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)
This article engages legal positivism conceived of as a political project rather than as a descriptive account of law. Jeremy Waldron’s ‘democratic jurisprudence’ represents such a politicized legal positivism—a normative argument for legal positivism rather than a non-normative claim that legal positivism is true. Unsurprisingly, the essential institutional elements of this democratic jurisprudence turn out to be the familiar features of classical legal positivism, and the case Waldron makes against judicial review grows out of his overarching political position. But, consequently, (...) if there are reasons to doubt the strength of Waldron’s case against judicial review, there are surely reasons to doubt the normative bases of his case for positivism, and in turn, descriptive or conceptual positivism more generally. This article investigates this claim, noting that Waldron’s political case for positivism is based on Kantian notions about moral autonomy given circumstances of moral disagreement, but that Waldron’s conclusions about the role of judges undermine both these Kantian foundations and the aims of democratic jurisprudence. While Waldron’s arguments revive a tradition of political positivism that goes back to Bentham, engagement with those arguments suggests that legal positivism ultimately must embrace a radical democratic form of anti-constitutionalism. (shrink)
This paper argues that two characteristics of social life impinge importantly upon medical attempts to maintain high ethical standards. The first is the tension between the role of ethics in protecting the patient and maintaining the solidarity of the profession. The second derives from the observation that the foundations of contemporary medical ethics were laid at a time of one-to-one doctor-patient relations while nowadays most doctors work in or are associated with large-scale organisations. Records cease to be the property of (...) individual doctors, become available not only to other doctors but also to educational and social work personnel. Making records openly available to patients is suggested as the only antidote to this irreversible loss of individual practitioner control. The importance for doctors of understanding the nature of professional and bureaucratic organisations in order to deal with the hazards involved is stressed as is the responsibility of the General Medical Council to regulate medical competence as well as personal behaviour. (shrink)
Each magnetic grain in a rock contains ferromagnetic domains with a range of sizes, the small ones being magnetically harder and responding less readily to demagnetizing fields than the larger ones. By exposing a grain which has a thermoremanent magnetic moment to an alternating field, domains larger than a critical size are demagnetized, leaving the smaller domains unaffected. Domain size distributions are calculated for spherical and cubical grains and used to derive characteristic curves of the fraction of an initial thermoremanent (...) magnetization which remains after demagnetization in a progressively increasing field. Coercive force, saturation remanence and anhysteretic magnetization are also calculated from the domain size distributions. Irregularities of grain shape are shown to lead to a pseudosingle domain behaviour which is responsible both for very hard components of thermoremanent momenta and for the fact that small, randomly directed moments may be found to remain after rooks have been demagnetized in the highest fields. (shrink)
ExcerptJohn Milbank's The Future of Love is a compilation of essays written over the last twenty-five years from which a nuanced political theology takes shape. As a collection of essays, it is impossible to find here a single unitary voice, but nor is that the point. The point, I believe, is to give a sample of Milbank's tripartite method of critique, which incorporates literature, theology, and philosophy. From this sample a string of interwoven arguments emerge: the need to prioritize excellence (...) over efficiency in all walks of life; that this demands a hierarchy of values; that a hierarchy of values…. (shrink)
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.
I once heard a colleague opine that we would be better off if there were a 50-year moratorium on philosophers using the word 'autonomy'. He went on to argue that we could get along just fine without the word, and that a good number of confusions would be dispelled along the way. This collection of new papers goes a long way toward responding to this challenge in ways that both undercut and vindicate aspects of this complaint.
James Stacy Taylor advances a thorough argument for the legalization of markets in current (live) human kidneys. The market is seemly the most abhorrent type of market, a market where the least well-off sell part of their body to the most well off. Though rigorously defended overall, his arguments concerning exploitation are thin. I examine a number of prominent bioethicists’ account of exploitation: most importantly, Ruth Sample’s exploitation as degradation. I do so in the context of Taylor’s argument, with the (...) aim of buttressing Taylor’s position that a regulated kidney market is morally allowable. I argue that Sample fails to provide normative grounds consistent with her claim that exploitation is wrong. I then reformulate her account for consistency and plausibility. Still, this seemingly more plausible view does not show that Taylor’s regulated kidney market is prohibitively exploitative of impoverished persons. I tack into place one more piece of support for Taylor’s conclusion. (shrink)
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)
One of the most widespread objections to legalizing a market in human organs is that such legalization would stimulate the black market in human organs. Unfortunately, the proponents of this argument fail to explain how such stimulation will occur. To remedy thus, two accounts of how legalizing markets in human organs could stimulate the black market in them are developed in this paper. Yet although these accounts remedy the lacuna in the anti-market argument from the black market neither of them (...) provide reason to believe that legalizing an organ markets would stimulate the black market in organs. Despite its prevalence, then, the argument from the black market should be rejected. (shrink)
A growing body of empirical literature challenges philosophers’ reliance on intuitions as evidence based on the fact that intuitions vary according to factors such as cultural and educational background, and socio-economic status. Our research extends this challenge, investigating Lehrer’s appeal to the Truetemp Case as evidence against reliabilism. We found that intuitions in response to this case vary according to whether, and which, other thought experiments are considered first. Our results show that compared to subjects who receive the Truetemp Case (...) first, subjects first presented with a clear case of knowledge are less willing to attribute knowledge in the Truetemp Case, and subjects first presented with a clear case of nonknowledge are more willing to attribute knowledge in the Truetemp Case. We contend that this instability undermines the supposed evidential status of these intuitions, such that philosophers who deal in intuitions can no longer rest comfortably in their armchairs. (shrink)
A growing body of empirical literature challenges philosophers’ reliance on intuitions as evidence based on the fact that intuitions vary according to factors such as cultural and educational background, and socio-economic status. Our research extends this challenge, investigating Lehrer's appeal to the Truetemp Case as evidence against reliabilism. We found that intuitions in response to this case varyaccording to whether, and which, other thought-experiments are considered first. Our results show that compared to subjects who receive the Truetemp Case first, subjects (...) first presented with a clear case of knowledge are less willing to attribute knowledge in the Truetemp Case, and subjects first presented with a clear case of non-knowledge are more willing to attribute knowledge in the Truetemp Case. Wecontend that this instability undermines the supposed evidential status of these intuitions, such that philosophers who deal in intuitions can no longer rest comfortably in their armchairs. (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)
It is widely accepted that a person can be harmed by events that occur after her death. The most influential account of how persons can suffer such posthumous harm has been provided by George Pitcher and Joel Feinberg. Yet, despite its influence (or perhaps because of it) the Feinberg-Pitcher account of posthumous harm has been subject to several well-known criticisms. Surprisingly, there has been no attempt to defend this account of posthumous harm against these criticisms, either by philosophers who work (...) on the metaphysics of death or by those who draw upon this account of posthumous harm in their work in other philosophical fields. This paper will rectify this omission, by defending this view against the criticisms it has been subject to—a defense that will both be of intrinsic interest to those who work on the metaphysics of death and that will remedy the lacunae in the wide-ranging philosophical literature that draws upon this account of how posthumous harm is possible. (shrink)