The new science of genomics endeavors to chart the genomes of individuals around the world, with the dual goals of understanding the role genetic factors play in human health and solving problems of disease and disability. From the perspective of indigenous peoples and developing countries, the promises and perils of genomic science appear against a backdrop of global health disparity and political vulnerability. These conditions pose a dilemma for many communities when attempting to decide about participating in genomic research or (...) any other biomedical research. Genomic research offers the possibility of improved technologies for managing the acute and chronic diseases that plague their members. Yet, the history of particularly biomedical research among people in indigenous and developing nations offers salient examples of unethical practice, misuse of data, and failed promises. This dilemma creates risks for communities who decide either to participate or not to participate in genomic science research. Some argue that the history of poor scientific practice justifies refusal to join genomic research projects. Others argue that disease poses such great threats to the well-being of people in indigenous communities and developing nations that not participating in genomic research risks irrevocable harm. Thus, some communities particularly among indigenous peoples have declined to participate as subjects in genomic research. At the same time, some communities have begun developing new guidelines, procedures, and practices for engaging with the scientific community that offer opportunities to bridge the gap between genomic science and indigenous and/or developing communities. Four new approaches warrant special attention and further support: consulting with local communities; negotiating the complexities of consent; training members of local communities in science and health care; and training scientists to work with indigenous communities. Implicit is a new definition of “rigorous scientific research,” one that includes both community development and scientific progress as legitimate objectives of genomic research. Innovative translational research is needed to develop practical, mutually acceptable methods for crossing the divide between genomic researchers and indigenous communities. This may mean the difference between success and failure in genomic science, and in improving health for all peoples. (shrink)
: Through a close reading of Klein and Irigaray's work on the mother-daughter relationship via the Electra myth, Jacobs diagnoses what she considers a fundamental problem in psychoanalytic and feminist psychoanalytic theory. She shows that neither thinker is able to theorize the mother-daughter relationship on a structural level but is only able to describe its symptoms. Jacobs makes a crucial distinction between description and theory and argues that the need to go beyond description and phenomenology toward the creation (...) of a structural theory is the only way that feminist philosophy and psychoanalysis can avoid reproducing the terms of the male imaginary. The essay concludes by arguing that theorization of the mother-daughter relationship can only be achieved if we analyze manifestations of the mother-daughter relationship in clinical, cultural, and mythical material through the framework of a foreclosed or absent underlying maternal law. (shrink)
Abstract This paper argues that in modern (agro)biotechnology, (un)naturalness as an argument contributed to a stalemate in public debate about innovative technologies. Naturalness in this is often placed opposite to human disruption. It also often serves as a label that shapes moral acceptance or rejection of agricultural innovative technologies. The cause of this lies in the use of nature as a closed, static reference to naturalness, while in fact “nature” is an open and dynamic concept with many different meanings. We (...) propose an approach for a dynamic framework that permits an integrative use of naturalness in debate, by connecting three sorts of meaning that return regularly in the arguments brought forward in debate; cultural, technological, and ecological. We present these as aspects of nature that are always present in the argument of naturalness. The approach proposes a dynamic relation between these aspects, formed by gradients of naturalness, which in turn are related to ethical concerns. In this way we come to an overview that makes it possible to give individual arguments a relative place and that does justice to the temporality of the concept of nature and the underlying ethical concerns stakeholders have in respect to innovation in agriculture. Content Type Journal Article Category Articles Pages 1-16 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9359-6 Authors P. F. Van Haperen, Wageningen University and Research Centre, META, Hollandseweg 1, 6707 KN Wageningen, The Netherlands B. Gremmen, Wageningen University and Research Centre, META, Hollandseweg 1, 6707 KN Wageningen, The Netherlands J. Jacobs, Wageningen University and Research Centre, META, Hollandseweg 1, 6707 KN Wageningen, The Netherlands Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863. (shrink)
Jonathan Jacobs reviews The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand, in which David Kelley responds to Objectivists who refuse to dialogue with libertarians, and examines the debate among Objectivists over the interpretation of Rand's thinking. Kelley argues that Rand presents crucial insights and claims and that these need to be developed and elaborated and not viewed as a fixed doctrine. Jacobs focuses on where Kelley situates himself among Objectivists, and raises critical concerns about the effectiveness with which Rand's philosophy (...) is articulated and defended. He questions how effectively Objectivism enters into philosophical debates to which it claims to contribute. (shrink)
The medieval Jewish philosophers Saadia Gaon, Bahya ibn Pakuda, and Moses Maimonides made significant contributions to moral philosophy in ways that remain relevant today. -/- Jonathan Jacobs explicates shared, general features of the thought of these thinkers and also highlights their distinctive contributions to understanding moral thought and moral life. The rationalism of these thinkers is a key to their views. They argued that seeking rational understanding of Torah>'s commandments and the created order is crucial to fulfilling the covenant (...) with God, and that intellectual activity and ethical activity form a spiral of mutual reinforcement. In their view, rational comprehension and ethical action jointly constitute a life of holiness. Their insights are important in their own right and are also relevant to enduring issues in moral epistemology and moral psychology, resonating even in the contemporary context. -/- The central concerns of this study include (i) the relations between revelation and rational justification, (ii) the roles of intellectual virtue and ethical virtue in human perfection, (iii) the implications of theistic commitments for topics such as freedom of the will, the acquisition of virtues and vices, repentance, humility, and forgiveness, (iv) contrasts between medieval Jewish moral thought and the practical wisdom approach to moral philosophy and the natural law approach to it, and (v) the universality and objectivity of moral elements of Torah. (shrink)
In this book Lesley Jacobs challenges the view, now prevalent in North America and Western Europe, that the primary function of a nation's social policy should be to provide support only for the poorest people instead of social services accessible to all its citizens. -/- In an interesting and distinctive argument he develops and defends the idea that access to basic rights such as education, health care, adequate housing, and income support can provide a solid moral foundation for redistributive (...) state welfare programmes, maintaining that any nation which purports to take rights to basic liberties seriously must also be fully committed to the principles of the welfare state. Dr Jacob's thesis addresses a pressing political and philosophical problem at the heart of the policies and structure of the modern state. (shrink)
Possible worlds, concrete or abstract as you like, are irrelevant to the truthmakers for modality—or so I shall argue in this paper. First, I present the neo-Humean picture of modality, and explain why those who accept it deny a common sense view of modality. Second, I present what I take to be the most pressing objection to the neo-Humean account, one that, I argue, applies equally well to any theory that grounds modality in possible worlds. Third, I present an alternative, (...) properties-based theory of modality and explore several specific ways to flesh the general proposal out, including my favored version, the powers theory. And, fourth, I offer a powers semantics for counterfactuals that each version of the properties-based theory of modality can accept, mutatis mutandis. Together with a definition of possibility and necessity in terms of counterfactuals, the powers semantics of counterfactuals generates a semantics for modality that appeals to causal powers and not possible worlds. (shrink)
Causal powers, say, an electron’s power to repel other electrons, are had in virtue of having properties. Electrons repel other electrons because they are negatively charged. One’s views about causal powers are shaped by—and shape—one’s views concerning properties, causation, laws of nature and modality. It is no surprise, then, that views about the nature of causal powers are generally embedded into larger, more systematic, metaphysical pictures of the world. This dissertation is an exploration of three systematic metaphysics, Neo-Humeanism, Nomicism and (...) Neo-Aristotelianism. I raise problems for the first two and defend the third. A defense of a systematic metaphysics, I take it, involves appealing to pre-theoretical commitments or intuitions, and theoretical issues such as simplicity or explanatory power. While I think that Neo-Aristotelianism is the most intuitive of the available general metaphysical pictures of the world, these kinds of intuitions do not settle the matter. The most widely held of the alternative pictures, Neo-Humeanism, is accepted in great part because of its theoretical power. In contrast, a systematic Neo-Aristotelian metaphysic is, at best, nascent. The way forward for the Neo-Aristotelian, therefore, is a contribution to an ongoing research program, generating Neo-Aristotelian views of modality, causation and laws of nature from the Neo-Aristotelian understanding of causal powers. The central argument of this dissertation is that such views are defensible, and so the Neo-Aristotelian metaphysic ought to be accepted. (shrink)
We explain the thesis that human mental states are ontologically emergent aspects of a fundamentally biological organism. We then explore the consequences of this thesis for the identity of a human person over time. As these consequences are not obviously independent of one's general ontology of objects and their properties, we consider four such accounts: transcendent universals, kind-Aristotelianism, immanent universals, and tropes. We suggest there are reasons for emergentists to favor the latter two accounts. We then argue that within such (...) ontologies, emergentism about properties pushes one to the stronger claim that there are emergent individuals, though not individuals which are dual to person's bodies—substance emergentism, but not substance dualism. (shrink)
In this paper, my central aim is to defend the Powers Theory of causation, according to which causation is the exercise of a power (or manifestation of a disposition). I will do so by, first, presenting a recent version of the Powers Theory, that of Mumford (Forthcoming). Second, I will raise an objection to Mumford’s account. Third, I will offer a revised version that avoids the objection. And, fourth, I will end by briefly comparing the proposed Powers Theory with the (...) Neo-Humean, counterfactual theory. (shrink)
I explore two accounts of properties within a dispositional essentialist (or causal powers) framework, the pure powers view and the powerful qualities view. I ﬁrst attempt to clarify precisely what the pure powers view is, and then raise objections to it. I then present the powerful qualities view and, in order to avoid a common misconception, oﬀer a restatement of it that I shall call the truthmaker view. I end by brieﬂy defending the truthmaker view against objections.
In this article we examine the specific contributions Native American thought can make to the ongoing search for a Western ecological consciousness. We begin with a review of the influence of Native American beliefs on the different branches of the modem environmental movement and some initial comparisons of Western and Native American ways of seeing. We then review Native American thought on the natural world, highlighting beliefs in the need for reciprocity and balance, the world as a living being, and (...) relationships with animals. We conclude that Native American ideas are important, can prove inspirational in the search for a modem environmental consciousness, and affirm the arguments of both deep ecologists and ecofeminists. (shrink)
We present an original emergent individuals view of human persons, on which persons are substantial biological unities that exemplify metaphysically emergent mental states. We argue that this view allows for a coherent model of identity-preserving resurrection from the dead consistent with orthodox Christian doctrine, one that improves upon alternatives accounts recently proposed by a number of authors. Our model is a variant of the “falling elevator” model advanced by Dean Zimmerman that, unlike Zimmerman’s, does not require a closest continuer account (...) of personal identity. We end by raising some remaining theological concerns. (shrink)
Recent allegations of unethical decision-making by leaders in prominent business organizations have jeopardized the world’s confidence in American business. The purpose of this research was to develop a measure of managerial moral judgment that can be used in future research and managerial assessment. The measure was patterned after the Defining Issues Test, a widely used general measure of moral judgment. With content validity as the goal, we aimed to sample the domain of managerial ethical situations by establishing links to dimensions (...) of managerial performance, as well as to the types of organizational justice issues managers encounter. Proposed scenarios were evaluated for realism by ethics officers and human resource managers. Results indicated that the new measure is reliable and correlates with a number of relevant variables in the hypothesized manner, demonstrating evidence of construct validity. Implications for future research and for human resources management are discussed. (shrink)
Edward Shils presented his book Tradition (1981) as the first extensive study of the subject. This article casts light on Shils' multifaceted understanding of tradition, comprising pragmatic, Burkean, veridical, and evolutionist perspectives. His typology of traditions is noted, and his view of institutional bearers of tradition described. In assessing Shils' theory, however, we find that it overreaches, collapsing differences that exist between traditions, transmissions, and the traditional. Key Words: tradition transmission rationalization antitradition science.
Though foreign—and perhaps shocking—to many in the west, the doctrine of theosis is central in the theology and practice of Eastern Orthodoxy. Theosis is “the ultimate goal of human existence”1 and indeed is “a way of summing up the purpose of creation”:2 That God will unite himself to all of creation with humanity at the focal point. What are human persons, that they might be united to God? That is the question I explore in this paper. In particular, I explore (...) an account of human nature inspired by an Eastern Orthodox conception of theosis. In section 1, I present a theological vision of theosis in the Eastern Church. In section 2, I oﬀer an interpretation of what it might mean for human nature to become deformed by the fall and transformed by the Incarnation. Then, in section 3, I present an (admittedly speculative) account of human nature, based on a robustly metaphysical reading of an Orthodox conception of theosis. On that account—to overly simplify things, and postponing important qualiﬁcations—we might say that a human being is the union of soul and body with God. Finally, given that account of human nature, I oﬀer in section 3 some brief reﬂections on the prospects of a scientiﬁc anthropology. (shrink)
The main claim in this paper is that because organisms have teleological constitutions, the reduction of biology to physical science is not possible. It is argued that the teleology of organisms is intrinsic and not merely projected onto them. Many organic phenomena are end-oriented and reference to ends is necessary for explaining them. Accounts in terms of functions or goals are appropriate to organic parts and processes. siis is because ends as systemic requirements for survival and health have explanatory significance (...) with respect to the processes that contribute to and constitute them. Reductionism cannot accommodate this sort of higher-level to lower-level explanation and so cannot account for why lower-level phenomena are as they are. Reductionism, it is claimed, is ultimately descriptive and not explanatory because it cannot regard teleological requirements as themselves basic. In seeking to explain them away it forfeits explanatory power. (shrink)
It is a testimony to the enduring importance of Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions that, 30 years on, its doctrines of normal science and paradigm, incommensurability and revolution continue to challenge metascien tists and stimulate vigorous debate. Critique has mainly come from philosophers and historians; by and large, interested sociologists have embraced Kuhn. Un justifiably so, this article argues, bringing to light a serious difficulty or "anom aly" in his account of the social side of science. Contrary to (...) what he claims, scientific knowledge is not the achievement of organic communities. It is con structed in "trans-epistemic arenas" by diverse participants, laypeople, and specialists. Accepting "community" is a flawed concept in the sociology of science, and in appreciating the major role Kuhn assigned it, the Kuhnian system looks less robust than it did before. (shrink)
Kuhn and Feyerabend have little to say about the thought of Michael Polanyi, and the secondary literature on Polanyi's relation to them is meagre. I argue that Polanyi's view, in Personal knowledge and in other writings, of conceptual frameworks 'segregated' by a 'logical gap' as giving rise to controversies in science foreshadowed Kuhn and Feyerabend's theme of incommensurability. The similarity between the thinkers is, I suggest, no coincidence.
Kant's lectures on anthropology capture him at the height of his intellectual power. They are immensely important for advancing our understanding of Kant's conception of anthropology, its development, and the notoriously difficult relationship between it and the critical philosophy. This collection of new essays by some of the leading commentators on Kant offers the first systematic account of the philosophical importance of this material that should nevertheless prove of interest to historians of ideas and political theorists. There are two broad (...) approaches adopted: a number of the essays consider the systematic relations of the anthropology to critical philosophy, especially speculative knowledge and ethics. Other essays focus on the anthropology as a major source for the clarification of both the content and development of Kant's work. The volume will serve as an interpretative complement to a forthcoming translation on the lectures in the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant. (shrink)
Many of the basic elements of Maimonides' moral psychology are Aristotelian, but there are some important respects in which Maimonides departs from Aristotle. One of those respect concerns the possibility of changing one's character. There is, according to Maimonides, redemptive possibility that Aristotle does not recognize. There is, according to Maimonides, a redemptive possibility that Aristotle does not recognize. This is based on the fact of revealed law. That is, if there is revealed law, then there is guidance for the (...) ordering of one's dispositions to what is good, even though the individual lacks practical wisdom. There is, in the Maimonidean account, both allowance for more plasticity of character, and at the same time a heightened responsibility for acknowledging what is ethically required. (shrink)
A study of the development of Mill's thought through successive editions of _A System of Logic. His view of the genesis of most scientific laws, it is argued, progressively shifted from inductivism to hypothetico-deductivism. Mill's analysis of hypotheses and of methods for their assessment is considered in detail. New light is shed on relations between Mill's metascience and that of William Whewell.
Proposed solutions to sustainability often bring different economic sectors into conflict; when a sustainable solution for one sector is non-sustainable for another it creates what we call the dilemma of sustainability. A recent example took place in the Columbia Basin of the Pacific Northwest, involving competing notions of sustainability by fisheries and the energy industry. Taking up some ideas of Eger and Lyotard, we criticize the constructivist approach which treats large ecosystems as constructions and the process of resolving conflicts of (...) sustainability as one solely consisting of negotiations involving the trading off of interests. We propose instead to treat such conflict resolution via a Gadamerian-inspired hermeneutics that sees different economic sectors as having different interpretations of sustainability and that aims at common understanding. (shrink)
There are several reasonable conceptions of liberalism. A liberal polity can survive a measure of disagreement over just what constitutes liberalism. In part, this is because of the way a liberal order makes possible a dynamic, heterogeneous civil society and how that, in turn, can supply participants with reasons to support a liberal political order. Despite the different conceptions of justice associated with different conceptions of liberalism, there are reasons to distinguish the normative focus of criminal justice from other aspects (...) of justice in a liberal polity. Given the fundamental commitments of liberalism?of whatever variant?there are reasons for criminal justice not to be assimilated to wider conceptions of justice overall. Such assimilation risks undermining some of liberalism's distinctive commitments concerning the standing of individuals as voluntary, responsible agents. Criminal justice is not independent of other aspects of justice but has a distinct focus in a liberal polity. (shrink)
Attention is given to a background idea that is often invoked in discussions about reasonable partiality: the idea of a moral division of labour. It is not only a right, but also a duty for professionals to attend (almost) exclusively to the interests of their own clients, because their partial activities are part of an impartial scheme providing for an allocation of professional help to all clients. To clarify that idea, a difference is made between two kinds of division of (...) labour, a technical one and a social one. In order to assess the applicability of the idea of a moral division of labour to professional ethics, journalism is contrasted with other professions. (shrink)
Normative pragmatics can bridge the differences between dialectical and rhetorical theories in a way that saves the central insights of both. Normative pragmatics calls attention to how the manifest strategic design of a message produces interpretive effects and interactional consequences. Argumentative analysis of messages should begin with the manifest persuasive rationale they communicate. But not all persuasive inducements should be treated as arguments. Arguments express with a special pragmatic force propositions where those propositions stand in particular inferential relations to one (...) another. Normative pragmatics provides a framework within which varieties of propositional inference and pragmatic force may be kept straight. Normative pragmatics conceptualizes argumentative effectiveness in a way that integrates notions of rhetorical strategy and rhetorical situation with dialectical norms and procedures for reasonable deliberation. Strategic effectiveness should be seen in terms of maximizing the chances that claims and arguments will be reasonably evaluated, whether or not they are accepted. Procedural rationality should be seen in terms of adjustment to the demands of concrete circumstances. Two types of adjustment are illustrated: rhetorical strategies for framing the conditions for dialectical deliberation and rhetorical strategies for making do with limitations to dialectical deliberation. (shrink)
Popper, Polanyi and Duncker represent the widely held position that theoretical and experimental scientific research are motivated by problems to which discoveries are solutions. According to the argument here, their views are unsupported and - in light of counter-instances, anomalous chance discoveries, and the force of curiosity - over-generalized.
How do people learn multisensory, or amodal, representations, and what consequences do these representations have for perceptual performance? We address this question by performing a rational analysis of the problem of learning multisensory representations. This analysis makes use of a Bayesian nonparametric model that acquires latent multisensory features that optimally explain the unisensory features arising in individual sensory modalities. The model qualitatively accounts for several important aspects of multisensory perception: (a) it integrates information from multiple sensory sources in such a (...) way that it leads to superior performances in, for example, categorization tasks; (b) its performances suggest that multisensory training leads to better learning than unisensory training, even when testing is conducted in unisensory conditions; (c) its multisensory representations are modality invariant; and (d) it predicts ‘‘missing” sensory representations in modalities when the input to those modalities is absent. Our rational analysis indicates that all of these aspects emerge as part of the optimal solution to the problem of learning to represent complex multisensory environments. (shrink)
Martin-Löf's constructive type theory forms the basis of this paper. His central notions of category and set, and their relations with Russell's type theories, are discussed. It is shown that addition of an axiom - treating the category of propositions as a set and thereby enabling higher order quantification - leads to inconsistency. This theorem is a variant of Girard's paradox, which is a translation into type theory of Mirimanoff's paradox (concerning the set of all well-founded sets). The occurrence of (...) the contradiction is explained in set theoretical terms. Crucial here is the way a proof-object of an existential proposition is understood. It is shown that also Russell's paradox can be translated into type theory. The type theory extended with the axiom mentioned above contains constructive higher order logic, but even if one only adds constructive second order logic to type theory the contradictions arise. (shrink)