The Clinical Ethics Credentialing Project (CECP) was intiated in 2007 in response to the lack of uniform standards for both the training of clinical ethics consultants, and for evaluating their work as consultants. CECP participants, all practicing clinical ethics consultants, met monthly to apply a standard evaluation instrument, the “QI tool”, to their consultation notes. This paper describes, from a qualitative perspective, how participants grappled with applying standards to their work. Although the process was marked by resistance and disagreement, it (...) was also noteworthy for the sustained engagement by participants over the year of the project, and a high level of acceptance by its conclusion. (shrink)
The Clinical Ethics Credentialing Project (CECP) was intiated in 2007 in response to the lack of uniform standards for both the training of clinical ethics consultants, and for evaluating their work as consultants. CECP participants, all practicing clinical ethics consultants, met monthly to apply a standard evaluation instrument, the QI tool , to their consultation notes. This paper describes, from a qualitative perspective, how participants grappled with applying standards to their work. Although the process was marked by resistance and disagreement, (...) it was also noteworthy for the sustained engagement by participants over the year of the project, and a high level of acceptance by its conclusion. (shrink)
The case law surrounding surrogacy, in vitro fertilization, genetic donation, and legal parenthood is notoriously confused. Yet the issues involved in these cases are of fundamental importance to our most basic rights. To make matters worse, ongoing developments in technology continue to push the conceptual limits of both our legal and moral schemes. In this paper I argue that the concept of ‘parenthood’ is deeply ambiguous and attempt to carefully untangle the notion into two distinct concepts – one biological and (...) largely descriptive, and the other social and profoundly normative. I argue that the social notion of parenthood is a complex function of intentions, actions, and emotional states. It is a concept both defined and constrained by social norms. The biological notion of parenthood, for its part, cannot be understood in strictly genetic terms. I offer, instead, a more fleshed out view that treats biological parenthood as a family resemblance concept. Finally, I discuss the role of gestation in the context of a powerful feminist critique and argue that although gestation is a biological phenomenon, it is a mistake to think that its relevance is limited to biology. In fact, what is special about gestation, in the context of parenthood and obligation, is its distinctly social role. By shifting the discussion of gestation away from biology and toward the realm of the social, we can make better sense of the disputes that manifest themselves in the literature and in the law. (shrink)
We claim that much of the confusion associated with the "tautology problem" about survival of the fittest is due to the mistake of attributing fitness to individuals instead of to types. We argue further that the problem itself cannot be solved merely by taking fitness as the aggregate cause of reproductive success. We suggest that a satisfying explanation must center not on logical analysis of the concept of general adaptedness but on the empirical analysis of single adapted traits and their (...) causal relationship to changes in allele frequencies. (shrink)
Can non-human animals think, or arc they mindless automatons? The question is an ancient one, but as we enter the new millennium its answer is of increasing importance to both ethics and the philosophy of mind. Donald Davidson is perhaps the best known contemporary proponent of the claim that animals cannot think. His argument is characteristically systematic and far-reaching. He claims that the capacity for surprise is a necessary condition for thought, and that such a capacity presupposes complex attitudes involving (...) sophisticated concepts and higher-order beliefs. He argues that only creatures with a fully developed language could reasonably be said to be capable of such attitudes, and as such, he concludes that humans are the only animals that can think. I argue against Davidson along both positive and negative dimensions. First, I develop a simple argument (similar in structure to Davidson's) designed to show that we have good reason to believe that even with several important Davidsonian assumptions in place, animals can think. Second, I argue that Davidson has failed to provide plausible support for his assumption that the capacity to be surprised (as he defines it) is anything other than a sufficient condition for thought. Finally, I suggest that we distinguish between thought and rationality in the hopes of better capturing the wide diversity of mental landscapes. (shrink)
The fragility of the subject is a recurring issue in the work of Anne Enright, one of Ireland's most remarkable and innovative writers. It is this specific interest, together with her attempt to make women into subjects, that inevitably links her work to Bracha Lichtenberg-Ettinger's theory of the matrixial borderspace, a feminine sphere that coexists with the Lacanian symbolic order and that, even before our entrance into this linguistic system, informs our subjectivity. By turning to a point in time (...) before language—the encounter between “self” and “other” during pregnancy—both Enright and Ettinger test the boundaries of and the gaps within the linguistic system. It is the going before language that ultimately enables both to go beyond some of the most persistent dualisms present within the linguistic system and to create room for an alternative—a feminine—understanding of the ethical relationality between self and other. (shrink)
For thousands of years, people have used nature to justify their political, moral, and social judgments. Such appeals to the moral authority of nature are still very much with us today, as heated debates over genetically modified organisms and human cloning testify. The Moral Authority of Nature offers a wide-ranging account of how people have used nature to think about what counts as good, beautiful, just, or valuable. The eighteen essays cover a diverse array of topics, including the connection of (...) cosmic and human orders in ancient Greece, medieval notions of sexual disorder, early modern contexts for categorizing individuals and judging acts as "against nature," race and the origin of humans, ecological economics, and radical feminism. The essays also range widely in time and place, from archaic Greece to early twentieth-century China, medieval Europe to contemporary America. Scholars from a wide variety of fields will welcome The Moral Authority of Nature , which provides the first sustained historical survey of its topic. Contributors: Danielle Allen, Joan Cadden, Lorraine Daston, Fa-ti Fan, Eckhardt Fuchs, Valentin Groebner, Abigail J. Lustig, Gregg Mitman, Michelle Murphy, Katharine Park, Matt Price, Robert N. Proctor, Helmut Puff, Robert J. Richards, Londa Schiebinger, Laura Slatkin, Julia Adeney Thomas, Fernando Vidal. (shrink)
: In this essay, I contend that feminist theories of citizenship in the U.S. context must go beyond simply acknowledging the importance of race and grapple explicitly with the legacies of slavery. To sketch this case, I draw upon W.E.B. Du Bois's "The Damnation of Women," which explores the significance for all Americans of African American women's sexual, economic, and political lives under slavery and in its aftermath.
This article asserts the need for the ethical analysis of regulatory policy. The article explores the conventional wisdom surrounding the proper role of government, the function of law, the role of lawmakers, the nature of business, and the relationship between business and government. It is the traditional thinking regarding these fundamental aspects of our social life which creates barriers to the ethical analysis of regulatory policy. It is argued that, in spite of the persistence of agency theories of the firm, (...) a stakeholder theory of the firm best approximates a true descriptive and normative view of business organizations. If the role of government is to maximize the full range of public — private relationships for any given series of inputs, and the role of the firms is to maximize the balance of diverse stakeholders' interests, then a stakeholders' interests paradigm becomes the natural foundation for the ethical analysis of policies which regulate business. (shrink)
Did people in early modern Europe have a concept of an inner self? Carla Mazzio and Douglas Trevor have brought together an outstanding group of literary, cultural, and history scholars to answer this intriguing question. Through a synthesis of historicism and psychoanalytic criticism, the contributors explore the complicated, nuanced, and often surprising union of history and subjectivity in Europe centuries before psychoanalytic theory. Addressing such topics as "fetishes and Renaissances," "the cartographic unconscious," and "the topographic imaginary," these essays move beyond (...) the strict boundaries of historicism and psychoanalysis to carve out new histories of interiority in early modern Europe. Contributors: Ann Rosalind Jones, Peter Stallybrass, James R. Siemon, John Guillory, Eric Wilson, Karen Newman, Tom Conley, Jeffrey Masten, Carla Mazzio, Katharine Eisaman Maus, Jonathan Goldberg, Douglas Trevor, Kathryn Schwarz, David Hillman, Marjorie Garber. (shrink)
Curious about the nature of light, Robert Boyle spent a series of late nights taking detailed observations of shining veal shanks, stinking fish, pieces of rotten wood which glowed in the dark, and a ‘noctiluca’ distilled from human urine. Once, report Lorraine Daston and Katharine Park, with "only a foot-boy" to assist him, Boyle put a luminous diamond to the nocturnal test, "plunging it into oil and acid, spitting on it, and ‘taking it into bed with me, and holding (...) it a good while upon a warm part of my naked body’". (shrink)
A literate scrutiny of a popular science Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9584-7 Authors Aileen Fyfe, School of History, University of St Andrews, St Katharine’s Lodge, The Scores, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9AR Scotland, UK Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
In the post-September 11, 2001 world in which we live, French existentialist playwright and philosopher Gabriel Marcel’s works are especially relevant. Hisincreased popularity reflects both student and faculty interest in questions he raises about issues that remain vital concerns in our lives. Plays focusing on questions about life’s meaning, connected with insights from his philosophic essays, illustrate how Marcel engages personal reflection to clarify challenging situations. He uses dramatic imagination to investigate conflicting viewpoints, inviting the viewers to examine their unique (...) experience of the issues portrayed. Thus his individual journey to consciousness welcomes others to develop their own. Today’s classrooms also benefit from a greater availability of Marcel’s translated works in the form of books, scripts, videos, CDs, and Readers’ Theatre performances. (shrink)
Stepping-up the historiography of peripheral popularisation Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9454-8 Authors Aileen Fyfe, School of History, University of St Andrews, St Katharine’s Lodge, The Scores, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9AR UK Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Many kinds of health compromising norms, habits, and beliefs are highly resistant to change thereby preventing new knowledge about health maintenance from advancing widespread better health. Persons would be more responsive if they used a health ethic to harmonize personal behavior with health-maintaining practices. We argue that common sense morality includes a portion of a health ethic in the guise of responsibilities to maintain health as well as avoid self destruction. We discuss an example in which its application can retard (...) decline in older age that results from a sedentary lifestyle. (shrink)
Philosophers of literature do not take much of an interest in autobiography.1 In one sense this is not surprising. As a certain prejudice has it, autobiography is, along with biography, the preferred reading of people who do not really like to read. The very words can conjure up images of what one finds on bookshelves in Florida retirement communities and in underfunded public libraries, books with titles like Under the Rainbow: The Real Liza Minnelli or Me: Stories of My Life (...) (Katharine Hepburn).2 Hardly rousing material, at least from the philosophical point of view. But on a moment’s reflection, it becomes clear that the initial prejudice is unfounded. Never mind the fact that there are obviously .. (shrink)
The biblical story of the binding of Isaac may have originally been written without the figure of the angel. As such, it reads strongly as an account of Abraham disobeying God’s direct command for the sake of Isaac. Interestingly, then, many interpreters since the time of the text’s final redaction read the binding of Isaac as an account of ethical disobedience despite the presence of the angel. In what follows, I consider Levinas’s account of religion, revelation and ethics for the (...) way in which this can impact our reading of the biblical text. In this way, I hope to develop an account of the binding of Isaac which becomes an allegory for the need to mediate all modes of religious and/or political allegiance with concern for the well-being of other people. (shrink)
According to Bayertz the core meaning of solidarity is the perception of mutual obligations between the members of a community. This definition leaves open the various ways solidarity is perceived by individuals in different communities and how it manifests itself in a particular community. This paper explores solidarity as manifested in the context of families in respect of caregiving for a family member who has become dependent because of disease or illness. Though family caregiving is based on the same perception (...) of mutual obligation as the solidarity that supports welfare arrangements in society, the manifestation of solidarity in families is different. Solidarity that underpins welfare arrangements is based on a perception of mutual obligation towards an anonymous dependent other and is enforced by the government. Solidarity in families is directed towards a concrete other and is based on free choice, albeit often accompanied by a strong sense of personal duty. In this paper we try to distinguish between solidarity as a sociological concept and as a moral concept. An important moral element of solidarity, as expressed in families, is the need for recognition of family caregivers, not only of their concrete practical efforts, but also of their own identity as caregivers and as individuals. We illustrate this argument by referring to examples in the Nuffield Council on Bioethics report Dementia: ethical issues, about the experiences of family caregivers in dementia care and the importance for them of recognition of their role. (shrink)
Mortal and immortal DNA : Craig Venter and the lure of "lamia" -- Homeopathy : Holmes, hogwarts, and the Prince of Wales -- Citizen Pinel and the madman at Bellevue -- The experimental pathology of stress : Hans Selye to Paris Hilton -- Gore's fever and Dante's Inferno : Chikungunya reaches Ravenna -- Giving things their proper names : Carl Linnaeus and W.H. Auden -- Spinal irritation and fibromyalgia : Lincoln's surgeon general and the three graces -- Tithonus and the (...) fruit fly : new science and old myths -- Swiftboating "America the beautiful" : Katharine Lee Bates and a Boston marriage -- Nothing makes sense in medicine except in the light of biology -- Apply directly to the forehead : Holmes, Zola, and Hennapecia -- Elizabeth Blackwell breaks the bonds -- Chronic lyme disease and medically unexplained syndromes -- Eugenics and the immigrant : Rosalyn Yalow and Rita Levi-Montalcini -- Science in the Middle East : Robert Koch and the cholera war -- How to win a Nobel prize : thinking inside and outside the box -- Homer Smith and the lungfish : the last gasp of intelligent design -- DDT is back : let us spray! -- Academic boycotts and the Royal Society -- Teach evolution, learn science : John William Draper and the "bone bill" -- Diderot and the yeti crab : the encyclopedias of life -- Dengue fever in Rio : Macumba versus Voltaire. (shrink)