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There is a connection between the habits of thinking in science, economics and diplomacy that are hindering our response to climate change. Western science since the Enlightenment has built its success on reductionism. This has left us less good than we need to be at thinking holistically, and at understanding the potential for systemic change in our environment, economy, and international relations. New ways of thinking can take generations to spread through society and displace their predecessors. In our present crisis, we must accelerate this process deliberately – we cannot afford to wait.
This chapter situates the distinctive nature of dignity within the marketplace and offers tractable ways for scholars to integrate it in consumer research. We first shed light on the theoretical and practical power of dignity as grounded in psychology, examining it on different levels: intrapersonal, interpersonal, and cultural. We then begin to conceptualize the construct of consumer dignity and propose three specific levers by which it may be affirmed or denied: recognition, agency, and equality. Finally, we present emerging evidence to illustrate the operation of these levers and discuss how consumer dignity might be applied to build inclusive firms, organizations, and societies.
This chapter argues that Ishiguro’s novels frame ethical issues through questions of agency. Hannah Arendt’s ideas about agency and action provide a way to understand this in detail: for Arendt, speech and action reveal ‘who’ the speaker is, and shows their involvement with the ‘web of human relationships’ and the ramifications of their actions; the representation of action is inextricable from style and form. Using these ideas, the chapter demonstrates that there are significant changes over Ishiguro’s work: the first three novels concern reflections on past actions; the second three explore different conditions of agency in both content and in style; the two most recent novels deal with the impact and risks of actions and reactions. This also illuminates two recognizable literary devices used by Ishiguro: the way his characters ‘project’ themselves onto others, and what he calls the ‘dream grammar’ in relation to some aspects of his prose and plotting.
The inherent paradox of Egyptology is that the objective of its study – people living in Egypt in Pharaonic times – are never the direct object of its studies. Egyptology, as well as archaeology in general, approach ancient lives through material (and sometimes immaterial) remains. This Element explores how, through the interplay of things and people – of non-human actants and human actors – Pharaonic material culture is shaped. In turn, it asks how, through this interplay, Pharaonic culture as an epistemic entity is created: an epistemic entity which conserves and transmits even the lives and deaths of ancient people. Drawing upon aspects of Actor Network Theory, this Element introduces an approach to see technique as the interaction of people and things, and technology as the reflection of these networks of entanglement.
The Cambridge Companion to Kazuo Ishiguro offers an accessible introduction to key aspects of the novelist's remarkable body of work. The volume addresses Ishiguro's engagement with fundamental questions of humanity and personal responsibility, with aesthetic value and political valency, with the vicissitudes of memory and historical documentation, and with questions of family, home, and homelessness. Focused through the personal experiences of some of the most memorable characters in contemporary fiction, Ishiguro's writing speaks to the major communitarian questions of our time – questions of nationalism and colonialism, race and ethnicity, migration, war, and cultural memory and social justice. The chapters attend to Ishiguro's highly readable novels while also ranging across his other creative output. Gathering together established and emerging scholars from the UK, Europe, the USA, and East Asia, the volume offers a survey of key works and themes while also moving critical discussion forward in new and challenging ways.
Robert Sugden has advanced various critiques of behavioural welfare economics, offering the notion of opportunity as an alternative. We agree with much of Sugden's critique but argue that his approach would benefit from a broadening of the informational base beyond opportunities to include people's concern for decision processes. We follow Amartya Sen in arguing that the process through which choices are made (process freedom) is something individuals care about beyond the availability of choice options (opportunity freedom) as they value a sense of agency. We argue that individuals’ agentic capabilities are crucial for people's process freedom and hence for their sense of agency. In the final section of the paper, we sketch the institutional implications of our argument, i.e. what a joint consideration of opportunities and agentic capabilities means for behavioural public policy.
This chapter addresses the parties to international arbitration agreements. It follows the standard distinction between signatories (those persons whose names appear on the arbitration agreement – or the contract that includes an arbitration clause) and nonsignatories (those persons whose names do not appear on the arbitration agreement but are nonetheless bound by or entitled to invoke it). Part I addresses the treatment of ‘parties’ in the New York Convention and national arbitration laws governing international commercial arbitration, and the ICSID Convention governing (many) investor-State arbitrations. Part II examines the theories under which affected others – that is, nonsignatories to an international arbitration agreement – might nonetheless be bound, likewise first in international commercial arbitration and then in investor-State arbitration. Finally, Part III discusses the available empirical evidence on the parties to international commercial arbitration and investor-State arbitration proceedings.
At the heart of creativity is the unknown and the new, the breaking from conventions and conformity, and the challenging of existing norms and ideas. Those essential parts of creativity come with the threat of failure, rejection, embarrassment, exclusion, and non-conformity. However, the experience and intensity of this threat and the resulting anxiety and fear is likely different for each of us. So, where does fear of failure, and the anxiety it may produce, fit into the creative process? Are fear and anxiety barriers we should try to remove to become more creative? Are they catalysts for creative risk-taking and the enhanced alertness that help us recognize an opportunity for innovation, invention, and growth? This chapter explores features of creativity and the creative process that relate to the affective states of anxiety and fear of failure with the goal to illustrate the research on how these states can be managed, and even leveraged, to enhance creativity.
Chapter 2 presents the theoretical approach that informs the argument and analysis. I view the generation and distribution of power in society, and how and why that evolves over time, as inherently linked and thus the fundamental context for social inquiry. The chapter defines social power, arguing that power needs to be understood as something distributed among agents. Thus the definition of social actors is also central, and especially the fact that in the modern period these are increasingly collective, corporate entities, based on modes of association other than kinship. The sharpening and proliferation of such corporate actors, and the domestication of competition, are reciprocal processes. Competition and competitors are mutually defining. Drawing on the tradition of cultural ecology, I also clarify what I mean by ‘social evolution’, emphasising a shift in focus from ‘societies’ to forms of social organisation as the key units of analysis.
The chapter discusses influential justificatory theories of human rights and critically assesses their merits. These include sociological theories of human rights (Luhmann), the economic analysis of rights, behavioral law and economics, utilitarian theories of rights, discourse theory (Habermas, Forst, Günther, Wingert), social contract theory (e.g. Rawls, Scanlon), theories that base human rights on human agency, need or interests (Griffin, Tasioulas), the capability approach (Sen, Nussbaum), political conceptions inspired by Rawls’ thought (Beitz) and the eudemonistic approach interpreting human rights as expressions of dignity and authenticity and a life lived well (Dworkin). As a result, it concludes that a theory of human rights has to include the following three elements: first, a theory of human goods that specifies what human rights legitimately aim to protect; second, a political theory of why human rights secure these goods for individuals in human societies; and third, normative principles that determine the normative yardstick for the protection of human goods by human rights in human societies.
In Chapter 10, we analyze how mental illness impacted selfhood and how aspects of the self were narrated with well-being. Our participants shared stories reflecting an ill self with chaos, division, and lack of self-care; a negative self; and a self that was different, unable to live a “normal” life. They voiced a loss of previous self and imagined a future that was uncertain and bleak, with decline and relapse lurking at the edge. Grounded in these subthemes, identity conclusions such as “I am out of control” and “my illness will shatter my dreams” may move to the forefront of narrative identity, hindering personal recovery. Some participants also evidenced subthemes concerning how mental illness had changed them in positive ways, focusing on insight and strengths. When they storied well-being into their identities, this included subthemes revolving around themselves as agentic, growing, accepting, and valued as well as future selves reflecting hopes and dreams. From these subthemes, identity conclusions like “I can change my life for the better” and “I can learn” may sprout. Reconstructing narrative identity to cope with the costs of mental illness, while vitalizing adaptive aspects of the self may be central to personal recovery.
If chastity has for generations served the needs and desires of men, can it still be taken seriously as a virtue? Dismissed in the west as a medieval superstition, or, at best, as a means of escape from an intolerable situation, chastity seems a worn-out version of goodness which belongs in the past. Putting forward a new reading of Pericles (1609), this chapter opens up chastity as forgotten version of agency which, in the most surprising ways, enables new kinds of assertion and affirmation. It offers an account of the Marina Project, an ongoing creative-critical collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company, which has resulted in the creation of a new play entitled Marina. Both the project and the play prioritize the perspective of the protagonist’s daughter, Marina, who powerfully and triumphantly refuses to play the game where women are sold to men. Chastity emerges as a specifically female and remarkably direct kind of action which overturns the withdrawal implied by obedience to a patriarchal frame. Marina’s "radical chastity" disrupts our sense of the way things have to be, opening up a constellation of important issues today.
Competition is deeply built into the structures of modern life. It can improve policies, products and services, but is also seen as a divisive burden that pits people against one another. This book seeks to go beyond such caricatures by advancing a new thesis about how competition came to shape our society. Jonathan Hearn argues that competition was 'domesticated', harnessed and institutionalised across a range of institutional spheres in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Responding to crises in traditional forms of authority (hereditary, religious), the formalisation of competition in the economy, politics, and diverse new forms of knowledge creation provided a new mode for legitimating distributions of power in the emerging liberal societies. This insightful study aims to improve our ability to think critically about competition, by better understanding its integral role, for good and ill, in how liberal forms of society work.
“Religious authority” remains a ubiquitous but controversial term of comparative analysis. In Islamic studies, authority is generally personified in the form of the ulama and most often viewed through Weber’s lens of charismatic, legal-rational, and traditional types of legitimate domination. Our particular interest, Twelver Shi‘i Islam, seems a paradigmatic case, where the relationship between “the Ayatollahs” and state power has dominated academic discussion since Khomeini. Through ethnography of a Shi‘i diaspora community in the UK, we argue for a radical shift in perspective: away from forms of clerical power and towards non-specialist uses of clerical authority as expert opinion. Far from such “epistemic” authority being opposed to ordinary agency, here they are inextricably linked. Inspirational work in the anthropology of Islam has understood ordinary Muslim experiences of authority in non-liberal ways, as (Foucauldian) ethical discipline and self-care. We maintain the need to transcend not only domination but discipline too, refocusing the comparison between (Shi‘i) Islamic legal and liberal thought, in the form of Raz’s classic “service conception” of authority. Both stress the rationality of following authoritative opinion and its role as reason and justification for individual action. Our ethnography of ordinary practice then shows the sheer diversity of ways that such epistemic authority can be taken up, including, but not limited to, projects of personal piety and adversarial community politics. In our context, as surely also in others, domination and discipline should thus be seen as potential uses of “religious” epistemic authority, rather than as its privileged form.
Autonomy is the concept of self-rule, or the ability to control our personal choices. This chapter starts with a discussion of the dubious practice of selling herbal weight-loss products and asks whether regulations should try to protect consumers from making bad choices or if buyers should be solely in control of their own decisions. Advertising can be a challenge to autonomy, especially if it misleads or manipulates by triggering unreflective psychological dynamics, and capitalism relies on consumers being informed and able to make voluntary choices. The challenges posed by internet commerce are also discussed. The morality of workplace restrictions on individuals is examined, as well as the challenges of intrusive psychological testing and reduced barriers between professional and private lives. Whistleblowing is also introduced as emblematic of the tension between individual values and loyalty to a company. The concluding case examines the Wells Fargo banking scandal where customers were unaware of accounts opened in their name and the firm coerced employees to act against their best moral judgment.
Chapter 1 introduces the book’s argument. Naming Ukraine’s war is controversial. Russia quickly appropriated the term “civil war,” cynically in order to claim noninvolvement. This flies in the face of evidence. The social science literature on civil war violence and barriers to settlements may be analytically useful, however, for understanding why the conflict in Ukraine was so difficult to bring to resolution in the 2015–2022 period. This book explains that Russia, after seizing Crimea, was reacting to events it could not control and sent troops only to areas of Ukraine where it knew it would face little resistance (the Eastern Donbas). Kremlin decision-makers misunderstood the attachment of the Russian-speaking population to the Ukrainian state and also failed to anticipate how that their intervention would transform Ukraine into a more cohesively “Ukrainian” polity.
Responsibility is a key moral concept but it is often used ambiguously, such as a firm being considered a responsible part of the community, having corporate social responsibility, or being responsible for harms. This chapter provides a clear framework that distinguishes between the different ways the term is used and shows how it can be applied in practical terms. It starts with an exposition of the Volkswagen diesel scandal to illustrate the various meanings of the term, contrasting notions of legal liability from moral wrongs. The relationship of cause, blame, and fault to moral responsibility is evaluated. It is noted that people may adopt institutional values when working in a role, and whether that approach remains valid even when someone else takes responsibility. The nature of company and institutional codes and compliance issues are discussed, and positive acts are contrasted to deliberate avoidance. The doctrine of double effect is evaluated, where an outcome is foreseeable but unintended. The concluding case deals with the tragic loss of Boeing 737 MAX airplanes and the attempt to shift blame from the company to individuals, especially foreign pilots.
To what degree do people prefer to choose for themselves and what drives this preference? Is it memory-based and results from a life-long association between choices and better outcomes, or is the process of choice itself reinforcing? In a new paradigm, across 6 experiments, participants experienced both ’Own Choice’ and ’Computer Picks’ conditions with identical outcomes before selecting which condition to re-experience in the final part of the experiment. Consistent with previous work, an overwhelming majority ( 83%) preferred own-choice. Several variations of the paradigm reveal that (1) Preference For Choice (PFC) is reduced when thinking about the task without actually choosing in it, (2) PFC is substantially reduced by choice-unrelated cognitive load, and (3) Preference For Choice is further diminished when selection is based on criteria other than one’s preferences. Across experiments, participants’ self-rated enjoyment predicted a significant portion of their PFC, while their perceived gains had little to no predictive value. If PFC stems solely from past reinforcement learning (i.e., memory) then neither performing another few scores of choices nor adding cognitive load to that sequence of choices would be expected to dramatically affect it. Hence, our findings suggest that a significant part of this preference stems from the process of choice itself, and that the experience it confers can itself be reinforcing. We discuss the implications of the proposed mechanism for PFC, which leads us to the prediction that PFC may be muted or even reversed under specific conditions and what this means for when the ‘opposite’ effect – sticking with the default – will occur.
Motivation is a central concept for animal welfare; it has inspired methodological breakthroughs and generated a wealth of crucial empirical work. As the field develops beyond its original mandate to alleviate the suffering of animals in intensive farming systems, the assumptions behind the current models of motivation may warrant closer scrutiny. In this paper, I examine some of the complexities of studying motivation — for example, that what an animal wants can depend on its welfare and that, through genetic selection and housing choices, we can modify what an animal finds to be rewarding versus punishing. The central theme of this paper is, therefore, that we cannot just ask the animals under our care (or even in the wild) what they want and assume that we will receive unadulterated answers, free from human influence. While asking questions about animal motivation with empirical research is invaluable and necessary, our models drive our research questions, methodologies, and results’ interpretation. When the models we employ remain implicit (eg the only motivation questions worth asking are those that could be implemented within the current housing systems), they have ability to stifle progress in understanding animal welfare. Thus, in addition to the empirical work, we also need to expose and evaluate the models that drive the research. Making the models explicit will facilitate our ability to identify their areas of silence, assess their strengths and potential limitations, as well as examine how they conceptualise the relationship between motivation and animal welfare. I end with a discussion of the implications of a few relevant models, both implicit and explicit, noting how such consideration reveals exciting areas for future work, including, for example, research on the motivation to make choices and the motivation to learn.
When decisions involve opting in or out of competition many decision makers will opt-in even when doing so leads to losses on average. In the current paper, we examine the generality of this effect in risky choices not involving competition. We found that re-framing a sure (certain) zero option as an option to observe the results of the other options without choosing would lead to increased consequential choice (i.e., increased selection of risky options rather than the zero option). Specifically, in two studies we compared the rate of consequential choice in a novel paradigm where decision makers decide to observe or to choose with consequence from a set of risky options (decisions-to-engage) to a full-feedback decisions-from-feedback paradigm where the choice set included a labeled sure zero option. Compared to decisions-from-feedback, participants were more likely to choose from mixed (risky) gambles with consequence (over a zero outcome) in decisions-to-engage. This occurred irrespective of whether doing so was advantageous (i.e., when choice led to monetary gains on average) or disadvantageous (i.e., when choice led to monetary losses on average), and when descriptions of the options outcomes and probabilities were provided (Study 2). These findings provide an important boundary condition for the positive effects of experience on the quality of choice, and suggest that decision makers’ preference for agency can sometimes induce poorer choices.