The anthology, Feminist Bioethics, edited by Jackie Leach Scully, Laurel E. Baldwin-Ragaven, and Petya Fitzpatrick, examines how feminist bioethics theoretically and methodologically challenges mainstream bioethics, and whether these approaches are useful for exploring difference in other contexts. It offers critical conceptual analyses of "autonomy", "universality", and "trust", and covers topics such as testing for hereditary cancer, prenatal selection for sexual orientation, midwifery, public health, disability, Indigenous research reform in Australia, and China's one child policy.
The last few years have seen feminist bioethics experiencing a growing interest in the theme of disability: how bioethics as a whole can or should approach disability, and how the different perspectives brought by feminist bioethics can contribute to bioethical thinking about it. This interest was apparent in the pioneer work of disabled feminists such as Adrienne Asch, continued through the engagement of feminist theorists like Eva Feder Kittay, and appears more generally in feminist bioethics, for example in Jackie (...) Leach Scully's "Disability Bioethics," in the section on disability in Feminist Bioethics: At the Center, on the Margins (Scully, Baldwin-Ragaven, and Fitzpatrick 2010), and in IJFAB's special issue .. (shrink)
The purpose of this essay is to shed some light on a certain type of sentence, which I call a borderline contradiction. A borderline contradiction is a sentence of the form F a ∧ ¬F a, for some vague predicate F and some borderline case a of F , or a sentence equivalent to such a sentence. For example, if Jackie is a borderline case of ‘rich’, then ‘Jackie is rich and Jackie isn’t rich’ is a borderline (...) contradiction. Many theories of vague language have entailments about borderline contradictions; correctly describing the behavior of borderline contradictions is one of the many tasks facing anyone offering a theory of vague language. Here, I first briefly review claims made by various theorists about these borderline contradictions, attempting to draw out some predictions about the behavior of ordinary speakers. Second, I present an experiment intended to gather relevant data about the behavior of ordinary speakers. Finally, I discuss the experimental results in light of several different theories of vagueness, to see what explanations are available. My conclusions are necessarily tentative; I do not attempt to use the present experiment to demonstrate that any single theory is incontrovertibly true. Rather, I try to sketch the auxiliary hypotheses that would need to be conjoined to several extant theories of vague language to predict the present result, and offer some considerations regarding the plausibility of these various hypotheses. In the end, I conclude that two of the theories I consider are better-positioned to account for the observed data than are the others. But the field of logically-informed research on people’s actual responses to vague predicates is young; surely as more data come in we will learn a great deal more about which (if any) of these theories best accounts for the behavior of ordinary speakers. (shrink)
This article reviews the incredible growth of electronic commerce (e-commerce) and presents ethical issues that have emerged. Security concerns, spamming, Web sites that do not carry an "advertising" label, cybersquatters, online marketing to children, conflicts of interest, manufacturers competing with intermediaries online, and "dinosaurs" are discussed. The power of the Internet to spotlight issues is noted as a significant force in providing a kind of self-regulation that supports an ethical e-commerce environment.
When I used to walk all the time, and especially before I started using a stick, I found most people acted at best as if I was not there, and at worst as if I was a drunk who deserved all I got.… [They] found it particularly hard to deal with my speech impairment, especially if they met me when I was sitting down, and hence had no prior warning … they would go red, look away or sometimes even walk (...) off, leaving me in mid-sentence. None of this was calculated to enhance my self-esteem.Over the last forty years, the social and political status of disabled people has changed almost beyond recognition (Campbell and Oliver 1996; Shakespeare 2006). Movements to increase the social inclusion of disabled people are found .. (shrink)
This paper is based on linked qualitative studies of the donation of human embryos to stem cell research carried out in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and China. All three studies used semi-structured interview protocols to allow an in-depth examination of donors’ and non-donors’ rationales for their donation decisions, with the aim of gaining information on contextual and other factors that play a role in donor decisions and identifying how these relate to factors that are more usually included in evaluations made (...) by theoretical ethics. Our findings have implications for one factor that has previously been suggested as being of ethical concern: the role of gratitude. Our empirical work shows no evidence that interpersonal gratitude is an important factor, but it does support the existence of a solidarity-based desire to “give something back” to medical research. Thus, we use empirical data to expand and refine the conceptual basis of bioethically theorizing the IVF–stem cell interface. (shrink)
This paper argues that the existence of a canon of established and privileged texts in the primary literacy curriculum in England can be traced historically and has informed current national policy and practice. This canonisation of a particular set of literature has served to marginalise popular cultural and media texts, often the preferred texts of children in contemporary society. The paper examines the historical development of an established, hegemonic body of texts and critically analyses current national curricula frameworks for primary (...) literacy in order to determine the way in which reading material is framed. It is argued that current national policy enshrines particular textual traditions at the expense of more popular forms of material and that this has major implications for the relevance of the future primary literacy curriculum. (shrink)
In November 2004, the Swiss population voted to accept a law on research using human embryonic stem cells. In this paper, we use Switzerland as a case study of the shaping of the ostensibly ethical debate on the use of embryos in embryonic stem cell research by legal, political and social constraints. We describe how the national and international context affected the content and wording of the law. We discuss the consequences of the revised law's separation of stem cell research (...) from other forms of embryo research, its definitions of embryo and of spare embryos, and the introduction of donorship into the Swiss ethical debate on IVF. We focus on the exclusion of the potential embryo donors' voices and perspectives from the debate, and consider the effects of this exclusion on ethical discourse and the political process. (shrink)
In this paper, we explore the desires that play a role at the palliative stage and relate them to various approaches to patient autonomy. What attitude can physicians and other caregivers take to the desires of patients at the palliative stage? We examine this question by introducing five physicians who are consulted by Jackie, an imaginary patient with metastatic lung carcinoma. By combining the models of the physician-patient relationship developed by Emanuel and Emanuel (1992) and the Hellenistic approaches to (...) desires analyzed by Nussbaum (1994), five different ways of dealing with desires in the context of palliative care are sketched. The story of Jackie shows that desires are to a certain extent responsive to reasoning. In the palliative process, that can be a reason to devote attention to the desires of patients and caregivers and to determine which desires need to be fulfilled, which are less important, and how they are linked to emotions the patient has. (shrink)
Doing Science + Culture is a groundbreaking book on the cultural study of science, technology and medicine. Outstanding contributors including life and physical scientists, anthropologists, sociologists, literature/communication scholars and historians of science who focus on the analysis of science and scientific discourses within culture: what it means to "do" science. The essays are organized into three broad topics: transnational science and globalization (the movements of people, material resources and knowledges that underwrite scientific practices within and across borders of nation-states and (...) regions); emerging subjects and subjectivities (of research and researchers); and postdisciplinary pedagogies and curricula (the institutional settings of classroom, laboratory, department and academic division). Contributors: Itty Abraham, Anne Balsamo, Karen Barad, Michael M.J. Fischer, Joan H. Fujimura, Scott F. Gilbert, Emily Martin, Jackie Orr, Roddey Reid, Molly Rhodes and Sharon Traweek. (shrink)
Jablonka & Lamb (J&L) refer only implicitly to aspects of cognitive competence that preceded both evolution of human language and language learning in children. These aspects are important for evolution and development but need to be understood using the design-stance, which the book adopts only for molecular and genetic processes, not for behavioural and symbolic processes. Design-based analyses reveal more routes from genome to behaviour than J&L seem to have considered. This both points to gaps in our understanding of evolution (...) and epigenetic processes and may lead to possible ways of filling the gaps. (shrink)
This note is in part a response to Alastair Hannay's review discussion, ?A Kind of Philosopher: Comments in Connection with Some Recent Books on Kierkegaard? (Inquiry, Vol. 18 , No. 3). In his review, Hannay states that Kierkegaard and philosophy appear to be on the road to a reconciliation, and asks What is behind this get?together if it is one??. I suggest that in some remarks touching on Kierkegaard's theory of Truth, Hannay has touched on the ground for that ?get?together?, (...) a Pyrrhonian scepticism. (shrink)
In this age of DIY Health—a present that has been described as a time of “ludic capitalism”—one is constantly confronted with the injunction to manage risk by means of making healthy choices and of informed participation in various self-surveillant technologies of bioinformatics. Neoliberal governmentality has been redacted by poststructuralist scholars of bioethics as defined by the two-fold emergence of, on the one hand, populations and on the other, the self-determining individual—as biopolitical entities. In this article, we provide a genealogical-phenomenological schematization (...) (GPS analysis) of the narration of cancer in relation to “sexual minority populations.” Canonical discourses concerning minority sexualities are articulated by means of a logic of “inclusion and reification” that organizes the interiorization of norms of embodied relationality, and a positive liaison with biomedical technologies and techniques in the taking up of a rhetorical style of biographical compliance. Neoliberal DIY Health logics conflate participation with agency, and institute norms of recognition that constrain visibility to: citizens who make healthy choices and manage risk, heroic cancer stories, stories of the reconstruction of states of normalcy, or of survival against all odds. Alternatively, we trace the performative articulations of queer narrative practices that constitute an ephemeral, nomadic praxiology—a doing of knowledge in cancer’s queer narration. Queer cancer narrative practices represent a relationship to health and embodiment that is predicated, not on normalcy, but predicated on troubling norms, on artful failure, and on engaging in a kind of affective mapping that might be thought constitutive of a speculative bioethical relation to the self as other. (shrink)
Curriculum 2000 has meant significant change for the post-16 sector. New qualifications have been introduced (e.g. the new Advanced Subsidiary examination) and the number of students involved in education and training post-16 has increased. In this scenario how can the standards of new qualifications, particularly the new Advanced Subsidiary examinations, be compared with those of previous qualifications? One method is to use the prior achievement of candidates (i.e. GCSE results) as a basis for comparison of their results on subsequent qualifications (...) (i.e. A levels and AS). This method of comparability and its limitations will be explored using examples with actual data. (shrink)
This is a collection of fifty essays featured in Edward R. Murrow's 1950s This I Believe radio series. It includes such celebrities of the twentieth century as Pearl Buck, Norman Cousins, Margaret Mead, James Michener, Jackie Robinson, and Harry Truman. With an introduction by Edward R. Murrow and a foreword by Dan Gediman, executive producer of the contemporary This I Believe radio broadcasts, heard weekly on public radio.
This paper reports on a method for the development of grade descriptors for an international Economics A-level syllabus. The syllabus assessment provided the opportunity to explore how different examination paper structures (compulsory short answer written questions and longer essay type questions) and different mark schemes affected this relatively new method for developing grade descriptors. Quantitative analyses of candidates' marks on each question on the November 1999 examination were carried out to identify the grade (A to E) at which candidates 'mastered' (...) the question. Qualitative differences between answers to the question from candidates achieving different grades were identified by expert judges using Kelly's Repertory Grid. These qualitative data were edited to form grade descriptors which were used in the process of grading economics examinations taken in summer 2000, and their usefulness was evaluated. The effects of the question choice and type on the development process are discussed. (shrink)
This article outlines aconceptual framework for examining recentoutbreaks of E. coli O157:H7 infectionassociated with the consumption of beef in theUnited States. We argue that beef produced inthis country is generally safer frombacteriological contamination than in the past.Paradoxically, increasing intensification andconcentration in the meat subsector since theearly 1980s has (a) altered agro-food ecology,including characteristics of foodborne bacteriaand human physiology; (b) created conditionsfavorable for the rapid amplification of lowconcentrations of pathogens; and (c) reducedthe beef industry's flexibility to introducechanges necessary to preclude and/or (...) controlthe rapid spread of pathogens in meat and meatproducts. As a result, beef industry currentlyis capable of producing large quantities ofbacteriologically safe meat whilesimultaneously becoming more vulnerable to foodcontaminations that can be fatal in some cases.The limitations and effectiveness of a newregulatory regime, the HACCP (Hazard Analysisand Critical Control Points) system as well asother efforts to decontaminate the beef supplyare discussed. (shrink)