This chapter argues that attention is a distinctive mode of consciousness, which plays an essential functional role in making information accessible for use in the rational control of thought and action. The main line of argument can be stated quite simply. Attention is what makes information fully accessible for use in the rational control of thought and action. But what makes information fully accessible for use in the rational control of thought and action is a distinctive mode of consciousness. Therefore, (...) attention is a distinctive mode of consciousness. In a slogan: attention is rational-access consciousness. (shrink)
Working from a naïve-realist perspective, I examine first-person knowledge of one's perceptual experience. I outline a naive-realist theory of how subjects acquire knowledge of the nature of their experiences, and I argue that naive realism is compatible with moderate, substantial forms of first-person privileged access. A more general moral of my paper is that treating “success” states like seeing as genuine mental states does not break up the dynamics that many philosophers expect from the phenomenon of knowledge of the (...) mind. (shrink)
The purpose of this essay is to account for privileged access or, more precisely, the special kind of epistemic right that we have to some beliefs about our own mental states. My account will have the following two main virtues. First of all, it will only appeal to those conceptual elements that, arguably, we already use in order to account for perceptual knowledge. Secondly, it will constitute a naturalizing account of privileged access in that it does not posit (...) any mysterious faculty of introspection or "inner perception" mechanism. (shrink)
I look at incompatibilist arguments aimed at showing that the conjunction of the thesis that a subject has privileged, a priori access to the contents of her own thoughts, on the one hand, and of semantic externalism, on the other, lead to a putatively absurd conclusion, namely, a priori knowledge of the external world. I focus on arguments involving a variety of externalism resulting from the singularity or object-dependence of certain terms such as the demonstrative ‘that’. McKinsey argues that (...) incompatibilist arguments employing such externalist theses are at their strongest, and conclusively show that privileged access must be rejected. While I agree on the truth of the relevant externalist theses, I show that all plausible versions of the incompatibilist reductio argument as applied to such theses are fundamentally flawed, for these versions of the argument must make assumptions that lead to putatively absurd knowledge of the external world independently of the thesis of privileged access. (shrink)
The practice of screening potential users of reproductive services is of profound social and political significance. Access screening is inconsistent with the principles of equality and self-determination, and violates individual and group human rights. Communities that strive to function in accord with those principles should not permit access screening, even screening that purports to be a benign exercise of professional discretion. Because reproductive choice is controversial, regulation by law may be required in most jurisdictions to provide effective protection (...) for reproductive rights. In Canada, for example, equal access can, and should be, guaranteed by federal regulations imposing strict conditions on the licences of fertility clinics. (shrink)
Should those who work on ethics welcome or resist moves to open access publishing? This paper analyses arguments in favour and against the increasing requirement for open access publishing and considers their implications for bioethics research. In the context of biomedical science, major funders are increasingly mandating open access as a condition of funding and such moves are also common in other disciplines. Whilst there has been some debate about the implications of open-access for the social (...) sciences and humanities, there has been little if any discussion about the implications of open access for ethics. This is surprising given both the central role of public reason and critique in ethics and the fact that many of the arguments made for and against open access have been couched in moral terms. In what follows I argue that those who work in ethics have a strong interest in supporting moves towards more open publishing approaches which have the potential both to inform and promote richer and more diverse forms of public deliberation and to be enriched by them. The importance of public deliberation in practical and applied ethics suggests that ethicists have a particular interest in the promotion of diverse and experimental forms of publication and debate and in supporting new, more creative and more participatory approaches to publication. (shrink)
This paper focuses on the open access movement in scholarly publishing, a movement of research librarians, scholars, research funding bodies and other stakeholders of the scholarly research process. Open access advocates argue that scholarly communities need to organize against the currently unworkable system whereby academics donate articles for free, yet have to buy them back at often exorbitant prices from journal publishers. In particular, they seek to replace subscription-based funding of journals with a range of alternatives that includes (...) self-archiving and publication fees by researchers and their sponsors. The central claims of my study are twofold. The first is that the open access movement has indeed highlighted the need for the reform of scholarly publishing markets and practices. My second claim, however, is that certain proposals and models for reform are premised on over-optimistic views about disintermediation in scholarly communication as well as exaggerated assertions about the benefits of removing price barriers when larger issues about the system of open science remain to be addressed. (shrink)
The issue of representing access control requirements continues to demand significant attention. The focus of researchers has traditionally been on developing particular access control models and policy specification languages for particular applications. However, this approach has resulted in an unnecessary surfeit of models and languages. In contrast, we describe a general access control model and a logic-based specification language from which both existing and novel access control models may be derived as particular cases and from which (...) several approaches can be developed for domain- specific applications. We will argue that our general framework has a number of specific attractions and an implication of our work is to encourage a methodological shift from a study of the particulars of access control to its generalities. (shrink)
Recently adopted international texts have given a new focus on conflicts of interests and access to information resulting from biomedical research. They confirmed ethical review committees as a central point to guarantee individual rights and the effective application of ethical principles. Therefore specific attention should be paid in giving such committees all the facilities necessary to keep them independent and qualified.
The development of access rights as, perhaps, a replacement for copyright in digital rights management (DRM) systems, draws our attention to the importance of ‚the balance problem’ between information industries and the individual user. The nature of just what this ‚balance’ is, is often mentioned in copyright writings and judgments, but is rarely discussed. In this paper I focus upon elucidating the idea of balance in intellectual property and propose that the balance concept is not only the most feasible (...) way to examine whether past solutions to copyright problems are fair, but it also provides the ability to predict what will be the better solution for all affected parties. Based upon an envy-free contribution towards predicting the efficient balance, game theory is applied in a novel manner to the DRM problem to infer where and what might be the optimal balance in the debate over the nature of access right. (shrink)
Any system for the protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs) has three main kinds of distributive effects. It will determine or influence: (a) the types of objects that will be developed and for which IPRs will be sought; (b) the differential access various people will have to these objects; and (c) the distribution of the IPRs themselves among various actors. What this means to the area of pharmaceutical research is that many urgently needed medicines will not be developed at (...) all, that the existing medicines will not be suitable for countries with a precarious health infrastructure or not target the disease variety that is prevalent in poorer regions. Such effects are commonly captured under the rubric of the “10/90 gap” in biomedical research. High prices will also restrict access to medicines as well endanger compliance to treatment schemes. IPRs are mainly held by multinational corporations situated in the developed world, which not only raises egalitarian concerns, but also severely limits the possibilities of companies in poorer countries to realize improvements on existing inventions, as they cannot financially afford to secure freedom to operate, which systematically shrinks the number of potential innovators. Those inequities lead to an enormous burden for the global poor and since no institution is willing to assume the responsibility to fulfil the right to health and the corresponding right of access to essential medicines, we have to analyse alternatives or additions to the actual intellectual property regimes in order to create new incentives to fill this gap. (shrink)
Today, it becomes more and more common to combine services from different providers into one application. Service composition is however difficult and cumbersome when there is no common trust anchor. Hence, delegation of access rights across trust domains will become essential in service composition scenarios. This article specifies abstract delegation, discusses theoretical aspects of the concept, and provides technical details of a validation implementation supporting a variety of access controls and associated delegation mechanisms. Abstract delegation allows to harmonize (...) the management of heterogeneous access control mechanisms and to offer a unified user experience. The authors observe standardization efforts to reduce application and domain-specific delegation mechanisms, but this variety is very unlikely to completely disappear. (shrink)
Is there any ethical justification for limiting the reproductive autonomy and not make assisted reproductive technologies available to certain prospective parents? We present and discuss the results of an interdisciplinary clinical ethics study concerning access to assisted reproductive technologies (ART) in situations which are considered as ethically problematic in France (overage or sick parents, surrogate motherhood). The study focused on the arguments that people in these situations put forward when requesting access to ART. It shows that requester’s arguments (...) are based on sound ethical values, and that their legitimacy is at least as strong as that of those used by doctors to question access to ART. Results reveal that the three implicit normative arguments that founded the law in 1994, which are still in force after the bioethics law revision in July 2011—the welfare of the child, the illegitimacy of a “right to a child,” and the defense of the so called “social order”—are challenged on several grounds by requesters as reasons for limiting their reproductive autonomy. Although these results are limited to exceptional situations, they are of special interest insofar as they give voice to the requesters’ own ethical concerns in the ongoing political debate over access to ART. (shrink)
This paper argues that the introduction of access agreements following the establishment of the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) has consolidated how English higher education institutions (HEIs) position themselves in the marketplace in relation to widening participation. However, the absence of a national bursary scheme has led to obfuscation rather than clarification from the perspective of the consumer. This paper analyses OFFA's 2008 monitoring report and a sample of twenty HEIs' original 2006 and revised or updated access (...) agreements (2008) to draw conclusions about the impact of these agreements on notions of 'fair access' and widening participation. The authors conclude that, unsurprisingly in an increasingly market-driven system, institutions use access agreements primarily to promote enrolment to their own programmes rather than to promote system-wide objectives. As a consequence of this marketing focus, previous differences between pre-1992 and post-1992 institutions in relation to widening participation and fair access are perpetuated, leading to both confusion for consumers and an inequitable distribution of bursary and other support mechanisms for the poorest applicants to HE. (shrink)
The purpose of this study was to assess the presence of ethics committees in rural critical access hospitals across the United States. Several studies have investigated the presence of ethics committees in rural health care facilities. The limitation of these studies is in the definition of ‘rural hospital’ and a regional or state focus. These limitations have created large variations in the study findings. In this nation-wide study we used the criteria of a critical access hospital (CAH), as (...) defined by the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Flex Program, 2007), to bring consistency and clarity to the assessment of the presence of ethics committees in rural hospitals. The Flex Monitoring Team conducted a national telephone survey of 381 CAH administrators throughout the United States. The survey covered a wide variety of questions concerning hospitals’ community benefit, impact activities, and whether the hospital had a formally established an ethics committee. About 230 (60%) of the respondents indicated they had a formally established ethics committee or ethics consultation program at their CAH. The prevalence of ethics committees declined as the CAH location became increasingly rural along a rural–urban continuum. Unlike CAHs, all rural Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers have ethics committees. The results of this study provide an understanding of the limited presence of ethics committee in rural America and the need to consider new approaches for providing ethics assistance. A virtual ethics committee network may be the most efficient and effective way of providing rural hospitals access to a knowledgeable ethics committee or consultant. (shrink)
The right of a person, who is a victim of a criminal act, to access justice (court) according to the criminal legal order, is analyzed in this article. The right to appeal to a court is analyzed as a constituent part of the principle of accessibility to legal defence. Pre-eminently, the general constitutional fundamentals of the right towards legal defence are estimated. The provisions of the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court of Lithuania, i.e. that the right towards legal defence (...) of the infringed rights is absolute, is analyzed while taking into consideration the attitude formed by the international courts, i.e. that the right to justice is not an absolute and can only be restricted by being ruled by the principle of proportionality and the other legal principles. (shrink)
The idea of food sovereignty has its roots primarily in the response of small producers in developing countries to decreasing levels of control over land, production practices, and food access. While the concerns of urban Chicagoans struggling with low food access may seem far from these issues, the authors believe that the ideas associated with food sovereignty will lead to the construction of solutions to what is often called the “food desert” issue that serve and empower communities in (...) ways that less democratic solutions do not. In Chicago and elsewhere, residents and activists often see and experience racial and economic inequalities through the variety of stores and other food access sites available in their community. The connections between food access, respect, and activism are first considered through a set of statements of Chicagoans living in food access poor areas. We will then discuss these connections through the work and philosophy of activists in Chicago centered in food sovereignty and food justice. Particular focus will be placed on Growing Power, an urban food production, distribution, and learning organization working primarily in Milwaukee and Chicago, and Healthy South Chicago, a community coalition focused on health issues in a working class area of the city. (shrink)
Modern health care rhetoric promotes choice and individual patient rights as dominant values. Yet we also accept that in any regime constrained by finite resources, difficult choices between patients are inevitable. How can we balance rights to liberty, on the one hand, with equity in the allocation of scarce resources on the other? For example, the duty of health authorities to allocate resources is a duty owed to the community as a whole, rather than to specific individuals. Macro-duties of this (...) nature are founded on the notion of equity and fairness amongst individuals rather than personal liberty. They presume that if hard choices have to be made, they will be resolved according to fair and consistent principles which treat equal cases equally, and unequal cases unequally.In this paper, we argue for greater clarity and candour in the health care rights debate. With this in mind, we discuss (1) private and public rights, (2) negative and positive rights, (3) procedural and substantive rights, (4) sustainable health care rights and (5) the New Zealand booking system for prioritising access to elective services. This system aims to consider: individual need and ability to benefit alongside the resources made available to elective health services in an attempt to give the principles of equity practical effect. We describe a continuum on which the merits of those, sometimes competing, values—liberty and equity—can be evaluated and assessed. (shrink)
Qualitative and quantitative methods were used to investigate how shopping behaviors and environment influence dietary intake and weight status among homeless Minnesotans living in food deserts. Seven focus groups (n = 53) and a quantitative survey (n = 255), using the social cognitive theory as the theoretical framework, were conducted at two homeless shelters (S1 and S2) in the Twin Cities area. Heights, weights, and 24-h dietary recalls were also collected. Food stores within a five-block radius of the shelters were (...) evaluated for the price and availability of foods and compared to the Thrifty Food Plan’s market basket prices (MBP). Results showed that almost 80% of the sample was overweight or obese, with women consuming less than the recommended level for the fruits, vegetables, and milk food groups and excess for the fats/oils/sweets food group. Focus groups and participant surveys indicated that the shelter infrastructure and surrounding community influenced the types of foods available, food store access, and the foods purchased and consumed. Participants relied on food assistance programs, including food stamps, to supplement their food supply; however, some felt the high food prices at neighboring stores limited food choice and that food stamps did not adequately cover food costs. Results from the food store survey found the majority of food prices exceeded Midwest or national MBP. To promote healthier dietary intake and weight status, community-based interventions and city planners should aim to increase access to food through improved food availability and food access within the shelter environment and surrounding community. (shrink)
The public interest in the administration of justice requires access to justice for all. But access to justice must be “meaningful” access. Meaningful access requires procedures, processes, and institutional structures that facilitate communication among participants and decision-makers and ensure that judges and other decision-makers have the resources they need to render fully informed and sound decisions. Working from that premise, which is based on a reconceptualization of the objectives and methods of the justice process, the author (...) proposes numerous specific changes in decision-making processes and practices. These changes are required to achieve a standard of decision-making that is consistent with the public interest in the administration of justice within a constitutional framework under the social and political conditions of the early 21st century. The essay illustrates the application of the principles and methods of legitecture to analysis of problems of institutional design in law. (shrink)
When read as demands for justification, these questions seem absurd. We don’t normally ask people to substantiate assertions like “I think it will rain tomorrow” or “I have a headache”. There is, at the very least, a strong presumption that sincere self-attributions about one’s thoughts and feelings are true. In fact, some philosophers believe that such self-attributions are less susceptible to doubt than any other claims. Even those who reject that extreme view generally acknowledge that there is some salient epistemic (...) difference between (a) one’s belief that she thinks it will rain tomorrow, or that she has a headache, and (b) her belief that it is raining, or that another person has a headache. (shrink)
Aaron Zimmerman has recently raised an interesting objection to an account of self-knowledge I have offered. The objection has the form of a dilemma: either it is possible for us to be entitled to beliefs which we do not form, or it is not. If it is, the conditions for introspective justification within the model I advocate are insufficient. If not, they are otiose. I challenge Zimmerman's defence of the first horn of the dilemma.
Many recent articles argue that participants who seroconvert during HIV prevention trials deserve treatment when they develop AIDS, and there is a general consensus that the participants in HIV/AIDS treatment trials should have continuing post-trial access. As a result, the primary concern of many ethicists and activists has shifted from justifying an obligation to treat trial participants, to working out mechanisms through which treatment could be provided. In this paper I argue that this shift frequently conceals an important assumption: (...) that if there is an obligation to supply treatment, then any party who could provide it may be prevailed upon to discharge the obligation. This assumption is false. The reasons why trial participants should get ART affect who has the duty to provide it. We should not burden governments with the obligations of sponsors, nor researchers with the obligations of the international community. And we should not deprive a group of treatment because their need is less salient than that of research participants. Insisting otherwise may lead to people being wrongfully deprived of access to antiretrovirals. (shrink)
Clinical ethics support services are developing in Europe. They will be most useful if they are designed to match the ethical concerns of clinicians. We conducted a cross-sectional mailed survey on random samples of general physicians in Norway, Switzerland, Italy, and the UK, to assess their access to different types of ethics support services, and to describe what makes them more likely to have used available ethics support. Respondents reported access to formal ethics support services such as clinical (...) ethics committees (23%), consultation in individual cases (17.6%), and individual ethicists (8.8%), but also to other kinds of less formal ethics support (23.6%). Access to formal ethics support services was associated with work in urban hospitals. Informal ethics resources were more evenly distributed. Although most respondents (81%) reported that they would find help useful in facing ethical difficulties, they reported having used the available services infrequently (14%). Physicians with greater confidence in their knowledge of ethics (P = 0.001), or who had had ethics courses in medical school (P = 0.006), were more likely to have used available services. Access to help in facing ethical difficulties among general physicians in the surveyed countries is provided by a mix of official ethics support services and other resources. Developing ethics support services may benefit from integration of informal services. Development of ethics education in medical school curricula could lead to improved physicians sensititity to ethical difficulties and greater use of ethics support services. Such support services may also need to be more proactive in making their help available. (shrink)
This article concerns the interplay between two issues that involve both philosophy and neuroscience: whether the content of phenomenal consciousness is 'rich' or 'sparse', whether phenomenal consciousness goes beyond cognitive access, and how it would be possible for there to be evidence one way or the other.
In this paper, I shall discuss a problem that arises when you try to combine an attractive account of what constitutes evidence with an independently plausible account of the kind of access we have to our evidence. According to E = K, our evidence consists of what we know. According to the principle of armchair access, we can know from the armchair what our evidence is. Combined, these claims entail that we can have armchair knowledge of the external (...) world. Because it seems that the principle of armchair access is supported by widely shared intuitions about epistemic rationality, it seems we ought to embrace an internalist conception of evidence. I shall argue that this response is mistaken. Because externalism about evidence can accommodate the relevant intuitions about epistemic rationality, the principle of armchair access is unmotivated. We also have independent reasons for preferring externalism about evidence to the principle of armchair access. (shrink)
One of the most important issues concerning the foundations ofconscious perception centerson thequestion of whether perceptual consciousness is rich or sparse. The overflow argument uses a form of ‘iconic memory’ toarguethatperceptual consciousnessisricher (i.e.,has a higher capacity) than cognitive access: when observing a complex scene we are conscious of more than we can report or think about. Recently, the overflow argumenthas been challenged both empirically and conceptually. This paper reviews the controversy, arguing that proponents of sparse perception are committed to (...) the postulation of (i) a peculiar kind of generic conscious representation that has no independent rationale and (ii) an unmotivated form of unconscious representation that in some cases conflicts with what we know about unconscious representation. (shrink)
Philosophical discussions of personal identity depend upon thought experiments which describe psychological vicissitudes and question whether the original person survives in the person resulting from the described change. These cases are meant to determine the types of psychological change compatible with personal continuation. Two main accounts of identity try to capture this distinction; psychological continuity theories and narrative theories. I argue that neither fully succeeds since both overlook the importance of a relationship I call “empathic access.” I define empathic (...)access and discuss its role in a complete account of personal identity. (shrink)
Ante rem structuralism is the doctnne that mathematics descubes a realm of abstract (structural) universab. According to its proponents, appeal to the exutence of these universab provides a source distinctive insight into the epistemology of mathematics, in particular insight into the so-called 'access problem' of explaining how mathematicians can reliably access truths about an abstract realm to which they cannot travel andfiom which they recave no signab. Stewart Shapiro offers the most developed version of this view to date. (...) Through an examination of Shapiro's proposed structuralist epistemology for mathematics I argue that ante rem structuralism faib to provide the ingredients for a satisfactory resolution of the access problem for infinite structures (whether small or large). (shrink)
Block is concerned with the question whether there are cases of phenomenology in the absence of cognitive access. I assume that, more precisely, the question is whether there are cases in which a subject S has a phenomenological experience E to which S does not have direct cognitive access? (S might have indirect cognitive access to E through scientiﬁc reasoning. I take it that’s not the sort of cognitive access in question.).
Ned Block has influentially distinguished two kinds of consciousness, access and phenomenal consciousness. He argues that these two kinds of consciousness can dissociate, and therefore we cannot rely upon subjective report in constructing a science of consciousness. I argue that none of Block's evidence better supports his claim than the rival view, that access and phenomenal consciousness are perfectly correlated. Since Block's view is counterintuitive, and has wildly implausible implications, the fact that there is no evidence that better (...) supports it than the rival view should lead us to reject it. (shrink)
This essay defends the controversial and indeed counterintuitive claim that there is a good argument to be made from a Lockean perspective for government action to guarantee access to health care. The essay maintains that this argument is in some regards more robust than the well-known argument in defense of universal health care spelled out by Norman Daniels, which this essay also examines in some detail. Locke's view that government should protect people's lives, property, and freedomjustifies government action to (...) ensure access to health care, because (roughly), just as individuals cannot protect themselves from crime and foreign invasion, so individuals are unable to provide for their own health care. Defense from disease is as important as defense from crime, andgovernment action to guarantee access to health care does not itself undermine freedom. (shrink)
Certain combinations of attitudes are manifestly unreasonable. It is unreasonable to believe that dogs bark, for example, if one concedes that one has no justification to believe this. Why are the irrational combinations irrational? One suggestion is that these are attitudes that a subject cannot have justification to have. If this is right, we can test claims about the structure of propositional justification by relying on our observations about which combinations of attitudes constitute Moorean absurd pairs. In a recent defense (...) of access internalism, Smithies argues that only access internalism can explain why various combinations of attitude are irrational. In this paper, I shall argue that access internalism cannot explain the relevant data. Reflection on Moore’s Paradox will not tell us much of anything about propositional justification and cannot support access internalism. (shrink)