This essay on choice of law (private international law) appears in the second edition of the Blackwell Companion to Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory, edited by Dennis Patterson. It is a revision of an entry on the same topic in the first edition of the book. The essay focuses on the epic battle over the course of the last century between two very different traditions - classical choice of law, articulated most completely by Joseph Beale in the 1930s, and (...) modernist choice of law, which inspired a massive and still controversial revolution in choice of law thinking. The essay isolates eight distinct jurisprudentially significant premises of classicism, including territorialism, a commitment to a regime of rules, and a conception of law and legal rights that I have called “vestedness.” It then discusses the modernist challenges to most, but significantly not all, of those premises. It also emphasize, however, the degree to which the eight pillars of the classical tradition are actually conceptually independent, and could, at least in principle, be mixed and matched in various combinations and in the service of very different account of choice of law enterprise. Finally, the essay turns to other debates, both within the classical and modernist traditions separately and transcending the differences between them. (shrink)
A core value of Judaism is leading an ethical life. The Talmud, an authoritative source on Jewish law and tradition, has a number of discussions that deal with honesty in business and decision-making. One motive that can cause individuals to be unscrupulous is the presence of a conflict of interest. This paper will define, discuss, and review five Talmudic concepts relevant to conflict of interest. They are (1) Nogea B’Davar (being an interested party), (2) V’hiyitem N’keyim (behaving to (...) ensure that one is above suspicion) (3) Lifnei Iver (placing a stumbling block before the blind), (4) Shokhad (accepting a bribe), and (5) Geneivat Da’at (deception and undeserved goodwill). Case examples will be used to apply these Talmudic principles to contemporary business practice. This will include discussion of these Talmudic concepts as it applies to specific contemporary business examples relevant to the boardroom, accounting firms, investment banking, politics, and government. It may be impossible to eliminate all conflicts of interest. However, knowledge and awareness of these Talmudic principles can help individuals in business settings better address the ethical issues that they confront. (shrink)
Conflicts of interest pose special problems for the professions. Even the appearance of a conflict of interest can undermine essential trust between professional and public. This volume is a comprehensive and accessible guide to the ramifications and problems associated with important issue. It contains fifteen new essays by noted scholars and covers topics in law, medicine, journalism, engineering, financial services, and others.
Toward a Sociology of Conflict of Interest in Medical Research Content Type Journal Article Category Case Studies Pages 389-391 DOI 10.1007/s11673-011-9332-0 Authors Sarah Winch, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia 4072 Michael Sinnott, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia 4072 Journal Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Online ISSN 1872-4353 Print ISSN 1176-7529 Journal Volume Volume 8 Journal Issue Volume 8, Number 4.
Discussions of conflict of interest (COI) in the university have tended to focus on financial interests in the context of medical research; much less attention has been given to COI in general or to the policies that seek to manage COI. Are university COI policies accessible and understandable? To whom are these policies addressed (faculty, staff, students)? Is COI clearly defined in these policies and are procedures laid out for avoiding or remedying such situations? To begin tackling these important (...) ethical and governance questions, our study examines the COI policies at the Group of Thirteen (G13) leading Canadian research universities. Using automated readability analysis tools and an ethical content analysis, we begin the task of comparing the strengths and weaknesses of these documents, paying particular attention to their clarity, readability, and utility in explaining and managing COI. (shrink)
The Strange Case of Dr. B and Mr. Hide: Ethical Sensitivity as a Means to Reflect Upon One’s Actions in Managing Conflict of Interest Content Type Journal Article Category Case Studies Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11673-012-9360-4 Authors Marie-Josée Potvin, Programmes de bioéthique, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, succ. Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3C 3J7 Journal Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Online ISSN 1872-4353 Print ISSN 1176-7529.
Toward a Postmodernist View of Conflict of Interest Content Type Journal Article Category Case Studies Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s11673-012-9359-x Authors Elise Smith, Doctorat en sciences humaines appliquées, option bioéthique, Programmes de bioéthique, Département de médecine sociale et préventive, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, succ. Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3C 3J7 Journal Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Online ISSN 1872-4353 Print ISSN 1176-7529.
The revisionist critique of conventional just war theory has undoubtedly scored some important victories. Walzer’s elegantly unified defense of combatant legal equality and noncombatant immunity has been seriously undermined. This critical success has not, however, been matched by positive arguments, which when applied to the messy reality of war would deprive states and soldiers of the permission to fight wars that are plausibly thought to be justified. The appeal to law that is sought to resolve this objection by casting it (...) as a practical concern, a pragmatic worry about implementation, which while germane to debates over the laws of war, need not undermine our convictions in the fundamental principles the revisionists advocate. This response is inadequate. Revisionists have not shown that soldiers should obey the laws of war, in practice, when they conflict with their other moral reasons – our worries about application remain intact. Moreover, a theory of war that offers only an account of the laws of war, and a set of fundamental principles developed in abstraction from feasibility constraints, is radically incomplete. We need to know how to apply those fundamental principles, and whether, when applied, they lead to defensible conclusions. Only two options seem to remain. Perhaps the revisionists’ arguments for their chosen fundamental principles are sufficiently compelling that we should stick with them, and accept their troubling conclusions – in other words, accept pacifism. Alternatively, we need to revise our fundamental principles, so that when applied they yield conclusions that we can more confidently endorse. -/- Though it does not save the revisionist view from the responsibility dilemma and cognate objections, the appeal to law does raise an important, and previously inadequately theorized, question – or, rather, resurrects a neglected topic, discussed in depth by historical just war theorists such as Grotius and Vattel. There are good grounds for distinguishing the laws of war from the morality of war, and for adjusting the former to accommodate predictable noncompliance, that should not impact on our account of the latter. Nonetheless, I have argued that there are some profound moral insights underlying both combatant legal equality and noncombatant immunity: specifically, we cannot infer from a combatant’s side having not satisfied jus ad bellum that he may not justifiably use lethal force; and other things equal, it is more wrongful to harm a nonliable noncombatant than to harm a nonliable combatant. (shrink)
The belief that laws of nature are contingent played an important role in the emergence of the empirical method of modern physics. During the scientific revolution, this belief was based on the idea of voluntary creation. Taking up Peter Mittelstaedt’s work on laws of nature, this article explores several alternative answers which do not overtly make use of metaphysics: some laws are laws of mathematics; macroscopic laws can emerge from the interplay of numerous subsystems without (...) any specific microscopic nomic structures (John Wheeler’s “law without law”); laws are the preconditions of scientific experience (Kant); laws are theoretical abstractions which only apply in very limited circumstances (Nancy Cartwright). Whereas Cartwright’s approach is in tension with modern scientific methodology, the first three strategies count as illuminating, though partial answers. It is important for the empirical method of modern physics that these three strategies, even when taken together, do not provide a complete explanation of the order of nature. Thus the question of why laws are valid is still relevant. In the concluding section, I argue that the traditional answer, based on voluntary creation, provides the right balance of contingency and coherence which is in harmony with modern scientific method. (shrink)
Most incidences of dishonesty in research, financial investments that promote personal financial gain, and kickback scandals begin as conflicts of interest (COI). Research indicates that healthcare professionals who maintain COI relationships make less optimal and more expensive patient care choices. The discovery of COI relationships also negatively impact patient and public trust. Many disciplines are addressing this professional issue, but little work has been done towards understanding and applying this moral category within a nursing context. Do COIs occur in nursing (...) and are they problematic? What are the morally appropriate responses to COI for our discipline and for individual practicing nurses? In this paper I examine the nature of 'conflict of interest' as a general ethical category, its characteristics and its application to our discipline. Conflict of interest is an odd moral category that may actually or potentially result in immoral decisions. The moral justification for COI is grounded prime facie by the moral value of respect for persons and principle of fidelity from which trust is developed and maintained. In review of the historical development, there appears to be consensus on some qualities of COI that are presented. I conclude that making judgements about COI are challenging and often difficult to determine from a nursing perspective. Improving nurses' and professional organizations' awareness of COI and sharpening our ability to respond appropriately when COI arise can reduce potential harm and promote trust in those whom we serve. (shrink)
The UK Medical Research Council (MRC) takes the issue of conflict of interest very seriously. The overall aim is to preserve a climate in which personal and organisational innovation can flourish while ensuring that potential conflicts are disclosed and identified and conflicts are either avoided or managed with integrity. The approach needs to encompass the MRC’s various responsibilities and the levels at which conflicts might arise: MRC staff (scientists and administrators); the governing Council; research Boards and committees; external peer-reviewers; (...) and applicants for funding. To achieve its goals, the MRC has issued practical guidance on various aspects of conflict of interest. For the future, the MRC has identified the continuing commercialisation of science and the increasing involvement of lay people in scientific decision-making as special challenges in this area. (shrink)
There is an emerging awareness of the possibility of conflicts of interest in the practice of medicine in Croatia. The paper examines areas within the medical profession where conflicts of interest can and have occurred, probably not only in Croatia. Particularly addressed are situations when a doctor may have dual obligations and how independent ethics committees can help in decreasing the influence of a conflict of interest. The paper also presents extracts from the Croatian Code of Ethics for the (...) medical profession that address problems of conflict of interest. (shrink)
This paper sketches a dispositionalist conception of laws and shows how the dispositionalist should respond to certain objections. The view that properties are essentially dispositional is able to provide an account of laws that avoids the problems that face the two views of laws (the regularity and the contingent nomic necessitation views) that regard properties as categorical and laws as contingent. I discuss and reject the objections that (i) this view makes laws necessary whereas they (...) are contingent; (ii) this view cannot account for certain kinds of laws of nature and their properties. (shrink)
Is it possible to take the enterprise of physics seriously while also holding the belief that the world contains an order beyond the reach of that physics? Is it possible to simultaneously believe in objective laws of nature and in miracles? Is it possible to search for the truths of physics while also acknowledging the limitations of that search as it is carried out by limited human knowers? As a philosopher, as a Christian, and as a participant in the (...) physics of his day, Leibniz had an interesting view that bears on all of these questions. This paper examines the status of laws of nature in Leibniz's philosophy and how the status of these laws fits into his larger philosophical picture of the limits of human knowledge and the wise and omniscient God who created the actual world. (shrink)
Sciences are often regarded as providing the best, or, ideally, exact, knowledge of the world, especially in providing laws of nature. Ilya Prigogine, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for his theory of non-equilibrium chemical processes—this being also an important attempt to bridge the gap between exact and non-exact sciences [mentioned in the Presentation Speech by Professor Stig Claesson (nobelprize.org, The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1977)]—has had this ideal in mind when trying to formulate a new kind of science. (...) Philosophers of science distinguish theory and reality, examining relations between these two. Nancy Cartwright’s distinction of fundamental and phenomenological laws, Rein Vihalemm’s conception of the peculiarity of the exact sciences, and Ronald Giere’s account of models in science and science as a set of models are deployed in this article to criticise the common view of science and analyse Ilya Prigogine’s view in particular. We will conclude that on a more abstract, philosophical level, Prigogine’s understanding of science doesn’t differ from the common understanding. (shrink)
I argue for the claim that if Lewis’s regularity theory of laws were true, we could not know any positive law statement to be true. Premise 1: According to that theory, for any law statement true of the actual world, there is always a nearby world where the law statement is false (a world that differs with respect to one matter of particular fact). Premise 2: One cannot know a proposition to be true if it is false in a (...) nearby world (the epistemological safety principle). The conclusion that no law statement can be known to be true follows immediately from the two premises. (shrink)
The actuarial profession has a long history of providing critical expertise to society. The services delivered are some of the most complex and mysterious to outsiders of all professions but little has been written about the professional responsibilities of actuaries in the academic literature beyond that of the profession itself. This paper makes the case that the issues surrounding professional independence of actuaries are, in principle, similar to those that faced the audit profession before the scandals and resultant regulatory changes (...) early this century. It is argued that, despite the position taken by the actuarial profession and management, the status quo raises genuine concerns about conflicts of interest and independence and that the risks that arise are of sufficient magnitude that they should at least be the subject of a full debate. (shrink)
The purpose of this study was to examine how ethical approval and competing interests are addressed by medical journals in Iran. In a cross-sectional study, 151 journals accredited by the Publications Commission of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education were reviewed. Data collection was carried out by assessing journal guidelines and conducting structured phone interviews with journal managers, focusing on how ethical considerations and conflicts of interest (COI) are addressed. Overall, 135 of the 151 journals (89.4 percent) examined some (...) aspect of ethical considerations of submitted articles. Authors were required to disclose their financial sponsors by 98 journals (64.9 percent), while COI disclosure was required by 67 journals (44.4 percent). We conclude that the rate of addressing ethical considerations is not far from ideal, but the requirement for COI disclosure needs more attention. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: Appealing to the failure of counterfactual support is a standard device in refuting a Humean view on laws of nature: some true generalisations do not support relevant counterfactuals; therefore not every true general fact is a law of nature—so goes the refutation. I will argue that this strategy does not work, for our understanding of the truth-value of any counterfactual is grounded in our understanding of the lawhood of some statements related to it.
Scientific communication takes place at two registers: first, interactions with colleagues in close proximity—members of a network, school of thought or circle; second, depersonalised transactions among a potentially unlimited number of scholars can be involved (e.g., author and readers). The interference between the two registers in the process of peer review produces a drift toward conflict of interest. Three particular cases of peer review are differentiated: journal submissions, grant applications and applications for tenure. The current conflict of interest (...) policies do not cover all these areas. Furthermore, they have a number of flaws, which involves an excessive reliance on scholars’ personal integrity. Conflicts of interest could be managed more efficiently if several elements and rules of the judicial process were accepted in science. The analysis relies on both primary and secondary data with a particular focus on Canada. (shrink)
That laws of nature play a vital role in explanation, prediction, and inductive inference is far clearer than the nature of the laws themselves. My hope here is to shed some light on the nature of natural laws by developing and defending the view that they involve genuine relations between properties. Such a position is suggested by Plato, and more recent versions have been sketched by several writers.~ But I am not happy with any of these accounts, (...) not so much because they lack detail or engender minor difficulties, though they do, but because they share a quite fundamental defect. My goal here is to make this defect clear and, more importantly, to present a rather different version of this general conception of laws that avoids it. I begin by considering several features of natural laws and argue that these are best explained by the view that laws involve properties, that this involvement takes the form of a genuine relation between properties, and, finally, that the relation is a metaphysically necessary one. In the second section I start at the other end, and by reflecting on the nature of properties arrive at a similar account of natural laws. In the final section I develop this account in more detail, with emphasis on the nature of the relation between properties it invokes. Along the way several natural objections to the account are answered. (shrink)
An area where conflicts of interest can take place in Estonia is in the conduct of clinical trials. The paper lists the main areas where such conflicts of interest can occur. The author also briefly discusses Estonia’s current position with regard to regulating genetic information and the commencement of the Estonian Genome Project.
When confronting the issues related to developments in modern medicine and biotechnology, we must repeatedly ask ourselves anew what can and cannot be justified in an ethical sense. For radically new ethical questions seem to arise through innovative techniques such as stem cell research or preimplantation diagnosis — and with them new areas of conflicting interests. If one scrutinizes the previous positions related to this subject, it becomes conspicuous that a multitude of questions has quickly piled up — however, (as (...) in the case of Germany) comprehensive and differentiated views have mostly been lacking. (shrink)
An influential position in the philosophy of biology claims that there are no biological laws, since any apparently biological generalization is either too accidental, fact-like or contingent to be named a law, or is simply reducible to physical laws that regulate electrical and chemical interactions taking place between merely physical systems. In the following I will stress a neglected aspect of the debate that emerges directly from the growing importance of mathematical models of biological phenomena. My main aim (...) is to defend, as well as reinforce, the view that there are indeed laws also in biology, and that their difference in stability, contingency or resilience with respect to physical laws is one of degrees, and not of kind . (shrink)
Standard objections to the notion of a hedged, or ceteris paribus, law of nature usually boil down to the claim that such laws would be either 1) irredeemably vague, 2) untestable, 3) vacuous, 4) false, or a combination thereof. Using epidemiological studies in nutrition science as an example, I show that this is not true of the hedged law-like generalizations derived from data models used to interpret large and varied sets of empirical observations. Although it may be ‘in principle (...) impossible’ to construct models that explicitly identify all potential causal interferers with the relevant generalization, the view that our failure to do so is fatal to the very notion of a cp-law is plausible only if one illicitly infers metaphysical impossibility from epistemic impossibility. I close with the suggestion that a model-theoretic approach to cp-laws poses a problem for recent attempts to formulate a Mill-Ramsey-Lewis theory of cp-laws. (shrink)
Whether or not an intentional explanation of action necessarily involves law-like statements is related to another question, namely, is it a causal explanation? The Popper-Hempel Thesis , which answers both questions affirmatively, inevitably faces a dilemma between realistic and universalistic requirements. However, in terms of W.C. Salmon’s concept of causal explanation, intentional explanation can be a causal one even if it does not rely on any laws. Based on this, we are able to refute three characteristic arguments for the (...) claim “reason is not a cause of action,” namely, the “proper logical” argument, the “logical relation” argument, and the “rule-following” argument. This rebuttal suggests that the causal relationship between reason and action can provide a justification for intentional explanations. (shrink)
It is shown that the following three common understandings of Newton’s laws of motion do not hold for systems of infinitely many components. First, Newton’s third law, or the law of action and reaction, is universally believed to imply that the total sum of internal forces in a system is always zero. Several examples are presented to show that this belief fails to hold for infinite systems. Second, two of these examples are of an infinitely divisible continuous body with (...) finite mass and volume such that the sum of all the internal forces in the body is not zero and the body accelerates due to this non-null net internal force. So the two examples also demonstrate the breakdown of the common understanding that according to Newton’s laws a body under no external force does not accelerate. Finally, these examples also make it clear that the expression ‘impressed force’ in Newton’s formulations of his first and second laws should be understood not as ‘external force’ but as ‘exerted force’ which is the sum of all the internal and external forces acting on a given body, if the body is infinitely divisible. (shrink)
Whether or not an intentional explanation of action necessarily involves law-like statements is related to another question, namely, is it a causal explanation? The Popper–Hempel Thesis, which answers both questions affirmatively, inevitably faces a dilemma between realistic and universalistic requirements. However, in terms of W.C. Salmon’s concept of causal explanation, intentional explanation can be a causal one even if it does not rely on any laws. Based on this, we are able to refute three characteristic arguments for the claim (...) “reason is not a cause of action,” namely, the “proper logical” argument, the “logical relation” argument, and the “rule-following” argument. This rebuttal suggests that the causal relationship between reason and action can provide a justification for intentional explanations. (shrink)
This collection explores the subject of conflicts of interest. It investigates how to manage conflicts of interest, how they can affect well-meaning professionals, and how they can limit the effectiveness of corporate boards, undermine professional ethics, and corrupt expert opinion. Legal and policy responses are considered, some of which (e.g., disclosure) are shown to backfire and even fail. The results offer a sobering prognosis for professional ethics and for anyone who relies on professionals who have conflicts of interest. The contributors (...) are leading authorities on the subject in the fields of law, medicine, management, public policy, and psychology. The nuances of the problems posedby conflicts of interest will be highlighted for readers in an effort to demonstrate the manyways that structuring incentives can affect decision making and organizations' financial well-being. (shrink)
This article attacks “open systems” arguments that because constant conjunctions are not generally observed in the real world of open systems we should be highly skeptical that universal laws exist. This work differs from other critiques of open system arguments against laws of nature by not focusing on laws themselves, but rather on the inference from open systems. We argue that open system arguments fail for two related reasons; 1) because they cannot account for the “systems” central (...) to their argument (nor the implied systems labeled “exogenous factors” in relation to the system of interest) and 2) they are nomocentric, fixated on laws while ignoring initial and antecedent conditions that are able to account for systems and exogenous factors within a fundamentalist framework. (shrink)
Ethical conflicts are arising as a result of the growing complexity of clinical care, coupled with technological advances. Most studies that have developed instruments for measuring ethical conflict base their measures on the variables ‘frequency’ and ‘degree of conflict’. In our view, however, these variables are insufficient for explaining the root of ethical conflicts. Consequently, the present study formulates a conceptual model that also includes the variable ‘exposure to conflict’, as well as considering six ‘types of ethical (...)conflict’. An instrument was then designed to measure the ethical conflicts experienced by nurses who work with critical care patients. The paper describes the development process and validation of this instrument, the Ethical Conflict in Nursing Questionnaire Critical Care Version (ECNQ-CCV). (shrink)
The Battle of the Sexes game, which captures both coordination and conflict problems, has been applied to a wide range of situations. We show that, by reducing distributional conflict and enhancing coordination, (eventual) turn taking supported by a “turn taking with independent randomizations” strategy allows players to engage in intertemporal sharing of the gain from cooperation. Using this insight, we decompose the benefit from turn taking into conflict-mitigating and coordination-enhancing components. Our analysis suggests that an equilibrium measure (...) of the “degree of intertemporal conflict” provides an intuitive way to understand the sources of welfare gain from turn taking in the repeated Battle of the Sexes game. We find that when this equilibrium measure is lower, players behave less aggressively and the welfare gain from turn taking is higher. (shrink)
Conflict of interest is an issue that has been put in the spotlight by the commercial application of the new biomedical technologies. This paper presents the approach of the Council of Europe and the binding legal instruments to deal with this problem. The main focus is on the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine, and its draft additional Protocol on Biomedical Research.
Piéron's Law describes the relationship between stimulus intensity and reaction time. Previously (Stafford & Gurney, 2004), we have shown that Piéron's Law is a necessary consequence of rise-to-threshold decision making and thus will arise from optimal simple decision-making algorithms (e.g., Bogacz, Brown, Moehlis, Holmes, & Cohen, 2006). Here, we manipulate the color saturation of a Stroop stimulus. Our results show that Piéron's Law holds for color intensity and color-naming reaction time, extending the domain of this law, in line with our (...) suggestion of the generality of the processes that can give rise to Piéron's Law. In addition, we find that Stroop condition does not interact with the effect of color saturation; Stroop interference and facilitation remain constant at all levels of color saturation. An analysis demonstrates that this result cannot be accounted for by single-stage decision-making algorithms which combine all the evidence pertaining to a decision into a common metric. This shows that human decision making is not information-optimal and suggests that the generalization of current models of simple perceptual decision making to more complex decisions is not straightforward. (shrink)
Our society has long sanctioned, at least tacitly, a degree of conflict of interest in medical practice and clinical research as an unavoidable consequence of the different interests of the physician or clinical investigator, the patient or clinical research subject, third party payers or research sponsors, the government, and society as a whole, to name a few. In the past, resolution of these conflicts has been left to the conscience of the individual physician or clinical investigator and to professional (...) organizations. The public is no longer willing to allow health care providers to wholly govern their own conflicts of interest for several reasons. These include: new forms of health care financing and delivery that provide innovative and lucrative opportunities for physician or insurer enrichment at patient expense; the increased importance of commercial research support as peer-reviewed governmental research support has decreased; evidence that physicians and clinical investigators too frequently resolve conflicts of interest in their own favor; and a general societal mistrust of authority. This volume represents a multidisciplinary effort, drawing from philosophy, medicine, law, economics and public policy to identify and categorize conflicts of interest in medical practice and clinical research, and, where possible, to offer a mechanism for resolving them. Part I addresses conflicts of interest from a theoretical perspective, offering basic concepts and analytical frameworks. The second part discusses two topics prominent in current health care policy debates--self-referral and financial incentives to limit care. Part III examines conflicts of interest generated by pharmaceutical industry involvement in clinical practice and research. The final section deals with conflicts of interest in clinical research in several contexts, including institutional reviews boards, clinical trials, Cooperative Research and Development Agreements between government and private researchers, brokerage of research subjects by Contract Research Organizations, and cost-effectiveness studies. (shrink)
We should now be able to come to some general conclusions about the main lines of Cuvier's development as a naturalist after his departure from Normandy. We have seen that Cuvier arrived in Paris aware of the importance of physiology in classification, yet without a fully worked out idea of how such an approach could organize a whole natural order. He was freshly receptive to the ideas of the new physiology developed by Xavier Bichat.Cuvier arrived in a Paris also torn (...) by many overlapping debates on the nature of classification, and in particular that between the natural and artificial systems. The very validity of the enterprise of classification was questioned in many quarters. Cuvier's achievement on his entry into the Parisian world of science was not simply to establish himself as a highly competent anatomist: far more important, he also began to use ideas from many different specialties to change completely the notion of what was involved in natural history.124 At the same time that he himself swung away from the guiding image of the field naturalist as the ideal of the specialty, he took ideas from the new physiology to answer questions about the order of the animal world, and from comparative anatomy to resurrect extinct creation — and to come to conclusions from that creation about the history of the forms of life and the manner of their succession. He showed himself able to alter the relationships between natural history and many other fields of study in a way that implied, rightly or wrongly, his own complete mastery over such a movement. Partly he was able to do this because the ideas he borrowed were not themselves logically articulated and thus could be easily adapted and refocused for many different specific purposes. The value of the heuristic possibilities inherent in the idea of life, for example, far outweighed its inability to generate full systems of classification. Cuvier also consistently refused to consider in science matters relating to the first causes of events. Freed from the consideration of first-order phenomena, he was able to use second-order explanations across a far wider field of applicability. Personal doubts about the validity of a theology that had used science in order to bolster its own claims were combined here with the strong influence of the Kantian critique of the limits of human reason.125Cuvier's characteristic mode of procedure was that of intellectual appropriation and a bold capacity for altering the relationships between different fields of knowledge, rather than, with the exception of taxonomy, the technique of expanding their subject matter. His claims to originality came, first, from this reappropriation and reorientation and, second, from the sheer scope of his work, which aimed at nothing less than the cataloging and classification of all animate objects.126 They rested also on his acute use of his assertion of a certain relationship with the past of his subject. Very often he would present this history in such a way as to obscure his own intellectual genealogy, and often too he would give differing accounts of the priority of use of an idea in order to distract attention from the questionable exactitude of his own claims to originality. Cuvier came to Paris at precisely the time when society and institutions were most profitably malleable for a newcomer; it was also a time when many scientific disciplines had reached a stage advanced in terms of their factual content, yet relatively inadequate in conceptual organization. They were ripe for takeover by large-scale organizing ideas such as the animal economy and the subordination of characteristics. Paleontology is a particularly good example of a specialty in this particular form of underdevelopment in 1795.Cuvier paid a high price for his initial success. His electic applications of large-scale organizing ideas tended to mean that little of his own work had complete coherence at all levels. Ideas, as we have seen, that proved capable of providing a complete reform of the larger groups of the animal kingdom were incapable of producing its detailed working-out in the taxonomy of smaller groups, which had to be supplied from observed analogical correlations. Further, his physiological approach to classification involved the breakdown of strict correspondence between organs and functions, which left the way open for workers such as Geoffroy St. Hilaire gradually to tilt the balance away from the study of the correlations of hierarchies of functions, and toward morphology as the basis of the order of nature. Cuvier's brilliant appropriations from physiology from the beginning, therefore, contained the seeds of conflict with Geoffroy.Cuvier's eclectic approach made it very nearly impossible for him to present a clear idea of the ways in which the life sciences could be said to be lawful. In spite of his efforts to assimilate them to the position of the physical sciences in this respect, he was forced in the end to accord only an ambiguous status as “laws” to observational correlations. From this area of failure came much of the attempt to give his own two laws — the correlation of parts and the subordination of characteristics — predictive qualities, particularly in relation to paleontological research.It is not surprising that Cuvier's title as the “legislator” of natural history should represent more a claim than a reality. How, then, was he able to emerge as the leading French naturalist of his day? First of all must be adduced the sheer scale of his undertakings. Then comes his expertise as a practical anatomist, and the range of different topics toward which he turned his interest. His collaborators cannot be given credit for his output nor, as we have seen, for slavish adherence to his ideas. Cuvier was able to successfully claim to have dominated the underdeveloped specialties, such as paleontology, and turned them into a major heuristic input into both geology and comparative anatomy; but in other fields, such as physiology, he appropriated concepts and encouraged research but made little impact on the field himself. His attempts in 1812 to head off, or neutralize and absorb the growth of morphological studies landed him in a dangerously rigid position, which despite his encouragement of the new physiological research under the Restoration made further elaboration of his own conceptual underpinnings almost impossible.Cuvier's authority in the scientific world would in any case have been great because of his substantive achievement in taxonomy, but the rest of his work had enough ambiguities and dislocations for it to need the support of his political and social power. Cuvier's detractors seized on a vital fragment of the truth when they accused him of finding the political dimension all-important: it obscured the disjunctions in his theories and at the same time gave him the authority to make new claims for the status of the observational sciences - and for their relations of power with their surrounding specialties. Cuvier's science both thrived on and was halted by the power games of intellectual appropriation, manipulation of the past to confirm the present, and continual claims for hegemony. (shrink)
The ¿scrutiny of all the laws¿ that Andocides invokes in his defence On the Mysteries is usually interpreted as a recodification with the aim of barring prosecution for the crimes of civil conflict. This article advances four theses against that traditional reading: (1) In Andocides¿ argument the Scrutiny was designed for a more practicable purpose, not to pardon crimes unpunished but to quash any further action against former atimoi, those penalized under the old regime but restored to rights (...) in 403. In context, coming close upon the summary of Patrocleides¿ decree, ¿all the laws¿ means all laws affecting atimoi. (2) The other evidence from inscriptions and literary testimony, for the Athenian Amnesty and similar agreements, supports this reading: the oath that closed the covenants, mê mnêsikakein, functions as a rule of estoppel or ¿no reprise¿; it was not in itself a pledge of ¿political forgiveness¿. In regard to the Scrutiny, as in Patrocleides¿ decree, the oath means that old penalties, now cancelled, can never again be enforced. (3) The Scrutiny itself was a reauthorization of the old laws for summary arrest and other standard remedies against atimoi who trespass or violate their restrictions. As a corollary to this re-enactment, the statute of limitations was introduced, ¿to apply the laws from Eucleides¿: the rules punishing the disfranchised cannot be used against those whose liabilities were incurred before 403. (4) Teisamenus¿ decree for new legislation was prior to this revision; it is not the decree that Andocides read to the court as a document of the Scrutiny. An ancient editor simply inserted the wrong document. Teisamenus envisioned no alteration of the ¿Solonian Code¿; the decree for Scrutiny was an unforeseen but necessary correction. These measures were successive reforms sorting out the new hierarchy of rules, a process whose complexity is attested in Diocles¿ law. (shrink)
This paper will try to test the plausibility of interweaving a conception of politics with the nature of the conflict which politics is supposed to regulate, by looking at a specific case in the history of Western political thought. I wish to consider the interpretation of modern social relations that sees conflict as arising from the unequal distribution of (relatively) scarce resources. It is my aim to analyse the origins of this conception. But first I would like to (...) note the success of this line of thought, which permeates both everyday conversations and theoretical works. When we argue that the unequal distribution of scarce resources is the main source of conflict, we use �resources� mainly to refer to all goods and commodities that are indispensable to the production of socially desirable items. The term �resources� carries a distinctive economic flavour; and as the main threat to social cohesion is seen to stem from disagreements over the allocation of those �resources�, the solution to the problem is mainly seen in terms of reaching an equilibrium, by relying on the devices of political economy. (shrink)
Law as one sign system can be recorded and interpreted by another sign system—media. If each transaction in court is taken as a sign, it can be interpreted or transferred by different signs of media for the same purpose, though with different effects. This study focuses on the transformative effects of the semiotic revolution in media on law. The present research revealed that the evolution of media has driven the administration of justice to pay more attention to the process of (...) court proceedings. This research also discusses the semiotic conflict and compatibility between the sign subsystems within media upon interpreting the administration of justice. In addition, disequilibrium between different sign systems highlights the consequent need for intersemiotic translation, consciousness and evaluation as part of decision making on court domains. (shrink)
John Carroll undertakes a careful philosophical examination of laws of nature, causation, and other related topics. He argues that laws of nature are not susceptible to the sort of philosophical treatment preferred by empiricists. Indeed he shows that emperically pure matters of fact need not even determine what the laws are. Similar, even stronger, conclusions are drawn about causation. Replacing the traditional view of laws and causation requiring some kind of foundational legitimacy, the author argues that (...) these phenomena are inextricably intertwined with everything else. This distinctively clear and detailed discussion of what it is to be a law will be valuable to a broad swathe of philosophers in metaphysics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of science. (shrink)
This paper looks at conflicts of interest in the not-for-profit sector. It examines the nature of conflicts of interest and why they are of ethical concern, and then focuses on the way not-for-profit organisations are especially prone to and vulnerable to conflict-of-interest scandals. Conflicts of interest corrode trust; and stakeholder trust (particularly from donors) is the lifeblood of most charities. We focus on some specific challenges faced by charitable organisations providing funding for scientific (usually medical) research, and examine a (...) case study involving such an organisation. One of the principal problems for charities of this kind is that they often distribute their funds within a relatively small research community (defined by the boundaries of a small region, like an American state or Spanish Autonomous region, or a small country), and it often proves difficult to find high-level researchers within the jurisdiction to adjudicate impartially the research grants. We suggest and recommend options appropriate for our case study and for many other organisations in similar situations. (shrink)
"Guanxi" involves interpersonal obligations, which may conflict with other obligations people have that are based on general or abstract moral considerations. In the West, the latter have been widely accepted as the general source of obligations, which is perhaps tied to social changes associated with the rise of capitalism. Recently, Western ethicists have started to reconsider the extent to which personal relationships may form a distinct basis for obligation. In administration and management, salient bases for decision-Making include deontological, consequentialist (...) and personalist ethics. The first may be reflected in a bureaucratic approach, the second in a price system, and the third in arrangements like "guanxi". Each has positive and negative aspects, but problems arise when they lead to conflicting obligations, as may occur for an office holder who has some obligations based in deontological considerations and others based in personal relationships. This is a type of conflict of interest. Such conflicts have been considered in the West, and remedies proposed. Problems arise especially in cases where it is not clear how to prioritise different obligations, and this has been noted as a difficulty in the Chinese legal system. Questions that need to be answered include not only questions about how to deal with conflicting obligations, but also questions about what institutions to accept as giving rise to obligations. Institutions themselves may be problematic not only because of their consequences for economic productivity, but because they are internally incoherent, and this may be manifested in frequent conflicts faced by office holders. (shrink)