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In this chapter, I discuss the role of personalisation in a wider narrative of the development of democratic societies, in terms of digital modernity, driven by a vision of data-driven innovation over networked structures facilitating socio-environmental control. This chapter deals with narratives of how modernity plays out and is implemented by institutions and technologies, which are inevitably partial, and selective in what they foreground and ignore. It begins with a discussion of digital modernity, showing how data-driven personalisation is central to it, and how privacy not only loses its traditional role as a support for individuality, but becomes a blocker for the technologies that will realise the digitally modern vision. The chapter develops the concept of the subjunctive world, in which individuals’ choices are replaced by what they would have chosen if only they had sufficient data and insight. Furthermore, the notions of what is harmful for the individual, and the remedies that can be applied to these, become detached from the individual’s lived experience, and reconnected, in the policy space, to the behaviour and evolution of models of the individual and his or her environment.
This chapter turns to Aquinas’s view that the human act is a hylomorphic composite. To discuss the human act’s hylomorphic structure, it first considers three power-exercises crucial to the execution of the human act once the choice has been made, namely, “command,” “use,” and the “commanded act.” It contends that the act of command is an act of reason that specifies the power by which a choice is to be executed. Use is a volitional act that activates, and sustains the exercise, of the power determined by command, and the commanded act is the exercise of this power. It then argues that use (rather than command) functions as the form of the commanded act by virtue of directing the latter to an end. The chapter draws on an insight from Chapter 4, arguing that formal and final causation coincide here, because what it is for a human act to be of a certain kind (and so to have a certain form) is for it to be directed to a certain end. The last section of this chapter discusses Aquinas’s account of how choice explains the hylomorphically organized human act, which relies on the notion of “virtual existence.”
The introductory chapter of this book offers a brief account of the relation between action theory and moral philosophy in Aquinas. It argues that Aquinas has a descriptive, metaphysical account of the human act, one that investigates the human act’s ontology as well as its aetiology, that is, respectively, what the human act is and how it is explained. This account brackets normative considerations about what acts are morally good or bad. The introduction specifies that the book deals with this descriptive theory, and it also motivates the book’s main textual focus, which is on one aspect of Aquinas’s Prima secundae discussion of the human act, namely, the phase leading from choice (electio) to the actual performance of the human act. Finally, the introduction states the main thesis of the book, which is that both choice and the human act that it explains are hylomorphically structured, for Aquinas. Choice is a composite of a volition and a preferential intentional structure inherited from a previous judgment, and the human act is a composite of a volition and a power-exercise caused by volition, such as a bodily movement.
This chapter turns to an examination of choice and its hylomorphic structure. To spell out this structure, it further investigates the formal-causal dependence relation between volition and judgment already considered in Chapter 4. It argues that Aquinas draws a distinction between two types of forms, a form extrinsic to the volition, which is the preceding practical judgment, and a form intrinsic to volition, which is the intentional structure that volition inherits from the preceding judgment. It furthermore suggests that the intentional structure of volition involves two components analogous to those present in judgment. There is an attitudinal component analogous to assent in judgment, which Aquinas refers to as “adherence,” and there is also a content adhered to, namely, a means as related to an end. The final section applies this general picture to choice to explain its hylomorphic structure. It argues that choice is a volition whose intrinsic form consists of an attitude of preferential adherence attaching to one means rather than another, where this form is an intentional structure derived from the previous judgment of choice.
Regulators require lenders to display a subset of credit card features in summary tables before customers finalize a credit card choice. Some jurisdictions require some features to be displayed more prominently than others to help ensure that consumers are made aware of them. This approach could lead to untoward effects on choice, such that relevant but nonprominent product features do not factor in as significantly. To test this possibility, we instructed a random sample of 1615 adults to choose between two hypothetical credit cards whose features were shown side by side in tables. The sample was instructed to select the card that would result in the lowest financial charges, given a hypothetical scenario. Critically, we randomly varied whether the annual interest rates and fees were made visually salient by making one, both, or neither brighter than other features. The findings show that even among credit-savvy individuals, choice tends strongly toward the product that outperforms the other on a salient feature. As a result, we encourage regulators to consider not only whether a key feature should be made more salient, but also the guidelines regarding when a key feature should be displayed prominently during credit card acquisition.
Property and markets are not fully intertwined. Although one cannot think about the idea of a market without thinking about property – property, after all, is one of the market’s foundational building blocks – it is possible to think about property without thinking about markets. Still, liberal property and markets are so deeply connected that a liberal theory of property cannot ignore the market. A liberal theory of property must explain how property can remain loyal to its liberal commitments in the context of large-scale economies heavily reliant on the operation of markets.
By connecting “free” and “dutiful” action, Kant seemed to his contemporaries to have a problem with the imputability of immoral actions. K. L. Reinhold tried to avoid this with a distinction between freedom of choice (Willkür) and practical reason (as expressed through Wille), such that any free action must involve a choice between “selfish” and “unselfish” drives. After Kant rejected Reinhold’s proposed distinction, Fichte defended it by introducing a new distinction between the original, purely “formal” freedom of every spontaneously self-positing I and the “material” freedom that every I strives to achieve. Whereas formal freedom concerns the choice of means to predetermined ends, material freedom determines the ends as well as the means of acting. Fichte shows how a formally free individual might gain material freedom through “reflections” upon formal freedom; freedom of choice is then meant to coincide with the categorical demands of the moral law – and Willkür with Wille. Fichte’s distinction between kinds and degrees of freedom was introduced to resolve the conflict between Kant and Reinhold, but it raises questions as to how one might “freely” acquire material freedom.
This chapter has two broad aims: to explore the potential for a role for corrective feedback in instructional pragmatics; and to review studies of instructional pragmatics that have investigated the effectiveness of corrective feedback. The chapter starts with the observation that there has been a disinclination to correct learners’ pragmatic errors. In fact, studies of instructional pragmatics rarely refer to “errors,” which is a construct integral to feedback studies. Allowing for this difference in orientation, the chapter discusses potential issues related to correcting pragmatic errors, such as challenges in identifying errors, the feasibility of correcting pragmalinguistic versus sociopragmatic errors, and the lack of firm norms to use in correction. Next, the chapter summarizes the findings of nine studies published between 2005 and 2017 and assesses their methodological strengths and weaknesses. The review revealed that although most of the studies reported positive effects for corrective feedback, many of the studies reviewed suffered from major methodological limitations. Owing to the nature of the available evidence, the chapter advocates neither for nor against the implementation of corrective feedback in instructional pragmatics. The chapter concludes by providing guidelines for future principled investigations into the role of corrective feedback in instructional pragmatics.
Property enhances autonomy for most people, but not for all. Because it both empowers and disables, property requires constant vigilance. A Liberal Theory of Property addresses key questions: how can property be justified? What core values should property law advance, and how do those values interrelate? How is a liberal state obligated to act when shaping property law? In a liberal polity, the primary commitment to individual autonomy dominates the justification of property, founding it on three pillars: carefully delineated private authority, structural (but not value) pluralism, and relational justice. A genuinely liberal property law meets the legitimacy challenge confronting property by expanding people's opportunities for individual and collective self-determination while carefully restricting their options of interpersonal domination. The book shows how the three pillars of liberal property account for core features of existing property systems, provide a normative vocabulary for evaluating central doctrines, and offer directions for urgent reforms.
Focusing on Swedish home care for older people, this article explores the discursive (re)production of home care as an institution. Equality and universal service provision have been described as defining features of the Nordic care regime. At the same time, Nordic research has highlighted a shift in social care policy, from a focus on universalism and egalitarian ideals towards a focus on freedom of choice, diversity and individualised services. This article takes as a starting point that home care for older people is formed by different and potentially conflicting ideas. We understand home care as a contested formation and define institutional change in terms of ongoing discursive struggles. The analysis draws on qualitative semi-structured interviews with key informants, including politicians, local authority officials and representatives of interest organisations. Informants were engaged in policy making, implementation or advocacy related to care for older people. We examine the meanings attached to home care for older people and the analysis reveals three different discourses – on choice, needs and equality. By comparing and contrasting discourses, we reveal silences, conflicts and tensions, and highlight the politics involved in (re)creating home care as an institution.
This chapter examines the concept of free will. it commences with an examination of determinism, and the idea of a ‘clockwork universe’. It extends the idea of a clockwork universe to the determination of human thought and behaviour. It examines ideas from quantum mechanics, asking whether uncertainty and probability provide any relief for the problem of free will, and we conclude that they probably don’t. The chapter then examines the possibility that dualism provides free will. It further asks whether there are benefits in believing in the illusion of free will. It examines compatabilism -- attempts to reconcile determinism with free will. The chapter discusses crime and punishment in the light of free will, and the idea of moral responsibility. Should psychopaths be punished or treated (or both)? The chapter then examines the literature on deciding to act, including Libet’s experiments on timing, and brain imaging of decision making. It then looks at involuntary action and the alien hand syndrome. It concludes by looking at psychological compulsions, asking how they relate to free will.
Chapter 4 is about choice (prohairesis), an Aristotelian innovation. This is the central chapter of the book, drawing together the threads of the previous chapters. Aristotle says that virtue of character is a disposition involving choice and he defines choice as desiderative thought or thoughtful desire. He is here emphasizing each side of choice, thought, and desire. I argue that choice can belong to good, bad, and akratic people, but my main aim is to show how thought and desire are interdependent in the case of the good person. To that end, I analyze the type of thought involved in the choice of the good person – deliberation – showing that it cannot be adequately explained without mentioning virtue and hence desire and feelings. Conversely, I show that the type of desire involved, which I argue takes up the motivation both of wish (which I argue is in the rational part of the soul) and the feelings, requires thought. I conclude with some examples of choice, showing how from one point of view virtue makes the goal right, and from another it makes what contributes to the goal right. That is because virtue of character and thoughtfulness are intertwined.
This paper examines how care home managers in England conceptualised the approach to delivering personalised care in the homes they managed. We conducted interviews with care home managers and mapped the approaches they described on two distinct characterisations of personalised care prominent in the research and practitioner literature: the importance of close care relationships and the degree of resident choice and decision-making promoted by the care home. We derived three ‘types’ of personalised care in care homes. These conceptualise the care home as an ‘institution’, a ‘family’ and a ‘hotel’. We have added a fourth type, the ‘co-operative’, to propose a type that merges proximate care relationships with an emphasis on resident choice and decision-making. We conclude that each approach involves trade-offs and that the ‘family’ model may be more suitable for people with advanced dementia, given its emphasis on relationships. While the presence of a range of diverse approaches to personalising care in a care home market may be desirable as a matter of choice, access to care homes in England is likely to be constrained by availability and cost.
To enhance math achievement, numerous instructional strategies have been and will continue to be developed. Neither typical instructional procedures nor new methods for teaching math will be successful unless students choose to engage in assigned math activities. Two factors that can influence choice are response effort and reinforcement strength. Enhancing students’ basic math fact fluency can reduce the effort required to complete simple and more complex math tasks, making it more likely that students will choose to engage in math activities. Four evidence-based procedures designed to enhance basic math fact fluency are described (i.e., Cover, Copy, and Compare; Taped Problems; Explicit Timing; and Detect, Practice, and Repair). Also, procedures designed to enhance reinforcement for choosing to engage in math tasks are reviewed. These procedures include the Additive Interspersal Procedure, altering longer assignments into multiple briefer assignments, and applying interdependent group-oriented bonus rewards.
Events, including the encouragement to eat potatoes, are best understood when they are seen as part of larger sets of ideas, rather than as singularities. The pan-European potato vogue reflected the new political importance that eating acquired during the Enlightenment, as politicians and philosophers began to link individual diets to the strength and wealth of nations. They framed this debate within a language of choice and the individual pursuit of happiness. The connections between everyday life, individualism and the state forged in the late eighteenth century, of which the history of the potato’s emergence as an Enlightenment super-food forms a part, continue to shape today’s debates about how to balance personal dietary freedom with the health of the body politic. The potato’s history also reminds us not to overlook the contributions of small-scale agriculture to the larger history of innovation and change. Recognising peasant contributions to the history of the potato is not simply a matter of historical justice. It is also relevant for our future. Biodiversity is today identified as an essential component of both long-term environmental sustainability and global food security.
What we eat is our business, or so we generally believe. We also acknowledge that our individual failures to eat properly have a broader social impact, even if we’re not sure what to do about it. These tensions between individual choice, public well-being, and the wealth and strength of the nation were born in the Enlightenment. While states have always worried about the political implications of famine, only in the eighteenth century did the particularities of what ordinary people ate attract the attention of political theorists: it was in the eighteenth century that everyday eating habits became a matter of state concern. New theories about how to build economically successful states led to new ideas about the relationship between individual diets and national resilience—what we might call food security. Concerned to build healthy populations, eighteenth-century political and economic writers increasingly recommended potatoes as an ideal foodstuff. Potatoes had reached Europe in the sixteenth century, when Spanish colonists introduced this Andean tuber. In the Americas the potato has nourished ordinary people for millennia, and it was ordinary people in Europe and elsewhere who were largely responsible for transforming the potato into the global status that it has today.
The Enlightenment’s promotion of the potato reflect the close relationship between new ideas about the political importance of everyday eating habits, and new ways of thinking about the economy. Just as Adam Smith recommended that allowing individuals to pursue their own interests would ultimately result in a flourishing economy, so potato-enthusiasts (Smith included) argued that the best way to build a robust population was to empower individuals to make sound dietary choices through campaigns of information and exhortation. Rarely did they suggest that people be obliged to grow or eat potatoes. Such suggestions would have run counter to the entire philosophy that underpinned much enlightened interest in food supply: the new discipline of political economy. This history reveals the eighteenth-century origins of the current, neoliberal, insistence that healthy eating is best understood as a form of individual consumer empowerment that at the same time builds a stronger economy and body politic. Potatoes offer a concrete, everyday example of how this confluence of private interest and public benefit was imagined to occur, at the very moment when these ideas were first theorised.
This study uses psychological reactance theory as a framework for designing effective emergency preparedness messages. Psychological reactance is the motivational state that occurs when individuals perceive their freedom to be threatened. From the standpoint of persuasive message design, reactance is an undesirable outcome that should be avoided whenever possible.
Participants (N = 174) were randomly assigned to view 1 of 2 emergency preparedness messages (choice-enhancing language [“the choice is yours”] vs choice-restricting language [“you must”]) in a between-subjects-posttest-only online survey experiment.
Structural equation modeling revealed that choice-restricting language resulted in greater freedom threat and subsequent reactance. Reactance resulted in a diminished attitude and subsequent intention to prepare an emergency kit.
Public health practitioners would benefit from the inclusion of choice-enhancing language in their public communications, alongside the exclusion of choice-restricting language. Pretesting of messages is recommended to avoid eliciting reactance and subsequent boomerang effects.
Chapter 5 looks at Ebrahim Golestan’s “Safar-e ‘Esmat” (“‘Esmat’s Journey”) and the relationship between sigheh/sex work and the clerics. Golestan illustrates the impact of religious and sociocultural decadence of the country on sigheh women and the female body. In this story, ‘Esmat’s socioeconomic conditions place her on the margins of the society, but the fact that the cleric approaches her immediately after seeing her in the shrine hints at ‘Esmat’s symbolic sexual social power. It is within the paradoxical context of reality and fantasy that I approach Golestan’s “Safar-e ‘Esmat.” As a sigheh/sex worker, ‘Esmat can bring men’s sexual fantasies close to reality. ‘Esmat’s transformation from being a sex worker to a sigheh woman under the influence of a cleric problematizes the question of female agency. Did sex work provide ‘Esmat with agency? If ‘Esmat engaged sex work and enters sigheh due to lack of alternative means of income, does it mean that she will still feel empowered, or is this another form of exploitation? The fact that ‘Esmat had freedom in choosing her clients as a sex worker, while as a sigheh woman, the Seyyed will choose her clients for her, also foregrounds the dichotomy of “victim” versus “oppressor.” Hence, the question remains: Who holds the power?
focuses on economic decision making and the role that cultural-historical artefacts (such as religious beliefs) may play in this everyday aspect of life. It brings together anthropological approaches with studies of decision making in psychology and cognitive science. The main example is of decisions about risky, but potentially profitable, fishing trips made from Taiwan.