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2013 - 4S Annual Meeting Words: 242 words || 
1. Reinecke, David. "Model Trains, Moral Prices: On Reason, Reasonability, and Railroad Rates" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 4S Annual Meeting, Town and Country Resort and Convention Center, San Diego, California, <Not Available>. 2019-10-20 <>
Publication Type: Paper Abstract
Abstract: Acting in the “public interest,” U.S. regulatory commissions have convened to rule on the “reasonability” of railroad rates since the late 19th century. Comparing railroad rates cases at the federal level before and after deregulation, the moral meaning of “reasonability” shifted in response to changes in the underlying economic and technical reasoning used to assess the “reasonability” of railroad rates. Under rate regulation (1898-1980), rate cases compared actual rates versus the averaged historical costs incurred by a railroad to service a particular disputed line. After deregulation and inspired by new economic thinking on cross-subsidies and contestable markets, rate cases assessed reasonability by comparing actual rates with those implied by an optimally efficient, hypothetical “stand alone railroad” designed by economic consultants. In the deregulatory period, rate cases were reserved only for “captive shippers,” usually coal or chemical producers, who relied entirely on a single railroad with no intramodal alternatives (trucking or canals). In lieu of actual price contestability by outside entrants through mandating access to the captive line (a strategy taken in other industries), the economic methodology “imagined” competition in its stead. Thus the question of rail rates moved from valuation and cost accounting to competition, albeit simulated. In sum, what counts as “reasonable” in a given period depends heavily on what constitutes not only economic “reason” and the procedures for “reasoning” through economic problems, but reasoning as well about the underlying technical systems at hand, in particular the networked infrastructures of railroads.

2009 - Midwest Political Science Association 67th Annual National Conference Words: 196 words || 
2. Anderson, Ryan. "John Rawls and Robert P. George on Religious Reason and Public Reason" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association 67th Annual National Conference, The Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, IL, <Not Available>. 2019-10-20 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: I consider the issue of political legitimacy in pluralistic societies by examining the reasons that public officials may use in crafting law. I present Rawls’s “political liberalism” focusing on his proposal that on questions of “basic justice and constitutional essentials” democratic states must offer their citizens reasons they can reasonably expect others to accept. While not abandoning the concept of public reason, George broadens its definition to include all those reasons which are in principle accessible to a citizen as a rational person, regardless of whether they are accepted in practice. While George’s public reason is wider than Rawls’s, I argue that it cannot be defended, for it arbitrarily limits public reason to natural reason, has an undefended prejudice against religious believers, and offers no reason why appeals to revelation should be excluded. I offer a critique of George’s public reason by drawing on his own arguments, as well as those by John Finnis and Jeffrey Stout. I conclude that George offers no alternative to Rawls; if one finds his critique of Rawls convincing, one should abandon the public reason project and adopt a pluralistic system of reason-giving as the best response to a pluralistic society.

2009 - Northeastern Political Science Association Words: 296 words || 
3. Macedo, Stephen. "A Republic of Reasons: Public Reason and the Constitution of the Public Sphere" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Northeastern Political Science Association, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Philadelphia, PA, <Not Available>. 2019-10-20 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: I seek to display the ways in which liberal public reason helps constitute a space of mutual intelligibility and shared commitment among citizens. Critics of liberal public reason reject or ignore this emphasis on commonality of reasons in favor of what they see as the imperative to respect the deep plurality of normative belief systems in modern societies. I argue that these critics and revisionists fail to take account of what is at stake: public reason helps enact mutual assurances of a shared commitment to justice, and this is especially important for the political community’s most vulnerable members. The critics care about justificatory practices, but they downgrade or reject the ways in which liberal public reason is concerned to justify shared principles on the basis of common knowledge, as a public exercise, and in service of reciprocity and mutual assurance. The critics tend, in contrast, to emphasize the need to respect difference and diversity, and the integrity of reason-giving practices that emerge from and thrive within the partial associations (religious and otherwise) of civil society. By virtue of the privatism or partialism of their views, the critics help bring out, by contrast, the ways in which liberal public reason aims to help construct a shared public space where good reasons are commonly understood as good reasons for us, that is, for us as citizens who share a political community. The critics seem to discount or ignore [or reframe?] the good of political community and public reason’s role in helping to express and establish it. I hope in these ways to illuminate the strong public orientation of liberalism, and argue that the solidarity it seeks to foster might well be thought of as of especial importance to the least well off.

2008 - International Communication Association Pages: 27 pages || Words: 6368 words || 
4. Lemal, Marijke. and Van den Bulck, Jan. "Television and Children's Moral Reasoning: Development of a Standardized Measure of Moral Reasoning on Interpersonal Violence" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, TBA, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 21, 2008 Online <PDF>. 2019-10-20 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to construct a Standardized Measure of Moral Reasoning on Interpersonal Violence (SMRIV) and to explore the relationship between television exposure and children’s use of moral reasoning strategies. 377 elementary school children from fourth to sixth grade completed questionnaires containing measures on moral reasoning and violent and non-violent television viewing. Results suggested that the SMRIV was a reliable and valid scale of moral development. Regression analyses indicated that exposure to violent television content was positively related to a preference for authority based reasoning about interpersonal violence. Violent television exposure was also a significant predictor of preference for approval oriented reasoning about prosocial dilemmas. Further, non-violent television viewing was positively associated with a preference for perspective based moral reasoning. These findings provide support for a mental model approach.

2009 - ISPP 32nd Annual Scientific Meeting Pages: 49 pages || Words: 14717 words || 
5. Woodson, Ben. "Anxiety and Motivated Reasoning - A Threat Based Cognitive Motivational Model of Motivated Reasoning" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ISPP 32nd Annual Scientific Meeting, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, Jul 14, 2009 Online <PDF>. 2019-10-20 <>
Publication Type: Paper (prepared oral presentation)
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The main hypothesis of this paper is that an increase in state and trait anxiety will cause an increase in motivated reasoning. A situation that increases state anxiety will increase motivated reasoning, and those people who are high on trait anxiety will have higher motivated reasoning at all times. The experiment to test this hypothesis will also test the effects of anger and positive affect on motivated reasoning, but the expected results and theory involving these two emotions has not been developed yet.

The cognitive-motivational model of anxiety and motivated reasoning is based on threat. The two basic forms of motivated reasoning tested in this paper – disconfirmation bias and confirmation bias – can be thought of as the avoidance of threat. The disconfirmation bias is when someone counter-argues against an attitude-incongruent argument or avoids the threat of that argument by diminishing its threatening nature. The confirmation bias is the tendency of people to read attitude-congruent arguments rather than attitude-incongruent argument. This is the avoidance of threat because the attitude-incongruent arguments are identified as a threat and then avoided by reading the attitude-congruent information. Anxiety will lead to an increase in both of these because an increase in anxiety increases the likelihood someone will identify a stimulus as a threat. When a stimulus is identified as a threat, the person then engages in motivated reasoning to “flee” the threat. The experiment that will be discussed in the paper will be conducted in March or April.

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