Manufacturers are now driving towards the increased use of automation and the goal of zero‐defects. As quality is improved and defect rates approach the popularized “Six‐sigma” level (customarily 3.4 defects per million), manual or sampled measurement techniques limit the achievement of product quality and manufacturing cost objectives. New automated inspection and gauging technology is required for process verification and control. To be competitive in the current manufacturing environment, new gauging technology must be integrated into the manufacturing process to provide online feedback.
The purpose of this paper is to discuss whether altruism justifies ad hoc legislation with reference to three different contexts. One is defined by the libertarian notion of liberty; a second framework corresponds to the egalitarian vision; and a third one originates from social-contract theory.
The authors review two stylized visions of liberty, and consider to what extent the current legal systems comply with one of these visions. Moreover, the authors analyse the implications of the contractarian approach.
It is shown that current legislation is rather ambiguous and sometimes even contradictory. By and large, the common-law view tends to favour the libertarian approach, while the civil-law visions are closer to what one might expect from social-contract theory. In these cases, however, it seems that the letter of the law is often questioned by the academic community as well as by the judiciary, and decisions eventually follow the judges’ discretionary power.
This analysis of altruism combines the economic and legal perspectives. Although altruism is always considered an important part of social capital and worthy of privileged treatment, it is shown that policymaking is frequently inconsistent and sometimes contradictory.