In this book, C. G. Prado addresses the difficult question of when and whether it is rational to end one’s life in order to escape devastating terminal illness. He specifically considers this question in light of the impact of multiculturalism on perceptions and judgments about what is right and wrong, permissible and impermissible. Prado introduces the idea of a “coincidental culture” to clarify the variety of values and commitments that influence decision. He also introduces the idea of a “proxy premise” (...) to deal with reasoning issues that are raised by intractably held beliefs. Primarily intended for medical ethicists, this book will be of interest to anyone concerned about the ability of modern medicine to keep people alive, thereby forcing people to choose between living and dying. In addition, Prado calls upon medical ethicists and practitioners to appreciate the value of a theoretical basis for their work. (shrink)
American healthcare -- Bioterror and bioart -- State of emergency -- Licensed to torture -- Hunger strikes -- War -- Cancer -- Drug dealing -- Toxic tinkering -- Abortion -- Culture of death -- Patient safety -- Global health -- Statue of security -- Pandemic fear -- Bioidentifiers -- Genetic genocide.
Foreword -- Prologue -- Attorney Eileen Fitzpatrick -- Dr. Jeanne Fitzpatrick -- section 1. Death and dying in America -- 1. The need for change : the cautionary tale of Phyllis Shattuck -- Dr. Fitzpatrick tells Phyllis Shattuck's story -- Reflections -- How this book will help -- Lessons to learn -- New name, old concept -- 2. Your right to die -- Your right to die is born : the case of Karen Ann Quinlan -- The Supreme Court (...) weights in : the case of Nancy Cruzan -- Advance directive forms : an imperfect solution -- The more things change, the more they stay the same : the case of Terri Schiavo -- Moving forward : comfort care only and the Compassion Protocol -- A personal choice -- section 2. Who can use the Compassion Protocol -- 3. The competent elderly -- Dr. Fitzpatrick tells Willa Simpson's story -- Learning from Willa -- The Compassion Protocol increases choice and control at the end of lie -- The Compassion Protocol and the competent elderly -- 4. The terminally ill -- Dr. Fitzpatrick tells Melissa Blackburn's story -- Terminal illness and the Compassion Protocol -- Current practices -- Compassion Protocol practices -- 5. Alzheimer's dementia and the Compassion Protocol -- Dr. Fitzpatrick tells Carl Novack's story -- Alzheimer's dementia and the Compassion Protocol -- Is this really legal? -- Updating time-honored advice -- section 3. How the Compassion Protocol works -- 6. Step one : know your options -- Option one : don't go to the hospital again -- Option two : refuse antibiotics -- Option three : discontinue your usual medications -- Option four : refuse hydration and nutrition -- Health care options summary -- Choosing when your options take effect -- Step one summary -- 7. Step two : make your decisions -- Introduction to step two -- The Compassion Protocol worksheet -- Your list of pros and cons -- A story of our own worst fears -- Step two and the Alzheimer's patient -- Selecting a health care decision maker -- Review -- 8. Step three : communicate your decisions -- The importance of full and adequate communication : the story of Ray Sullivan -- What constitutes effective communication? -- Tell your health care decision maker -- Tell your doctor and other health care providers -- Tell your family -- Tell your friends -- Dr. Fitzpatrick talks about her end-of-life choices -- Attorney Fitzpatrick talks about her end-of-life choices -- Step three summary -- 9. Step four : do the paperwork -- Introduction to the Contract for Compassionate Care -- Legal basis of the Compassion Protocol -- The long and short of legal forms -- And never forget the "people" part -- 10. Step five : plan the kind of death you want -- Changing society one death at a time -- 11. Hospice and the Compassion Protocol -- The importance of fighting for life and of letting go : Dr. Fitzpatrick tells the story of one patient's experience with hospice -- The team approach -- Paying for hospice -- Hospice and the Compassion Protocol -- 12. Everyone's worst fear : the nursing home -- Dr. Fitzpatrick relates the story of Sean O'Connor : a regrettably common nursing home experience -- Understanding you nursing home option -- Nursing homes : a growth business -- The home health care alternative -- When the system works : Dr. Fitzpatrick tells the story of Sally Forest -- Reflections -- 13. Looking ahead -- Appendix A. Contract for Compassionate Care -- Appendix B. Tools for the Compassion Protocol -- Glossary. (shrink)
Fundamental principles : the nature of the dispute -- Types of euthanasia -- Psychiatric assisted suicide -- Neonates -- Incompetent adults -- Human life is sacred -- The slippery slope -- Medical views -- Four methods of easing death and their effect on doctors -- Looking further ahead.
In the ninth fragment of his posthumous work Living Up to Death , Paul Ricoeur reflects on Jacques Derrida’s final interview given to the French newspaper Le Monde just months prior to his death. Although he confesses to a genuine distanciation from Derrida regarding salient aspects of their individual memento mori , he does so within the context of significant concessions of agreement. I argue in this article that their differing positions de facto agree at a critical structural (...) level with reference to the possibility of positing something akin to a textual immortality. Both contend that traces of the author remain in the corpus of a work, a remainder that allows for a form of resurrection through reading. By analogizing their perspectives with Rudolf Bultmann’s kerygmatic resurrection of Christ in the proclaimed word, I conclude that Ricoeur and Derrida contend that one truly learns to live up to death ‘ finally ’, that is, enfin — ‘at last’, ‘after all’, or one might say, ‘ in a word ’. (shrink)
Biology has been advancing with explosive pace over the last few years and in so doing has raised a host of ethical issues. This book, aimed at the general reader, reviews the major advances of recent years in biology and medicine and explores their ethical implications. From birth to death the reader is taken on a tour of human biology - covering genetics, reproduction, development, transplantation, aging, dying and also the use of animals in research and the impact of (...) human populations on this planet. In each chapter there is a sketch of a field's most recent scientific advances, combined with discussions of the ethical and moral principles and implications for social frameworks and public policy raised by those advances. Anybody interested or concerned about the ethical dilemmas caused by advances in science and medicine should read this book. (shrink)
In previous work we have defended the deprivation account of death’s badness against worries stemming from the Lucretian point that prenatal and posthumous nonexistence are deprivations of the same sort. In a recent article in this journal, Fred Feldman has offered an insightful critique of our Parfitian strategy for defending the deprivation account of death’s badness. Here we adjust, clarify, and defend our strategy for reply to Lucretian worries on behalf of the deprivation account.
I compare and assess two significant and opposing approaches to the self with respect to what they have to say about death: the anti-narrativist, as articulated by Galen Strawson, and the narrativist, as pieced together from a variety of accounts. Neither party fares particularly well on the matter of death. Both are unable to point towards a view of death that is clearly consistent with their views on the self. In the narrativist’s case this inconsistency is perhaps (...) not as explicit but is in the end more entrenched. (shrink)
The utilitarian construct of two alternative criteria of human death increases the supply of transplantable organs at the end of life. Neither the neurological criterion (heart-beating donation) nor the circulatory criterion (non-heart-beating donation) is grounded in scientific evidence but based on philosophical reasoning. A utilitarian death definition can have unintended consequences for dying Muslim patients: (1) the expedited process of determining death for retrieval of transplantable organs can lead to diagnostic errors, (2) the equivalence of brain (...) class='Hi'>death with human death may be incorrect, and (3) end-of-life religious values and traditional rituals may be sacrificed. Therefore, it is imperative to reevaluate the two different types and criteria of death introduced by the Resolution (Fatwa) of the Council of Islamic Jurisprudence on Resuscitation Apparatus in 1986. Although we recognize that this Fatwa was based on best scientific evidence available at that time, more recent evidence shows that it rests on outdated knowledge and understanding of the phenomenon of human death. We recommend redefining death in Islam to reaffirm the singularity of this biological phenomenon as revealed in the Quran 14 centuries ago. (shrink)
Do professional ethicists behave any morally better than other professors do? Do they show any greater consistency between their normative attitudes and their behavior? In response to a survey question, a large majority of professors (83 percent of ethicists, 83 percent of nonethicist philosophers, and 85 percent of nonphilosophers) expressed the view that “not consistently responding to student e-mails” is morally bad. A similarly large majority of professors claimed to respond to at least 95 percent of student e-mails. These professors, (...) and others, were sent three e-mails designed to look like queries from students. Ethicists’ e-mail response rates were not significantly different from the other two groups’. Expressed normative view correlated with self-estimated rate of e-mail responsiveness, especially among the ethicists. Empirically measured e-mail responsiveness, however, was at best weakly correlated with self-estimated e-mail responsiveness; and professors’ expressed normative attitude was not significantly correlated with empirically measured e-mail responsiveness for any of the three groups. (shrink)
Edmund Husserl’s critique of using the natural scientific method to investigate meaningful human experience remains relevant to recent debates in psychology. Discursive Psychology (DP) claims to draw upon phenomenological insights to critique quantitative psychology for studying theoretical concepts rather than the actual practices of the lived social world. In this paper, I will argue that DP overlooks the important distinction that can be made between the theoretical attitude and the natural scientific attitude in Husserlian Phenomenology and hence, once (...) again, loses sight of the meaningfully constituted life-world. In doing so, I will demonstrate the continued relevance of Husserl’s critique of natural science to the discipline of psychology. (shrink)
This article assesses the significance of a “politics of life”, also termed biopolitics, for any theological analysis of death. By charting the manner in which modern theological approaches to death are closely related to political attempts to secure life (especially in the work of Hobbes), the piece hopes to offer a theological history of the present from which a theology of death might be re-envisioned.
In a recent article published in this journal, Andrew Chignell proposes some candidates for greater or ‘balancing out’ goods that could explain why God allows some infants to be tortured to death. I argue that each of Chignell's proposals is either incoherent, metaphysically dubious, and/or morally objectionable. Thus, his proposals do not explain what might justify God in allowing infants to be tortured, and the existence of infant suffering remains a serious problem for traditional theism.
The purpose of this paper is to establish a proper context for reading Jacques Derrida’s The Gift of Death , which, I contend, can only be understood fully against the backdrop of “Violence and Metaphysics.” The later work cannot be fully understood unless the reader appreciates the fact that Derrida returns to “a certain Abraham” not only in the name of Kierkegaard but also in the name of Levinas himself. The hypothesis of the reading that follows therefore would be (...) that Derrida writes The Gift of Death not as an attempt to re-present Kierkegaard’s Abraham either rightly or wrongly but as an effort to do with Kierkegaard’s Abraham what is possible with his thought in a broadly Levinasian/Derridean framework. That the reading he provides of the Abraham story would not be recognizable to Kierkegaard is not the principal point of Derrida’s effort; his aim is to demonstrate that Levinas should not have been so hasty to dismiss Kierkegaard but could have recovered his interpretation of Abraham for purposes that Derrida and Levinas both share. (shrink)
Alan Shewmons article, The brain and somatic integration: Insights into the standard biological rationale for equating brain death with death (2001), strikes at the heart of the standard justification for whole brain death criteria. The standard justification, which I call the standard paradigm, holds that the permanent loss of the functions of the entire brain marks the end of the integrative unity of the body. In my response to Shewmons article, I first offer a brief summary of (...) the standard paradigm and cite recent work by advocates of whole brain criteria who tenaciously cling to the standard paradigm despite increasing evidence showing that it has significant weaknesses. Second, I address Shewmons case against the standard paradigm, arguing that he is successful in showing that whole brain dead patients have integrated organic unity. Finally, I discuss some minor problems with Shewmons article, along with suggestions for further elaboration. (shrink)
This research examines business and psychology students’ attitude toward unethical behavior (measured at Time 1) and their propensity to engage in unethical behavior (measured at Time 1 and at Time 2, 4 weeks later) using a 15-item Unethical Behavior measure with five Factors: Abuse Resources, Not Whistle Blowing, Theft, Corruption, and Deception. Results suggested that male students had stronger unethical attitudes and had higher propensity to engage in unethical behavior than female students. Attitude at Time 1 predicted Propensity (...) at Time 1 accurately for all five factors (concurrent validity): If students consider it to be unethical, then, they are less likely to engage in that unethical behavior. Attitude at Time 1 predicted only Factor Abuse Resources for Propensity at Time 2. Propensity at Time 1 was significantly related to Propensity at Time 2. Attitude at Time 1, Propensity at Time 1, and Propensity at Time 2 had achieved configural and metric measurement invariance across major (business vs. psychology). Thus, researchers may have confidence in using these measures in future research. (shrink)
D. Alan Shewmon has advanced a well-documented challenge to the widely accepted total brain death criterion for death of the human being. We show that Shewmon's argument against this criterion is unsound, though he does refute the standard argument for that criterion. We advance a distinct argument for the total brain death criterion and answer likely objections. Since human beings are rational animals – sentient organisms of a specific type – the loss of the radical capacity for (...) sentience (the capacity to sense or to develop the capacity to sense) involves a substantial change, the passing away of the human organism. In human beings total brain death involves the complete loss of the radical capacity for sentience, and so in human beings total brain death is death. (shrink)
In this paper I address three problems posed by modern medical technology regarding comatose dying patients. The first is that physicians sometimes hide behind the tests for whole-brain death rather than make the necessary human decision. The second is that the tests themselves betray a metaphysical judgment about death that may be ontologically faulty. The third is that discretion used by physicians and patients and/or family in deciding to cease treatment when the whole-brain death criteria may not (...) be met are sometimes open to challenge. In each of these problems I find that the operative concept of death relates to life itself. This point is expanded by examining the uses of the word death in our language and culture. From these I formulate an initial ontology of death. In it, death is described through a relationship with life, rather than as an absence of life, of consciousness, awareness, or sensation. This ontology then leads to a proposal for an ethics of discretion about the discontinuation of treatment for comatose patients. (shrink)
Piracy is the greatest threat facing the global music industry today. This study explores the effects of artist adoration and the perceived risk of being caught on the attitude and intention to engage in pirating a digital song among college students. The moderating effect of cultural environment factor is also examined. Experiments using between-group factorial designs were conducted in the United States and Taiwan. The results show that perceived risk of getting caught and cultural environment are important factors that (...) can significantly affect the attitude and intention toward downloading unauthorized music. In addition, a two-way (Perceived Risk ? Culture) and a three-way interaction in the model are also observed. (shrink)
The relation between two systems of attitude ascription that capture all the empirically significant aspects of an agents thought and speech may be analogous to that between two systems of magnitude ascription that are equivalent relative to a transformation of scale. If so, just as an objects weighing eight pounds doesnt relate that object to the number eight (for a different but equally good scale would use a different number), similarly an agents believing that P need not relate her (...) to P (for a different but equally adequate interpretive scheme could use a different proposition). In either case the only reality picked out by any system of ascription is what is common to all equivalent rivals. By emphasizing some contrasts between decision theory and belief-desire psychology, it is argued that if attitude ascription is appropriately analogous to measurement then not only is being related to a proposition an artifact of the system of representation chosen, so are belief and desire. (shrink)
The logic of Leviathan is formally made to derive commonwealth and the rights of sovereignty (the obligations of subjects, read the other way around) from an elaborate process beginning in the physiology of human perception and passions, through language and reason, into the state of nature (the war of all against all) and, finally, under the direction of the laws of nature, to a collective and formal resignation of all their natural rights to create an absolute sovereign. This process of (...) ‘instituting’ the sovereignty stamps the resulting sovereign with legitimacy. Early in the Second Part of Leviathan, however, Hobbes moves to attach all the rights and legitimacy of that instituted sovereignty onto what he calls ‘Despotical Dominion’, the power created when a conqueror exacts a promise from the conquered on pain of immediate death. The result is to translate all that Hobbes has said about sovereignty in general into a defence of the legitimacy of this crude force and violence. The whole of Leviathan's political argument is coloured, then, by this strategy and the best reading of it turns out to be the oldest one—that it is a defence of tyrannical power. (shrink)
This paper presents reflections on the author's death aspirations as they are informed by a set of earth-connection stories, environmental concepts, and modernist burial practices. This weave is meant to inspire further consideration on what is coming to be known as 'green burial'. More precisely, this means an exploration of the author's earth-centred burial musings in association with the following themes: the meanings and historical trajectory of prevailing death and burial practices; 'narratives' of the human-earth life-cycle; relevant environmental (...) ethics and place literature concepts; and lastly, some sense of the newly emerging practices and appeals to green burial - i.e. the normative and practical grounds for rethinking and working toward more environmentally sensitive burial practices. This weave of themes is instructive for posing green burial as evocative of a more comprehensive and spiritual ethos of connection, continuity, and responsibility. In this sense, rather than being seen as contrary or contentious, green burial may actually enable us to dispel some of the growing angst, uncertainty, and insensitivity often underlying prevailing burial practices, while contributing to an emerging environmental consciousness. (shrink)
Bering's analysis is inadequate because it fails to consider past and present adult soul beliefs and the psychological functions they serve. We suggest that a valid folk psychology of souls must consider features of adult soul beliefs, the unique problem engendered by awareness of death, and terror management findings, in addition to cognitive inclinations toward dualistic and teleological thinking.
In this paper I will provide a hylomorphic critique of Jeff McMahan’s “An Alternative to Brain Death.” I will evaluate three puzzles—the dicephalus, the braintransplant, and the split-brain phenomenon—proposed by McMahan which allow him to deny that a human being is identical to an organism. I will contend thatMcMahan’s solution entails counterintuitive consequences that pose problems to organ transplant cases. A Thomistic hylomorphic metaphysics not only avoids these unwelcome consequences and provides solutions to the three puzzles but in doing (...) so allows for an alternative definition of death. Since McMahan has constructed his definition of death around his own metaphysics, alternative metaphysics, in this case a hylomorphic metaphysics, allow for an alternative definition of death. (shrink)
Mark Morford provides a lively, succinct, and comprehensive survey of the philosophers of the Roman World, from Cato the Censor in 155 BCE to the death of Marcus Aurelius in 180 CE. These men were asking philosophical questions whose answers had practical effects on people's lives in antiquity--and still do today--yet this is an era of philosophy somewhat neglected in recent decades. Morford puts this right by discussing the writings and ideas of numerous famous and lesser-known figures. Using extensive (...) and fully-translated quotations from their works, he illuminates each of the philosopher's meanings within the historical, political, and cultural contexts of their day. This book serves as the ideal introduction to the newcomer to Roman philosophy. (shrink)
The current debate regarding the suitability of anencephalics as organ donors is due primarily to misunderstandings. The anatomical and neurophysiological literature shows that the anencephalic lacks a cerebrum because of the failure of neuralplate fusion. However, even the incomplete function of an atrophic brain stem is currently accepted at law in most if not all countries as sufficient for brain life: which is to say, cessation of breathing is currently required in order to make the diagnosis of brain death. (...) Because of the extensive incompleteness of the anencephalic's brain, it is not possible to postpone death significantly by mechanical ventilation and intravenous feeding. It is acceptable to maintain life for a short period of time in order to allow organ transplantation subsequent to the declaration of death at the point of cessation of the capacity for spontaneous respiration. The most important issue is not transplantation, but the issue of brain life raised by the case of anencephalics. Since brain life in any significant sense begins only after the closure of the neural tube on the 30th day after conception, it is reasonable to take this as the point at which brain life begins. Laws should be amended in all countries to allow the abortion of anencephalics at any time, in that they do not at any time possess brain life. Keywords: anencephaly, organ transplantation, beginning of life, brain death, abortion CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
A striking feature of Confucius' grief at the death of his beloved disciple Yan Hui is its profound intensity, an intensity detectable nowhere else in the Analects. Like his disciples, the reader of the Analects may be puzzled by the depth of Confucius' grief in this instance. In distinct accounts, Philip Ivanhoe and Amy Olberding bring some measure of intelligibility to the Master's grief. While partially plausible, I think their offerings on the matter fall short of being fully satisfying. (...) Specifically, I argue that Olberding's proposal that Confucius loses certain developmental avenues after Hui's death should be augmented with the claim that the great depth of his grief largely follows from the importance of Confucius' expression of virtue in the lives of his disciples. It was Yan Hui who best facilitated his Master's expression of virtue, and with Hui's passing, Confucius loses an avenue to a robust expression of virtue, a loss he laments deeply. (shrink)
The current definition of death used for donation after cardiac death relies on a determination of the irreversible cessation of the cardiac function. Although this criterion can be compatible with transplantation of most organs, it is not compatible with heart transplantation since heart transplants by definition involve the resuscitation of the supposedly "irreversibly" stopped heart. Subsequently, the definition of "irreversible" has been altered so as to permit heart transplantation in some circumstances, but this is unsatisfactory. There are three (...) available strategies for solving this "irreversibility problem": altering the definition of death so as to rely on circulatory irreversibility, rather than cardiac; defining death strictly on the basis of brain death (either whole-brain or more pragmatically some higher brain criteria); or redefining death in traditional terms and simultaneously legalizing some limited instances of medical killing to procure viable hearts. The first two strategies are the most ethically justifiable and practical. (shrink)
Since we have learned that human organs can be used to treat severe health problems, only donation has been considered for organ procurement. Among the other possibilities that can be used after a person’s death, purchase or systematic removal have been a priori rejected. However, we will show that the appeal to individual altruism have resulted in some of the aporias of the present situation. Subsequently, we will consider how systematic organ removal from deceased persons can be made acceptable (...) in liberal and democratic societies. Finally, we will suggest that individual choices with regard to systematic organ removal could well be registered in a way that allows proper implementation of present French legislation. (shrink)
There are religious thinkers of Kierkegaard's ilk who concede that their belief in an afterlife is the expression of a wish and an offense to the understanding. Freud could not agree more. The collision that this essay plots comes when a Freud and a Kierkegaard try to decide what the individual is to do with such inherently human, unrealistic desires. Freud urges us to forsake all wish?fulfilling thoughts of everlasting life; however, this requires nothing less than the acceptance of imminent, (...) everlasting death. This is a difficult thought to think I half argue, half insist. The question is raised as to whether or not psychoanalysis can help us come to terms with the reality it compels us to face. A negative conclusion is reached. (shrink)
This article announces the discovery of a Sinhalese version of the traditional meditation ( borān yogāvacara kammaṭṭhāna ) text in which the Consciousness or Mind, personified as a Princess living in a five-branched tree (the body), must understand the nature of death and seek the four gems that are the four noble truths. To do this she must overcome the cravings of the five senses, represented as five birds in the tree. Only in this way will she permanently avoid (...) the attentions of Death, Māra, and his three female servants, Birth, Sickness and Old Age. In this version of the text, when the Princess manages not to succumb to these three, Māra comes and snatches her from her tree and rapes her. The Buddha then appears to her to explain the path to liberation. The text provides a commentary, padārtha , which explains the details of the symbolism of the fruit in terms of rebirth and being born, the tree in terms of the body, etc. The text also offers interpretations of signs of impending death and prognostications regarding the next rebirth. Previously the existence of Khmer and Lānnā versions of this text have been recorded by Francois Bizot and Francois Lagirarde, the former publishing the text as Le Figuier a cinq branches (Le figuier à cinq branches, 1976). The Sinhalese version was redacted for one of the wives of King Kīrti Śrī Rājasiṅha of Kandy by the monk Varañāṇa Mahāthera of Ayutthayā. This confirms earlier speculation that this form of borān/dhammakāya meditation was brought to Sri Lanka with the introduction of the Siyam Nikāya in the mid-eighteenth century. It also shows that in Sri Lanka, as in Ayutthayā, this form of meditation—which in the modern period was to be rejected as ‘unorthodox’—was promoted at the highest levels of court and Saṅgha. (shrink)
Expressing doubts about death criteria can serve healthy purposes, but can also cause a number of harms, including decreased organ donation rates and distress for donor families and health care staff. This paper explores the various causes of doubts about death criteria—including religious beliefs, misinformation, mistrust, and intellectual questions—and recommends responses to each of these. Some recommended responses are relatively simple and noncontroversial, such as providing accurate information. However, other responses would require significant changes to the way we (...) currently do business. Policymakers should establish minimum national standards for determining death to foster a trustworthy system; academics and publishers have a duty to publish only materials that substantially engage and advance the debate to minimize the harm caused by divided expert opinion; and opposition to the dead donor rule should be conceptually separated from doubts about death criteria. (shrink)
Why is death bad for us, even on the assumption that it involves the absence of experience? Whom should we save from death if we cannot save everyone? Kamm considers these questions, critically examining some answers other philosophers have given. She also examines specifically what differences between persons are relevant to the distribution of any scarce resources, e.g. bodily organs for transplantaion.
Over the last twenty years, many attempts have been made to discard the intentionality possessed by prima facie contentful mental states (intentional acts; atttudes, in Russell’s terms), where this is understood as the special, mental-orsemantic, quality of being ‘directed’ upon something.1 This has also involved dispensing with special ‘aboutness’-properties like being about O, which stand to intentionality as species to genus. These naturalistic strategies have been oriented in two ontologically different ways, conservative or revolutionary. The first has been pursued either (...) reductionalistically or non-reductionalistically. The reductionist is a radical naturalist, who believes that intentionality exists, but it is a quality in nature investigated by the empirical sciences. The non-reductionist, vice versa, is a moderate naturalist, for whom intentionality merely supervenes on a non- mental-or-semantic quality. The revolutionary option, on the other hand, is eliminativistic. The position is one of extremist naturalism, for which intentionality exists no more than phlogiston or sunsets. In what follows, I first criticize the reductionists’ position. By relying on the two main features of intentionality, namely that of being ‘directed upon’ an object which may not exist and that of being an internal relation between the relevant attitude and such an object, I try to show why reduction of any kind - conceptual, metaphysical or nomological - cannot work. Secondly, the second features then allows me to show why moderate naturalism is also doomed to fail. Finally, I argue against eliminativism by showing that, qua genuine property, intentionality is indispensable for the individuation of attitudes. It thus turns out that attitudes endowed with intentionality as well as with the related ‘aboutness’-property are individuated in terms of non-natural properties. This is to say, beliefs as well as all other prima facie contentful mental states are effectively contentful insofar as they possess a particular ‘aboutness’-property.. (shrink)
The role of physicians in death penalty cases has provoked discussion in both the legal system as well as in professional organizations. Professional groups have responded by developing ethical guidelines advising physicians as to current ethical standards. Psychiatric dilemmas as a subspecialty with unique roles have required more specific guidelines. A clinical vignette provides a focus to explicate the conflicts.
This companion to Elliot Dorff's three books on Jewish ethics -- Matters of Life and Death , To Do the Right and the Good , and Love Your Neighbor and Yourself -- is designed for group as well as individual study. Through suggested readings from Dorff's books, probing questions, lively discussion topics, and simple writing exercises, readers will be able to analyze and clarify their own positions on a host of controversial issues: sex, surrogate motherhood, adoption, family abuse, responsibilities (...) for charitable giving, the ethics of war, suicide, and euthanasia, and more. (shrink)
This paper argues that Immanuel Kant’s practical philosophy contains a coherent, albeit implicit, defense of the legitimacy of capital punishment, one that refutes the most important objections leveled against it. I first show that Kant is consistent in his application of the ius talionis. I then explain how Kant can respond to the claim that death penalty violates the inviolable right to life. To address the most significant objection – the claim that execution violates human dignity – I argue (...) that motives of honor, as Kant conceives it, require a rational person to will her own execution, were she to commit murder. (shrink)
Since the collapse of Japan's bubble economy in the early 1990' s, the Japanese economy has only recovered slightly. This has direct implications for employment. Both the seniority wage system and the lifetime employment system, which were popular during the period of economic growth in Japan, unavoidably changed to an outcome-wage system. Now there is greater mobility in employment, increased use of nonregular employees, and diversed working patterns. The problem of karoshi – a potentially fatal syndrome resulting from long work (...) hours – has been known since the early 1980s. This problem has become more serious in recent years. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the economic and employment conditions in Japan, as well as to examine the working lifestyle of Japanese men and its connection to "karoshi." It is argued that (1) the long work hours are not the preference of individuals, but rather the result of the adaptation to the work environment, and; (2) solving this problem requires re-conceptualization of workers' human rights on the part of both companies and the society as a whole. (shrink)
‘Any reason for living is an excellent reason for not dying’ (Steven Luper-Foy, 'Annihilation'). Some claims seem so clearly right that we don’t think to question them. Steven Luper-Foy’s remark is like that. It borders on the ‘trivially true’ (i.e. so obviously true as to be uninteresting). If I have a reason to live, surely I likewise have a reason not to die. It may then be surprising to learn that so many philosophers disagree with this claim—either directly or by (...) implication. I will look at some of the things people say that stand in opposition to Luper-Foy’s claim. I will also consider what is needed in order to agree with it. The views canvassed cover broad issues concerning life and death, and what matters to us with respect to both. (shrink)
Offers over forty stories about individuals who have dealt with the loss of a loved one, and advice on handling situations surrounding death and dying such as talking with children about grief, suicide, and funeral arrangements.
This remarkable book--the fruit of almost two decades of study--traces in compelling fashion the changes in Western attitudes toward death and dying from the earliest Christian times to the present day. A truly landmark study, The Hour of Our Death reveals a pattern of gradually developing evolutionary stages in our perceptions of life in relation to death, each stage representing a virtual redefinition of human nature. Starting at the very foundations of Western culture, the eminent historian Phillipe (...) Aries shows how, from Graeco-Roman times through the first ten centuries of the Common Era, death was too common to be frightening; each life was quietly subordinated to the community, which paid its respects and then moved on. Aries identifies the first major shift in attitude with the turn of the eleventh century when a sense of individuality began to rise and with it, profound consequences: death no longer meant merely the weakening of community, but rather the destruction of self. Hence the growing fear of the afterlife, new conceptions of the Last Judgment, and the first attempts (by Masses and other rituals) to guarantee a better life in the next world. In the 1500s attention shifted from the demise of the self to that of the loved one (as family supplants community), and by the nineteenth century death comes to be viewed as simply a staging post toward reunion in the hereafter. Finally, Aries shows why death has become such an unendurable truth in our own century--how it has been nearly banished from our daily lives--and points out what may be done to "re-tame" this secret terror. The richness of Aries's source material and investigative work is breathtaking. While exploring everything from churches, religious rituals, and graveyards (with their often macabre headstones and monuments), to wills and testaments, love letters, literature, paintings, diaries, town plans, crime and sanitation reports, and grave robbing complaints, Aries ranges across Europe to Russia on the one hand and to England and America on the other. As he sorts out the tangled mysteries of our accumulated terrors and beliefs, we come to understand the history--indeed the pathology--of our intellectual and psychological tensions in the face of death. (shrink)
In Strawson’s “Freedom and Resentment”, the idea of the reactive attitudes is used to provide a corrective for an over-intellectualised picture of moral responsibility and of the moral life generally. But Strawson also tells us that in reasoning with someone our attitude towards them must be reactive. Taking up that thought, I argue that Strawson has also provided us with a corrective for an over-intellectualised picture of rationality. Drawing on a Wittgensteinian conception of the relation between thought and its (...) expression, I argue that rationality presupposes participation in a form of engagement with others that is reactive in Strawson’s sense. I also throw fresh light on what Strawson understands by a reactive attitude. (shrink)
Disorders of consciousness and the permanent vegetative state -- Legal and political wrangling over Terri's life -- In context--law and ethics -- Terri's wishes -- The limits of evidence -- The implications of surrogacy -- Qualities of life -- Feeding -- The preservation of life -- Respect and care : an alternative framework.
The Doomsday Argument is alive and kicking, and since its formulation in the beginning of the Eighties by the astrophysicist Brandon Carter it has gained wide attention, been strongly criticized and has been described in many different, and sometimes non-interchangeable analogies. I will briefly present the argument here, and departing from Nick Bostrom's interpretation, I will defend that doom may be sooner than we think if we start building conscious machines soon in the future.