This article focuses on the ethical implications of so-called ‘collateral damage’. It develops a moral typology of collateral harm to innocents which occurs as a side effect of military or quasi-military action. Distinguishing between accidental and incidental collateral damage, it introduces four categories of such damage: negligent, oblivious, knowing, and reckless collateral damage. Objecting mainstream versions of the doctrine of double effect, in the article it is argued that in order for any collateral damage to (...) be morally permissible, violent agents must comply with high standards of care. In order for incidental harm to be permissible, an agent must take pains to avoid such harm even at higher cost to him. Adding to the doctrine, it is argued that accidentally, but negligently caused collateral damage may be just as difficult to excuse as incidental harm. Only if high precautionary standards of care are met, unintended harm to innocents – incidental or accidental – can be permissible. In practice, such a strong commitment to avoiding harm to civilians may well lead us to question more generally and rethink more radically how violent conflicts ought to be fought, how military violence ought to be used and whether there are better ways of achieving those aims that we think are legitimate than those we are currently taking. (shrink)
We argue that Graziano and Kastner are mistaken to claim that neglect favors their self-directed social perception account of consciousness. For the latter should not predict that neglect would result from damage to mechanisms of social perception. Neglect is better explained in terms of damage to attentional mechanisms.
Michael Cholbi thinks that the claim that motive internalism (MI), the thesis that moral beliefs or judgments are intrinsically motivating, is the best explanation for why moral beliefs are usually accompanied by moral motivation. He contests arguments that patients with ventromedial (VM) frontal brain damage are counterexamples to MI by denying that they have moral beliefs. I argue that none of the arguments he offers to support this contention are viable. First, I argue that given Cholbi's own commitments, he (...) cannot account for VM patients' behavior without attributing moral beliefs to them. Secondly, I show that his arguments that we should not believe their self-reports are unconvincing. In particular, his argument that they cannot self-attribute moral beliefs because they have a defective theory of mind is flawed, for it relies upon a misreading of both the empirical and theoretical literatures. The avenues remaining to Cholbi to support motive internalism are circular, for they rely upon an internalist premise. I provide an alternative picture consistent with neuroscientific and psychological data from both normals and those with VM damage, in which connections between moral belief and motivation are contingent. The best explanation for all the data is thus one in which MI is false. (shrink)
It is often assumed that similar domain-specific behavioural impairments found in cases of adult brain damage and developmental disorders correspond to similar underlying causes, and can serve as convergent evidence for the modular structure of the normal adult cognitive system. We argue that this correspondence is contingent on an unsupported assumption that atypical development can produce selective deficits while the rest of the system develops normally (Residual Normality), and that this assumption tends to bias data collection in the field. (...) Based on a review of connectionist models of acquired and developmental disorders in the domains of reading and past tense, as well as on new simulations, we explore the computational viability of Residual Normality and the potential role of development in producing behavioural deficits. Simulations demonstrate that damage to a developmental model can produce very different effects depending on whether it occurs prior to or following the training process. Because developmental disorders typically involve damage prior to learning, we conclude that the developmental process is a key component of the explanation of endstate impairments in such disorders. Further simulations demonstrate that in simple connectionist learning systems, the assumption of Residual Normality is undermined by processes of compensation or alteration elsewhere in the system. We outline the precise computational conditions required for Residual Normality to hold in development, and suggest that in many cases it is an unlikely hypothesis. We conclude that in developmental disorders, inferences from behavioural deficits to underlying structure crucially depend on developmental conditions, and that the process of ontogenetic development cannot be ignored in constructing models of developmental disorders. Key Words: Acquired and developmental disorders; connectionist models; modularity; past tense; reading. (shrink)
I set forth and defend an analysis of corporate moral responsibility (retrospective moral liability), which, I argue, ought to serve as the foundation for corporate legal responsibility, punishment, and compensation for environmental damage caused by corporations.
This paper considers a much neglected, but distinctive and increasingly prevalent kind of mediation work: the mediation of large money damage cases by acting and former judges. The research finds that judicial mediation is a law-infused procedure different from forms of mediation in which the stuff of law and lawyers'' work is only marginally relevant, if at all. The study details how judge-mediators draw on their knowledge of the law, technically and as a matter of professional practice, to make (...) legally persuasive arguments that critically evaluate each side''s case and what is likely to occur at future points, adversely altering the litigants'' understanding of the risks and costs of failing to settle and thus facilitating dispute resolution. The study was developed and pursued as an ethnographic and ethnomethodological study of work. (shrink)
Despite a significant effort to reduce civilian casualties, a large number of civilians have been killed and injured by the military forces of the Western powers undertaking military operations in remote regions. However, there is no requirement in the just war tradition (JWT) and international humanitarian law (IHL) to provide reparation for the victims of unintended and proportional attacks. This article seeks to establish moral grounds for responsibility to provide reparation for “collateral damage” by focusing on the distinct characteristics (...) of expeditionary intervention and supplementing JWT with the frameworks of corrective justice and restorative justice. We propose that the elective, non-reciprocal, and asymmetrical natures of expeditionary interventions give rise to a special obligation to provide reparation for the civilian harms permitted by the JWT, on the basis of the fair distribution of risks and the need to restore damaged relationships. (shrink)
As revealed by standard neuropsychological testing, patients with damage either to the frontal lobe or to the hippocampus suffer from distinct impairments of working memory. It is unclear how Ruchkin et al.'s model integrates the role played by the hippocampus.
Pietsch, Chelsea In a claim of negligence, plaintiffs must be able to prove that they have suffered some sort of damage or loss. Proving damage is usually a straightforward task which involves making a comparison between the plaintiff's position before and after the alleged negligence. However, what damage has been done if a doctor's negligence results in the conception and subsequent birth of a child? Is it ever possible to conceive of life as damage? These questions (...) must ultimately be addressed in wrongful birth claims where parents seek compensation for the conception and/or birth of a life that would not have existed but for the doctor's negligent advice or treatment. However, they are not as easy for judges to answer as you may think. Judges have a duty to resolve such matters - not with reference to vague notions of 'common sense' or 'community interests' - but in accordance with established law. However, what if there is no statute or precedent that speaks on the matter? How should judges resolve such 'novel' issues? Can judges rely on 'common sense' or arguments about 'community interests' in these limited circumstances? The question of whether or not a child may be categorised as damage for the purpose of satisfying a claim in negligence is such an issue. In this essay I acknowledge that, in the absence of guiding legal rules and principles, judges have no choice but to resolve novel questions on grounds of policy considerations. I suggest, however, that a distinction should be made between legal and public policy and that reliance on the former, not the latter, may be used to assert that children are blessings, not injuries. While it may be morally desirable for the issue to end there, this is not the case. Legal policy has also developed the notion of reproductive autonomy in such a way that suggests the opposite may also be true. In an attempt to resolve these conflicting values, I propose the damage in wrongful birth cases is not the conception and/or birth of a child but rather a doctor's infringement on their patient's reproductive autonomy, which warrants legal recognition in the form of compensation. (shrink)
A critically revised Aristotelian-based virtue ethics has something potentially useful to offer to those engaged in analyzing oppression and creating liberatory projects. A critical virtue ethics can help clarify one of the ways in which oppression interferes with flourishing; specifically, it helps clarify an aspect of oppression that can be called "moral damage.".
The author presents an autobiographical story of serious peripheral motor nerve damage resulting from chemotoxicity induced as a side effect of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma treatment. The first-person, phenomenological account of the condition naturally leads to philosophical questions about consciousness, felt presence of oneself all over and within one’s body, and the felt constitutiveness of peripheral processes to one’s mental life. The first-person data only fit well with a philosophical approach to the mind that takes peripheral, bodily events and states at (...) their face value, and not as a body-in-the-brain, which has been popular with most neuroscientists. Thus the philosophical tradition that comes closest to the idea of the peripheral mind is Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s bodily phenomenology. (shrink)
Unpleasant experiences include backaches, moments of nausea, moments of nervousness, phantom pains, and so on. What does their unpleasantness consist in? The unpleasantness of an experience has been thought to consist in: (1) its representing bodily damage; (2) its inclining the subject to fight its continuation; (3) the subject's disliking it; (4) features intrinsic to it. I offer compelling objections to (1) and (2) and less compelling objections to (3). I defend (4) against five challenging objections and offer two (...) reasons to believe it. Hence, I advocate "Intrinsic Nature," the idea that unpleasantness is intrinsic to unpleasant experiences. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- Acknowledgements -- Introduction -- PART I: DEFINING 'TERRORISM' -- On The Current Debate On Defining Terrorism -- What Is Terrorism? -- PART II: ETHICS OF TERRORISM OR CAN TERRORISM EVER BE PERMISSIBLE? -- Innocents and Non-Innocents -- Terrorism Against Non-Innocents -- Terrorism Against Innocents -- Collateral Damage -- Concluding Remarks -- References -- Index.
This article begins by comparing terror and death and then focuses on whether killing combatants and noncombatants as a mere means to create terror, that is in turn a means to winning a war, is ever permissible. The role of intentions and alternative acts one might have done is examined in this regard. The second part of the article begins by criticizing a standard justification for causing collateral (side effect) deaths in war and offers an alternative justification that makes use (...) of the idea of group liability. (shrink)
Women's access to reproductive health care is an ongoing source of conflict in U.S. politics; however, women in the military are often overlooked in these debates. Reproductive health care, including family planning, is a fundamental component of health care for women. Unintended pregnancy carries substantial health risks and financial costs, particularly for servicewomen. Compared with their civilian counterparts, women in the military experience greater challenges in preventing unwanted pregnancy and have less access to contraceptive services and abortion. Current military policies, (...) federal laws, and health care practices are not always consistent with evidence-based research and patient-centered care. A multidisciplinary effort on the part of military personnel, lawmakers, and health care providers is needed to eliminate these disparities. We discuss recommendations in the following categories: improving contraceptive education and adherence, expanding research, broadening access to the full range of contraceptive options including emergency contraception, and ensuring access to safe abortion. (shrink)
We want to know about philosophers’ lives in part to see how they applied their philosophy to their own lives. Plato’s account of Socrates’ life, trial, and death sets a great example here, perhaps never equalled, just as few philosophers equal Socrates in integrity and courage.
Inconsistent representations of the world have in fact played and should play a role in scientific inquiry. However, it would seem that logical analysis of such representations is blocked by the explosive nature of deductive inference from inconsistent premisses. "Paraconsistent logics" have been suggested as the proper way to remove this impediment and to make explication of the logic of inconsistent scientific theories possible. I argue that installing paraconsistent logic as the underlying logic for scientific inquiry is neither a necessary (...) nor a sufficient condition for giving a philosophical alternative, I suggest that identification of heuristic strategies, based on the network of confirming evidence for inconsistent proposals for reasoning from such proposals to their consistent replacements is the proper way to explicate their function in science. (shrink)
After reaching the verge of obsolescence, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is once again on the increase. There remains, however, no sound theoretical basis for its use. By 1948 at least 50 different theories had been proposed to account for the workings of ECT. Today there are numerous more. Further, there is no good evidence for its therapeutic effectiveness. Although some studies show what are claimed to be positive results, others show significant amount of relapse, even with severe depression (the disorder against (...) which ECT is supposed to be most effective), while even other studies show ECT to have little more effect than a placebo. Finally, there is much evidence for ECTs damaging effects, particularly to cognitive functioning like memory, general intelligence level, and perceptual abilities, and quite possibly to brain functioning. Some studies even suggest that the alleged therapeutic effects of ECT are essentially the effects of organic brain damage. The question, then, is why, despite these problems, does ECT continue to be used? ECTs salient features suggest an answer here. These are the features of dehumanization, power, control, punishment, and others, all of which can be traced back to the fear of deviant psychotic behavior. (shrink)
For a little more than a decade, professional organizations and healthcare institutions have attempted to develop guidelines and policies to deal with seemingly intractable conflicts that arise between clinicians and patients (or their proxies) over appropriate use of aggressive life-sustaining therapies in the face of low expectations of medical benefit. This article suggests that, although such efforts at conflict resolution are commendable on many levels, inadequate attention has been given to their potential negative effects upon particular groups of patients/proxies. Based (...) on the well-documented tendency among many African Americans to prefer more aggressive end-of-life medical interventions, it is proposed that the use of institutional policy to break decision making impasse in cases for which aggressive treatment is deemed "medically inappropriate" will fall disproportionately on that group. Finally, it is suggested that the development and application of institutional conflict-resolution policies should be evaluated in the context of historical and current experiences of marginalization and disempowerment, lest such policies exacerbate that experience. (shrink)
Glover's planning–control model accommodates a substantial number of findings from subjects who have motor deficits as a consequence of brain lesions. A number of consistently observed and robust findings are not, however, explained by Glover's theory; additionally, the claim that the IPL supports planning whereas the SPL supports control is not consistently supported in the literature.
Background: Patients in a vegetative state pose problems in diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. Currently, no prognostic markers predict the chance of recovery, which has serious consequences, especially in end-of-life decision-making. -/- Objective: We aimed to assess an objective measurement of prognosis using advanced electroencephalography (EEG). -/- Methods: EEG data (19 channels) were collected in 14 patients who were diagnosed to be persistently vegetative based on repeated clinical evaluations at 3 months following brain damage. EEG structure parameters (amplitude, duration and (...) variability within quasi-stationary segments, as well as the spatial synchrony between such segments and the strength of this synchrony) were used to predict recovery of consciousness 3 months later. -/- Results: The number and strength of cortical functional connections between EEG segments were higher in patients who recovered consciousness (P < .05 – P < .001) compared with those who did not recover. Linear regression analysis confirms that EEG structure parameters are capable of predicting (P = .0025) recovery of consciousness 6 months post-injury, whereas the same analysis failed to significantly predict patient outcome based on aspects of their clinical history alone (P = .629) or conventional EEG spectrum power (P = .473). -/- Conclusions: The result of this preliminary study demonstrates that structural strategy of EEG analysis is better suited for providing prognosis of consciousness recovery than existing methods of clinical assessment and of conventional EEG. Our results may be a starting point for developing reliable prognosticators in patients who are in vegetative state, with the potential to improve their day-to-day management, quality of life, and access to early interventions. (shrink)
Neuroimaging studies of brain-damaged patients diagnosed as in the vegetative state suggest that the patients might be conscious. This might seem to raise no new ethical questions given that in related disputes both sides agree that evidence for consciousness gives strong reason to preserve life. We question this assumption. We clarify the widely held but obscure principle that consciousness is morally significant. It is hard to apply this principle to difficult cases given that philosophers of mind distinguish between a range (...) of notions of consciousness and that is unclear which of these is assumed by the principle. We suggest that the morally relevant notion is that of phenomenal consciousness and then use our analysis to interpret cases of brain damage. We argue that enjoyment of consciousness might actually give stronger moral reasons not to preserve a patient's life and, indeed, that these might be stronger when patients retain significant cognitive function. (shrink)
Vision, more than any other sense, dominates our mental life. Our visual experience is just so rich, so detailed, that we can hardly distinguish that experience from the world itself. Even when we just think about the world and don't look at it directly, we can't help but 'imagine' what it looks like. We think of 'seeing' as being a conscious activity--we direct our eyes, we choose what we look at, we register what we are seeing. The series of events (...) described in this book radically altered this attitude towards vision. This book describes one of the most extraordinary neurological cases of recent years--one that profoundly changed scientific views on consciousness. It is the story of Dee Fletcher--a woman recently blinded--who became the subject of a series of scientific studies. As events unfolded, Milner and Goodale found that Dee wasn't in fact blind--she just didn't know that she could see. Taking us on a journey into the unconscious brain, the two scientists who made this incredible discovery tell the amazing story of their work, and the surprising conclusion they were forced to reach. Written to be accessible to students and popular science readers, this book is a fascinating illustration of the power of the 'unconscious' mind. (shrink)
In the discussion about consequences of the release of genetically modified (GM) crops, the meaning of the term “environmental damage” is difficult to pin down. We discuss some established concepts and criteria for understanding and evaluating such damages. Focusing on the concepts of familiarity, biological integrity, and ecosystem health, we argue that, for the most part, these concepts are highly ambiguous. While environmental damage is mostly understood as significant adverse effects on conservation resources, these concepts may not relate (...) directly to effects on tangible natural resources but rather to parameters of land use or ecological processes (e.g., the concept of biological integrity). We stress the importance of disclosing the normative assumptions underlying damage concepts and procedures for the evaluation of damages by GM crops. A conceptualization of environmental damage should precede its operationalization. We recommend an unambiguous definition for damage developed earlier and recommend that evaluation criteria be based on this. However, a general damage definition cannot replace case-specific operationalization of damage, which remains an important future challenge. (shrink)
In this essay I examine Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer prizewinning play, Wit, to explore the numerous connections drawn there between damage to bodies and damage to identities. In the course of this exploration I aim to get clearer about the kinds of illness, injury, or medical interventions that damage patients’ identities; how the damage is inflicted; and what might be done to repair identities that have been damaged in these ways. I argue that just as bodily illness (...) and injury can damage the identity-constituting narratives by which we understand ourselves and others, so too (as the play demonstrates) injurious identity-constituting narratives can result in bodily harm. Because identities are narrative constructions, the damage inflicted on them requires narrative repair. The defective stories must be uprooted and replaced, but the success of the repair depends on both the soundness of the replacement story and the willingness of others to take up the new story. (shrink)