Iconoclasts? Who, Us? A Reply to Dolinko Content Type Journal Article Category Original Paper Pages 1-7 DOI 10.1007/s11572-012-9143-3 Authors Larry Alexander, San Diego, CA, USA Kimberly Kessler Ferzan, Camden, NJ, USA Journal Criminal Law and Philosophy Online ISSN 1871-9805 Print ISSN 1871-9791.
University based academic Research Ethics Boards (REB) face the particularly difficult challenge of trying to achieve representation from a variety of disciplines, methodologies and research interests. Additionally, many are currently facing another decision – whether to have students as REB members or not. At Ryerson University, we are uniquely situated. Without a medical school in which an awareness of the research ethics review process might be grounded, our mainly social science and humanities REB must also educate and foster awareness of (...) the ethics review process throughout the academic community. Our Board has had and continues to have students as active members. While there are challenges to having students as Board members, these are clearly outweighed by the advantages, for both the academic community and the future of ethically sound research in the social sciences and humanities. Moreover, the challenges are often based on misconceptions and can be easily overcome through increased education and understanding of the research ethics review process by the academic community at large. The purpose of this paper is to describe and discuss the experiences, advantages and challenges of having students as REB members. The advantages of having students as REB members include the following: (1) Students are the proposed participants in many of our reviewed protocols and student members may illuminate unique issues of participation. (2) Students are active and highly engaged members of the REB. (3) Having students on the REB enhances awareness of research ethics within the University. (4) Student REB members have an opportunity to mentor other students and provide leadership for both undergraduate and graduate students. (5) Students are more vigorously recruited than faculty members and often apply for student positions with enthusiasm and preparation. (6) In creating an atmosphere of excellence in research, engaging students at the beginning of their research career will help in creating tomorrow’s leaders in research and research ethics. The challenges of having students as REB members include the following: (1) Faculty members may be uneasy regarding the prospect of students reviewing protocols. (2) Faculty members may be concerned about confidentiality and respect with students reviewing faculty research protocols. (3) There may be an increased burden for students who serve as members on an REB. (4) There is concern that students will offer less continuous service to the REB. (5) There is a common misconception that students do not have the experience to carry out ethical reviews. While there are challenges from faculty members and others regarding having students as REB members, these challenges are often based on misconceptions about the nature of the REB work and the ethics review process in general. These challenges are also often based on the misconception of the ethics review process as one of peer review and evaluation, instead of a community-based and inclusive process. Having student members is a long-term strategy for both overcoming the misconceptions of the REB as a “necessary evil” and for fostering an awareness of the imperative for ethically sound research in the social sciences and humanities. (shrink)
The structural and magnetic properties of Y(Fe1-xMnx)12 compounds and their nitrides (x = 0.2 and 0.4) have been studied by using X-ray diffraction and magnetic measurements. It is found that the lattice parameters increase, while the saturation magnetization and Curie temperature decrease with Mn content increment in Y(Fe1-xMnx12 compounds. Y(Fe0.8Mn0.2)12 compound shows a weak easy-c axis magnetization direction, but Y(Fe0.6Mn0.4)12 compound is in a paramagnetic state at room temperature. Upon nitrogenation, the lattice parameters, Curie temperature are notably increased and the (...) saturation magnetization is greatly increased by about 50%. The easy magnetization direction for both compound nitrides all lies in the basal plane at room temperature. (shrink)
We know from the research literature that psychotherapy is effective, but we also know that hundreds of diverse therapies are being practiced that have not been subjected to scientific scrutiny; thus, in some circumstances iatrogenic effects do occur. Therefore, it is crucial that we recognize and implement therapeutic interventions that are evidence based rather than succumb to ethical dilemma, frustration, and complacency. Recommendations for family therapists are discussed, including the need to (a) keep abreast of research findings, (b) translate research (...) findings and developments as they apply to clinical practice, (c) prioritize techniques and intervention models, and (d) reexamine funding priorities and research foci. (shrink)
This study presents a substantial and often radical reinterpretation of some of the central themes of Locke's thought. Professor Alexander concentrates on the Essay Concerning Human Understanding and aims to restore that to its proper historical context. In Part I he gives a clear exposition of some of the scientific theories of Robert Boyle, which, he argues, heavily influenced Locke in employing similar concepts and terminology. Against this background, he goes on in Part II to provide an account of (...) Locke's views on the external world and our knowledge of it. He shows those views to be more consistent and plausible than is generally allowed, demonstrating how they make sense and enable scientific explanations of nature. In examining the views of Locke and Boyle together, the book throws new light both on the development of philosophy and the beginnings of modern science, and in particular it makes a considerable and original contribution to our understanding of Locke's philosophy. (shrink)
Although discussions of John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice generally refer to Rawls’ two principles of justice, and although Rawls himself labels his principles “the two principles of justice”, Rawls actually sets forth three distinct principles in the following lexical order: the liberty principle, the fair equality of opportunity principle, and the difference principle. Rawls argues at some length for the priority of the liberty principle over the other two. On the other hand, Rawls offers hardly any argument at all (...) for the priority of the fair equality of opportunity principle over the difference principle. In this article I will argue that making the fair equality of opportunity principle separate from and lexically prior to the difference principle is both intuitively unattractive and inconsistent with Rawls’ method of deriving principles of justice from the choices of rational contractors in the original position. (shrink)
"Philosophy and Civilization" is one of Dewey's most important—and most neglected—essays. It is unsettling to anyone who wants to think of Dewey primarily as a "pragmatist." Dewey says the aim of philosophy should be to deal with the meaning of culture and not "inquiry" or "truth": "Meaning is wider in scope as well as more precious in value than is truth and philosophy is occupied with meaning rather than with truth" (LW 3:4).1 Truths are one kind of meaning, but they (...) are only an "island" lying in "the ocean of meanings to which truth and falsity are irrelevant. We do not inquire whether Greek civilization was true or false, but we are immensely concerned to penetrate its meaning," he adds, and continues, "In .. (shrink)
The classical response to Zeno’s paradoxes goes like this: ‘Motion cannot properly be defined within an instant. Only over a period’ (Vlastos.) I show that this ob-jection is exactly what it takes for Zeno to be right. If motion cannot be defined at an instant, even though the object is always moving at that instant, motion cannot be defined at all, for any longer period of time identical in content to that instant. The nonclassical response introduces discontinuity, to evade the (...) paradox of infinite proximity of any point of a distance with any ‘next’. But it introduces the wrong sort of discontinuity because, rather than assuming the discontinuity of motion, as Quantum Theory does, it assumes the discontinuity of space. Due then to the resulting spacetime disorder, though all else is certainly lost, the Tortoise now turns up at least as fast as Achilles and hence not even this much is rescued. Zeno rejects motion because he shows that a moving object must be where it is not. Hence motion, if to occur, must violate the Law of Contradiction (LNC). Applying the concept of quantum discontinuity, I produce an alternative. If an object is to move discontinuously between two boundary points, A and B, what actually obtains is, rather, that it is nowhere at all in-between A and B. And cannot therefore be at two places in-between A and B. And cannot therefore be where it is not. Thus, LNC is conserved. However, in these conditions, the Law of the Excluded Middle (LEM) fails. To mitigate the undesirability of this effect, I show that LEM fails because LNC holds. Thus, the resulting nonbivalent logic, which is also appropriate for quantized transitions of all kinds, will always turn up nonbivalent, because consistent. And this is not too bad, considering. (shrink)
In “Weak Inferential Internalism” I defended the frequently voiced criticism that any internalist account of inferential justification generates a vicious regress. My defense involved criticizing a recent form of internalism, “Weak Inferential Internalism” (WII) defended by Hookway and Rhoda. I argued that while WII does not generate a vicious regress, the position is only distinguishable from externalism insofar as it makes an arbitrary distinction between individuals who believe for the very same reason. Either way, WII is not a defensible internalist (...) account of inferential justification. In his “In Defense of Weak Inferential Internalism,” Rhoda has responded to my dilemma argument. He argues that it is mistaken to assume that WII must be incompatible with externalism, and that contrary to my claims, WII is distinguishable from externalism in several ways. In this reply, I explain why none of Rhoda’s replies suggest that there is a defensible internalist account of inferential justification. (shrink)
Simply put, this book is the best short introduction to John Dewey’s philosophy.1 It is lucidly written and is sensitively accurate in things both great and small. It is concise yet broadly informed. It is balanced without straining to say everything, focused without being compressed. It directs the reader to Dewey’s key writings and indicates reliable commentary. It concludes by indicating Dewey’s relevance for contemporary issues: medical ethics, environmentalism, feminism. Nevertheless, that the book appears in a series called “Beginner’s Guides” (...) should be taken therefore with a grain of salt, for it will be helpful to many advanced scholars starting to explore “pragmatism.” There are now so many strange .. (shrink)
There is a thought that stops all thought. That is the thought that ought to be stopped. (Chesterton, 1952, p.?58) In this paper I distinguish between two sorts of ideologies, moral (or ethical) ideologies that embrace the conceptual condition of human agency: free will, moral intelligence, and fallibility; and amoral (or non?ethical) ideologies that do not. Initiation into the former, which are suited to open societies, is best accomplished through education, whereas transmission of the latter, which are preferred in closed (...) societies, is most often achieved through indoctrination. It follows that the difference between education and indoctrination is first ethical and only secondarily epistemological, or, in other words, that ethics should be understood as first philosophy in education. Human agency, I argue further, is lived in particular ?norming? communities with visions of a higher good. It follows that education in open societies requires a ?pedagogy of difference? according to which learning to respect the distinctiveness of others requires acquiring an appreciation for one's own uniqueness as a member of such a community. (shrink)
The following statement is a report of the Committee on Philosophy in Education of the American Philosophical Association and was approved by the Association's Board of Officers in September, 1959. The Committee was composed of the following: C. W. Hendel, Chairman, H. G. Alexander, R. M. Chisholm, Max Fisch, Lucius Garvin, Douglas Morgan, A. E. Murphy, Charner Perry, and R. G. Turnbull. Primary responsibility for the preparation of this report belonged to a subcommittee composed of Roderick M. Chisholm, Chairman, (...) H. G. Alexander, Lewis Hahn, Paul C. Hayner, and Charles W. Hendel. (shrink)
This book presents a comprehensive overview of what the criminal law would look like if organized around the principle that those who deserve punishment should receive punishment commensurate with, but no greater than, that which they ...
My contribution to this symposium is short and negative: There are no theoretical problems that attach to one’s causing the conditions that permit him to claim a defense to some otherwise criminal act. If one assesses the culpability of an actor at each of the various times he acts in a course of conduct, then it is obvious that he can be nonculpable at T2 but culpable at T1, and that a nonculpable act at T2 has no bearing on whether (...) an actor was culpable at T1 when he caused the circumstances that are exculpatory with respect to his act (or conduct) at T2. Moreover, as I interpret the Model Penal Code, it gets matters close to right on this point. (shrink)
This essay argues that schooling in Israel is tied too closely to ideology. This results in an indoctrinary orientation that contributes to divisiveness and imperils Israeli democracy. After reviewing and critiquing the roots of this orientation, I advance an alternative that understands education as an agent of the good rather than ideology. Israeli schooling requires a vision of goodness broad enough to encompass competing conceptions of Jewish life espoused by the majority as well as non-Jewish orientations affirmed by various minorities. (...) Such a vision can be grounded, I contend, in a democratic Jewish theology that emphasizes God as teacher rather than tyrant. (shrink)
While Good’s book forces us to recognize the caricatures of Hegel and idealism that have dominated Anglo-American thought, Dewey’s relationship with idealism in general and Hegel in particular remains complex. Good proposes that the main reason for Dewey’s rejection of idealism was World War I. I find this implausible. Good downplays the central influence of James on Dewey, first with the Principles and then with his radical empiricism. By his move to Columbia in 1905 and in his article of that (...) year, “The Postulate of Immediate Empiricism,” Dewey had rejected all types of philosophy that equated reality with the object of knowledge, including idealism and Hegel. For Dewey, reality includes types of experiences that are not instances of knowing and that ideals, functionally understood, are possibilities, not actualities. (shrink)
This study examines the public's and physicians' willingness to support deception of insurance companies in order to obtain necessary healthcare services and how this support varies based on perceptions of physicians' time pressures. Based on surveys of 700 prospective jurors and 1617 physicians, the public was more than twice as likely as physicians to sanction deception (26% versus 11%) and half as likely to believe that physicians have adequate time to appeal coverage decisions (22% versus 59%). The odds of public (...) support for deception compared to that of physicians rose from 2.48 to 4.64 after controlling for differences in time perception. These findings highlight the ethical challenge facing physicians and patients in balancing patient advocacy with honesty in the setting of limited societal resources. (shrink)
It has been standard philosophical practice in analytic philosophy to employ intuitions generated in response to thought-experiments as evidence in the evaluation of philosophical claims. In part as a response to this practice, an exciting new movement—experimental philosophy—has recently emerged. This movement is unified behind both a common methodology and a common aim: the application of methods of experimental psychology to the study of the nature of intuitions. In this paper, we will introduce two different views concerning the relationship that (...) holds between experimental philosophy and the future of standard philosophical practice (what we call, the proper foundation view and the restrictionist view), discuss some of the more interesting and important results obtained by proponents of both views, and examine the pressure these results put on analytic philosophers to reform standard philosophical practice. We will also defend experimental philosophy from some recent objections, suggest future directions for work in experimental philosophy, and suggest what future lines of epistemological response might be available to those wishing to defend analytic epistemology from the challenges posed by experimental philosophy. (shrink)
Recent experimental philosophy arguments have raised trouble for philosophers' reliance on armchair intuitions. One popular line of response has been the expertise defense: philosophers are highly-trained experts, whereas the subjects in the experimental philosophy studies have generally been ordinary undergraduates, and so there's no reason to think philosophers will make the same mistakes. But this deploys a substantive empirical claim, that philosophers' training indeed inculcates sufficient protection from such mistakes. We canvass the psychological literature on expertise, which indicates that people (...) are not generally very good at reckoning who will develop expertise under what circumstances. We consider three promising hypotheses concerning what philosophical expertise might consist in: (i) better conceptual schemata; (ii) mastery of entrenched theories; and (iii) general practical know-how with the entertaining of hypotheticals. On inspection, none seem to provide us with good reason to endorse this key empirical premise of the expertise defense. (shrink)
Experimental philosophy has emerged as a very specific kind of response to an equally specific way of thinking about philosophy, one typically associated with philosophical analysis and according to which philosophical claims are measured, at least in part, by our intuitions. Since experimental philosophy has emerged as a response to this way of thinking about philosophy, its philosophical significance depends, in no small part, on how significant the practice of appealing to intuitions is to philosophy. In this paper, I defend (...) the significance of experimental philosophy by defending the significance of intuitions—in particular, by defending their significance from a recent challenge advanced by Timothy Williamson. (shrink)
From its very beginnings, the social study of culture has been polarized between structuralist theories that treat meaning as a text and investigate the patterning that provides relative autonomy and pragmatist theories that treat meaning as emerging from the contingencies of individual and collective action-so-called practices-and that analyze cultural patterns as reflections of power and material interest. In this article, I present a theory of cultural pragmatics that transcends this division, bringing meaning structures, contingency, power, and materiality together in a (...) new way. My argument is that the materiality of practices should be replaced by the more multidimensional concept of performances. Drawing on the new field of performance studies, cultural pragmatics demonstrates how social performances, whether individual or collective, can be analogized systematically to theatrical ones. After defining the elements of social performance, I suggest that these elements have become "de-fused" as societies have become more complex. Performances are successful only insofar as they can "re-fuse" these increasingly disentangled elements. In a fused performance, audiences identify with actors, and cultural scripts achieve verisimilitude through effective mise-en-scène. Performances fail when this relinking process is incomplete: the elements of performance remain apart, and social action seems inauthentic and artificial, failing to persuade. Refusion, by contrast, allows actors to communicate the meanings of their actions successfully and thus to pursue their interests effectively. (shrink)
Our interest in this paper is to drive a wedge of contention between two different programs that fall under the umbrella of “experimental philosophy”. In particular, we argue that experimental philosophy’s “negative program” presents almost as significant a challenge to its “positive program” as it does to more traditional analytic philosophy.