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Profile: Ben Almassi (College of Lake County)
Profile: Ben Almassi
  1. Ben Almassi (2014). Trust and the Duty of Organ Donation. Bioethics 28 (6):275-283.
    Several recent publications in biomedical ethics argue that organ donation is generally morally obligatory and failure to do so is morally indefensible. Arguments for this moral conclusion tend to be of two kinds: arguments from fairness and arguments from easy rescue. While I agree that many of us have a duty to donate, in this article I criticize these arguments for a general duty of organ donation and their application to organ procurement policy. My concern is that these arguments neglect (...)
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  2. Ben Almassi (2013). A Defense of Ignorance: Its Value for Knowers and Roles in Feminist and Social Epistemologies. By Cynthia Townley. Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2011. [REVIEW] Hypatia 28 (1):215-217.
  3. Ben Almassi (2013). Medical Ghostwriting and Informed Consent. Bioethics 27 (9):n/a-n/a.
    Ghostwriting in its various forms has received critical scrutiny from medical ethicists, journal editors, and science studies scholars trying to explain where ghostwriting goes wrong and ascertain how to counter it. Recent analyses have characterized ghostwriting as plagiarism or fraud, and have urged that it be deterred through stricter compliance with journal submission requirements, conflict of interest disclosures, author-institutional censure, legal remedies, and journals' refusal to publish commercially sponsored articles. As a supplement to such efforts, this paper offers a critical (...)
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  4. Ben Almassi (2012). Climate Change, Epistemic Trust, and Expert Trustworthiness. Ethics and the Environment 17 (2):29-49.
    The evidence most of us have for our beliefs on global climate change, the extent of human contribution to it, and appropriate anticipatory and mitigating actions turns crucially on epistemic trust. We extend trust or distrust (or refrain from extending either) to many varied others: scientists performing original research, intergovernmental agencies and those reviewing research, think tanks offering critique and advocating skepticism, journalists transmitting and interpreting claims, even social systems of modern science such as peer-reviewed publication and grant allocation. Our (...)
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  5. Ben Almassi (2011). The Consequences of Individual Consumption: A Defence of Threshold Arguments for Vegetarianism and Consumer Ethics. Journal of Applied Philosophy 28 (4):396-411.
    As a moral foundation for vegetarianism and other consumer choices, act consequentialism can be appealing. When we justify our consumer and dietary choices this way, however, we face the problem that our individual actions rarely actually precipitate more just agricultural and economic practices. This threshold or individual impotence problem engaged by consequentialist vegetarians and their critics extends to morally motivated consumer decision-making more generally, anywhere a lag persists between individual moral actions taken and systemic moral progress made. Regan and others (...)
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  6. Ben Almassi (2010). Disability, Functional Diversity, and Trans/Feminism. International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 3 (2):126-149.
    Feminist approaches to bioethics have the striking ability to usefully disrupt conversations otherwise in danger of calcifying into immovable opposing camps. Take, for instance, debates between theorists in disability studies and bioethicists who often take two different approaches to understanding disability. On one side are those such as Buchanan, Brock, Daniels, and Wikler (2000) who seek to locate the apparent functional deficiency of disability in biologically abnormal bodies. Let us call this a normal functioning approach to understanding disability. On the (...)
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  7. Ben Almassi (2009). Conflicting Expert Testimony and the Search for Gravitational Waves. Philosophy of Science 76 (5):570-584.
    How can we make informed decisions about whom to trust given expert disagreement? Can experts on both sides be reasonable in holding conflicting views? Epistemologists have engaged the issue of reasonable expert disagreement generally; here I consider a particular expert dispute in physics, given conflicting accounts from Harry Collins and Allan Franklin, over Joseph Weber’s alleged detection of gravitational waves. Finding common ground between Collins and Franklin, I offer a characterization of the gravity wave dispute as both social and evidential. (...)
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  8. Ben Almassi (2009). Trust in Expert Testimony: Eddington's 1919 Eclipse Expedition and the British Response to General Relativity. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 40 (1):57-67.
  9. Ben Almassi (2007). Experts, Evidence, and Epistemic Independence. Spontaneous Generations 1 (1):58-66.
    Throughout his work on the rationality of epistemic dependence, John Hardwig makes the striking observation that he believes many things for which he possesses no evidence (1985, 335; 1991, 693; 1994, 83). While he could imagine collecting for himself the relevant evidence for some of his beliefs, the vastness of the world and constraints of time and individual intellect thwart his ability to gather for himself the evidence for all his beliefs. So for many things he believes what others tell (...)
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  10. Ben Almassi (2007). Evan Selinger and Robert Crease, Eds., The Philosophy of Expertise:The Philosophy of Expertise. Ethics 117 (2):377-381.
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