Background: The rapid pace of progress in medical research, the consequent need for the timely transfer of new knowledge into practice, and the increasing need for ethics support, is making the work of Ethics Committees (ECs) ever more complex and demanding. As a response, ECs in many countries exhibit large variation in number, mandate, organization and member competences. This cross-sectional study aims to give an overview of the different types of activities of Italian ECs and favour discussion at a European (...) level.Methods: A questionnaire was emailed to all Italian Ethics Committees contained in the national Registry of the Ministry of Health, enquiring whether the EC was conducting, or planning to conduct, 4 specific activities. A telephone interview was conducted to determine reasons for failure to respond.Results: Response rate was 53% (101 respondents out of 191). 20% of ECs restrict their responsibilities to research protocol review, 25% also offer ethical consultation to institutions, support on individual health care decisions and promotes educational initiatives, while the remaining 50% conduct a few of the examined activities to varying degrees. Large variation was observed across different types of hosting institutions and geographical locations.Conclusions: A common European model should be developed, defining EC functions, member selection modalities, necessary member competences, decision-making criteria and measures for work verification. In the absence of sound empirical evidence, it would be interesting to study the effectiveness and efficiency of the different existing models. (shrink)
Abstract In his paper “The Opposite of Human Enhancement: Nanotechnology and the Blind Chicken problem” ( Nanoethics 2: 305-36, 2008) Thompson argued that technological attempts to reduce or eliminate selected non-human animals’ capabilities (animal disenhancements) in order to solve or mitigate animal welfare problems in animals’ use pose a philosophical conundrum, because there is a contradiction between rational arguments in favor of these technological interventions and intuitions against them. In her response “Animal Disenhancement and the Non-Identity Problem: A Response to (...) Thompson” ( Nanoethics 5:43–48, 2011), Palmer maintained that the philosophical conundrum is even deeper if we introduce the non-identity problem into the discussion. In my brief response, I claim that in order to avoid the pitfalls of speculative ethics, empirical facts related to the technologies involved as well as costs for the non-human animals have to be taken into account. Depending on which changes we are referring to, ethical problems can be seen very differently. Widening the consideration to the socio-economic context in which non-human animals are currently used by humans, I challenge the idea of genuine philosophical conundrums from an antispeciesist and abolitionist perspective. Only in a context of exploitation, in which non-human animals are deprived of basic rights and their existence is totally dependent on human exploitation, the contradictions between improvement of welfare and disenhancement of capabilities make sense. Content Type Journal Article Category Critical Discussion Notes Pages 1-12 DOI 10.1007/s11569-012-0139-1 Authors Arianna Ferrari, KIT/ITAS (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology/Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis), Karlsruhe, Germany Journal NanoEthics Online ISSN 1871-4765 Print ISSN 1871-4757. (shrink)
Throughout more than two millennia philosophers adhered massively to ideal standards of scientific rationality going back ultimately to Aristotle’s Analytica posteriora . These standards got progressively shaped by and adapted to new scientific needs and tendencies. Nevertheless, a core of conditions capturing the fundamentals of what a proper science should look like remained remarkably constant all along. Call this cluster of conditions the Classical Model of Science . In this paper we will do two things. First of all, we will (...) propose a general and systematized account of the Classical Model of Science. Secondly, we will offer an analysis of the philosophical significance of this model at different historical junctures by giving an overview of the connections it has had with a number of important topics. The latter include the analytic-synthetic distinction, the axiomatic method, the hierarchical order of sciences and the status of logic as a science. Our claim is that particularly fruitful insights are gained by seeing themes such as these against the background of the Classical Model of Science. In an appendix we deal with the historiographical background of this model by considering the systematizations of Aristotle’s theory of science offered by Heinrich Scholz, and in his footsteps by Evert W. Beth. (shrink)
This paper aims to review different discourses within the emerging field of ethical reflection on nanotechnology. I will start by analysing the early stages of this debate, showing how it has been focused on searching for legitimacy for this sphere of moral inquiry. I will then characterise an ethical approach, common to many authors, which frames ethical issues in terms of risks and benefits. This approach identifies normative issues where there are conflicts of interest or where challenges to the fundamental (...) values of our society arise. In response to the limitations of this approach, other commentators have called for more profound analysis of the limits of our knowledge, and have appealed to values, such as sustainability or responsibility, which should, they suggest, inform nanotechnological development (I will define this approach as a “sophisticated form of prudence”). After showing the ways in which these frameworks are limited, I will examine more recent developments in debates on nanoethics which call for the contextualisation of ethical discourse in its ontological, epistemic and socio-economic and political reflections. Such contextualisation thus involves inquiry into the ‘metaphysical research program’ (MRP) of nanotechnology/ies and analysis of the socio-economic, political and historical reality of nano. These ideas offer genuinely new insights into the kind of approach required for nanoethical reflection: they recover a sense of the present alongside the need to engage with the past, while avoiding speculation on the future. (shrink)
According to Vallicella's 'Relations, Monism, and the Vindication of Bradley's Regress' (2002), if relations are to relate their relata, some special operator must do the relating. No other options will do. In this paper we reject Vallicella's conclusion by considering an important option that becomes visible only if we hold onto a precise distinction between the following three feature-pairs of relations: internality/externality, universality/particularity, relata-specificity/relata-unspecificity. The conclusion we reach is that if external relations are to relate their relata, they must be (...) relata-specific (and no special operator is needed). As it eschews unmereological complexes, this outcome is of relevance to defenders of the extensionality of composition. (shrink)
Leśniewski’s systems deviate greatly from standard logic in some basic features. The deviant aspects are rather well known, and often cited among the reasons why Leśniewski’s work enjoys little recognition. This paper is an attempt to explain why those aspects should be there at all. Leśniewski built his systems inspired by a dream close to Leibniz’s characteristica universalis: a perfect system of deductive theories encoding our knowledge of the world, based on a perfect language. My main claim is that Leśniewski (...) built his characteristica universalis following the conditions of de Jong and Betti’s Classical Model of Science (2008) to an astounding degree. While showing this I give an overview of the architecture of Leśniewski’s systems and of their fundamental characteristics. I suggest among others that the aesthetic constraints Leśniewski put on axioms and primitive terms have epistemological relevance. (shrink)
The paper [Tarski: Les fondements de la géométrie des corps, Annales de la Société Polonaise de Mathématiques, pp. 29—34, 1929] is in many ways remarkable. We address three historico-philosophical issues that force themselves upon the reader. First we argue that in this paper Tarski did not live up to his own methodological ideals, but displayed instead a much more pragmatic approach. Second we show that Leśniewski's philosophy and systems do not play the significant role that one may be tempted to (...) assign to them at first glance. Especially the role of background logic must be at least partially allocated to Russell's systems of Principia mathematica. This analysis leads us, third, to a threefold distinction of the technical ways in which the domain of discourse comes to be embodied in a theory. Having all of this in place, we discuss why we have to reject the argument in [Gruszczyński and Pietruszczak: Full development of Tarski's Geometry of Solids, The Bulletin of Symbolic Logic, vol. 4 (2008), no. 4, pp. 481—540] according to which Tarski has made a certain mistake. (shrink)
In several manuscripts, written between 1894 and 1897, Twardowski developed a new theory of judgement with two types of judgement: existential and relational judgements. In Zur Lehre he tried to stay within a Brentanian framework, although he introduced the distinction between content and object in the theory of judgement. The introduction of this distinction forced Twardowski to revise further Brentano'stheory.His changes concerned judgements about relations and about non-present objects. The latter are considered special cases of relational judgements. The existential judgements (...) are analysed in a Brentanian way; whereas relational judgements are analysed in a Brentanian way only as far as the act is concerned, but not when it comes to the object: the object of a relational judgement is a relationship. With this notion of relationship Twardowski comes close to introducing a concept of state of affairs for the object of (relational) judgements. (shrink)
One of the aims of the DEEPEN project was to deepen ethical understanding of issues related to emerging nanotechnologies through an interdisciplinary approach utilizing insights from philosophy, ethics, and the social sciences. Accordingly, part of its final report was dedicated to the question of what was accomplished with regards to this aim and what further research is required. It relates two insights: Nanotechnologies intensify the ambivalence of ongoing, long-term developments; and yet, our intuitions and received story-lines fail us as a (...) guide to ethical and political matters concerning nanotechnologies. (shrink)
This paper is a contribution to the reconstruction of Tarski’s semantic background in the light of the ideas of his master, Stanislaw Lesniewski. Although in his 1933 monograph Tarski credits Lesniewski with crucial negative results on the semantics of natural language, the conceptual relationship between the two logicians has never been investigated in a thorough manner. This paper shows that it was not Tarski, but Lesniewski who first avowed the impossibility of giving a satisfactory theory of truth for ordinary language, (...) and the necessity of sanitation of the latter for scientific purposes. In an early article (1913) Lesniewski gave an interesting solution to the Liar Paradox, which, although different from Tarski’s in detail, is nevertheless important to Tarski’s semantic background. To illustrate this I give an analysis of Lesniewski’s solution and of some related aspects of Lesniewski’s later thought. (shrink)
Sur le contenu et l’objet des représentations (1894) de Kazimierz Twardowski est un des textes les plus influents de la tradition autrichienne. Le manuscrit Logik (1894-1895) complète ce dernier et nous permet entre autres de reconstruire la théorie du jugement de Twardowski. Ces textes soulèvent plusieurs questions, en particulier si Twardowski acceptait les notions de propositions et d’etats de choses, et si sa théorie est acceptable. Cet article presente la théorie de Twardowski, montre qu’il acceptait les états de choses, qu’il (...) avait une notion de proposition et qu’il s’agit d’une theorie intéressante et raffinée.Twardowski’s On the Content and Object of Presentations (1894) is one of the most influential works that Austrian philosophy has lelt to posterity. The manuscript Logik (1894-1895) supplements that work and allows us to reconstruct Twardowski’s theory of judgement. These texts raise several issues, in particular whether Twardowski accepts propositions and states of affairs in his theory of judgement and whether his theory is acceptable. This article presents Twardowski’s theory, shows that he accepts states of affairs, that he has a notion of proposition, and that his theory is interesting and sophisticated. (shrink)
For good reasons we often think about ethics and strategy as two opposing categories. But as surfaces in which we see social practices reflected, as abstract planes in which social consciousness resides and which subjectivities reinvent, they share some deep and perhaps uncomfortable similarities. In this paper, we question whether they are irreconcilable categories and, through a discussion of the paradoxes of strategy and the antinomies of ethics, we examine their fraught relationship in current economic responses to the crisis. First, (...) we outline the discursive topographies of strategy and ethics in respect to their abstract relations, and examine their integument in business ethics and strategy in context. Then, we show how there cannot be a simple coexistence of these two categories in organisational practice: one must in fact be subordinate to the other, although this subordination can produce the persistence of the other, even in its negation. Finally, we conclude that the asymmetrical nature of ethics and strategy entails that whereas ethics can immanently give rise to strategy, strategic questions on their own can only produce anti-systemic ethical responses. (shrink)
La Segunda Guerra Mundial y las atrocidades cometidas en investigaciones con los prisioneros en los campos de concentración nazis y japoneses, despertaron la conciencia por el desarrollo de los derechos humanos que se habían conquistado paulatinamente a lo largo de la historia. Por ello se conforman una serie de leyes, normas y declaraciones donde se tratan los aspectos bioéticos en los ensayos clínicos. Se debe prestar vital atención a la relación médico-paciente en el curso de las investigaciones y considerar la (...) relación beneficio/riesgo cuando se va a experimentar en seres humanos. La retinopatía diabética proliferativa es una de las afecciones oftalmológicas que más ensayos ha suscitado. El objetivo de este trabajo consiste en analizar algunos aspectos éticos en la experimentación en pacientes con esta afección. The Second World War and the atrocities committed in research with prisoners in Japanese and Nazi concentration camps, awakened consciousness for the development of human rights that had gradually been conquered throughout history. That´s why a series of laws, rules and statements that deal with bioethical aspects in clinical trials, were passed. Special attention must be given to the doctor-patient relationship during the research and consider the benefit/risk ratio when conducting experiments on human beings. Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy is one of the ophthalmological disorders that has given rise to more trials. The research goal is to analyze some ethical aspects when experimenting on patients with this condition. (shrink)
A partire dal corso al Collège de France L’ermeneutica del soggetto , l'analisi del complesso rapporto fra retorica e filosofia permette a Foucault di riformulare la questione della verità dal punto di vista delle pratiche di veridizione. Rispetto alla filosofia, la retorica è il modo d’essere altro del discorso attraverso il quale la parr ē sia può definirsi nella sua differenza costitutiva: la messa alla prova di una parola che sia “performance” creativa, una drammatica del vero come potenza di alterazione.
Since it is now broadly acknowledged that ethics should receive early consideration in discourse on emerging technologies, ethical debates tend to flourish even while new fields of technology are still in their infancy. Such debates often liberally mix existing applications with technologies in the pipeline and far-reaching visions. This paper analyses the problems associated with this use of ethics as “preparatory” research, taking discourse on human enhancement in general and on pharmaceutical cognitive enhancement in particular as an example. The paper (...) will outline and discuss the gap between the scientific and technological state of the art and the ethical debates, pointing out epistemic problems in this context. Furthermore, it will discuss the future role of genuine ethical reflection in discourse on human enhancement, arguing also that such discourse needs to include a technology assessment—in the broad sense of the term—which encompasses, inter alia, anthropological perspectives and aspects of social theory. (shrink)
We focus on Byrne & Russon's argument that program-level imitation is driven by hierarchically organized goals, and the related claim that to establish whether observed behavior is evidence of program-level imitation, empirical studies of imitation must use multi-stage actions as imitative tasks. We agree that goals play an indispensable role in the generation of action and imitative behavior but argue that multi-goal tasks, not only multi-stage tasks, reveal program-level imitation.