As computer-based information systems start to have a great impact on people, organizations, and society as a whole, there is much debate about information technology in relation to social control and privacy, security and reliability, and ethics and professional responsibilities. However, more often than not, these debates reveal some fundamental disagreements, sometimes about first principles. In this article the authors suggest that a fruitful and interesting way to conceptualize some of these moral and ethical issues associated with the use of (...) information technology is to apply the principles of Aristotle's ethics to this topic. They argue that framing the moral and ethical choices associated with information technology in Aristotelian terms draws attention to the fact that there are fundamental dilemmas to be addressed. These dilemmas are discussed in relation to the four areas suggested by Dejoie, Fowler, and Paradice (1991): (a) privacy, (b) information accuracy, (c) access to information, and (d) intellectual property rights. The dilemmas associated with all four areas are illustrated with references to recent legal developments in Australia and New Zealand. (shrink)
[Alan Weir] This paper addresses the problem of how to account for objective content-for the distinction between how we actually apply terms and the conditions in which we ought to apply them-from within a naturalistic framework. Though behaviourist or dispositionalist approaches are generally held to be unsuccessful in naturalising objective content or 'normativity', I attempt to restore the credibility of such approaches by sketching a behaviouristic programme for explicating objective content. /// [Alexander Miller] Paul Boghossian (1989, 1990) has (...) argued, on grounds concerning the holistic nature of belief fixation, that there are principled reasons for thinking that 'optimal conditions' versions of reductive dispositionalism about content cannot hope to satisfy a condition of extensional accuracy. I discern three separable strands of argument in Boghossian's work-the circularity objection, the open-endedness objection, and the certification objection-and argue that each of these objections fails. My conclusion is that for all that Boghossian has shown, 'optimal conditions' versions of reductive dispositionalism have to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. (shrink)
The Federalist, written by “Publius” (Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison) in 1787-1788 in defense of the proposed constitution of the United States, endorses a fundamental principle of political legitimacy: namely, “it is the reason of the public alone, that ought to control and regulate the government.” This essay argues that this principle—the rule of reason—may be traced back to Plato. Part I of the essay seeks to show that Plato's Statesman offers a clearer understanding of the rule of (...) reason than his more famous Republic, and it also indicates how this principle gave rise to the ideal of constitutionalism, which was adopted and reformulated by Aristotle, Polybius, and Cicero, as well as moderns including Locke and Montesquieu. Part II argues that The Federalist agrees with Plato when it argues that popular sovereignty must be tempered by the rule of reason. A proper distance should be maintained between the people and the actual exercise of power in order that political decisions be based on reason rather than passion. The people must therefore act through a federal system divided between national government and state governments, and these governments must themselves possess separated powers which control each other by means of checks and balances. Indeed, federalism itself may be viewed as a modern counterpart of Plato's “art of weaving,” which unites naturally disparate and opposed parts of the city-state into a concordant whole. In declaring, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary,” The Federalist concedes that politics is the art of the possible. But statesmanship is not an exercise in pragmatism devoid of principles. Here “Publius” shares Plato's vision of politics as a “second sailing,” that is, an attempt to approximate the ideal of rational governance as far as possible in ordinary politics. Footnotesa This paper was originally presented at a meeting of the Symposium on Political Thought at Bowling Green State University. I am very grateful to the participants for their helpful suggestions, including Peter Celello, Albert Dzur, Neil Englehart, Jefferson Holcomb, David Jackson, Melissa Miller, Terrence Watson, and Adam White. I also received valuable criticisms from David Keyt, Ellen Frankel Paul, and the other contributors to this volume. (shrink)
The 'Art of Life' is John Stuart Mill's name for his account of practical reason. In this volume, eleven leading scholars elucidate this fundamental, but widely neglected, element of Mill's thought. Mill divides the Art of Life into three 'departments': 'Morality, Prudence or Policy, and Æsthetics'. In the volume's first section, Rex Martin, David Weinstein, Ben Eggleston, and Dale E. Miller investigate the relation between the departments of morality and prudence. Their papers ask whether Mill is a rule utilitarian (...) and, if so, whether his practical philosophy must be incoherent. The second section contains papers by Jonathan Riley and Wendy Donner, who explore the relation between the departments of morality and aesthetics. They discuss issues ranging from supererogation to aesthetic pleasure and humanity's relationship with nature. -/- The papers in the third section consider the Art of Life's axiological first principle, the principle of utility. Elijah Millgram contends that Mill's own life refutes his claim that the Art of Life has a single axiological first principle. Philip Kitcher maintains that Mill has a dynamic axiology requiring us to continually refine our conception of the good. In the final section, three papers address what it means to put the Art of Life into practice. Robert Haraldsson locates an 'Art of Ethics' in On Liberty that is in tension with the Art of Life. Nadia Urbinati plumbs the classical roots of Mill's view of the good life. Finally, Colin Heydt develops Mill's suggestion that we regard our own lives as works of art. (shrink)
Miller and Rodgers (2001) proposed a central nervous system based Ontogenetic Bonding System that operates across the life course to promote succorant, 1 affiliative, sexual, and nurturant bonds. I discuss features of this theoretical framework that can inform Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky's (D&M-S's) model. Most important, I suggest that the affiliative reward processes D&M-S describe are better conceptualized as subserving the affect/motivation of affection. Footnotes1 “Succorance” is a term coined by Murray (1938) to describe a general tendency to seek the (...) help and protection of others. (shrink)
: This paper presents a method of moral problem solving in clinical practice that is inspired by the philosophy of John Dewey. This method, called "clinical pragmatism," integrates clinical and ethical decision making. Clinical pragmatism focuses on the interpersonal processes of assessment and consensus formation as well as the ethical analysis of relevant moral considerations. The steps in this method are delineated and then illustrated through a detailed case study. The implications of clinical pragmatism for the use of principles in (...) moral problem solving are discussed. (shrink)
Philosophy Through Science Fiction offers a fun, challenging, and accessible way in to the issues of philosophy through the genre of science fiction. Tackling problems such as the possibility of time travel, or what makes someone the same person over time, the authors take a four-pronged approach to each issue, providing ú a clear and concise introduction to each subject ú a science fiction story that exemplifies a feature of the philosophical discussion ú historical and contemporary philosophical texts that investigate (...) the issue with rigor, and ú glossary, plot profiles of pertinent science fiction stories and films, and questions for further reflection. Philosophy Through Science Fiction includes stories from contemporary science fiction writers including Greg Egan and Mike Resnick, as well as from classic authors like Philip K. Dick and Robert Heinlein. Philosophy readings include historical pieces Ren‚ Descartes and David Hume, and include contemporary pieces by John Searle and Mary Midgley. (shrink)
Conventional medical ethics and the law draw a bright line distinguishing the permitted practice of withdrawing life-sustaining treatment from the forbidden practice of active euthanasia by means of a lethal injection. When clinicians justifiably withdraw life-sustaining treatment, they allow patients to die but do not cause, intend, or have moral responsibility for, the patient's death. In contrast, physicians unjustifiably kill patients whenever they intentionally administer a lethal dose of medication. We argue that the differential moral assessment of these two practices (...) is based on a series of moral fictions – motivated false beliefs that erroneously characterize withdrawing life-sustaining treatment in order to bring accepted end-of-life practices in line with the prevailing moral norm that doctors must never kill patients. When these moral fictions are exposed, it becomes apparent that conventional medical ethics relating to end-of-life decisions is radically mistaken. (shrink)
: Bioethicists have failed to understand the pervasively paternalistic character of research ethics. Not only is the overall structure of research review and regulation paternalistic in some sense; even the way informed consent is sought may imply paternalism. Paternalism has limits, however. Getting clear on the paternalism of research ethics may mean some kinds of prohibited research should be reassessed.
Transplantation of vital organs has been premised ethically and legally on "the dead donor rule" (DDR)—the requirement that donors are determined to be dead before these organs are procured. Nevertheless, scholars have argued cogently that donors of vital organs, including those diagnosed as "brain dead" and those declared dead according to cardiopulmonary criteria, are not in fact dead at the time that vital organs are being procured. In this article, we challenge the normative rationale for the DDR by rejecting the (...) underlying premise that it is necessarily wrong for physicians to cause the death of patients and the claim that abandoning this rule would exploit vulnerable patients. We contend that it is ethical to procure vital organs from living patients sustained on life support prior to treatment withdrawal, provided that there is valid consent for both withdrawing treatment and organ donation. However, the conservatism of medical ethics and practical concerns make it doubtful that the DDR will be abandoned in the near future. This leaves the current practice of organ transplantation based on the "moral fiction" that donors are dead when vital organs are procured. (shrink)
Prevailing ethical thinking about informed consent to clinical research is characterized by theoretical confidence and practical disquiet. On the one hand, bioethicists are confident that informed consent is a fundamental norm. And, for the most part, they are confident that what makes consent to research valid is that it constitutes an autonomous authorization by the research participant. On the other hand, bioethicists are uneasy about the quality of consent in practice. One major source of this disquiet is substantial evidence of (...) the “therapeutic misconception”—the tendency of patient-subjects in clinical trials to confuse participating in research with receiving personalized medical care. This .. (shrink)
Bioethics is a hybrid discipline. As a theoretical enterprise it stands for untrammeled inquiry and argument. Yet it aims to influence medical practice and policy. In this article we explore tensions between these two dimensions of bioethics and examine the merits and perils of a “Socratic” approach to bioethics that challenges “the conventional wisdom.”.
We use a result due to Rolin, Speissegger, and Wilkie to show that definable sets in certain o-minimal structures admit definable parameterizations by mild maps. We then use this parameterization to prove a result on the density of rational points on curves defined by restricted Pfaffian functions.
Payment to recruit research subjects is a common practice but raises ethical concerns relating to the potential for coercion or undue influence. We conducted the first national study of IRB members and human subjects protection professionals to explore attitudes as to whether and why payment of research participants constitutes coercion or undue influence. Upon critical evaluation of the cogency of ethical concerns regarding payment, as reflected in our survey results, we found expansive or inconsistent views about coercion and undue influence (...) that may interfere with valuable research. In particular, respondents appear to believe that coercion and undue influence lie on a continuum; by contrast, we argue that they are wholly distinct: whereas undue influence is a cognitive distortion relating to assessment of risks and benefits, coercion is a threat of harm. Because payment is an offer, rather than a threat, payment is never coercive. (shrink)
We apply a cognitive modeling approach to the problem of measuring expertise on rank ordering problems. In these problems, people must order a set of items in terms of a given criterion (e.g., ordering American holidays through the calendar year). Using a cognitive model of behavior on this problem that allows for individual differences in knowledge, we are able to infer people's expertise directly from the rankings they provide. We show that our model-based measure of expertise outperforms self-report measures, taken (...) both before and after completing the ordering of items, in terms of correlation with the actual accuracy of the answers. These results apply to six general knowledge tasks, like ordering American holidays, and two prediction tasks, involving sporting and television competitions. Based on these results, we discuss the potential and limitations of using cognitive models in assessing expertise. (shrink)
Judgment aggregation theory, which concerns the translation of individual judgments on logical propositions into consistent group judgments, has shown that group consistency generally cannot be guaranteed if each proposition is treated independently from the others. Developing the right method of abandoning independence is thus a high-priority goal. However, little work has been done in this area outside of a few simple approaches. To ﬁll the gap, we compare four methods based on distance metrics between judgment sets. The methods generalize the (...) premise-based and sequential priority approaches to judgment aggregation, as well as distance-based preference aggregation. They each guarantee group consistency and implement a range of distinct functions with different properties, broadening the available tools for social choice. A central result is that only one of these methods (not previously considered in the literature) satisﬁes three attractive properties for all reasonable metrics. (shrink)
: This response to Lynn Jansen's critique of clinical pragmatism concentrates on two themes: (1) contrasting approaches to moral epistemology and (2) the connection between theory and practice in clinical ethics. Particular attention is paid to the status of principles and the role of consensus, with some closing speculations on how Dewey might view the current state of bioethics.
IÂ’m only talking about commercial big time music in the United States. Of course music is gloriously seething in odd corners of the planet as it should. I can team up with some compatible friends and we can go find or make our own music in any of a number of accommodating environments- on the net, in the forest, or in some dank club late at night.
Although we find Gangestad & Simpson's argument intriguing, we question some of its underlying assumptions, including: (1) that fluctuating asymmetry (FA) is consistently heritable; (2) that symmetry is driving the effects; (3) that use of parametric tests with FA is appropriate; and (4) that a short-term mating strategy produces more offspring than a long-term strategy.
While every health care system stakeholder would seem to be concerned with obtaining the greatest value from a given technology, there is often a disconnect in the perception of value between a technology’s promoters and those responsible for the ultimate decision as to whether or not to pay for it. Adopting an empirical ethics approach, this paper examines how five Canadian medical device manufacturers, via their websites, frame the corporate “value proposition” of their innovation and seek to respond to what (...) they consider the key expectations of their customers. Our analysis shows that the manufacturers’ framing strategies combine claims that relate to valuable socio-technical goals and features such as prevention, efficiency, sense of security, real-time feedback, ease of use and flexibility, all elements that likely resonate with a large spectrum of health care system stakeholders. The websites do not describe, however, how the innovations may impact health care delivery and tend to obfuscate the decisional trade-offs these innovations represent from a health care system perspective. Such framing strategies, we argue, tend to bolster physicians’ and patients’ expectations and provide a large set of stakeholders with powerful rhetorical tools that may influence the health policy arena. Because these strategies are difficult to counter given the paucity of evidence and its limited use in policymaking, establishing sound collective health care priorities will require solid critiques of how certain kinds of medical devices may provide a better (i.e., more valuable) response to health care needs when compared to others. (shrink)
PLATO ARGUES THAT ANTICIPATORY PLEASURES MAY BE FALSE. THE STRUCTURE OF HIS ARGUMENT IS CLARIFIED. THE CRUX IS NOT THE INFERENCE FROM 'FALSE BELIEF' TO 'FALSE PICTURE' TO 'FALSE PLEASURE,' BUT THE DOCTRINE THAT THROUGH MENTAL IMAGERY PLEASURE, LIKE BELIEF, MAY TAKE AS OBJECTS UNREALIZED STATES OF AFFAIRS. ASSUMING FALSITY IS A BAD-MAKING CHARACTERISTIC, SOCRATES USES THE THESIS AGAINST HEDONISM. THE INTERPRETATIONS OF GOSLING, KENNY, AND MCLAUGHLIN ARE CRITICIZED.
lecting statistics about missing bindings and macros, and other errors. This guides debugging and development eﬀorts, leading to iterative improvements in both the tools and the quality of the converted corpus. The build system thus serves as both a production conversion engine and software test harness. We have now processed the complete arχiv collection through 2006 consisting of more than 400,000 documents (a complete run is a processor-yearsize undertaking), continuously improving our success rate. We are now able to convert more (...) than 90% of these documents to XHTML+MathML. We consider over 60% to be successes, converted with no or minor warnings. While the remaining 30% can also be converted, their quality is doubtful, due to unsupported macros or conversion errors. (shrink)
In this paper I consider the general view of terrorism put forward by Jan Narveson in his “Pacificism and Terrorism: Why We Should Condemn Both” and by Alan Rosenbaum in his “On Terrorism and the Just War: Some Philosophical Reflections.” This is the view that terrorism is morally indefensible. Contra Narveson and Rosenbaum, I argue that some forms of terrorism are morally defensible in some circumstances.In the first section of the paper I will discuss the definition of terrorism, including (...) the definitions put forward by Narveson and Rosenbaum. In the second section, I will outline an account of collective moral responsibility as a necessary precursor to identifying potentially morally defensible forms of terrorism. In the third section I outline a morally defensible form of terrorism, namely terrorism in which certain categories of morally culpable non-attackers are targeted. (shrink)
In this article, I argue that the reading of Mill that D.G. Brown presents in ‘Mill’s Moral Theory: Ongoing Revisionism’ is inconsistent with several key passages in Mill’s writings. I also show that a rule-utilitarian interpretation that is very close to the one developed by David Lyons is able to account for these passages without difficulty.
This article is a reply to Alan Rosenbaum’s reply to my reply to his orginal article on terrorism and collective responsibility. As before, and contra Rosenbaum, I argue that some forms of terrorism in some circumstances might be morally justified. This position is consistent with holding the terrorist acts of groups such as Hamas and al-Qaeda to be morally unjustifiable. An example of a possibly morally justifiable form of terrorism was that practised by the African National Congress in its (...) armed struggle against the apartheid regime in South Africa. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: In this article I argue that Hume's empiricism allows for time to exist as a real distinct impression of succession, not, as many claim, merely as a nominal abstract idea. In the first part of this article I show how for Hume it is succession and not duration that constitutes time, and, further, that only duration is fictional. In the second part, I show that according to the way Hume describes the functions of the memory and imagination, it is (...) possible to explain how we are able to perceive a distinct impression of succession.RÉSUMÉ: Dans cet article, je soutiens, à l'encontre de plusieurs, que l'empirisme de Hume conçoit le temps comme une impression réelle et distincte de succession, voire, une idée nominale et abstraite. Je montre en premier lieu que Hume définit le temps, non en termes de durée, mais de succession, et que cette notion de durée est fictive. À partir de la description de Hume des fonctions de la mémoire et de l'imagination, je montre en second lieu qu'il est possible d'expliquer comment nous sommes capables d'une impression distincte de succession. (shrink)
One approach to understanding model-based reasoning in science is to examine how it develops during infancy, childhood, and adolescence. The way in which thinking changes sometimes provides clues to its nature. This paper examines cognitive developmental aspects of modeling practices and discusses how a developmental perspective can enrich the study of model-based scientific reasoning in adults. The paper begins with issues concerning developmental change, followed by a model of model-based reasoning. The rest of the paper describes how several key concepts (...) from recent developmental work could contribute to current work on model-based reasoning. Specifically, developmental research shows that (a) social processes are involved in model-based reasoning and scientific discovery, (b) the development of a theory of mind contributes to the development of scientific reasoning, (c) changes in scientific reasoning are characterized by cognitive variability, and (d) microgenetic methods could clarify conceptual change during model-based reasoning. (shrink)
Let R be an o-minimal expansion of (R. <. +) and (ϕk)k∈N be a sequence of positive real numbers such that limk→+∝ ƒ(ϕk)/ϕk+1 = 0 for every ƒ: R → R definable in R. (Such sequences always exist under some reasonable extra assumptions on R, in particular, if R is exponentially bounded or if the language is countable.) Then (R. (S)) is d-minimal, where S ranges over all subsets of cartesian powers of the range of ϕ.
Athens or Jerusalem? By Tertullian.--Philosophy the handmaid of theology, by Clement of Alexandria.--Faith in search of understanding, by St. Augustine.--Revelation and analogy, by St. Thomas Aquinas.--The mystic way, by M. Eckhart.--The darkened intellect, by J. Calvin.--The reasons of the heart, by B. Pascal.--Faith, reason, and enthusiasm, by J. Locke.--Miracles and the skeptic, by D. Hume.--The limits of reason, by I. Kant.--Truth and subjectivity, by S. Kierkegaard.--In justification of faith, by W. James.--Religion as poetry, by G. Santayana.--Faith and symbols, by P. (...) Tillich.--Three parables on falsification, by A. Flew, R. M. Hare, and B. Mitchell.--For further reading (p. 233-235). (shrink)
The most basic requirement of any theory of concrete individuals is that it do justice to the fact that, unlike universals, individuals are non-instantiable. The bundle theories of Russell and Goodman, the Guise Theory of Castaneda and the Trope Theory of D.C.Williams each breach this requirement by implicity allowing an individual to be instantiable either after it has ceased to exist or both before and after it has ceased to exist. Underlying this flaw in all four theories is the tacit (...) assumption that individuals are ontologically prior to their constituents. That is to say, an individual's constituents do not individuate it, but are individuated by it somewhat after the manner of the non-substantial particulars of Aristotle or the individualized forms of Aquinas. (shrink)