As a member of the UNESCO International Bioethics Committee (IBC) in 2005, I was privileged to serve on the small drafting group of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, which was expertly chaired by the Australian Justice Michael Kirby. That draft matured over two years and was adopted by acclamation at the General Assembly of UNESCO in 2005. The project was conceived out of dissatisfaction with the generally perceived preoccupation of bioethics with the professional clinical encounter and related (...) matters that tended to ignore larger issues related to human rights. As the only global bioethics body representing 193 member states in the world, the IBC was well placed to attempt the achievement .. (shrink)
Twilight of the Idols was the second to last book Nietzsche finished for publication. It was written in three to four months and after some editorial changes the manuscript was sent to the printer in October 1888, and published in January 1889. Nietzsche does not mince words regarding the aim of the book. In the Foreword to the text he claims that it is a "grand declaration of war," not on the idols of the age, but "eternal idols," those he (...) considers to be "the most believed in."1 In Nietzsche's view, there are "more idols in the world than there are realities" and he wants to "sound out idols" as much with a hammer "as with a tuning fork" so that their harmful influence may be avoided in the future. The most .. (shrink)
This paper provides part of an analysis of the use of the Maori term whakapapa in a study designed to test the compatibility and commensurability of views of members of the indigenous culture of New Zealand with other views of genetic technologies extant in the country. It is concerned with the narrow sense of whakapapa as denoting biological ancestry, leaving the wider sense of whakapapa as denoting cultural identity for discussion elsewhere. The phenomenon of genetic curiosity is employed to facilitate (...) this comparison. Four levels of curiosity are identified, in the Maori data, which penetrate more or less deeply into the psyche of individuals, affecting their health and wellbeing. These phenomena are compared with non-Maori experiences and considerable commonalities are discovered together with a point of marked difference. The results raise important questions for the ethical application of genetic technologies. (shrink)
Kant’s moral philosophy is celebrated for its doctrines of the primacy of the good will, the categorical imperative, and the significance of autonomy. These themes are pursued in the section of the Critique of Practical Reason which Kant called the Analytic, as well as in less formal works such as The Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals. In his main work Kant added a Dialectic, which is less well studied but is still essential to understanding his whole project. The concept (...) of the Highest Good, summum bonum, the ultimate goal in life, incorporates both an objective and a subjective element. It pronounces on what we ought to want and how we ought to want it: it bears on our happiness and on our virtue. The aim in the Dialectic is to highlight the tension that can result from these twoelements, so that the need for a rapprochement between them becomes better appreciated. This tension remains in contemporary moral philosophy, with its diverse approaches of virtue ethics, deontology, and consequentialism. Kant’s stance regarding this dialectical tension needs to be understood, by Kant scholars and by moral philosophers. (shrink)
Written by a leading proponent of the philosophy and ethics of healthcare, this volume is filled with thought-provoking and frequently controversial ideas and arguments. Accessibly written, it provides readers with a timely contribution to the current literature on medical ethics, in which the concept of subjectivity is a key issue characterizing current medical humanities. Examining the critical assumption that scientifically-demonstrable facts will remove all uncertainty, the author argues that ethical dimensions of clinical practice do not always arise from undisputed facts, (...) but that they are sometimes to be found at the level of the determinations of the facts themselves. Firmly placing the patient back on centre stage, without underestimating the crucial role which science plays in modern medicine, this volume is an excellent account of ethics and science in healthcare and their proper place in assessing and meeting people’s health needs. (shrink)
Aristotle assigns positive value to artistry and its skills, placing them below science but nearby. Fuller content for this view of art can be garnered from his technical treatises, especially the accounts of rhetoric and dialectic, where the subjectivity imported by the role of audiences is explored with subtlety. These ideas have influence on later philosophy of aesthetics and of technology, and they need to be pondered by those engaged in current debate in these areas.
Plato wrote dialogues, and he praised dialectic, or conversation, as a suitable style for fruitful philosophical investigation. His works are great literature; and nodoubt this quality derives much from their form as dialogues. They also have definite philosophical content; and an important part of this content is their dialecticalepistemology. Dialectic is part of the content of Plato's philosophy. Can we reconcile this content with his literary style? I shall examine and sharpen the sense of this problem by referring to four (...) passages from different works of Plato: Parmenides 132b-c, Protagoras 351-2, Sophist 248-9, Republic 592. In these passages we can distinguish a main position, which represents what it is natural to label Platonism, from a line of thought which diverges from that position and yet also seems authentically Platonic. I argue that the solution to this tension lies in the notion of dialectic as a tentative and exploratory method of philosophy. This view of dialectic is in some conflict with Plato's official account of the method as guaranteed to deliver fundamental truth; but that conflict presents one more version of the phenomenon which I am exploring. The theory of dialectic provides philosophical support for the method of dialogue. That is how philosophy and literature are linked in Plato's pursuit of truth. (shrink)
For thousands of years, many Western thinkers have assumed that emotions are, at best, harmless luxuries, and at worst outright obstacles to intelligent action. In the past decade, however, scientists and philosophers have begun to challenge this 'negative view of emotion'. Neuroscientists, psychologists and researchers in artificial intelligence now agree that emotions are vital to intelligent action. Evolutionary considerations have played a vital role in this shift to a more positive view of emotion. -/- This book brings together some of (...) the leading thinkers about emotion from a variety of disciplines. In a series of fascinating and challenging essays, they examine the role that evolutionary considerations can play in helping us to understand the role of emotions in rational thought and decision-making. How should we understand the evolutionary role of emotions? And can this explain the relationship between emotions and rationality? (shrink)
We construct a stable one-based, trivial theory with a reduct which is not trivial. This answers a question of John B. Goode. Using this, we construct a stable theory which is n-ample for all natural numbers n, and does not interpret an infinite group.
Many philosophers and psychologists now argue that emotions play a vital role in reasoning. This paper explores one particular way of elucidating how emotions help reason which may be dubbed ?the search hypothesis of emotion?. After outlining the search hypothesis of emotion and dispensing with a red herring that has marred previous statements of the hypothesis, I discuss two alternative readings of the search hypothesis. It is argued that the search hypothesis must be construed as an account of what emotions (...) typically do, rather than as a definition of emotion. Even as an account of what emotions typically do, the search hypothesis can only be evaluated in the context of a specific theory of what emotions are. 1 Introduction 2 The search hypothesis of emotion 3 A red herring: the frame problem 4 The search problem 5 Two readings of the search hypothesis 6 Two final remarks 7 Conclusion. (shrink)
Williams argues that humans have evolved special purpose adaptations for eliciting medical attention from others, such as a specific facial expression of pain. She also recognises that such adaptations would almost certainly have coevolved with adaptations for providing and responding to medical care. The placebo response may be one such adaptation, and any evolutionary account of pain must also address this important phenomenon.
Was love invented by European poets in the Middle Ages or is it part of human nature? Will winning the lottery really make you happy? Is it possible to build robots that have feelings? These are just some of the intriguing questions explored in this guide to the latest thinking about the emotions. Drawing on a wide range of scientific research, from anthropology and psychology to neuroscience and artificial intelligence, Emotion: The Science of Sentiment takes the reader on a fascinating (...) journey into the human heart. (shrink)
Was love invented by European poets in the middle ages, as C. S. Lewis claimed, or is it part of human nature? Will winning the lottery really make you happy? Is it possible to build robots that have feelings? These are just some of the intriguing questions explored in this new guide to the latest thinking about the emotions. Drawing on a wide range of scientific research, from anthropology and psychology to neuroscience and artificial intelligence, Emotion: The Science of Sentiment (...) takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the human heart. Illustrating his points with entertaining examples from fiction, film, and popular culture, Dylan Evans ranges from the evolution of the emotions to the nature of love and happiness to the language of feelings, offering readers the most recent thinking on real life topics that touch us all. But Emotion is also a book filled with surprises. Readers will discover, for instance, that the basic emotions are felt the world over--whether we live in the shadow of Times Square or in the depths of the rain forest, we all feel the emotions of disgust, joy, surprise, anger, fear, and distress. We find out that, according to research, winning the lottery does not cause a lasting increase in happiness--a short-lived euphoria is followed in almost every case with a return to our usual emotional state, if not worse. And we meet Kismet, an MIT robot that can express a wide range of emotions, from fear to happiness. Fun to read and based on the latest scientific thinking, here is a stimulating look at our emotions. (shrink)
An ω-categorical supersimple group is finite-by-abelian-by-finite, and has finite SU-rank. Every definable subgroup is commensurable with an acl( $\emptyset$ )-definable subgroup. Every finitely based regular type in a CM-trivial ω-categorical simple theory is non-orthogonal to a type of SU-rank 1. In particular, a supersimple ω-categorical CM-trivial theory has finite SU-rank.
Philosophy is taught and studied throughout the world. In consequence the activity is suffused with the pluralism which cultural diversity imports; but still there are universals that need to be explored and stated. I set out a list of issues that should concern teachers of philosophy in any cultural context, and then proceed to try to resolve them. A number of these problems relate to the scope of philosophy teaching and its relation to other subjects at its boundaries. In this (...) paper, I discuss how we can sustain the integrity of philosophy while at the same time not restricting its scope of operation. (shrink)
In the past few decades, research in the psychology of emotion has benefited greatly from being located in a firm evolutionary framework. It is argued that research in the psychology of mood might attain equal rigour by taking a similar approach. An evolutionary framework for mood research would be based on evolutionary psychology, the main thesis of which is the Massive Modularity Hypothesis. Translating the folk-psychological language of moods into the scientific language of modules might clarify many theoretical questions and (...) provide a sound basis for empirical research. It is argued that such an evolutionary approach would reveal mood to be a much more heterogeneous category than emotion. While the six basic emotions identified by Paul Ekman are probably each subserved by a single module, prototypical moods such as elation, depression, anxiety and irritability are likely to be subserved by a wide range of modules. An evolutionary approach to mood might therefore lead to the elimination of the concept of mood from scientific psychology altogether. (shrink)
This book is for people who find themselves beset by arguments: persuasions open and hidden, put forward in books or on buses, blown up onto hoardings or piped right into the home by television and radio. Such arguments may need to be critically weighed and cautiously assessed, if the arguee is not to be taken for a ride. For such analysis, some introduction to logic is required. This book explains how to decide which arguments are sound and what makes the (...) bad ones bad. (shrink)