Much recent research has sought to uncover the neural basis of moral judgment. However, it has remained unclear whether "moral judgments" are sufficiently homogenous to be studied scientifically as a unified category. We tested this assumption by using fMRI to examine the neural correlates of moral judgments within three moral areas: (physical) harm, dishonesty, and (sexual) disgust. We found that the judgment ofmoral wrongness was subserved by distinct neural systems for each of the different moral areas and that these differences (...) were much more robust than differences in wrongness judgments within a moral area. Dishonest, disgusting, and harmful moral transgression recruited networks of brain regions associated with mentalizing, affective processing, and action understanding, respectively. Dorsal medial pFC was the only region activated by all scenarios judged to be morally wrong in comparison with neutral scenarios. However, this region was also activated by dishonest and harmful scenarios judged not to be morally wrong, suggestive of a domain-general role that is neither peculiar to nor predictive of moral decisions. These results suggest that moral judgment is not a wholly unified faculty in the human brain, but rather, instantiated in dissociable neural systems that are engaged differentially depending on the type of transgression being judged. (shrink)
Parkinson, Joseph Long after its publication in 1968, Pope Paul VI's encyclical letter on birth control Humanae Vitae continues to provoke great interest among Catholic bishops, clergy and faithful alike. At the time of its promulgation and in the years since, many Catholic couples struggled with the teaching contained in the document. Some couples apparently managed to adapt seamlessly to the continuing prohibition on contraception, but others encountered and continue to encounter major difficulties in receiving and living the teaching. (...) Birth control may no longer be an issue for that first generation of couples, yet many of them still view Humanae Vitae as a watershed in their journey in Catholic faith. (shrink)
Parkinson, Joseph In September 2010, Western Australia's Legislative Council, the Upper House of that State's Parliament, voted down a Private Member's Bill to introduce voluntary euthanasia by a margin of 24 votes to 11. This article reviews the general context and content of the Bill and the public debate on euthanasia before offering more focused analysis.
Parkinson, Joseph Having taken all reasonable steps to make the best decision they can in conscience, a Catholic couple believe they have no real alternative but to use contraception for the time being. Can this couple continue to receive Holy Communion?
Parkinson, Joseph Catholic health and aged care providers seeking new governance structures face a choice of embedding their ministry in either the local Church or the universal Church. This article asks how we view these ministries in the first place: in what sense are they truly 'ministries of the Church'?
The Routledge History of Philosophy, Volume 4 covers a period of three hundred and fifty years, from the middle of the fourteenth century to the early years of the eighteenth century and the birth of modern philosophy. The focus of this volume is on Renaissance philosophy and seventeenth-century rationalism, particularly that of Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz. Science was ascendant during the Renaissance and beyond, and the Copernican revolution represented the philosophical climax of the middle ages. This volume is unique in (...) its emphasis on the relationship between science and philosophy. Placing the philosophy of the age into its scientific, social and cultural context, it examines the scholastic thought which Renaissance philosophy both interacted with and reacted against. A grasp of the intellectual context of the rationalists is also critical to an understanding of this philosophical movement, and the writings of Bacon, Gassendi, Hobbes, and others are analyzed here. The Routledge History of Philosophy, Volume 4 provides a broad, scholarly introduction to this period for students of philosophy and related disciplines, as well as some original interpretations of these authors. It will be important reading both for the specialist and the general reader. It includes a glossary of over one hundred technical terms and a chronological table of philosophical, scientific, and other cultural events. (shrink)
The Cambridge Companion to Spinoza. Don Garrett (ed.). Cambridge University Press, 1996, pp. xiii, 465. ISBN 0-521-39235-7 (hb); ISBN 0-521-39865-7 (pb). 40.00 (hb) 12.95 (pb). Spinoza: The Enduring Questions. Graeme Hunter (ed.). University of Toronto Press, 1994, pp. xviii, 182. ISBN 0-8020-2876-4. 45.00. The Spinozistic Heresy: The Debate on the 'Tractatus Theologico-Politicus'. 1670-77. Paolo Cristofolini (ed.). APA-Holland University Press: Amsterdam and Maarssen, 1995, pp. viii, 260. ISBN 90-302-1502-X. Disguised and Overt Spinozism around 1700. Wiep van Bunge and Wim Klever (eds.). (...) Brill, Leiden, 1996, pp. ix, 378. ISBN 90-04-10307-4. Part of Nature: Self-Knowledge in Spinoza's 'Ethics', by Genevieve Lloyd. Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London, 1994, pp. 182. ISBN 0-8014-2999-4. 24.95. Spinoza and the 'Ethics', by Genevieve Lloyd. Routledge Philosophy Guidebooks, London, 1996, pp. x, 163. ISBN 0-415-10782-2 (pb). 6.99. Spinoza: The Way to Wisdom, by Herman de Dijn. Purdue University Press, West Lafayette, Indiana, 1996, pp. xii, 291. ISBN 1-55753-081-5. (shrink)
This paper argues against the thesis of Professor Savan, that Spinoza's views about words and about the imagination are such that he could not consistently say, and indeed did not think, that philosophical truths can be expressed adequately in language. The evidence for this thesis is examined in detail, and it is argued that Spinoza should have distinguished between two types of imagination, corresponding roughly to Kant's transcendental and empirical imagination. Finally, it is suggested that the bulk of the argument (...) of the Ethics is conducted on the level of the ?second kind of knowledge?, reason, but that it also contains examples of the use of the first and third kinds of knowledge. (shrink)
Objectives: The aims of this study were to: (1) investigate patients’ views on euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide (PAS), and (2) examine the impact of question wording and patients’ own definitions on their responses. Design: Cross-sectional survey of consecutive patients with cancer. Setting: Newcastle (Australia) Mater Hospital Outpatients Clinic. Participants: Patients over 18 years of age, attending the clinic for follow-up consultation or treatment by a medical oncologist, radiation oncologist or haematologist. Main Outcome Measures: Face-to-face patient interviews were conducted examining attitudes (...) to euthanasia and PAS. Results: 236 patients with cancer (24% participation rate; 87% consent rate) were interviewed. Though the majority of participants supported the idea of euthanasia, patient views varied significantly according to question wording and their own understanding of the definition of euthanasia. Conclusions: Researchers need to be circumspect about framing and interpreting questions about support of ‘euthanasia’, as the term can mean different things to different people, and response may depend upon the specifics of the question asked. (shrink)
Deliberative democracy has become the central reference point for democracy theorists over the last decade or so, influencing normative frameworks and the ways we conceptualize the workings of democratic societies. It has also been linked with a burst of experimentation with new procedures that involve citizens directly in deliberations about public policy. -/- But there is a contradiction at the heart of deliberative democracy: it seems that it cannot deliver legitimate agreements. Deliberative decisions are said to be legitimate when all (...) those subject to them take part in free and equal debate, but in complex societies that can never happen. Few people can deliberate together at any one time, certainly not in any strict sense, so how can the results of a deliberative event be legitimate for non-participants? And why would people with passionately held views sit down and deliberate when there seems little advantage in them doing so? -/- This book explores these problems in theory and practice, searching for a solution that does not merely dismiss a strict understanding of deliberative democratic criteria. It reconsiders the theory of legitimacy and deliberative democracy, but goes further by examining cases of deliberation on health policy in the United Kingdom to see what problems emerge in practice, and how real political actors deal with them. The result is a complete rethink of the institutional limits and possibilities of deliberative democracy, one which abandons the search for perfection in any one institution, and looks instead to the concept of a multifaceted deliberative system. (shrink)
Background: Concern has been expressed about the process of consent to clinical trials, particularly in phase I “first-in-man” trials. Trial participant information sheets are often lengthy and technical. Content-based readability testing of sheets, which is often required to obtain research ethics approval for trials in the USA, is limited and cannot indicate how information will perform. Methods: An independent-groups design was used to study the user-testing performance of the participant information sheet from the phase I TGN1412 trial. Members of the (...) public were asked to read it, then find and demonstrate understanding of 21 key aspects of the trial. The participant information sheet was then rewritten, redesigned and tested on 20 members of the public, using the same 21-item questionnaire. Results: On the original TGN1412 participant information sheet, participants could not find answers and some of the found information was not understood. Six of 21 questions, including those relating to placebo, follow-up visits and the emergency phone number, were found by eight or fewer of 10 participants. The revised information sheet performed better, with the answers to 17 of 21 questions found and understood by all 20 participants. Conclusions: Tests showed that the TGN1412 participant information sheet may not inform participants adequately for consent. Revising its content and design led to significant improvements. Writers of materials for trial participants should take account of good practice in information design. Performance-based user testing may be a useful method to indicate strengths and weaknesses in trial materials. (shrink)
Moors and colleagues’ clever studies demonstrate that goal-relevant stimuli can produce rapid, unintentional affective priming, but not necessarily that primes are compared with goal representations following onset. Instead, prior attunements based on changing concerns may prespecify reward value. Even if both these processes count as emotion-relevant appraisal, none of the evidence rules out appraisal-independent emotion under other, unsampled, circumstances, including those where emotions develop as cumulative responses to unfolding and responsive environments rather than as momentary reactions to briefly-presented simple stimuli. (...) Although the functional relations between inputs and outputs may imply “constructive” processes at one level, these processes may be implemented by sequential lower-level mechanisms. (shrink)