsychologistischen Argumenten unberührt bleibt. Stattdessen wird eine Konzeption motivierender Gründe vertreten, welche die Handlungserklärung und die Rationalisierung von Handlungen als zentrale Funktion motivierender Gründe betrachtet. (shrink)
Scientific writings and policy documents define the terms nanomaterial and nanoparticle in various ways. This variation is considered problematic because the absence of a shared definition is understood as potentially hindering nanomaterial knowledge production and regulation. Another view is that the existence of a shared definition may itself cause problems, as rigid definitions arguably exclude important aspects of the studied phenomena. The aim of this paper is to inform this state of disagreement by providing analytical concepts for a systematic understanding (...) of how, and even whether, nanomaterial and nanoparticle could and should be defined. To do this, we review definitions of nanomaterial and nanoparticle presented in research articles and policy documents. Definitions were identified by first conducting a Scopus search and then tracing cited definitions back to their sources. In total, 36 definitions were identified. Theories of definition from philosophy and linguistics provide analytical guidance for structuring and categorizing the identified definitions, and the main analytical dimensions of the definitions are then identified and discussed. Finally, we propose a framework for understanding the process of defining nanomaterial and nanoparticle. This framework considers both the generality needed for a shared understanding and the level of precision required for different purposes. (shrink)