Twenty psychologists were interviewed about an ethical dilemma that they had found to be particularly difficult to resolve. In just under half of the cases the dilemma involved a perceived conflict of ethical principles (e.g., the welfare of the consumer vs. the right to privacy). In the other cases, the psychologists were prevented from following an ethically prescribed course of action by some nonethical consideration such as contractural obligation, legal requirement, or the demands of an employer. We discuss the implications (...) of these two sorts of dilemmas for psychological practice and make some suggestions for proactive approaches to ethical problem solving. (shrink)
In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle appears to use an elegant short argument to attack Plato’s doctrine of the good, which argument equally appears to attack Aristotle’s own doctrine of the good. I consider these two questions: First: Why does Aristotle reverse the judgment of Socrates/Plato on the issue: Which is better – things that are (only) good in themselves, or things that are both good in themselves and good for their consequences? Second: Why does Aristotle attack Plato’s doctrine that the (...) Form of the Good is the chief good, with an argument that appears to threaten his own view that eudaimonia is the chief good? I think the answers to these two questions are related. The elegant short argument in question I call “Aristotle’s Fast Argument.”After apologizing for criticizing views held by friends of his, Aristotle deploys the Fast Argument as a clincher to cap off his refutation of Plato’s view that the Form of the Good is the chief good: “And one might ask the question, what in the world they mean by ‘a thing itself’, if in man himself and in a particular man the account of man is one and the same. For in so far as they are men, they will in no respect differ; and if this is so, neither will there be a difference in so far as they are good. But again it will not be good any the more for being eternal, since that which lasts long is no whiter than that which perishes in a day.” (Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics, 1096 a34–b4). I explore this sketchily presented Fast Argument. I consider why Aristotle may think it is valid and why he does not seem to realize that, on readings that make it effective against Plato’s view, his Fast Argument also seems to apply to his own view that eudaimonia is the chief good. This is what I will call “Aristotle’s Dilemma.” If the Fast Argument is interpreted too narrowly, its point about the whiteness of a white thing being independent of its duration will not apply to the goodness of the Form of the Good. If it is interpreted broadly enough to undermine the claim of the Form of the Good to be the chief good, it will equally undermine that claim for eudaimonia. Finally, I discuss some of the things Plato and Aristotle say about the chief good, and comparable things Immanuel Kant says about the good will. I draw some speculative conclusions that focus on the importance for Aristotle of the goodness of the chief good not being at risk. (shrink)
Reasons for the limited uptake of the clinician–scientist role within nursing are examined, specifically: the lack of consensus about the nature of nursing science; the varying approaches to epistemology; and the influence of post-modern thought on knowledge development in nursing. It is suggested that under-development of this role may be remedied by achieving agreement that science is a necessary, worthy pursuit for nursing, and that rigorous science conducted from a clinical perspective serves nursing well. Straddling practice and research is a (...) powerful strategy for ensuring relevant research while forging strong links with practice. The clinician–scientist role, typically requiring a 75:25 ratio between research and clinical activities, is well established in medicine. Nursing, however, has been slow to institute the role; it is rare within North America, Australia, and western European countries, and almost non-existent outside those areas. Beyond structural obstacles, philosophical issues may explain nursing's reluctance to implement the role. Following a survey of clinician–scientist roles throughout the world, the nature of nursing science and epistemology, and the influence of post-modern thought on nursing attitudes to research are examined with respect to their influence on this role. The nurse clinician–scientist role holds promise for making strides in clinically relevant research, and for accelerating the knowledge cycle from clinical problem to research question to change in clinical practice. (shrink)
The problem of standard-of-care in clinical research concerns the level of care that investigators ought to provide to research subjects in the control arm of their clinical trials. Commentators differ sharply on whether subjects in trials conducted in lower income countries should be provided with the same level of care as subjects in trials conducted in higher income countries. I consider an argument that commentators have employed on both sides of this debate: professional role arguments. These arguments claim to justify (...) a conclusion to the standard-of-care problem solely by appeal to the professional obligations that investigators possess. I argue that prominent versions of professional role arguments cannot justify a solution to the problem of standard-of-care that is both determinate and reasonable simply by appeal to the professional obligations of investigators. Instead, to do so, one must also (1) determine the level of care or types of treatment that individuals are entitled to as a matter of distributive justice, and (2) identify which agents possess the duties that correspond to these entitlements. The level of care that investigators owe to subjects in the control arm of their clinical trials is thus in part dependent on the level of care that these subjects are entitled to as a matter of distributive justice, and whether it is the investigators who possess the corresponding distributive obligation to provide them with the care that they are entitled to. (shrink)
In this paper I prove a theorem which is similar to Arrow's famous impossibility theorem. I show that no social welfare function can be both minimally majoritarian and also independent of irrelevant alternatives. My condition of minimal majoritarianism is substantially weaker than simple majority rule.
This study considers the ethical implications of quoting children with particular emphasis on privacy and accuracy. A content analysis is used to examine how newspaper reporters quote children and teenagers. The study found that youths most likely are named when they are quoted in the newspaper. Teens who are 17 are the most likely to be quoted. Youths most frequently appear in feature stories, and they most frequently are treated as experts who provide the reporter with factual information. The researcher (...) argues that journalists should consider the vulnerabilities of youths before quoting them. (shrink)
The concept of projection from one space to another, with a consequent loss of information, can be seen in the relationships of gene to protein and language description to real situation. Such a transformation can only be reversed if extra external information is re-supplied. The genetic algorithm embodying this idea is now used in applied mathematics for exploring a configuration space. Such a dialectic – transformation back and forth between two kinds of description – extends the traditional Hegelian concept used (...) by Engels and others of change as resulting from a resolution of the conflict of two opposing tendencies and provides for evolution of the joint system. (shrink)
If the conceptions of belief, desire, and action resemble phlogiston in their scientific standing, how is it that so many true, singular, causal claims about human behavior are made using these concepts? Alexander Rosenberg appeals to the distinction between attributive and referential uses of language to handle this objection. It is argued that this does not work, and that the truth of our singular, causal explanations of human behavior is little short of miraculous given his account of the nomological situation.
Despite several positive features, such as extensive theoretical and empirical scope, aspects of Levelt, Roelofs & Meyer's theory can be challenged on theoretical grounds (inconsistent principles for phonetic versus phonological syllables, use of sophisticated homunculi, underspecification, and lack of principled motivation) and empirical grounds (failed predictions regarding effects of syllable frequency and incompatibility with observed effects of syllable structure).
From the secrets of the universe to the healing powers of music, this book draws on the passions of eight professionals who explore the "power" behind their own particular fields of interest, from the arts and humanities to the natural sciences. Their essays span the fascinating world of microscopic biochemical machines; the power of the cinema screen; democracy; mathematical knot theory; innovative new ways of producing energy to meet increasing world demands as well as the power of life and death.
Elizabeth A. McGibbon and Josephine B. Etowa’s co-authored book Anti-racist Health Care Practice exposes and addresses systemic racism in the Canadian health-care system. McGibbon and Etowa directly confront racism in health provision and Canadian society, and provide a discussion of racism and related issues (gender, class) that does not hold back criticisms. The system of racial oppression and its sustenance by white privilege is presented to the reader in a clear and straightforward way, making it impossible for the reader to (...) deny or misunderstand his or her role in the power structures of Canadian (or American) society. The book is directed primarily at medical practitioners, as well as educators and policy .. (shrink)