Abortion is the central issue in the conscientious objection debate. In this article I demonstrate why this is so for two philosophical viewpoints prominent in American culture. One, represented by Patrick Lee and Robert P. George, holds that the fundamental moral value of being human can be found in bare life and the other, represented by Tom Beauchamp and James Childress, holds that this fundamental value is found in the life that can choose and determine itself. First, I articulate Lee (...) and George’s philosophical theory and demonstrate how the fundamental moral value of their theory, personhood, is represented in the issue of abortion. Second, I examine Beauchamp and Childress’ theoretical vision and demonstrate how their fundamental moral value, the right to autonomous self-determination, is represented in abortion. Third, I sketch the theoretical and practical dynamics of the conscientious objection debate as well as each author’s understanding of conscience. Fourth, I demonstrate how abortion, which represents their respective fundamental value, shapes each perspectives’ approach to the conscientious objection debate. I conclude that because each theory finds its fundamental value represented in the issue of abortion, each perspective is bound to engage the conscientious objection debate in a way that centers on the issue of abortion. (shrink)
This article critically examines, from the perspective of a Roman Catholic Healthcare ethicist, the second edition of the Core Competencies for Healthcare Ethics Consultation report recently published by the American Society for Humanities and Bioethics. The question is posed: can the competencies identified in the report serve as the core competencies for Roman Catholic ethical consultants and consultation services? I answer in the negative. This incongruence stems from divergent concepts of what it means to do ethics consultation, a divergence that (...) is rooted in each perspective's very different visions of autonomy. Furthermore, because of the constitutive elements of Catholic ethics consultation, such as the Ethical and Religious Directives for Health Care Services, the tradition needed to apply those directives, and the Catholic facilityâ€™s membership in the institutional Church, the competencies needed for its practice differ in kind from those identified by the report. While there are many practical points of convergence, the competencies identified by the report should not be adopted uncritically by Catholic healthcare institutions as core competencies for ethical consultation services. (shrink)
Catholic healthcare institutions live amidst tension between three intersecting primary values, namely, a commitment of service to the poor and vulnerable, promoting the common good for all, and financially sustainability. Within this tension, the question sometimes arises as to whether it is ever justifiable, i.e., consistent with Catholic identity, to place limits on charity care. In this article we will argue that the health reform measures of the Affordable Care Act do not eliminate this tension but actually increase the urgency (...) of addressing it. Moreover, we will conclude that the question of limiting charity care in a manner that is consistent with the obligations of Catholic identity around serving the poor and vulnerable, promoting the common good, and remaining financially sustainable is not a question of if, but of how such limits are established. Such limits, however, cannot be established in light of one overriding moral consideration or principle, but must be established in light of a multitude of principles guiding us to a holistic understanding of the interrelatedness of the moral dimensions of Catholic identity. (shrink)
Philosophers of science readily acknowledge that nonepistemic values influence the discovery and pursuit of scientific theories, but many tend to regard these influences as epistemically uninteresting. The present paper challenges this position by identifying three avenues through which nonepistemic values associated with discovery and pursuit in contemporary pollution research influence theory appraisal: (1) by guiding the choice of questions and research projects, (2) by altering experimental design, and (3) by affecting the creation and further investigation of theories or hypotheses. This (...) analysis indicates that the effects of these values are sufficiently complex and epistemically significant to merit further attention. †To contact the authors, please write to: Kevin Elliott, Department of Philosophy, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208; e‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org . Daniel McKaughan, Department of Philosophy, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467; e‐mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
In this compelling book, Anthony Elliott traces the rise of psychoanalysis from the Frankfurt School to postmodernism, exploring in detail the social and political factors that have led intellectuals to draw from the insights of Freud. Examining how pathbreaking theorists such as Adorno, Marcuse, Lacan and Lyotard have deployed psychoanalysis to politicize issues like desire, sexuality, repression and identity, Elliott develops a powerful assessment of the gains and losses arising from this appropriation of psychoanalysis in social theory and (...) cultural studies. Moving from the impact of the Culture Wars and recent Freud-bashing to contemporary debates in social theory, feminism and postmodernism, Elliott argues for a new alliance between social-theoretical and psychoanalytic perspectives. (shrink)
Recent social theory has identified various institutional forces operating at a global level promoting novel trends towards “individualization”, “reflexive self-identity” and “new individualism” (Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, 2001; Giddens, 1991, 1992; Elliott and Lemert, 2009, 2009a). This article develops an exploratory overview of the theory of new individualism with reference to Japanese sociologies of self specifically and contemporary Japanese society more generally. Detailing the large-scale societal shift in Japan from traditional forms of identity-construction (based on a citizenship model of social (...) order) to post-traditional forms of identity-construction (promoted by globalization and neoliberal policies), the article distinguishes between four discourses of the self in post-war Japanese society: the age of the ideal; the age of the dream; the age of fiction; and, the age of fragmentation. Moreover, the article examines the Japanese employment system and the emergence of new individualist employment, as well as considering the emotional impacts of a rise in suicides in contemporary Japan. The argument is that the new individualist thesis can contribute to a sociological understanding of recent social transformations in Japan. However, situating new individualism in the context of Japan also highlights significant tensions in processes of new individualism, tensions between individual initiatives and institutional pressures. (shrink)
& A college development officer is offered a generous gift by a donor whose identity would embarrass the institution. Should the development officer accept? & A volunteer lies about his level of giving, but classmates believe him and match his "gift." Should donors be told the truth? & A development officer must explain to a donor the difference between naming an endowed chair and selecting the person to fill the chair. Where is the line between reasonable donor expectations and intrusion? (...) "There was a time, barely a generation ago, when most college fund raising was a placid, back-porch operation... That pattern, like so much in higher education, began to change dramatically... On the heels of all this change comes this splendid volume by Deni Elliot. The new fund-raising environment raises a host of ethical questions that were largely unknown or unrecognized by earlier generations of fund raisers... The great value of this book is that it provides some clear-eyed guidance through the ethical thicket that is modern higher education fund raising. The great charm of the book is that it provides this important service with such eloquence and good taste... Anyone involved in modern fund raising will find something of value in this book." -- G. Calvin MacKenzie, Academe "This volume provides college and university development officers and administrators practical help with recognizing difficult ethical situations and discerning the correct ethical response. It can also serve as a guide for donors who wonder what's reasonable for them to expect from fund raisers." -- Resources in Education Contributors: Allen Buchanan, James A. Donahue, Marilyn Batt Dunn, Deni Elliott, Bernard Gert, Judith M. Gooch, Bruce R. Hopkins, Frank Logan, Mary Lou Siebert, Holly Smith, and Eric B. Wentworth. (shrink)
Professor John Elliott has spent the last 30 years researching, thinking and writing about some of the key and enduring issues in Education Research and Action Research. He has contributed over 25 books and 600 articles to the field. In this book, he brings together over 16 of his key writings, in one place. Starting with a specially written Introduction, which gives an overview of Professor Elliott's career and contextualizes his selection, the chapters cover: · Rethinking Educational Research (...) · Doing Classroom Action Research · Pedagogy ad Form of Action Research · The Challenge of Action Research This must-have book for anyone wishing to know more about the development of Action Research and Educational Research and John Elliott's contribution to these exciting fields. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that attempts to distinguish between categories of 'dyslexia' and 'poor reader' or 'reading disabled' are scientifically unsupportable, arbitrary and thus potentially discriminatory. We do not seek to veto scientific curiosity in examining underlying factors in reading disability, for seeking greater understanding of the relationship between visual symbols and spoken language is crucial. However, while stressing the potential of genetics and neuroscience for guiding assessment and educational practice at some stage in the future, we argue that (...) there is a mistaken belief that current knowledge in these fields is sufficient to justify a category of dyslexia as a subset of those who encounter reading difficulties. The implications of this debate for large-scale intervention are outlined. (shrink)
We argue that the analysis of cognitive attitudes should play a central role in developing more sophisticated accounts of the proper roles for values in science. First, we show that the major recent efforts to delineate appropriate roles for values in science would be strengthened by making clearer distinctions among cognitive attitudes. Next, we turn to a specific example and argue that a more careful account of the distinction between the attitudes of belief and acceptance can contribute to a better (...) understanding of the proper roles for values in a case study from paleoanthropology. (shrink)
Continental philosophy over the past two decades has increasingly turned its attention to social and political matters. Two key figures involved in this move, Jean-Luc Nancy and Giorgio Agamben, have advanced a position centering on the idea of singular community . This article sets out the basic features of this idea and contrasts it with Habermas' theory of communicative or dialogical community . Habermas is open to the criticism that his theory of community is constructed according to an unduly narrow (...) construal of legitimate argumentation and democratic participation. The idea of community advanced by Nancy and Agamben, in contrast, appears to lack any credible criteria of community inclusion or identity. In conclusion, it is suggested that both theories of community fall short by neglecting the task of constructing and preserving actual sites of collective democratic action and resistance. (shrink)
The diagnosis of psychopathy is controversial largely because of two notions: first, that because of their defects, psychopaths cannot understand morality, and second, that these defects should thus excuse psychopaths from moral responsibility for their actions. However, it is not clear just what is involved in understanding morality. The argument that the psychopath is ignorant of morality in the same way that one might be ignorant of facts is difficult to sustain. However, a closer examination of the psychopath's peculiar deficiencies (...) reveals that the psychopath's understanding of morality might be impaired in other ways. Keywords: disease, ethics, philosophy, psychopathy, psychiatry, responsibility CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Utilitarianism and its principal architect, John Stuart Mill, are staples of media ethics teaching and analysis. However, utilitarianism, in its usual presentation, is offered as a simplistic arithmetic formula: Do the greatest good for the greatest number. This quantification approach, when attached to Mill, misinterprets this philosopher and robs media ethics discussions of the rich reflection that an important classical theory can bring. Mill is a particularly suitable philosopher for presentation to students of journalism and mass communication. Mill provides a (...) strong argument in favor of freedom of expression in addition to espousing a moral theory that is simultaneously protective of individual rights while promoting communitarian principles. But it is imperative to get Mill right. This essay attempts to do so and to offer a utilitarian decision tree for those who wish to properly apply Mill's theory in teaching and practice. (shrink)
Many journalists, readers and scholars exhibit confusion concerning the nature and justification of deception. In this article, we clarify those acts that should count as deception. Before discussing if any cases of deception can be construed as morally justified, we clarify which investigative, interrogative, and information-giving techniques are deceptive on their face. We also bracket borderline cases.
Practical ethics in context -- Teaching and learning ethics in an ethical environment -- Aspirations, activities, and assessment -- The theoretical toolkit -- Systematic case analysis -- Relativism and moral development -- A bridge across cultures.
Phenomenology is one of the most pervasive and influential schools of thought in twentieth-century European philosophy. This book provides a systematic and comprehensive analysis of the idea of the imagination in Husserl and Heidegger. The author also locates phenomenology within the broader context of a philosophical world dominated by Kantian thought, arguing that the location of Husserl within the Kantian landscape is essential to an adequate understanding of phenomenology both as a historical event and as a legacy for present and (...) future philosophy. (shrink)
According to Epistemic Two-Dimensional Semantics (E2D), expressions have a counterfactual intension and an epistemic intension. Epistemic intensions reflect cognitive significance such that sentences with necessary epistemic intensions are a priori. We defend E2D against an influential line of criticism: arguments from epistemic misclassification. We focus in particular on the arguments of Speaks  and Schroeter . Such arguments conclude that E2D is mistaken from (i) the claim that E2D is committed to classifying certain sentences as a priori, and (ii) the (...) claim that such sentences are a posteriori. We aim to show that these arguments are unsuccessful as (i) and (ii) undercut each other. One must distinguish the general framework of E2D from a specific implementation of it. The framework is flexible enough to avoid commitment to the apriority of any particular sentence; only specific implementations are so committed. Arguments from epistemic misclassification are therefore better understood as arguments for favouring one implementation of E2D over another, rather than as refutations of E2D. (shrink)
Citizens require independent reporting more than ever in the news coverage of conflict in the 21st century. The traditional role of national governments has been compromised both by terrorism and by technology that makes hard borders porous. It is unlikely that citizens or policymakers will cope with those changes unless they are reminded how the world has changed. That is an essential role for journalism, and provides a distinction between the terms nationalistic press and patriotic press. A nationalistic press simply (...) repeats governmental messages; a patriotic press reports independently and keeps fundamental interests of citizens in mind. (shrink)
Although many philosophers have employed the distinction between “direct” and “indirect” roles for values in science, I argue that it merits further clarification. The distinction can be formulated in several ways: as a logical point, as a distinction between epistemic attitudes, or as a clarification of different consequences associated with accepting scientific claims. Moreover, it can serve either as part of a normative ideal or as a tool for policing how values influence science. While various formulations of the distinction may (...) (with further clarification) contribute to a normative ideal, they have limited effectiveness for regulating how values influence science. (shrink)
A variation of Bell's theorem that deals with the indeterministic case is formulated and proved within the logical framework of Lewis's theory of counterfactuals. The no-faster-than-light-influence condition is expressed in terms of Lewis would counterfactual conditionals. Objections to this procedure raised by certain philosophers of science are examined and answered. The theorem shows that the incompatibility between the predictions of quantum theory and the idea of no faster-than-light influence cannot be ascribed to any auxiliary or tacit assumption of either determinism (...) or the related idea that outcomes of unperformed measurements are determinate within nature. In addition, the theorem provides an example of an application of Lewis's theory of counterfactuals in a rigorous scientific context. (shrink)
As it becomes more and more doubtful that the international community will take adequate steps to mitigate climate change, interest has grown in the possibility of engineering earth’s climate to prevent catastrophic levels of warming. Unfortunately, geoengineering schemes have the potential to create grave, unintended consequences. This paper explores the extent to which the precautionary principle (PP), which was developed as a guideline for responding to uncertainty in the policy sphere, can provide guidance for responding to the potential benefits and (...) hazards associated with geoengineering. The paper argues that there are so many different versions of the precautionary principle and so many potential strategies for geoengineering that there cannot be any single, simple relationship between the two. Nevertheless, it is possible to identify a set of lessons that many versions of the PP suggest for those considering geoengineering proposals. Moreover, examination of the geoengineering case provides an opportunity to reflect on a range of important situations—what this paper will call self-defeating scenarios—in which most versions of the PP provide limited guidance compared to other ethical principles. (shrink)
Many people feel uneasy about enhancement technologies, yet have a hard time explaining why. This unease is often less with the technologies themselves than about the desires and aspirations that they express. I suggest here that we can diagnose the source of that unease by looking at three themes that emerge in Taylor’s writings about the making of the modern self: the importance of social recognition, the ethics of authenticity, and the rise of instrumental reason.
Over the last two decades the work of Jean-Luc Nancy and Giorgio Agamben has attracted widespread attention both within philosophy and more broadly across the human sciences. Central to the thinking of Nancy and Agamben is a shared theory of community that offers a model of resistance to oppressive power through radical passivity. This article argues that this model inherits the inadequacies of Martin Heidegger’s attempts to conceptualize society and history. More specifically, Heidegger’s understanding of collective history in terms of (...) ‘destiny’ implicitly regulates the figure of community proposed by Nancy and Agamben. This alignment with the Heideggerian notion of destiny means that these later thinkers fail to offer a credible model of resistance in terms of concretely determined means of productive counter-practices. As a consequence the usefulness of the thinking of Nancy and Agamben as a conceptual framework for emancipatory politics is at best extremely limited. (shrink)
Robert Proctor has argued that ignorance or non-knowledge can be fruitfully divided into at least three categories: (1) ignorance as native state or starting point; (2) ignorance as lost realm or selective choice; and (3) ignorance as strategic ploy or active construct. This chapter explores Proctor’s second category, ignorance as selective choice. When scientists investigate poorly understood phenomena, they have to make selective choices about what questions to ask, what research strategies and metrics to employ, and what language to use (...) for describing the phenomena. This chapter focuses especially on the selective choice of language for describing and categorizing phenomena in the face of uncertainty. Using several case studies from recent pollution research, I show that linguistic choices are especially significant when we have severely limited knowledge, because those choices can emphasize and highlight some aspects of our limited knowledge rather than others. These selective emphases can in turn influence societal decision making, and they can exacerbate the selectivity of our knowledge by further steering scientific research in some directions rather than others. I conclude with some suggestions for developing scientific language in socially responsible ways, even in the face of significant ignorance and uncertainty. (shrink)
This paper examines how ethically significant assumptions and values are embedded not only in environmental policies but also in the language of the environmental sciences. It shows, based on three case studies associated with contemporary pollution research, how the choice of scientific categories and terms can have at least four ethically significant effects: influencing the future course of scientific research; altering public awareness or attention to environmental phenomena; affecting the attitudes or behavior of key decision makers; and changing the burdens (...) of proof required for taking action in response to environmental concerns. The paper argues that deliberative forums, research-ethics training, and conceptual work by environmental philosophers could all promote more ethically sensitive responses to these features of scientific language. (shrink)
Contemporary philosophers and psychologists seek the roots of ethically sound forms of behavior, including altruism and a sense of fairness, in the basic structure of cooperative action. I argue that recent work on cooperation in both philosophy and psychology has been hampered by what I call “the mutualistic paradigm.” The mutualistic paradigm treats one kind of cooperative situation—what I call a “mutualistic situation”—as paradigmatic of cooperation in general. In mutualistic situations, such as the primeval stag hunt described by Brian Skyrms, (...) every partner in a cooperative action has to do his part in order for the action as a whole to succeed. But many familiar cooperative situations—for example, serving on an academic committee—do not have this structure. Contemporary philosophers and psychologists are right that thinking about cooperation can shed light on how and why ethically sound behavior happens in human beings. But the deep connections between ethics and cooperation only come into view once we have a richer conception of our capacities for cooperation than the mutualistic paradigm provides. (shrink)
There has been relatively little effort to provide a systematic overview of different forms of exploratory experimentation (EE). The present paper examines the growing subdiscipline of nanotoxicology and suggests that it illustrates at least four ways that researchers can engage in EE: searching for regularities; developing new techniques, simulation models, and instrumentation; collecting and analyzing large swaths of data using new experimental strategies (e.g., computer-based simulation and "high-throughput" instrumentation); and structuring an entire disciplinary field around exploratory research agendas. In order (...) to distinguish these and other activities more effectively, the paper proposes a taxonomy that includes three dimensions along which types of EE vary: (1) the aim of the experimental activity, (2) the role of theory in the activity, and (3) the methods or strategies employed for varying experimental parameters. (shrink)
This article examines the ethnographic case study in education in the context of policy making with particular emphasis on the practice of research and policy making. The central claim of the article is that it is impossible to establish a transcendental epistemology of the case study on instrumental rationality. Instead it argues for the notion of situated judgement that needs to be made by practitioners in context, practitioners being both researchers and policy makers. In other words, questions about the level (...) of confidence or warrant that can be placed in different sorts of research evidence and findings cannot be answered independently of forming a view about the appropriateness of the policy culture that shapes political decision-making. The article draws a distinction between the general, which is internal to the data as construed by a particular discipline, and the universal, which is the result of embedded human deliberation. This applies to all research findings and not only to case study, although since case study has long had to defend itself against accusations of the lack of generality, it can be a useful starting point for the discussion. This article is not meant to be yet another defence of the case study research genre, although a summary of other defences is offered. Rather it focuses on how use of the case study points to the limits of epistemology as rationality and offers a view of epistemology as ethics. (shrink)
This paper argues, first, that recent studies of experimentation, most notably by Deborah Mayo, provide the conceptual resources to describe scientific discovery's early stages as error-probing processes. Second, it shows that this description yields greater understanding of those early stages, including the challenges that they pose, the research strategies associated with them, and their influence on the rest of the discovery process. Throughout, the paper examines the phenomenon of "chemical hormesis" (i.e., anomalous low-dose effects from toxic chemicals) as a case (...) study that is important not only for the biological sciences but also for contemporary public policy. The resulting analysis is significant for at least two reasons. First, by elucidating the importance of discovery's earliest stages, it expands previous accounts by philosophers such as William Wimsatt and Lindley Darden. Second, it identifies the discovery process as yet another philosophical topic on which the detailed studies of the "new experimentalists" can shed new light. (shrink)
Reporters and editors share values. If there were no shared values essential to the practice of journalism, it would be impossible to distinguish a journalist from other mass communicators. The set of journalistic values provides the base for an argument that journalists are pluralists, not relativists.