Stem cell research has important implications for medicine. The source of stem cells influences their therapeutic potential, with stem cells derived from early-stage embryos remaining the most versatile. Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), a source of embryonic stem cells, allows for understandings about disease development and, more importantly, the ability to yield embryonic stem cell lines that are genetically matched to the somatic cell donor. However, SCNT requires women to donate eggs, which involves injection of ovulation-inducing hormones and egg retrieval (...) through laparoscopy or transvaginal needle aspiration. Risks from this procedure are fiercely debated, most notably risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). This review examines risk of OHSS resulting from oocyte donation. We conclude that risk posed by OHSS in egg donation is not significant enough to warrant undue concern, and much of this can be eliminated when proper precautions are taken. This bears relevance to the future of stem cell research policymaking. (shrink)
In his political classic The Public and Its Problems, John Dewey offers up an observation that would surely resonate with contemporary readers.The social situation has been so changed by the factors of an industrial age that traditional general principles have little practical meaning. They persist as emotional cries rather than as reasoned ideas…. The developments of industry and commerce have so complicated affairs that a clear-cut, generally applicable, standard of judgment becomes practically impossible. The forest cannot be seen for the (...) trees nor the trees for the forest.1To clarify his point, Dewey continues with four examples in which the concepts employed by situated social actors to grasp the increasing .. (shrink)
The separation of science and religion in modern secular culture can easily obscure the fact that in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe ideas about nature were intimately related to ideas about God. Readers of this book will find fresh and exciting accounts of a phenomenon common to both science and religion: deviation from orthodox belief. How is heterodoxy to be measured? How might the scientific heterodoxy of particular thinkers impinge on their religious views? Would heterodoxy in religion create a predisposition towards (...) heterodoxy in science? Might there be a homology between heterodox views in both domains? Such major protagonists as Galileo and Newton are re-examined together with less familiar figures in order to bring out the extraordinary richness of scientific and religious thought in the pre-modern world. (shrink)
Abstract. The purpose of this essay is to introduce a collection of five papers, originally presented at the 2009 summer conference of the International Society for Science and Religion, which explore the reception of Darwin's science in different religious traditions. Comparisons are drawn between Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and Indian responses to biological evolution, with particular reference to the problem of suffering and to the exegetical and hermeneutic issues involved.
With contributions from medicine, psychology and philosophy, Pathways into the Jungian World looks at the central issues of commonality and difference in phenomenology and analytical psychology. The essays investigate how existential phenomenology and analytical psychology have been involved in the same fundamental cultural and therapeutic project. They both legitimize the subtlety, complexity, and depth of experience in an age when the meaning of experience has been abandoned to the dictates of pharmaceutical technology, economics and medical psychiatry. The contributors reveal how (...) Jung's relationship to the phenomenological tradition is being developed and rigorously show that the psychological resonance of the world is immediately available for phenomenological description. Contributors: Lionel Corbett, Veronica Goodchild, John Haule, David Michael Levin, Stanton Marlan, Bertha Mook, Robert Romanyshyn, Ronald Schenk, Charles E. Scott, Eva Marie Simms, Michael P. Sipiora, Mary Watkins, Mark Welman. (shrink)
Prior studies have shown a general preference among citizens for juries over judges. Researchers, however, have not considered whether race and ethnicity modify this preference. We hypothesized that minorities (African-Americans, Hispanics), who generally express less trust in the legal system, may also express less trust in juries than non-Hispanic whites. We asked a representative sample of 1,465 residents of Texas to state whether they would prefer a jury or a judge to be the decision maker in four hypothetical circumstances. Consistent (...) with expectations, non-Hispanic whites favored juries over judges, particularly if they imagined themselves as a defendant in a criminal trial. By comparison, although African-Americans and some Hispanics generally favored juries, they showed a much weaker set of jury preferences. African Americans had markedly lower support for the civil jury, but support was higher among minorities with prior jury service. Among Hispanics, respondents who took the survey in Spanish typically preferred a judge to make legal decisions. We consider the implications of our findings for trust in the jury system and trust in community members as decision makers. (shrink)
Abstract The primary purpose of this essay is to review Nidhal Guessoum's Islam's Quantum Question from a perspective outside Muslim tradition. Having outlined the main contours and contentions of the book, general issues are raised concerning the reconciliation of religious belief with the sciences. Comparisons are drawn between the resources available to Christian and Muslim cultures for achieving reconciliation, with particular reference to scriptural exegesis and natural theology. Speculative questions are then raised concerning possible differences between the Christian and Islamic (...) experience and whether these may shed any light on the facilitation in Europe of an enduring scientific movement. (shrink)
General aspects of jurisprudence -- Precursors of modern jurisprudence -- Natural law -- Transcendental idealism -- Utilitarianism -- Legal positivism -- Historical jurisprudence -- The sociological movement in jurisprudence -- Authority -- Scandinavian realism -- American realism -- Contemporary american jurisprudence -- Rights -- Law and morality -- Feminist jurisprudence.
General aspects of jurisprudence -- Precursors of modern jurisprudence -- Natural law -- Common law and statute -- Utilitarianism -- Punishment -- Legal positivism -- Authority -- American realism -- The nature of law -- Contemporary American jurisprudence and political philosophy -- Rights -- Law and morality.
Introduction : "Individualism has never been tried": toward a pragmatic individualism -- Pt. 1. Emerson -- What's the use of reading Emerson pragmatically?: the example of William James -- "Let us have worse cotton and better men": Emerson's ethics of self-culture -- Pt. 2. Pragmatism: James and Dewey -- "Moments in the world's salvation": James's pragmatic individualism -- Character and community: Dewey's model of moral selfhood -- "The local is the ultimate universal": Dewey on reconstructing individuality and community -- Pt. (...) 3. A tragic-comic ethics in the Emersonian vein: Kenneth Burke and Ralph Ellison -- "Saying 'yes' and saying 'no'": individualist ethics in Ellison and Burke. (shrink)
In Political Theory and Feminist Social Criticism, Brooke Ackerly demonstrates the shortcomings of contemporary deliberative democratic theory, relativism and essentialism for guiding the practice of social criticism in the real, imperfect world. Drawing theoretical implications from the activism of Third World feminists who help bring to public audiences the voices of women silenced by coercion, Brooke Ackerly provides a practicable model of social criticism. She argues that feminist critics have managed to achieve in practice what other theorists do (...) only incompletely in theory. Complemented by Third World feminist social criticism, deliberative democratic theory becomes critical theory - actionable, coherent, and self-reflective. While a complement to democratic theory, Third World feminist social criticism also addresses the problem in feminist theory associated with attempts to deal with identity politics. Third World feminist social criticism thus takes feminist theory beyond the critical impasse of the tension between anti-relativist and anti-essentialist feminist theory. (shrink)
Some people feel distressed reflecting on human extinction. Some people even claim that our efforts and lives would be empty and pointless if humanity becomes extinct, even if this will not occur for millions of years. In this essay, I will attempt to demonstrate that this claim is false. The desire for long-lastingness or quasi-immortality is often unwittingly adopted as a standard for judging whether our efforts are significant. If we accomplish our goals and then later in life conclude that (...) these accomplishments were of no significance, then this is a sign that the desire for long-lastingness has crept into our standards. By recognizing this, and refraining from adopting an unreasonable standard to judge whether our efforts are significant, it will be to our advantage. Then, when we look back on life from an external perspective that encompasses times after humanity has become extinct, we will not conclude that our efforts amounted to nothing. Rather, we will conclude that many people made significant accomplishments that made their lives and the lives of other people better than they would have been if their goals had never been pursued. (shrink)
This paper investigates the prospects of Rodney Brooks’ proposal for AI without representation. It turns out that the supposedly characteristic features of “new AI” (embodiment, situatedness, absence of reasoning, and absence of representation) are all present in conventional systems: “New AI” is just like old AI. Brooks proposal boils down to the architectural rejection of central control in intelligent agents—Which, however, turns out to be crucial. Some of more recent cognitive science suggests that we might do well to dispose of (...) the image of intelligent agents as central representation processors. If this paradigm shift is achieved, Brooks’ proposal for cognition without representation appears promising for full-blown intelligent agents—Though not for conscious agents. (shrink)
Throughout history, many people, including Mother Teresa, have been troubled by God’s silence. In spite of the conflicting interpretations of the Bible, God has remained silent. What are the implications of divine silence for a meaning of life? Is there a good reason that explains God’s silence? If God created humanity to fulfill a purpose, then God would have clarified his purpose and our role by now, as I will argue. To help God carry out his purpose, we would need (...) to have a clear understanding of our role. Thus, by failing to clarify our role, God would be undermining himself in achieving the purpose he conceived, which would not make sense. Because God, if he exists, would not engage in this self-defeating behavior, this suggests that humanity was not created by God to fulfill a purpose. (shrink)
David Benatar claims that everyone was seriously harmed by coming into existence. To spare future persons from this suffering, we should cease having children, Benatar argues, with the result that humanity would gradually go extinct. Benatar’s claim of universal serious harm is baseless. Each year, an estimated 94% of children born throughout the world do not have a serious birth defect. Furthermore, studies show that most people do not experience chronic pain. Although nearly everyone experiences acute pain and discomforts, such (...) as thirst, these experiences have instrumental value. For example, when a person picks up a hot object, in response to the pain, the person releases the object, thereby preventing serious harm. The standard that Benatar uses to evaluate the quality of our lives is arbitrary, as I will demonstrate. His proposal that we phase humanity out of existence by ceasing to have children is misguided and an overreaction to the problem of human suffering. The ‘threshold conception of harm’, which is a targeted approach for preventing future persons from suffering, is a more sensible approach. (shrink)
J. H. Lambert proved important results of what we now think of as non-Euclidean geometries, and gave examples of surfaces satisfying their theorems. I use his philosophical views to explain why he did not think the certainty of Euclidean geometry was threatened by the development of what we regard as alternatives to it. Lambert holds that theories other than Euclid’s fall prey to skeptical doubt. So despite their satisfiability, for him these theories are not equal to Euclid’s in justification. Contrary (...) to recent interpretations, then, Lambert does not conceive of mathematical justification as semantic. According to Lambert, Euclid overcomes doubt by means of postulates. Euclid’s theory thus owes its justification not to the existence of the surfaces that satisfy it, but to the postulates according to which these “models” are constructed. To understand Lambert’s view of postulates and the doubt they answer, I examine his criticism of Christian Wolff’s views. I argue that Lambert’s view reflects insight into traditional mathematical practice and has value as a foil for contemporary, model-theoretic, views of justification. (shrink)
Some people feel threatened by the thought that life might have arisen by chance. What is it about “chance” that some people find so threatening? If life originated by chance, this suggests that life was unintended and that it was not inevitable. It is ironic that people care about whether life in general was intended, but may not have ever wondered whether their own existence was intended by their parents. If it does not matter to us whether one's own existence (...) was intended, as will be hypothesized, then why should it matter whether there was some remote intent behind the creation of the first unicellular organism(s) billions of years ago? I will discuss three possible scenarios by which life might have originated. I will then argue that, in regard to whether one’s individual life can be meaningful, it does not matter whether life was intended or arose by chance. If complex life was unintended and is rare in this universe, this is not a reason to disparage life, but a reason to appreciate and value our existence. -/- . (shrink)
In activist circles feminist political thought is often viewed as abstract because it does not help activists make the kinds of arguments that are generally effective with donors and policy makers. The feminist political philosopher's focus on how we know and what counts as knowledge is a large step away from the terrain in which activists make their arguments to donors. Yet, philosophical reflection on the relations between power and knowledge can make a significant contribution to women's human rights work (...) in the area of evaluation. Feminist political philosophy can offer guidelines for how to evaluate the work of women's human rights organizations and their funders in light of the social, political, and economic conditions that render their work necessary and difficult. This article offers 1) an account of the difficulty in showing the impact of social change activism using conventional modes of measurement, particularly those that focus on first order effects, 2) feminist theoretical insights into the interrelatedness of global gender injustices that may help us develop better benchmarks of evaluation for women's human rights programming, and 3) a sketch of how to approach the evaluation of organizations and donors who seek to support global gender justice. (shrink)
Management practitioners and scholars have worked diligently to identify methods for ethical decision making in international contexts. Theoretical frameworks such as Integrative Social Contracts Theory (Donaldson and Dunfee, 1994, Academy of Management Review 19, 252–284) and more recently the Global Business Citizenship Approach [Wood et al., 2006, Global Business Citizenship: A Transformative Framework for Ethics and Sustainable Capitalism. (M. E. Sharpe, Armonk, NY)] have produced innovations in practice. Despite these advances, many managers have difficulty implementing these theoretical concepts in daily (...) practice. Using the example of recent decisions by internet service providers Google, Yahoo, and MSN regarding censorship requirements in China, we offer six heuristic questions to help managers to resolve cross-cultural ethical conflicts in which the firm’s way of doing business differs from the practice in the host country. Recognizing that companies can take different approaches to law and ethics (Paine, 1994, Harvard Business Review 72(2), 107–117), our aim is to provide a management decision process to deal with demands or opportunities for engaging in questionable business practices in a host country. (shrink)
Europe's leading existential thinkers -- Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Albert Camus -- all felt that Americans were too self-confident and shallow to accept their philosophy of responsibility, choice, and the absurd. "There is no pessimism in America regarding human nature and social organization," Sartre remarked in 1950, while Beauvoir wrote that Americans had no "feeling for sin and for remorse" and Camus derided American materialism and optimism. Existentialism, however, enjoyed rapid, widespread, and enduring popularity among Americans. No less (...) than their European counterparts, American intellectuals participated in the conversation of existentialism. In Existential America , historian George Cotkin argues that the existential approach to life, marked by vexing despair and dauntless commitment in the face of uncertainty, has deep American roots and helps to define the United States in the twentieth-century in ways that have never been fully realized or appreciated. As Cotkin shows, not only did Americans readily take to existentialism, but they were already heirs to a rich tradition of thinkers -- from Jonathan Edwards and Herman Melville to Emily Dickinson and William James -- who had wrestled with the problems of existence and the contingency of the world long before Sartre and his colleagues. After introducing this concept of an American existential tradition, Cotkin examines how formal existentialism first arrived in America in the 1930s through discussion of Kierkegaard and the early vogue among New York intellectuals for the works of Sartre, Beauvoir, and Camus. Cotkin then traces the evolution of existentialism in America: its adoption by Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison to help articulate the African-American experience its expression in the works of Norman Mailer and photographer Robert Frank its incorporation into the tenets of the feminist and radical student movements of the 1960s and its lingering presence in contemporary American thought and popular culture, particularly in such films as Crimes and Misdemeanors , Fight Club and American Beauty . The only full-length study of existentialism in America, this highly engaging and original work provides an invaluable guide to the history of American culture since the end of the Second World War. (shrink)
Cross cultural ethical conflicts are a major challenge for managers of multinational corporations (MNEs) when an MNE''s business practices and a host country''s practices differ. We develop a set of decision principles to help MNE managers deal with these conflicts and illustrate with examples of ethical conflicts faced by MNEs doing business in contemporary Russia (DeGeorge, 1994). We discuss the generalizability of the principles by comparing them to the Donaldson (1989) and Buller and Kohls (1997) decision models. Finally we discuss (...) changes in the cross cultural ethical problems facing MNE managers and offer suggestions for future corporate and academic work on these problems. (shrink)
A common belief about the nature of agent regret is that regretting some event E is closely linked to being sorry for the occurrence of E. Or more specifically, that if one is sorry for E then she must regret E. I will call this ‘the sorry-regret hypothesis’. My contention is that one may be sorry for some action but not regret it. I take the rejection of this ‘truism’ to be a positive development. I offer two lines of argument (...) for rejecting the sorry-regret hypothesis. One line of argument is based on counterexamples. The second attacks the validity of a reconstructed argument for the sorry-regret hypothesis. It is desirable to reject the sorry-regret hypothesis since there is a component of regret that many will not wish to be saddled with as a condition of apologizing. To regret an act, one must wish that she had not performed that act. Since a person is the person she is (speaking loosely) because of the actions she has performed, for many actions, if one regrets an action, then she wishes that she were a different person. This is a worrisome consequence. (shrink)
It has been conventional to conceptualize civic life through one of two core images: the citizen as lone individualist or the citizen as joiner. Drawing on analyses of the historical development of the public sphere, we propose an alternative analytical framework for civic engagement based on small-group interaction. By embracing this micro-level approach, we contribute to the debate on civil society in three ways. By emphasizing local interaction contexts-the microfoundations of civil society-we treat small groups as a cause, context, and (...) consequence of civic engagement. First, through framing and motivating, groups encourage individuals to participate in public discourse and civic projects. Second, they provide the place and support for that involvement. Third, civic engagement feeds back into the creation of additional groups. A small-groups perspective suggests how civil society can thrive even if formal and institutional associations decline. Instead of indicating a decline in civil society, a proliferation of small groups represents a healthy development in democratic societies, creating cross-cutting networks of affiliation. (shrink)
This study adds to the empirical evidence supporting a significant connection between ethics and profitability by examining the connection between published reports of unethical behaviour by publicly traded U.S. and multinational firms and the performance of their stock. Using reports of unethical behaviour published in the Wall Street Journal from 1989 to 1993, the analysis shows that the actual stock performance for those companies was lower than the expected market adjusted returns. Unethical conduct by firms which is discovered and publicized (...) does impact on the shareholders by lowering the value of their stock for an appreciable period of time. Whatever their views on whether ethical behaviour is profitable, managers should be able to see a definite connection between unethical behaviour and the worth of their firm's stock. Stockholders, the press and regulators should find this information important in pressing for greater corporate and managerial accountability. (shrink)
This article identifies a foundation for Confucian democratic political thought in Confucian thought. Each of the three aspects emphasized is controversial, but supported by views held within the historical debates and development of Confucian political thought and practice. This democratic interpretation of Confucian political thought leads to (1) an expectation that all people are capable of ren and therefore potentially virtuous contributors to political life; (2) an expectation that the institutions of political, social, and economic life function so as to (...) develop the virtue of being a perfected human being; and (3) an expectation that there be public spacefor political criticism and for ongoing contestation over the duties and behaviors of individual leaders and citizens and over the functioning of the institutions that am to cultivate their behavior. (shrink)
A careful reading of Heloise's letters reveals both her contribution to Abelard's ethical thought and the differences between her ethical concerns and his. In her letters, Heloise focuses on the innate moral qualities of the inner person or animus. Hypocrisy—the misrepresentation of the inner person through false outer appearance, exemplified by the potentially deceitful religious habit or habitus—is a matter of great moral concern to her. When Abelard responds to Heloise's ideas, first in his letters to her and later in (...) his Collationes and Scito te ipsum, he turns the discussion away from her original interests. He transforms her metaphor of the habitus as false appearance into a discussion of another type of habitus, the habitual process of acquiring virtue, and integrates her focus on the animus into his developing ideas about sin as intention. Examining the differences between Heloise's ethical thought and Abelard's allows us to appreciate the distinct contributions of both. (shrink)
This paper critically examines Sartre's argument for the meaninglessness of life from our foundationless freedom. According to Sartre, our freedom to choose our values is completely undetermined. Hence, we cannot rely on anything when choosing and cannot justify our choices. Thus, our freedom is the foundation of our world without itself having any foundation, and this renders our lives absurd. Sartre's argument presupposes, then, that although we can freely choose all our values we have a meta-value that we cannot choose: (...) that values are acceptable only if they are justified by some independent factor rather than by one's free choice. I argue that we need not accept this presupposition: subjectivists may well choose to be 'proud subjectivists' who are pleased with, rather than ashamed by, their subjectivism. Indeed, many subjectivists, including those considering the meaning of life - for example, Harry Frankfurt and Brooke Alan Trisel - adopt this position. (shrink)
"Tell the health professionals why people with disabilities get depressed and suicidal. Tell them about institutions. Let them know the real reasons people with disabilities give up."The disability studies perspective has been consistently marginalized in twentieth-century American bioethical discourse. Like Ralph Ellison's nameless protagonist who is "invisible … simply because people refuse to see me" (Ellison 1995, 3), both disabled people and disability studies perspectives have been conspicuously absent from mainstream contemporary bioethical inquiries. Considerations of provision, accommodation, and (...) institutionalization have been pushed to the periphery of discourse. The lament of Ellison's invisible man—"I .. (shrink)
: Theoretically, feminists ought to be the best deliberative democrats. However, political commitments (which this author shares) to inclusiveness on issues of reproductive health and gay and lesbian rights, for example, create a boundary within feminism between those committed to the "feminist consensus" on these issues and women activists who share some feminist commitments, but not all. This article offers theoretically and empirically informed suggestions for how feminists can foster inclusive deliberation within feminist spaces.
The news reminds us almost daily that the truth is apparently not highly valued by many in business. This paper develops two prescriptive standards — the Expectation and Reputation guidelines — that may help businesspeople avoid violating clearly accepted truth standards. The guidelines also assist in determining whether truth is required in circumstances where honesty seems in conflict with the practical demands of business. A discussion of why, when and how these guidelines may be applied to facilitate truth-telling by business (...) organizations follows, along with illustrative examples. (shrink)
Salespeople have a moral obligation to prospect/customer, company and self. As such, they continually encounter truth-telling dilemmas. "lgnorance" and "conflict" often block the path to morally correct sales behaviors. Academics and practitioners agree that adoption of ethical codes is the most effective measure for encouraging ethical sales behaviors. Yet no ethical code has been offered which can be conveniently used to overcome the unique circumstances that contribute to the moral dilemmas often encountered in personal selling. An ethical code is developed (...) that charts ethical paths across a variety of sales settings (addressing "ignorance") while illustrating why the cost associated with acting morally is generally reasonable (addressing "conflict"). The code applies the universal transactional notions of customer expectations and salesperson reputation to illustrate why and when salespeople are morally required to tell the truth. In doing so, the code tackles head-on the vexing question of how best to juggle mixed motives - involving self-interests, corporate-concerns, cus-tomer-needs and other influences such as the nature of the transaction. The issue of how mixed motives can be dealt with through moral means is one that ethicists have previously sidestepped (Stark, 1993). (shrink)
Abstract The publication of Islam's Quantum Question coincided with a burst of interest in the subject of Islam and science. This article first places the book in context (academic and cultural); in particular, an update is given on the two strong current trends of I'jaz, the “miraculous scientific content in the Qur’an” and Muslim creationism, and a note is made of the “Arab Spring” and its potential effect on science in the Arab-Muslim world. The second part is devoted to a (...) discussion of the views presented by the four reviewers (Brooke, Hameed, Dajani, and Bagir): my “theistic science” approach, the similarities and contrasts between Christian and Islamic approaches to the scientific exploration of the world, the importance of relating religion and science in practice, not just in theory, the need for a theology of nature versus natural theology in Islam, and so on. The article concludes with an outlook on the issues that still need to be addressed in the field of Islam and Science. (shrink)