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Organized immaturity, the reduction of individual capacities for public use of reason constrained by sociotechnological systems, constitutes a significant pushback against the project of Enlightenment. Forms of immaturity have long been a concern for philosophers and social theorists, such as Kant, Arendt, Fromm, Marcuse, and Foucault. Recently, Zuboff’s concept of “surveillance capitalism” describes how advancements in digital technologies lead to new, increasingly sophisticated forms of organized immaturity in democratic societies. We discuss how sociotechnological systems initially designed to meet human needs can inhibit the multidimensional development of individuals as mature citizens. To counteract these trends, we suggest two mechanisms: disorganizing immaturity as a way to safeguard individuals’ and collectives’ negative freedoms (freedoms from), and organizing maturity as a way to strengthen positive freedoms (freedoms to). Finally, we provide an outlook on the five further articles that constitute the Business Ethics Quarterly Special Issue “Sociotechnological Conditions of Organized Immaturity in the Twenty-First Century.”
The profound influence of Thomas Donaldson and Thomas Dunfee’s integrative social contracts theory (ISCT) on the field of business ethics has been challenged by Andreas Scherer and Guido Palazzo’s Habermasian approach, which has achieved prominence of late with articles that expressly question the defensibility of ISCT’s hypernorms. This article builds on recent efforts by Donaldson and Scherer to bridge their accounts by providing discursive foundations to the hypernorms at the heart of the ISCT framework. Extending prior literature, we propose an ISCT* framework designed to retain ISCT’s practical virtue of managerial guidance while answering the demands of Scherer and Palazzo’s discursive account. By subscribing to a suitable portfolio of discursively justified hypernorms, we argue, companies unlock the valuable moral guidance of ISCT*, which says to treat these hypernorms as unequivocal outer bounds to the pursuit of business and as a starting point to tailor local norms through discursive stakeholder engagement.
Sophisticated techniques of archaeological survey, including airborne imaging spectroscopy, electromagnetic induction and ground-penetrating radar, are opening up new horizons in the non-invasive exploration of archaeological sites. One location where they have yielded spectacular results is Carnuntum in Austria, on the south bank of the Danube, capital of the key Roman province of Pannonia. Excavations in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries revealed many of the major elements of this extensive complex, including the legionary fortress and the civilian town or municipium. Excavation, however, is no longer the only way of recovering and recording the details of these buried structures. In 2011, a combination of non-invasive survey methods in the area to the south of the civilian town, where little was visible on the surface, led to the dramatic discovery of remains interpreted as a gladiatorial school, complete with individual cells for the gladiators and a circular training arena. The combination of techniques has led to the recording and visualisation of the buried remains in astonishing detail, and the impact of the discovery is made all the greater by the stunning reconstruction images that the project has generated.
Radio and infrared interferometry of SiO maser stars provide complementary information on the atmosphere and circumstellar environment at comparable spatial resolution. Here, we present the latest results on the atmospheric structure and the dust condensation region of AGB stars based on our recent infrared spectro-interferometric observations, which represent the environment of SiO masers. We discuss, as an example, new results from simultaneous VLTI and VLBA observations of the Mira variable AGB star R Cnc, including VLTI near- and mid-infrared interferometry, as well as VLBA observations of the SiO maser emission toward this source. We present preliminary results from a monitoring campaign of high-frequency SiO maser emission toward evolved stars obtained with the APEX telescope, which also serves as a precursor of ALMA images of the SiO emitting region. We speculate that large-scale long-period chaotic motion in the extended molecular atmosphere may be the physical reason for observed deviations from point symmetry of atmospheric molecular layers, and for the observed erratic variability of high-frequency SiO maser emission.
A calibration procedure for the detection efficiency of energy
dispersive X-ray spectrometers (EDS) used in combination with scanning
electron microscopy (SEM) for standardless electron probe microanalysis
(EPMA) is presented. The procedure is based on the comparison of X-ray
spectra from a reference material (RM) measured with the EDS to be
calibrated and a reference EDS. The RM is certified by the line
intensities in the X-ray spectrum recorded with a reference EDS and by its
composition. The calibration of the reference EDS is performed using
synchrotron radiation at the radiometry laboratory of the
Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt. Measurement of RM spectra and
comparison of the specified line intensities enables a rapid efficiency
calibration on most SEMs. The article reports on studies to prepare such a
RM and on EDS calibration and proposes a methodology that could be
implemented in current spectrometer software to enable the calibration
with a minimum of operator assistance.
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