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Abstract: This extended abstract critically exams the use of the terms "rigorous" and "soft" in the context of engineering modeling. Common usage of the terms is contrasted with Toulmin's notion of "reasonableness" and Schoen's notion of "reflective practice." The abstract continues by considering an economic model of models in engineering, suggesting that overly "rigorous" engineering practice may box itself into being unable to afford the models it values, thereby presenting a conundrum for the practice and teaching engineering that demands relaxation
Abstract: Joseph Heath1 The Pareto principle states that if a proposed change in the condition of society makes at least one person better off, and does not make anyone else worse off, then that change should be regarded as an improvement. This principle forms the conceptual core of modern welfare economics, and exercises enormous influence in contemporary discussions of justice and equality. It does, however, have an Achilles’ heel. When an individual experiences envy, it means that improvements in the condition of others may worsen the condition of that individual. As a result, envy has the potential to block a vast range of changes that we might intuitively be inclined to regard as Pareto improvements. (Or more precisely, envy results in too many states getting classified as Pareto-optimal, not because, intuitively, they cannot be improved upon, but because no one’s condition can be improved upon without making someone else envious.) For example, a market exchange between two people might not wind up being classified as a Pareto improvement if the benefits produced for the two parties generated envy in some otherwise uninvolved third
Abstract: The World Trade Organization has faced many criticisms from human rights and social justice advocates. And yet it is difficult to identify direct clashes between WTO obligations and human rights obligations. Nevertheless, as demonstrated in this article, the concerns of WTO critics are justifiable, for example in the areas of the organisation's democratic deficit, the effect of its rules on developing States, and in the arena of labour rights. The criticisms are not, as it were, manifestations of mere 'regime envy' by social justice constituencies. Indeed, the present imbalance in effectiveness between international economic institutions and international social justice institutions must be redressed. Comments are welcome - Please either use SSRN comments or email to the author