I argue for a conception of health as a person's ability to achieve or exercise a cluster of basic human activities. These basic activities are in turn specified through free-standing ethical reasoning about what constitutes a minimal conception of a human life with equal human dignity in the modern world. I arrive at this conception of health by closely following and modifying Lennart Nordenfelt's theory of health which presents health as the ability to achieve vital goals. Despite its strengths (...) I transform Nordenfelt's argument in order to overcome three significant drawbacks. Nordenfelt makes vital goals relative to each community or context and significantly reflective of personal preferences. By doing so, Nordenfelt's conception of health faces problems with both socially relative concepts of health and subjectively defined wellbeing. Moreover, Nordenfelt does not ever explicitly specify a set of vital goals. The theory of health advanced here replaces Nordenfelt's (seemingly) empty set of preferences and society-relative vital goals with a human species-wide conception of basic vital goals, or ‘central human capabilities and functionings’. These central human capabilities come out of the capabilities approach (CA) now familiar in political philosophy and economics, and particularly reflect the work of Martha Nussbaum. As a result, the health of an individual should be understood as the ability to achieve a basic cluster of beings and doings—or having the overarching capability, a meta-capability, to achieve a set of central or vital inter-related capabilities and functionings. (shrink)
This article is a reply to Venkatapuram's critique in his article Health, Vital Goals, Capabilities, this volume. I take issue mainly with three critical points put forward by Venkatapuram with regard to my theory of health. (1) I deny that the contents of my vital goals are relative to each community or context, as Venkatapuram claims. There is no conceptual connection at all between standard circumstances and vital goals, as I understand these concepts. (2) Venkatapuram notes that (...) I stop short of filling the framework of vital goals with any content and thereby make my concept of health less concrete. I reply that some vital goals are indeed universal, viz. the ones which are necessary conditions for survival. Many other vital goals are individual and cannot therefore be included in a universal list. (3) Venkatapuram claims that my definition of vital goals is too broad, since it entails that some persons without any disease can be regarded as ill. However, in my understanding health is a relational concept from a state of complete health to a state of maximal illness. In this framework, a minor reduction of a state of complete health does not entail illness. This article also contains a comparison between my theory of health and Martha Nussbaum's theory of capabilities for dignity. (shrink)
Belief is generally thought to be the primary cognitive state representing the world as being a certain way, regulating our behavior and guiding us around the world. It is thus regarded as being constitutively linked with the truth of its content. This feature of belief has been famously captured in the thesis that believing is a purposive state aiming at truth. It has however proved to be notoriously difficult to explain what the thesis really involves. In this paper, I begin (...) by critically examining a number of recent attempts to unpack the metaphor. I shall then proceed to highlight an error that seems to cripple most of these attempts. This involves the confusion between, what I call, doxastic and epistemic goals. Finally, having offered my own positive account of the aim-of-belief thesis, I shall underline its deflationary nature by distinguishing between aiming at truth and hitting that target (truth). I end by comparing the account with certain prominent inflationary theories of the nature of belief. (shrink)
Nursing as a profession has a social mandate to contribute to the good of society through knowledge-based practice. Knowledge is built upon theories, and theories, together with their philosophical bases and disciplinary goals, are the guiding frameworks for practice. This article explores a philosophical perspective of nursing's social mandate, the disciplinary goals for the good of the individual and society, and one approach for translating knowledge into practice through the use of a middle-range theory. It is anticipated that (...) the integration of the philosophical perspective and model into nursing practice will strengthen the philosophy, disciplinary goal, theory, and practice links and expand knowledge within the discipline. With the focus on humanization, we propose that nursing knowledge for social good will embrace a synthesis of the individual and the common good. This approach converges vital and agency needs described by Hamilton and the primacy of maintaining the heritage of the good within the human species as outlined by Maritain. Further, by embedding knowledge development in a changing social and health care context, nursing focuses on the goals of clinical reasoning and action. McCubbin and Patterson's Double ABCX Model of Family Adaptation was used as an example of a theory that can guide practice at the community and global level. Using the theory-practice link as a foundation, the Double ABCX model provides practising nurses with one approach to meet the needs of individuals and society. The integration of theory into nursing practice provides a guide to achieve nursing's disciplinary goals of promoting health and preventing illness across the globe. When nursing goals are directed at the synthesis of the good of the individual and society, nursing's social and moral mandate may be achieved. (shrink)
Although radical forms of relativism are perhaps beyond the epistemological pale, I argue here that a more moderate form may be plausible, and articulate the conditions under which moderate epistemic relativism could well serve our epistemic goals. In particular, as a result of our limitations as human cognizers, we fi nd ourselves needing to investigate the dappled and difficult world by means of competing communities of highly specialized researchers. We would do well, I argue, to admit of the existence (...) of unresolvable disputes between such communities, but only so long as there is a sufficient amount of fruitful exchange between them as well. I close with some speculation about when it is or is not legitimate to make an “appeal to discipline”: responding to another’s argument by saying something like, “we should do it this way, because we are philosophers (/linguists/psychologists/…), and that’s just what we do”. (shrink)
A persistent methodological problem in primate social cognition research has been how to determine experimentally whether primates represent the internal goals of other agents or just the external goals of their actions. This is an instance of Daniel Povinelli’s more general challenge that no experimental protocol currently used in the field is capable of distinguishing genuine mindreading animals from their complementary behavior-reading counterparts. We argue that current methods used to test for internal-goal attribution in primates do not solve (...) Povinelli’s problem. To overcome the problem, a new type of experimental approach is needed, one which is supported by an alternative theoretical account of animal mindreading, called the appearance-reality mindreading (ARM) theory. We provide an outline of the ARM theory and show how it can be used to design a novel way to test for internal-goal attribution in chimpanzees. Unlike protocols currently in use, the experimental design presented here has the power, in principle and in practice, to distinguish genuine mindreading chimpanzees from those who predict others’ behavior solely on the basis of behavioral/environmental cues. Our solution to Povinelli’s problem has important consequences for a similar debate in developmental psychology over when preverbal infants should be credited with the ability to attribute internal goals. If what we argue for here in the case of nonhuman primates is sound, then the clearest tests for internal-goal attribution in infants will be those that test for attributions of discrepant or ‘false’ perceptions. (shrink)
It is plausible that what possible courses of action patients may legitimately expect their physicians to take is ultimately determined by what medicine as a profession is supposed to do and, consequently, that we can determine the moral acceptability of voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide on the basis of identifying the proper goals of medicine. This article examines the main ways of defining the proper goals of medicine found in the recent bioethics literature and argues that they cannot (...) provide a clear answer to the question of whether or not voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are morally acceptable. It is suggested that to find a plausible answer to this question and to complete the task of defining the proper goals of medicine, we must determine what is the best philosophical theory about the nature of prudential value. (shrink)
I defend the view that an individual''s welfareis in one respect enhanced by the achievementof her goals, even when her goals are crazy,self-destructive, irrational or immoral. This``Unrestricted View'''' departs from familiartheories which take welfare to involve only theachievement of rational aims, or of goals whoseobjects are genuinely valuable, or of goalsthat are not grounded in bad reasons. I beginwith a series of examples, intended to showthat some of our intuitive judgments aboutwelfare incorporate distinctions that only theUnrestricted View (...) can support. Then, I show howthe view can be incorporated into a broadertheory of welfare in ways that do not produceimplausible consequences. This in hand, Ifinish by providing a more philosophicalstatement of the Unrestricted View and the casein its favor, and respond to some objections. (shrink)
This paper gives an account of communicative action from the point of view of communication as a cooperative enterprise. It is argued that this is communication both on the basis of shared collective goals and without them. It is also argued that people can communicate without specifically formed illocutionary communicative intentions. The paper concludes by comparing the account given in the paper with Habermas’s theory of communicative action.
We all pursue epistemic goals as individuals. But we also pursue collective epistemic goals. In the case of many groups to which we belong, we want each member of the group - and sometimes even the group itself - to have as many true beliefs as possible and as few false beliefs as possible. In this paper, I respond to the main objections to the very idea of such collective epistemic goals. Furthermore, I describe the various ways (...) that our collective epistemic goals can come into conflict with each other. And I argue that we must appeal to pragmatic considerations in order to resolve such conflicts. (shrink)
The representational dynamics of the brain is a subsymbolic process, and it has to be conceived as an "agent-free" type of dynamical self-organization. However, in generating a coherent internal world-model, the brain decomposes target space in a certain way. In doing so, it defines an "ontology": to have an ontology is to interpret a world. In this paper we argue that the brain, viewed as a representational system aimed at interpreting the world, possesses an ontology too. It decomposes target space (...) in a way that exhibits certain invariances, which in turn are functionally significant. A challenge for empirical research is to determine which are the functional regularities guiding this decomposition process. What are the explicit and implicit assumptions about the structure of reality, which at the same time shape the causal profile of the brain's motor output and the representational deep structure of the conscious mind arising from it (its "phenomenal output")? How do they constrain high-level phenomena like conscious experience, the emergence of a first-person perspective, or social cognition? By reviewing a series of neuroscientific results, we focus on the contribution the motor system makes to this process. As it turns out, the motor system constructs goals, actions, and intending selves as basic constituents of the world it interprets. It does so by assigning a single, unified causal role to them. Empirical evidence now clearly shows how the brain actually codes movements and action goals in terms of multimodal representations of organism-object relations. Under a representationalist analysis, this process can be interpreted as an internal representation of the intentionality relation itself. We try to show how such a more complex form of representational content, once it is in place, can later function as the building block for social cognition and a for more complex, consciously experienced representation of the first-person perspective as well. The motor system may therefore play a decisive role in understanding how the functional ontology of the human brain could be gradually extended into the subjective and social domains. (shrink)
I discuss two arguments against the view that reasons are propositions. I consider responses to each argument, including recent responses due to Mark Schroeder, and suggest further responses of my own. In each case, the discussion proceeds by comparing reasons to answers and goals.
Darwinian theories of culture need to show that they improve upon the commonsense view that cultural change is explained by humans? skillful pursuit of their conscious goals. In order for meme theory to pull its weight, it is not enough to show that the development and spread of an idea is, broadly speaking, Darwinian, in the sense that it proceeds by the accumulation of change through the differential survival and transmission of varying elements. It could still be the case (...) that the best explanation of why the idea has developed and spread is the conscious pursuit of human goals. Meme theory has the potential to do explanatory work in diverse ways. It can challenge the goal-based account of cultural change directly. Other possibilities for meme theory include explaining the acquisition of our goals and showing that memes and genes evolve together, each affecting the selective forces acting on the other. Raising the question of meme theory?s explanatory payoff brings out the importance of the ?selfish-meme? idea and the idea of non-content biases. Both have the potential to challenge the claim that our goals are in the driver?s seat. In order to show that a Darwinian theory of culture is more than an idle redescription, however, it is necessary to make the case that it offers explanatory gain over its competitors, in particular over the common sense goal-based account. (shrink)
The enactive approach to cognitive science involves frequent references to “action” without making clear what is intended by the term. In particular, though autopoiesis is seen as a foundation for teleology in the enactive literature, no definition or account is offered of goals which can encompass not just descriptions of biological maintenance, but the range of social and cultural activities in which human beings continually engage. The present paper draws primarily on the work of Juarrero (Dynamics in action. Cambridge, (...) MA: MIT Press, 1999) and Donald (Origins of the modern mind. London: Wiedenfeld & Nicolson, 1991) in an attempt to offer the broad outlines of an account of goals and goal-directedness which is consistent with the enactive approach and which explicates several forms of goal-directedness exhibited by human beings. Four stages of cognitive evolution described by Donald are examined for characteristic mechanisms of adaptivity and goal-directedness. Implications for an enactive theory of meaning are discussed. (shrink)
The question I address in this paper is whether there is a version of mental state welfarism that can be coherent with the thesis that we have a legitimate concern for non-experiential goals. If there is not, then we should reject mental state welfarism. My thesis is that there is such a version. My argument relies on the distinction between "reality-centered desires" and "experience-centered desires". Mental state welfarism can accommodate our reality-centered desires and our desire that they be objectively (...) satisfied. My general strategy is, at the level of the value theory, somewhat analogous to the strategy that indirect consequentialism applies at the level of moral obligation theory. To test my argument, I appeal to Nozick's well-known example of the Experience Machine. (shrink)
Human beings are subject to a range of cognitive and affective limitations which interfere with our ability to pursue our individual and social goals. I argue that shaping our environment to avoid triggering these limitations or to constrain the harms they cause is likely to be more effective than genetic or pharmaceutical modifications of our capacities because our limitations are often the flip side of beneficial dispositions and because available enhancements seem to impose significant costs. I argue that carefully (...) selected environmental interventions respect agents’ autonomy and are consistent with democratic decision making. (shrink)
Bengt BrÃ¼lde in his article ``The Goals of Medicine. Towards a Unified Theory'' has proposed a normative theory of the goals of medicine within which the concept of quality of life plays a crucial role. In BrÃ¼lde's analysis, however, the very concept of medicine is deliberately left quite vague and it is therefore difficult to see how the goals of medicine are related to the goals of closely allied enterprises such as health promotion and social welfare. (...) In this reply I therefore propose an analysis of these related conceptual areas. I do this mainly in two respects. (1) Following the nomenclature in a previously published article (Nordenfelt, 1998) I propose a systematic conceptual framework for all varieties of health enhancement and distinguish different notions of medicine within this framework. A consequence of this analysis is, for instance, that the means and also the immediate goals of medicine in its broadest sense are more diversified than the means and immediate goals of medicine in its narrowest sense. (2) From this position I expand the topic further by comparing medicine and health enhancement with social welfare and try to trace the basic features between â as well as the common properties of â these different enterprises. (shrink)
The paper has three aims. First, to show that Julian Reiss' critique of what he calls the New Mechanist Perspective in the social sciences is built on a number of misconceptions; second, to provide some arguments for the need of reflections and discussions about common and "ultimate" goals for the social sciences; and third, to suggest a focus on mechanisms as one such viable goal. Key Words: social science goals explanations mechanisms.
The notion of home is well known from our everyday experience, and plays a crucial role in all kinds of narratives about human life, but is hardly ever systematically dealt with in the philosophy of medicine and health care. This paper is based upon the intuitively positive connotation of the term “home.” By metaphorically describing the goal of palliative care as “the patient’s coming home,” it wants to contribute to a medical humanities approach of medicine. It is argued that this (...) metaphor can enrich our understanding of the goals of palliative care and its proper objectives. Four interpretations of “home” and “coming home” are explored: (1) one’s own house or homelike environment, (2) one’s own body, (3) the psychosocial environment, and (4) the spiritual dimension, in particular, the origin of human existence. Thinking in terms of coming home implies a normative point of view. It represents central human values and refers not only to the medical-technical and care aspects of health care, but also to the moral context. (shrink)
Taking as its starting point a recent statement of the Goals of Medicine published by the Hastings Centre, this paper argues against the dualistic distinction between pain and suffering. It uses an Aristotelian conception of the person to suggest that malady, pain, and disablement are objective forms of suffering not dependent upon any state of consciousness of the victim. As a result, medicine effectively relieves suffering when it cures malady and relieves pain. There is no medical mission to confront (...) the spiritual condition of the patient. (shrink)
Public health is often distinguished from heaslth care in that it is said to serve more 'collective' goals, such as 'the common good' rather than the good of individual people. However, it is not clear what this good is supposed to be (although it is supposed to be 'common'). In regular health care we see in the West a gradual expansion of traditional goals exclusively in terms of length and quality of life to goals having to do (...) more with autonomy - the ability of people to control and direct their own lives. This has lead to a number of questions regarding how such an ethical ideal of promotion of autonomy may be construed, whether or not it really is an ideal, what practical consequences it has etc. (shrink)
While other parts of medicine and health care seems traditionally to be primarily directed at preventing losses of bodily functions, repairing said functions in the case of such losses, or at least to provide ailment for unpleasant symptoms, sports medicine has allready from the beginning been involved with the project of enhancing bodily functions with regard to sports performance. First, when sports medicine involve itself in the traditional health care activity of prevention, therapy and ailment, the aim is often very (...) different from ordinary medical activities in that it tries to secure bodily functions far beyond what is required to reach what would normally be seen as a non-pathological state of a person. Second, sports medicine actively involves itself in the project of extending and enhancing human performance capacities through medical knowledge and technology. This raises several issues both with regard to medical ethics and the ethics of sports. For example, how should the goals of sports medicine be viewed from the perspective of rationing scarce health care resources? Should sports medicine be restricted by rules from the sports community as to which performance enhancing activities are tolerated in that sector? Or should sports medicine rather direct what is to be accepted within the world of sports? Both lines of reasoning are to be found in debates about, e.g., doping, controversial training methods and the potential use of gene technology in sports. The paper will address these issues and analyse them from a philosophical point of view. (shrink)
While promoting population health has been the classic goal of public health practice and policy, in recent decades, new objectives in terms of autonomy and equality have been introduced. These different goals are analysed, and it is demonstrated how they may conflict severly in several ways, leaving serious unclarities both regarding the normative issue of what goal should be pursued by public health, what that implies in practical terms, and the descriptive issue of what goal that actually is pursued (...) in different contexts. A basic conflict of perspective is handled by integrating the ideas of public health striving for health-related autonomy and equality, resulting in a prioritarian oriented population approach to health-related autonomy. This integrated goal is demonstrated to constrain itself in several ways attractive from the point of view of the classic goal, but several serious problems remain. For this reason, a model where all of the three goals are integrated into one coherent structure where they can be assigned varying degrees of importance relative to the level of population health is described. It is argued that this model avoids the problems set out earlier, and is actually normatively preferable to the classic goal alone. It is furthermore argued that the model may be employed as a useful tool for descriptive ethics, as well as a vehicle for international harmonisation of public health policies. A number of practical implications regarding, e.g., the importance of respecting autonomy and the allocation of public health resources are noted, as are a battery of questions for further research. (shrink)
My university recently established a business ethics competency exam for graduate business students. The exam is designed to test whether students can demonstrate several abilities that are indicative of competency in business ethics. They are the abilities to speak the language of business ethics, identify business ethics issues, apply theories and concepts to issues, identify connections among theories and concepts as they relate to different issues, and construct and critically evaluate arguments for various positions on business ethics issues. Through this (...) paper, I hope to begin a discussion among business ethicists about both the merits of a competency exam and what the format of such an exam should be. I attempt to do this by explaining the reasons why my institution adopted a competency exam, the goals and purposes of the exam, the format of the exam, and why I believe the exam has merit. (shrink)
This paper argues that, as all available accounts of how scientific and non-scientific goals might be distinguished rely upon distinctions as much in need of explication as the notion of scientific goals itself, naturalized accounts of science should reject the notion that there are characteristically scientific goals for a given time and place and instead countenance only the goals which happen to be had by individual scientists or their communities. This argument and the recommendation that follows (...) from it are illustrated by reference to Watson and Crick's discovery of the structure of DNA. (shrink)
The purpose of this article is to present a normative theory of the goals of medicine (a theory that tells us in what respects medicine should benefit the patient) that is both comprehensive and unified. A review of the relevant literature suggests that there are at least seven plausible goals that are irreducible to each other, namely to promote functioning, to maintain or restore normal structure and function, to promote quality of life, to save and prolong life, to (...) help the patient to cope well with her condition, to improve the external conditions under which people live, and to promote the growth and development of children. However, it seems that all these goals need to be qualified in different ways, e.g. it does not seem reasonable to improve physiological function or functional ability unless this is expected to have positive effects on quality of life and/or length of life, or to improve the quality of life in any respect, or by any means. These qualifications all suggest that the proposed goals are, as goals, conceptually, and not just causally, related to one another, and that they should therefore not be regarded in isolation. Instead, we should think of the medical enterprise as having a multidimensional goal structure rather than a single goal. In order to depict clearly how the different goals are related to one another, a multidimensional model is constructed. (shrink)
The objective of this paper is to outline challenges associated with the inclusion of welfare issues in breeding goals for farm animals and to review the currently available methodologies and discuss their potential advantages and limitations to address these challenges. The methodology for weighing production traits with respect to cost efficiency and market prices are well developed and implemented in animal breeding goals. However, these methods are inadequate in terms of assessing proper values of traits with social and (...) ethical values such as animal welfare, because such values are unlikely to be readily available from the product prices and costs in the market. Defining breeding goals that take animal welfare and ethical concerns into account, therefore, requires new approaches. In this paper we suggest a framework and an approach for defining breeding goals, including animal welfare. The definition of breeding goals including values related to animal welfare requires a multidisciplinary approach with a combination of different methods such as profit equations, stated preference techniques, and selection index theory. In addition, a participatory approach involving different stakeholders such as breeding organizations, food authorities, farmers, and animal welfare organizations should be applied. We conclude that even though these methods provide the necessary tools for considering welfare issues in the breeding goal, the practical application of these methods is yet to be achieved. (shrink)
Howe, Davidson & Sloboda's focus on learning has important implications because the amount and quality of training are relevant to all learners, not just those acquiring exceptional abilities. In this commentary, I discuss learning goals as an indicator of learning quality, and suggest that all learners can be guided towards more effective learning by shifting their learning goals.
This paper evaluates the contribution of the energy industry (oil, gas and electricity) to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in three countries (Argentina, Colombia and Mexico). To build this international benchmark, a tool was built (the MDG-Scorecard), by drawing on theoretical frameworks and guides on how businesses can contribute to the MDGs. Results show that companies are making efforts to contribute to the environment, human rights, employment creation and labour rights. However, their effort is close to nil for the (...)Goals with the weakest links with their core business. Findings also suggest that there is no coordinated and consistent strategy to achieve the MDGs either intra-company or inter-companies. (shrink)
Rights have two properties which prima facie appear to be inconsistent. The first is that they are conditional in the sense that one some occasions it is always justifiable for someone to act in a way which appears to be inconsistent with someone else's rights, such as when the defence of necessity applies. The second is that rights are indefeasible in the sense that they are not subject to being defeated our outweighed by utilitarian or policy considerations. If we view (...) rules and the rights which they establish as being subject to a ceteris paribus clause, the form of which generates out the exceptions, the conditionality of rights becomes reconcilable with their nondefeasibility. Such a view of rules and rights would entail that the goals of the law and their orderings be considered as a part of the law. When so viewed, propositions about goals and their orderings become legitimate premises for legal reasoning, furnishing solutions to hard cases in the law of torts, without resort to balancing of interests or judicial discretion. (shrink)
Of Goals and Goods and Floundering About: A Dissensus Report on Clinical Ethics Consultation Content Type Journal Article Pages 275-291 DOI 10.1007/s10730-009-9101-1 Authors Jeffrey P. Bishop, Vanderbilt University Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society 2525 West End Avenue, Suite 400 Nashville Tennessee 37203 USA Joseph B. Fanning, Vanderbilt University Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society 2525 West End Avenue, Suite 400 Nashville Tennessee 37203 USA Mark J. Bliton, Vanderbilt University Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society 2525 West End Avenue, (...) Suite 400 Nashville Tennessee 37203 USA Journal HEC Forum Online ISSN 1572-8498 Print ISSN 0956-2737 Journal Volume Volume 21 Journal Issue Volume 21, Number 3. (shrink)
Interpreting VTA dopamine activity as a facilitator of affective engagement fits Depue & Collins's agency dimension of extraverted personality and also Watson's and Tellegen's (1985) engagement dimension of state mood. Serotonin, by turning down the gain on dopaminergic affective engagement, would permit already prepotent responses or habits to prevail against the behavior-switching incentive-simulation-driven temptations of the moment facilitated by fickle VTA DA. Intelligent switching between openly responsive affective engagement and constraint by long-term plans, goals, or values presumably involves environment-sensitive (...) balancing of these neuromodulators, such as socially dominant primates may show. (shrink)
This response to the open peer commentary discusses what should be the appropriate explanatory scope of a rules versus similarity proposal and accordingly evaluates the Rules versus Similarity one. Additionally, coherence, goals, and commitment are presented as inferential notions, fully consistent with the Rules versus Similarity distinction, that allow us to predict when Rules would be preferred to Similarity.
The normative criterion of attainability, or non-utopianism, is often referred to in discussions of goal-setting rationality. Goals should be realistic, it is argued, since it is unreasonable to adopt goals that cannot be achieved and that are of no use in the selection of means toward their realization. However, despite the proposed requirement of attainability, utopian or semi-utopian goals are often adopted in political contexts, the Swedish Vision Zero for trafflc safety being one example. This paper develops (...) and analyzes four objections that can be raised against the use of utopian goals and to support the normative criterion of attainability: that utopian goals are (1) too imprecise and (2) too far-reaching to guide action effectively, (3) counterproductive, and (4) morally objectionable. A tentative defense of utopian goal-setting is built on the counter-arguments that can be put forward to weaken each of the four objections. (shrink)
Hull et al. see responses and properties of responses as units of selection in behavioral change. However, this perspective cannot account for goal-directed behavior in which organisms employ variable means to reliably attain intended consequences. An alternative perspective is offered in which the intended consequences (goals) of behavior serve as the units of selection in behavior change.
Schools have always been under presure to change or reform. Recent public criticism of schools provoked an attempt to address weaknesses in American education. Goals 2000 is a legislative effort that would reform schools using national goals for education. Selected goals are highlighted and The Language of Education provides a structure to develop understanding of the goals. We conted that Scheffler's method for examining the discussion on education and policies developed from it is valid in the (...) contemporary context. The analysis possible using The Language of Education would bring a missing sense of order to educational policy development and possibly give voice to those often disenfranchised by the process. (shrink)
In previous literature, ethicists mention several goals of Clinical Ethics Support (CES). It is unknown what key persons in healthcare institutions see as main–—and sub-goals of CES. This article presents the goals of CES as perceived by board members and members of ethics support staff. This is part of a Dutch national research using a mixed methods design with questionnaires, focus groups and interviews. Quantitative and qualitative data were analyzed and combined in an iterative process. Four main (...) clusters of goals were found: 1) encouraging an ethical climate, 2) fostering an accountable and transparent organization, 3) developing professionalism and a final goal, overarching the previous three, 4) good care. Most important sub-goals of CES were: attention for ethical issues, raising awareness of ethical issues, fostering ethical reflection and supporting employees. The article ends with a discussion on the desirability to further operationalize the general goal of good care, the context-boundedness of our findings and the need to relate goals of CES to the features of organizational cultures to further improve the integration of CES in healthcare institutions. (shrink)
As Beller, Bender, and Medin (in press) pointed out in their target article, in the contemporary study of culture in psychology, anthropology is virtually invisible. In this commentary, I traced this invisibility to a root conflict in epistemological goals of the two disciplines: Whereas anthropologists value rich description of specific cultures, psychologists aspire to achieve theoretical simplicity. To anthropologists, then, to understand culture is to articulate symbolic systems that are at work in a given location at a given time. (...) In contrast, to psychologists, to understand culture amounts to identifying socio-cultural variables that moderate psychological effects. These divergent epistemological goals dictate both theoretical perspectives and empirical approaches in both disciplines. Yet, the two goals are both valid and in fact complementary. A renewed effort toward integration of the two goals may enrich both disciplines. (shrink)
Abstract In this paper we address three concepts that are much talked about in the animal robotics community. These concepts are (1) representations, (2) goals, and (3) minimal cognition. We want to distinguish between information as an objective commodity and representation as something which involves a user, i.e. a system which accesses and uses information. Information per se lies out there and exists independently of any system that makes use of it. Representations presuppose design and require a user. We (...) want to distinguish different kinds of purposive behaviour, which involve different notions of goals, which themselves appear to be different from the point of view of the agent, the designer and the naive observer. We want to try to define cognition in terms of the minimal criteria that would be acceptable in view of our definitions of representations and goals. We recognise that full?blown cognition may require ingredients other than those of minimal cognition. (shrink)
Goal setting is an important professional method and one of the key concepts that structure a practical field such as physical rehabilitation. However, the actual use of goals in rehabilitation practice is much less straightforward than the general acceptance of the method suggests as goals are frequently unattained, modified or contested. In this paper, I will argue that the difficulties of goal setting in day-to-day medical practice can be understood by unravelling the normative assumptions of goal setting, in (...) this case three different tensions that come along with it. First, goals are developed for a future state that may require activities that clash with necessities of the present situation. Second, professionals in clinical rehabilitation centres elaborate goals for an environment that differs in terms of spatial and social characteristics from the environment in the centre, where people train for the accomplishment of goals. Finally, goal setting requires active patient participation and individual control that sometimes appears impossible, unrealistic, and undesirable. I will describe how professionals deal with these tensions in a creative and dynamic way. With my articulation of the assumptions of goal setting, I hope to contribute to the self-reflection of rehabilitation practitioners as well as to theoretical discussions of goal setting in contexts other than rehabilitation. (shrink)
- Biological and cognitive systems have the capa- bility of developing new goals during phylogenesis of species or during ontogenesis of single individuals. On the other hand, current artificial cognitive systems focus on how achieving a given fixed set of hard-wired goals. They search an optimal solution of a problem, given a set of goals and a set of optimiza- tion criteria. They look for “how” to achieve a given goal. Natural agents develop new goals in (...) order to cope with par- tially unknown and ever changing environment. They must find “what” they want to achieve and not only “how”. The development of new goals on the basis of the interaction with the environment is here defined the “what” problem. The de- velopment of a collection of goals permits to redefine the con- cept of Umwelt in what could be considered the teleological Umwelt of an agent. The objective of this paper is twofold: i) to outline the “what” problem and ii) to describe a robotic archi- tecture capable of addressing it. (shrink)
A comparison of rational addiction and time inconsistency models of addiction highlights the complexities of model selection when researchers have goals in addition to empirical fit. Although currently the two models of addiction are underdetermined by data, each offers a different understanding of addiction; moreover, the two models offer starkly different policy implications. When the goals of understanding and policy usefulness are added to the goal of empirical fit, a more complex account of model selection is needed. First, (...) the principle of parsimony loses some of its force when researchers also value understanding and policy usefulness. Second, when economists value understanding as well as pure prediction, a broader justification of the realism of assumptions becomes possible. Third, because radically different policy advice flows from these empirically equivalent models, this literature underscores the difficulty of separating the seemingly positive analysis of consumer behavior from normative analysis. (shrink)
I argue contra Larry Laudan and Robert Nozick that valuable goals that are impossible (i.e., ideal goals) can be rational, if they are approachable without a known limit. It is argued that Laudan proscribes as irrational impossible goals because he holds a confused scheme for means/ends rationality. Moreover it is argued that it is counterintuitive to hold ideal goals to be irrational. On the other hand I argue that Nozick's generalization of utility theory so as to (...) admit symbolic utilities will allow the characterization of ideal goals as rational. (shrink)
Hagaman’s elementary school experiment has students lists the goals in their lives that will eventually achieve ‘happiness’. These goals range from good health to authority; yet, the article tackles gender roles, futuristic expectations through educational accomplishments, and the concept of meaning.
Food security and food self-sufficiency are important regional goals for the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC). In the long run, success in these areas would reduce the incidence of drought-related mass starvation and the epidemic of malnutrition and undernutrition that exists among some tribal groups. For food production to improve, the governments must commit themselves to increasing the access of peasant farmers to critical agricultural inputs. If they do not take proper action in this area of development planning, (...) domestic food production is likely to stagnate or decline. This study is a broad examination of the relationship between government expenditures on imported inputs and the performance of the domestic food subsector. Because much data on government spending and agricultural production in Africa are unavailable, and those in published form are of suspect validity, the study is undertaken largely as a conceptual overview. The empirical analyses are conducted, therefore, largely to provide a staging ground for the conceptual arguments. (shrink)
We argue and demonstrate that an emphasis on outperforming others may lead to perverse effects. Four studies show that assigning other-referenced performance goals, relative to self-referenced mastery goals, may lead to more interpersonally harmful behavior in an information exchange context. Results of Study 1 indicate that assigned performance goals lead to stronger thwarting behavior and less accurate information giving to an exchange partner than assigned mastery goals. Similarly, in Study 2 performance goal individuals more subtly deceived (...) highly competent opponents relative to lowly competent opponents, who received more blatant treatment. Finally, Studies 3 and 4 show in methodologically complementary ways that tactical deception considerations may account for the interpersonally harmful behavior of performance goal individuals. (shrink)
A user is a system capable of creating and pursuing individual goals. Is it possible to design and implement an artificial user? Traditional artificial systems focus on how achieving a given goal. Most learning algorithms look for an optimal solution of a problem, given a set of optimization criteria and a goal (or a set of goals). However, real agents and real users have to develop new goals in order to cope with their environment. They must find (...) “what” they want to achieve and not only “how”. The development of completely new goals on the basis of the interaction with the environment is here defined the “what” problem. In this paper we will try to define it and we will propose an architecture capable of addressing it. Such an architecture is proposed as the foundation for an artificial user. (shrink)
Moral theory is no substitute for virtue, but virtue is no substitute for moral theory. Many critics of moral theory, with Richard Posner being one prominent recent example, complain that moral theory is too abstract, that it cannot generally be used to derive particular rights and wrongs, and that it does not improve people's characters. Posner complains that it is thus of no use to legal theorists. This article defends moral theory, and to some degree, philosophical inquiry in general, against (...) such pragmatic complaints. I argue that the primary goal of moral theorizing is not pragmatic, but theoretical. Moral theory aims at explanation, at answering certain kinds of questions about morality. Moral theory is meant to deepen our insight into morality but, to count as deepening our insight, it need not provide a formula for calculating what to do in a particular circumstance, nor must it make us more virtuous. I provide an account of the scope and nature of explanation provided by moral theory as well as an account of why such explanations can be worth having, even if they were to have few pragmatic consequences. (shrink)
This paper assesses the scope and limits of a widely influential model of goal-ascription by human infants: the shared-intentionality model. It derives much of its appeal from its ability to integrate behavioral evidence from developmental psychology with cognitive neuroscientific evidence about the role of mirror neuron activity in non-human primates. The central question raised by this model is whether sharing a goal with an agent is necessary and sufficient for ascribing it to that agent. I argue that advocates of the (...) shared-intentionality model underestimate both the distinction between the target and the goal of a goal-directed action and the gap between sharing and ascribing a goal. (shrink)
W.V.Quine and Philip Kitcher have both developed naturalistic approaches to the philosophy of science which are partially based on a skeptical view about the possibility of rational inquiry into certain questions of value. Nonetheless, both Quine and Kitcher do not wish to give up on the normative dimension of the philosophy of science. I argue that Kitcher's recent argument against the specification of the goal of science in terms of truth raises a problem for Quine's account of the normative dimensions (...) of the discipline. However Kitcher’s alternative suggestion, that the goal of science is to be specified in terms of an ideal democratic procedure, does not escape this problem, given Kitcher's own limited skepticism about rational inquiry into certain questions of value. (shrink)
Evidence for infants' sensitivity to behavior being goal oriented leaves it open as to whether they see such behavior as being designed to lead to an external goal or whether they see it, in addition, as being directed by an internal representation of the goal. We point out the difficulty of finding possible criteria for how infants or children view this matter.
So far we have considered what it means for something to be conscious. In this section we place these considerations in a larger framework, exploring the uses of consciousness. Thus we move away from a consideration of separate conscious events îï to a concern with conscious îaccessï, îproblem-solvingï and îcontrolï. Chapter 6 describes the commonly observed "triad" of conscious problem assignment, unconscious computation of routine problems, and conscious display of solutions and subgoals. This triadic pattern is observable in many psychological (...) tasks, including creative processes, mental arithmetic, language comprehension, recall, and voluntary control. It suggests that conscious contents often serve to assign problems to unconscious processors which work out routine details, constrained by a goal context. The interplay between conscious contents and goal contexts also provides a plausible account of the stream of consciousness. In Chapter 7, a contrastive analysis of voluntary versus involuntary actions leads to a modern version of James' ideomotor theory, suggesting that voluntary actions are also recruited by conscious goal images. This view fits smoothly into our developing theory. (shrink)
This article investigates the implications of goal-legislation for legal argumentation. In goal-regulation the legislator formulates the aims to be reached, leaving it to the norm-addressee to draft the necessary rules. On the basis of six types of hard cases, it is argued that in such a system there is hardly room for constructing a ratio legis. Legal interpretation is largely reduced to concretisation. This implies that legal argumentation tends to become highly dependent on expert (non-legal) knowledge.
Here is a thoroughly updated edition of a classic in palliative medicine. Two new chapters have been added to the 1991 edition, along with a new preface summarizing where progress has been made and where it has not in the area of pain management. This book addresses the timely issue of doctor-patient relationships arguing that the patient, not the disease, should be the central focus of medicine. Included are a number of compelling patient narratives. Praise for the first edition "Well (...) written. . .should be read by everyone in medical practice or considering a career in medicine."---JAMA. "Memorable passages, important ideas, and critical analysis. This is a book that clinicians and educators should read."---New England Journal of Medicine. (shrink)
The strong sensorimotor account of perception gives self-induced movements two constitutive roles in explaining visual consciousness. The first says that self-induced movements are vehicles of visual awareness, and for this reason consciousness ‘does not happen in the brain only’. The second says that the phenomenal nature of visual experiences is consists in the action-directing content of vision. In response I suggest, first, that the sense in which visual awareness is active should be explained by appeal to the role of attention (...) in visual consciousness, rather than self-induced movements; and second, that the sense in which perceptual consciousness does not happen in the brain only should be explained by appeal to the relational nature of perceptual consciousness, appeal to which also shows why links with action cannot exhaust phenomenal content. (shrink)
Various considerations are adduced toshow that we require that a testifier know hertestimony. Such a requirement apparentlyimproves testimony. It is argued that the aimof improving testimony explains why we have anduse our concept of knowledge. If we were tointroduce a term of praise for testimony, usingit at first to praise testimony that apparentlyhelped us in our practical projects, it wouldcome to be used as we now use the word``know''.
Several philosophers have used the framework of means/ends reasoning to explain the methodological choices made by scientists and mathematicians (see, e.g., Goldman 1999, Levi 1962, Maddy 1997). In particular, they have tried to identify the epistemic objectives of scientists and mathematicians that will explain these choices. In this paper, the framework of means/ends reasoning is used to study an important methodological choice made by mathematicians. Namely, mathematicians will only use deductive proofs to establish the truth of mathematical claims. In this (...) paper, I argue that none of the epistemic objectives of mathematicians that are currently on the table provide a satisfactory explanation of this rejection of probabilistic proofs. (shrink)
Social relations associated with conventional agricultural exports find their origins in long term associations based on business, family, and class alliances. Working outside these boundaries presents a host of challenges, especially where small producers with little economic or political power are concerned. Yet, in many developing countries, alternative trade organizations (ATOs) based on philosophies of social justice and/or environmental well-being are carving out spaces alongside traditional agricultural export sectors by establishing new channels of trade and marketing. Coffee provides a case (...) in point, with the fair trade and certified organic movements making inroads into the market place. In their own ways, these movements represent a type of economic and social restructuring from below, drawing upon and developing linkages beyond the traditional boundaries of how coffee is produced and traded. An examination of the philosophies of the fair trade and organic coffee movements reveal that the philosophical underpinnings of both certified organic and fair-trade coffee run counter to the historical concerns of coffee production and trade. Associations of small producers involved in these coffees face stiff challenges – both internal and external to their groups. More work, especially in situ fieldwork aimed at uncovering the challenges, benefits, tensions, and successes, is needed to understand better the ways these networks operate in the dynamic agro-food complex. (shrink)
Recent years have witnessed a growing concern that terminally illpatients are needlessly suffering in the dying process. This has ledto demands that physicians become more attentive in the assessment ofsuffering and that they treat their patients as `whole persons.'' Forthe most part, these demands have not fallen on deaf ears. It is nowwidely accepted that the relief of suffering is one of the fundamentalgoals of medicine. Without question this is a positive development.However, while the importance of treating suffering has generally (...) beenacknowledged, insufficient attention has been paid to the question ofwhether different types of terminal suffering require differnt responsesfrom health care professionals. In this paper we introduce a distinctionbetween two types of suffering likely to be present at the end of life,and we argue that physicians must distinguish between these types if theyare to respond appropriately to the suffering of their terminally illpatients. After introducing this distinction and explaining its basis,we further argue that the distinction informs a (novel) principle ofproportionality, one that should guide physicians in balancing theircompeting obligations in responding to terminal suffering. As weexplain, this principle is justified by reference to the intereststerminally ill patients have in restoration, as well as in therelief of suffering, at the end of life. (shrink)
This article analyses the relationship between rights and capabilities in order to get a better grasp of the kind of consequentialism that the capability theory represents. Capability rights have been defined as rights that have a capability as their object (rights to capabilities). Such a definition leaves the relationship between capabilities and rights to a great extent underspecified since nothing is said about the nature of those rights. Hence, it is not precluded that they are mere negative liberties, something that (...) capability theorists deny. On the other hand, to say that all capability rights are substantive in the sense that they themselves are capabilities (rights as capabilities) will in a significant number of cases fail to match well with our intuitions. This article presents an account of the relationship between rights and capabilities that avoids these problems of underspecification and of plausibility, respectively. First, it is argued that to take the idea of capability rights seriously, three new ‘list issues’ need to be addressed. Second, developing a point made by Nussbaum, it is argued that capability rights are to be defined as being purely instrumental. Whereas the resulting analysis of capability rights solves the problems of underspecification and plausibility, it raises doubts about the claim that the capability approach gives more importance to rights than do traditional forms of consequentialism. (shrink)
Nietzsche's critical stance toward morality appears to support some version of moral relativism. Yet he praises some actions and attributes while condemning others. Are these evaluations expressions of his moral prejudices, or is there a basis for them in his thought? Through a close reading of key passages from ThusSpokeZarathustra, I attempt to demonstrate that morality for Nietzsche is the historically situated working-out of will to power and therefore subject to critique on that basis.
The underdetermination of intentional explanation by motor behavior complicates inferences drawn from preserved artifacts in the archaeological record to intentions in their production. Without knowledge of a producer's intentions, inferences drawn from those intentions to required cognitive abilities for having those intentions is also complicated.
Only months following the declaration of the Turkish Republic in October 1923, Turkey’s newly appointed Minister of Public Instruction, Sefa Bey, invited U.S. philosopher and educator John Dewey to survey his fledgling country’s educational system. Having just emerged from a brutal war for independence, Turkey was beginning a process of rapid modernization under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal “Atatürk,” and government officials looked to Dewey for recommendations on how to make Turkish schools agencies of social reform that would advance their (...) state’s identity as a democratic republic. Dewey traveled for two months throughout the country with his wife, Alice, and met with teachers and government officials in .. (shrink)
We urge caution in generalising from content words to function words, in which lexical-to-phonemic feedback might be more likely. Speech perception involves more than word recognition; feedback might be outside the narrow logic of word identification but still be present for other purposes. Finally, we raise the issue of evidence from imaging studies of auditory hallucination.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), an unprecedented set of global commitments to reduce various forms of human deprivation and promote human development, are set to expire in 2015. Despite their promise, the MDGs are flawed in a variety of ways. The development community is already discussing what improved development framework should replace the MDGs. I argue that global justice advocates should focus first on the procedure for developing the post-2015 development framework. Specifically, they should create spaces for citizens, especially (...) the most marginalized and oppressed, to actively deliberate about the form and content of a future global development framework, and ensure that this deliberation receives political uptake in formal intergovernmental processes for deciding the post-2015 framework. (shrink)