Puccetti argues that Dennett's views on split brains are defective. First, we criticise Puccetti's argument. Then we distinguish persons, minds, consciousnesses, selves and personalities. Then we introduce the concepts of part-persons and part-consciousnesses, and apply them to clarifying the situation. Finally, we criticise Dennett for some contribution to the confusion.
As medical technology advances and severely injured or ill people can be kept alive and functioning long beyond what was previously medically possible, the debate surrounding the ethics of end-of-life care and quality-of-life issues has grown more urgent. In this lucid and vigorous book, Craig Paterson discusses assisted suicide and euthanasia from a fully fledged but non-dogmatic secular natural law perspective. He rehabilitates and revitalises the natural law approach to moral reasoning by developing a pluralistic account of just why (...) we are required by practical rationality to respect and not violate key demands generated by the primary goods of persons, especially human life. Important issues that shape the moral quality of an action are explained and analysed: intention/foresight; action/omission; action/consequences; killing/letting die; innocence/non-innocence; person/non-person. Paterson defends the central normative proposition that ‘it is always a serious moral wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human person, whether self or another, notwithstanding any further appeal to consequences or motive’. (shrink)
In the chapter “A History of Ideas Concerning the Morality of Suicide, Assisted Suicide and Voluntary Euthanasia” author Craig Paterson explores questions concerning the legitimacy of the practices of suicide, assisted suicide, and voluntary euthanasia. The aim of this article is of identifying some of the main historical protagonists, and delineating some of the key arguments that have been used for the acceptance or rejection of these practices.
The article examines from an historical perspective some of the key ideas used in contemporary bioethics debates both for and against the practices of assisted suicide and euthanasia. Key thinkers examined--spanning the Ancient, Medieval and Modern periods--include Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Hume, Kant, and Mill. The article concludes with a synthesizing summary of key ideas that oppose or defend assisted suicide and euthanasia.
In this chapter I seek to examine the credibility of Finnis’s basic stance on Aquinas that while many neo-Thomists are meta-ethically naturalistic in their understanding of natural law theory (for example, Heinrich Rommen, Henry Veatch, Ralph McInerny, Russell Hittinger, Benedict Ashley and Anthony Lisska), Aquinas’s own meta-ethical framework avoids the “pitfall” of naturalism. On examination, the short of it is that I find Finnis’s account (while adroit) wanting in the interpretation stakes vis-à-vis other accounts of Aquinas’s meta-ethical foundationalism. I think (...) that the neo-Thomists are basically right to argue that for Aquinas we cannot really understand objective truths about moral standards unless we derive them from our intellective knowledge of natural facts as given to us by the essential human nature that we have. While I find Finnis’s interpretative position on Aquinas wanting, I go on to argue that his own attachment to non-naturalism is justified and should not be jettisoned. Because I think non-naturalism important to the future tenability of a viable natural law ethics (an ethics that is both cognitive and objectivist), I argue that Finnis should, so to speak, “beef up” his “fundamental option” for non-naturalism and more fully avail himself of certain argumentative strategies available in its defense, argumentative strategies that are inspired by the analytical philosophy of G.E. Moore. (shrink)
Chapter one argues for the important contribution that a natural law based framework can make towards an analysis and assessment of key controversies surrounding the practices of suicide, assisted suicide, and voluntary euthanasia. The second chapter considers a number of historical contributions to the debate. The third chapter takes up the modern context of ideas that have increasingly come to the fore in shaping the 'push' for reform. Particular areas focused upon include the value of human life, the value of (...) personal autonomy, and the rejection of double effect reasoning. Chapter four engages in the task of pointing out structural weakness in utilitarianism and deontology. The thesis argues that major systemic weaknesses in both approaches can be overcome by a teleology of basic human goods. John Finnis' work becomes the underpinning of subsequent applied natural law analysis. Chapter five proceeds to argue for the defence of the intrinsic good of human life from direct attack. The thesis holds out for the proposition "that it is always a serious moral wrong to intentionally kill a human person, whether self or another, regardless of a further appeal to consequences or motive." In support of this, it defends the validity of double effect reasoning as an indispensable part of applied moral decision making. Chapter six critically assesses the arguments of anti-perfectionists that it is not the business of the state to enforce deep or substantive conceptions of the 'good life.' The chapter moves on to argue that the natural law conception of the person in society, centred on the common good, provides a solid framework for assessing both the justification for, as well as the limits on, the role of the state to use its power to legally impose certain moral standards. Chapter seven addresses the concrete relationship between natural law and legal policy by exploring the issue of assisted suicide in the constitutional context of the United States.
This overview proceeds by outlining, albeit very briefly, something of the historical growth of Thomism, turning then to a brief account of how analytic philosophy in the twentieth century can be viewed in relation to that history, before finally turning to a further consideration of what the phrase “Analytical Thomism,” can be taken to mean in light of this brief historical account.
The work of Dan Brock and Helga Kuhse is typical of the current stream of thought rejecting the validity of sanctity of life appeals to instill objective inviolable worth in human life regardless of the quality of life of the patient. The context of a person's life is supremely important. In their systems life can have high value, yet the value of life can be outweighed by the force of other disvalues. The notion of quality of life has increasingly come (...) to signify the measurement of the worth of a person's life itself. Having a life equals personal life. Any objectivity to life resides in 'personal', 'biographical', or 'creative' life, not mere biological life. Personal life represents the minimal threshold for any objective worth. In responding to this challenge, John Finnis has argued extensively that life is an intrinsic good – a basic human good. Following from our grasp of human life as a basic incommensurable good, it cannot be practically reasonable both to affirm that (a) 'human life is a basic human good', and (b) that 'human life qua human life can be intentionally acted against to its destruction'. Yet, if the good of human life can be considered self-evident, the self-evidence of the basic human good qua good does not mean that dialectical reasoning cannot be engaged in to indirectly support the practical reasonableness of respecting the good of human life in the deliberative choices that persons make concerning their actions. It is to the use of such dialectical reasoning, supportive of the status of human life as such a basic human good, that the article is primarily concerned to draw out and articulate. (shrink)
This paper is essentially concerned with defending the idea of a universal right to adequate health care coverage. It will argue for the existence of a human right grounded in Catholic social thought. At the outset, a statement of clarification is needed. This paper does not pretend to offer the panacea for all ills relating to health care provision. Rather, it is an inquiry into the kinds of value that should inform decision making relating to health policy. A universal right (...) to adequate health care cannot be established without questioning the underlying values that inform the debate and bring them firmly to the level of deliberative consciousness. It is these value concerns that structure the dynamic of health care provision and the general provision of wider resources in society. (shrink)
Coriolanus, the legendary fifth-century BC general who turned against his native city for banishing him, is painted by Shakespeare as the paragon Stoic warrior. Physically strong and detached, at home in the battlefield, he is the military man par excellence. Fearless, he sheds few tears. But the turning point in Shakespeare's play comes when Coriolanus remembers how to weep. He admits that "It is no small thing to make mine eyes sweat compassion."The absence of compassion in health care is increasingly (...) remarked upon. In 2009, it led to a campaign to broaden New Zealand's Code of Patients' Rights to include the legal right "to have services provided with compassion, including a prompt and humane response to .. (shrink)
All too often in applied ethics debates, there is a danger that a lack of analytical clarity and precision in the use of key terms serves to cloud and confuse the real nature of the debate being undertaken. A particular area of concern in my analysis of the bioethics literature has been the uses to which the key terms "suicide," "assisted suicide," and "euthanasia" are put. The modest aim of this article is to render a contribution to the applied ethics (...) debate on these topics by seeking to delimit the scope and meaning of these terms. The criteria of specificity, non-arbitrariness, consistency (between various terms), and the avoidance of strong pejorative presuppositions, supply the main standards guiding my adoption of usages. (shrink)
In this paper we present a summary review of recent psychological studies which make a contribution to an understanding of how quantifiers are used. Until relatively recently, the contribution which psychology has made has been somewhat restricted. For example, the approach which has enjoyed the greatest popularity in psychology is explaining quantifiers as expressions which have fuzzy or vague projections on to mental scales of amount. Following Moxey & Sanford (1993a), this view is questioned. Experimental work is summarized showing that (...) quantifiers may be differentiated in terms of the patterns of focus which they produce, which we take as a reflection of the patterns of inference which they induce. Other work suggests that when a speaker uses certain quantifiers it is possible for a listener to draw inferences about what the speaker’s prior expectations were, including what the speaker is taken to have believed the listener to expect. These findings are discussed in relation to how quantifiers are selected, and in terms of a possible psychological basis for certain logico-linguistic judgements about quantifiers. 10.1093/jos/11.3.153. (shrink)
The concept of stewardship as resource development and conservation, a shallow environmental ethic, arises out of a domination framework. Stewardship as earthkeeping arises out of a keeping framework and falls somewhere between an intermediate and deep environmental ethic. A notion of agricultural stewardship, based on earthkeeping principles, can be used as a normative standard by whichto judge a range of agricultural economies and practices.
Touch is a sense of communication. It is receptive, expressive, can communicate empathy. It can bring distant objects and people into proximity. It is a carnal world, with its pleasures of feeling and being felt, of tasting and touching the textures of flesh and of food. And equally it is a profound world of philosophical verification, of the communication of presence and empathy with others, of the mutual implication or folding of body, flesh and world.
We like Euclidean geometry because we are men [sic], and have eyes and hands, and need to operate a concept of space that will be independent of orientation, distance and size. Lucas, A Treatise on Time and Space.
This paper argues that Hegel has much to say to modern mathematical philosophy, although the Hegelian perspective needs to be substantially developed to incorporate within it the extensive advances in post-Hegelian mathematics and its logic. Key to that perspective is the self-referential character of the fundamental concepts of philosophy. The Hegelian approach provides a framework for answering the philosophical problems, discussed by Kurt Gödel in his paper on Bertrand Russell, which arise out of the existence in mathematics of self-referential, non-constructive (...) concepts (such as class). (shrink)
Most of the harm in the world is done by good people, and not by accident, lapse, or omission. It is the result of their deliberate actions, long persevered in, which they hold to be motivated by high ideals toward virtuous ends. This is demonstrably true; nor could it occur otherwise. The percentage of positively malignant, vicious, or..
All too often in applied ethics debates, there is a danger that a lack of analytical clarity and precision in the use of key terms serves to cloud and confuse the real nature of the debate being undertaken. A particular area of concern in my analysis of the bioethics literature has been the uses to which the key terms “suicide,” “assisted suicide,” and “euthanasia” are put. The modest aim of this article is to render a contribution to the applied ethics (...) debate on these topics by seeking to delimit the scope and meaning of these terms. The criteria of specificity, non-arbitrariness, consistency (between various terms), and the avoidance of strong pejorative presuppositions, supply the main standards guiding my adoption of usages. (shrink)
One night about fifteen years ago, I found myself driving a rental car up and down the main street of a tiny Connecticut town, feverishly hunting for an address. I had gotten lost on my trip into the hinterland, and by the time my car turned hesitantly up the drive of an old house that seemed to match the numbers on my notepad, I was hours late for my appointment. When the thick door creaked open, I started my apologies, but (...) the woman I had come to interview paid no attention. “Come out to the kitchen,” she said. Muriel Hall, former researcher for Time-Life, knew how to treat other researchers. She had kept the food warm and the drinks cold, and before the night was over, I saw her lift the top of an old wooden box and start laying out the treasure I had hoped to find—the papers of Isabel Paterson. (shrink)
Traditional approaches to theory structure and theory change in science do not fare well when confronted with the practice of certain fields of science. We offer an account of contemporary practice in molecular biology designed to address two questions: Is theory change in this area of science gradual or saltatory? What is the relation between molecular biology and the fields of traditional biology? Our main focus is a recent episode in molecular biology, the discovery of enzymatic RNA. We argue that (...) our reconstruction of this episode shows that traditional approaches to theory structure and theory change need considerable refinement if they are to be defended as generally applicable. 1This paper emerged from discussions between us, and we are both equally responsible for its errors. We would like to thank Yvonne Paterson for helpful comments. (shrink)
The importance of homology in biology is widely acknowledged. Wake (1994: 284) writes that “[h]omology is the central concept for all of biology.” Paterson (1987: 18) observes that “all useful comparisons in biology depend on the relation of homology.” Whenever we ask if two characters are the same character we are asking if they are homologous, regardless of whether those characters are genetic, morphological, anatomical, or behavioral. Yet like many central concepts in biology, our understanding of homology is plagued (...) by unresolved questions. For example, how should we define ‘homology’? There is no agreed upon definition in the literature. Or, how do we explain the fact that two homologous characters can be caused by non-homologous developmental factors (Hall 2007)? Or more fundamentally, what causes new homologues (Wagner 2001)? Then there are questions about the role of homologies in evolution. Homologues are quasi-independent, heritable units that selection acts on; they are units of evolvability (Laubichler 2000; Brigandt 2007). The idea of homologues as units of evolvability cries out for analysis. These are all pressing questions, but this paper will focus on just two of them. One is the possibility of a unified theoretical account of homology. The other is how homologues at one hierarchical level are caused by non-homologues at a lower level. As we shall see, recent work offers an emerging approach to homology that integrates phylogeny and development (Laubichler 2000). Such an approach provides the basis for a unified theoretical account of homology, and it sheds light on the hierarchical nature of homology. (shrink)
Dual relationships between professors and students have many ethical risks. This article discusses how the professor's role, characteristics of the situation, characteristics of the student, and a set of four decision criteria can be used to assess the risks of dual relationships. The examples of a professor who is involved in a consensual sexual relationship with a student and a professor who has a friend who wants to enroll in his or her class are used to demonstrate how the decision (...) criteria can be applied. Several general characteristics of dual relationships are discussed. (shrink)
The use of coercive measures in mental health care is an issue of ongoing concern (Cf. Fisher 1994; Janssen et al. 2008; Paterson and Duxbury 2007; Prinsen and Van Delden 2009; Widdershoven and Berghmans 2007; Wynn 2006). On the one hand, coercive interventions seem to infringe the patient’s right to self-determination (principle of autonomy). However, professionals are also committed to providing the care they deem necessary (principle of beneficence). In other words, professionals in mental health care are often caught (...) between the two (opposing) ideals of beneficence and autonomy. In medical practice, the right of self-determination is operationalized in the principle of informed consent. A medical physician is .. (shrink)
To the Editor: In his essay, “Can We Mandate Compassion?” (March–April 2011), Ron Paterson, a former health and disability commissioner in New Zealand, discusses the decline of physicians’ compassion—an issue that is receiving more attention in the media, and in our journals, hospitals, and medical societies, as well. He decided—and I agree—that compassion should not be mandated. How could it be? After all, it’s unquantifiable; it’s not meted out in milliliters or grams. Compassion is a spontaneous emotion that arises (...) from the individual caregiver’s spiritual reservoirs. Trying to regulate or mandate it would be absurd—the ultimate attempt at dehumanizing medicine. Giving students more exposure to the .. (shrink)
The major challenge facing today’s biomedical researchers is the increasing competition for available funds. The competitive review process, through which the National Institutes of Health (NIH) awards grants, is built upon review by a committee of expert scientists. The NIH is firmly committed to ensuring that its peer review system is fair and objective.
We observe a number of connections between recent developments in the study of constraint satisfaction problems, irredundant axiomatisation and the study of topological quasivarieties. Several restricted forms of a conjecture of Clark, Davey, Jackson and Pitkethly are solved: for example we show that if, for a finite relational structure M, the class of M-colourable structures has no finite axiomatisation in first order logic, then there is no set (even infinite) of first order sentences characterising the continuously M-colourable structures amongst compact (...) totally disconnected relational structures. We also refute a rather old conjecture of Gorbunov by presenting a finite structure with an infinite irredundant quasi-identity basis. (shrink)
Reducing non-core food advertising to children is an important priority in strategies to address childhood obesity. Public health researchers argue for government intervention on the basis that food industry self-regulation is ineffective; however, the industry contends that the existing voluntary scheme adequately addresses community concerns. This paper examines the operation of two self-regulatory initiatives governing food advertising to children in Australia, in order to determine whether these regulatory processes foster transparent and accountable self-regulation. The paper concludes that while both codes (...) appear to establish transparency and accountability mechanisms, they do not provide for meaningful stakeholder participation in the self-regulatory scheme. Accordingly, food industry self-regulation is unlikely to reflect public health concerns or to be perceived as a legitimate form of governance by external stakeholders. If industry regulation is to remain a feasible alternative to statutory regulation, there is a strong argument for strengthening government oversight and implementing a co-regulatory scheme. (shrink)
This is a 5 page summary with three diagrams of the main objectives and some work in progress at the University of Birmingham Cognition and Affect project. involving: Professor Glyn Humphreys (School of Psychology), and Luc Beaudoin, Chris Paterson, Tim Read, Edmund Shing, Ian Wright, Ahmed El-Shafei, and (from October 1994) Chris Complin (research students). The project is concerned with "global" design requirements for coping simultaneously with coexisting but possibly unrelated goals, desires, preferences, intentions, and other kinds of motivators, (...) all at different stages of processing. Our work builds on and extends seminal ideas of H.A.Simon (1967). We are exploring "broad and shallow" architectures combining varied capabilities most of which are not implemented in great depth. The poster summarises some ideas about management and meta-management processes, attention filtering, and the relevance to emotional states involved "perturbances", where there is partial loss of control of attention. (shrink)
Among members of the legal profession and judiciary throughout the world, there is a genuine concern with establishing and maintaining high ethical standards. It is not difficult to understand why this should be so. Nor is it difficult to see the professional standards are not completely divorced from ordinary morality. Indeed, legal ethics and professional responsibility are more than a set of rules of good conduct; they are also a commitment to honesty, integrity, and service in the practice of law. (...) In order to ensure that the standards established are the right ones, it is necessary first of all to examine important philosophical and policy issues, such as the need to reconsider the boundaries between, on the one hand, a lawyer's obligation to a client and, on the other, the public interest. It is also to be appreciated that conflicts of interest are pervasive and that all too often they are so common that they are not recognized as such. Yet rarely is public policy clearly cut. -/- The underlying themes of this book are: BL that the move to more definite rules is not only inevitable but also desirable -/- BL that existing codes of professional practice cannot simply be treated as a system of specific rules -/- BL that the current set of ethical rules is contestable and requires further refinement, perhaps even radical surgery -/- BL and that legal ethics must be conceived in the more general area of professional responsibility -/- The wider ethical issues of the operation of the legal profession as a whole are now firmly on the agenda. Both law schools and law professionals have a role to play in developing acceptable standards in this area and it is therefore appropriate that the essays in this volume are written by a distinguished group of law teachers and practitioners together with senior members of the judiciary. -/- The book opens with an overview chapter, followed by three chapters analysing the ethical rules pertaining to the judiciary, the Bar, and solicitors, written by, respectively, the Master of the Rolls, Anthony Thornton, and Alison Crawley and Christopher Bramall. The following three chapters look at the specific issues of confidentiality (Michael Brindle and Guy Dehn) and the particular ethical problems in the family and criminal law jurisdictions (Sir Alan Ward and Professor Andrew Ashworth respectively). Chapter 8, by Sir Alan Paterson, discusses the teaching of legal ethics, whilst Chapters 9 and 10, by Marc Galanter, Thomas Palay, and Cyril Glasser put the subject in its wider social and professional context. The book finishes with a chapter which examines what lawyers may learn from looking at the study of medical ethics. (shrink)