Ethicists differ considerably in their reasons for using empirical data. This paper presents a brief overview of four traditional approaches to the use of empirical data: “the prescriptive applied ethicists,” “the theorists,” “the critical applied ethicists,” and “the particularists.” The main aim of this paper is to introduce a fifth approach of more recent date (i.e. “integrated empirical ethics”) and to offer some methodological directives for research in integrated empirical ethics. All five approaches are presented in a table for heuristic (...) purposes. The table consists of eight columns: “view on distinction descriptive-prescriptive sciences,” “location of moral authority,” “central goal(s),” “types of normativity,” “use of empirical data,” “method,” “interaction empirical data and moral theory,” and “cooperation with descriptive sciences.” Ethicists can use the table in order to identify their own approach. Reflection on these issues prior to starting research in empirical ethics should lead to harmonization of the different scientific disciplines and effective planning of the final research design. Integrated empirical ethics (IEE) refers to studies in which ethicists and descriptive scientists cooperate together continuously and intensively. Both disciplines try to integrate moral theory and empirical data in order to reach a normative conclusion with respect to a specific social practice. IEE is not wholly prescriptive or wholly descriptive since IEE assumes an interdepence between facts and values and between the empirical and the normative. The paper ends with three suggestions for consideration on some of the future challenges of integrated empirical ethics. (shrink)
OGHRA is an international and interdisciplinary enterprise on the impact of Augustine of Hippo. With contributions from over 400 international experts, it offers a detailed introduction and 600 entries which describe, analyse, and evaluate Augustine's influence on a broad variety of key historical figures and themes through the ages.
Since children are considered incapable ofgiving informed consent to participate inresearch, regulations require that bothparental permission and the assent of thepotential child subject be obtained. Assent andpermission are uniquely bound together, eachserving a different purpose. Parentalpermission protects the child from assumingunreasonable risks. Assent demonstrates respectfor the child and his developing autonomy. Inorder to give meaningful assent, the child mustunderstand that procedures will be performed,voluntarily choose to undergo the procedures,and communicate this choice. Understanding theelements of informed consent has been theparadigm for (...) assessing capacity to give assent.This method leaves the youngest, leastcognitively mature children vulnerable towaiver of assent and forced researchparticipation. Voluntariness can also becompromised by the influence of authorityfigures who can exert undue influence andcoerce children to participate in research. This paper discusses factors that may influencethe decision to give assent/permission,potential parent-child conflict in theassent/permission process and how it isresolved, and potential parental undueinfluence on research participation. Theseissues are illustrated with quotations drawnfrom a larger qualitative study of parentalpermission and child assent (data notpresented). We suggest a developmentalapproach, viewing assent as a continuum rangingfrom mere affirmation in the youngest childrento the equivalent of the informed consentprocess in the mature adolescent. (shrink)
The information system StarSoft Wilma used to track and report on the adolescents' behaviour at school can cause problematic situations. These problems manifest themselves in various ways: many of the markings in the system are either wholly unnecessary or at least questionable in nature. This is made the adolescents resent the system. In this paper these side-effects are looked through and compared with an analysis of posts in the Facebook-group 'Wilma Ruined My Life'. As conclusions we claim that (...) the system can create an atmosphere of fear and suspicion amongst the students: resembling an Orwellian or panopticon-like environment which might undermine the students' ability to become full and capable members of an open democratic society. (shrink)
Although the academic interest in ethical mutual fund performance has developed steadily, the evidence to date is mainly sample-specific. To tackle this critique, new research should extend to unexplored countries. Using this as a motivation, we examine the performance and risk sensitivities of Canadian ethical mutual funds vis-à-vis their conventional peers. In order to overcome the methodological deficiencies most prior papers suffered from, we use performance measurement approaches in the spirit of Carhart (1997, Journal of Finance 52(1): 57–82) and Ferson (...) and Schadt (1996, Journal of Finance 51(2): 425–461). In doing so, we investigate the aggregated performance and investment style of ethical and conventional mutual funds and allow for time variation in the funds’ systematic risk. Our␣Canadian evidence supports the conjecture that any␣performance differential between ethical mutual funds and their conventional peers is statistically insignificant. (shrink)
This paper outlines the process of verbal communication of emotion as this occurs through the phases of the referential process, including arousal of an emotion schema; detailed and specific descriptions of images and episodes that are exemplars of emotion schemas; and reflection and reorganization, which may include emotion labels and other types of categorical terms. The concepts of emotion schemas and the referential process are defined in the theoretical framework of multiple code theory which includes subsymbolic sensory, visceral and motoric (...) processes, symbolic images and words. Emotion schemas are defined as clusters of representations of events incorporating similar bodily, sensory and motoric processes activated in relation to different people in different contexts. Through the referential process subsymbolic components of a schema that have been activated in a speaker or writer and that may be connected only partially to words may be evoked in a listener or reader. The concept of the emotion schemas is examined in relation to current work in emotion theory and neuroscience. The unique effects of detailed descriptions of episodes in conveying complex aspects of emotional experience are discussed, as recognized by writers, and as demonstrated in empirical research. Computerized measures of the phases of the referential process are presented, focusing particularly on the central measure, the Weighted Referential Activity Dictionary which identifies points of narrative and imagery. The operation of the function words that dominate the WRAD are examined in relation to the structure of narrative expression underlying the verbal representation of emotion schemas. (shrink)
This article explores the pedagogical implications of John Dewey’s claim that his definition of experience is shared by Daoists. It compares characteristics of experience with those in Daoism, and then considers the similarities and differences between key cultivation practices each proposes, focusing on the roles of the teacher and sage. My main reference to Daoism is the translation of the Daodejing by Roger Ames and David Hall, who use Dewey’s conception of experience to explain the character of Daoism. There are (...) two facts that Dewey chooses to define experience and link with Daoism—what it is not, and what it is. Comparisons of these facts with Daoism support Dewey’s claim: both define the ‘what is’ as the principle of unity of opposites. While sharing this view, their proposals for its cultivation reveal similarities, but also some significant differences. The Daodejing gives the Daoist sage a major role to play in the cultivation process of other persons, as does Dewey for the teacher. However, unlike Dewey’s teacher who guides the process, the sage is to create a cultivating environment, thus allowing the sage to ‘let go.’ The Daoist practices offer new ideas to consider in the quest for experience in lessons. (shrink)
This article, first published in Russian in 1984 in Sign Systems Studies, introduces the concept of semiosphere and describes its principal attributes. Semiosphere is the semiotic space, outside of which semiosis cannot exist. The ensemble of semiotic formations functionally precedes the singular isolated language and becomes a condition for the existence of the latter. Without the semiosphere, language not only does not function, it does not exist. The division between the core and the periphery is a law of the internal (...) organisation of the semiosphere. There exists boundary between the semiosphere and the non- or extra-semiotic space that surrounds it. The semiotic border is represented by the sum of bilingual translatable “filters”, passing through which the text is translated into another language (or languages), situated outside the given semiosphere. The levels of the semiosphere comprise an inter-connected group of semiospheres, each of them being simultaneously both participant in the dialogue (as part of the semiosphere) and the space of dialogue (the semiosphere as a whole). (shrink)