Metaphysical and epistemological dualism informs much contemporary discussion of the relationships of science and religion, in particular in relation to the neurosciences and the religious understanding of the human person. This dualism is a foundational artifact of modern culture; however, contemporary scientific research and historical theological scholarship encourage a more holistic view wherein human personhood is most fittingly understood as an emergent phenomenon of, but not simply reducible to, evolutionary and developmental neurobiology.
This volume is a direct result of a conference held at Princeton University to honor George A. Miller, an extraordinary psychologist. A distinguished panel of speakers from various disciplines -- psychology, philosophy, neuroscience and artificial intelligence -- were challenged to respond to Dr. Miller's query: "What has happened to cognition? In other words, what has the past 30 years contributed to our understanding of the mind? Do we really know anything that wasn't already clear to William James?" (...) Each participant tried to stand back a little from his or her most recent work, but to address the general question from his or her particular standpoint. The chapters in the present volume derive from that occasion. (shrink)
Earlier in the pages of this journal (p 481), Wendler and Miller offered the "net risks test" as an alternative approach to the ethical analysis of benefits and harms in research. They have been vocal critics of the dominant view of benefit-harm analysis in research ethics, which encompasses core concepts of duty of care, clinical equipoise and component analysis. They had been challenged to come up with a viable alternative to component analysis which meets five criteria. The alternative must (...) (1) protect research subjects; (2) allow clinical research to proceed; (3) explain how physicians may offer trial enrolment to their patients; (4) address the challenges posed by research containing a mixture of interventions and (5) define ethical standards according to which the risks and potential benefits of research may be consistently evaluated. This response argues that the net risks test meets none of these criteria and concludes that it is not a viable alternative to component analysis. (shrink)
Did the Gulf War defend moral principle or Western oil interests? Is violent pornography an act of free speech or an act of violence against women? In Casuistry and Modern Ethics , Richard B. Miller sheds new light on the potential of casuistry--case-based reasoning--for resolving these and other questions of conscience raised by the practical quandaries of modern life. Rejecting the packaging of moral experience within simple descriptions and inflexible principles, Miller argues instead for identifying and making sense (...) of the ethically salient features of individual cases. Because this practical approach must cope with a diverse array of experiences, Miller draws on a wide variety of diagnostic tools from such fields as philosophy of science, legal reasoning, theology, literary theory, hermeneutics, and moral philosophy. Opening new avenues for practical reasoning, Miller's interdisciplinary work will challenge scholars who are interested in the intersections of ethics and political philosophy, cultural criticism, and debates about method in religion and morality. (shrink)
Franklin G. Miller and colleagues have stimulated renewed interest in research ethics through their work criticizing clinical equipoise. Over three years and some twenty articles, they have also worked to articulate a positive alternative view on norms governing the conduct of clinical research. Shared presuppositions underlie the positive and critical dimensions of Miller and colleagues' work. However, recognizing that constructive contributions to the field ought to enjoy priority, we presently scrutinize the constructive dimension of their work. We argue (...) that it is wanting in several respects. (shrink)
The Federalist, written by “Publius” (Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison) in 1787-1788 in defense of the proposed constitution of the United States, endorses a fundamental principle of political legitimacy: namely, “it is the reason of the public alone, that ought to control and regulate the government.” This essay argues that this principle—the rule of reason—may be traced back to Plato. Part I of the essay seeks to show that Plato's Statesman offers a clearer understanding of the rule (...) of reason than his more famous Republic, and it also indicates how this principle gave rise to the ideal of constitutionalism, which was adopted and reformulated by Aristotle, Polybius, and Cicero, as well as moderns including Locke and Montesquieu. Part II argues that The Federalist agrees with Plato when it argues that popular sovereignty must be tempered by the rule of reason. A proper distance should be maintained between the people and the actual exercise of power in order that political decisions be based on reason rather than passion. The people must therefore act through a federal system divided between national government and state governments, and these governments must themselves possess separated powers which control each other by means of checks and balances. Indeed, federalism itself may be viewed as a modern counterpart of Plato's “art of weaving,” which unites naturally disparate and opposed parts of the city-state into a concordant whole. In declaring, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary,” The Federalist concedes that politics is the art of the possible. But statesmanship is not an exercise in pragmatism devoid of principles. Here “Publius” shares Plato's vision of politics as a “second sailing,” that is, an attempt to approximate the ideal of rational governance as far as possible in ordinary politics. Footnotesa This paper was originally presented at a meeting of the Symposium on Political Thought at Bowling Green State University. I am very grateful to the participants for their helpful suggestions, including Peter Celello, Albert Dzur, Neil Englehart, Jefferson Holcomb, David Jackson, Melissa Miller, Terrence Watson, and Adam White. I also received valuable criticisms from David Keyt, Ellen Frankel Paul, and the other contributors to this volume. (shrink)
Heated debate surrounds the question whether the relationship between physician-researcher and patient-subject is governed by a duty of care. Miller and Weijer argue that fiduciary law provides a strong legal foundation for this duty, and for articulating the terms of the relationship between physician-researcher and patient-subject.
Miller and Rodgers (2001) proposed a central nervous system based Ontogenetic Bonding System that operates across the life course to promote succorant, 1 affiliative, sexual, and nurturant bonds. I discuss features of this theoretical framework that can inform Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky's (D&M-S's) model. Most important, I suggest that the affiliative reward processes D&M-S describe are better conceptualized as subserving the affect/motivation of affection. Footnotes1 “Succorance” is a term coined by Murray (1938) to describe a general tendency to seek the (...) help and protection of others. (shrink)
Athens or Jerusalem? By Tertullian.--Philosophy the handmaid of theology, by Clement of Alexandria.--Faith in search of understanding, by St. Augustine.--Revelation and analogy, by St. Thomas Aquinas.--The mystic way, by M. Eckhart.--The darkened intellect, by J. Calvin.--The reasons of the heart, by B. Pascal.--Faith, reason, and enthusiasm, by J. Locke.--Miracles and the skeptic, by D. Hume.--The limits of reason, by I. Kant.--Truth and subjectivity, by S. Kierkegaard.--In justification of faith, by W. James.--Religion as poetry, by G. Santayana.--Faith and symbols, by (...) P. Tillich.--Three parables on falsification, by A. Flew, R. M. Hare, and B. Mitchell.--For further reading (p. 233-235). (shrink)
Millions of children who were born during the first decade after the Islamic revolution in Iran are now reaching the age of marriage and childbearing. Short spacing between marriage and the birth of the first child has the potential to cause an excessive and costly increase in the growth of population in Iran. Research into the motivations for the birth of first child among newly married couples can create a knowledge base that will enable health centres to help these couples (...) make better decisions about the timing of their first pregnancy. Using a consecutive sampling technique and administering Miller’s Childbearing Questionnaire, data were gathered regarding the childbearing motivations and desires of 300 couples who had been referred to the Shiraz Health Center for premarital counselling. The Childbearing Questionnaire, with some minor modifications, was found to be a valid and reliable instrument for measuring the childbearing motivations of newly married couples of Shiraz County, Fars Province, Iran. The utility of these findings for counselling in health centres is discussed. Based on the results, a longitudinal study is being designed that will allow the development of models for predicting the time of first pregnancy after marriage. (shrink)
Following the general formalism presented by Rezzolla, Ahmedov and Miller, (1) we here derive analytic solutions of the electromagnetic fields equations in the internal and external background spacetime of a slowly rotating highly conducting magnetized neutron star. The star is assumed to be isolated and in vacuum, with a dipolar magnetic field not aligned with the axis of rotation. Our results indicate that the electromagnetic fields of a slowly rotating neutron star are modified by general relativistic effects arising from (...) both the monopolar and the dipolar parts of the gravitational field. The results presented here differ from the ones discussed by Rezzolla, Ahmedov and Miller (1) mainly in that we here consider the interior magnetic field to be dipolar with the same radial dependence as the external one. While this assumption might not be a realistic one, it should be seen as the application of our formalism to a case often discussed in the literature. (shrink)
While every health care system stakeholder would seem to be concerned with obtaining the greatest value from a given technology, there is often a disconnect in the perception of value between a technology’s promoters and those responsible for the ultimate decision as to whether or not to pay for it. Adopting an empirical ethics approach, this paper examines how five Canadian medical device manufacturers, via their websites, frame the corporate “value proposition” of their innovation and seek to respond to what (...) they consider the key expectations of their customers. Our analysis shows that the manufacturers’ framing strategies combine claims that relate to valuable socio-technical goals and features such as prevention, efficiency, sense of security, real-time feedback, ease of use and flexibility, all elements that likely resonate with a large spectrum of health care system stakeholders. The websites do not describe, however, how the innovations may impact health care delivery and tend to obfuscate the decisional trade-offs these innovations represent from a health care system perspective. Such framing strategies, we argue, tend to bolster physicians’ and patients’ expectations and provide a large set of stakeholders with powerful rhetorical tools that may influence the health policy arena. Because these strategies are difficult to counter given the paucity of evidence and its limited use in policymaking, establishing sound collective health care priorities will require solid critiques of how certain kinds of medical devices may provide a better (i.e., more valuable) response to health care needs when compared to others. (shrink)
In this paper we describe the objectives of teaching medical ethics to undergraduates and the teaching methods used. We describe a workshop used in the University of Liverpool Department of Psychiatry, designed to enhance ethical sensitivity in psychiatry. The workshop reviews significant historical and current errors in the ethical practice of psychiatry and doctors' defence mechanisms against accepting responsibility for deficiencies in ethical practice. The workshop explores the student doctors' own group ethos in response to ethical dilemmas, and demonstrates how (...) the individual contributes to and is responsible for the group ethos through participation and also through nonparticipation. The student feedback about the workshop is reviewed. The Toronto Ethical Sensitivity Instrument was used to assess whether or not the workshop altered sensitivity. Compared to a control group the attenders' sensitivity was significantly increased (on Student's t-test p equals or is less than 0.002). (shrink)
This essay argues on behalf of a hybrid theory for an ethics of self-defense understood as the Forfeiture-Partiality Theory. The theory weds the idea that a malicious attacker forfeits the right to life to the idea that we are permitted to prefer one's life to another's in cases of involuntary harm or threat. The theory is meant to capture our intuitions both about instances in which we can draw a moral asymmetry between attacker and victim and cases in which we (...) cannot. I develop the theory by attending to instances of intentional, villainous harm and instances of involuntary danger—the latter of which are a matter of bad luck. I call some bad luck cases "Interpersonal Lottery Conflicts." These cases refer to potentially lethal conflicts into which parties are thrown as victims of circumstance. Although neither party has a moral advantage over another, that fact does not preclude permissible self-defense. (shrink)
Memory brings the past into the present. It is a feature of human temporality, contingency, and identity. Attention to memory's psychological and social importance suggests new vistas for work in religious ethics. This essay examines four recent works on memory's importance for self-interpretation, social criticism, and public justice. My focus will be on normative questions about memory. The works under review ask whether, and on what terms, we have an obligation to remember, whether memory is linked to neighbors near and (...) distant, how memory is related to justice and forgiveness, and whether memory sits easily with the kind of relationships that allegedly characterize life in democratic public culture. (shrink)
This essay argues that the ethics of humanitarian intervention cannot be readily subsumed by the ethics of just war without due attention to matters of political and moral motivation. In the modern era, a just war draws directly from self-benefitting motives in wars of self-defense, or indirectly in wars that enforce international law or promote the global common good. Humanitarian interventions, in contrast, are intuitively admirable insofar as they are other-regarding. That difference poses a challenge to the casuistry of humanitarian (...) intervention because it makes it difficult to reason by analogy from the case of war to the case of humanitarian intervention. The author develops this point in dialogue with Michael Walzer, the U.S. Catholic bishops, and President Clinton. He concludes by showing how a casuistry of intervention is possible, developing a motivational rationale that draws on the Golden Rule. (shrink)
This essay gathers Wittgenstein''s comments and considerations concerning the philosophical investigation of time. Time here serves as an exemplary instance of Wittgenstein''s manner of philosophical critique and his turn to a new practice of philosophy. His comments on time demonstrate this two-fold movement. On the one hand, he concerns himself with pointing out thewrong turnsphilosophers take when they ask:What is time?These include a semantic error, the over reliance on figurative language, the felt need for definitions, and a mistaken assumption about (...) the task of philosophy that underlies these problems. On the other hand, he concerns himself with dwelling upon and describing time as an intricate and dynamic interweaving, a manifold and ongoing entanglement of human practices. (shrink)
This essay argues that the affective component inherent in the enthymeme is the essence of aristotle's concept of the enthymeme as practical reasoning. 'affective component' refers to emotions and feelings. The three proofs of the thesis are the etymology of 'enthymeme', Aristotle's works on human action and practical wisdom, And aristotle's rhetoric. These sources show the inherent relation between enthymemes and phronesis, Or practical reasoning, Not nous, Or abstract intellect.
Margaret Mohrmann, Paul Lauritzen, and Sumner Twiss raise questions about my account of basic interests, liberal theory, and the challenges of multiculturalism as developed in "Children, Ethics, and Modern Medicine." Their questions point to foundational issues regarding the justification and limitation of parental authority to make decisions on behalf of children in medical and other contexts. One of the central questions in that regard is whether adults' decisions deserve to be respected, especially when they seem contrary to a child's or (...) adolescent's basic interests. Questions about respect, in turn, focus attention on others' decisions about what seems good for families and children, decisions that may be paternalistic or utilitarian. Such decisions are further complicated by a child's or adolescent's budding autonomy and need for respect and recognition. Pediatric bioethics grounded in an account of a child's basic interests produces a theory of negative and positive rights for assessing adults' actions in relation to children, especially (but not only) when adults demand respect in their expressions of care. (shrink)
This chapter attempts to derive, define, and specify norms governing the relationship between physician-researcher and patient-subject, and to explore their interconnection. It argues that rooting the relationship between physician-researcher and patient-subject in a normative theory of trust is promising. It enables the derivation, definition, and specification of norms governing the relationship and appreciation of their interconnection.