Anne-Marie Weidler Kubanek: Nothing less than an adventure: Ellen Gleditsch and her life in science Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s10698-011-9119-8 Authors Marelene Rayner-Canham, Memorial University, Grenfell Campus, Corner Brook, NL, Canada Geoff Rayner-Canham, Memorial University, Grenfell Campus, Corner Brook, NL, Canada Journal Foundations of Chemistry Online ISSN 1572-8463 Print ISSN 1386-4238.
Several studies have indicated that scientists are likely to have an outlook on both facts and values that are different to that of lay people in important ways. This is one significant reason it is currently believed that in order for scientists to exercise a reliable ethical reflection about their research it is necessary for them to engage in dialogue with other stakeholders. This paper reports on an exercise to encourage a group of scientists to reflect on ethical issues without (...) the presence of external stakeholders. It reports on the use of a reflection process with scientists working in the area of animal disease genomics (mainly drawn from the EADGENE EC Network of Excellence). This reflection process was facilitated by using an ethical engagement framework, a modified version of the Ethical Matrix. As judged by two criteria, a qualitative assessment of the outcomes and the participants’ own assessment of the process, this independent reflective exercise was deemed to be successful. The discussions demonstrated a high level of complexity and depth, with participants demonstrating a clear perception of uncertainties and the context in which their research operates. Reflection on stakeholder views and values appeared to be embedded within the discussions. The finding from this exercise seems to indicate that even without the involvement of the wider stakeholder community, valuable reflection and worthwhile discourse can be generated from ethical reflection processes involving only scienitific project partners. Hence, the previous assumption that direct stakeholder engagement is necessary for ethical reflection does not appear to hold true in all cases; however, other reasons for involving a broad group of stakeholders relating to governance and social accountability of science remain. (shrink)
During the fall of 2001 (October 22–25), The Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA) and the Agricultural University of Norway arranged a consensus conference on the protection of the environment against ionising radiation. The motive for the conference was the need to study the ethical and philosophical basis for protection of nature in its own right. The conference was funded by Nordic Nuclear Safety Research (NKS), in cooperation with the International Union of Radioecology (IUR). The National Committee for Research Ethics in (...) Science and Technology (NENT) was hired as facilitators for the consensus process. This paper will give a brief outline of the aims and method of the conference, distinguishing these from other kinds of consensus conferences. The paper ends with some general reflections on the appropriateness of seeking consensus on ethics-related issues among experts. (shrink)
Liberal societies are characterized by respect for a fundamental value pluralism; i.e., respect for individuals’ rights to live by their own conception of the good. Still, the state must make decisions that privilege some values at the cost of others. When public ethics committees give substantial ethical advice on policy related issues, it is therefore important that this advice is well justified. The use of explicit tools for ethical assessment can contribute to justifying advice. In this article, I will discuss (...) one approach to ethical assessment, the ethical matrix method. This method is a variant of intuitionist balancing. Intuitionism is characterized by stressing the existence of several (at least two) fundamental prima facie moral principles, between which there is no given rank order. For some intuitionist approaches, coherentism has been proposed as a model of justification. This article will discuss justification of ethical advice and evaluate the appropriateness of coherentism as a justificatory approach to intuitionist tools. (shrink)
Over the last years, Norway has revised its animal welfare legislation. As of January 1, 2010, the Animal Protection Act of 1974 was replaced by a new Animal Welfare Act. This paper describes the developments in the normative structures from the old to the new act, as well as the main traits of the corresponding implementation and governance system. In the Animal Protection Act, the basic animal ethics principles were to avoid suffering, treat animals well, and consider their natural needs (...) and instincts. In addition, a principle for balancing our duties towards animals with the needs and interests of humans was expressed by the formulation unnecessary suffering. These principles (only with slightly different formulations) are retained in the new act. The novelty of the new act is shown by its explicit intention to promote respect for animals and its recognition of animals’ intrinsic value. Whereas intrinsic value is only given a symbolic function, the notion of respect is intended to have practical consequences. One interpretation of respect for animals is taking the animal’s integrity—and not only welfare—into account. Another is to see the introduction of respect as a call to animal keepers to provide animals with welfare exceeding the minimum requirements. In several respects, the legal system now seems to leave more responsibility to the individual animal keeper—and to citizens in general. I argue that if the authorities really do want to promote respect for animals, they must at the same time initiate activities to achieve this. In my perspective the challenge is to provide adequate measures to achieve in practice the intended respect for animals expressed in the new act. (shrink)
The Norwegian National Committee for Research Ethics inScience and Technology (NENT), collaborating with The NorwegianFisherman''s Association and The Research Council of Norway,started in 1999 a project aiming at an ethical assessment of Norwegian fisheries for the year 2020. The project was to preparethe ground for ethical debate in and of the fishery sector inview of pending important decisions on long term strategies. Thispaper has its focus on the method used for achieving these aims,rather than the substantive results concerning the fisheries. (...) Amethod was developed for this purpose, called the ethicalscenario process. This included the construction of scenarios forthe future of Norwegian fisheries, using an ethical matrix for evaluating strategies, and organizing a ``value workshop'''' whereparticipants from different stakeholder groups came together todo ethical evaluations. The positive achievements and theshortcomings of this method are discussed in this paper. The useof an ethical matrix was meant to combine a participatory approachwith insights from theoretical ethics. The project revealedinherent tensions between these two objectives. Possible ways ofdealing with this tension are indicated, but in general a goodgrasp of the socio-political context might be the best guardianagainst the possible pitfalls involved in such an approach. (shrink)
Nanotechnology will allegedly have a revolutionary impact in a wide range of fields, but has also created novel concerns about health, safety and the environment (HSE). Nanotechnology regulation has nevertheless lagged behind nanotechnology development. In 2004 the International Organization for Standardization established a technical committee for producing nanotechnology standards for terminology, measurements, HSE issues and product specifications. These standards are meant to play a role in nanotechnology development, as well as in national and international nanotechnology regulation, and will therefore have (...) consequences for consumers, workers and the environment. This paper gives an overview of the work in the technical committee on nanotechnology and discusses some challenges with regard to legitimacy in such work. The paper focuses particularly on stakeholder involvement and the potential problems of scientific robustness when standardising in such early stages of the scientific development. The intention of the paper is to raise some important issues rather than to draw strong conclusions. However, the paper will be concluded with some suggestions for improving legitimacy in the TC 229 and a call for increased public awareness about standardisation in the field of nanotechnology. (shrink)
The ethical matrix approach was developed by Prof Ben Mepham and his colleagues at the University of Nottingham in the early 1990s. Since then the approach has received increasing attention and has been used by several researchers in different projects related to assessing ethical impacts of different food production technologies and other policy options of societal concern. The ethical matrix is sometimes understood simply as a checklist of ethical concerns, but might also be seen as a guide to coming to (...) conclusions on moral questions. The problem I discuss in this paper relates to how using the ethical matrix method as a decision guide can be combined with respecting pluralism. The aim of the paper is to suggest a framework making it possible to – at the same time – enhance public justification of judgments and respect pluralism. I argue that pluralism is fundamental to the ethical matrix approach; I distinguish between intuitionist principled pluralism and societal value pluralism; and I show how both kinds of pluralism imply restrictions on how conclusions can be made. No substantive moral decision principles can be allowed. Still, I argue, decision principles of a more epistemological or procedural character can be acceptable even within pluralism. The pragmatist principle of inquiry is defended as an account of moral problem solving compatible with both principled pluralism and value pluralism. When an ethical matrix is used within such a participatory inquiry process substantive conclusions can be drawn. (shrink)
Much has been written on the relative merits of different readings of Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. The recent renewal of the debate has almost exclusively been concerned with variants of the ineffabilist (metaphysical) reading of TL-P - notable such readings have been advanced by Elizabeth Anscombe, P. M. S. Hacker and H. O. Mounce - and the recently advanced variants of therapeutic (resolute) readings - notable advocates of which are James Conant, Cora Diamond, Juliet Floyd and Michael Kremer. During this debate, (...) there have been a number of writers who have tried to develop a third way, incorporating what they see as insights and avoiding what they see as flaws in both the ineffabilist and resolute readings. The most prominent advocates of these elucidatory readings of TL-P are Dan Hutto (2003) and Marie McGinn (1999). In this paper we subject Hutto's and McGinn's readings of TL-P to critical scrutiny. We find that in seeking to occupy the middle ground they ultimately find themselves committed to (and in the process commit Wittgenstein to) the very ineffabilism they (and Wittgenstein) are seeking to overcome. (shrink)
Imagine a citizen (call her Ellen) engages in conduct the state says is a crime, for example, money laundering. Imagine too that the state of which Ellen is a citizen has decided to make money laundering a crime. Does the state wrong Ellen when it punishes her for money laundering? It depends on what you think about the authority of the criminal law. Most criminal law scholars would probably say that the criminal law as such has no (...) authority. Whatever authority is has depends on how well it adheres to the demands of morality inasmuch as morality is the only authority we have. Thus if morality says that money laundering should not be a crime then the state wrongs Ellen when it punishes her. But if the criminal law as such does have authority, and if in the exercise of its authority the state has decided to make money laundering a crime, then the state does Ellen no wrong when it punishes her. (shrink)
The Federalist, written by “Publius” (Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison) in 1787-1788 in defense of the proposed constitution of the United States, endorses a fundamental principle of political legitimacy: namely, “it is the reason of the public alone, that ought to control and regulate the government.” This essay argues that this principle—the rule of reason—may be traced back to Plato. Part I of the essay seeks to show that Plato's Statesman offers a clearer understanding of the rule of (...) reason than his more famous Republic, and it also indicates how this principle gave rise to the ideal of constitutionalism, which was adopted and reformulated by Aristotle, Polybius, and Cicero, as well as moderns including Locke and Montesquieu. Part II argues that The Federalist agrees with Plato when it argues that popular sovereignty must be tempered by the rule of reason. A proper distance should be maintained between the people and the actual exercise of power in order that political decisions be based on reason rather than passion. The people must therefore act through a federal system divided between national government and state governments, and these governments must themselves possess separated powers which control each other by means of checks and balances. Indeed, federalism itself may be viewed as a modern counterpart of Plato's “art of weaving,” which unites naturally disparate and opposed parts of the city-state into a concordant whole. In declaring, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary,” The Federalist concedes that politics is the art of the possible. But statesmanship is not an exercise in pragmatism devoid of principles. Here “Publius” shares Plato's vision of politics as a “second sailing,” that is, an attempt to approximate the ideal of rational governance as far as possible in ordinary politics. Footnotesa This paper was originally presented at a meeting of the Symposium on Political Thought at Bowling Green State University. I am very grateful to the participants for their helpful suggestions, including Peter Celello, Albert Dzur, Neil Englehart, Jefferson Holcomb, David Jackson, Melissa Miller, Terrence Watson, and Adam White. I also received valuable criticisms from David Keyt, Ellen Frankel Paul, and the other contributors to this volume. (shrink)
Jacques Arènes | : Marie de la Trinité est une mystique contemporaine dont Jacques Lacan fut l’analyste. Cette trajectoire est paradigmatique de la manière dont une mystique rencontre la souffrance psychique dans le paysage culturel du milieu du xxe siècle. La pensée de Jacques Lacan concernant la mystique, ainsi que des considérations psychanalytiques plus générales à propos de la paternité, sont mises en relation avec la logique apophatique de cette spirituelle. Cette mystique « antinaturelle » se déploie en une (...) sécheresse vertigineuse, à la lisière du Symbolique, et dans une fascination vis-à-vis de l’attraction du Père, impérieuse et contrariée. L’article analyse en particulier, à travers la figure de Marie de la Trinité, la manière dont la mystique contemporaine se confronte, dans le champ chrétien, à la question de la mort de Dieu, et du déclin du Père. | : Marie de la Trinité was a contemporary mystic who was analyzed by Jacques Lacan. The trajectory of her life is a paradigmatic example of the way in which a mystic encountered psychic suffering in the cultural landscape of the mid-20th century. Jacques Lacan’s thinking about mysticism, as well as broader psychoanalytical considerations about fatherhood, are associated here with the apophatic path of Marie. As her counter-natural mysticism unfolds she draws ever closer to the symbolic, fascinated by the dual nature of the attraction, at once imperious and impeded, exerted by the Father. This article uses the figure of Marie de la Trinité as the specific vantage point to examine how contemporary Christian mysticism is faced with the question of the death of God and the decline of the Father. (shrink)
Valérie Chevassus-Marchionni | : Le « cas » de Marie de la Trinité illustre d’une manière particulière la thématique « croyance et psychanalyse ». En effet, chez cette soeur dominicaine des campagnes, la foi religieuse et la croyance en sa vocation de dévotion interfèrent très étroitement avec l’expérience psychanalytique : d’une part, elle se prête pendant quatre années à une cure psychanalytique avec le docteur Jacques Lacan, d’autre part, elle exercera elle-même quelque temps la profession de psychothérapeute. Pour (...) class='Hi'>Marie de la Trinité, la psychanalyse arrive à un moment critique de son existence, alors que ce qu’elle nomme ses « obsessions » lui rendent la vie impossible et lui interdisent même de pratiquer sa foi ; elle se tourne alors vers des traitements divers, parfois brutaux et inhumains. Ce n’est pas la psychanalyse qui la guérira, mais c’est à partir de cette expérience qu’il lui sera donné de triompher de son mal et, en comprenant quelle en était l’origine, d’entreprendre « sa propre rééducation » et de connaître « la lumière et l’harmonie » dans sa vie de dévotion. | : The case of Mary of the Trinity illustrates in a particular way the thematic of “belief and psychoanalysis”. Indeed, in this Dominican sister, a missionary in the country, religious faith and belief in her vocation of devotion closely interfere with psychoanalytical experience : on the one hand she undergoes a four year psychoanalytical cure with Doctor Jacques Lacan ; on the other hand she works for a while as a psychotherapeutist. For Mary of the Trinity psychoanalysis appears at a critical moment in her life, just as what she calls her “obsessions” make her life unbearable and even prevent her from practising her faith ; then she tries many different treatments, sometimes brutal and inhuman. Psychoanalysis won’t cure her, but thanks to this experience, she will overcome her pain and by understanding its origin will undertake “her own reeducation” and know “light and harmony” in her life of devotion. (shrink)
Toward the middle of her evocative, deeply personal new book, Ellen Handler-Spitz reflects, “What is the purpose of keeping secrets from children? What are the effects?” Parents, she continues, often seek to protect children from challenging pasts or fearful presents. We often, too, seek to shield children from our own mistakes. “Doubtless,” she avers, “we have performed acts of which we cannot feel proud.” Keeping silent is no good. But how, she asks again, “should we talk about the past?” (...) Professor Handler-Spitz’s provocations raise important, larger questions about how we rear our children. But this is not a handbook of upbringing. It is, instead, something of a guide to the imagination. In this .. (shrink)
This article debates about the proposal of reviewing philosophical aesthetics advanced by french philosopher Jean-Marie Schaeffer from his Les celibataires de l’art (1996) to Adieu à l’esthétique (2000). From a definition of aesthetic attitude as an endogenous and autotelic cognitive behaviour, Schaeffer proposes a naturalization of aesthetics in the problematical area of interest of a general anthropology.
No século XIX, Marie Pape-Carpantier teve uma significativa importância para a educação da criança de 2 a 6 anos. Sua influência situa-se na adoção do método intuitivo para a educação dos sentidos � lições de coisas �, na proposta pedagógica destinada à Educação Infantil � salas de asilo; na criação de materiais didáticos para auxiliar no desenvolvimento do método natural; na orientação de modelos de mobílias para as escolas. Produz uma imensa obra para professores e alunos, traduzida em vários (...) países: Grécia, Inglaterra, Itália, Suécia, Espanha, Brasil, e publicada até a segunda década do século XX, perfazendo inúmeras edições. O estudo analisa a trajetória e a contribuição da educadora, destacando as principais ideias, pelo espírito prático-experimental, que prenuncia a escola ativa. (shrink)
No século XIX, Marie Pape-Carpantier teve uma significativa importância para a educação da criança de 2 a 6 anos. Sua influência situa-se na adoção do método intuitivo para a educação dos sentidos - lições de coisas -, na proposta pedagógica destinada à Educação Infantil - salas de asilo; na criação de materiais didáticos para auxiliar no desenvolvimento do método natural; na orientação de modelos de mobílias para as escolas. Produz uma imensa obra para professores e alunos, traduzida em vários (...) países: Grécia, Inglaterra, Itália, Suécia, Espanha, Brasil, e publicada até a segunda década do século XX, perfazendo inúmeras edições. O estudo analisa a trajetória e a contribuição da educadora, destacando as principais ideias, pelo espírito prático-experimental, que prenuncia a escola ativa. (shrink)
Las mujeres han jugado un papel muy importante desde la Antigüedad -con Hipatia como paradigma- en el ámbito de los descubrimientos científicos y el conocimiento en general. Sin embargo, la recepción por parte de la sociedad sobre sus valiosas aportaciones y el reconocimiento a su esfuerzo, salvo excepciones como la de Marie Curie, se han visto siempre limitados y su memoria disuelta con el correr de los años.