v. 1. Darwinism and politics ; The principles of state interference -- v. 2. Darwin and Hegel -- v. 3. Natural rights -- v. 4. Studies in political and social ethics ; Plato -- v. 5. Philosophical studies -- v. 6. Miscellaneous writings..
Structural realism is an attempt to balance the competing demands of the No Miracles Argument and the Pessimistic Meta-Induction. In this paper I trace the development of the structuralist idea through the work of one of its leading advocates, John Worrall. I suggest that properly thought through what the structuralist is offering or should be offering is not an account of how to divide up a theory into two parts—structure and ontology—but (perhaps surprisingly) a certain kind of theory of meaning—semantic (...) holism. I explain how a version of structural realism can be developed using Davidson’s theory of meaning and some advantages this has over the Ramsey-sentence version of structuralism. (shrink)
Orthodox physicalism has a problem with mental causation. If physics is complete and mental events are not identical to physical events (as multiple-realisation arguments imply) it seems as though there is no causal work for the mental to do. This paper examines some recent attempts to overcome this problem by analysing causation in terms of counterfactuals or conditional probabilities. It is argued that these solutions cannot simultaneously capture the force of the completeness of physics and make room for mental causation.
Over recent decades there has been a growing interest in the question of whether computer programs are capable of genuinely creative activity. Although this notion can be explored as a purely philosophical debate, an alternative perspective is to consider what aspects of the behaviour of a program might be noted or measured in order to arrive at an empirically supported judgement that creativity has occurred. We sketch out, in general abstract terms, what goes on when a potentially creative program is (...) constructed and run, and list some of the relationships (for example, between input and output) which might contribute to a decision about creativity. Specifically, we list a number of criteria which might indicate interesting properties of a program’s behaviour, from the perspective of possible creativity. We go on to review some ways in which these criteria have been applied to actual implementations, and some possible improvements to this way of assessing creativity. (shrink)
This study examines the relation between firms’ corporate philanthropic giving and their performance in three other social domains – employee relations, environmental issues, and product safety. Based on a sample of 384 U.S. companies and using data pooled from 1998 through 2000, we find that worse performers in the other social areas are both more likely to make charitable contributions and that the extent of their giving is larger than for better performers. Analyses of each separate area of social performance, (...) however, indicate that the relation between giving and negative social performance (cited concerns) only holds for the environmental issues and product safety areas. We find no significant association between corporate philanthropy and employee relations concerns. In general, these findings suggest that corporate philanthropy may be more a tool of legitimization than a measure of corporate social responsibility. (shrink)
Increasingly, the role of health research in improving the discrepancies in health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations in developed countries is being recognised. Along with this comes the recognition that health research must be conducted in a manner that is culturally appropriate and ethically sound. Two key documents have been produced in Australia, known as The Road Map and The Guidelines, to provide theoretical and philosophical direction to the ethics of Indigenous health research. These documents identify research themes considered (...) critical to improving the health of the nation’s Indigenous peoples. They also provide values that, from an Indigenous perspective, are foundational to an ethical research process. This paper examines these research themes and values within the context of a current longitudinal birth cohort study of Indigenous infants and children in south-west Sydney: the Gudaga Study. Considerable time and effort have been invested in being true to the values stated in these documents: reciprocity; respect; equality; responsibility; survival and protection; and spirit and integrity. We have learnt that it is vital to be true to these values when conducting Indigenous health research—to quite literally “walk the talk”. (shrink)
The author contends that overworking residents cannot be ethically justified. There is evidence that overwork is detrimental both to the resident and to the patient. In addition, thu argument that working long hours is essential to maintain medicine's status as a profession is analyzed. The claim cannot be supported by definitions of professionalism. Although Flexner's definition does specify altruism as an essential component, it does not justify long working hours for residents. Altruism is obligatory in some limited cases, but only (...) when it is required to fulfill some contractual obligation. Keywords: professionalism, altruism, residency, medical education CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
The author discusses conceptual problems in psychiatry, illustrated by a debate over inclusion of a new disorder, masochistic personality disorder, in DSM-III-R, the manual of psychiatric diagnoses. While the DSM committee has attempted to avoid assumptions about theory and values in an attempt to be scientific, this has proved impossible, as theory is an integral part of scientific observation and values are a prerequisite for any judgment. The foundation for psychiatry cannot be theory – it can only be patient need. (...) Keywords: psychiatry, diagnosis, disease, illness, mental illness, women CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)