Cognitive control is easy to identify in its effects, but difficult to grasp conceptually. This creates somewhat of a puzzle: Is cognitive control a bona fide process or an epiphenomenon that merely exists in the mind of the observer? The topiCS special edition on cognitive control presents a broad set of perspectives on this issue and helps to clarify central conceptual and empirical challenges confronting the field. Our commentary provides a summary of and critical response to each of the papers.
Whereas much recent work on the ethics of the Hebrew Bible addresses the theological task of using the Bible as a moral resource for today, this book aims to set Ezekiel's ethics firmly in the social and historical context of the Babylonian Exile. The two 'moral worlds' of Jerusalem and Babylonia provide the key. Ezekiel explains the disaster in terms familiar to his audience's past experience as members of Judah's political elite. He also provides ethical strategies for coping (...) with the more limited possibilities of life in Babylonia, which include the ritualization of ethics, an increasing emphasis on the domestic and personal sphere of action, and a shift towards human passivity in the face of restoration. Thus the prophet's moral concerns and priorities are substantially shaped by the social experience of deportation and resettlement. They also represent a creative response to the crisis, providing significant impetus for social cohesion and the maintenance of a distinctively Jewish community. (shrink)
The main objective of this paper is to examine how theories of truth and reference that are in a broad sense Fregean in character are threatened by antinomies; in particular by the Epimenides paradox and versions of the so-called Russell-Myhill antinomy, an intensional analogue of Russell’s more well-known paradox for extensions. Frege’s ontology of propositions and senses has recently received renewed interest in connection with minimalist theories that take propositions (thoughts) and senses (concepts) as the primary bearers of truth and (...) reference. In this paper, I will present a rigorous version of Frege’s theory of sense and denotation and show that it leads to antinomies. I am also going to discuss ways of modifying Frege’s semantical and ontological framework in order to avoid the paradoxes. In this connection, I explore the possibility of giving up the Fregean assumption of a universal domain of absolutely all objects, containing in addition to extensional objects also abstract intensional ones like propositions and singular concepts. I outline a cumulative hierarchy of Fregean propositions and senses, in analogy with Gödel’s hierarchy of constructible sets. In this hierarchy, there is no domain of all objects. Instead, every domain of objects is extendible with new objects that, on pain of contradiction, cannot belong to the given domain. According to this approach, there is no domain containing absolutely all propositions or absolutely all senses. (shrink)
Commentators often claim that medical research subjects are coerced into participating in clinical studies. In recent years, such claims have appeared especially frequently in ethical discussions of research in developing countries. Medical research ethics is more important than ever as we move into the 21st century because worldwide the pharmaceutical industry has grown so much and shows no sign of slowing its growth. This means that more people are involved in medical research today than ever before, and in the future (...) even more will be involved. However, despite the pressing need for reflection on research ethics, it is important to carefully identify the concerns we have about research. Otherwise we run the risk that the moral language we use, and which we hear other people use, may do our moral thinking for us. We argue that many recent claims about the occurrence of coercion in medical research are misguided and misuse the word "coercion." We try to identify the real problems, and urge people to attend carefully to the implications of their descriptions of moral problems in research. (shrink)
Traditionally, biomedical research has been devoted to improvement in the understanding and treatment or prevention of disease. Building on the knowledge generated by the long history of disease-oriented research, the next few decades will witness an explosion of biomedical enhancements to make people faster, stronger, smarter, less forgetful, happier, prettier, and live longer (Turner et al. 2003; Vastag 2004; Rose 2002). As with other biomedical interventions, research to assess the safety and efficacy of these enhancements in humans should be conducted (...) before their introduction into clinical practice.1 However, various concerns regarding the ethics of enhancement research could be raised. Those who .. (shrink)
Interpreting Maimonides in his multiple contexts -- A dialectical topic: creation -- Necessity and the law -- Religious language (A): Negative theology and divine perfections -- Religious language (B): Perfections and simplicity -- Religious language (C): God's knowledge as a divine perfection -- Secrets of the Torah: Ezekiel's vision of the chariot -- The scope and accuracy of Ezekiel's prophecy -- A kind of conclusion.
Many guidelines for international research require that studies be responsive to host community health needs or health priorities. Although responsiveness possesses great intuitive and rhetorical appeal, existing conceptions are confusing and difficult to apply. Not only are there few examples of what research the responsiveness requirement permits and what it rejects, but its application can lead to contradictory results. Because of the practical difficulties in applying responsiveness and the danger that misapplying responsiveness could harm the interests of developing countries, we (...) argue that responsiveness should be refocused in three ways: in terms of (1) who enforces it, (2) under what standard, and (3) in what cases. We conclude that responsiveness should be applied by host country officials at the policy level with the exercise of judgment when externally funded research threatens to displace scarce local resources. (shrink)
1. The opinions expressed are the author's own. They do not reflect any position or policy of the National Institutes of Health, Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services, or any of the authors affiliated organizations.
As genetic research increasingly focuses on communities, there have been calls for extending research protections to them. We critically examine guidelines developed to protect aboriginal communities and consider their applicability to other communities. These guidelines are based on a model of researcher-community partnership and span the phases of a research project, from protocol development to publication. The complete list of 23 protections may apply to those few non-aboriginal communities, such as the Amish, that are highly cohesive. Although some protections may (...) be applicable to less-cohesive communities, such as Ashkenazi Jews, analysis suggests substantial problems in extending these guidelines in toto beyond the aboriginal communities for which they were developed. (shrink)
A collection of dramatic accounts about doctors who have faced the moral dilemma of choosing between obeying rules and doing what is best for a patient offers insight into the essential principles of medical ethics and their impact on ...
In the ninth century BCE, the peoples of four distinct regions of the civilized world created the religious and philosophical traditions that have continued to nourish humanity to the present day: Confucianism and Daoism in China, Hinduism and Buddhism in India, monotheism in Israel, and philosophical rationalism in Greece. Later generations further developed these initial insights, but we have never grown beyond them. Rabbinic Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, for example, were all secondary flowerings of the original Israelite vision. Now, in (...) The Great Transformation , Karen Armstrong reveals how the sages of this pivotal “Axial Age” can speak clearly and helpfully to the violence and desperation that we experience in our own times. Armstrong traces the development of the Axial Age chronologically, examining the contributions of such figures as the Buddha, Socrates, Confucius, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the mystics of the Upanishads, Mencius, and Euripides. All of the Axial Age faiths began in principled and visceral recoil from the unprecedented violence of their time. Despite some differences of emphasis, there was a remarkable consensus in their call for an abandonment of selfishness and a spirituality of compassion. With regard to dealing with fear, despair, hatred, rage, and violence, the Axial sages gave their people and give us, Armstrong says, two important pieces of advice: first there must be personal responsibility and self-criticism, and it must be followed by practical, effective action. In her introduction and concluding chapter, Armstrong urges us to consider how these spiritualities challenge the way we are religious today. In our various institutions, we sometimes seem to be attempting to create exactly the kind of religion that Axial sages and prophets had hoped to eliminate. We often equate faith with doctrinal conformity, but the traditions of the Axial Age were not about dogma. All insisted on the primacy of compassion even in the midst of suffering. In each Axial Age case, a disciplined revulsion from violence and hatred proved to be the major catalyst of spiritual change. (shrink)
This article explores the recent reception of the German Idealist tradition within the English-speaking philosophical world. Texts by four authors—Fredrick Beiser, Richard Velkley, Dennis Schmidt, and Gregg Horowitz—are examined as to their respective participation in what I call a materialist appropriation of German Idealism. In this article, I explore (1) what the term ‘materialism’ means in this context and (2) the reasons for such a new interpretation. I hold that this interpretation is utilized as a response to the Enlightenment (...) priority of universalizing abstraction. Further, I hold that such an interpretation amounts to a reclaiming of German Idealism from previous interpretations which viewed it as supporting this priority. (shrink)
All investigators funded by the National Institutes of Health are now required to receive training about the ethics of clinical research. Based on a course taught by the editors at NIH, Ethical and Regulatory Aspects of Clinical Research is the first book designed to help investigators meet this new requirement. The book begins with the history of human subjects research and guidelines instituted since World War II. It then covers various stages and components of the clinical trial process: designing the (...) trial, recruiting participants, ensuring informed consent, studying special populations, and conducting international research. Concluding chapters address conflicts of interest, scientific misconduct, and challenges to the IRB system. The appendix provides sample informed consent forms. This book will be used in undergraduate courses on research ethics and in schools of medicine and public health by students who are or will be carrying out clinical research. Professionals in need of such training and bioethicists also will be interested. (shrink)